The Other Side Of The Story:
AMP Performance '89 Mustang

We called Chris Ciolek of AMP Performance in Phoenix, Arizona, to get his side of the story. They built and raced the '89 Mustang that Hardcore Racing won in its "Pinks" match up: "We flat-out over-powered the block and the car. That car went 9.0s at 153 in testing, and it's a factory 351 block, which doesn't hold up well to 1,000-plus horsepower. It's a pretty stealthy car as far as the engine compartment goes. We were banking on it being judged by that, and it worked.

"It was a stock 351 block with forged internals, it had a main-cap girdle, Roush iron heads-which are the old SVO N351 heads-an Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake, a Braswell 950 carb, and 12.5:1 compression. For the driveline, we had a Performance Automatic C4 trans with a PTC 10-inch nitrous converter, and an 8.8-inch rear with 33-spline Moser axles and 4.10 gears. We were using an NX nitrous plate, and we were only putting 250 on it. We didn't have 500 on it like Hardcore says. [We aren't in a position to verify either claim. You decide.-ed.] At AMP Performance, we had a lot of cars running 9.30s at that power level on a production block with no problems. On that night though, the car was running really well, probably better than in testing. It was really cool that night and the air was better. The tune was right on the money, but it was flat-out too much power. We knew we were on borrowed time, and we just ran out of luck. [AMP split the block in half, a well-known weak point in production Windsor blocks.-ed]

"After the taping, we bought the car back from Hardcore for five grand. It was a fair price. We're building a 383-inch [351-Windsor based] single turbo for it now. I would definitely do the show again, even with Hardcore."

BY THE NUMBERS
Hardcore Racing * Flint, MI
'85 Pontiac Firebird * Total cost to build: approx. $25,000
Best quarter-mile ET: 9.30 at 142 mph

Engine
Type: 350 Chevy small-block bored and stroked to 383 ci (4.04 bore x 3.75 stroke)
Block: Chevrolet truck block
Compression Ratio: 13.8:1
Oiling: Stock wet sump with Moroso oil pan
Rotating Assembly: Eagle 4340 forged crank and rods, JE forged flat-top pistons
Cylinder Heads: World Products Motown 024150
Camshaft: COMP solid roller (270/279 @ .050,.696/.660" lift)
Valvetrain: Dart valves (2.08/1.60), Jesel 1.5:1 int./1.6 ex. rockers & Trend pushrods
Induction: World Products Motown intake, Holley 1050 Dominator
Power Adder: Wilson Pro-Flow two-stage nitrous plate (150 hp & 200 hp)
Ignition: MSD 7AL-2 Plus
Built By: Hardcore Racing
Drivetrain
Transmission: Hughes Turbo 400, 8" 5,000-stall, Hughes converter, B&M shifter
Rear Axle: Ford 9" rear, 4.56:1 gears w/Strange spool
Chassis
Front Suspension: coil-over conversion, ("it came with the car!" -Gary Penn) QA1 shocks
Rear Suspension: Hardcore Racing torque arm
Brakes: Wilwood discs, front; stock drums, rear
Wheels & Tires
Wheels: Weld Draglite 4.5 x 15, front; Weld Draglite 10 x15, rear
Tires: Mickey Thompson 26 x 4.50-15 ET Front; Mickey Thompson ET Drag 28 x 10.00-15, rear