Michael Johnson
Technical Editor
August 25, 2016

Every drag racer is going to encounter problems at some point in their pursuit of low elapsed times. Chicago, Illinois’ David Hirschfield had built a Copper Orange coupe, but during testing the car would either stand up on the bumper or blow the tires off. “No in-between,” Hirschfield says. He was trying to use a single adjustable front strut and limiters, and it just wasn’t working. Well, over the previous winter he added a parachute mount, and come spring testing he forgot about that little addition. Once again the car came up. Hirschfield says, “I stayed in the throttle, short-shifted it, figuring it would eventually come down.” It came down, but when it hit the parachute mount the right rear tire lifted off the ground and the left rear drove the car out from under him, landing on the driver’s door, hitting both walls, and sliding on the roof to the 1,000-foot mark. It was not a good day of testing for Hirschfield. “The chassis was a total loss, but everything else was salvageable.”

To get back in the game, he picked up this 1981 coupe in August 2015, to be ready for the spring of 2016. With that date in mind, he farmed out some of the work on the car after doing all the work on the Copper Orange coupe himself. Dan Cook from Voodoo Race Engineering did the 8.50-cert cage and miscellaneous fab work, while B&B Industries took care of body work and paint. The car features a Schoneck Composites front bumper cover and hood, a Glasstek decklid, a Skinny Kid rear wing, and Optic Armor glass all around. Inside the car is a Scott Rod Fabrications rear seat delete.

Under the Schoneck hood is a Rhyne Competition Engines 433-inch small block with Ultra Pro Machining–massaged SC1 heads, T&D rockers, Comp Cams valvetrain items, a Bennett Racing solid roller cam, a Wilson Manifolds-ported Ford Performance X351 intake, and a Lightning Race carburetor. The combination gulps down VP Q16 fuel provided by Product Engineering and Magnafuel components, while an MSD ignition lights the fire. Hirschfield runs an Ernie Elliot dry sump system with a C-line oil pan and a Stef’s oil tank.

Behind the rabid small block is a Transpro Transmissions Powerglide with a Coan planetary, an FTI Performance billet Pro Brake valve body, and an Ultimate Converter Concepts 7,000-stall converter. Rear-end components consist of Strange Engineering’s best, while the front suspension is from AJE, and rear suspension is from Team Z. Aerospace Components brakes bring the Storm Trooper to a halt, while rolling stock consists of Champion wheels with Mickey Thompson shoes. Not wanting to make the same mistake twice, Hirschfield added Menscer Motorsports double adjustable shocks and struts to the car.

Hirschfield runs the Nostalgia True Street within the OSCA, a class full of power adder, big-block cars. “I’m the only N/A combo in the class, and I run a small-block,” he says. He won the second race of the year at Evansville, and sits four points out of Second Place with three races to go. Hirschfield’s best time with the car so far is a 5.44 at 126 mph in the eighth-mile, with consistent sub-1.20 short times. “There’s still room to grow, as we are figuring out a new combo,” Hirschfield says. SBFTTF!