This is Stromberger Performance in Spokane, Washington. If you want a set of twins on just
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.
'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.
'67 Chevrolet El Camino
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.
'67 Pontiac Lemans
580 HP/580 TQ (EST)
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.