Nine Second Turbo Regal Recipe
Tom Lorek
"This information represents what worked for the author(s) with their combinations. It may not work for you. Be aware that anytime you increase the performance of your car you run the risk of damage. Be smart about modifications: take them one at a time and keep a close eye on vital tuning indicators such as knock counts, O2 volts and RPM. This Recipe assumes you are using adequate octane RACING fuel for best performance. -editor"
I bought this car in February of '93 off a dealer's lot for $875. The year before, My GN had run a best of 10.52 @ 127 with the same trans and rearend that I put in the '81. The GN was a heavy car, and it was too nice to cut up further to make into a 9 second car. I drove the '81 home and proceeded to build the car from scratch. Every unnecessary part was removed that didn't detract from street worthiness.

I built this car by myself in 1/2 of a two car garage, with the exception of the rollcage and the frame notching, trans and engine machine and headwork. I built the engine to my specifications, myself, at ANS Performance, under Pete Barton's watchful eye. It's first outing was in June of '93. I ran the car the rest of '93 and 3/4 of the way into the '94 season. I'll bet I had about $22,000 - $23,000 total in the car, with probably about $16,000 in the motor, turbo, intercooler, fuel system, and DFI. But more than anything, I had time in the car.

During construction of the car, from mid-Feb '93 until mid-June '93, I averaged 55 hours a week on the car, on top of 45-50 hours at work.

Pictures of Tom's 1981 Converted Regal

Tom's car started life as a 1981 Regal, but has been converted to an awesome mid 9 second street legal car.

Nobody would suspect this "wolf in sheep's clothing" at the local cruise spot, would they?

Wheel's up and on the way to another mid 9 second pass!

The Engine
BLOCK engine231 cubic inch Stage II off center block. 0.030" overbore. Standard prep work. Installed bronze liners in the lifter bores to ensure perfect alignment. Holes drilled and tapped in the front of the block for gear drive installation.

Click on the picture for a full size view.

CRANK Scat forged 3.4" stroke. With the .030 overbore, gives 234 cubic inches
RODS Cunningham 6.5"
RINGS Speed Pro File to Fit
Oil pan and Pickup Duttweiler deep pan and custom pickup
Flywheel JW SFI spec.
Starter Tilton Mini
Front Cover Factory, modified to clear gear drive.
Oil Pump Factory with long gears and wear plate. No oil cooler.
Balancer ATI SFI spec with factory crank rings installed
Alternator Factory, mounted low on drivers side of engine compartment utilizing custom brackets made by myself. Moroso pulley.
Crank Pulley Single pulley from a BBC
Water Pump Factory
Water Pump Pulley Factory pulley from a NA 231" motor.
Radiator Factory '81 Regal (smaller than a TR)
Gear Drive Milodon
Cam Comp Cams Roller. Roller cams come with an odd fire nose that must be cut off and machined to accept a bronze drive gear for the cam sensor and the cam gear for the gear drive. The thrust of the cam is set by spacing out the torrington thrust bearing that rests against the back side of the front cover. The cam rests in the gear drive by a torrington bearing.

Duration @ 0.050" lift: 244 degrees intake and exhaust

Duration @ 0.050" lift: 288 degrees intake and exhaust

Gross valve lift: 0.586" intake and exhaust

Lobe Separation: 111 degrees

Lifters Crane roller
Pushrods Custom
Heads First batch of M&A aluminum heads from early '92, extensively ported and polished. Machined to accept spring cups.

I had the heads flowed at 28" of vacuum. The intake ports flowed in the 238-243 cfm range. The exhaust ports flowed in the 200-205 cfm range.

Valves and springs 1.97 intake and 1.60 exhaust valves. Comp Cams 200 lb. closed springs with custom made titanium retainers.
Rockers Rollers that came with M&A heads, modified to clear larger springs.
Valve Covers M & A
Intake and Doghouse Factory ported and polished. EGR Tower cut and epoxied. EGR valve replaced with a block off plate for appearance (ala fuel pump block off).
Fuel Rail Factory, with a 8AN fitting welded on the supply side.
Injectors MSD 72 lb./hr.
Fuel System 8 gallon Jaz fuel cell with a single Weldon fuel pump. The pump cost a fortune, but the plumbing and wiring were so simple because I used only one pump. I went this route on the advice of Duttweiler, who's opinion was that if a single pump in a single system fails, the engine stops. When a pump fails in a multi pump system, the motor goes lean and destructs. 1/2" fuel line with a 3/8" return line.
Ignition System Factory with Magnacore plug wires
Plugs AC FR2LS @ tight .035"
Computer DFI with a stand alone wiring harness I made myself.
Headers Hooker
Turbo Precision TE-69
Wastegates Two Deltagates, set at 28 lbs.
Intercooler Spearco Air to Water. I used a 4 gallon upright Jaz fuel cell mounted in the original location of the battery for icewater. I used a Rule 600 GPH bilge pump to circulate the water through Sears black garden hose to the intercooler. Very slick. I'll bet the whole intercooler setup cost me $750.
Air Filter K&N 15" long with a 4" outlet. I used a Ford truck hose from the air filter to the turbo. The air filter was mounted in the same location as anyone else's K&N.
Downpipe Custom made by myself using sections of 3" pipe from any auto parts store.
Exhaust I made my own 4" system that exited in front of the right rear tire using a 4" center in/out Flowmonster.
Transmission/Drive Train/Chassis
Torque Converter Art Carr 4000 stall 9"
Transmission TH-400 by Jimmy's Transmissions. Can't say enough about his work. Superb. I used an Art Carr Transbrake.
Shifter B&M Megashifter, then a Dixie Air shifter.
Driveshaft Custom with HD Spicer 1350 U-joints.
Rear End Ford 9" with 35 spline axles from Moser. Aluminum center section with 3.89:1 gears and spool from Currie.
Brakes Front: Stock Rear: Wilwood Disc Master cylinder kit from Art Morrison (manual)
Wheels and Tires Front: Weld Draglite 15" x 3.5" with Moroso skinnies.

