To be fair, this is no replica. Working with aerodynamic specialists at renowned Swift Engineering, all of the body alterations, including cutting the car down the middle and removing a few inches of width, were all designed with the expressed purpose of bringing the coefficient of drag as low as possible. To date, preliminary CFD testing has shown Hells’ Charger has a CD of .189. Original Daytonas clock in around .290 and even the famously slick GM EV1 only mustered .195. With the projected 870-plus horsepower, at 5,500 feet the potential top speed was shown to be 349 mph. Records will be falling indeed. Incidentally, we were offered a ride. Should we?
Engine: 1,100hp (sea level) 488ci Ray Barton Pro-Stock second-gen Hemi
Rearend: Speedway Engineering
Suspension: Hot Rods To Hell truck arm rear
Brakes: Alcon six-piston calipers on carbon rotors
Wheels & Tires: 15x10 Aero with Goodyear Cup Car tires
This may be the most radical take on the humble little Chevy II we’ve seen to date—yet somehow it still retains the classic look. Phil and Jeremy Gerber’s extensively modified and transformed ’67 has more extreme custom metalwork going on than we can possibly describe here, but we’ll give it a go.
While it’s not immediately obvious, the side of the II has been reshaped to eliminate the original molding that ran through the center of the car; the lower section of the fenders, doors, and quarters were also resculpted to create a ’69 Camaro-esque body line extending off the wheel arches.
The top is also chopped ¾ inch at the front to level the roofline, and the driprails were sliced off. That radically louvered hood actually funnels air into airboxes at the rear corners, and ducting brings the fresh air through the inner fenders to the throttle body. The front is full custom with handbuilt bumpers, a lower spoiler/splitter, rocker moldings, and one-off billet headlights and taillights by Greening Auto Company. There are also a bellypan, an air diffuser, and a custom trunk in the rear. That’s just a taste—we didn’t even get into the hand-fabbed interior!
Rearend: Ford 9-inch floater with 3.90 gears and Detroit TrueTrac diff
Suspension: Roadster Shop Fast Track chassis with Fast Track IFS and a custom three-link rear with Watts link
Brakes: Baer 14-inch front and 13-inch rear
Wheels & Tires: yet to be determined 18x10 and 20x12 one-off wheels with 275/30R18 and 335/30R20 Michelin PS2
Trend: Class meets performance
Paul Gilliam grew up around circle-track racing with his father in the ’50s and early ’60s before joining the Navy. The inspiration for this car, however, came from a ’53 Stude he saw at the Daytona flying mile race on the sands of the beach in the mid ’50s that stuck in his mind. Paul prefers his cars to be high-class drivers, so rather than a racer powered by a race-prepped Caddy V-8 with a crank-driven Potvin blower like the Daytona car, this Stude will run an easier-to-cruise (and likely much more powerful) GMPP 502.
Despite what appears to be a very shallow depth from the side, the ’60s-era, Indy-inspired wheels are actually 12 inches wide in the rear, and 10 inches in the front. Alan Johnson tells us it’ll need that rubber since the custom chassis and suspension have been designed from scratch to balance the Stude’s street manners nicely between grip and comfort.
So far, there are no specific events planned for the Stude beyond the debut at SEMA 2011, which, of course, could result in an invite to the Optima Challenge, but a good cross-country cruise may provide the shakedown run.
Rearend: 9-inch Ford with 3.70 gears
Suspension: custom Chris Fischer/JHRS chassis with Morrison C6 crossmember and suspension, front; custom coilover radius rod by JHRS in the rear
Brakes: 14-inch six-piston Wilwood all around