When we met Wayne Hoover (owner of the fine vehicle you see here) on a nearly abandoned stretch of Route 66, we heard him coming long before we saw him. From the sound echoing off the canyon walls of the Cajon pass, we knew that something wicked was coming our way. The Mooneyham blower ferociously stuffed air and fuel into the small-block cylinders, while the JE pistons, Manley rods, and Callies crank compressed the mixture into its explosive state.
Judging from the echoing sounds and the whine of a blower, we knew someone had a tiger by the tail, but we couldn't see what it was. A moment later it appeared. Coming around the mountain curve we saw what was causing this minor California earthquake-a gleaming red 1957 Chevy Sedan Delivery.
We know what you're thinking. Well, at least we think we know what some of the restorer types are thinking. How could he do this to such a rare vehicle? Let us answer that question with a question: How could he not? True, there were only about 8,000 or so of these vehicles ever produced in 1957, and back then they weren't much more than a bread truck or plumber's work vehicle. In fact, Chevrolet marketed them as trucks. From Hoover's research and guestimation, he found that there are probably 1,000 or so of these particular Chevrolets that survived the crusher. One would imagine that transforming one of these into a pro-street styled machine would make it as rare as hen's teeth. Well yes, it is a rare type of '57 to see.
When Wayne Hoover started on his quest for speed, a Sedan Delivery was not in his original plans. He was looking for a mid '60s Corvette to transform into a racer-that was until he came across this. It was a true survivor car, and many of the parts that fit a Nomad of the same year also fit the Delivery. Two years later, the Delivery was transformed into the uncontrollable high-revving warrior you see here.
Jim Van Gordon of Van Gordon Racing in Upland, California, built the mill that powers this '57. He started with a new ZZ4 crate engine as the base, and stroked and poked it from there. The ZZ4 was bored .030 over and stroked to 3.750 with a Callies crank. JE pistons, Manley rods, and GM Fastburn aluminum heads handle the compression and combustion. A Van Gordon custom ground Pro Billet cam (with a 900 base circle) twists and turns while the Crane tie-bar hydraulic roller lifters pogo dance against the Crane pushrods, springs, and self aligning roller rockers.
Induction is done with a Holley 650-cfm carburetor, GM 6-71 supercharger running at 1:1, and a Monneyham 6-71 intake. Channeling the 700 horses @ 7,500 rpm into the 4.11 gears is a TH-400 transmission with a Hughes SFI Flexplate and a TCS Pro Billet 2500 stall converter, all built by Van Gordon.
When it came to setting up the braking, exhaust, and interior, E&R Street Rods in Pomona, California, took on the task. After all work was done, American Paint in Ontario, California, doused the Delivery in Porsche red.
No doubt that where ever he goes, Wayne and his Delivery will be on time-no wait, scratch that, he'll probably get there ahead of everyone else.