My, how fast a year goes by. It would seem that we just finished last year's Lone Star Shootout series and here were are once again reporting from the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas, regarding how fast these Pontiacs are getting. For this series, HPP once again culled various entries with a lot of help from Randy Allen, Rob Bender, Floyd Hand, and other members of the Dallas Area Pontiac Association to provide a varied group of shootout Pontiacs for you to enjoy. We will run this year's events as a three-part series beginning with this installment, which will present five very different Pontiacs with combinations that can be emulated by the readership--should you so desire--once you see how they run. Enough with the chitchat, let's meet our participants.
Mickey Wheeler arrived with his son Joey and is hoping to make some 12-second passes in his 400-powered Carousel Red '69 Judge that was built in Mickey's hometown of Arlington, Texas. Joey has a potent '66 Goat at home, so dad wants to be sure that he is just a bit quicker.
Josh Hurt rolled in from Mesquite, Texas, in his menacing black '01 WS6 Trans Am. With a 200hp shot of laughing gas and trans, rear, and suspension mods designed to put the power to the pavement, deep 10-second e.t.'s are a real possibility. The most interesting aspect of his combination is that the engine itself is essentially stock except for an airbox and headers and exhaust mods--stock block, crank, rods, cam, heads, intake, etc.
Jonathan Burchmore made the trip all the way from Ramona, California, with his 486-cubed '69 Firebird featuring a 421 block stuffed with a 4.50-inch stroke Moldex billet crank. This engine seams to be getting faster with each trip to the strip. High 10s just may be possible on this day.
Our late-model front-drive representative is Dave Stuntz who drove in from Lewisville, Texas, with his '01 Grand Prix GTP featuring a heavily modified drivetrain looking for 12-second e.t.'s. How he will fare with all of these V-8 rear-drive Pontiacs should be interesting to see.
Scott Templet's Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based '77 T/A showed up, but Scott couldn't get the day off from work, so his brother Chad stepped in to race and tune the machine for the shootout. Though it appeared rough on the outside, this F-body was built to run high 11s, so we'll see if some prodigious driving and tuning will get it there.
Now that you have met our cast of characters, it's time to go racing. Will the weather cooperate? Will the strip be prepped to our liking? Will these Pontiacs stay together under the stress? Will this introduction ever end? The answers to these questions and some I forgot to ask can be found over the next six pages, so let's get to it!
Owner: MICKEY WHEELER
Mickey Wheeler has been in Autobody repair since 1966 and has owned his fair share of GTOs and Corvettes, not to mention a few other specialty cars. But the '69 Judge that competed in this shootout has its own story. Mickey related, "My son Joey [who appears with dad in the owner photo] and I had just finished a '66 GTO that he began drag racing. I wanted to race him but needed a Pontiac. So I found this Judge disassembled just a mile from the Arlington, Texas, plant in which it was built." The 55-year-old autobody professional built up the Judge and ultimately ran a best of 12.69 at 107.75 at the Motorplex in October of 2003. Son Joey's '66 Goat so far has seen a best of 12.74. So the father/son rivalry is on--but just on the dragstrip.
|Strip Specs |
|Year/Model: ||'69 Judge |
|Race Weight: ||3,945 lbs |
|Curb Weight: ||3,690 lbs |
|Fuel Level: ||3/4 full |
|Type of Fuel: ||Shell 93-octane/race 110-octane mix |
|Engine: ||'69 Code YZ 400 bored +.030 |
|Cubic Inches Before/After: ||400/406 |
|Built By: ||Owner |
|Carburetor: ||Factory Q-jet, stock jets and rods |
|Spacer Plate: ||No |
|Intake Manifold: ||Ram Air IV aluminum |
|Fuel System: ||Holley mechanical pump, stock lines |
|Heads: ||'69 #48, 2.11/1.77 valves |
|Ported: ||Yes |
|Flow Numbers: ||N/A |
|Pistons/Rings: ||TRW forged +.030/Power Seal |
|Rods: ||Early 421, polished |
|Compression Ratio: ||10:1 |
|Crankshaft: ||Stock cast, cut .010/.010 under |
|Rotating Assembly Balanced: ||Yes |
|Camshaft: ||Comp Cams hydraulic, 230°/236° at .050, .512/.523 lift with 1.65 rocker ratio, LSA 110° |
|Installed Position: ||Straight up |
|Rocker Arms: ||Comp Cam 1.65:1 roller |
|Ignition: ||Mallory Unilite distributor |
|Total Timing: ||30° at 2,500 rpm |
|Exhaust: ||Nunzi 1 3/4" headers, Dr. Gas 3" X-pipe, cutouts, 3" Flowmaster 3-chamber mufflers |
|Power Adder: ||None |
|Transmission: ||Turbo 400, shift kit, built by Performance Transmissions Mansfield, TX |
|Converter: ||11" South West Torque Converters (Ft. Worth), 2,200 stall |
|Shifter: ||Hurst Dual-Gate |
|Rear: ||12-bolt Posi, 3.90:1 Richmond gears |
|Brakes F/R: ||Stock disc/drum |
|Wheels F/R: ||15x4 Cragar/15x8 Cragar |
|Tires F/R: ||M/T E.T. 29x4.5x15 / M/T 26x10x15 slicks |
|Tire Pressure F/R: ||40 psi/16 psi |
|Suspension Fr: ||Stock springs, stabilizer bar removed, Delco shocks (left side removed to race), urethane bushings |
|Suspension Rr: ||7/8" stabilizer bar, Monroe air shocks (right side 30 psi), boxed rear control arms |
|Chassis Mods: ||None |
|Interior Mods: ||Auto Meter tach with |
|shift light, race fan on sun visor || |
|Exterior Mods: ||None |
|Safety Mods: ||Driveshaft safety loop |
|Paint: ||Carousel Red by owner, PPG base/clear |
|Launch Technique: ||Footbrake to 1,500-1,800 rpm |
|Best E.T./MPH Prior to Event: ||12.69 at 107.75 |
|STRIP TUNING LOG |
|Run ||Tuning ||Launch RPM ||Shift Point ||60-FT ||1/4 E.T./MPH |
|1 ||Stock air cleaner, through mufflers ||2,000 ||5,800 ||2.06 ||13.09/106.68 |
|2 ||Through cutouts ||2,000 ||6,000 ||2.12 ||13.15/107.16 |
|3 ||Air cleaner removed, tightened sec. door ||1,600 ||6,200 ||1.97 ||13.13/105.43 |
|4 ||Adj. timing to 34-35° from 29-30° ||1,600 ||6,200 ||1.98 ||13.09/105.84 |