Michael Galimi
June 1, 2007
Photos By: Chris Kozlik
Our goal was to build a big-inch Windsor engine and we ended up with the Superstar Stroker. It's a 445ci street engine that is the perfect powerplant for the ultimate True Street car.

Last summer, we embarked on a mission to build a gigantic Windsor engine that would perform admirably on pump gas and still be worthy of competing at a True Street Challenge. Pump-gas performance has grown in popularity over the past few years, as enthusiasts strive to do more with less. Some say the mark of a true street car is the ability to pull up to any pump and fill up, something you can't do when your engine relies on 116 octane. But when tuning a serious supercharged engine, 93- or 91-octane gasoline adds a degree of difficulty that, theoretically, should keep power levels low. We bucked that trend by unleashing 1,043 hp with the Superstar Stroker.

Cracking the grand 1,000hp mark was quite an accomplishment for our project, and to be truthful, it was a bit of a surprise. We knew big power was to be had with this engine. After all, it's big, has a healthy induction system, and features a supercharger. Adding more pleasure and good feelings is that we think 1,100 hp is attainable by simply taking the engine to a higher engine rpm. But we're getting a little ahead of ourselves.

With 1,043 hp on pump gas, need we say more?

Our adventure into the pump-gas genre began last year over dinner with some friends when we were brainstorming combinations. I brought up the notion of building a 302 stroker engine, which I thought would be a cool project, but my friends thought it was too clich. They prodded me to go big or go home-they even pushed me to add a supercharger. Peer pressure is tough to defend against, so I adapted my original plans and ordered a set of large-bore pistons along with a long-stroke crankshaft. Big-block inches in a small-block package were the order of the day.

This is the control panel for Opel Automotive Engineering's dyno cell. The operator sits at the controls and uses the lever to throttle the engine. The different gauges help the operator keep an eye on the vitals of the engine.

For the build, we enlisted the talents of Rich Groh Racing. Proprietor Rich Groh handled the details like cam profile, machining, flow testing, assembly, and dyno testing. The engine was built in the span of three issues (Nov. '06, Dec. '06, and Jan. '07), after which it sat for a few months before we had time to get it on the dyno. We apologize for the delay on the engine dyno test, but we finally got off our butts and finished what we started.

Ninety-nine percent of the parts used in this engine are off-the-shelf components that can be easily duplicated. It's scary how simple and easy it is to build a similar combination. Let's look at what it took to get such stump-pulling, extraordinary numbers from a big-inch Windsor.

The block is the foundation for any engine, and we selected a World Products Man O' War 9.5-inch Windsor block. We opened up the bores to 4.155 inches, a size that's easily attainable as the block can be safely bored to 4.200 inches. Today's aftermarket engine blocks are capable of such large bore sizes and remain streetworthy. Older blocks were limited because the water jackets would need to be filled to add strength behind the thin walls. World engineered this block to handle that size bore without intruding on the precious water jackets that keep the engine cool. Large-size engines such as this will become more popular as more people realize the blocks are capable of handling big bores and long-stroke crankshafts.

Our 4.155-inch bore was complemented with a 4.100-inch stroke crankshaft. The crankshaft size is becoming more common, which makes it easier for people to step up to large cubic inches. It brought our final engine size to 445 ci-we determined the cubic inches using the V-8 formula: bore x bore x stroke x 6.2832.

The crankshaft is made of steel and is up to the task of holding a lot of horsepower. The steel rods are a lengthy 6.200 inches and are H-beam style. The pistons naturally are forged and offer a stout ring package promoting durability and longevity. The pins are also heavy-duty, designed to take a beating in a supercharged engine like this one.