Real Steel

Some cars are pretty cool, such as the typical kind of really ugly but souped up vehicle which, upon one's observation of its speed and acceleration, is apparently running from a junkyard at high speed. The picture is of a beat-up 1970 Pontiac GTO, with a 4-speed and a rearend from an automatic-transmission model. It has a 400 C.I.D. engine, and edelbrock torker intake, a Holley 650 CFM Vacuum secondary carb, ZR rated tires, and a worked-on suspension. The fact that it looks like hell and has a LeMans front clip is important when one imagines luring the vast multitudes of fools with new camaros and trans-ams into a contest of speed. this vehicle, complete with much rust, ripped up/patched convertible top, no air conditioning, and much filth and noise, is capable of cruising at 160 mph. It was driven from Dallas to Oklahoma City in just under 2 hours. We had to keep the beer in the back seat with the guns, though, because the trunk is way too rusted out to hold anything. If you like to blow the doors off of $40,000 european luxury sport sedans, this is the kind of vehicle to build. Investment: $4500.

I like the souped up Ford Pinto as well. It is a 1971 model, with the 2.0 Liter engine. the transmission is a stock 4-speed. the radiator is from a pinto wagon that had a straight six. a Mustang II rear end and Pinto station wagon rear springs puts the move on the asphalt through 14 inch wheels and cheap tires. The engine's bottom end was left untouched, but the head was ported, given a 3-angle valve job, hardened valve seats, Crane dual springs, and the biggest cam we could get from Ford motorsports. The intake was also ported, and an adapter fitted to allow a ford truck-type 2-bbl carb to be attatched. the throttle linkage was modified for the 90 degree rotation of the carb mounting. the Header is a Hooker, and the spent gasses exit through 2.5' pipe and a 'cherry bomb' muffler. A special timing pulley was added to allow the cam timing to be adjusted +/- 6 degrees. It came from Esslinger Engineering. the distributor was modified to include an optical-trigger ignition module driving a "Delta MK Ten" capacitive discharge ignition. the Delta was modified with a larger storage capacitor in the output, and a faster SCR. the ignition produces 75,000 volts of white hot spark at 10,000 rpm. With this innocent-looking little beastie putting out 200+ horsepower at 8000 RPM, we had to install solid motor mounts to keep from ripping the stock ones off. I have been going through alternators though because the high rpm's damage them somehow. What he hell, "pep boys" doesn't care. If you like making right turns at 45 MPH and sounding like a *very* large motorcycle, this is the kind of vhicle to build. Investment: $2000.

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