INTERVIEW WITH SA HOT ROD MAG
Where did the love for Drag Cars and Muscle Cars came from?
We have had a passion for Muscle Cars as long as we can remember and its more than just the cars, it’s what “The American Muscle Car” stands for. The History behind the cars, the lifestyle that goes with it, the rarity, especially in South Africa and in these days they are no longer just a “toy” and something you can drive, enjoy, do irresponsible things with, but a great investment!
So a Muscle car is the best of both worlds. It’s something you and your family can enjoy while it increases with value every year…
…and the love for Drag Racing (with Muscle Cars) grew form there!!!
Where did this Pontiac originally came from?
The Pontiac was bought around 1997 from a backyard in Croyden (Edenvale/Kempton) where it had a Ford 302 butchered into it. The owner at that stage had dreams of restoring the car, but his wife had other ideas….and she politely persuaded him to sell the car. This is when Wolfgang Giesinger bought the car and had the idea of turning her into a drag racing car, but the car stood for nearly a decade till around 2007 when Wolf started with the ladder bar suspension development etc… unfortunately yet again the car stood for a good couple of years.
In late 2015 All American Muscle got the opportunity to purchase the Pontiac and finish the car we envisioned.
That’s when the fun started!!!
Why did you want it to be a Drag Car?
Wolf bought the Firebird with alot of the interior and trim missing, so it made sense to turn it into a race car and in 1997 there was little to no demand for these cars and you couldn’t give them away.
Where did the Motor come from?
The Motor and Transmission came out of Dalmein Perdichizzi’s previous race car, a ’68 Chevy Nova which ran a 10.43 sec @ 208.77km/h on 09/08/2012 at Tarlton Raceway. This was the perfect power plant for our Firebird.
How bad was the body?
The body on the Pontiac was really not bad. There was no rust and no previous accident damage. In hind sight this car should have been restored, but with that being said when the transformation from street car to drag car began, these cars weren’t popular nor worth much.
What extra work had to go into the body?
This vehicle is referred to being a “Back Half Car”, meaning the back half of the car’s floor was cut out to accommodate the ladder bar suspension, roll cage and big wheel tubs. The rear quarter had to be modified to fit the 32 x 14 x 15 Hoosier race slicks.
Extensive inner sheet metal and non-functioning parts was removed and replaced with Aluminium sheeting for weight reduction.
Front Wheel inner fenders where dumped to accommodate the massive Chevy Big Block 509ci racing motor with fender well headers and to complete the 12 point roll cage.
Was it hard making everything fit?
Making everything fit and come together was a challenge, but with our skilled labour and strategic planning, everything came together beautifully.
What are the biggest challenges building a race car?
One off the biggest challenges we faced in building this race car was time, as we built this car after hours…
Who did the Roll Cage?
The Roll Cage was built by Dean de Lange, our trusted coded welder and fabricator employed by All American Muscle. The cage is built with SABS approved tubing (Mild Steel) 42mm x 3mm fully mig welded to ensure strength and durability.
How did it do on its first run?
We took her out for her maiden run on the 4th June 2017 at Nitro Raceway where we did an 11.02 sec @ 202km/h and took first place in our exhibition class.
The car performed very well and exceeded our expectations with reliability and unbeatable consistency!
What are the plans for the future?
Future plans consists in keeping her normally aspirated (….for now), fine tuning the suspension setup and diff ratio to break the 10 second barrier.
Anything interesting about the build you can add in?
Something unique about the car is the fact that the nose cone including the grille surround is a one piece fibreglass unit. This was done for a more aggressive look and also to accommodate a smaller fiberglass lift off hood.
The rear bumper is also moulded out of fibreglass which was cut & tucked to hug the body for a more streamline look.
Some Technical Specs
Chevy Big Block 509ci with an Edelbrock Victor tunnel RAM Intake with 2 x 500 CFM Edelbrock Carbs. That has been setup by All American Muscle, to produce maximum horse power.
4.5 Inch Bore with 4 inch stroke
Keith Black Domed Pistons
Steel Forged not twist crank
Eagle H-Beam Rods with ARP bolts
Block filled with block filler for rigidity & durability
Powerhouse rectangular port Aluminium Heads
Comp Cam Gold Series Aluminium Racing Rockers
Flat Taped Mechanical Cam 255/265 deg @ 0.50 lift
Moroso High Flow Oil Pump
Moroso Electric Water Pump
Heavily Modified Power Glide 2 Speed Automatic Transmission with Trans Brake and JW Ultra Comp 8” torque converter
GM 12 Bolt Housing
31 Spline Summit Racing Axles
LTW Ultimate Aluminium Diff Cover for strength
Richmond Crown Wheel & Pinion 4.1:1
Mallory Hi-Five 6 Ignition Box
Mallory High Voltage Coil
Auto Meter Sport Comp Gauges
Hurst Shifter with Shift Solenoid
ATS 6 Point Safety Harness
Vintage Racing Seats
In-house fabricated all aluminium fuel tank, radiator and battery box.
Thanks to ….
All American Muscle Team
Anel & Marius from Ink Monkey Design Factory
Fabio from Trueway Panelbeaters
Giel Nel from Battery Centre
Clint Spoolander & Anthony Perdichizzi from First Road