Holley EFI Powers Mike Finnegan's Incredible "Blasphemi" '55 Chevy to 900+ Horsepower

By: Todd Veney | 08/01/2018 < Back to Motor Life Home
Working under the premise of "What's the most ridiculous thing I can do?" Mike Finnegan and fellow Roadkill star David Freiburger conceived Finnegan's incredible "Blasphemi," a '55 Chevy powered by – what else? – a loud, nasty, supercharged 528 cubic-inch Hemi. Dubbed "Blasphemi" for his blasphemous-to-some decision to drop a Chrysler engine between the framerails one of Chevrolet's most iconic, revered classics, this beast from another age has enough power to kick the piecrust tires loose at 140 mph yet is tame enough to prowl the streets around his Georgia home.

Holley Dominator EFI system. "The EFI makes the whole thing work, makes it totally drivable," he said. "The Dominator controls everything – the electric water pump, electric fans, electric fuel pump, even the headlights and taillights. When it comes to wiring, I'm kind of a perfectionist, so I ripped out every inch of the existing wire and started from zero. The diagram was really detailed, I had everything done in about two days, and it fired right up. It's easy to use, expandable, and has spots for several more sensors. I blew up the phones of Andrew Starr, Robin Lawrence, and Brian Macy, who were invaluable in setting up the software, but it's definitely the simplest thing I've ever had to wire."
MSD 6AL-2 ignition triggered by the Dominator, and Finnegan tracks all the vitals with a Holley EFI touchscreen and even uses it for a shift light. The engine was custom-built by Chris Thomas at Jon Kaase Racing Engines and features a Bill Mitchell aluminum block, CP Pistons, Molnar crankshaft and rods, Edelbrock aluminum heads, Bullet solid roller camshaft, Indy intake manifold, and Blower Shop 8-71 blower. The mostly original steel body painted by Midwest Images' Mike Cotten rests on a Jim Meyer Racing chassis with leaf springs and ladder bars in the back and an old-school solid front axle up front. Finnegan has yet to make an all-out assault on the quarter-mile, but he's run a 5.91 at 121 mph granny-shifting on the eighth-mile in Irwindale, Calif., and reached 157 mph (according to deadly accurate Holley EFI data monitoring) on the slippery half-mile Vandenberg Airfield course. "The traction was horrible," he said. "I didn't have the right tires for that kind of surface, and I was never at more than 30-percent throttle in any gear." Somewhere in 5th gear, already going more than 140 mph, he buried his foot in the throttle and it spun the tires until he got out of it.
Hot Rod Drag Week, those problems should be in the rearview mirror. Either way, the project has been a stunning success – everything that made the good ol' days good with modern Holley technology to make it driveable. He didn't even get much grief from the fiercely loyal Mopar crowd. "There really wasn't the backlash I expected – I was surprised," he said. "Very few people were angry about a Hemi being in a Chevy, and it's the car I wanted it to be: an 8-second gasser I can drive to school to drop off the kids."
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