October 2010 Chevy High Performance Q&A

Kevin McClelland Aug 30, 2010 0 Comment(s)
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Purpose-Built
We all get that wild hair up at times to build something very cool. I'm sure if you sat back and thought of what you'd really love to build (and didn't have a budget) you could come up with quite a dream machine. Many times, as much thought as we give to what we want our car or truck to be, we really don't consider what it would take to make that dream a really useful street or race car. I've always wanted a Gen II Corvette ('63-67) because my good friend Kenny Morelli had a '63 when we were growing up. My dream Vette would be an ultralight street/track car with a twin-turbo'd aluminum big-inch small-block, six speed ... You notice the lack of details-I just want it! This thing would be scary fast and handle like it was on rails.

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Now let's come back to reality for a minute. Last weekend, Daniel and I were racing at Fontana and we lost a full day of racing on Saturday because of high winds. The promoter decided to run two complete races on Sunday. Well, without my Roadster running, Daniel and I have been sharing the Wagon. I asked the promoter if we could double dip with the wagon. Daniel ran in the Stock/Superstock combo class, and I ran the No Electronics class. Between the two of us, we raced four complete races in one day, for a total of 16 runs! Daniel lost in the finals of one race and in the semis of the other, and I went two rounds in my first and three rounds in my second. We were driving this thing in circles, coming straight back to the lanes after every run.

The "purpose-built" theme? When I came up with the idea to build this car for Stock Eliminator, I knew most of its time would be spent bracket racing with our mild 350 small-block. In the planning stages, I knew that the car would be hot lapped (deep into rounds of eliminations where you get minimal cool-down time). During the design phase there were things I knew we would need, namely a cooling system to control the temps within a repeatable range that would allow for consistent performance output, including a transmission cooling system that would keep the gearbox and converter happy for an endless number of rounds. I also addressed the charging system that would allow us to run the electric water pump and fan as much as necessary to control the temps. Planning for these types of situations during the initial build is the time to implement these ideas. Many people came up to me toward the end of the day and couldn't believe the amount of runs we had made on the car, and that it was still happy.

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The next time you're dreaming up your next project, make sure you're honest with yourself on what the car must do-it'll save you money in the long run. There is nothing worse than completing your build only to discover that one system won't keep up with the rest of the package. I hate going back and reworking the build just when you're done with it. We build them to race them, drive them, and enjoy them.

Wheel Art
Q: Can you tell me the correct paint color and/or code for the '71 and '72 SS Chevelle Rally wheels and where I can buy the paint? Also, is the paint the same for the '71 and '72 SS El Camino? I have tried several paint restoration parts companies and been given different paint colors from them. Thanks for your help.
Jim White
Via email

A: The GM Rally and SS wheels that were silver were painted in Argent Silver. The SS Chevelle and SS El Camino wheels were painted the same. The Corvette and Camaro Rallys were completely painted in the Argent Silver, and the SS Chevelle wheels had a mix of Argent Silver and Charcoal Gray. Then you have the five-spoke Camaro SS wheels that were completely painted in a Charcoal Gray.

Check with Eastwood for all your refinishing needs to match the exact reproduction color, including Argent Silver Rally Wheel paint, PN 10001Z for a 12-oz rattle can, and the Charcoal Gray, PN 10003Z for a 12-oz can. Eastwood also offers the Argent Silver in quarts if you're looking to spray it out of a gun.

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