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1968 Pontiac Firebird - charlescater

1968 Pontiac Firebird 1985
Owner:   charlescater
Year: 1968
Make: Pontiac
Model: Firebird
Est.Horsepower: 500
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Any info on this car im look for more history or photos thanks

The car was first built in the late 70's by Bob Leggitt to run in NHRA's A Super Modified. This was 4 speed manual 10" tire class, 8.50 Lbs per cubic inch, although you could run an automatic with a 150 Lb weight break. I bought it in 1982 and after a few get acquainted outings it was clear that it would not be competitive in it's then current state. I moved it into A Modified Stock as that most closely fit the cars configuration and set about making improvements to better "run the number". I disassembled the engine, ordered new custom design 12.5:1 pistons from Venolia, and dropped the heads off at Flow Technology in Garden Grove, CA to be ported. Max flow was 317 CFM @ .500" lift and 307 CFM @ .600 lift( this was for a reason). The roller lifters were from Engle and were/are the lightest I've ever seen. Rather than overbore to 4.190 I decided on 4.1875 which would make ring shopping a lot easier as that is the stock 413 Chrysler size. I used Childs and Albert rings. (went out of biz 2008 after 40 years) The crank is a forged Ram Air V piece that was machined by Hank The Crank in No Hollywood, CA. to a stroke of 3.593". I hope you have it as this is an extremely rare piece and very valuable. If it hasn't been switched out, HTC is engraved somewhere, I just can't recall exactly where though. Displacement then is 396 cubic inches not 377, FYI. To compensate for the shorter stroke I used a 6.645" rod instead of the factory 6.625 length to keep piston weight down and acheive proper deck height with the aluminum Superrods. I used a number of rollerlcams. Lunati, sounded great but was weak, Comp Cams so-so, and finally a custom from Cam Dynamics. That cam was 325° Int -334°Exh. Max int lift was .683 @104° ATDC and exhaust .630 @108° BTDC with 1.5 rockers. Timing at .050 was 285/290. Good power with this cam.

Initially I ran a Doug Nash 4+1 (now Richmond Gear) as a 4 speed only per class rules with a McLeod dual disc clutch and aluminum flywheel.
With 5:38 rear gears this was an exciting ride but maintenace was high. Traction with the 10" tires and a 7500 RPM launch was difficult to control so I tubbed the rear to make room for 14 X 32 rubber. Transmission maintenace eventually convinced me to switch to an automatic. Not an altogether bad move.

Frank Massina
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