Daydreaming Out Loud (Drag Car)

Perusing Craigslist for potential project cars and stumbled across this:

1986 Monte Carlo roller. $3000 bucks. Set up for a big block and a 4 speed. It already has cheater slicks on it, the interior is ok, its not rusted out, and seems like a decently solid base.

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If I had the time, money, and space it would get one of these..

Not this big, shiny or nice, but since it’s already set up for a big block, a sub-500 inch Chevy with a centrifugal supercharger would be lots of fun. From the reading I’ve done 900-1200hp on pump gas would be doable. Hopefully have less than $10,000 in the motor.

The car already has a clutch pedal, so what manual transmission would be the best most fun for racing?

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Yeeeessssss. A Lenco ST1200. Basically the street version of their race units. It would handle the power numbers I described on the motor, stay together on the street, and be a riot to drive. The trans tunnel would need to be rebuilt to fit this thing, but it’s a fantasy so I’m not worried about that. They run about $6,000 for a 5 speed.

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Add a Ford 9inch, some suspension work, and a roll cage and this thing would theoretically be good for mid 9's.* The motor should be fairly streetable on low boost. A pully swap and a different tune at the racetrack could make it pretty potent. All on pump gas.

However, it would suck as a Drag Week style car. Why? Drag Week rules prohibit Lenco transmissions in any of their “Street” classes. Putting in the Lenco automatically would move this car into a class with 7 second back-half cars. It would take serious money to be competitive. I have no idea why this rule exists and looking around on the internet didn’t help me find an answer.

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All that being said, it would be fun to put something like this together. All told, it’s probably doable for under $40,000. It would be fast enough to need a NHRA license and a parachute.*

But, as mentioned above, I don’t have the money or time for this. It’s all bench racing. It’s fun to dream though, right?

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*Factory weight for a Monte Carlo was 3300lbs. I did the calculations at 3700lbs to account for the big block, Lenco, and driver. At 1000 flywheel horsepower it gave me an estimate of 9.48 @ 159mph. If it made 1200hp at the flywheel it would have a chance of breaking into the 8's at 160.

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