It’s funny how a simple idea can begin to spiral out of control the longer you spend thinking about it. Little things, like jumping off a cliff into water, riding in the back of a pickup truck at 16 years old trying to smash mailboxes with a baseball bat, or jumping out of a perfectly good plane, the reality of what could go wrong doesn’t really hit you until much later, when you finally have time to process the events and think about what could have happened had something gone terribly wrong. During the buildup of SALT, our standing-mile project car, this “over thinking” problem has almost been happening in reverse, as each modification and install brings us closer to the final goal of running down a runway at top speed, trying like hell to get up to and over the 200-mph barrier. The closer we get, the more vivid the day dreams become.
And truly, if there is one thing more terrifying than going two hundred miles an hour, it’s the thought of something going wrong at those speeds. Engine failure, fire, tire spin; those are all somewhat probable at this level and something we are going to have to plan for no matter how stout the engine program or wheel and tire combination is. Stuff happens and we’re ready to deal with it as we approach speeds usually reserved for airplanes and missiles. That said, there are some things that could happen at speed that you can’t recover from, like a tire blowout (see LMR’s amazing video on here: http://bit.ly/oD3jls), a driveline issue or, most catastrophically, a suspension related failure. Could you imagine what could happen to a Trans Am travelling 200-plus miles an hour if a lower control arm broke or a shock failed?
We have and the results were not pretty, which is why this month’s focus is all about safety and speed, combined to take our 2000 WS6 from a street worthy driver to a vehicle ready for takeoff. Back with the crew at Vengeance Racing, we ordered a plethora of parts from UMI Suspension and AFCO Racing, relying on each vendor’s years of experience with high performance cars to spec us parts that would work well under the extreme pressure of speed and traction when we finally get on track. As you will see both manufacturers stepped up to the plate and hit a home run, equipping us with the latest and greatest in handling and performance out on the track. Without the turbo kit, SALT even started to look more like a G-Machine than a straight-line missile and that’s going to be good news when we start doing future testing. For now, stand by and watch Charlie Hill of Vengeance Racing take our stock, rusty WS6 and turn it into a high-tech top speed terror.