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While soaking up the sunshine of Bradenton, FL during Sick Week, we also soaked up lots of awesome street legal drag cars. Perhaps one of our favorites this week is the Royce Payton 1965 GT350 Mustang with its blown 598 big block Chevy engine. It’s one of those cars that looks as good as it sounds and vice versa. We needed to know more, so we met Royce after the first day pass at Bradenton Motorsports Park.
Royce and his Mustang are among the group A contenders (faster than 8.49), and Royce competes in the Unlimited Iron class. He handed over a 1 day time slip [email protected] mph – something he hoped to improve. While the ET could be upgraded, the car itself looks absolutely stunning, and this Mustang has come a long way to get there.
“It was a very rough car when we got it,” Payton said. “Usually that’s when all the race cars start. We did some painting and body work on it, and some of my friends helped with the cages and stuff like that. We built it in 2008, and have been working on it ever since. It had a tough life because we beat it a bit. ”
Royce owns Custom Design Paint and Body Work in Fort Collins, CO. Over the years, he used the 1965 Mustang for various racing disciplines, and the big block Chevy engine was mechanically injected when Royce first built the car as a car door for the head. racing. It wasn’t until a friend brought it to the drag-and-drive scene that the car underwent some of the changes you see today.
“My friend Matt Frost, who runs Rocky Mountain Race Week, got us interested in competing on his show, so we started building cars to have more street driving capabilities,” says Payton. “We switched to Holley EFI. There’s a Dominator on it. We implemented all of that in 2014 and we’ve been working with it ever since.”
Payton’s massive 598 cubic inch block Chevy engine runs blown injection alcohol thanks to the aid of a 14-71 high helical blower. The engine is also equipped with Crower valvetrain, Steve Morris camshafts, Brodix BB3 Xtra cylinder heads and Mahle pistons.
“We’re just trying to stick together,” Payton admits. “It’s kind of a monster, but overall, we have a pretty basic setup for an exploding car. There are not many secrets in it. We just turn the big puffer on it. ”
In addition to what’s in the engine, the Mustang also offers a Bruno converter drive with a three-speed Lenco trans and a Vendor Gear overdrive at the rear.
Royce never put the car on a dyno hub, so he’s not sure of the exact horsepower figure for the BBC’s 598, but based on fuel consumption, he estimates it makes around 2,500 horses. And, when the Mustang finished flying on the dragstrip, Royce did a few things to get it ready for the road.
“We actually swapped blowers from street to strip,” he said. “This is a strip blower and it doesn’t work very well on the road – it will melt. We also change fuel. We run alcohol on the dragstrip and then we move on to whatever we can get our hands on for gas stations. In Colorado, we have 91 octane, but here in Florida we can use 93 octane, so that’s good.”
Being in Colorado, the Royce and Mustang he was blowing were also accustomed to a much different air, especially when compared to the air in Florida. That proved to be a factor during Sick Week.
“We struggled a bit because we were trying to slow down the blower, so we didn’t make much of a push because we ran out of injectors at Bradenton,” he told us. “We slowed it down from what we did yesterday (during testing) and we’re still making the same push, so we’re fighting. We try to keep it from melting. I think we’re on the verge of hurting him, which we don’t want to do. We try to make it alive.
“We will push those limits on Friday, but not on Monday. On the track, we shot for as close to 7.50 seconds as we could and tried to stay safe all week. Then, later in the week, we’ll probably wake him up and see what he’ll do if we can find an injector for him. For now, we’re just going to run it just past the eighth and click on it and try to get a safe number. ”
After the first day of running 8,632 in 1/4-mile, Royce recorded an ET of [email protected] km/hour, [email protected] mph, dan [email protected] mph, for average [email protected] mph during his Sick Week, which places him between the finishers and at 9th place it in Unlimited Iron. He’ll be trying to upgrade the ET later this year, but there’s no denying it’s a great Chevy-powered Mustang!
Engine of the Week sponsored by PennGrade Motor Oil, Elring – Das Asli, Scat Crankshafts and Engine & Performance Warehouse Inc./NPW Companies. If you have an engine you’d like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder Editor Greg Jones at [email protected]