Mojave Magnum

The Mojave Magnum, held on April 14-15, 2018, was a new milestone—or a new 1.5-milestone— for the team. It marked a few new updates and some surprising results for Big Red. Larry and the team had been working on the task of building new 555 big blocks for Mojave and Bonneville. The 598 big blocks hadn’t netted the results they wanted. The guys didn’t feel as though the extra cubic inches were helping at the top end of the rpm range, especially since they were preparing for Bonneville. On the traction-challenged salt surface, there was less need for low-end grunt and more need for top-end charge. So the plan to run new 555 big blocks at Mojave, in
preparation for Bonneville, was executed.
Since it was in preparation for Bonneville, all the electronic engine- and fuel-management controls were sidelined to meet SCTA AA/CBFALT class requirements. The team installed the new ProCharged 555 with the custom blow-through experimental carburetor from the Carb Shop. 

They also had installed an additional, supplemental mechanical fuel injection system, and Dave designed and built a custom mechanical advance unit for the MSD distributor to meet the needs of the one-off setup. Along with the new engine setup, the team also tested the newly built hood scoop designed from wind-tunnel testing data. This scoop won’t be legal at Bonneville, but it will be great to test it at Mojave.

The first run of the weekend on the brand-new setup was perfect. RJ wheeled Big Red to 266.2 mph. The speed was 237.1 mph at the one mile and 266.2 mph at the 1.5-mile mark; the fastest RJ and Big Red have ever run. The crew and everyone in the staging lanes erupted with cheers. Big Red already was the fastest ’69 Camaro on Earth. Now the bar was raised even higher. 

This was the first time Big Red went over 250 mph at the MKM Racing Promotions Mojave Magnum event, so Mike Borders presented RJ with the coveted “250-Mph Club” shirt. Now the car had proven itself with the new Bonneville setup. Big Red would get more attention to aero and mechanical for a great event on the salt. The crew doesn’t rest after a busy weekend at the races. The engine required work, as well as changes to the backup 555 engine. Both engines need to be the same so if one fails, the other is prepped and ready to go. Dave designed and built a custom mechanical boost retard unit for the MSD distributor to meet the needs of the one-off Bonneville setup.