Pete Epple Technical Editor
April 1, 2009
Photos By: Steve Baur

Once the upgraded powerplant was in place, the rest of the running gear became Tom's center of attention. Finding a transmission capable of handling close to 1,000 hp and yet still tackle the rigors of daily use was going to be a challenge. Darrin Burch of BC Automotive in Danville, Indiana, took Tom's 4R75W four-speed automatic and gave it a complete overhaul. A custom 3,500-stall converter was given the nod along with a B&M trans cooler to keep the temperature under control.

A four-inch Dynatech aluminum driveshaft transfers power to the stock rearend housing. Next, a new Detroit Truetrac differential with 4.10 gears along with a set of 31-spline Moser axles was installed to safely transfer power to the ground. Metco upper and lower control arms were called into action, making sure the rear stays in line under hard acceleration. QA1 shocks and an upgraded sway bar from Addco keep the tires firmly planted to the ground on and off the track.

When it came time to retune the car, Tom brought in Scott Beer of Pompono Beach, Florida, to reprogram the ECM. At the end of the day, the Marauder spun the rollers to an earth-shaking 772 rwhp and 643 lb-ft of torque sans nitrous. With a tune for race fuel, it was time to head back down the quarter-mile. After heating up the Nittos, Tom dropped the hammer when the light turned green and blasted down the strip to an 11.32 at 129 mph. Although happy with his Marauder's newfound legs, there was more left to be uncovered. To get this 4,500-pound monster out of the gate, a 100-shot wet-system from Zex was added for the launch. With the car retuned for an initial hit of giggle gas, Tom headed back to the track. With the tires hot and the converter torqued, Tom let his Marauder fly to the tune of a sick 10.90 at 132 mph. The much-improved 60-foot time of 1.77 was exactly what he was looking for.

In November of 2008, Tom loaded up his Marauder and headed to Commerce, Georgia, for the Southern Super Heavyweight Shootout at Atlanta Dragway. Now with full slicks, he was able to soar down the track to an incredible 10.40 at 135 mph.

"Of all the cars I've had, the Marauder has been the most fun, and the best daily driver of them all," Tom tells us. "The amount of power it puts to the wheels is astounding, yet it maintains its civil driving nature on the street. It's a beautiful, luxury-based ride. I can take the wife to a fine restaurant, or haul the grandkids to various events and yet blast down the quarter-mile in 10 seconds. It doesn't get any better than that." We couldn't agree more.