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Stromberger Performance Turbo V8 Street Machines - Turbo Guys

By , Photography by Marty Stromberger

Man, these cars are what it’s all about. Bitchin’, handmade, single- and twin-turbo systems stuffed into big, steel-door cars that absolutely crush everything else on the road: small-blocks and big-blocks, turbonetics, eBay turbos, Precision, and huge CT billet jobs pounding out 800 and 900 hp at the rear wheels. These cars aren’t trailer fluff. No gutted sheetmetal interiors here. Bench seats, carpet, tunes, and gears for the highway are the rule, and most of them run all day on pump juice. It’s not just about the Chevy—there’s a 700hp, small-block Mustang and even a Pontiac in the group. These are legit, 9-second street machines that see hours of freeway and street time and didn’t take a zillion dollars to build.

You’d have to be drinking your own bong water not to notice what turbos can do on a V8 street machine. This trend first appeared in the West, where Marty Stromberger’s brutal Firebird powered by a stock 350 and a couple of Grand National turbos ran in the 9s. Then it happened again, with a near-stock 355 using a pair of 67mm Comp Turbos that lit the dyno with 936 at the wheels of Ted Toki’s ’55 Chevy (see the Apr. ’11 issue). Readers who called B.S. got a wake-up call when Chad Maskery and Blake Hughes stepped up and proved it with a twin-turbo, blackout, 1,000hp Nova from 417 Motorsports that trapped at 141 mph in the Midwest.



"I want to put a turbo on everything. When my lawn mower bogged in high grass, I got this bolt of lightning; maybe a turbo would help!"
- Marty Stromberger



We wanted to see more turbos, so we went to the Pacific Northwest to get a look at Stromberger Performance and witness the number of wicked machines that orbit that shop. Marty and the guys have come a long way from the home-brewed turbo feature in the Nov. ’07 issue. His shop is ground zero for the growing number of ultimate, real-world turbo guys from the West Coast.

Joe Cecaro
'67 Chevrolet Chevelle

Even though this car is too fresh for horsepower numbers and dragstrip times, we got some seat time on the way to the photo shoot and can confirm it's a bona fide streeter that anyone can drive. The combo uses a pair of 62mm Turbonetics blowing through a 750-cfm CSU carb on a simple Vortec-headed 350 with a 234/238 duration at 0.050 hydraulic roller cam with 0.539/0.548 lift on a 114 lobe center. It idles like a stocker, and with the 3.08:1 gears and a 2004-R, it runs on the freeway with minimal aggravation. Punch it and the car twists violently as the left front of the car gets light and the tires begin to blacktrack at virtually any speed. Joe's LeMans and Elco were in front shedding rubber in long strips as we struggled for control and tried to catch up. After several hundred feet of tire spin, we did. When we lifted, the blow-off valve chirped and hissed like air brakes on a locomotive. The car makes everyone look, then you're gone. This is one of the faster cars we've driven.

Joe Decaro
'67 Chevrolet El Camino

855 RWHP/726RWTQ
25PSI

With the ladder in the back, this car is completely convincing as a work vehicle. The ruse works until the big-o Precision PT 88mm turbo comes up and tries to pitch the tools over the side. This build is a little meatier than the Chevelle, with a bigger solid roller cam with 250/254 degrees of duration at 0.050 and 0.668/0.674 lift on a 114 lobe center. It also has a shot of nitrous from a Cheater system to spool the turbo, SRP forged pistons, Eagle H-beam rods, and a forged crank. The heads are 230cc Dart Iron Eagles with 2.08/1.60 valves. Joe did the intake plumbing with a little help from Marty and added some tricks like an MSD boost controller and Snow Performance water/methanol injection. The math is there for a solid 9-second run.

Joe Decaro
'67 Pontiac Lemans

580 HP/580 TQ (EST)
10 PSI

If you sense a theme here, it's because all of Joe's cars are from 1967. "It makes all the parts interchangeable," Joe says. The LeMans is our favorite because it was rescued from a wrecking yard for $300 and built with a low-buck, twin, 57mm, eBay turbo system. The cam has a vacuum brakes-friendly, single-pattern grind with 222 degrees of duration at 0.050 with 0.498 lift. This thing sleeps until you get too close and hear the Aeromotive A1000 pump or get a whiff of the water/methanol injection. The mill is another simple 355 small-block with a set of forged pistons and good factory rods and crank.

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46 comments
Daniel Fischer
Daniel Fischer

pretty sure the turbo sucked up that headlight and ate it

Lee Kane
Lee Kane

Don't let the look fool you. this is one bad little dude. I know these guys and they build cars that are fast and that is no B.S. if I tell you how fast you would most likely not believe me. also I respect them and would not let the cat out of the bag. the only clue that you will get from me is that if you intend to line up next to this elco then you better have your game on!

Anthony Vincent Piraino
Anthony Vincent Piraino

its a really good article and the cars are really nice... and all they do are turbos from my understanding.

Manoli Koutouzos
Manoli Koutouzos

Great article, makes me want to add turbos to everything. I love the 66 impala, turbo big block, what's not to love !

Andy Norton
Andy Norton

Ladder in the back how cool, I'm gonna pink slip some fool after work.

Josh Inklebarger
Josh Inklebarger

First it says turbo v8s, then it has #turbo, and if that still dnt give it away its missing the headlight for a turbo inlet. FAIL

Luke Kohler
Luke Kohler

Looks like it's missing a head light, so no N/A. I'll say turbo.

Scott Swanson
Scott Swanson

This was a great article-one of a number of very nicely & well done cars.

James Beauregard
James Beauregard

Ford thunderbolts had air ducts in the lights too. But the title does give it away. Just hope not another damn LS

Scott Misus
Scott Misus

It already says "turbo" in the title, genius.

Thomas Storm
Thomas Storm

Sleepers aren't really ment to look nice.

David Todd
David Todd

Wheels really dont look good on it.

Thomas Storm
Thomas Storm

turbo charged v8. Says so in the URL. it's a good example of a Sleeper.

Troy Lehr
Troy Lehr

The non existent head lamp tells me it's turbo.

Mike Gager
Mike Gager

It says turbo right in the title

460-BBF-Turbo-In-CC
460-BBF-Turbo-In-CC

While this article is a tad light on some of the details, it's the sort of "real world" turbo stuff that CC ought to be publishing more of.

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