Free Horsepower Tips

If you’re in the planning stages of building your Chevrolet, or even if you have finished and are driving it, there are lots of free or inexpensive things you can do to make your Bow Tie faster and/or more efficient. This month, TheAutoBuilder gives you 25 of those ideas. Most of these free tips simply involve putting your car on a diet. Every 100 pounds of weight removed from your car equals dropping 1/10th of a second at the strip. Even though you may not be racing, the same theory applies to the street, and also to the extra weight you must lug around.


Dean Brown, a longtime rodder, was in the market for a new project car and stumbled across this ’52 Chevy panel truck, which turned out to be one of the original Helms trucks. The bakery cabinets had been removed but the body was in good condition, and it was still running with the original six-cylinder engine. Brown thought the truck was very cool, so he made a deal with its owner and drove it home. He formulated a plan of attack and started acquiring the parts he needed to turn it into a hot Chevy panel. The parts included a strong-running V-8 engine, a Turbo 350 transmission, a Fat Man Fabrications IFS front suspension and a new rear suspension that would provide a softer ride quality.

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