Twin Turbo Street Rod

Twin-turbo Street Rod Engine Boast Horsepower, Not Chrome

Some street-rod trends seem to shy away from performance — or least the illusion of performance — while focusing more on sleek exterior design, flamboyant interiors and engineered suspensions. Ed Umland of Eddie’s Chop Shop still showcases engine firepower and makes sure the car isn’t overwhelmed by paint and billet.

This twin-turbo ’34 coupe currently under construction at his in Orangevale, California, facility boasts a nasty twin-turbo 598ci big-block that proudly flaunts all the required tubes and plumbing to such a menacing degree that there’s certainly no reason to apologize. It’s clean and organized, yet radiates raw horsepower on all visual and sonic levels.

First, the details. The long-block was built by Don Zemina of Motor Machine Super Shop and is based on a Dart tall-deck block fitted with Callies crank and rods, JE pistons, Crane cam, Isky lifters, Smith Brothers pushrods, Federal Mogul bearings and ARP hardware. The Dart Big Chief heads received a little massage work before the Manley valves and Jesel rockers were installed. Wrapping up the long-block assembly are a Melling oil pump, Milodon oil pan, Jesel belt drive, MSD distributor and Titanhead gaskets.

Eddie’s Chop Shop Fabrication
Umland fabricated the headers that support 88mm Comp turbos and Turbosmart wastegates and BOVs. He also made the intake with two 120-pound injectors per cylinder and integrated air-to-water intercooler.

“It’s really hard to make a turbo motor look good,” admits Umland. “There’s so much stuff you got to put on them to make ‘em work that it could get ugly. Building the exhaust and everything to where it looks symmetrical is really a challenge.”

The car’s owner at first wanted a ’80s Pro Street style 8-71 blown big block, because he had aspirations of running in the mid-9s for Hot Rod Drag Week. But Umland has enjoyed success with turbos on his mid-engined ’37 Ford and talked him into the hair dryers. 

“As we started building it, the owner wanted to go 8.50 and then 7.50,” says Umland. “So we now have a full certified chromoly cage in the car.”

Plans for the front end styling haven’t been finalized but options include track-style nose or a dragster style look with a Moon tank that will hold ice to cool the air charge. Most important, the engine is unlikely to be hidden under a swath of bodywork, and the exhaust will remain just as shown — open to the world. The radiator and transcooler are mounted in the trunk area. Early dyno runs revealed a transmission problem, so full pulls haven’t been made, yet. But the potential for 1,700 to 1,800 is certainly on tap.

The 439ci twin-turbo LS engine built for the ’37 is currently mocked up in a Bonneville rear modified roadster. Umland will run in the B Gas Blown class and expects to hit 1,900 horsepower on 20-plus pounds of boost.

“It’s already done 1,170 on 14 pounds to the rear tires,” says Umland, noting that power is transferred via a Ford GT transaxle.

That’s one 300-mph street rod will be okay with bodywork covering the engine!

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