Some of fans of Drag Radial will recognize the name Shannon Wren as the first man to back up a 200 MPH pass at Memphis’ inaugural Mid South Shootout back in March of 2008. Other, longer time fans may recall the infamous Project X 1963 Shoebox Nova.
Originally built in 1999 as a big block nitrous car and campaigned at Sunshine Drag Strip as well as the Orlando World Street Finals, the car has not been run in three years where it ran 7.80’s at 180 + MPH at Orlando in small block turbo trim. Controversial from the start because of cutting edge (at the time) frame modifications and coil over shocks, the car started out with a big block Chevy on two foggers running in the 5.4 range with a best ET of 5.38 in the stock suspension class at Sunshine Drag Strip in Pinellas Park, Florida. In 2003 Wren won every round and race at Sunshine’s Heads Up Madness, even driving the car to the track on several occasions.
After being away from the racing scene for the better part of a year, I ran into Shannon at the Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia ORTC/UORS race at SGMP earlier this year where he mentioned he was dragging the car out of moth balls as well as getting the “Yeager Bomb” Mustang fit for the current level of competition.
During Shannon’s time off he has been busy running his established Vision Tech components business and getting a new one started. Founded in mid 2008, Reborn Couture is a premiere fashion retail store in the Hyde Park area of Tampa that has become frequented by players from the Buccaneers, Lighting, Rays and other folks looking for the hot styles and rock star vibe. Vision Tech deals in semi conductors and computer chips to medical equipment, military and automotive market segments including the performance industry and was established in 2002.
Project X will feature the old 509 reconfigured by Nelson Competition Inc. for twin turbo use. A Callies Crank, GRP Rods and Diamond pistons will make up the rotating assembly swinging inside a Merlin Race Block with billet main caps. AFR CNC ported heads will direct the charge from the Profiler cast tunnel ram, converted in house to EFI with twin Wilson throttle bodies topping it off. Precision Turbo will be the source for a pair of their Pro Mod series units – though a final decision on size has yet to be made.
The Mustang’s engine is finished and sitting between the rails at NBS Race Cars, also in Pinellas Park. The prior small block Ford was yanked out and replaced with a Nelson Competition built 598 ci. big block Ford with Motorsports “C” heads, a Winberg billet crank, GRP aluminum Rods and Diamond pistons. Methanol will be the fuel of choice for both cars. Andrew and Dave Stevens at NBS updated the chassis to 25.3 specifications and its waiting certification. They will also be doing any necessary updates to X and plumbing the turbo system on both cars.