When you tear down the quarter-mile at nearly 200 mph on a motorcycle for a living, you need a way to blow off some steam. For Eddie Krawiec, Pro Stock Motorcycle racer for the Screamin' Eagle-sponsored Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson team, his own version of the getaway vehicle is the '66 Nova you see being built here.
Currently 31 years old, as a youngster Eddie was a frequent spectator at the dragstrip watching his father Eddie Sr. run in the Super Pro bracket. Living near Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey, also instilled racing into Eddie's blood as he rode his bicycle there just to watch events. One day Eddie was hanging around when he was approached by then track manager Jimmy Napp, who asked if he would like to fill in working the water box at the strip. Ever since then, Eddie has been an employee of Raceway Park, rising to the title of track manager of daily operations in 2001.
When Eddie was 15, he purchased a '79 Camaro. With the help of his father, he worked on the car for two years. Once he was able to legally drive, Eddie recorded a 12.9-second pass in only his second time down the quarter-mile. Having been bitten by the "never satisfied bug," Eddie had a rollcage installed during the winter months, among other modifications, ultimately turning the Camaro into a 9-second performer. While this was pleasing and extremely satisfying, the daily driveability of the Camaro had diminished in a big way.
Eddie ended up selling the Camaro, and then he went for some two-wheel fun with a streetbike. Knowing that he wanted to race, Eddie had engaged in conversation with six-time NHRA motorcycle champion Dave Schultz. After about a half hour or so, Eddie was determined to make it as a professional motorcycle racer. Coincidentally, Eddie later purchased a motorcycle from Dave for NHRA competition in 2003. While Eddie had much success on the AMA Prostar tour, netting nine wins in 23 final rounds, he had consistently been on the outside of the bubble looking in when participating independently in the NHRA Powerade Series.
In early 2007, a position opened up for a rider of the second bike of the Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson NHRA Team next to now three-time Powerade Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Andrew Hines. Eddie got a tryout, and his dream came true-he made the cut. In his rookie season, he had two runner-up finishes and multiple round wins; his goal for 2008 is to improve on this. To date, Eddie has gone down the 1320 in as fast as 6.94 at 192 mph.
Needing to get away from all the craziness, Eddie wanted to return to his roots and build another Bow Tie- this time tying together streetabil-ity with huge amounts of unleashable fury. Vinnie and Alex Napp of Raceway Park had purchased a '66 Nova to be built as a father-son project back in 1995. After Vinnie died, the car lay dormant in an airplane hangar in Englishtown. After a brief discussion with Alex, Eddie obtained the Deuce for a mere $5,000, not bad considering that's what the Napps paid 13 years ago. Obviously, the car had lost its "mint condition" status by enduring the weather in New Jersey, but all in all it wasn't too bad. The '66 contained the front face from a '67, a straight-six powerplant, Powerglide transmission, and 10-bolt rear. All will be stripped and redone to Eddie's liking in order to create his dream car.
For Project Getaway, Eddie wanted to combine a little of everything into his ride with a mix of g-Machine and the ability to hit either the dragstrip, road course, or Main Street USA. Prebuild thoughts included a lowered stance with 20-inch wheels out back and 19-inchers up front, a custom 9-inch rear housing, and an aftermarket subframe and custom backhalf with a twin turbo powerplant backed by an overdrive transmission.
To get started, Eddie called upon Bobby Carroll of Carroll's Rod and Racecraft in Spotswood, New Jersey. Bobby, as fate would have it, is a former employee of Raceway Park. He's also up and coming big time in the chassis fabrication world, having merged with well-known Outlaw guru Leo Barnaby of Neverlift Racecraft. Carroll's has recently moved into a new facility boasting 7,800 square feet of space, as well as the addition of a new water jet machine for custom fabrication purposes. Bobby was more than generous in helping with Project Getaway.
After having a sitdown with Eddie and Bobby, we decided to give Chris Alston of Chris Alston's Chassisworks in Sacramento, California, a call. Chassisworks is a multimillion dollar operation consisting of all the latest and greatest in fabrication techniques and equipment. Chassisworks also has most components in stock ready to ship. Chassisworks has been praised by many in the past for its NoFab Nova II components-all components are bolt in, allowing you to get behind the wheel faster than you think. Chris Alston houses a wealth of information whether you're building a cruiser or an all-out missile. With Chris Alston's background in fabrication and racing, the sky's the limit.
Let's start tearing into the box!