- Color: Turquoise and White
- Horsepower: 935
- Drivetrain: RWD
Andrew Starr 1956 Chevy "Rocket" Most car people can associate a car with a specific person which is very true in my case for sure. But over time my 1956 Chevy has come to define me and has been involved in or even the catalyst for some of the most important events of my life. Here is her story: There was this '56 Chevy that laid lifeless and in deplorable condition for years at my best friend's shop. I didn't know what it was, but knew I just I had to have it. I really wasn't into Tri-Fives at the time and as proof I inadvertently called it a '57 for the longest time. My persistent requests to buy her were finally answered, and I promptly sold the '68 SS Camaro I was working on when I got the call. The only condition of sale: I had to paint her turquoise and white. It took a couple of years to piece the '56 back together. I assembled an iron headed 355 SBC with a tunnel ram and backed it up with a Jerico 4-speed and Ford 9 inch with 5.13 gears. It was then wrapped in a beautiful turquoise and white paint job and my Rocket was born. Rocket would click off 11.90's and it wasn't too much later I started to date the girl who would become my wife, Diana. We'd go out in Rocket, and Diana would row the gears as well as anyone, and it didn't take long for me to realize Diana was “the one.” I started to assemble parts to build my first stroker BBC and knowing I had to remove the floor, which was pieced together with metal cut from dumpster containers, the decision to Pro-Street her was made. We installed the S&W ladder bar rear frame section with a roll cage, cut the firewall for clearance and added a removable transmission tunnel. The new engine finished up at 564 cid backed by the same Jerico transmission and a narrowed 9 inch with 4.88 gears. Unfortunately I had to repaint the car due to damaging it during construction. We wrapped up the pro-street conversion just one week before our wedding, and Rocket 2.0 whisked us from the reception in grand style taking us down the road as we started a new life together. Rocket 2.0 would run 10.30's on pump gas and due to the stick shift was extremely hard on driveline components. I didn't race her much because of this, which relegated all my fun to the street. I have always wanted to work in the automotive high performance aftermarket but opportunities were scarce. I finally got my chance to dip my toes in when I was shipped a Hilborn EFI system to beta test. It took a little time to figure it all out but I was able to prove the concept of the extra power afforded by a Hilborn and also learned of the dramatic increase in drivability. Rocket immediately clicked off 9.90's with the Hilborn while cruising with unparalleled street manners. In 2006 my dream of working in the high performance world came true when I was hired full time by Hilborn Fuel Injection. My learning never stopped and I continued to grow from the continuous R&D that Rocket and I would perform together. I followed the street car action from day one starting with the Fastest Street Car Shootout in the early 1990's, then the Pump Gas Drags and finally the ultimate test of man and machine, Hot Rod Drag Week. Life and family responsibilities didn't allow me to get involved but that would change in 2015. My two girls were now in their teens and I could taste the excitement shared by friends who had participated at Drag Week. It only took a little urging from Drag Week Champ Glenn Hunter to push me over the edge at the PRI show and I committed to attending Drag Week in 2016. Diana offered immediate support but a firm reminder of the inability to keep the driveline together after only a couple of passes, let alone for a week. She was right but I was more determined than ever. Testing during that spring resulted in three broken gear sets in the Dana 60 which I had installed in hopes of eliminating these same failures with the previous 9 inch rear. As with most competitors it was a mad rush right up to the night before leaving and at the last moment I installed a Clutch Tamer which offered a promise to reduce drivetrain shock. I finished Drag Week 2016 which unto itself is an amazing feat, but somehow I managed to come in Second Place behind Jeff Atkinson who was racing the '69 Camaro of Rick Dyer, the flamboyant star of the Fastest Street Car Shootout with which I was enamored back in the day. It was perfect.... The Drag Week hook had been set and I was at its mercy. Knowing I could do better, the car came apart in an effort to improve its performance and it only went downhill from there. I built a killer 582 BBC which I attached to the G-Force 5 speed that had replaced the Jerico years earlier. Kevin Tully of Hot Rod Chassis and Cycle built a fabricated Moser M9 rear and I was ready to go, or so I thought. I had zero testing and street time and because of it missed Drag Week in 2017, and during Drag Week 2018 we hurt the engine forcing us to bow out on Thursday. By now the '56 was moving, going 9.30's, but I was worn out and had decided not go to Drag Week in 2019. That was until I heard it was going to be held at tracks right in my backyard. With a little push from Diana we got ready, and in 2019 finished 3rd in the Pro Street N/A class. The madness that is Hot Rod Drag Week had consumed me and because of the support of family and friends Rocket and I had prevailed. When I got back from Drag Week 2019 I went from working at Hilborn to another iconic high performance company, Holley. My family along with myself and Rocket are looking forward to the new road we will travel together.... Current Specifications: 1956 Chevy Bel Air Hardtop, all steel, 3850lbs w/driver Engine: Owner designed and assembled 582 BBC. Hilborn EFI-R EFI kit, Holley HP ECU, Injector Dynamics injector nozzles CP pistons 4.600, Total Seal rings, 13 to 1 compression, Crower 4.375 stroke crank, Crower 6.385 Billet Rods Bullet 55mm roller cam 280/295 @.050, .935/874 lift, 112 L/C, Crower .937 bushed lifter Brodix 3-Xtra CNC heads, Crower Stainless Shaft rockers, PAC valve springs Wulff external single stage oil pump, Star Machine vacuum pump Hooker 2-1/8 headers, Spin Tech mufflers Drivetrain: G-Force GF5R 5-speed transmission, Quick Time bellhousing, Hays Dragon Claw twin disc clutch Mark William chromemoly driveshaft Moser Engineering fabricated M9 housing, Moser aluminum center section, Moser 40 spline axles, 4.56 gear, Quarter Max ladder bars Weldon Racing A600A, DB2025 fuel pumps, Weldon 2040 regulator MSD Crank Trigger, MSD 7AL-2, HVCII coil, MSD 8mm wires Performance: 935 RWHP, 800 Rwft/lbs Best pass: 9.35 @147.74mph
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