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Simplicity is the key here, as this ’55 Chevy perfectly embodies the sleeper theme with a no-frills look and monster power. It doesn’t even feature all the stainless Bel Air or 210 trim you normally find on most tri-5 models; but even though this is a plain-Jane 150 devoid of trim, Ernie Lankford’s all-black ’55 certainly doesn’t get overlooked.


It was a sketch published in another street rod title, and while it brought many interesting comments, to our knowledge no one acted on the sketch to convert it to a real roadster. Enter Sam Magarino of Sussex, New Jersey. Now, Magarino likes hot rods, and lately he has enjoyed building some pretty outrageous hot rods with the help of Barry Lobeck and his crew at Lobeck’s. This would be a project of great magnitude, and that was the name aptly applied to this car for the show season.


Billy Blair is a man with a lot going on. He owns a pool building company that brings in a serious amount of business in Southern California and that allows him to play around with some other fun things like cable TV shows and, well, performance boats. We’ve seen a few of his boats over the years and they are always extremely well appointed and often understated in many ways.


Whipple Supercharger Install

Ok, so you have your quarter-million dollar boat with twin 500 EFI Mercruiser engines for a total horsepower of just under 1000, but that just isn’t enough. What do you do? Well… there is one relatively easy way to dramatically increase horsepower, that’s right—a supercharger. On top of the power increase you get that cool unmistakable whine that will cause any wrench head to notice. This particular install is a stage 3 Whipple supercharger which will add approximately 240 hp per engine; in essence, we are adding a third engine.


Re-Rigging For Aesthetics

When someone buys a boat as a bare hull and finishes it themselves, the odds are that the boat won’t be nearly as sanitary as the original manufacturer rigged it. The original owner of this boat did a decent job but it was no way up to the usual Howard standards. The owner wanted the rigging cleaned up, spiffed up and colored up so he took it to Maveric Marine in Van Nuys, California where Dan Duffin straightened everything out and color-coordinated the powdercoating.


HTM On The Water

We chronicled the building of the Challenger 600 EFI engine over the course of two months and now the boat is ready to get out on the water for testing. We headed out to Lake Elsinore in Southern California (one of the few lakes without a speed limit) and gave the boat a whirl. With the help of Paul Pfaff Racing Engine’s Gordon Jennings we had a good day on the water.


Cooler Runnin’

All summer you’ve dreamed of passing all those boats that have blown by you since June. Now that time has come. You plunk down a large stack of greenbacks for a nasty supercharger and wrench all weekend bolting it in. Now comes the moment of truth. As you tear down the lake, all eyes are on the gauges, and the oil pressure is heading south too quickly. What could be wrong? You let off the throttle for a bit and all the vital signs return to normal.

We’ve ran into this exact scenario before. We installed an R-Tech Supercooler on the ProCharged Dorr’s Marine Engine 502cid motor in our Baja 250ES. The install was a huge success with a whopping 9mph increase in top speed. The boat worked well, but what we weren’t expecting was the huge increase in oil temperature from the gain in horsepower. If we had stayed on the throttle for a good 5,000-plus-rpm run, the oil temperature would have shot for the moon and oil pressure would have dropped to an uncomfortable level, forcing us to back out—what fun is that?

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