True drag racers, in an effort to get their adrenaline fix or to quench their competitive spirit, will drive anything and everything they can get the keys to. Case in point are racers like Dean Marinis, a class jumper like no other. Most fans know of the nitrous-huffing, bright orange X275 Mustang that Marinis has piloted to wins and records all over the country, but what they may not know about is Mean Dean’s innate abilities behind the wheel of even more potent Pro Modified machines.
But that’s about to change in a big way with this new Jerry Bickel Race Cars-built Pappas/Marinis Motorsports C7 Corvette that’s expected to debut in the very near future. This car is a looker, and it has all the the potential to hurt some feelings in Pro Mod.
Marinis was one of the most feared grudge racers on the east coast for years, and he took his talents to X275 because he couldn’t get any races, so it should be no shock he can drive just about anything. His former Pro Modified ride was a Bickel-built 1967 Camaro that was in the shop for some upgrades when fate stepped in for he and Harry Pappas.
“A buyer made an offer on the old car we couldn’t refuse, so it was sold and the C7 was ordered,” explained Marinis about how the new C7 came to be. After a sale of the old car went through, there was a delay in receiving the new C7 body; but the delay was worth the final product.
The C7 is filled with nothing but the best to match the elegant craftsmanship from Jerry Bickel. Powering this gorgeous ride is a BES 5.2-inch bore space, 820 cubic inch engine wearing a pair of Braswell/Book carbs. Sticking with the giggle juice, the C7 will get its nitrous from a Speedtech four-stage system, with the addition of their water injection that Marinis tunes via a Racepak and MSD combo. A one-off set of TEK Zoomies have been fitted to the C7 to help move all the exhaust gasses out of the mill.
Behind the massive nitrous-aided engine is a Neal Chance converter, and they’ll be working with both an ATI Powerglide and Proformance Turbo 400 transmission–since the team is trying to figure out the new close-ratio transmission setup. A PST carbon driveshaft sends the power back to a Mark Williams Center and Bickel-built rear end. The C7 rolls on Weld Racing V-Series wheels up front and Delta-1’s in the rear.
Now that Marinis has the car in his possession he can begin the shakedown process and get it prepped and ready for competition, and he’s looking to make a big splash.
“The old car went 5.95 and 237 in the quarter-mile, and we’re looking to improve that,” he says about his performance expectations. The team prefers to run quarter-mile and will thus be running with the Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Association, the PDRA, and will also be working to gather some grade points to run the NHRA nationals events in Pro Modified.
Marinis is quick to give thanks to those who support his efforts. “Pappas/Marinis Motorsports wants to give special thanks to Jerry and Don at Jerry Bickel Race Cars, Tony at BES, Steve at The Racing Vids, Dave at Proformance, Dave at ATI, Marty at Neal Chance and our crew: Elvis, Vinny, Steven and Arnold.”
“Mean” Dean Marinis is a true throwback-style racer that can do it all and do it in multiple categories. Look for Marinis and the C7 to start making the competition nervous at a track near you very soon.
Video by TheRacingVids