Volume III, Issue 2, Page 37

When we talked last, we’d taken El Camino Nitrouso to Gateway International Raceway for a few checkout laps and were embarrassed by Drag Racing Online Editor-at-Large and premier bracket racer, Bret Kepner.

One of the things we learned during our first trip to the drags with the “Elk” was that the exhaust simply wasn’t loud enough. A racy car that sounds like mom’s old Impala just isn’t cool!

We tried to open up the headers while lying in a puddle at the track but found the Black Jack header collector bolts rusted tight. Opening the pipes wasn’t possible without a torch. One word described the experience of racing the Elk through mufflers: boring!

I decided that the El Camino’s quiet exhaust might keep my neighbors from calling the cops at 2:00 AM when I pulled into the driveway and winged the throttle repeatedly, but it didn’t feed my need to mark my turf with loud exhaust, like a dog does with body fluids.

After an evening of discussing the issue over a case of cold beer and hotdogs in my garage, the Lake Charles Drag Mafia decided that a better breathing exhaust would make the Elk cooler and maybe even a little faster.

So I called up my pal Kevin McClelland at Flowmaster and told him I wanted an exhaust system that would make the young punks with the small-block El Camino pay attention when I cruised the Sonic on Saturday nights. I even offered to buy the system but he refused my money saying that if I would do an install feature in a magazine he’d comp the parts.

So I agreed and about a week later the Fed Ex guy came up the stairs of the Phlegm Building and into the Racing Net Source corporate offices in beautiful downtown O’Fallon, MO, with three big boxes from Flowmaster.

Inside the boxes we found lengths of 3-inch diameter, custom-bent exhaust pipe and performance mufflers. Originally I had harbored the idea that I was going to install the pipe and mufflers in my driveway but after looking at the stuff, I knew it was a job that I wasn’t going to be able to do. I had no torch. So my dad, my neighbor Dennis, and I looked for a muffler shop that I could con into installing the system in return for fame through the pages of MaxChevy magazine.  Fred’s Muffler and Brake of O’Fallon, MO, was the solution. It was just a short drive from the offices and conveniently located next door to the Hook and Ladder tavern.

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