Readers of DRAGZINE are no doubt keenly aware of our love for fast doorslammers of every variety. But while we report daily on everything from Pro Modified to True Street and all classes and performance capabilities in between, we don’t just want to talk the talk, but we want to walk the walk. Because what better way to understand the perspective of the racers, promoters, and manufacturers that we share the stories of than to dive head first into their world?
Well, there’s a new project vehicle in the powerTV garage, and it’s just what the doctor ordered for a magazine intently focused on the small tire slick and radial drag racing scene, and suffice it to say, this is the quickest and fastest project car to roll through our compound to date.
This 1995 Chevrolet Camaro Z28, which powerTV recently acquired from its former owner in Kansas, sports a nose that brings its appearance up to a 2002 year model Camaro. Designed as a state-of-the-art Drag Radial/Wild Street-style race car, it was originally built by Riffel Motorsports, but was eventually completed by Mark Werdehausen at Tydo Race Cars in Missouri. On the dyno, the powerplant made 634 horsepower naturally-aspirated and has a only a couple of shakedown passes on the odometer. With a deal struck, we headed east to pick up the car and bring it back to California, where we’ve got big plans for it prior to next year’s racing season.
While viewing photos of the Camaro during our negotiations, we knew this was an immaculately prepared race car that virtually no expense was spared to construct this Camaro, but images simply did it no justice in person, and calling it state-of-the-art would be understatement.
A stock suspension-style car, the Camaro features a 25.5 chromoly chassis, anti-roll bar from Wolfe Racecraft, a 12-bolt rear end housing with 4.11 gears mated to a spool, and a Wolfe mini tub kit. Minus driver, it weighs in at just 2,979 pounds.
When the Camaro arrived, a 1,000 horsepower, 415-cubic inch small block Chevrolet built by Driskell Race Engines and fed by an F2 ProCharger on alcohol resided under the hood. But with our hardcore PSCA/NMCA aspirations in mind, we had other plans for this bad boy.
Earlier this year, powerTV teamed up with the LS experts at Virginia Speed in Virginia Beach to build a wicked 388 cubic inch, GM LSX bullet that would eventually find its way into our Project Grandma Malibu. But as we proceeded with our racing plans for the Camaro, it was evident that our latest acquisition was going to need a little more grunt to run with the competition, and thus a swap was made. The brand spankin’ new 388 will power the Camaro.
Our LSX 388 build is based around a production LSX block supplied by GM Performance Parts, with a 3.622″ stroke Lunati Pro-Series crankshaft, GRP aluminum rods, and custom JE 4.125″ pistons, along with rod and main bearings from Clevite, Total Seal rings, and Calico piston coatings comprising the short block. A pair of Trick Flow LS1 CNC ported cylinder heads with Ferrea’s titanium intake and Pro Alloy exhaust valves, COMP Cams valve springs, locks, seals, and retainers, and their mechanical roller cam make out the valvetrain system.
Other valvetrain features include a set of awesome billet aluminum valve covers, lifters, LSX belt drive, pushrods, and rocker arms from Jesel. Atop the 388 sits a Holley EFI intake, fed by an F-1R ProCharger with an air-to-water intercooler. Companies such as MSD, FAST, TCI, ATI, and Competition Engineering have all worked with us on this project and will all be featured as we work through the engine build in future updates here on DRAGZINE and LSXTV.
And finally, tuning of this bad boy is handled through an XFI 2.0 Fuel Injection setup, a Racepak UDX with V300 datalogger, with an PowerGrid programmable ignition system.
With this wicked machine in our arsenal, we’re pretty pumped to join the small tire fray in the Pacific Street Car Association and NMCA, where the car will allow us to compete in either Limited Street or with the big boys in Outlaw 8.5. With a new driver and a new combination, we’ll be creeping up on the performance potential of the car as we learn more about what it wants without hurting parts, but elapsed times in the mid-eights are certainly on our radar.
Virginia Speed 388 Build Articles On LSXTV:
LS Is More – Creating A Purpose-Built Race Motor With Virginia Speed
388 LSX Race Engine Build, Part 1 – Block Prep
388 cubic inch LSX
Lunati Pro-Series 3.622″ crankshaft
GRP aluminum rods
JE 4.125″ custom pistons w/ Calico coatings, Total Seal rings
Trick Flow LSX-R CNC ported heads (265 cc)
Ferrea titanium intake (2.125″) and Pro Alloy exhaust (1.600″) valves
COMP Cams mechanical roller camshaft, valve springs, locks, seals, spring cups
Holley Gen-X EFI intake manifold
Jesel belt drive system
Petersen oil pump, tank, dry sump oil tank
TCI SFI flexplate
ATI LSX balancer
Chassis and Suspension:
Riffel Motorsports 25.5 chromoly cage
Wolfe Racecraft subframe connectors
Mini tub kit
Wolfe Racecraft anti-roll bar
Mark Williams driveshaft