1968 Chevy Chevelle
Ryan Hamilton, West Chester, OH
Best E.T.: 11.03/123.9
Seventeen years ago, when it was time to purchase his first car, Ryan Hamilton had muscle on his mind, thanks to a childhood full of car shows and days at the dragstrip. He looked at Challengers, Roadrunners, Camaros, and Chevelles, but all of them either needed too much work, or were just out of his lawn mowing and dish washing budget. Persistence paid though, and a solid '68 Chevelle with a 396 big-block and a four-speed turned up for the right price of $2,500. For the next couple of years, it took Ryan to school, work, and everywhere in between.

Until 1995 that is. A day's worth of drag racing in the low 13-second range took out the 396, leaving Ryan the perfect excuse to build a better big-block. First, the Chevelle was stripped down and treated to a fresh coat of Quasar Blue Metallic, then BES Racing assembled a 427ci big-block using parts Ryan had been collecting at swap meets. Paired with a Turbo 350 with a 4,000-stall converter and M/T ET Streets, Ryan usually got one low 11-second pass per night before being canned for not having a rollcage. That setup provided trouble-free fun for the next 10 years.

Nowadays, with a good job as a machinist and programmer, Ryan decided to pull the 427 for a mild freshening of the bearing, rings, and gaskets at BES. This time, however, once the engine came home, the Muncie was retuned to its rightful place behind it. Why? Because it's more fun grabbing gears in an 11-second street car!

'68 Chevy Chevelle: $2,500
Paint and body: $5,000
Interior: $1,600
Wheels: $450
Tires: $350
Engine block: $200
Crank $650
Rotating assembly $400
Machining/assembly: $1,600
Cam and lifters: $120
Pushrods: $90
ARP fasteners: $250
Cylinder heads: $1,500
Intake manifold: $500
Carburetor: $700
Distributor and coil: $170
Ignition box: $160
Plug wires: $75
Oil pump: $45
Gaskets, fluids, misc.: $2,000
Headers: $375
Exhaust: $650
Mufflers/collectors: $150
Fuel system: $600
Water pump: $285
Cooling fan: $130
Trans, clutch, shifter: $1,600
Rearend: $1,200
Front suspension: $250
Steering box and pump: $210
Brakes: $885
Gauges: $180
Total: $24,875

Ryan Hamilton, 34 • West Chester, OH
Total cost to build: $24,875
Type: 427 big-block Chevy
Block: stock GM
Oiling: stock pump and pan
Rotating assembly: Eagle 4340 forged crank,
stock rods, TRW forged 10.5:1 pistons
Cylinder heads: GM aluminum ZL1, mild porting and milled .010;
Manley Street Flow 2.19-/1.88-inch valves
Camshaft: Crower solid roller 258/264-at-.050;
.619/.627-inch lift, 298/302 duration, 107 LSA
Valvetrain: Harland Sharp 1.7:1 rockers,
ARP Pro Series rocker studs,
COMP Cams pushrods and springs,
Avon double-roller timing set
Induction: Weiand Team G intake manifold,
Holley 950 HP carb, prepared by Pro Systems
Ignition: HEI with MSD coil and 6AL box
Fuel system: Mallory 140 fuel pump, filter, and regulator
Exhaust: Jet Hot coated Hooker Comp headers,
dual 3-inch Flowmaster mufflers
Cooling: Edelbrock Victor water pump and dual electric fans
Output: untested
Built by: BES Racing Engines
Transmission: '68 Muncie four-speed, Hays clutch,
Hurst Competition shifter
Rear axle: GM 12-bolt rearend, 3.73:1 gears, Moser spool
Front suspension: big-block springs, KYB shocks
Rear suspension: stock springs,
Competition Engineering shocks,
airbags for the track
Brakes: Wilwood Dynalite discs front; stock drums, rear
Wheels: Weld Draglites, 15x3.5, front; 15x8, rear
Tires: 165R15 Widetrack, front; 28x12.50-15s M/T ET Streets, rear