You know what makes hot rodding great? Sheer ingenuity and creativity. Not just the high-tech, money-driven kind, but guys and gals assembling a unique blend of parts and pieces and making it do something it perhaps has no business doing, all in the name of going fast.
In Brazil, an eliminator exists, called TT, filled with cars that fit this very model: domestic model vehicles, production engines (none came with V8’s, so they’re all four- and six-bangers), stick shifted with a clutch, 275 drag radials, and the allowable use of real, honest to goodness nitromethane in the tank.
Two such competitors in the class are teammates Celso Camargo and Israel Fontanela, who drive for Julieta Motorsports. The team campaigns these Chevrolet Opala’s — one of the most popular body styles in the country for drag racing purposes — with power from stock iron block six-cylinder GM 250 engines with stock iron heads, 98mm turbochargers, and 25 percent nitro. Marcel Ferreira tunes both of the cars using FuelTech’s new FT600 ECU and FTSpark capacitive discharge ignition system.
Weighing in at 2,900 pounds, these old-school machines on equally old-school, low-tech horsepower crank out laps in the 4.80s to the eighth-mile and 7.30s the quarter. Fontanela, driving the silver Opala, is the national record holder in the class.