Pete Epple Technical Editor
September 27, 2010
Photos By: Steve Baur, Marc Christ

"Things started getting good once the basic long-block was sitting in the engine bay," Chad states. "I'm not your typical gearhead. I am a machinist by trade, and I love making my own parts when I have the chance."

Armed with paper, a pen, and calipers, Chad began designing and machining a set of custom shaft-mount rocker arms. He also fabricated the brackets to relocate the alternator, all of the FEAD pullies, as well as the supercharger drive systems. Chad also machined most of the brackets and hold-downs under the hood for an extremely unique looking engine bay.

When it came to transferring power through the rest of the drivetrain, Chad turned to Performance Automatic for one of its Super Comp C4 three-speed automatics. A 10-inch PTC torque converter transfers power through the C4 to the 8.8-inch rearend via a Strange Engineering driveshaft. The 3.31 gears inside the rearend spin 33-spline Strange axles, which turn Centerline Convo Pros wrapped in Mickey Thompson ET Street Radial rubber.

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Strange coil-overs with 95-pound rear springs support the rear, while PA Racing double-adjustable upper and single-adjustable lower control arms keep the rearend in line under hard acceleration. Up front, a PA Racing chromoly K-member supports the 351-based bullet, and lowers the mill enough to fit under the 1.5-inch cowl hood from ABC Exclusives. Koni coil-over struts with 150-pound springs hold up the nose, and a Flaming River manual rack handles steering.

Once the powertrain was complete, Jason Miller of Lancaster, Ohio, went to work, laying down four coats of the base blue hue before covering it with three coats of clear, both from PPG.

The driver's compartment was kept mostly stock. An aftermarket shift light and a trio of Ford Racing gauges help Chad keep tabs on what's going on under the hood. A Hurst Quarter Stick hides under the stock five-speed leather shift boot, and handles gear selection. A rear seat delete helps drop a few pounds and takes up the space where the rear seats once were.

"The car was finally ready to be tested in 2008," Chad explains. "I just wanted to go [on the] eighth-mile for my first pass, so I let off at about half track. The car went 10.50 at 100 mph-I was thoroughly impressed! On the second pass, it went 9.75 at 139."

As Chad has continued to race and refine the combination, he has taken wins in multiple NMRA True Street events, including the 11-second class and 10-second class at the '08 and '09 Columbus events.

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The greatest part about Chad's coupe is its ability to perform as well on the street as it does on the track. "The car has great street manners," Chad says. "It regularly sees highway use-I drive it a lot!"

"My biggest goal now is to run in the 8.90-zone," Chad says. "There is an 8.90-index class I want to run locally and the car should be perfect!"

To date, Chad's LX has gone as fast as 9.22 at over 146 mph. With this kind of track performance, coupled with amazing driveability in an amazingly clean package, Chad's coupe has it all!