IT IS about time to wrap things up in Leavenworth, Kansas for the Aussie Chevelle team. Harry Haig, Terry Seng, Ryan Jones and Shannon Jennings have had their noses to the grindstone since last Sunday and despite the sweltering heat, bloodied knuckles and insane lack of sleep, Stevo the 1969 SS Chevelle is on the ground and turning tyres. "We're about 92 percent done. We need to fit a sway bar, front shocks, neaten up some wiring and add the door trim," Harry explains.
With the bulk of the work completed in record time, the remaining 24 hours will be spent tying up loose ends, a few spirited test runs and gearing up for the big haul over to Hebron, Ohio for the commencement of Hot Rod Drag Week 2016. Not that 'gearing up' means much to a crew of blokes that came over to the US of A with only carry-on luggage. Walmart has provided them with jocks and toothbrushes and some grub, and it'll surely continue to over the course of the next week!
Since getting the car to fire late into last night, they've cut the bonnet up to fit over the protruding snails, checked off basic road equipment like lights and horn, and even used a busted pair of double pluggers to cushion the bottom of the radiator. With little fittings leaking and tools dropping out of the engine bay they still have their work cut out for them, but they're riding high with confidence that it'll be out there to burn 'em up past the big wig Drag Weekers on Sunday.
If this is the first time you’ve seen the car, here are the basics. The engine is a 540ci number, using a Dart Big-M block and filled with crank, pistons and rods from Eagle. Up top are Edelbrock/Musi Victor CNC heads and a Victor Jr EFI intake and elbow. The boys plumped for a low-maintenance hydraulic roller cam and those massive turbos are a pair of 72mm BW items. The Chevelle runs on E85, with tuning of the Holley ECU handled by Terry Seng. All of that was good for 1300hp on the engine dyno with no intercooler. Just how Harry is going to be able to see where he is going with those giant snails protruding through the bonnet is something that we will discover as the week progresses!
The overwhelmingly generous support from the car community in Leavenworth and surrounds can't go unnoticed, and the Aussie boys are thankful to everyone that came by to lend a hand or a laugh. Thanks also go out to Street Machine, Edelbrock, All Fast Converters in Perth, Paramount Performance, Abbot Engine Reconditioning, Gibson Freight, and everyone else that's had their mitts on the project.
You can't hide from the spotlight if you're planning to stuff a twin-turbo, 1300hp+ big-block into a car you found in a field, let alone the one-and-only Chevelle that made a trio of Aussies infamous at last year's Drag Week. There's no doubt that the once-junked ol' Bowtie is going to cause another interwebz meltdown once it rolls up to the gates at National Trail Raceway. By the time it hits Sunday morning USA-time, you can kiss the Internet goodbye, because the boys are gonna break it. As they say - let 'em eat, Stevo!
Street Machine has sent a bigger team to cover the event this year and we’ll bring you daily updates on how all the Aussie teams are faring in this awesome event.