1998 Pontiac Firebird - Back In Black

Brian Black’s take on an LSX275 race car, 430 cubic inches, two stages of nitrous, and the 7-second slips to prove it all works

Justin Cesler Dec 20, 2011 0 Comment(s)
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“I originally bought and built this car around being a high 9- to low 10-second car on motor only.” Just a couple of months ago, Brian trapped 141-mph. At half-track. On a 275 drag radial. On the big end Brian has ran a blistering 7.89 at 175.5 miles an hour and recently won the 2011 GMHTP Shut Your Face Race held at the Holley LS Fest in Bowling Green, KY with a string of low 5-second passes. His 430 cubic-inch motor makes over 1,000-hp naturally aspirated, breathes through a set of custom MOZEZ canted-valve cylinder heads and inhales a ton of nitrous oxide thanks to a two-stage dry system plumbed through his gorgeous Marcella intake manifold. His idea of a bad 60-foot is anything in the 1.25-second range and he has been as fast as a 1.21-second sixty with no progressive nitrous control. The kicker? Brian’s 29 years old and built most of this beast with the help of just a couple key people and hours of hard work. Wondering what you’ve done with you life so far? Join the club.

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“I never intended on using nitrous with the car, but I caved into peer pressure from a good friend of mine, Tim Blanchard. The first year with the car I went from 10.20’s on motor at the start of the season with a 404 cubic-inch LS6 headed combo to an 8.94 at the end of the 2007 season with a small 200-shot of nitrous.” Okay, so Brian is obviously a fast learner, but let’s not give anyone the idea that running as fast as he has with a nitrous-fed LSX is easy or even remotely close to simple. “I ran the old 404ci 6.0L block engine from 2007 through 2008 and then started an LSX build in 2008/2009. I completed the 427 C5R build in the late spring of 2009, but the economy down turn and being out work for most of 2009 didn’t allow me to run the car like I had originally planned. I ran it a handful of times in the fall of 2009 to a best of 8.82 at 157-mph. Over the winter of 2010, I did several updates with the car, but still kept it pretty much the same. The 2010 season is one that I would like to erase from my memory completely, but we can say that we at least gave it our best. We started the season with a major internal oil pressure bleed off/leak. We ended doing a complete tear down and fixed that: Rebuild 1. Then we fought a water issue, which ended up being a small crack in the cylinder head that would leak when the engine was cold but seal up when hot...that required another complete teardown as there was so much water that it rusted the rings: Rebuild 2. Down in Bowling Green for the first annual LS Fest, I heard a sound like a belt squeal while getting ready to do a burnout. We ended up breaking a roller lifter and trashed several others. We tore the engine down again to fix/replace lifters, bearings, rings, and pistons: Rebuild 3. And once we got the engine back together for the third time, we had issues with a broken torque converter, which caused us more headaches. So in the meantime while I was waiting on getting my torque converter fixed, I decided to sell off everything in the power train except the block, crank, dry sump and converter… At this point I was contemplating going with a big single turbo setup, but I decided to go back to what I know and that was nitrous.”

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