Back in 2003 my 15-year-old son and I were doing a V-8 conversion on an '88 S-10 Blazer. We figured out that the factory transmission crossmember could be used for the Turbo 400 we were installing, if the transmission mount tab was cut off and welded on the opposite side. I got out my trusty Sawzall and propped the trans crossmember at a 45-degree angle against the workbench. I proceeded to cut in a downward motion. As I got close to the end of the cut, I slowed the Sawzall down. The tab fell to the ground, and I let off the trigger of the Sawzall. The Sawzall was slowing to a stop at the same time I finished the cut, so I let the Sawzall dangle by the handle at the end. I felt a slight bump on the top of my foot. I looked down at my foot and blood was gushing out. I looked up at my son. His eyes were the size of baseballs and his jaw dropped. I threw the Sawzall on the ground. I then said several explicit words. I looked up at my son and told him... Well, it sounded something like this:
"I have been turning wrenches for 25 years and knew better than to wear flip flops while working with power tools! (I know, the wife still reminds me: No flip-flops in the garage!) This is a good reason to take the time and put on the leather boots. Do not take power tools for granted. Now, call Mom and tell her that everything is all right but to stop shopping and come home and take me to the emergency room for stitches. This means we can't work on the S-10 for a couple weeks and I will be placed on light duty at work. Now, get me a rag to stop the bleeding!"
All in all, I ended up with seven stitches across the top of my foot. I did not hit any bones, and sure enough I was on light duty at work for the next seven days. More importantly, I now wear my boots whenever I'm in the garage.
John Witbrodt - Elgin, TX
CHP Top 10
I want to thank everyone at Chevy High Performance for the great feature you did on our '63 Nova ("Snowman's Revenge," May '08). For years now I have had a subscription and always look forward to each issue. In my opinion, your regime has taken it up a notch. I must say that both my wife and I are still extremely pleased that our car was featured. I don't know if you can imagine the pride and pleasure we now feel, since the Nova was chosen No. 5 in your year-end ranking of 2008 cars ("CHP's Finest," Mar. '09). Thanks to all of you and the entire staff for the honor you bestowed on us. We'll be reading!
Frank Serafine - Via email
Former Lion's Racer
For the past couple years I have been reading your column and am astounded at the depth of your information base. You have or can find the answer to almost any question raised about Chevy engines.
Back in the mid-'60s I built a motor using a seasoned 283 block and a 327 crank with the counterweights shortened, and it ran fairly well in a '59 Anglia. Later on we happened to pick up a set of Howard aluminum heads that had four studs for each exhaust port, and the exhaust valve seemed to sit surprisingly close to the edge of the head. Still, let me tell you it really would run 10.20 at 130 at Lion's Drag Strip.
Long story short: At 73 I am again building another sbc, only this time a 383ci small-block, and I would love to find another set of those old-style heads. Incidentally, I believe these heads were built before flowbenches were thought of. Can you help?
By the way, you should expand your space in the magazine to three times what your have now. People would love it!G. Whitson - Former SoCal resident now in Alabama
I'm sure some of our readers can help you out. If anyone has information, let us know and we'll pass it along. Also, I wish I could say that I ran a car at Lion's. There's a lot of history there, and it's a shame that it shut down in 1972. As for me, I have run at the now defunct Los Angeles Country Raceway, Carlsbad Raceway, and Brotherhood Raceway in Long Beach. Hopefully we can hold onto the current facilities.
Your mag rocks. I've been reading it for years. You guys were kind enough to print a picture of my car in the June '07 Rides department. I wanted to update you and let you knot that I built and installed the Impersonator II, which is the second version of your Impersonator build up in the June '03 issue, and dropped it in my 72 Z28 Camaro. Yeah, baby, she moves out now. I'll send you updated pics and specs when I have a chance. Now that I think of it, I put my car on your website's Readers Rides page. Keep up the good work, take care, and thanks for all that you guys do.
Gary Freudenberg Via email
Letters are a bit slim, so help us out. Give us a shout, ask some questions, or tell us how great we are. Send emails to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let's Go Racing!
The '09 NMCA schedule has been released. Check it out and let us know which events you plan to attend.
7th Annual Ross Racing PistonsNMCA Muscle Car NationalsBradenton Motorsports ParkBradenton, FL
8th Annual NOS NMCA Muscle Car NationalsFeaturing the C4/C5/C6 Corvette ShootoutBeech Bend RacewayBowling Green, KY
7th Annual Kooks Custom HeadersNMCA Muscle Car NationalsFeaturing the 1st Annual Late-Model HEMI ShootoutMaple Grove RacewayReading, PA
4th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCASuper Bowl of Street Legal Drag RacingRoute 66 RacewayJoliet, IL
Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA All-Star NationalsFeaturing the Hot Rod Magazine Drags Presented by FlowmasterzMAX DragwayCharolotte, NC
3rd Annual NMCA Muscle Car NationalsMilan DragwayMilan, MI
8th NMCA World Street FinalsFeaturing the LSX Shootout IIIMemphis Motorsports ParkMemphis, TN
Gulf Oil Vette Sells for Over $1 Million
Appearing exactly as it did in original specs on the starting grid of the 1963 Sebring race, this restored Gulf One Z06 was sold to a private bidder at the Mecum Kissimmee Auction for $1.05 million. This Gulf Oil-sponsored Z06 became the most successful factory-backed production racing Corvette of the C2 era and was driven by Dr. Dick Thompson in SCCA. To this day, it remains the most original of all the racing Z06 Sting Rays and is a monument to one of the greatest eras in American sports car racing. What did this special 'Vette with additional specifications of the original '63 Corvette Regular Production Option (RPO) Z06 include?
* Fuel-injected 327/360-bhp V-8
* Four-speed transmission
* Posi-traction rear axle
* Vacuum-powered dual-circuit master cylinder
* Heavy-duty brake drums with cooling fins and forward-operating adjusters
* Special metallic brake linings
* Removable front brake air scoops
* Vented brake backing plates
* Heavy-duty stabilizer bar
* Heavy-duty shock absorbers
* Heavy-duty springs
* Fiberglas 36.5-gallon fuel tank
* Five cast-aluminum finned wheels