It's a plan as simple as black and white. Cripes, it's a Malibu, a drone wannabe, not a namby-pamby, everybody's-got-one SS. Intimidation factor zero. That oat-white icon of purity, good, and seemingly estranged from violence, enables a vile and vicious module of the latest and most ferocious technology. It's so quiet at idle that the rubes only register a wimpy tick.
Twenty-nine-year-old Scott Emanuele's '71 Chevelle is an understated attraction. In white-bread white and completely void of the gewgaws that always tell lies, it's a damn sleeper. Yeah, check out those funky Ben Hur wheels from the 1980s. Sure-just don't look under the front bumper.
One Scott is a Renaissance man (he built every system in the car). The other Scott harbors the ancient bloodlust of a pillaging Hun. We're very proud that he's a mother dog hot rodder. Most of his Chevelle was wrought by intuition, ingenuity, and an argon flame. He also had the help of friend Scott Gouza, known body massager and good paint man. Somewhere along the trail, they pulled a frame-off restoration.
Emanuele's got a skinflint streak running through him like a vein of gold. He built the motor-turbo ducting to oil pan-for a stunning $12,000. Wheedling, bartering, chiseling, and knee-crawling for that almighty bargain became a given. But our prodigy needed more than wits and guile. The ability to envision, plan, and "manufacture" an adapter, a spacer, a ducting tube, bracket, or an entire system was more or less mandatory. Scott was ready for that, too. He makes his living as a welding supervisor.
Last spring, friends talked owner Scott Emanuele into going to a chassis dyno at a large c
This car had already seen too many small-blocks, some of them normally aspirated, some of them, like the tall-deck 427 small-block, were barely tractable and snagged with high maintenance. He wanted something immensely powerful but mild mannered, something that would run exquisitely on pump gas and not crap out on the road.
"My favorite things about the car? I love the motor," Scott gushed. "I love how it drives and the power it makes. I love the look of the car. It looks like a fast street car should-stock! I like the sleeper effect the Malibu has, too. Nobody expects a thing because it looks stock and is super quiet.
"With the 427, I used an NOS Big Shot plate set-up with a 275-hp shot. After I went through two bottles, I knew that was the power I needed all the time, so I sold the motor."
As for the turbocharger overture: "I chose a 2000 LS1 engine because they're a dime a dozen, fuel injected, and are all aluminum. It already had Total Engine Airflow heads, cam, roller timing gears, SLP oil pump, and some other stuff. I gave $2,400 for it. Another deal was the Lunati billet connecting rods, still in the box off eBay: $600. Then I found a pair of used Turbonetics 60-1 turbos [.68 A/R ratio, ball bearings, water-cooled] on www.turbomustangs.com for only $600. After a $50 rebuild, they worked great."
Rooting out the best for the least became the credo. The key to low cost is usually doing everything yourself. Scott rebuilt the turbos, the motor, made the stainless steel headers from raw tubing, made a complete wiring harness for the PCM off parts from the old one, made the motor mounts, built an intercooler from two 1,500-cfm Spearco cores and end tanks of his own design, and tuned the engine with EFILive software (www.EFILive.com).
The turbo system appears to be a piece of found art. Plumbing is minimal and routed most effectively. The fresh air intake pulls cooler ambient from beneath the front bumper. You'll also notice that the turbo's incoming air ducting is as short and as compact as possible, but how about this one: "321 stainless steel 1.75-inch headers with a 4-into-1 double-slip merge collector completely designed and built by myself," Scott said. "I welded them with 347 filler using pure argon for backpurge. This helps against 'sugaring' the backside weld to prevent corrosion and cracking." Now what? Tea and sugar cookies?
Quite apparent to the naked eye, Scott's setup is complex; arteries and veins are strung everywhere for oiling, cooling, intake, and exhaust. Since there was no prefab kit to bolt on, Scott screwed on his hot-rodding hat for a couple of years (yes, he wore it in the shower) and built everything himself.
According to its creator, if there's a negative aspect to his monument, it's the terrible torque it produces. "If you're not careful, it can get out of hand real fast. With a quarter-inch of throttle pedal travel equaling about 100 hp, if you go over a bump or slide in your seat and wiggle the gas pedal, the tires will spin."
In lieu of a dancing foot, there is a failsafe of sorts: to help the car hook up, the Turbosmart EA-boost controller is programmed with varied boost settings based on gear selection. It has a lot to process.
