Oscar Gonzalez is someone who is serious about speed. His speed machine is a dashing 1966 Chevelle with an 875 horsepower engine. He is so serious that even has a personal nitrous refilling station in his home which isn’t something anyone can do but lately, he stopped using the nitrous and only sells it. That means that his Chevelle is completely free of nitrous which was able to achieve a record of 9.86 seconds in the quarter-mile run with a max speed of 136 mph. All of the power is produced by the raging Reher-Morrison 427 small-block powerhouse. Oscar’s awesome Chevelle is not just about power because he likes his machine full-bored.
Most of the time, false information leads to misfortune but in Oscar’s case, it is quite the opposite when he purchased this Chevelle more than 25 years ago during his high school freshman years. Oscar paid $500 for what he thought it was a very worn out Malibu with rusty quarter-panels, bent roof, wrecked interior, missing fenders, and busted engine and transmission. “The car had no front or rear windshields, so I towed it home with an extra set of bumpers sticking out of the windows,” he recalled. Although what he bought was a totally beat up car, it was still a great find and they just didn’t know it yet. “I looked up the serial numbers and it turned out to be an original SS396 big-block car. I couldn’t believe it and triple-checked all the codes and asked dozens of people just to make sure. I have no idea why, but someone had removed the SS badges and hood, and tried to clone it into a Malibu. When I told the person I bought it from that it was an original SS, he begged me to sell it back to him,” Oscar said.
At first, Oscar just wanted to have the car revived in working and presentable condition so he could bring it at local IROC and muscle car events. Oscar was just earning minimum wage as a grocery bagger which means he had very little money to spend on his car. For every paycheck he received, he took some for car parts and slowly built his Chevelle. Most of his friends built small-block engines so he purchased their unused 2nd hand parts and slowly built a humble 350 engine. When he got into the nitrous business, he got carried away and started blowing up things. He built and blew around a dozen 350s throughout the years, and his fastest record with the Chevelle was 10.90 seconds run in the quarter-mile. At that time, Oscar was the only one dealing with nitrous and a number of people went to him for nitrous kits. He was able to turn it into a business and was able to set up a nitrous fill station in his own house.
Over time, a local dealership offered him a tech position and accepted it. Finally, Oscar had the means and money to build the Chevelle just the way he always wanted. He both loved drag racing and going to car shows, so he planned to completely restore the car. His friends said that he couldn’t have a show car and a dragster in one car, but he went on to prove them otherwise. He wanted to achieve a 9-second record, so he decided to go with a stroker engine. Originally, he planned to assemble the car by himself, but he got frustrated after dealing with a number of ineffective shops. “I went through three different shops that did me wrong and kept my money, so I decided to get a 427 crate engine from Reher-Morrison. I had to park the car, sell a bunch of parts and save up for a year and a half, but it was well worth it,” he said.
The engine was claimed to produce more than 2 horsepower per cubic inch for a total of 875 horsepower. It may not seem possible for a standard engine but the Reher-Morrison 427 crate engine is on a completely different level. The beastly engine features a large 4.185’’ bore and a short 4.00’’ stroke which reduces friction, improves cylinder head cycle, and an amazing 8,000 shift point. The engine is then topped by a Dominator carburetor and an Edelbrock Super Victor intake. Reher-Morrison certainly builds outstanding engines which probably explains why they have won 7 NHRA Pro Stock championships.
The raging engine is matched by a TCI Auto TH400 transmission and converter that directs power to a 4.33:1-geared 12-bolt rear. Although the 9.86 seconds and 136 mph records are great, Oscar is still warming up with his Chevelle. This blazing Chevelle is certainly not for everyone but Oscar loves his speed toy. Although he isn’t too happy about the fact that it drinks up C16, he didn’t really build a fuel economical car. It surely needs a big pocket for gas but the experience in driving it around town is more than worth it.
This Chevelle isn’t just about power, it also has the beauty of a show car. You can clearly see that Oscar didn’t spare anything to ensure that his ride looks great. Both the exterior and interior looks fantastic, it is an extremely well-built classic that proves you can have both a dragster and a show car in one package. After getting used to running 9s on the quarter-mile, Oscar is planning to achieve an 8-second run.
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