Just like it should be in a car like this, the cabin is as bare bones as it get. The steer
When it comes to laying out the rest of the driveline in a basic and streetable fashion, having so much torque on tap is a godsend. Despite the burden of nearly two tons of car, the Biscayne makes do with a modest 3.73:1 ring-and-pinion set in its DTS Dana 60 rearend. Likewise, since the Biscayne is a street/strip cruiser and not a cross-country hauler, Mike opted for a simple-yet-rugged TH400 transmission, which is further tamed by a not-too-loose 2,800-stall torque converter. I’m not too coordinated with a stick, so I went with an automatic, he says. With 29.5-inch-tall Mickey Thompson slicks filling the rear wheelwells, the B-body cruises at 3,000 rpm on the freeway at 70 mph. That’s not too shabby at all for a car that doesn’t even have overdrive. Overall, this car is very streetable, but then again that’s something that’s very subjective. The carb has no choke so you have to hold the throttle open a hair until the motor warms up. I’m not opposed to bumping the trans into neutral at a light if the motor starts idling roughly. To me, that’s part of the hot rodding experience.
Within the confines of the stock tubs, a 9-inch-wide tire is as big as Mike wanted to go.
As no surprise, there are no fancy tweaks going on beneath the car, either. That’s partly because the B-body comes with a very capable four-link from the factory, and partly due to Mike’s resourcefulness. The Biscayne rides on stock springs, and Mike hacked half a coil off the fronts to achieve a more aggressive stance. With the exception of QA1 single-adjustable shocks and a set of airbags to help preload the rearend at the track, the suspension is completely stock. To assist with planting the rear meats, the front mounting points for the rear upper control arms have been lowered for a more conducive instant center. At the track, the rudimentary suspension setup proves its mettle time and time again with consistent 1.69-second 60-foot times.
As any B-body fan will attest, the platform is blessed with very unique proportions featur
The Biscayne’s on-track prowess reflects a parts combination assembled by a man who has been down the dragstrip more than a few times. I’ve done my fair share of drag racing over the years, and won the King of the Hill competition at a nostalgia drag racing event at Phoenix Raceway back in 1991. I was up against a much faster car, but I beat him out by cutting a 0.004-second light on a pro Tree, he says. The Chevelle I was driving back then ran 11.38, so I wanted to go at least as fast in my Biscayne. The problem was, I couldn’t get it to go any faster than 11.80s at 109 mph, and I was beating my head trying to figure out what was going on. Then I remembered that I had intentionally dialed back the throttle linkage to slow the car down at a race one day so I wouldn’t get kicked off for not having a rollbar. I had an extra half-inch of throttle to go, and once I fixed it, the car ran 11.36 at 119 mph. When you get old like me, you tend to forget little things like that.
Even straight-line enthusiasts need to turn and stop every now and then, and the Biscayne again relies upon simple but still effective hardware. The original 11-inch drum brakes reside at the rear, and up front Mike swapped in the spindles and disc brakes out of a ’70 Impala. They’re actuated by a manual master cylinder, and the steering box is of the stock manual variety as well. The Biscayne rides on 15-inch Cragar SS wheels measuring 4inches wide up front, and 7 inches wide out back. The front-to-rear split is enough to lighten up the front end and put the power down, but not so extreme that it evokes harrowing flashbacks of the Pro Street era.