Hansen concludes this well-rounded volume with a series of dyno tests that illustrate the characteristics of various cams in several popular engine configurations. We have to admit that the material on degreeing a cam left us scratching our head a bit, but this may be our hang-up. Other than that, this book is full of solid, well-grounded info for the performance engine builder. We'll be referring to it frequently in the future. High-Performance Chevy Small-Block Cams & Valvetrains (ISBN 1-932494-08-01) by Graham Hansen is available from CarTech Inc.; 800.551.4754; cartechbooks.com. -JN
OversteerWe walk a fine line here at CHEVY HIGH PERFORMANCE. We want to bring you the cold, hard facts of performance. We want to tell you why something works and give you the equations and measurements to back it up. On the other hand, this is also a hobby of passion. Sometimes mere numbers don't tell the whole story. For that matter, sometimes mere words don't tell the story. Sometimes we come up a bit short, no matter how much we try to convey the adrenaline-inducing experiences we encounter-all in the line of duty, of course. Yeah, right. An obligation to fill pages every month can't explain everything, but sometimes we have trouble conveying that to you. OK-by "we" I mean me. It comes down to this: There's something about a Z06 that makes me come unhinged.
How unhinged? I confess I've gotten a ticket every time I've driven a Z06 on a public road. Number one: exhibition of speed and power. Duh! Isn't that what the thing is for? And how was I to know it would do a burnout with the traction control on? Some might have learned their lesson after being busted in front of a big Corvette show. Then again, some might proceed to level two, speeding at 96 mph. Come on-in Sixth it's not even showing two grand! And then there's three, speeding at over 100 mph and getting one's license suspended. But officer, I'm testing for CHEVY HIGH PERFORMANCE magazine... OK, where do I sign? Sounds insane, doesn't it? And that's the point-it is insane! Rational thought has nothing to do with it. Put me behind the wheel of a Z06, and all sense of reality disappears. Jekyll takes a holiday; Hyde decides to see if the new Z06 really needs a 200-mph speedometer. (And baby, it really does!)
Don't get me wrong. I'm not particularly proud of these lapses of judgment. The consequences could have been beyond bad. I'm hopeful that I will grow up and develop some common sense...or build an open-track car to keep my act off the public byways. On the other hand, these fits of Z06 insanity carry a strange attraction to this day. Is it just me, or is there something irresistibly compelling about the times the inner maniac takes over? So now you know-we occasionally lose it too.