D/GR (D=304 ci/Gas Roadster)
Land Speed Racer          
                          by Tim McMaster

August 2018 : At last after seven years of pushing pickups on the salt it's time to change up the game a bit. The only way I was going to get my Unibody LSR over 200 was with a bigger, different style engine (385 series was the plan and may still happen in the future) but being know for Y-Blocks I figured I would go with a smaller, more aerodynamic car with my pickup engine. This year will be a sorting out and licensing up year with a new car and next year we go for the big number. The engine in the car is one that had been sitting around and waiting for a chance to run again. It was once in the Dragster and ran a best of 10.21 sec @ 130 mph. We hope to get 175 out of the roadster this year.

Speed Week Report 2018

Back home safe from Bonneville, we had a great time. This being a "shake down" year with a new car I ran it with just a street engine pulled from another car. I was hoping for a speed nearing 175 mph but the best we could manage was 154.8 mph. Still not too shabby for a 10.5:1 engine with cast pistons and average parts. We made four passes all above 152 mph and the engine was in one piece and ready to run again when it went on the trailer. (no small feat in LSR) The car accelerated well through third gear but the engine just couldn't pull top gear above 5100 rpm. The last pass with a few adjustments the car pulled very hard through the gears, it shows on the time slip from mile one through mile two, but alas in fourth the rear gears are just too tall for the HP/Torque of this engine. New engine was already in the works before we headed out but this year was about getting acquainted with the car. I like it a lot, handles well and is ready to go faster next year. Thank you all for fallowing along. Cheers!

Update 2019 - New Engine Build

Putting the final touches on the D/GR Y-Block powered roadster for this year. New engine with same cubic inchs (304) but more compression (13.5:1) John Mummert aluminum heads, Geoff Mummert custom intake manifold to matvh the heads, Dema Elgin custom ground cam shaft and 1.7:1 roller rockers for much more power plus a tad lower gear ratio. (3.0:1) Looking for the magic number this year, 175 @ the 2 1/4 mile marker. Please God give me traction.

10 min run in, so far so good. 190* on the temp, No metal in the oil, rockers are still in adjustment. Both good things


Speed Week Report 2019

Well, another Speed Week has come and gone. Sorry to say it was not the best conditions on the salt. When we headed out there was expectations of 200 mph but almost as soon as we had our pits set up on Thursday a big storm hit and messed everything up. At first they said racing was postponed till Sunday but then it was Monday and then Tuesday. At that point we were thinking at least we can make 175 in the 2 1/4 for a long coarse qualification and a "B" license but after waiting all morning and into the afternoon it was apparent that the coarse although open was going to be a challenge just to get to the end without spinning. Even "Speed Demon" could only manage 332 mph. The long course was closed about 2:30 on Tuesday afternoon after a bike went down and it was finally decided to move the course over and resume racing on Wednesday morning. They did have a "Rookie" course open and we had considered running on that one but at only one mile long there wasn't enough to do what we wanted to do. We did however go over there to watch a few runs and at least the had a good surface, though about it again but we had a good place in line for Wed. on the long course and I didn't want to loose it.

Wednesday morning came and we were ready again, about 25 cars/bikes back but the line was moving. Being pitted with the "Rolling Bones" I was very interested to see how Keith Cornell was going to do in his new C/AIR roadster. He was ahead of us so I hung out at the starting line to watch. When he left the line his big MEL engine was sounding in very good tune and we all hoped to hear big numbers. Down range you could hear he was "pedaling" it as the coarse was very mushy in spots. End result was 161 at the 2 1/4, a broken pinion and 102 out the 3 mile. End of Speed Week for the Boners.

I was hearing nothing but bad reports about this coarse and the thought to just pull out and save the car and myself for the next meet was on my mind but I had come this far, waited this long and spent a large sum of dollars so I wasn't going to quit now. New goal, just get down the coarse in one piece and get a little brass tag with my speed stamped in it for my $560 entrance fee.

Finally I'm up to the line. Surprisingly calm I'm ready to make the old Y-Block do it's thing. The starter clears me for the coarse and Gary and Keven give the camper laden F-250 everything to push me to 45 mph. The moment I feel the truck let go of me I release the clutch and the roadster took off like a rocket, very surprising for the track conditions, I felt the rear move a bit but stayed in it. The car accelerated well but you could feel the track give way many times. It was all I could do to keep the car straight, very little movement on the wheel and just lift a little when I felt the rear try to come around. As I saw the 2 mile marker approaching I made sure I went through as fast as I could, time slip shows 152 at the two and 163 at the two and a quarter. Right after passing the 2 1/4 mark I felt the rear make a big adjustment to the right so I backed way of the gas, it straightened out, I got back into it and saw a coarse marker come by the right side of the car a lot closer than I like to see. Back on the gas I see the 3 mile coming up and I'm still pointed in the right direction. Just a little bit farther. Big orange three goes by, pop the chute and make a gradual turn around to the left, coast to the return road, apply a small amount of brake and I stop right in front of our pits. Success! I catch my breath and fell pretty good that I made it all the way pointing in the right direction. As I unbuckle and climb out of the tight seat I see Ted Eaton running over from the "Bones" pit to see how I did. Wild ride but I made it.

End result was 163.950 through the two and a quarter and 160.268 at the three. I waited all week to make one pass, now I'm satisfied and it's time to go home. Worth it all? The work all year, the money spent on a new engine, the frustrating wait to get one run in? I don't know but I will be back next year to try it again. That's "Salt Fever".

Keith and his new American Iron Roadster (AIR)

Now click below to see how she ran at Bonneville Speed Week 2020

Tim McMaster - Bonneville 2020
by Tim McMaster

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All artwork, text, design, and photos, are Copyright 2008 by Tim McMaster.