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Budget Chevy Performance Cars - 3 Chevys For 10k

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The Mighty Monte
Brett's been around cars all his life, but he decided to go drag racing a few years ago and had to have something a little different. When this '70 Monte Carlo appeared on Craigslist five years ago, he snapped it up. "I wanted it because it was a non-A/C car, but it was rough." Brett used to own a body shop, so the metalwork didn't intimidate him, even though the rear-quarters, he says, "were hacked." While the Monte originally came with a 400 small-block, Brett built a 355. "I built the engine out of parts I've traded work for and stuff I had lying around. The machine work was the most expensive part of the engine." He had the four-bolt main 350-block machined for new 10.9:1-compression pistons. The Engle solid flat-tappet cam (240 degrees at 0.050-inch tappet lift and 0.500-inch lift) gives the motor some character, along with the bartered aluminum Holley heads. The rest of the motor is fitted with an Edelbrock Performer RPM Air-Gap intake, a used 780-cfm vacuum-secondary Holley, MSD ignition, and a crusty set of Hooker 13⁄4-inch headers. The exhaust is a Flowmaster American Thunder 2 1⁄2-inch system. "I had to leave the tailpipes off because they wouldn't clear the slicks," Brett says.

With an A1 TH350 trans and Continental 3,000-rpm stall-speed converter, the power ends up at the 12-bolt that's fitted with 4.30:1 gears and 35-spline Moser axles. "I've probably got more money invested in the rearend than in anything else," Brett says. The rear slicks are a set of 28x10.5x15-inch Mickey Thompson ET Drag tires mounted on Pro Star wheels with skinny Phoenix tires up front on equally narrow Pro Star wheels. The rear suspension has a set of Competition Engineering shocks, a stock sway bar, and Dick Miller Racing (DMR) tubular upper and lower control arms. The brakes are stock fronts with aluminum drums from an '86 IROC Camaro on the rear. Brett's stripped the Monte down to 3,550 pounds with driver, and that was before he added the Glasstek fiberglass hood, which on a Monte probably saves 100 pounds. Brett says his best 60-foot time is a 1.68 with its best pass of 12.08 at 112.82 mph. He's done most of the bodywork already, including filling a ton of rust roof holes caused by the original vinyl cover. Eventually, the Monte will get a rollbar, transbrake, Cortez-Silver paintjob, and a rejuvenated interior. But for now, Brett is running the NHRA Summit Racing Series and an occasional Pinks All-Out race and just having fun. Don't bother to write us that this comes out to more than $10,000. Brett doesn't want to know.

Tech Notes
'70 Monte Carlo, used $2,500.00
355ci SBC, rebuilt $2,600.00
A1 Trans and converter $1,100.00
American Thunder 2.5" Flowmaster exhaust $360.00
Pro Star wheels, swap meet $150.00
Mickey Thompson ET Drags, 28x10.5x15 $380.00
Phoenix front drag tires, 26x4.5x15 $254.00
Moser 12-bolt rear, gears, axles, limited slip $1,900.00
DMR rear tubular control arms $631.00
Glasstek fiberglass hood $499.00
Primer and materials $300.00
Total $10,674.00
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Car Craft