Marc Christ Associate Editor
November 1, 2009
The polished components and blacked-out engine compartment make for a tasteful combination.

David's previous coupe housed a five-speed manual gearbox, but it was hit or miss-literally. Being an officer of the law who is used to being on target, David wanted all his gear changes to count, so he opted for an FB Performance (Long Island, New York) AOD built to handle 1,200 hp. A variable stall converter by Fred Brown of FB Performance allows David to select a stall speed of either 4,000 or 5,000 with the flip of a switch.

The 8.8-inch rearend housing is packed with 3.73s, a spool, and 35-spline Moser axles, along with modified four-cylinder springs and Steeda upper and lower control arms to keep things in line. The Wild Rides rear swaybar and subframe connectors seemingly eliminate body roll, and QA1 shocks soften the ride. Up front lies an AJE tubular K-member and control arms, and QA1 adjustable coilovers

Inside the all-black cockpit, a Wild Rides 10-point rollcage, Recaro race seats, and Simpson harnesses keep David and company safe. A Hurst pistol-grip shifter (customized by Chahalis) houses the transmission brake release button, and just below the radio are two toggle switches: The blue one is the control for the variable stall speed, and the red one turns on the line lock.

The instrument panel may look stock, but it's tricked out, too. An air/fuel gauge resides where the oil pressure gauge once sat, and the red parking brake light comes on when the line lock is engaged. To keep the driver informed, coolant temperature, transmission temperature, and oil pressure gauges replace the center A/C vents. Boost and fuel pressure gauges are mounted in the A-pillar, and a new tachometer is mounted on the dash, all from Auto Meter.

To keep the stock appearance, David opted for a factory flat hood and a simple-yet-perfect paint job. Ultimate Collision of Edison, New Jersey, prepped and painted the coupe in Lincoln Navigator Laser Red using factory-quality Sikkens premium paint. Bogart D-10s sit at all four corners with radial rubber, but David also has a set of less suspicious Bullitt-style wheels for cruising to the Jersey Shore with his wife, Stephanie, for the weekend.

There's no doubt that David and Jim Chahalis were better prepared and more knowledgeable this time around. The car has better street manners than his other LX, but this one is about a second quicker. In fact, with a few minor changes, he's got his sights set on 9.0s at 150 mph. This LX has ripped into the low 9s with a best e.t. of 9.27, which came with a 1.44 60-foot time.

We don't know of many truly streetable cars that can run low 9s on Saturday, cruise to the mall on Sunday, then to work on Monday without raising the hood or changing the tune or fuel. Keep an eye on David Salardino and his sneaky little coupe. He just might have an NMRA True Street victory in the near future.

Editor's note: MM&FF would like to send a special thanks to the Edison Police Department, officers Brian Freund and Fred Brown, and Chief Tom Bryan.