We had this game plan-strip-test the Nitto 555 drag radials against a pair of bias-ply racing slicks. Then, one thing led to another, we snapped an axleshaft testing the aforementioned tires. While our R/T was up on jackstands awaiting axles, we decided to rebuild the front suspension with a kit we acquired from Just Suspension. Since we were this far into it, we thought, We'll ditch the drum brakes for a set of disc brakes. Why don't we also change to some of the latest suspension components, and do a swap of wheels/tires. Summing together all those upgrades, the Coronet should be able do everything well-accelerate, corner, and stop.
Rubber Is Rubber, Right?Most drag radials offer a 000 tread wear rating to go along with their shallow tread depth. We became interested in Nitto's 555R Extreme Drag Radial, noticing their 100 tread wear rating and deeper tread depth (same as most passenger car tires). Nitto claims under normal use, their 555R Extreme is good for 15,000 miles. Past experience has shown us to be lucky to get over 1,000 miles from a set of drag radials (with the zero tread wear rating and shallow tread depth). In past testing, using a 12-second E-Body, drag radials were capable of coming within a tenth of racing slicks. We knew that wouldn't be an easy feat to accomplish with our low-11-second B-Body.
We drove the R/T to Englishtown, New Jersey. The six-year-old Coker Classic Redlines we drove there on had worn tread and would soon need rplacements. For the baseline, we bolted on a pair of one-year-old Hoosier slicks (28x9-15). Our best of three passes netted us an 11.20 at 120.34 mph with a consistent 1.60 sixty-foot e.t. Next, we removed the heavy stock front wheels and Redline tires for a set of 26-inch Hoosier front-runners mounted on 15x3-1/2-inch Weld Draglites. The lighter and narrower front skinnies resulted in less rolling resistance, and brought the e.t. down to an 11.11 at a higher 121.17 mph. The 60-foot time remained unchanged at 1.60.