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
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