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This 1,300hp Beast is Not Your Father’s Shoebox

Phillip Thomas Jan 9, 2017 0 Comment(s)
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Some folks believe that eye for detail is a subject of quantity, but that's a misconception. An eye for detail sees the reason behind going to the extremes or stopping at the subtleties. Pro Rides' Denny Terzich has that eye, and it shows on his 1955 Chevrolet 210, dubbed "X-BOX."

No video games to be found here, just two tons of steel, aluminum, and horsepower. Terzich pulled from his generational cohorts and the tri-five "shoebox" nickname for the build's title, X-BOX. The car was Pro Rides' biggest undertaking yet, with over 150 modifications to the venerable tri-five shape. "We actually wanted to bring the car out to Drag Week a year or two earlier than we did," he explained. Readers will recognize Pro Rides for building Sick Seconds for Drag Week 2006 (winning overall in 2007), which later became Tom Bailey's own Drag Week missile. "But each year you have to step it up, so we kept revising it, and then you finally get to a point where you're like, 'we've got to stop,' because you keep changing things and keep chasing the perfect build." To get there, Terzich assembled a team of friends and builders in the Pennsylvania area to bring X-BOX to life.

Everything started with concept renderings by Brian Stupski, of Problem Child Kustoms, who laid out the complex modifications that would be made to the '55 Chevy 210 which Terzich swears came out of a lake. With only the roof and a portion of the rear quarters deemed usable, the rusty shoebox was a blank canvas for Stupski's pen. "For the major body changes, Brian really helped us on the drawings the car was almost built to spec to his renderings from five years ago."

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The extractor hood incorporates a subtle cowl hood look, which is continued into the dashboard, though the windshield

The bodywork was started by Area 51 Autoworx and completed by Volker's Auto Body. Where the '55's original sheet metal squared off, Pro Rides' had everything curved and set into the bodylines. Door corners and window openings were rounded, and the cut line for the hood has been moved above the grille creating a one-piece, CNC-cut aluminum surround, which was made by Alumnicraft. The hood is what steals most of your attention at first. "We wanted to give it a three-dimensional look with three levels," Terzich said. The extractors are functional, and the raised "cowl hood" between the tunnels not only clears the ProCharged LS7's intake, but also continues "through" the windshield and onto the dashboard as well. More than 250 hours went into the sheet metal work on the hood. From there, the bumper was flipped and cut to bring extra air in for the intercooler, with a subtle splitter in place to help scoop every bit of cooling breeze. The billet trim around the LED headlights and turn signals was made by CCTEK, and the parking lights' bezels double as cooling ducts for the brakes and offset radiator.

To streamline the nose, the lower splash pan below the grille was welded into the fenders, removing the panel gap that originally ran level with the park lamps, between the grille and fender openings. The result is an authoritative, though familiar, face that just winks-and-nods toward the anarchy under the hood.

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The roof was chopped 1-7/8 of an inch at the A-pillar, and the B-pillars were leaned in about 12 degrees to give the shoebox-shaped '55 a wedge profile. The trunk was pancaked, with the license plate sunk into the newly-created rear panel. This allowed ProRides to design a spoiler for the '55, but according to Turzich, "we probably went through two or three renditions, because it's very hard to put a wing on a shoebox that looks right and flows with the car. We built it big enough to have some substance, but it flows with the body lines." What pulls this off is that the spoiler's profile matches the bottom of the windshield, tying together the tail-end of the '55.

Terzich turned to Volkers and selected BASF Glasurit Volvo Battleship Grey, with a custom metallic blue for the two-tone. "We wanted a mix of a metallic and non-metallic color," he explained. "If we went with a red or another bright color, I thought we were going back to a custom. So I stuck with that industrial feel, so we went with this Volvo Battleship Grey, which even stays dark in the sunlight you know how some greys almost look like a primer in the bright sun."

Under the hood, a 427ci LSX Chevy Performance block became the foundation for a wealth of horsepower, thanks to KMP Performance and Machine, with KTek handling the final assembly of the 1,500 hp powerhouse. The LSX block was stuffed with Lunati LS Pro crank and rods, with Diamond 9:1 compression, thermal coated pistons. The top-end is comprised of Brodix's BR7 heads, with LS7 rockers and Manley springs, all bumped by a Dallas Performance DP-D6 blower-spec camshaft.

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With 20 pounds of boost from the howling ProCharger F2, Terzich saw 1,285 hp at the wheels. "It sounds like a jet fighter coming down the road," Terzich joked. "People say it needs a sticker that says 'Warning: Will suck in small children and animals.' ProCharger asked if I wanted the quiet blow-off, and I said if I was going to have an F2, I wanted it to be obnoxious!"

But, X-BOX doesn't just stop at horsepower under the hood, with an impressive amount of packaging efficiency for the offset radiator (due to the F2's placement), condenser, intercooler, cooling fans, and charge pipes. Josh Hart, of Hart Fab, wrapped up the engine bay with an impressive amount of metal work, producing the headers and trim work over that boiler-room of a cooling package, along with the trick ventilated fender wells.

For the interior, Terzich turned to Smith's Custom Seats. "We gave the interior the look and feel of a Ferrari, or Porsche, or Corvette; you feel like you're in a modern day car," explained Terzich. "We really wanted it to be a street machine or pro-touring build, so I wanted to add a bit of ruggedness, an industrial feel to the cockpit."

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CCTEK continued the exterior's aluminum details with the trussed dash, door handles, I-beam headrest mounts, pedals, center console switch panel, and more. The cage, which took approximately two weeks to build, was tucked tightly against roof pillars, seamlessly hiding them from view from most angles.

When it all comes together, X-BOX pushes its new-generation spin on the old tri-five formula with the right amount of restraint, in a "speak softly, but carry a heavy hammer" kind of way. While they didn't get to run Drag Week in 2016, deciding to focus on developing the engine and drivetrain more for an attempt in 2017, Pro Rides intends to hustle X-BOX at any race or autorama they can. Thanks to the Art Morrison chassis with its switchable three-link or four-link rear suspension, depending on the need for handling at a road course or hooking up at a drag strip, ProRides can run X-BOX at any race they see fit in 2017.

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