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Posted: Oct 23, 2011

2011 OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational Preview- All Speed Customs' ’70 Firebird

Brian Moat will probably be the first to concede the 1970 Firebird he built for Tom Cronkright gives up more than 1,000 pounds to many of the other cars in the field for the 2011 OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational, presented by KN Filters and Wilwood Brakes, but he seems ok with that. Polly Blytt had a similar weight handicap with his black Firebird last year, as well as a similar remedy for overcoming that disadvantage- more than 1,000 boosted horsepower under the hood.

That's right, for the second year in a row, we have a black Pontiac boasting huge horsepower in a field littered with 700+ horsepower entries. With 12.5 pounds of twin turbo boost, the 455 cubic inch Pontiac block boasts 1,020 horsepower on pump gas. All that power requires more than modest upgrades to the suspension and Moat went right to the proven parts of Detroit Speed Engineering for assistance.

A Moser 12-bolt rear end is now complimented by DSE's four-link, sway bars and coil overs, while a DSE sway bar, control arms and a set of QA1 coilovers can be found up front.  Moat also concedes he has almost no experience in events like the OUSCI, but does have an extensive drag racing background on both sand and asphalt.

The drag racers we know love a smoky burnout, but they also hate getting beat off the line.  We expect Brian will have his launch technique down pat on this car for the Wilwood Brakes Speed Stop Challenge and if he gets his job done at the start, he'll be hoping 27 inches worth of Wilwood discs (14 up front and 13 in the rear) will be able to bring the 'bird to a halt at the end.

So given Brian Moat's relative inexperience in autocrossing and road course driving, does he stand a realistic chance of being competitive in this event?  Consider the following-

-Polly Blytt's 1,000+ horsepower, heavyweight Firebird finished fourth in the OUSCI last year

-This Firebird has been running since at least late-February and participated in both the Run To The Coast The Motor State Challenge. They are tweaking for the OUSCI at this point, not thrashing

-The Firebird was the fastest SMOY contender in the autocross at Columbus, which means the tweaking they are doing appears to be working

-Further tweaking could include dialing up the boost to increase output to 1,400 to 1,500 horsepower

Whatever the outcome, this is sure to be an entertaining event.  For the first time ever, the OUSCI is open to spectators (while tickets last), so if you'd like to see it in person, buy your tickets today!  If you'd like to see more of the All Speed Customs Firebird and read more about it's background, check out the awesome photography of our good friend, Robert McGaffin and the story Stephen Kim wrote about this amazing machine for Popular Hotrodding magazine.

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