Chevy High Performance Letters - CHP Garage

I was at the track beating my car like a drum when I looked up after my first run and noticed these guys unloading a rail car. I went over to check it out since it said "Cadillac Style" on the side. I asked the guy if it was a 472 or a 500, and he looked surprised that I knew what I was talking about. I started commenting on a lot of the things he had done to the car. We ended up talking, hanging out, and raced for a few hours. A little later he asked me if I wanted to drive the rail around the pits. Well, I could not get in the car fast enough. What a blast! After lunch he asked if I had a driving suit and I said no, so he told me I was going to have to wear his to run it down the track!

I'm here to tell you that there is a big difference between a 12-second car and a 9-second car. It was pure bliss, and I realized that it's time for me to build something faster now. I have a '75 280Z that is getting an '05 LS2 with a turbo kit that I have been gathering for the last year. I see where boosted LS2s are throwing down 700 hp at the crank with just a little work, so here I come at a hundred miles an hour with my hair on fire! Until the new project is complete, I have my '04 GTO with an LS1 to keep me company. Sorry this letter is so long, but thanks for reading my novel.

Rick Fortney
via email

Greatest Motorsports Adventure
I loved your story in Shop Talk, Aug. '09. The trophy truck sounded like a lot of fun. My greatest motorsports experience was Ted May letting me drive his championship IHRA Top Sportsman car through the pits at Atmore Dragway back in the early '90s. I think it was the first race on the new track, and at the time I was just 16 or 17 years old, driving a car with a mountain motor in it! Man, what a rush that was, and it was also the day I got hooked on drag racing.

I also wanted to mention the great job you're doing with the magazine. I love the features on the small-tire race cars, especially since every other magazine tends to never show any real track cars. I know most aren't very detailed, but the few that are show-quality have really caught my attention.

Eric Evans
Queen City Speed

How About This?
I'd love to see a story detailing all the latest metallurgical technology used to manufacture crankshafts. How about an explanation of the difference between torque-to-yield bolts and standard torque bolts? Last but not least, low-rpm horsepower figures on any dyno buildup. If someone is building a streetable engine, the horsepower/torque numbers at lower rpm are important, not just 3,000 rpm and up. Keep up the great magazine!

Mike Obrien
via email

348W Build
Many thanks for the article on the old 348 W engines ("348 Revival," July '09). It brought back many memories for me. Although I've never owned a W myself, many of my friends had 348/409s. My best friend had a '62 409 with dual quads, a four-speed, and so on. For their day, the '59-60 348s with the factory Tri-power and four-speed transmissions held their own on the street and at the dragstrip. The Mopar and Ford guys were up against it until their factories offered 400-plus cubes.

There must still be quite an interest in these engines, if the aftermarket is still making and developing new parts for them. Of course, when these engines were in their heyday, an aftermarket billet crank cost as much as a down payment on a house, which was way above the means of the average, or even above average, hot rodder. In 1962 we could only dream about off-the-shelf parts like you see today. Times have changed for the better, and it doesn't matter what Chevy engine family has caught your eye. I do think your 430/348 deserves a Tri-power assembly or maybe one of the newer six-shooter carb setups, even if it's just for looks and nothing else. Thanks again, and keep the good articles coming.

Jack Corrick
Boulder City, NV

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