Deploying a new race car often means developing a new powerplant. That is partially true when HPP Racing put together its Classic Chevrolet-sponsored 1972 Split Bumper Camaro. To provide huge horsepower for hot shoe Eric Bain to blast down the track, Ozzie Alvarez turned to Steve Morris Engines to reinvigorate a race-worthy 481-X engine from the remains of two beaten and abused engines.
“…We sent him a basket case of parts we had for him to see what he could use. We wanted a reliable bullet in the Classic Chevrolet Boosted Ego Camaro. The motor we had been running was all Band-Aided up…”Alvarez explained as the project was coming together. “But after talking to Steve, I knew he was the man for the job and he expressed an interest in seeing how his cam would work with our big single from Harts Diesel. It worked awesome! This thing spools super fast and pulls to 9,500 rpm like a champ.”
SME welded up the all-billet AJPE block. Then they freshened the short-block with SME-spec pistons, billet rods, and crankshaft and Stage 2 heads. Its Don Olsen Racing Products oil pan is filled with HPL engine oil.
The aforementioned SME custom cam worked well with the unique turbo setup on this machine. A massive, 140mm turbocharger from Harts Diesel can feed the stout, 572ci engine with as much as 60 pounds of boost through the SME billet intake and Wilson Manifolds throttle body. Helping it spool quickly are custom headers built from stainless tubing from Vibrant Performance that join in billet collectors. The 5-inch inlet and 6-inch downpipe are also from Vibrant, which also supplied clamps, braces, and more.
With a FuelTech EFI system onboard tuned by HPP’s Manny Alvarez, the combo hasn’t been maxed out thanks to the traction-limited No Prep world in which it competes. That said the big-single-boosted 572 blasts out over 4,000 horsepower, which they can sometimes apply to concrete tracks, but detuning is required on the unpredictable asphalt street surfaces.
“I don’t think we have ever maximized the 5,500-horsepower capability of the single turbo,” Alvarez told us. “I don’t think we have gotten near that.”HPL
That power travels to the big rear tires through a Rossler Transmissions’ three-speed gearbox with a ProTorque converter to a Mark Williams Enterprises floater rear. The latter upgrade, along with bodywork and new control arms, allowed the team to step up the tire size by two inches, which is equivalent to what other teams employ. Thus far it has run as quick as 4.08 seconds at nearly 190 mph, but they are still dialing out tire shake with the big tires.
Bain will put it to the test during season four of Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings, which kicked off July 31 at South Georgia Motorsports Park in Adel, Georgia. The pandemic-compressed schedule will have teams running on a frantic pace, which will either push them to run faster or run out of money, according to Alvarez.
Early in the season the team hopes to have an all-new SME 481-X topped by the company’s Stage 4 cylinder heads and matching intake manifold. With that powerplant in place, the HPP Racing team hope to run in the 3.80- to 3.90-second range to remain competitive as the season wears on.
Steve Morris Engines