I was sitting at my desk writing a story when my phone started ringing, and before I could pick it up to see who it was, there were five text messages waiting in my inbox.
The first text read, "It made 1,448 rwhp! I bolted the hood and fenders on it, then took it on a three-hour drive." As I scrolled up through the earlier messages, I could see the photos of the latest combination in Chris Gish's fiery Fox convertible.
We first set eyes on Chris' custom-painted LX at the 2009 NMRA Finals in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The car was much tamer then. Although it had feature-car potential and ran 11s, its transformation into an 8-second True Street winner is what sealed the deal.
The car commands your attention. It starts with the airbrushed real-fire that makes you take a second look to make sure the car isn't actually ablaze. Chris, who owns Gish's Auto Paint in Robards, Kentucky, did all of the wild paintwork.
Beyond the paint, Chris has tuned this convertible into a powerful work of art. Its performance comes from 347 ci of twin-turbo Ford power starting with a Dart block. Quillen Motorsports filled the bores with Ross pistons and billet Oliver rods, which are set into motion by a Callies crankshaft.
Quillen topped the nearly bulletproof short-block with a custom-grind camshaft, a set of Edelbrock Victor Jr. aluminum cylinder heads, and a Super Victor EFI intake manifold. An 80mm Accufab throttle body controls the compressed air from a set of Precision 62mm turbochargers.
When Travis Quillen was finish tuning the FAST XFI, Chris' LX laid down 1,448 rwhp and 1,162 lb-ft of torque on a mild street tune.
Handling this much power is not an easy task, so Chris employed an Abruzzi ProMod Powerglide to get the car around town and down the track. A 9-inch TCI Outlaw torque converter transfers power to the trans, which spins a Strange Engineering chromoly driveshaft. Power is distributed to both rear wheels by a set of 3.55 gears, spool, and Strange axles, all housed inside a factory 8.8-inch rearend.
The car rides on a slew of hardcore suspension components from some of the biggest companies in the business, all of which were selected to work in harmony by Brink Racecraft. Brink Racecraft, UPR Products, QA1, and Wild Rides are just a few of the manufacturers that are represented on the underside of this 8-second street car.
Weld Racing Alumastar wheels sit in all four corners, with a set of Hoosier drag radials on the rear, which have helped propel this Fox to a best e.t. of 8.52 at 167 mph.
Chris returned to Bowling Green in 2011 to compete in True Street. The LX performed flawlessly during the 30-mile cruise and three back-to-back runs, taking the overall win with an 8.54-second average e.t.
"I bought the car with a set goal in mind," explains Chris. " I wanted to make the car an attention getter, and I wanted it to fly! It definitely gets some attention, and it flies, but we aren't done yet!"
I wanted to make the car an attention getter, and I wanted it to fly!