Tech Review: Wild Rides Race Cars A- & G-Body Upgrade

Living in the internet age, hot-rodders have no shortage of aftermarket suppliers to turn to when they need something for their latest projects. With a huge array of companies in the area, it can be difficult in choosing the correct part for your application. If you’re not up on all of the facts about the specific part you’re looking for, you could find yourself bolting on a component not intended for your goals.

Wild Rides Race Cars

Enter Wild Rides Race Cars (WRRC). Being directly involved with producing some of the best chassis components for most popular vehicles since 1993, Gene Giroud founded the company in the late ’80s in Corrado, New Jersey. Since then, Giroud relocated to a new facility in Farmingdale, New Jersey in 1993.

He’s made a name for himself. Giroud’s fast-growing operation builds the highly recognized S-Box systems for Fox body and SN95 Mustang owners, among many numerous other offerings for the Blue Oval crowd. Giroud has recently expanded his operation into the GM A- and G-body departments, and is in the process of developing products for the F-body foray.

For those of you who follow along with our sister publication, Stang TV, here's the S-Box kit as installed into our "Project 666" Fox Body

Wild Rides Race Cars owner, Gene Giroud, discusses how to obtain increased traction through the use of its various products for GM A- & G-bodies.

We can’t say we blame him – with those vehicles being of particular interest to a majority of gearheads from all walks of life, from drag racers to autocross aficionados, you would be foolish to think there wasn’t a market for those vehicles.

“Our S-Box kit for Mustangs is the most popular item we sell, and we’re happy to offer the same kit for our A- & G-Body customers” -Gene Giroud

That said, anybody can simply click on the WRRC website and pick through what they need for their project car, but given we have a few examples of A-, G-, and F-bodies in our powerTV stable. So let’s take a moment to look at what Gene and the guys are pushing out of their WRRC shop.

However, before we do, it should be pointed out that Giroud generally does not use part numbers, but relies solely on website orders, emails, or phone calls to fulfill his customer’s needs. It’s how he has operated since day one.

Some parts in his inventory do carry unique SKU numbers, and we’ve included those where applicable. Also, Giroud openly admits to building one-off parts for customers frequently, so if there’s anything out of the ordinary a customer needs, he can usually make it for them as well.

Not one to discriminate, Giroud & Co. have no quarrels getting their hands dirty on anything from funny cars to imports.

WRRC 8-Point Rollbar

When it comes to building a quarter-mile drag machine, it’s not that different from anything else. Just like a house, starting with a solid foundation is where it’s at when putting together a strong race car and that begins with a roll bar. Lucky for GM fans, WRRC offers several for the aforementioned classics, available in either mild steel or 4130 chromemoly steel.

If you aren’t aware, the difference between mild steel and chromemoly is in the strength, weight, and ease of welding. Chromemoly is lighter and stronger than mild steel, however, more expensive and difficult to weld together. There’s definitely a tradeoff between the two, and it all comes down for what’s best for you and your application.

The WRRC high-strength roll bars are pre-fitted to clear arm rests and the rear seats (for those of you who are actually concerned with bringing passengers along), and arrive at your door ready to assemble and install into your car. To ensure this, Giroud notches the tubing with an end mill for a perfect weld joint, so there’s no cutting or grinding necessary. Let’s be honest, less down time in the shop means more fun on the dragstrip.

WRRC roll bars are available in six and eight-point varieties, along with offering the customer an option of having a swing-out bar. These meet all NHRA safety regulations, of course, up to a 10:00 ET. These cages are available for not only the GM intermediates, but for the ’67-69 F-bodies too (SKU16160).

It’s also worth mentioning that in the event that a customer needs additional sheet metal to patch up any holes that may have emerged while installing a cage or the roll bar, Giroud is happy to comply in that department as well with either of the available grades of steel.

The exact fit, pre-fitted 8-point rollbar as installed in a G-body. This one has the optional swing-out bar.

WRRC A- & G-Box

Once you’ve gotten your in-car safety and body rigidity under control, you can focus on other aspects of building the perfect street/strip ride, and that’s in the chassis and suspension. The most common problem you hear from a drag racer, or any kind of racer really, is traction. It’s a beautiful thing if your car can produce massive amounts of horsepower, but what good is it if you can’t put all of that power to the ground?

Giroud initially designed the S-Box kits for the Fox body Mustang boys nearly ten years ago, and little did he know how hugely popular they would become. Now these kits are found underneath some of the fastest Mustangs.

A & G-Box kit for GM intermediates.

Recently, Giroud has created the new A-Box and G-Box systems (SKU16222 ) for you guessed it, the ’64-88 A- and G-body GM vehicles, and we have to say that we’re impressed with the quality of the craftsmanship.

While both of these kits are designed to let those who run a stock suspension/small tire car to have a huge amount of instant center adjustability, it’s also a great way to repair a car with broken stock upper mounts.

The ability to adjust your center on the quick is perfect for those of you guys who like to tweak their setup in between runs at the track. This way you can tune it to your launch technique, and the track’s conditions. These kits can be used with the stock springs and shocks, or an aftermarket coilover kit as well.

