Back in December, Speedville sister publication Engine Builder ran a cover feature about one of the more unique engines built for all-out speed runs.
The article also highlighted the former DHL facility at the Wilmington, Ohio airport, which has super-smooth 9,000-foot runway that is perfect for high-speed activity and has garnered interest from all over the country. Since Bill Holder’s first article only touched on the innovation of these machines and engines, it was decided to take another look at some more of these unique powerplants.
LS-1 Powered Lakester Belly Tank Racer
Owned by Don Gilmore of Pittsburgh, PA, this machine was in the 158/BFL Class.
The 5.3L engine is hopped up with a turbocharger from a Cummins Diesel pick-up which provides about 30 pounds of boost and uses stainless steel valves with a stock crank. The Lakester produces about 750 hp on the dyno and 1,000 hp at the crank and burns an E-85 methanol blend. Gilmore explained that the E-85 works well with the turbo.
This 3,600-pound Pontiac at speed at Wilmington where it has a best speed of 218+ miles per hour.
To date, its best run through the traps at Wilmington has been a 159.9 mph dash with a best run at Bonneville of 167.7 mph. The engine has a compression ratio of 8.5:1 and perks up at 6,500-7,000 rpm through the speed traps.
Other engines featured in the article include a big block powered Pontiac Firebird with a top speed of 218 mph, an LS-1 powered Corvair and a modified NASCAR engine, among others.