The dashboard is all business,...
The dashboard is all business, with the most notable upgrades being the Auto Meter gauges resting in the Covans carbon-fiber gauge package. A Painless Convenience Module is also installed, which includes a sensor for automatic headlights and headlight delay, and leaves the radio on until the door is opened, just like a new car.
"Our chassis is 200 percent stronger than the factory chassis, so right out of the box you're putting a stouter frame underneath a vehicle and reducing the flex significantly," says Mike Hawley, sales and marketing manager at Schwartz Performance. The Schwartz chassis also allows the user to make adjustments at the track with just a few simple handtools. The added adjustability of RideTech coilover suspension components makes for a combination Schwartz claims can outhandle an '00 Corvette.
Schwartz also recommends using a NASCAR full floater rear end rather than a live axle, which can cause the inside pad of the rear disc brakes to wear faster than the outside, because the axle is moving around and sliding in and out. In a full floater, everything is running on bearings and the axle can't move around, allowing the pads to wear evenly. Since Schwartz is a regular customer of Baer Brakes, they are very familiar with his chassis and were able to supply Gordon with six-piston calipers on all four corners.
When it came time to select a powerplant for the Chevelle, crate motors made a lot of sense for Gordon. "I can't justify telling a client to spend $14,000 on a small-block to get the kind of horsepower that GM can put into a crate motor for a fraction of the price," Gordon says. "An LS motor is just the way to go-it's simple, it works, it's high-revving, and it'll last forever."
The Chevelle's 388ci LS1 was built by Rosebush's brother, Terry, for a client of Rosebush Motorsports. The original owner ran it briefly in a Corvette before deciding he needed something even faster, and returned it to Terry. Rosebush went through the motor again, making sure the engine was still pristine and spending plenty of time on the dyno in search of the best camshaft. Using a carburetor, Terry was able to squeeze out 720 hp at 5,500 rpm and 611 lb-ft of torque at 6,300 rpm. Those were certainly impressive numbers, but this was Gordon's first SEMA build, and he really wanted it to stand out. "I knew I needed something that was just completely nuts," Gordon says.
Forgeline SP3P wheels barely...
Forgeline SP3P wheels barely conceal 14-inch rotors, squeezed by Baer six-piston calipers.
As he scoured magazines for inspiration that would take him off the well-beaten EFI path, Gordon stumbled across an article on Hilborn's new eight-stack injectors for LS motors. A call was placed to Hilborn, but Gordon was told the product was still in development and Hilborn didn't seem too interested in shipping off a prototype to an unknown builder from Oregon. The next morning Gordon received a call from Johnson, who asked if he had planned on supercharging the engine. Gordon had considered the idea briefly, but budgetary limitations had quelled those thoughts. When Johnson mentioned he had a friend at ProCharger, it was game on.
Gordon wanted to avoid a serpentine-based system for better versatility during One Lap competition and when an intercooled F-1R popped onto the radar, Gordon brought up his Hilborn idea to the ProCharger guys. They told him it was possible to run the Hilborn and the blower together, but it had never been done before. To Gordon, that was the same as daring him to be the first to do it. Gordon called Hilborn back and said he had ProCharger on board and they shipped him their only prototype, which he kept for several months during the build.
Gordon now had the ProCharger and the eight-stack injectors, but he still had to come up with an intake system. An Internet search yielded images of box designs, but Gordon couldn't see himself settling for someone else's solution. The answer to his dilemma ended up being right next door at Custom Exhaust Specialties. Shayne Burton of CES was able to help fabricate the intake plumbing that looks so perfect now, but took quite a bit of effort and ingenuity to construct. "We had to cut each of the U-bends in half to get the 7.5-inch centerline," Gordon says. "Then, we had to stagger and offset them and ramp them down on an angle. In the middle, we had to cut straight pieces to join them all together. It took literally hundreds of pieces to make that intake."