In front of a packed grandstand at Virginia Motorsports Park, Tim Harper proved that the '55 Chevy is still a force on street or strip at the 30th anniversary Super Chevy Show in Petersburg. He drove his F-2 ProCharged 515-inch two-door sedan to a dominant victory in the Super Chevy Magazine True Street Challenge in, averaging 8.77-seconds over the course of three runs after a 20-mile drive through the beautiful countryside surrounding the track.
Harper is well-known for driving his Bruno/Lenco transmission-equipped car to and from the track and to various events in the area, but after Friday night test and tune at the Super Chevy Show, he realized he had plenty of competition from East Northport, New York's Glenn Hunter and his blown red-and-white '56 Bel Air. They were running near identical e.t.'s at the test and tune, with Hunter holding a slight advantage. For Harper, this meant an early morning scavenger hunt through the swap meet.
"I bought a smaller pulley at the swap meet this morning to get 2 lbs more boost," he said after the awards ceremony.
With the pulley installed and the road tour successfully completed, who else would he find himself lined up against for the first of the three runs but Hunter? The '56 launched like a missile, covering the first 60-ft in 1.285-seconds (to Harper's 1.340), but Hunter knew something was wrong.
"When I came down and the steering wheel was crooked I knew something wasn't right," he said, adding that he had to lift at the finish line. He ran a remarkable 8.941 at 150.43, but it would be his last pass. He had split the Dana 60 rear housing at the line.
Harper blasted to an 8.770 at 154.92, then followed this with an 8.68 and an 8.72 for a three-run average of 8.723. No one else in the 24 car field could even come close. Mick Sites was the runner-up in his 598-inch Rat-powered '72 Cheyenne pickup, with a three-run average of 10.041 (best e.t. of 9.943 at 136.04.
Super Chevy Magazine True Street Challenge, Petersburg, Virginia, April 17, 2010
Tim Harper - 1955 Bel Air
8.770 8.681 8.721 Avg: 8.723
Lowest 10-Second Average
Mike Sites - 1972 Cheyenne pickup
9.943 9.999 10.182 Avg: 10.041
Lowest 11-Second Average
Mike Goode - 1981 Chevy Malibu
11.037 10.969 10.978 Avg: 10.978
Lowest 12-Second Average
Jim Fisher - 1971 Chevelle
11.918 11.986 12.093 Avg. 11.999
Lowest 13-Second Average
TJ Wesley - 1987 Camaro
12.980 12.951 13.025 Avg: 12.983