NHRA requires a stock radiator. Burton runs the lightest available, which is a two-core Firebird radiator. A stock water pump is no longer mandated in Stock Eliminator; he runs a Meziere electric unit and a Jegs 18-inch electric fan housed in a custom radiator surround.
Custom-made mild-steel headers step from 1.75-, to 1.875-, to 2.00-inch diameters into a merged 3.50-inch collector.
Transmission, Driveline, and RearEnd
NHRA allows Stock Eliminator racecars to run any factory transmission. Burton bolted up a modified Turbo 200 metric, featuring heat-treated internals, which was built by Scott McClay Engineering in Tehachapi, California.
“I like the trans because it weighs 95 pounds and has a smaller rotational mass than a Turbo 400 or 350,” he says. It’s mated to a TCI CCx 200-plus converter with a 5,800-rpm stall. He rows the gears with a Turbo Action shifter.
Connected to the trans’ output shaft is a custom 3.00-inch-diameter steel driveshaft from Front Range Driveline in Denver, featuring 1,350 yokes and U-joints.
NHRA Stock rules allow any corporate rear. Bolted underneath this Bird’s belly is a Chevy 12-bolt sourced from a station wagon because of its thicker axle tubes. It’s stuffed with a Mark Williams 35-spline aluminum spool, a Richmond Pro 4.56 gear, and 35-spline gun-drilled axles.
This steel bodied, super-powered Bird retains a factory dash, headliner, door panels, carpet, and seats (from a ’71 Firebird). Even the glass windshield and windows are retained, per NHRA Stock Eliminator series rules. A custom six-point chromoly rollbar (a four-point rollbar is required) and a five-point Impact camlock harness are safety mods.
Burton’s B/Stock Firebird retains stock upper and lower control arms, Moroso drag springs for a small-block Second-Gen Camaro with a full coil removed for correct ride height, Santuff double-adjustable shocks, and Del-a-lum bushings up front.
Out back, Caltracs split-monoleaf springs, and AFCO double-adjustable shocks provide the squat needed for launch. Weld-in connectors tie-in the subframe to the unibody.
“My trick is to set front-shock compression at four clicks from full tight and extension at fully soft for high-altitude tracks, and two-and-a-half turns from tight at a sea level track. For the rear, I set compression fully tight and extension two clicks from full loose.”
No sway bars are used, front or rear. NHRA requires all traction devices be bolt-on. In this Firebird, the traction bars are sourced from Phil Mandella Race Cars, and a wheelie bar was made by Ken Keir.
Brakes, wheels, and tires
Burton’s B/Stock Firebird...
Burton’s B/Stock Firebird roasts the hides of Goodyear 30x9 drag radials at the 2012 GTOAA International Convention Jim Wangers’ Private Invitational Drag Race in Denver.
In 2005, NHRA began allowing Stock Eliminator racers to bolt-on aftermarket brakes. Burton runs Wilwood’s Forged Dynalite Pro Series front brake kit with 10.75-inch rotors and four-piston calipers, Wilwood’s Dynalite Pro Series rear brake kit with 11.44-inch rotors and four-piston calipers, and a 11⁄16-bore Chrysler master cylinder from a mid-’70s Dodge Aspen. Weld Alumastars (15x3.5, 2.5-inch backspace front;15x10, 5-inch backspace rear) are shod in 27x4.5x15 Goodyear Front Runners and 30x9x15 Eagle Dragway Special radials. A 9-inch-wide back tire is the maximum size allowed, per series rules.
“My trick is to vary front tire pressure from 25 to 45 psi to adjust driver-reaction times at the starting line. The sweet spot for the rear tires is 18-22 psi,” he says.
Scott’s goal for his Bird is to run a 9-second e.t. at 130 mph in B/SA class. “It will be a real treat to see that happen,” he says. Regardless, he (and his son) continue to wave the proverbial Pontiac banner proudly in an NHRA series that’s populated by Chevys and Mopars. They truly are the last of their creed.