Nerd’s Eye View: The Cars of PRI

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This Willys Americar (aka Willys Coupe) is a sweet old school hotrod, another tribute to the Gasser era.  The Willys was a popular drag car back in the day because they were cheap, light, and had huge engine bays just ripe for dropping in a big V8.  The ladder chassis also responded well to driveline upgrades.  This car is all brand new though, built by American Gasser using a fiberglass reproduction body on top of AG’s own Gasser chassis.
The original Willys Coupes came with the venerable Go Devil engine.  These engines were completely inadequate for the Coupe and helped drive prices lower on the used market.  This repro uses a big block Chevy, built by NHRA champion engine builder Jason Line.  This supercharged beast makes 1,250 horsepower, more than enough to scoot the sub 3,000 lb car down the quarter mile with ease!
Vibrant Performance was displaying this S2000 built by Jason Schmuck.  You may recognize this car if you ever saw this photo.  It’s very different now though, no longer F20 powered and no longer red.  Instead, Jason has swapped in a J32 V6 from an Acura TL.  The turbos are Garrett GTX35-76s.  The whole swap was done by Jason’s shop and most of the plumbing is titanium.  While the car was only recently completed and is still far from debugged, the eventual plan is to get it into the 8s in the quarter mile.
I assume this Ariel Atom has an Exedy clutch in its transmission.  Exedy wouldn’t let me take it apart to verify this was true.  Oh well, the Atom is my kind of car: light, minimal, pure, and weird.  Who wants to see a Project Atom on MotoIQ?  Followup: who wants to fund a Project Atom on MotoIQ?
Proof that sports cars don’t need fancy things like power seats, 8-speaker sound systems, infotainment systems, cup holders, or even doors.
Watson Racing was showing off their new drag racing suspensions for the current gen Mustang, using this Cobra Jet model.  The Cobra Jet is a factory drag pack, pre-certified for NHRA Sportsman racing.  They come ready to run into deep 9-second territory while retaining a lot of the street car’s OEM parts for reliability and low cost.  The latest Cobra Jets debuted in 2016 and all are built by Watson Racing.

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