December 2012 Chevy High Performance Garage

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Poll

We’re looking to build a 11.5:1 compression 501ci with an RHS block and their latest line of LS7 cylinder heads. Should we go with a solid roller for max power or go with a more street-friendly hydraulic roller camshaft?

Solid roller: 41
Hydraulic roller: 17

Letter Of The Month

Swapping Stories

Great story! I have a similar one. My father and I built a ’63 Nova when I was in high school. Bought the six-cylinder, Powerglide post car when I was 16. Literally put my blood, sweat, tears, and every penny I had into the car. We put in a 350, Muncie M21, 10-bolt with 3.73s, installed disc brakes in the front, swapped the aqua blue interior for nice black interior, did insane amounts of bodywork, and painted the car “gloss” black. I put gloss in quotes because the bodywork had to be perfect, which it was, until ... well since I was a high school student on a budget, I bought a cheap foreign-made disc brake setup for the car. The first night I had the car out, I was cruising along when the lug bolts sheered off, the front wheel flew off, and the car went out of control into a tree. Thank God my girlfriend at the time and I walked away without a scratch. Brand-new bumper and front fenders were destroyed, big scratch down the quarter-panel on the passenger side, 2-inch cowl handmade hood ripped apart and damaged the cowl ... I was upset.  

Anyway, prom was in a week and all I wanted to do was to drive the car. So the day after the accident, I phoned up some companies to get a new bumper and fenders, ran down to the local shop to get more paint, and whatever else I needed. Even though I wanted to spray the car again myself I didn’t have the time so I prepped the fenders and hood and a family friend, who is a very talented bodyman sprayed them and sanded them for me. My dad and I fixed the cowl and sprayed that, and purchased American-made disc brakes. The car was back together on prom day, but I still managed to blow a rocker arm about an hour before pictures; so it was back in the garage for a quick operation. Long story short, I made it to prom—a little greasy, smelling like gas, and had one angry date.

Somehow I was able to get my car back together and looking good in a week’s time. Similar to your story there were many long nights; I don’t think I would have managed to stay up as long as I did to do anything else except get my car back together. Keep cruising!

Brendan Mallon
Via email

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