You have, probably (hopefully), heard someone say: "don't judge a book by its cover." Although originally rooted in a 16th century story by Francois Rebelais, we feel that there is no better example than Mitch Gaines and his beautiful 2000 Pontiac WS6. When we first met Mitch, he didn't exactly strike us as a typical grudge racer. In fact, he seemed more like a reserved, laid back person who wouldn't care much for any sort of dangerous activity. Of course, when we found out he drove a 416 cubic-inch, sprayed TA on slicks, worked as a specialty firearms salesman, and grudge raced on the weekends, our perceptions were shattered. Interested? We were.
Turns out, Mitch's car is known locally as the "Street Terror," something that is hard to catch and deadly fast. While it may look clean and un-abused, Mitch told us, "since the car is a local grudge car, we never discuss the e.t.'s. However, we will go on record to say that you need to expect to see times north of 8.50s on the bottle, and south of 10.0s on motor only!" So, what do you think? Is Mitch sandbagging or do you think he is a little too optimistic? While tight-lipped about the timeslip, we were able to find out everything about the motor, driveline, and car, giving us a solid idea of what actually makes this beast tick.
Starting with the unique billet center grille, air is drawn up into the motor by a sealed "Ram Air intake," through a Nick Williams 90mm throttle body and into a Vengeance Racing-ported FAST LSX intake manifold. It is here where the incoming air is met with a barrage of nitrous oxide and fuel from eight 42 lb/hr injectors, before being divided up and sent into the cylinder heads. The heads, built by Trick Flow and CNC-ported by Total Engine Airflow, open large 2.055-inch intake valves, allowing the mixture to enter the heavily fortified combustion chamber. Moments after the spark plug ignites, power is transferred to a set of Manley coated pistons with gas ports, which ride atop a set of Callies forged rods. Down below, taking the brunt of the force, is a Callies crankshaft, bolted to the bored L92 block by a set of ARP main studs. After consumption, the exhaust is sent down a pair of Kooks 17/8-inch long-tube headers and into a custom 3.5-inch Y-pipe. From here, exhaust is either sent to a MagnaFlow muffler or to the atmosphere by a pair of matching QTP electric cutouts. "The exhaust is really fun to play with," says Mitch.
Power is then transferred from the crankshaft to a Gearstar-built TH400 transmission via a Yank 3,600-stall converter. As Mitch shifts the Hurst Quarter Stick, a set of 3.73 rear gears, installed inside a Moser 12-bolt, transfer power through a pair of Moser 33-spline axles to a set of 15x10 Bogart Bolted RT wheels wrapped in 28x10.5 Mickey Thompson ET Drags. All of this forward thrust is helped tremendously by a solid suspension setup, which is mainly comprised of top quality BMR Fabrication components. Up front is a BMR tubular K-member with matching BMR upper and lower control arms. A pair of QA1 coilovers help keep the front end near the track (or street) surface, while a pair of QA1 springs and shocks plant the rear tires. BMR was again called upon for the rear of the car, which uses its torque arm, lower control arms, and Panhard bar. Global West subframe connectors tie everything together and attempt to keep the chassis from twisting under load.
On the outside, Mitch had our attention with an almost perfect factory paintjob and killer stance. While pretty much stock, the exterior is void of all badges, except for the rear WS6 emblem, which helps maintain the smooth factory lines. The engine bay is surgery room clean, a testament to Vengeance Racing's attention to detail. The Abear valve covers help set off the motor, while the custom side covers cleanly hide all of the factory-installed pieces. Of course, the interior is just as nice with a set of leather Corbeau seats slid between a black Wolfe Racecraft six-point rollcage. A triplet of gauges in the center vent area help Mitch stay informed, while a slick switch control area and custom shift bezel keep everything running smoothly. "At the track, it is typically the only WS6 there, so that makes it unique and I feel that it is not 'over-done' and extremely clean. My favorite is the feeling you get when you smash the throttle, you had better make sure you have plenty of room!" Don't say we didn't warn you.