In the 15 years that GMHTP has been building project cars, we have, surprisingly, never actually tackled a full-on race car. Sure, we have built some wicked rides and wrenched on some of the coolest stuff in the aftermarket, but we haven't ever covered a build from bone-stock to wheels-up-until now! To be fair, it's certainly not because we didn't want to build a drag car before, it's just that we never had the means to do so until now. You see, in the world of automotive journalism, both time and money are rare commodities and as we all know, building a race car takes copious amounts of both. On a common man's salary (read: basically minimum wage), building a 9-second rocket in a reasonable amount of time means making a lot of sacrifices in your daily life, like eating Ramen noodles every night, skipping lunches, and passing over a weekend dinner and a movie for reruns of old Family Guy clips on Hulu. And while most of us spend our pathetic paychecks doing responsible things like paying rent, there is one among us that has decided to throw caution to the wind. He is, of course, none other than our fearless leader, Editor Scott Parker. And he has decided that enough is enough and he is going to build a race car, regardless of what his financial advisor (his mother) says about it.
With a crazy, financially irresponsible, but ultimately awesome, plan in mind and a $500 bone-stock and beaten '95 V-6 Camaro in tow, we set out to build our first GMHTP race car. Of course, we quickly remembered we're automotive journalists, not talented mechanics or fabricators, so instead of taking on a project of this magnitude alone, we turned it over to the pros. Luckily for us, we have some of the best in the business right in our backyard, namely, Matt LaRue and Troy Pirez Jr., both fantastic builders out of ProFab Performance in Thonotosassa, Florida. If you're not already familiar with ProFab, you will be soon. Matt LaRue, the former lead fabricator for BMR Fabrication, has had his hands on fast cars for years, helping build some of BMR's most notorious project cars before branching out on his own. At his new shop, Matt has already helped build some of the fastest Drag Radial race cars in the South and his ability to build a fast, safe, and consistent car is exactly why we love to work with him. Matt's apprentice, Troy Pirez Jr., is an up-and-coming builder, who's name may ring a bell, as he is the son of Troy Pirez, one of the fastest men in stock suspension Drag Radial racing. With their help, along with the advice and hard work of many other talented people, we were excited to get this build underway.