An owner-fabbed steering wheel and column keeps the beast straight while Auto Meter gauges
As a senior in high school, Aaron Pilatzke of Orangeville, Ontario, Canada, went straight to the head of the class when he purchased a ’59 Corvette for his very first project car. Not satisfied with installing a run-of-the-mill small-block, he opted for a big-block Chevy V-8 while also venturing into his first experiences with mechanical fuel injection. Determined to make the old Hilborn unit work on the street, he mastered its many needs and soon became a force to be reckoned with on the both the street and strip.
As the years passed a number of race cars passed through his home garage while fielding them in both the Bracket and Pro-Modified classes. Aaron’s only requirements were that his cars always remained streetable and that they also ran big-blocks with mechanical fuel injection. Being the owner of a machining business in Orangeville opened the door for plenty of the cutting-edge fabrication technology to be infused into the build of his latest creation.
Inside it’s all business with a 20-point NHRA certified rollcage, Stroud harnesses, and cu
After years of racing, there was still something lurking in the back of his mind. In his mind nothing was more evil than a ’33 Willys as he had seen plenty of them race over the years and they always impressed him regardless of whether they were set up as Gassers or as Pro-Mods. His search led him to Ben Thompson at Quinte Speed & Custom in Trenton, Ontario, who just so happened to have a tired ’33 Willys in the back of the shop for sale. The car had seen better days but was ideal for a fresh buildup so a deal was made and Aaron hauled the car back to his home shop. It was the mid ’90s and he was more than ready to get started, as he had built the car countless times in his mind. After tearing the coupe down to bare bones, he retained the body and a number of components, which could be reworked into the project and sold off the rest.
This evil rake is the view most competitors see when the coupe flies through the quarter-m
In order to create a rock-solid base that could withstand constant abuse Aaron fabricated the frame from 1-5/8-inch round mild steel tubing, which included all crossmembers. Keeping everything planted to the pavement, a Mark Williams Enterprises 9-inch Ford modular rearend (with variable gear sets depending on track use) packed with matching gun drilled 40-spline axles is suspended in place by a custom four-link combined with Koni double-adjustable coilover shocks. Up front, Aaron designed his own IFS, combining one-off A-arms with 2-inch Mustang II dropped spindles and Strange Engineering double-adjustable coilover shocks while a modified rack-and-pinion keeps handling razor sharp. Seeing the car would get lots of harsh use on the track, Aaron machined his own braking system featuring 10-1/2-inch slotted rotors at each corner with four-piston calipers to tame the beast when fluid is pushed through a Chrysler 1-inch bore master cylinder to Aeroquip braided lines. In keeping with the theme Weld AlumaStar wheels in 15x3.5 front and 15x15 rear sizes were fitted with Mickey Thompson ET Street rubber.
A 632ci CN blocks aluminum base was filled with all the right bits, including a Crower cra
Fitting a 600-plus-inch V-8 into the confines of a ’33 Willys required plenty of engineering, especially with all of the custom lines and fittings needed. To get started Aaron worked with John Rossiter Racing Engines in Toronto, to design, machine, and assemble the engine. Starting with 632ci CN Blocks billet aluminum water cooled block (weighing only 118 pounds) it was filled with a Crower crank linked to GRP aluminum connecting rods topped with Diamond 12:1 forged pistons. A COMP Cams stick delivers a heavy thump while the block is capped with a pair of Race Flow Development (RFD) custom aluminum cylinder heads featuring T&D Machine Products competition rockers and Manley titanium 2.450-inch intake valves. The top end of the engine is as exotic as the bottom and features a three-piece Hilborn intake with 3-inch butterflies combined with Kinsler mechanical fuel injection, tall velocity stacks and an NOS/Speedtech three-stage nitrous system. An MSD 7AL3 lights the fire while the thunder rolls through a set of custom headers by Hit Man Hot Rods of Cambridge, to modified Flowmaster mufflers. A LENCO CS1 four-speed transmission assembled by Joe Boniferro of Joe’s Transmission in Niagara Falls, Ontario, is packed with a Crower three-disc titanium clutch and matching flywheel and pushes the power through a Mark Williams carbon-fiber driveshaft.
The intricate plumbing is serious stuff, especially when setting up a three-stage NOS/Spee
With the rolling chassis and driveline completed it was time to focus on the Ben Thompson produced body. Already sporting a healthy 5-inch chop, the body was massaged to perfection by Gary Courneyea of 1st Guaranty Collision & Frame in Trenton, and coated in House of Kolor black gloss. To give the car its signature attitude it was then sent over to Connery’s Custom Paints in Scarborough, to have Dave Connery lay down the dramatic cobalt blue real flames and multi-layered skull graphics.
For an interior that was all business Aaron started with a 20-point NHRA certified rollcage. Electronics were wired by Bauer Automotive in Orangeville, and a factory dash was then filled with Auto Meter dials, complemented by a LENCO shifter with an owner-fabbed column and steering wheel plotting the course down the quarter-mile. Aaron built the aluminum seats and had J.R. Legare and Blair Archer cover them in black-dyed deer leather while Stroud harnesses secure the driver and passenger safely in place.
This is one hot rod that’s all business, having already secured a best quarter-mile time of 189 mph at 7.41 e.t. through mufflers and on DOT tires. Aaron wanted to be sure to thank his wife, Ann, son, Joe, and great friend, Bill Kalyn, for all their efforts over the years. There’s nothing better than being able to run impressive numbers at the track and then go for a cruise around town. This is by far the hottest Street Shaker we’ve had to date, and to us that’s just plain bitchin’!
COMP Performance Group Tech Tips
For proper flat-tappet (hydraulic or solid) cam break-in, lube the cam and lifters with the proper cam assembly lube and set preload or lash according to the spec card provided with the cam. Use quality break-in oil, such as the COMP Cams Engine Break-In oil, and prime the oil pump before starting the engine. Run the engine at 2,000-2,500 rpm for 25-30 minutes, then drain the oil and change the filter to ensure proper cam life.
When setting up either the FAST EZ-EFI or XFI, always make sure to have good grounds and that the power and ground leads on the main harness are connected directly to the battery. This will create a clean connection to reduce electrical noise in the system. If you are also using a capacitive discharge ignition box it should be grounded to the engine block.
Timing by Light
To set the timing on an Inglese-equipped engine, use the included timing light. Do not set it by ear as this could throw off the engine timing and cause it to run less efficiently. By using the timing light all other important features will also work properly in unison.