Over in the car show area is where we found Tom Lodge’s 1970 AMC Javelin SST. The car’s 390 engine boasts 10.2:1 compression, ported heads, 1.6 roller rockers, a Comp solid roller cam, R4B intake manifold and a 750 carburetor. A Javelin SST is already a unique vehicle, but what makes Lodge’s example even more unique is that he adapted a GM 200R4 transmission with a 2,800 rpm stall converter to the 390 big block. Pairing that transmission to a Currie 9-inch rear end with 3.89 gears results in quick acceleration combined with overdrive comfort. Speaking of comfort, the SST has A/C, tilt steering wheel and disc brakes. The SST was a 3-year project finished in 2003, and Lodge keeps the streets warm, taking part in Hot Rod Power Tour on multiple occasions.
We spotted Mike Garofalo’s 1972 Nova during downtime between NMCA classes on the Orlando Speed World racing surface. The 60,000-mile Nova started life as a 307/automatic car, but these days it has a 1972-vintage 350 with a Muncie M21 four-speed paired with the original 10-bolt rear end with 3.73 gears. Garofalo grew up a Chevy guy, and his family still owns the 1974 Chevelle his mother bought new. As for the Nova, the engine has a little rumble thanks to an aftermarket cam of unknown origins, Vortec heads, an MSD ignition, Hooker headers, a Magnaflow exhaust, an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake and a Brawler 650 carburetor. The carburetor is something new he is trying on the car, but the current combo made 290 horsepower on a chassis dyno, which makes for a fun street car. The car’s paint isn’t original, but it’s close to the original color, which looks to be Cranberry red. The 14-inch wheels came off of a 1968 GTO, to which Garofalo added SS center caps and BFGoodrich Radial T/A treads. To help the Radial T/As gather traction, the Nova has traction bars and subframe connectors.
Holding on to our youth is something many of us try to do. For Lake Mary, FL’s Mike Folda, his parents bought him a 1971 Camaro when he was 17, when the family lived in Connecticut. Folda regularly took the Camaro to Englishtown, running 12.00s with a built 406 small block and 4.88 gears. Unfortunately, Folda sold the car right before moving to Florida in 1994. In 2017, he turned back the clock, finding this 1971 Camaro RS with…you guessed it, a 406 small block. The small block is paired with a turbo 350 and a 10-bolt rear end with 3.73 gears. The car was in good shape when Folda bought it, but he added a new shifter, Boss wheels, Vintage Air and Wilwood brakes up front. He also repainted the engine compartment. Folda’s favorite part of the car is the 1970/1971 vintage license plate to match the Camaro’s year of manufacture. He bought the plate online, sent it to Tallahassee for the State of Florida’s blessing, and added the registration sticker to make it legal.
After a 30-mile cruise, Torqstorm Superchargers True Street racers returned to Orlando Speed World Dragway to make three back-to-back passes down track, and when everything was said and done, Jeff Smith took the overall win with a 9.38 average in a Mustang Cobra, while Deneen Segura was the runner-up with a 9.73 average in a Mustang. Robert Reilly raced to the 10-second win in a Challenger, Alan Hill arrived at the 11-second win in a Mustang GT, Michael Vanzile motored to the 12-second win in an F150, Brett Veneman buckled in for the 13-second win, Mary Ann Mammen made it to the 14-second win in a Mustang Mach 1 and Ken Mason collected the 15-second win in a Mustang.
Drivers in Challengers, Demons and other models dove in for the Dodge // Mopar HEMI Shootout, and when it was all said and done, Thomas Falk emerged as the winner with a stout 8.79 average in his Challenger, while Scott Roegter was the runner-up with a 9.54 average in his Durango Hellcat. Others having a very successful weekend were Matt Martens, 9-second winner in a Challenger, Bryce Rohrs, 10-second winner in a Challenger, Joe Gomez, 11-second winner in a Challenger and Homero Lloro, 12-second winner in a Challenger, Cindie Scott, 13-second winner in a Durango SRT, Josie McClenaghan, 14-second winner in a Challenger and Brandon Barrett, 15-second winner in a Ram 3500.
Indianapolis, IN’s Jody Beach traded cold temps for sunny Florida by competing in Nostalgia Muscle Car and Bracket 2 this weekend. Beach runs Beach Automotive back home, and as such, he did much of the mechanical work on the car, but he’s also owned the car since 1986, so we’re sure he’s touched every nut and bolt on the car. The car has a 385-inch small block Chevy using a 1968 block, a Scat forged crank, a Crane Cams Saturday Night Special cam, World Products Sportsman II heads, an Edelbrock intake, a Brawler carburetor and an MSD ignition. Myes Machine Shop did some machining on the crank, while Automotion straightened out the car’s 10-bolt 8.5-inch rear end featuring 4.56 gears. When Beach initially bought the Nova, he drove it all the country while he served in the Army, and even delivered pizza in it to earn extra money. These days, the Nova is retired from street duty, and Beach plans to hit every NMCA event in 2023.
If you’re looking for a muscle car project, travel the back roads of North Carolina; you may just find a car ready to be brought back to life. That’s exactly how Belews Creek, NC’s David Horton found this 1965 Belvedere, nicknamed the Battling Belvedere. Horton found the car in 2013, and although the original 383 car was a pretty solid example, the car was still treated to a full restoration by Mark Dudley Performance in Walkertown, NC, who straightened out the body, applying fresh black paint in the process. After the fresh paint, Horton put the car back together for racing duty. Running Nostalgia Super Stock’s 10.75 index, Mark Dudley Performance also built the 440-based 500 cubic inch tall deck combination. The big inch Mopar has an Indy Cylinder Heads intake and heads with a Holley carburetor. Behind the big inch engine is a 727 Torqueflite with a Coan stall converter and a Dana 60 rear end. Horton wanted the car to look like it’s straight out of 1965, and all the race cars back at that time had names on the door or quarter panel, and he wanted that for the car. With Chrysler Super Stock leaf springs, American Racing Torque Thrust wheels and Mickey Thompson 29 ½ x 10 ½ slicks, the Belvedere has been a great car for Horton.
Dave Burnett brought out his daily driver to compete in the Dodge // Mopar HEMI Shootout. He picked up this 2019 Dodge Challenger 1320 a couple of years ago and has since spun the odometer beyond 55,000 miles. With a great track record racking up three wins in this class behind the wheel of his previous Challenger, this quicker ride has him in a more competitive space in the class. Planting the power with an AAD Drag Pack rear suspension and 17-inch beadlocks, he was gunning for the 12-second category, but narrowly missed out on the win.