After driving his ’76 Corvette to a stout 8.19 and a third place finish in NMCA WEST Lucas Oil NA 10.5 points last year, Ryan Bell has decided to give his red rocket a fresh coat of paint.
The two coats of red it wore before he bought it back in ’88 are currently being removed and a brighter shade of red paint will be professionally applied by Steve Alguire, son of Bell’s fellow racer and crew chief, Al Alguire, in Las Vegas.
“My car was starting to get a little long in the tooth paint-wise,” said Bell, of Peoria, Arizona. “I’ve been threatening to paint it for fifteen years.”
Bell, whose nickname is Flyin’ Ryan, estimates that Alguire will have the paint applied within four or five weeks. Meanwhile, he’s tending to his engine, which he wants to take from 439 cubic-inches down to 417 cubic-inches. While he’ll keep the Dart block, Dart Little Chief heads and Dart cast aluminum manifold, he’ll move to a different size Bryant crank, as well as new MGP rods and CP pistons.
He’ll continue to feed fuel to the combination via a Braswell carburetor, and while an A-1 ProFlite transmission will continue to spin below, he’ll have a new A-1 aluminum converter with more stall.
“I think the engine will be happier with the new bore and stroke, and that cubic-inch range seems to be the sweet spot for the class rules and what you’re allowed to weigh,” said Bell, who hopes to pick up a bit.
In addition to NMCA WEST VP Racing Fuels Street Car Nationals events on April 1-3, June 17-19, Sept. 16-18 and Oct. 14-16 at Auto Club at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, California, Bell plans to run two NMCA Muscle Car Nationals events, including the 11th Annual NMCA/NMRA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing, July 28-31, at Route 66 Raceway in Illinois, and the 15th Annual NMCA World Street Finals, Aug. 25-28, at Summit Motorsports Park in Ohio.