The Pro Touring movement has come a long way in a short time. Perhaps farther still if you consider that Scott Parkhurst's extended-cab A-body captured the '11 Car Craft Real Street Eliminator Muscle Car class title. Scott and his friend Scott LaPointe calculated their odds and concentrated on the wagon's strengths, minimized its weaknesses, and managed to take home the trophy. This was no overnight effort. The story winds back to 2004 when Scott, then a staffer at Popular Hot Rodding magazine, landed this cruiser as part of a trade with fellow magazine writer Jason Walker. It originally ran a mild 350 with a 3.08:1-geared, non-posi 10-bolt before Scott lowered it and bolted on a set of 17x8-inch Edelbrock wheels and Nitto tires.
Later, the wagon graduated to a 383 stroker small-block intended to make good power with 87-octane fuel, eventually making 545 hp. Scott left PHR magazine not much later and began editing a Minnesota car club magazine. As part of the club effort, Scott slowly upgraded the suspension and dumped the automatic in favor of a Rockland Standard T56 six-speed. The idea was to build a car that could compete with the big guns in Pro Touring yet still be completely functional as a summer daily driver if necessary. All it takes is a quick lap around the car to see that its functionality is the primary focus. Scott admits that while the paint is nice, it's not a show car. The focus is more on making it work. His buddy LaPointe has applied his circle-track, championship-winning knowledge to the quadra-door that clearly delivers a 10 on the functionality scale.
As for RSE, Scott says he knew the car would be challenged on the tight QA1 autocross course because of its Queen Maryûlike girth, a fact that dictated their goal to win both the Lucas Oil/E3 Spark Plugs chassis dyno and the Mobil 1 Launch Box contests to capture the title. To that end, they bolted on a Wilson Pro-Flow nitrous plate and gunned a 579-rwhp run. Scott claims this was the first time they hit the button in earnest, and they weren't sure just how well it would work. With the power win, they turned their attention to tuning the suspension for the launch half of the Launch Box test. His first run appeared rookie-like because he blazed the tires all the way down the track. But in reality, he was heating the tires and laying down rubber to help the second and third launches. Within a couple of runs, Scott was able to knock off a 4.26-second lap that was enough to tie for First, and his strong dyno run was the tie-breaker. It was that close. So now Scott can claim the additional honor of winning RSE with the longest roof in the history of the event.
The only car that exceeded Scott's wagon for wheelbase was Jeff Schwartz's '02 RSE-winning '82 Cadillac Brougham that sported a gargantuan 121.5-inch base. Perhaps that's a record that's best left alone.
Who: Scott Parkhurst
What: '67 Chevy Malibu station wagon
Where: Belle Plaine, Minnesota, the land of lakes and really cold winters
Engine: In classic small-block Chevy fashion, Scott started with a 0.040-over iron block machined by TPIS in Chaska, Minnesota, using a Lunati internally balanced, forged crank rotating assembly and Compstar 6-inch rods. The Diamond pistons produce 10:1 compression, while a Comp Cams XR286R solid roller opens the valves with 0.576/0.582-inch lift at 286/292 degrees of duration. For induction, Scott chose a set of AFR 210cc intake port heads with CNC-finished chambers. There's an Edelbrock Performer RPM Air-Gap manifold on top, with a Holley Ultra HP 750-cfm carburetor directing the fuel and assisted by a Wilson Pro-Flow nitrous plate. Doug's tri-Y headers feed 1-5/8-inch primaries into a collector that feeds the 2.5-inch exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers. All this work paid off with a superb 579hp-at-5,500 nitrous-assisted run on the chassis dyno. Scott says it has run 12.42 at 114 on the dragstrip on the Nitto 555 tires. Scott also chose a Jones Racing Products standard-rotation serpentine accessory drive to run the alternator and power steering pump.
Transmission: It's rare to see a wagon with a manual trans, but Scott knew that to be competitive he had to dump the torque converter. He selected a Rockland Standard T56 six-speed (that required some sheetmetal work to squeeze under the floor) and drives it with a Centerforce Dual Friction clutch that in turn spins a Denny's driveshaft.
Rearend: Currie makes a Ford 9-inch that will bolt right in place of the old 10-bolt that's fitted with a set of 3.89:1 gears, a Currie limited-slip, and Strong axles.
Front suspension: While the drivetrain is fairly typical, the suspension is anything but. Early A-bodies are notorious for poor camber curves, so Scott went with a Savitske Classic & Custom (SC&C) front suspension kit that starts with a pair of ATS/AFX taller custom spindles followed by a pair of SPC Performance adjustable upper control arms and QA1 double-adjustable coilover shocks. Flaming River supplied the 14:1 quick-ratio steering box, while Hellwig bent the hollow, 11?4-inch antiroll bar.
Rear suspension: Scott used Currie Currectrac upper and lower control arms to position the 9-inch under the car and damped it with a pair of QA1 double-adjustable shocks and a Hellwig chassis-mount, tubular 1-1/8-inch adjustable rear bar. Taking it one step further, Scott also added a Fays2 Watt's link assembly to the rear, which gives him the ability to adjust the rear roll center.
Brakes: The custom ATS/FX spindle mounts a set of Baer 14-inch rotors and six-piston calipers to put the whoa in this rather large machine. In the rear, Scott went with a larger Ford Explorer disc brake assembly with 11-inch discs combined with an adjustable brake proportioning valve.
Wheels/Tires: Back in the early days of the wagon buildup, Scott opted for a set of now-discontinued Edelbrock 429-series 17x8-inch wheels with 4.5 inches of backspacing front and rear and rounded it out with Nitto 555 235/45ZR17 front and 255/50ZR17 rears.
Interior: Not much has been changed inside except for a Grant steering wheel, an Auto Meter tach and gauges, and a G-Force five-point harness. There's even a radio block-off plate, as tunes add weight.
Paint/Body: This work started way back in 2001 when previous owner Jason Walker took on the task of replacing a few body panels with new Paddock pieces and then gently massaging the pile of parts back into a decent package including a '67 SS 396 hood from OPG. Scott liked the gold interior and decided to blend the stock Harvest Gold over the base factory Cream into a pleasing two-tone presentation. All the trim and logos were shaved, and black scallops with red pinstripes were added to complete the package.
Crew: Scott can't thank his pal Scott LaPointe enough for all the effort he put into the wagon. Sounds like it may be payback time soon, since LaPointe is building an even nastier mid-'70s Malibu wagon with a fully 'caged foundation, Vette front suspension goodies, a truck-arm rear suspension, LS7 power, and a Laguna-style nose. Sounds like crazy fun, doesn't it?