Michael Johnson Associate Editor
June 27, 2011

If automotive history has taught us anything, 30 years from now someone's going to find Tommy Godfrey's old Factory Stock car sitting behind a shop, on flat BFGs, wearing black primer paint. Its heritage will only be discovered thanks to little hints of Atomic orange, Bogarts, and a weather-beaten NMRA windshield banner. Maybe a tech card will still taped be to the cage, but by the time it's unearthed, its engine compartment will be void of Rich Groh Racing's 311ci of hurt feelings.

That powerplant led to four straight Factory Stock championships, 18 final round appearances in 27 events, 15 top qualifiers, 12 wins, 6 runner-ups, and numerous records. It was the first Factory Stock car in the 10s, and the quickest and fastest naturally aspirated GT-40-headed car period--with a 10.40 at 128 mph--and that still doesn't cover it all. If it's a racing pedigree you're looking for, you'll find it in this LX coupe.

In the future, if you happen to be the lucky person to discover the car, please restore it to how it's shown here, because, as Tommy tells it, "This is the first car I've put so much time in how it looks." It doesn't ever deserve to sit outside in black primer with flat BFGs.

Whoever discovers this historical gem, please track down Rich Groh to build an authentic engine packed with 311ci. After all, according to Tommy, "Rich supplies the best engine the class has seen and is the god of horsepower!" Hopefully Rich will still have a couple sets of GT-40 heads and Cobra intakes to outfit a vintage Dart iron-block. We're sure he'll know exactly where to find a custom "stock" cam from the shelf to slide in and make the engine run like it did when Tommy raced it.

Next track down Jay Tucker and see if he has any Fox cold-air kits still lying around so you can top it off right, and don't forget that JLT sticker on the door. You'll also need a period-correct MSD 6AL to light the engine's fire.

Good luck finding an original Pro-M 80mm mass air meter, though. By that time, you'll probably have to settle for a reproduction because no one in their right mind is going to sell you theirs.

Likewise we wish you luck finding some new-old-stock Kooks stainless long-tube headers, but maybe someone will have a pair in the attic. And since the car's X-shape crossover pipe is a custom Insane Racing Fabrication piece, we hope you know how to weld or that your dad still has a killer set of tools. The car was wearing Bassani Xhaust stainless mufflers at the time these photos were shot--if you're lucky, they'll still be hanging under the car and in good shape.

If the car is a roller, you'll need a T5 transmission reinforced by g-Force Transmissions. Then get a SPEC clutch and a Pro-5.0 shifter, and hope you can shift it as quick as Tommy. That's doubtful--as we remember it, the Cervini's Stalker nose didn't drop during shifts. In order to come close to Tommy's 10-second times, you'll have to do the same.

If past discoveries are any indication, Tommy's Kirkey Racing seats will be long gone by the time you come across the car. Someone will already have pilfered them prior to your discovery.

Maybe you'll find the car with its built rear still under the car. However, we bet you find the car rolling on a stock 8.8. Maybe the vintage HP Motorsports upper and lowers are still there, but again, we doubt it. Most likely, you'll have to track down an 8.8 rear, and outfit it with Moser axles and rambunctious 4.30 gears.

And the differential--Tommy is rather secretive about its mechanical identity. You'll definitely need the 4.30s to even hope to match Tommy's record-setting 10-second runs, but maybe the mystery diff is the difference. Good luck with that.

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