Dream Come True
Billy Wilkomm's interest in cars started when he was 15 years old. He would sit in the driver seat of his brother's '67 Satellite and imagine himself cruising around town imitating the sounds it would make-all without having the keys in the ignition. It wasn't until two years later that he would have a ride of his own. In 1975, he bought a '69 Plymouth GTX packed with a 440ci powerplant for a mere $1,250. For a teenager, that's a lot of power, and Billy managed to make it all the way to 20 before totaling it. He was in and out of muscle cars over the next two decades. Flipping through the pages of classic car magazines, Billy really got motivated to build a project from the ground up, like the ones he'd seen in the magazines. But what car? A friend let him know of a '66 Chevelle just 30 minutes out of town. He gave the seller a ring and purchased the car sight unseen because it seemed like such an amazing deal. The Chevelle was wearing half primer and half its original Ruby red paint. It was jam-packed with spare panels with just enough room for him to climb in and drive it home.
He pitched the 283-inch small-block and four-speed to make way for a built-up 427 big-block and TH400. He wanted this car to be fast and strong. The first 427 he built was kind of a rush job, and as a result, it launched a valve into a piston. The same goes for the second 427 from another shop, which wasn't built right either. Billy said enough was enough, and brought the remaining good parts to Jerry Mosher, who has 30 years of sportsman racing under his belt. Mosher said he would take on the motor build as long as he had full control over it. This meant 548 hp at 7,400 rpm and 798 hp on the nitrous.
Billy sports his Marina blue Chevelle at the car shows and the dragstrip. He's managed to dip into the 9s with the nitrous, which is quite impressive for a car he drives on the streets. He's had the "hot rod fever" as he calls it since he sat in his brother's ride, and lucky for him, his wife, Amy, digs it too.
By The Numbers
lake mills, WI
Performance: 9.83 quarter-mile, 798 hp with nitrous