The Dart heads and intake manifold were virtually made for one another, an integrated induction package right from the factory, so to speak. Combustion chambers with 119cc volume craft that 12.5:1 compression ratio. A DaVinci-prepped Holley 1050-cfm carburetor lives on the single-plane manifold along with a Super Sucker spacer and a complete MSD ignition system that provides 36 degrees of total timing. An aluminum core, electric fan, and Summit electric water pump keep the match head damp. Hooker Super Comps scavenge the exhaust gases and propel them down the Torque Tech exhaust system, such as it is. No fool for extra weight, Robinson ended things at the mufflers, which is all the local racing authorities require. How much mucho does it make? Not a clue, according to Jeff, but perhaps the potency of the engine can be quantified by its performance in another life.
Jeff's 4,030-pound Impala went a 10.59 running through the mufflers and on 30x13.50 slicks. The 3,300-pound Camaro is still teething, has suspension issues, and (at this writing) has posted a best of 10.80 at 128 with the same engine that BES built way back in '97. So let's see: if every hundred pounds gone is worth a .08-second reduction in elapsed time, that would represent about a half-second improvement overall. Theoretically, the RS should be able to clip high 9s and still peel it back home on its own wheels.
In the primitive 1950s, race cars were really driven on the street and rarely trailered to the track. Fifty years later, the same phenomenon occurs regularly. As such, the car can't be sick extreme. Fragile ring packs, loose clearances, 1,500-rpm-idle camshafts, astronomical spring rates, and serious race-only stuff are usually not part of the Street Fighter street-and-strip car. The engine's terrible torque jab must be blunted but it also must be exploited. For just plain folks, the custom-built automatic transmission is still the most effective way to do that.
Coan Racing builds some beautiful pieces, complete with Stef's pans, and did a three-speed Turbo 350 with stock gear ratios for Robinson's Camaro. The Coan TH350 uses a 350 case, but replaces the entire rotating assembly with one that is .75-inch smaller than stock. The use of CNC-machined billet clutch drums reduces rotating mass and minimizes parasitic loss. The three-speed's unique valve body circuitry eliminates the need for an intermediate sprag, thus whittling down rotational mass. Robinson put it in the car along with a race-like Coan 4,500-rpm stall speed converter and hooked it to a Perma-Cool core. Jeff changes up gears with a B&M Quarter Stick. Torque passes through a three-inch diameter by .083-inch wall driveshaft made by Huntington Driveline in Huntington, W.V.
When all the thrashing and cursing and banging was done, Robinson bundled his joy over to JAS Street Rods in Williamsburg, Ohio, for resurrection. It only needed a few things: new quarters, rocker panels, door skins, a taillight panel, and, oh yeah, a front fender. Lots and lots of rubbing later, the JAS men squirted the car with PPG base clear and 1971 GM RPO Placer Gold. Thick, black complementary Z28 stripes are where they should be.On the other side of this, Jeff upholstered the buckets in vinyl, wired the car with Painless, and built the interior focal point around the Covan instrument panel and Auto Meter gauges. He's snugged tight by an RJS Racing Equipment harness and watched over by that ever-lovin' rollcage. He's following convention, though. Radio delete. Radio delete. Radio delete. No radio.