The G-Box kit after installation.

WRRC S- and G-Box

  • Greatly increases traction
  • Multiple adjustability settings
  • No horsepower limitations
  • Offers the adjust instant center
  • Can be used with either the stock springs or an aftermarket coilover setup
  • Excellent quality and craftsmanship

What’s more, WRRC offers a coilover shock mounting kit with billet aluminum bushings for your rearend horns as an available option for this kit for those of you who yearn for perfect traction. Best part is, A- & G-Box systems have no horsepower limitations; allowing owners the luxury of multiple instant center changes.

This means better hook for owners who desperately need it, and it will give you multiple levels of adjustment, so you can increase hit or create squat just like you could as if it were a 4-link system.

Additionally, the center hole in the mounting plate is in the exact location of the body hole for owners who race in “stock” classes, in the process they’ve managed to improve on the factory geometry by moving the stock mounting bolt locations forward. This reduces pinion angle change during rearend travel.

The A- & G-Box mounting plate features multiples levels of adjustability for the racer looking to fine-tune his/her suspension. Also take note the mounting locations, and the reinforced, welded-in mounting brackets.

WRRC Upper and Lower Control Arms

To guarantee better traction and handling, Giroud recommends using his severe duty custom length double adjustable upper and lower control arms, lower adjustable mounts, and anti-roll bar to perfectly complement the A- & G-Box sets.

WRRC's heavy duty adjustable upper control arms pictured with the CNC billet bushings.

That’s right, not only does WRRC offer roll cages and the A- & G-Box sets, but they carry a whole host of other products for GM vehicles. Starting from the top, the severe duty custom length double adjustable upper control arms (SKU16178) and lower control arms (SKU16171, SKU16217) are constructed from a custom box welded design for strength. The uppers are built to handle anything you throw at it, while the lower control arms are designed to do just the same, consisting of a 1 ¾ x 0.120-inch wall of chromemoly tubing.

Double adjustability offers the ability to adjust the pinion angle and preload without removing the arm from the car, which is obviously a nice feature. Furthermore, Giroud recommends the installation of the A/G lower control arms for additional adjustability.

The WRRC lower control arms.

WRRC Moly A- & G-Bar

He’s just as confident when it comes to his antiroll bar as well. Dubbed the “Moly A- & G-Bar” (SKU16176) appropriately enough, WRRC now offers these to his growing A- & G-Body clientele who demand less body roll during hard-launching off the line.

The WRRC Anti-Roll Bar for the A- & G-bodies.

Constructed out of the same 4130 chromemoly as the roll bars, these anti-roll bars not only eliminate body roll, but help keep tire shake at a minimum as well. Not only that but it improves down-track stability and traction, which some of the single-digit guys can really appreciate.

This is a weld-in unit and usually installs in about an hour, and according to WRRC, it also strengthens the upper control arm mounting frame cross member and with it being mounted in front of the rearend, it never interferes with the factory fuel tank.

WRRC CNC Billet Control Arm Bushings

Like the saying goes, the devil is in the details, and WRRC’s aforementioned CNC billet aluminum upper control arm bushings is a classic case in point. Not only are they solid-looking units, but they come complete with Moly steel sleeves to prevent binding.

Giroud is adamant that installing these into your GM 10- or 12-bolt upper ear housings is an easy task, and they are CNC machined with a starter step to improve the ease of installation. Guaranteed to help eliminate wheel hop and improve traction, they’re a must have for any serious performance enthusiast, and come with easy to follow instructions for installation as well.

The WRRC CNC billet bushings for the GM 10- & 12-bolt rear axles.

Are these parts right for you?

So by now you may be asking yourself, “Ok, do I actually need any of these parts, and if not, at what point will I?” Giroud claims that these components aren’t for everybody. If you’re still rocking the stock 305CI. small-block in your Monte Carlo, you probably couldn’t really benefit from any of them. But if you’re currently in the 12-second zone or faster, then you should probably look into what WRRC offers.

“These parts are easy to install for just about anybody with mechanical abilities. As long as you own a torch, a welder, and simple hand tools you should be fine.” -Gene Giroud

It should also be said that anybody with basic mechanical ability, including the knowledge of how to use a grinder, a welder, and a torch shouldn’t have any real issues installing any of the components. Depending on the part, some will bolt right into the factory location, while others will require a welder to install. If you lack any of the skills mentioned, then you most likely will need a qualified mechanic to install them for you.

So if your GM A- or G-body is in dire need of some suspension attention, do yourself a favor and look into the hardware that WRRC has to offer. While their components may not be inexpensive, you can’t really put a price on incredible traction at the dragstrip where every hundredth of a second matters!


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About the author

Rick Seitz

Being into cars at a very early age, Rick has always preferred GM performance cars, and today's LS series engines just sealed the deal. When he's not busy running errands around town in his CTS-V, you can find him in the garage wrenching on his WS6 Trans Am, or at the local cruise spots in his Grand National.
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