Now, NASCAR has never been known to be a low-horsepower sport, and Tracy decided if the old, legal 427s were good enough, a bigger lung would be even better. To that end, he selected a Merlin III tall-deck block and a stroker crankshaft and sent it all to Bobby Myers at Performance Automotive in Greeneville, Tennessee, for machining, but Tracy did the assembly at his own shop.
We would be remiss not to point out that the paint and detailing under the hood is outstanding for the heritage look a car like this needs. The ACDelco valve-cover breather, lack of chrome goodies, and use of the glass windshield-washer bottle (ok, ok, maybe NASCAR would have taken THAT out for safety) give the impression it is all business. The MSD pieces were discreetly tucked under the front fenders, leaving just that big orange mill as the focus of the engine bay.
The interior is spartan, with twin buckets and the rear seat covered in vinyl from Year One, the stock dash layout augmented only by some vintage-appearing gauges, and the use of a simple Hurst stick. The only upgrade is carpet on the floor, custom-made by Speedway Seat Covers in Jonesborough, to fit the modified Jerico tunnel. The interior has a few N.O.S. pieces that make it look as good as it did back in the day, and the trunk has been restored as well. To make the wheels look right, the showboat chromies were left in the corner, and Wheel Vintiques was called on for 15-inch rollers with custom backspacing.
This is a street machine, and Tracy admits that until a 'cage and bigger tires are on the car, he has yet to find out what will happen at the top of any gear. The big engine just wants to swing the back end of the car around from a launch, even with the 255/70R15 rubber out back. Highway triple digits are no problem, though.
The car has impressed others: It took Best '64-'65 Chevelle plus Best Engine honors at the '05 Southeast Autorama, beating everything from street rods to restored Packards. Tracy will let us know when he is really ready to let it all hang out, and everyone will be smiling when that happens.