"We wanted a powerful design that was reliable, and Randy and I spent a lot of time experimenting with different combinations. We even consulted Jim Butler Performance in Leoma, Tennessee, to get everything just right," says Bill. "The decision to run methanol injection was made when I came across a Ron's Flying Toilet setup for $300. It was used and needed lots of work, but I knew it was what we needed to go fast, so we went with it."
He adds, "Our first engine got us into the 10s, but we found the flow limits of cast-iron D-port heads. They were professionally ported and flowed around 260 cfm, but we needed more airflow to go quicker. When we switched to the current engine in 2003, we added ported Edelbrock heads and reached the performance level we're presently at."
Starting with a '72 455, Randy bored the block 0.060 inch to 4.21, and increased the stroke of the stock nodular-iron crank to 4.25 with an offset grind of 0.040 inch. Total displacement is now 472 ci. Eagle forged-steel connecting rods in 6.800-inch length, Ross forged-aluminum flattop pistons, and Total Seal gapless rings round out the balanced rotating-assembly. A Melling oil pump providing 65 psi of pressure resides in an 8-quart-capacity Canton pan, along with a stock windage tray.
A pair of 72cc Edelbrock aluminum cylinder heads fitted with 2.19/1.77-inch stainless steel Ferrea valves were fully ported by Larry Pierce of Pierce's Porting in Gretna. Intake and exhaust airflow measures 333 and 263 cfm at 0.700-inch lift as recorded at 28 inches of pressure, respectively. Randy then milled the heads to reduce combustion-chamber volume to 65 cc, producing a compression ratio of 13.2:1
Controlling the valve events is a custom Comp Cams solid-roller camshaft specified by Jim Butler Performance. The radical bump stick boasts of 284/288 degrees of 0.050-inch duration, and contains a lobe separation of 110 degrees and an intake center at 106. Gross valve lift calculates to 0.726/0.660 inches with stainless steel Crower rocker arms in ratios of 1.65:1 and 1.50:1, respectively.
Backing the alcohol-burning mill is a Moore Performance-modified Turbo 350 transmission featuring a reverse-pattern manual valvebody and a Trans King transbrake, while the 8-inch Trans King torque converter stalls to a maximum of 4,200 rpm. On the opposite end of the modified original driveshaft is a narrowed 12-bolt GM rear axle that's filled with a 4.33:1 gear set, and a spool and steel axles from Moser.
The 472 ci exhales through...
The 472 ci exhales through a set of Moore Performance-modified four-tube headers that originally started life as a big-block Chevy kit. They feature 2-inch-diameter primary tubes and 3.5-inch-diameter collectors.
Jippsy Motorsports in Lincoln...
Jippsy Motorsports in Lincoln fabricated and installed the aluminum floor and door panels, and a 10-point rollcage. A fiberglass race seat from Summit Racing Equipment and a five-point RCI racing harness secure the driver. The B&M Pro-Stick shifter is air-controlled by a delay box, and partially hidden by the rollcage is a 5-inch Auto Meter tachometer. The only original component that remains is the dash panel.
Moroso drag-race coil springs,...
Moroso drag-race coil springs, Monroe 90/10 shocks, Global West tubular upper control arms, stock lower control arms, and a Mustang II rack and pinion are used up front; Competition Engineering ladder bars with coilover springs, Aldan adjustable shocks, and a fabricated track bar are out back. Weld Drag Star wheels in 15x3.5 and 15x12-inch sizes are shod with Goodyear Eagle drag race tires in 15x5.5 and 15x14-inch front and rear, respectively. Wilwood 11-inch front and 10-inch rear disc brakes kits provide stopping power. A previous owner added the '66 Tempest rear clip.
Out On The Range
When the completed project finally hit the track, Bill recalls, "Everyone loved seeing it go fast. My grandchildren and family always came to help. It really turned into a family project.
"My son Scott moved back home from Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2003 and expressed an interest in drag racing, so we let him get behind the wheel. His first season of driving was spent learning from his bracket-racing mistakes. In February 2004, we sent him to the Edmond Richardson School of Drag Racing at Beach Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and he returned a new driver. That's when we started winning some of the NHRA races at our local tracks."
Of the drag racing school, Scott says, "I drove a '91 Cavalier that ran a best of 9.44 at 145 mph. I quickly learned how to be comfortable in a car that pulled the front tires and carried them 80 feet down the track. We really started seeing consistent results when I had a few full seasons under my belt." The team races twice a month during the season, making about 100 passes per year following the Pontiac racing circuit. Commonly found at such events as Pontiacs in the Park in Topeka, Kansas, and the Tri-Power Nationals in Cordova, Illinois, Scott adds, "We finished Second in the Electronics Class at the Pontiac Challenge in Pacific Junction, Iowa, and finished Third out of 165 cars at the Pontiac Uprising in Wichita, Kansas."
Bill adds, "In the past few years, we've found great sponsors, like Krull Construction, Husker Dent, SourceOne, and Parkway 66 (all of Lincoln) that help support our racing. To provide exposure to them, we've added car shows to our schedule." In addition to numerous race trophies, the GTO has been awarded several best-in-class honors at events such as the annual Pontiac, GMC, and Oakland Show in Gretna; consecutive World of Wheels events in Omaha; and various other area shows.
Basking In The Glory
Bill takes pride in the fact that his GTO was once in the 14s, and is now deep into the 9s, but what he really enjoys is the family involvement. "I had no idea when I purchased this '67 GTO that it would bring my family into the racing and show car business, and it's going to stay here with us-Scott will get the car when I retire from racing," says Bill.
With future plans that include a fiberglass front clip, and more displacement and horsepower to push the GTO into the 8-second range, it sure doesn't sound like this retiree or his GTO will be slowing down any time soon.
While fabricating the GTO's...
While fabricating the GTO's back-half kit, Jippsy Motorsports incorporated a few special touches to the flooring between the wheel tubs.
Bill decided to name his GTO...
Bill decided to name his GTO when local businesses began sponsoring his race effort. He ultimately decided on "Gunslinger," since he grew up handling firearms, shot big-bore rifles in the Army, and is an active hunter. Graphics Express in Lincoln applied the finely detailed artwork.