Chicago has long been a hot bed of serious performance. With dragstrips in abundance and a strong street scene that ranged the corridor from Milwaukee to Indianapolis, power talks and you know what walks. The Hot Rod Barn of Morris, Illinois, specializes in complete high-end customization with late-model power. When tasked with the build of this customer’s 1972 Chevelle, we knew it would be special. They assembled a killer chassis and an interior to match, but it’s what went under the hood that intrigued us the most: a nitrous-fed Dart LS mill capable of 1,200 hp and backed with real-world numbers on the engine dyno. Built by Borowski Engines, also in the Chi-Town region, the basis of the build was Dart’s new LS Next block. Thanks to Bob Ashton and the crew at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals, thousands of attendees got a first look at this package once it was done, as it debuted at the 2015 running of the big indoor car show. Here’s the rest of the story.
Ken McCaul of Boroski Race Engines designed the build around Dart’s new replacement LS Next block. He wanted the strongest possible foundation for this build, and the LS Next block is designed with Siamese cylinder bores, six head bolts, and longer-than-stock cylinder barrels for stroker applications. Into this went a Callies Dragonslayer crank displacing 427 cid, with squeeze-friendly 10.2 compression Diamond pistons and a custom hydraulic cam ground by Comp Cams. Atop the short-block are Dart’s very first set of Pro 1 cylinder heads, which appear to have worked very well. To wit, once it was on the dyno, the beast pulled 620 hp on just throttle, then 900 hp with a 200 shot of nitrous, and a fat 1,200-plus horsepower with C16 fuel (the car is pump-gas friendly when the bottle is not on high) and a healthy 700 shot.
In the meantime, The Hot Rod Barn’s Jason Reitz gathered all the billet and bling—Billet Specialties pulley system, polished BeCool radiator with twin electric fans, and more. Borowski proudly custom-machined the shop’s name into the valve covers, which are made of billet aluminum. The engine compartment was painted, firewall shaved, electrical wiring hidden, and an A/C unit is below the dash.
Nitrous came from Nitrous Outlet, custom-plumbed to this application. Keeping the engine happy under heavy fuel demands are a Ricks Stainless tank, Aeromotive fuel pump, and Redhorse Performance plumbing, all done by THRB, which also did the overall custom electronics and street tuning of the Holley EFI on this project.
Seen only in relief in this X-ray type image, the crowning touch on top of the FAST throttle-body was a custom air cleaner built by Billet Specialties, machined from billet aluminum with The Hot Rod Barn laying down Axalta paint to match the body and a black Spectre air filter.
Read More Here: The Hot Rod Barn Builds Tire-Shredding Performance in a 1972 Chevelle