This Collection of Twin- and Triple-Blown Rides is the Craziest thing You’ll Ever See
Written by Joe Greeves on October 4, 2016
A quiet, mild-mannered guy, Brad Gray lets his car collection do the talking. And, only a quick look at his two trucks, Camaro, and dragster impresses how big a fan of forced induction he is. However, his cars take a decidedly different approach. “Everybody’s got blowers and they just bolt on,” Brad told us. “It’s not a big feat. I always like to do something different.” Stand in front of his 1969 Camaro and you will realize just how different.
Nestled between the reinforced frame rails is a 468ci big block, running high-tech internals that include Eagle rods, Scat crank, JE Pistons, and CFE Racing heads. It’s the induction system, however, that pulls in enthusiasts like a magnet. A combination of a Littlefield 1471 blower and a pair of Precision 68mm turbos has been carefully engineered to complement each other. And, tracing the convoluted path of the air/fuel mix reveals some serious engineering talent.
Here’s how it works: Air enters through the injection hat at the top, exiting at the rear of the hat through twin ducts that directs it downward to the pair of turbos. The pressurized air is forced back up through a second pair of tubes, fitted with blow off valves and connected to the plenum chamber that lies directly below the injection hat. Next, the air is directed downward through a pair of Holley 980 carbs and squeezed a second time by the blower. Lastly the massive boost charge is fed to the cylinders. Exhaust is directed straight down from the turbos and along the chassis rails, exiting through the rockers in front of the rear wheels. The turbos exert a –somewhat– quieting effect and no mufflers are used. The wet nitrous system is used more for cooling than extra power.
The Guards-Red Camaro is beautiful enough to take home best of show trophies despite being built 20 years ago. The custom leather interior includes a complete gauge package, Quarter Stick shifter, full roll cage, late model seats, and a pair of painted-to-match nitrous bottles in the back seat. The trunk is just as carefully upholstered and is fitted with a 15-gallon fuel cell with separate systems for fuel and nitrous. An Aeromotive lift pump pressurizes the fuel because “When this thing is under full load, it wants it and it wants it now!” said Brad. The twin wheelie bars are functional but the Simpson drag chute is strictly for show. Brad does not race the car.
1965 CHEVROLET C-10
The second vehicle in the mix is Brad’s silver truck, a 1965 Chevrolet C-10 that he built 10 years ago and drives on a regular basis. He took the truck in on trade, receiving the cab, one door, the frame, and the bed. He sourced the rest then reinforced the chassis, adding a 9-inch Ford with coil overs and welding in a 1982 Chevy front clip complete with disk brakes. Additional cross members strengthened the chassis to ensure it could handle the intended load.
Again, it’s the forced induction system on the engine that draws onlookers by the dozen. Showcased with polished and anodized aluminum inner fender panels, the built 355ci small-block employs a pair of Bowers 671 superchargers joined together. By turning the bottom case upside down and backwards and refitting the blades, Brad was able to use one belt to drive both; a process he says took some time to figure out. He determined that it works best by over driving the top one fractionally more than the one on the bottom. The blowers work together to pull a big gulp of fuel and air through the dual-quad Holley 750s. Nitrous is fed through plates underneath the carbs. Power is transmitted to a highly modified Turbo 350 transmission and finally to a set of 15X14 Weld ProStar wheels and Mickey Thompson rubber.
While the engine might steal the show, as is typical with Brad’s builds, the attention to detail is amazing. Huge tubs in the rear accommodate the 31X18.5 Mickey Thompson tires that allude to the amount of power in the truck. The bed contains a fuel cell and nitrous bottle and employs separate fuel systems for the engine and nitrous. Again, the truck has a beautiful custom interior, this time done in red and gray, with a Quarter Stick shifter residing in the upholstered center console, cut down Econoline seats with a steering wheel upholstered to match, and just three gauges on the dash; oil pressure, water temperature, and boost. Fuel pressure gauges are outside on the engine and there is no need for a speedo. When he’s on the road, Brad simply travels with the pack.
’56 CHEVY PICKUP
The third vehicle in the collection is Brad’s newest, a red ’56 Chevy pickup with his club logo on the side. Once again he traded for the truck and the plan was to build a flat black rat rod. Obviously, that changed! The build sequence began by adding a new back half with 9-inch Ford axle, reinforcing the frame rails front to back, fitting the motor in place, creating the unique side exhaust outlet, and finally heading to paint.The ’56 uses the same Guards Red hue as the Camaro except with a flattening agent in the clear. Custom touches include shaved emblems, a single wheelie bar in the rear, and a half tonneau cover over the bed. The unique taillights are actually ’29 Ford glass lenses on chrome side mirror brackets.
The truck’s showstopper power train is a 468ci big block fed by a combination of an 871 Mooneyham blower, augmented with an F2 ProCharger. Here’s the path: air enters into the injector hat and is diverted downward through a pair of tubes left and right into the centrally mounted ProCharger. The air is then forced upward, past the pair of blow off valves to a central plenum above the pair of 850 Holley carbs. It then travels downward through the carbs, is pressurized again via the 871 before finally entering the engine. Spent gasses escape through headers and dual mufflers. Once again, by reversing the ProCharger, Brad drives it and the Mooneyham using a single belt.
The last vehicle in the collection is a clear departure from the first three since this one actually does travel down the strip. The long and low dragster uses a hand-built frame and a highly modified Legends body, that is entered through the roof hatch. Following a similar pattern, the rail is powered by a 468 big-block Chevy with, not one, not two, but three blowers!
Brad combined a larger 46-percent-overdriven 871 Weiand blower on the bottom with two, 46-percent-overdriven B&M 144s on top. Twin 850cfm Quick Fuel carbs supply the fuel to the trifecta of superchargers. Through careful engineering, two belts work all three blowers. About the logo on the side: the Blown Mafia isn’t so much a club but rather a group of like-minded guys; responsible, creative, and willing to help potential new members of the group when it comes to unique, high-performance transportation.