The TorqueFlite was given to Todd's friend, Jim Santo, who assisted Todd in the rebuild of the automatic. A Griner reverse manual valvebody was installed along with an Art Carr 9-inch torque converter. The transmission is shifted by a Cheetah SCS race shifter. The slush box went from tired and lazy, to tight and strong in a matter of hours. Perfect launches are planned with the future installation of a Griner transbrake. With the purpose-built rearend, the massive 28 1/2-inch-tall Hoosier Quick Time Pro tires, riding on polished Weld Racing Pro Stars, leave enough rubber during burnouts to undercoat a school bus.

When finished, the 3,705-pound beast launched down the strip consistently in the low 11s, until recently when Todd clicked off a 10.98 at 122 mph. Having one of only a few '80 J-Bodies in the nation to run in the 10s, Todd has a reason to gloat. It would appear Todd's luck has yet to run out; he is counting on that handbuilt wedge to run deeper and deeper into the 10s as time progresses.

Beginner's luck, indeed. That, and with the help of Chuck and the crew at Best Machine Racing, we think Todd's decision to make an even trade landed him on the top of a really good deal.

Having one of only a few '80 J-Bodies in the nation to run in the 10s, Todd has a reason to gloat.