The Shadow MK3 turbo. /DRIVE should drive this!

This car came in two flavors. The injected big block and the fidgety piston eating mechanical management turbo big block. That’s my favorite. They fixed their problems with 20th century magic. That means the #102 could, today, be the most powerful road-course car ever at 1800hp. (pics+vid)

The unfortunately early clipped video of Alan DeCadenet (calling it a mk2) explains today’s condition of the engine. 1350hp, 1400 lbs. torque at 17" boost (thats 35lbs). But crank it up today, 22in boost=1800hp. 2000lbs torque. 1700+ lbs weight? WHAT? When built, the engine didn’t work very well. It was a 494ci (8.1 L) Big Block Chevrolet. It used two turbos, fuel fed by a Bendix mechanical fuel injection system. Trying to get mechanical injection work with variable boost levels and blow off valves and waste-gates when not a single digital engine management system existed, would require the budgets and engineering geniuses of … Porsche. We all know how that worked out. In the end they just went with what they knew. A velocity stacked injected big block. Then they won the championship with the DN4 in ’74. But this car. This impossibly black monster, signifies all we love about racing. Have an idea, and try to make it work and work better than everyone else.


If there is a single example of why we need to relax some regulations for racing, this is the one. The attempt to take down the establishment with a better idea worked for Porsche’s 917 and their budget. Unfortunately it did not work for Don Nichols and the Shadow turbo. But can anyone even try to do so now? It's so regulated that a new idea is hard to have.

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