If you look closely at the market, the street machine is the new street rod. As sheetmetal becomes more expensive and bodies become scarce, the sheetmetal fab and custom parts creation that used to be the realm of '32 Fords are now required to build muscle-era rides. Take Les Boudewyns, for example. He's a street rodder who got into musclecars about 10 years ago when he began to admire the looks and stamina of some local street machines at the drag races. "I think that musclecars are a lot faster and they don't break as much," he says. His string of street rods began with a '40 Ford coupe with a small-block and a Muncie four-speed transmission. It was a cruiser, plain-Jane rebuild that went to rod runs and car-club meets back in the '70s. That car was sold when he found a '32 all-steel five-window Ford with a small-block and a B&M 144 baby blower; it was more of the same.
Everything changed in the mid-'90s, when Les got a ride in a friend's Buick Grand National that ran low 12s without an intercooler. Remember, 12s were fast for that era. Inspired by the easy speed and durability, Les bought a basket-case '85 Buick T-Type so he could go fast too. That Buick introduced Les to the dragstrip with an 11.14 at 121. While he was there he got a good long look at a '66 Chevelle and quickly got used to the body style. "After that, I decided I needed one." He found a rust-free '67 disassembled in Sacramento, brought the shell home, and got to work. The body had been modified in the trans tunnel and there were some dents, but nothing too major.
About two years ago the ProCharger was the big rage, so Les bought one for the Chevelle. Since he's always been a small-block Chevy guy too, he decided to put the two together and go drag racing. He contacted a local engine builder and sent him the parts to get the short-block assembled. During the bench racing, someone suggested that if you want to go real fast on pump gas, you should inject the supercharger with methanol, so that's what Les did. With some ported Dart heads, 17 pounds of boost from the ProCharger, and a light mist of methanol on the inlet side of the supercharger, he went 10.75 at 127 mph the first time out.
Tech NotesWho: Les BoudewynsWhat: "It's a '67 Chevelle Malibu, and I am proud of it. Everyone else has a cloned SS."
Where: Spokane, Washington, about four hours east of Seattle. We're told it is a huge street rod town.
Engine: The engine is a 0.030-over four-bolt 350 with a steel GM crank, Eagle H-beam rods, and Speed-Pro 8.2:1 pistons. The cam is an "old-school, cheapie, Summit flat-tappet cam," says Les. It has 234/244 duration at 0.050 and 0.488/0.510 on a 112 lobe separation. It idles smooth at 850 rpm.
Heads: The 350 uses a set of Dart 200cc aluminum heads that have a short-side port job and a bowl blend. The valves are 2.02/1.60s with 1.6:1 roller rockers.
Intake: The carb is a Quick Fuel 750 on top of an Edelbrock Victor Jr. single-plane with a spacer. The whole deal is fed with an Aeromotive A1000 pump and an Edelbrock pressure regulator.
Cool: Using a one-way brake check-valve, methanol is injected from a stainless steel tank mounted on the passenger-side radiator core support when boost hits 10 psi. The reservoir is pressurized by the intake charge, forcing methanol into the intake side of the supercharger. It's completely mechanical and allows the engine to run more boost and more timing on the street without wasting race gas.
Box: The aluminum box mounted on the firewall feeds cold air directly from the cowl area into the supercharger through a K&N cone-style air filter.
More: It also has an Edelbrock plate nitrous system, but Les is afraid to pull the trigger on the 100-shot. Everyone has told him that he is fast approaching the safety limit of the block, and Les doesn't want to blow it up. "The wheelspin is already uncontrollable on the street," he says. It made 604 hp at the wheels on nitrous and 511 with the methanol on pump gas.
Ignition: The ignition is an MSD Digital 7A box with a billet distributor that controls timing, the nitrous system, and the shift light, and is capable of traction control if the sensors are hooked up.
Supercharger: The ProCharger DS1 is good for 900 hp and produces up to 17 pounds of boost on this combination. The blow-off valve is from Mondavi
Body: The body is BMW silver and was straightened by Les in his own per sonal garage. The schnoz was handmade by Chris Ledgerwood at Extreme Customs in Veradale, Washington, with a steel scoop that was grafted on the steel hood. Ken Van DeVander, a local Spokane artist, did the pinstriping
Interior: The upholstery is replacement factory stuff from OPG, the dash and the console are custom-made, and C&B auto upholstery installed the carpet and the headliner. The car sat in the desert for years, so the rubber on the car was rock-hard and all the glass in the car was crystallized from the heat. Les spent mucho bucks at True Connections to get the stock glass. The 'cage is NHRA-certified for an 8.50 pass and the Russell five-point harness is for safety. The Innovate O2 meter is a temporary thing Les is using to tune the car on the street. The Pro-Comp Ultra-Lite Auto Meter gauges are mounted to a single sheet of aluminum that has ribs added to get the right look. The steering wheel is from LeCarra.
Wheels/Tires: The wheels are traditional 15x8 and 15x6 Weld Drag Lites with 275/60R15 rear and 225/60R15 front because Les wanted a traditional drag racing look.
Rearend: To get the 275 tires to fit, the 12-bolt was narrowed. To get down the freeway, it uses 3.73:1 gears. The lower control arms are boxed, and the uppers are Edelbrock adjustables with Edelbrock IAS shocks and Hotchkis 111/44-inch front and 1-inch rear sway bars, and 2-inch lowering springs in the front with 1-inch in the back.
Transmission: In Les' words, the TH400 is absolutely bulletproof with a transbrake and a Hughes 3,400 stall converter.
Fuel cell: The rear sump was welded in to a new gas tank. It's all handmade.