Dynamic Duo: Teaming the Edelbrock-Musi 555 Engine and Nitto NT555 G2 Tires
If you ever want to find out how good a set of tires are, give a set to someone like legendary motor builder Pat Musi. When it comes to power, tires are literally where the rubber meets the road. They're the final step in the power play between your motor and the pavement. Any street rubber that handles the sort of punishment a custom drag racing mill dishes out is probably going to handle street performance without batting an eye.
That's why Nitto was excited to include its NT555 G2 tire with a cool project between two legends: Edelbrock and Pat Musi Racing. The former is an industry leading manufacturer of performance parts; the latter knows how to squeeze every last bit of power out of those parts.
It breaks down like this: The two companies make a high-performance crate engine called the 555. Nitto Tires also makes a high-performance tire dubbed with the same numeric moniker. See where this is going? Someone, somewhere, made the short leap in logic to bring the two together and see what would happen. Before we get into how it all played out, let's talk about the players involved.
The motor in question is the Edelbrock-Musi 555 Pro-Flo XT. Of all the powerplants Edelbrock manufactures, it's the most powerful naturally aspirated crate engine package of the lot. With a Pro-Flo 4 XT EFI, the 555ci mill produces 723HP and 652 ft lbs of torque. That's a proprietary system consisting of a uniquely-designed and skillfully-engineered intake manifold that delivers more horsepower and torque than a traditional single-plane intake manifold.
The Pro-Flo system includes everything needed to bolt in and go, such as fuel injectors, fuel rails, O2 sensor and bung, throttle body, electronic engine control unit (ECU), and handheld calibration module. The ECU is self-learning, making initial start-up and tuning a breeze. It can be fine-tuned with the handheld calibration module without the need for a laptop.
Putting all of that power to the asphalt is the NT555 G2. It's Nitto's next generation ultra-high-performance summer tire and designed for the performance driver. That's why it sports larger tread blocks for larger sizes meaning enhanced traction for the rear tires of vehicles with staggered fitments and high horsepower. The tires carry a UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Rating) of AA, which is the highest, and a temperature rating of A. It's the ideal tire for big-power restomod muscle cars like Pat's '67 Camaro.
The Skills for Thrills
Finally, we have the mad scientist conducting the experiment. Pat Musi, being a legendary drag race driver and engine builder, he was the perfect choice for the job. Nitto sent him a set of 555 G2 tries to fit Pat’s first gen ‘67 Camaro, which is powered by his high-performance Edelbrock Musi 555 engine. The two 555s premiered in front of a large, eager crowd at Mooresville Dragway in North Carolina.
And by eager, we mean damn near rabid. Pat's audience cheered every burnout. All through the engine's roaring and the smoke, the tires handled everything he threw at them. Pat was pretty impressed too. His old tires would spin at every gear change. Not so with the Nittos. No matter what gear the car was in, they stayed hooked. Although the goal going in was to find out how long the tires would last under the unrelenting pressures of a high-performance engine a the strip, Pat liked them too much to destroy them.
Although his decades of racing and building engines for a lot of the top Pro Mod racers shows just how much he knows about making power, that same experience gives him a thorough understanding of tires. “I have the first prototype 555 engine installed in my personal ‘67 Camaro, the car I started racing with. It hauls ass down the track and has been trouble free for over 10 years,” Pat tells us. “The engine is so strong, it kept breaking tires loose if not blowing them out. But not the Nittos! I will definitely recommend them to my street car customers.”