On 93 octane at 14 psi and 16 degrees of timing, the 350 pulled 751 hp at 6,100 rpm and 644 lb-ft at 6,000 rpm at the wheels. It was a beginning. Now, Scott's got larger 61mm snails on the thing at 18.5 psi and with 18 degrees timing-still considered a rather mild tune-up. He's looking for 850 hp at the tires.
Practical application of the twin turbo's largesse is another matter. With 10 psi of positive manifold pressure, the 3,750-pounder went a 10.8 at 130 on street tires. At 18 psi, the motor hit the rev limiter at 7,000 and shut off at the eighth-mile-he coasted to a 10.5 at 138. With 3.08:1 gears instead of the 3.42s, and good weather, Scott thinks it'll go nines at a buck forty-five, as in "the power is more than a street car EVER needs."
So it's real bad ass, yes? Yet it idles at 750 rpm, is dead quiet, and the cops won't even spit in its direction. It has 3,000 street miles on it with no gig list and the current tune-up pulls about 15 mpg on the street and 20 on the highway if Scott drives "nice." The motor is quiet enough to finally hear the radio and talk with wife Michelle and daughter Jayden. Best part? The LS1 engine makes 825 horsepower, while the cranky, thirsty, noisy, high-maintenance 427 small-block mustered only 650.
Emanuele does all his own work right in his garage, everything from programming his own tu
|By The Numbers |
|'71 Chevrolet Chevelle |
|Scott Emanuele * Franklin, WI |
|Vehicle weight w/driver: 3,750 pounds |
|Rear-wheel horsepower: 751 hp @ 6,100 rpm (previous turbos) |
|Best ET: 10.5 at 138 mph |
|Type: ||Chevrolet LS1 displacing 350.6 cubic inches (3.905 bore x 3.66 stroke) |
|Block: ||2000 vintage |
|Compression ratio: ||8.2:1 |
|Oiling: ||modified OE oil pan, SLP ported high-volume pump |
|Rotating assembly: ||3.66-inch stroke OE nodular iron crankshaft (polished), Lunati Super Light 4340 billet rods, and Wiseco forged reverse-dome pistons |
|Cylinder heads: ||TEA LM7 5.3L Stage 2, ported; .052-inch thick GM MLS gaskets |
|Camshaft: ||Comp Cams hydraulic roller (224 deg. @ .050; .581 lift @ 6,000rpm) |
|Valvetrain: ||2.02/1.57-inch valves, 1.7:1 OE rocker arms |
|Induction: ||LS6 intake, 75mm throttle body |
|Power adder: ||Precision Turbo PT61 turbochargers, 18psi boost |
|Ignition: ||GM LQ9 6.0L coils |
|Exhaust: ||321 stainless steel exhaust manifolds, 304 stainless 3-inch downpipes, 3-inch Torque Tech exhaust system, Dynomax Ultraflow mufflers |
|Fasteners: ||ARP bolts and studs throughout |
|Built by: ||Scott Emanuele |
|Transmission: ||Hipster Turbo 400 ATD w/trans brake, Neal Chance 10-inch converter, 2,600-rpm stall speed |
|Driveshaft: ||custom 3.5-inch dia. metal matrix composite shaft, 4340 1350-series yokes, by Denny's Driveshafts |
|Rear axle: ||Chevrolet 12-bolt, 3.00 x 0.25-inch axle tubes, Mark Williams 33-spline axles, Tom's Differentials billet carrier caps, Detroit Tru-Trac 3-series differential carrier, U.S. Gear 3.08:1 ring-and-pinion, T/A aluminum pre-load cover |
|Front suspension: ||factory spindles, polygraphite bushings, stock coil springs, Competition Engineering adjustable shock absorbers, 1-inch dia. anti-sway bar |
|Rear suspension: ||relocated control arms, narrowed 12-bolt, stock springs, CE adjustable shock absorbers, no anti-swaybar |
|Brakes: ||Touring Classics C5 13-inch discs, front; '97 Z28 11.5-inch discs, rear |
|Wheels & Tires |
|Wheels: ||Centerline Pintail 17x8, front; 17xll, rear |
|Tires: ||BFG Comp T/A 255/45ZR17, front; Goodyear GS-SC 315/35ZR17, rear |