Rear: Weld Draglite 15" x 8" with 29.5 x 10.5" Mickey Thompson slicks

Steering Manual box from a junkyard somewhere in Massachusetts (thanks Pete B!) out of an El Camino.
Front Suspension All brand new pieces (ball joints, tie rods, drag link, etc.) with Carerra 90:10 shocks. No swaybar.
Rear Suspension I raced the car in '93 with the factory suspension (boxed uppers and SouthSide lowers) and got a best 60' of 1.38. The car was a handful to drive. Launch too soft, the car would push left.

Launch too hard, the car would push right. Over the '93/'94 winter, I installed a ladder bar kit from Art Morrison, and this solved all my launching problems. I could run the car without making any steering corrections whatsoever. The car was like an arrow. Best 60' with the ladder bars: 1.36.

Frame Notched rear frame rails.
Roll cage 10 point kit from Art Morrison.
Body All steel panels and factory glass windows except for fiberglass bumpers and Lexan sheet in place of factory Astroroof. I installed an '87 header panel and grill, as well as '87 taillights for a more modern look.
Interior Jaz bucket seats, factory rear seats, factory door panels, factory dash with Auto Meter gauges installed in place of factory gauges (Look at any '81-'82 Regal, and you'll see how perfect the dash is for this setup). Radio removed and replaced with a switch plate for intercooler pump, master cutoff, cooling fan, and night racing lights.

I used the night racing light switch to illuminate the third brake light I installed and the gauges. This way, I wouldn't need to light up the front and rear marker lights while racing at night. The gauge lights still lit from the factory light switch, I just added diodes in each line to prevent feedback to the other system. I installed a Grant steering wheel with removable kit to help entrance and exit from the car. Power windows and doors were full functioning. I left the heater controls in for looks only.

Gauges Auto Meter Tach, boost gauge, coolant temp, trans temp, oil pressure, and fuel pressure with isolator.
Trunk Battery with shutoff.
Miscellaneous Tricks
I used a Ford starter solenoid in the trunk of the car between the battery and the starter motor. The 'trickle' feed for the started activated this solenoid, powering the 00 welding cable I used to run to the starter. I ran a small loop wire from the large terminal of the Tilton starter solenoid to the trigger wire of the starter. This way, the only time current runs to the starter is during cranking. The output from the alternator went to the battery side of the cutoff switch, ensuring that when the cutoff switch is engaged, the alternator would not continue to power the car.

I tried running a Moroso electric water pump drive on the car for a while, but it didn't perform as well as the stock one.

Since I was running both a transbrake and a linelock, and since I didn't want to have two transbrake/linelock buttons and associated wiring snaking through the interior, I set them both up to run off of one button. I would flip a dash mounted switch down, go into the water box, press the button, do my burnout. As I went to the line, flip the dash switch up, stage, press the same button, which now would activate the transbrake. The switch I used was a three position, so for day-to-day driving I would set it in the middle position, which connected the button to nothing for safety.

ET History
9/93 9.676@140.53 Union Grove, Wisconsin (with exhaust system) 50 degree weather, absolutely perfect conditions
10/93 9.75@138.40 Grapple at the Gateway, Fairfield, IL (exhaust, against Billy Glidden)
5/94 9.654@138.64 GS Nats (without exhaust, but with ladder bars) Far from perfect conditions
6/94 9.79@138.4 Byron Dragway, Rockford, IL (added steel bumpers) 105 degree weather. BRUTAL conditions.

Typically, I would run 6.1x @ 113 in the eighth mile. At the Nats in '94 during the first round of eliminations, I dialed a 9.68 and had to start letting off at the 900' mark and then coast/brake to a win. I ran a 9.70 @ 123, but my eighth mile was a 6.03 @ 114.5!! Even though I got $400 for the win (the rest of eliminations got called for rain), I'd give the money back in a heartbeat for the time slip that coulda' been!!!

Race Weight: With the fuel cell 3/4 full, and myself aboard (175 lbs), the car weighed 3250 lbs with fiberglass bumpers and 3325 lbswith steel bumpers.

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