Top Picks: 10 of the Baddest Vehicles on Hand at PRI 2017
Turbochargers, superchargers and nitrous. Stroker motors, big cubes and wedge-heads. Race gas, methanol and diesel. Classic, modern and completely one-off. If you want to see it all, you come to the PRI Show in Indianapolis. The top aftermarket manufacturers in the automotive racing industry set up shop here for three days—and many of them park the fastest, most powerful vehicles in the world in front of their display booths. At the 30th annual hosting of the event, we found ourselves in awe of how many top-caliber vehicles were on hand. In order to give each car, truck and SUV its due, we’ve broken our vehicle coverage down into groups of 10.
Make sure you stay tuned for batch number two, coming your way next.
1. The Jeeper Sleeper
After being approached by Street Outlaws’ Jeff “AZN” Bonnett about a Jeep SRT8 build at the 2016 PRI Show, the folks at Modern Muscle Xtreme responded by building this. It’s an ’08 model powered by a 6.1L based “405 ci” Hemi stroker. Thanks to a set of Inter Dynamics 1050x injectors, a Modern Muscle/Fore fuel system, D1X Procharger, ATI 18-percent overdriven balancer and a custom tune from Modern Muscle Performance, the stealthy Jeep sends a dyno-proven 870 hp to the pavement.
2. 3,500 HP ’69 Camaro
Shane Novak’s ’69 Camaro is lightweight, aerodynamic and packs 3,500 hp. The engine combination begins with a 555ci Hemi put together by ProLine Racing, along with FuelTech’s FT600 EFI system, Billet Atomizer injectors and (of course) a big honkin’ F-3-143 ProCharger. The car is backed up by a Rossler Turbo 400 sporting an M&M converter. For the 2018 raceing season, look for Shane’s nasty Camaro to mix it up in Top Sportsman, Radial Versus the World and Pro Modified.
3. Wild Bill’s Cobra Mustang
The Turbosmart booth was occupied by Wild Bill Devine’s Outlaw 10.5 Mustang. The 427 ci small-block Ford that powers his ’01 Cobra runs on methanol and is force fed air courtesy of a pair of turbos from Bullseye Power. Transmission selection, a five-speed Liberty, sets Bill’s car apart from the rest of the field, with most competitors switching to converter-driven transmissions years ago. Even so, he has no problem piloting his Mustang to low-4-second eighth-miles in the 175 mph range.
4. Back in Time
This little piece of history was on display at the Sunoco booth. It’s a Lola T70 MKII Spyder, an open-top racer that came to dominate both American and British road racing in the mid-to-late 1960s. Created by Eric Broadley, who helped with the GT40 while working for Ford, this sports racer was designed to accommodate either a Chevrolet or Ford small-block. However, and as some of you already know, the Chevrolet V8’s saw the most success. In particular, the versions powered by the Chevy 327ci (which weighed in at just 1,600 pounds thanks to the car’s widespread use of aluminum and fiberglass) earned the most wins.
5. World’s Fastest AWD Truck
Bobby Dodrill’s ‘76 Chevy (coined Miss Misery) graced the SPE Gaskets booth with its presence this year—and as it’s the world’s fastest AWD pickup it had no problem attracting plenty of foot traffic. Miss Misery is powered by an alcohol-fueled, wedge-headed 543ci Keith Black mill (utilizing an Olds block) with a PSI C-rotor supercharger. Power travels through a two-speed Liberty transmission and then an SCS Gearbox transfer case before being divided up and sent to the front and rear axles. To date, Miss Misery has run a best of 4.30 at 170 mph through the eighth-mile. And, who doesn’t love a rolling, four-wheel drive burnout through the wet box?
6. 2017 Drag Week Champion
The 6-second ‘66 Corvette that dominated the Unlimited Class along Hot Rod’s 2017 Drag Week was parked at the Holley Performance Products booth. For those of you that don’t know, competing in Hot Rod’s Drag Week means this 200-mph monstrosity is streetable. Driven by Dave Schroeder, the ‘Vette sports an 872ci big-block Pro Mod engine built by Reher Morrison and makes use of an entire Holley EFI system. The engine also benefits from four stages of nitrous, which bucks the current, forced-induction-on-everything trend.
7. Quad Turbo’d, Duramax-powered ’54 Chevy
Front and center at the ARP showcase, we found this aerodynamically-reworked, Duramax-powered, '54 Chevy masterpiece owned by David and Debbie Pilgrim. Built by Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop in Gadsden, Alabama, it’s powered by a Duramax from Automotive Specialists Racing Engines, with fuel and tuning supplied by S&S Diesel Motorsport. The bed is occupied by four Comp Turbo turbochargers. Intercooled and aftercooled, 100 psi of boost and a goal of running 250 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats sums up the lowdown on this vintage work of art.
8. Permatex Funny Car
With the carbon fiber (Camaro) body of the Permatex-sponsored Top Alcohol Funny Car sitting at full tilt, we couldn’t help but move in for a closer look. The 526 ci Hemi runs off methanol and turns out some 3,500 hp. The car’s chassis is comprised of chromoly steel tubing and its best E.T. to date has been a 5.42-second pass. The Permatex Camaro’s top speed at the present time checks in at 269.94 mph. If you’ve never seen a Top Alcohol funny (or a Top Fuel) blast down the track in person, you need to add it to your bucket list.
9. Modern Day 5.0L H.O.
Even amidst the glamor and beauty that is the sixth-generation Mustang, a Fox Body always has a way of grabbing our attention. Nestled within the sizeable Ford Performance booth was the record-setting ’92 notchback owned by Nathan Stymiest. It’s powered by an untouched production 5.0L Coyote crate engine and competes in the Coyote Stock class within the National Mustang Racers Association (NMRA).
The Quickest Coyote
Thanks to RAM Clutches, JLT Performance, G-Force Transmissions, Strange Engineering, American Racing Headers, AFCO, SCT and a wicked tune from Palm Beach Dyno, Stymiest’s Mustang ran a 9.47-second quarter-mile at 138 mph at the Haltech World Cup Finals in November. No wonder the 5.0L Coyote engine is such a hot swap candidate right now!
10. A Pulling Truck Certified to run 8.50’s?
There was a lot going on at the Fleece Performance Engineering booth, a company that specializes in Duramax and (especially) Cummins common-rail diesel technology and engines. Freshly wrapped, the regular cab Ram that competed in the 2017 Ultimate Callout Challenge showed up in sled pulling trim, complete with Nitto Mud Grapplers and front weight box. However, in keeping with the do-everything versatility that is a UCC truck, the Ram is still expected to shuffle down the drag strip rather quickly. Believe it or not, the truck meets the NHRA’s 8.50-second certification.
Triple-Turbo, 7.0L Cummins
The Ram’s primary means of propulsion comes from a 7.0L, deck-plated Cummins—with a massive triple turbo arrangement, enough fuel to fire an ocean liner and plenty of nitrous oxide to help it along. The 24-valve head has been extensively modified, the injectors flow 500 percent more fuel than stock and three 13mm CP3 pumps pressurize fuel. We know the truck was good for 1,855 rwhp at UCC 2017, but now we’re wondering how much more it will lay down in 2018. We’re thinking 2,500-rwhp could be a good starting point.