1984 Monte Carlo * Jerry Mann * Greenville, MI
When Jerry Mann's wife decided to retire from work and stay home to raise the kids, they had to cut back on some of their expenses. This meant that Jerry's '70 SS 454 Chevelle had to go up for sale. He still had a thirst for speed, so he started looking for a lower-budget build. His wife spotted this '84 Monte Carlo in a field that the owner at the time had given up on. After seeing it, Jerry bought the car for $1,200. His goal is to build a mid-to-low 12-second street/strip car with a budget in mind.

By The Numbers
Engine: LS6 454ci big-block Chevy
Transmission: Turbo 350 with B&M shifter
Brakes: drag racing front discs
Rear: GM 10-bolt with 3.73 gears and posi
Exhaust: 3-inch pipes with Flowmaster mufflers
Wheels: Pro Star (15-inch)
Tires: drag slicks

1970 Pontiac GTO * Scott Forthofer * St. Clair Shores, MI
How many times are hot rodders truly honest with themselves and their families about the true cost of building a project? You think you're a straight shooter? Well Scott Forthofer sent us a complete cost breakdown of his '70 GTO, and so far, his itemized accounting notebook totals $72,718, and counting. That's everything, even the $21 he spent for rear differential lube, and the $62 he spent for window chrome. Scott writes that his love for cars began when he bought a '79 Trans Am in high school, and flourished when he got a job with GM in 1995, and ordered a new Ram Air Trans Am (which also explains his love of the LT1 powerplant). Scott's current '70 GTO was picked up at a farm auction in 1997 when his dad spotted it for him.

By The Numbers
Engine: GM LT1 small-block
Transmission: Tremec T-56
Suspension: QA1, Koni
Brakes: Baer, Wilwood
Rear: GM 12-bolt, 4.10 gears
Wheels: Corvette 17x8.5, 17x9.5
Tires: BFG 245/45R17, 285/40R17

1971 Chevy Nova * Calvin Thorn * Jasper, IN
"My goal when I purchased this car was to have it laser straight with nice paint," writes Calvin Thorn. "I have worked in the alternate fuel industry for 30 years, and in June of 2008, I went to work for a company in Texas that develops and sells liquid propane injection [LPI], called Clean Fuel USA." Obviously, this provided the perfect opportunity to bring the Calvin's '71 Nova project into the green era; he plans to convert an as-yet-to-be-purchased Gen III LS-series engine over to liquid propane. As we all know, the secret to propane is its high-octane rating, which allows you to build a really high-compression street engine that's super efficient and extremely powerful. Calvin is also working with a co-worker to install a custom IRS for super handling too.