A mainstay in the Discovery Channel’s multiple “Street Outlaws” series since its inception, Chuck Parker aka “Chuck 55” definitely made some noise on the no-prep circuit with his bright red 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air. Now, Parker is twinning as he recently doubled down with a second ’55 Chevy and revealed a clone of the original – but the newest one is sporting a screw-blown combination instead of Parker’s traditional big-cubic-inch nitrous engine.
As a teenager, Parker regularly raced on the streets of Oklahoma. He ran heads-up at local tracks and started racing in no-prep events in other states such as Texas, Kansas, and Missouri. “We were doing no-prep when no-prep racing wasn’t cool,” laughed Parker, who raced with James “Birdman” Finney, the Bird Brothers’ Jerry Bird, Kye Kelley, Chris “BoostedGT” Hamilton, and others.
By the time “Street Outlaws” first debuted on the small screen in 2013, Parker was already a veteran of no-prep racing. “At the time, I had the second version of The ’55 and it had a 632 cubic-inch nitrous-fed engine. The first year racing the combination, I think I won somewhere around 13 events,” he recalled. “My first big payout was a $25,000 Bounty Hunters No Prep in San Antonio – as I recall, I raced Birdman in the finals.”
As no-prep racing gained popularity, the “Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings” (NPK) series began and it quickly became the biggest no-prep series in the circuit. With a 115-inch wheelbase, Parker’s Tri-Five is definitely on the larger end of the spectrum when it comes to cars in the field, and he faced a challenge in getting the hefty Chevy down to the weight he was permitted to run with his nitrous combination. “They don’t call them ‘a shoebox’ for no reason,” added Parker.
“I was carrying a few extra hundred pounds of weight,” commented Parker, who knew a change was needed. Parker also knew that to keep his car competitive, he had to make more power or switch to a smaller, more aerodynamic car.
Having been branded as “Chuck 55,” there were no questions as to what make and model he would choose for his new “Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings” build. “I knew it couldn’t be anything else. ‘Chuck Camaro’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it,” he joked.
Parker commissioned the team at Larry Jeffers Race Cars (LJRC) to construct the double framerail ’55 Chevy chassis, certified to run as quick as 6.0-seconds in the 1/4-mile, under the all-steel body. He and his crew, Fred and Jeff, completed the build from there.
Next, having stuck with his trademark platform, Parker knew he would need to build a boosted combination instead. Given that his “OG car” was supercharged and he’s partial to the power adder, he opted to go back to a blown car. “Plus, it just screams ‘America,’” he affirmed of the nostalgic aesthetic.
PJS Racing built the Hemi powerplant specifically for Parker. Topped with a PSI Superchargers C-rotor screw blower and Snow Performance injection system, the engine was also plumbed with Roadrunner Performance hoses and fittings before being filled with Maxima Racing oil and cranked by the newest model Lithium Pro battery.
Parker opted to go with a full electronic fuel injection setup, as opposed to traditional mechanical injection, and worked with EFI Technology to get the system set up. “It’s the same computer we use in the nitrous car and we stuck with it because we’re already so familiar with it,” noted the man who admittedly had to overcome a learning curve to build the new fuel maps and timing curve required for the new configuration and combination.
Parker won’t drop the details on how much power the setup produces, but he is confident that “the screw-blown combination definitely puts out enough power to get the job done.”
Although Parker was partial to the Rossler Turbo 400 transmissions that he uses in his other cars, he decided to test out something else for the new car and selected a Liberty five-speed matched with a Quick Drive torque converter unit.
The newest ’55 in Parker’s fleet still rolls on the usual big slick tires, and Penske shocks help keep it firmly planted.
Outside, though, the screw-blown Chevy is a simply stunning showstopper. Bathed in Parker’s signature red hue, the paint and bodywork from Baker’s Bodyworks in Fletcher, Oklahoma, is accented by gorgeous chrome brightwork that’s been polished to perfection. In addition to the steel quarters, roof, and other body panels, Starr Creations stepped in to supply several components, while RedLine LumTronix provided the classic car’s headlights.
“Probably the coolest thing about this car is that it’s all American-made, even down to the EFI Technology ECM,” Parker added proudly.
After having spent several years putting this project together, Parker unveiled his latest 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air in late 2021 as a near-clone of his longstanding nitrous ride. He was ready to rip and make a big splash, however, life had other plans as Parker and his whole crew came down with Covid-19 not long after the “No Prep Kings” race in Colorado and had to sit out the rest of the season as a result.
Meanwhile, Parker wasn’t just twinning when it came to his cars, as he and his partner, Amelia, were also expecting identical twin girls, Tomi and Charli, that blessed the couple later that year. “Amelia and the girls are a key part to my racing. They are extremely supportive and never miss an event,” added Parker.
Parker has had the new ’55 out so far in the 2022 NPK season. Although he and his crew have been testing very diligently, they have still paid dues to the new car blues. However, Parker feels that the screw blower was still the right choice. While racing at “No Prep Kings” in Houston, Texas, he “figured out some stuff” and was feeling pretty positive about how the rest of the season would progress.
In the future, Parker fully intends to crush the “No Prep Kings” field with his new screw-blown ’55 Chevy. Fans, though, can rest assured knowing the Sonny’s nitrous-fed ’55 isn’t facing retirement – instead, Parker plans to transition that car over to street racing and other no-prep events.
“Nobody stays on top forever,” Parker concluded. “We fell off the map for a while, but now we’re getting back to where we were. We’re remembering where we came from while also planning a big future ahead.”