As much fun as it would have been to show up at the track with a 720hp 451-cubic-inch LSX, junk paint, a stripped interior, and no safety equipment, the "powers that be" just wouldn't allow that to happen. Trust me, I tried, but it turns out that Editor Parker isn't ready to run GMHTP from a hospital bed and he doesn't exactly trust me to make any magazine related decisions without him around, which is probably for the best. So, with our '95 Camaro already at ProFab Performance for its last round of upgrades, we decided it was best to go ahead and get it NHRA legal now, instead of after something terrible happens or we put the stock interior back in.
Of course, if we're going to do something, we're going to do it right, which meant our first call was to Chris Alston's Chassisworks to order one of the company's 8-point rollcages. While Chassisworks offers a variety of rollcage options for various speed goals, we decided it was best to start with an 8-point, which, along with the proper equipment, will certify us to run as quick as an 8.50 in the quarter, a number which may or may not be a bit optimistic. Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to add a little more cage than you deem necessary, since we all know how quickly motor builds and horsepower goals can get out of hand. If you learn nothing else from this article, let it be this: build more cage than you think you need, you will thank us later. Along with the standard 4130 chrome-moly tubing that comes in the Chassisworks kit, we ordered a plethora of extras, including a set of rocker support tubes, a dash bar, and a helmet bar, all of which will help increase chassis rigidity and safety. To stay legal, we also ordered a window safety net from Chris Alston's Chassisworks, which is required by the NHRA in any car running quicker than 9.99 in the quarter.
When the crew at Chassisworks asked for a shipping address, we told them to send it directly to Matt LaRue at ProFab Performance, since he is our local go-to guy for any of our fabrication needs. As we have talked about before, Matt is a master fabricator whose attention to detail is second to none. If you aren't lucky enough to have Matt in your backyard, make sure you find an equally qualified welder in your area that has a couple of cars on hand that you can check out before you jump into anything. Remember, the cage tubes have to be in spec, but so do the welds and the overall installation. You're not getting an NHRA sticker with just any old install, so pay once and get a quality job from the start. With that in mind, follow along as we watch Matt do his thing, and make sure to check in next time as we work with The Purp to get it track ready.