(Editor’s note: Because this weekend is the “reintroduction” party for Larry Larson’s S-10 to the world and maybe a sort of introduction party to the rest of the traditional drag racing world that will see this truck compete against full blown pro mods and all at the Street Car Super Nationals we figured that we would drop this feature on you one more time.)
Walk this way to check out the all new ride that Larry Larson and I, BangShift’s Chad Reynolds, will be wheeling on Drag Week 2014! It’s one evil little bastard, and we’re going to not only give you a look inside this cool new project, but also a look inside our motivation to dream, scheme, and build something this cool for Hot Rod Magazine’s 10th Drag Week 2014. And stay tuned for much more on the “Reason #8” Pro Mod S10, as we move toward Drag Week 2014 in 10 days. We’ll have more updates on the truck, testing, future plans, and much much more over the coming days.
A truck? Yep, a truck. But before we get into the details on it, let me tell how this all came to be. Read and then check out the very first photos to be publicly shown, along with some questions, answers, and comments from Larry and myself on the “why” this thing has happened and what we plan to do with it.
Back in 2005, Larry Larson showed up in his blown pink Nova, and I showed up in my recently famous ’56 Chevy Wagon, for what would become the coolest road trip and racing event in the history of ever. We talked, hung out, and had fun that week, all while I was convinced that this Larson dude had to be doing some cheating since he made one pass and hit the road each day. It turns out he wasn’t cheating, just getting on the road so as to reduce the chance of breakage, but everyone likes a little drama. Larry finished that first Drag Week, as did I, both of us with huge smiles on our faces. On the way home I told my girlfriend of 3 weeks, Daphne (who is now my wife), that I knew how to OWN Drag Week, and that nobody was thinking about how to do this the right way at all. The plan? Build a Brogie style roadster with a twin turbo combo that was super light weight and wouldn’t hurt parts. I figured it would be good for 6’s easy, and probably 6.50’s if you had the thing dialed. It wouldn’t be comfortable, and it wouldn’t really be a street car, but it would fit the rules and win hands down. For a couple years, this idea rattled around in my brain, with only a few people, including Larry Larson and David Freiburger, being filled in on my genius plan. Alas, no money meant this wasn’t happening, but a guy can dream right?
Several parking lot beer discussions, pit sessions, and visits to the race track has Larson and I talking about this on several occasions over the years. Meanwhile several Drag Week competitors started showing up in cars that never were a car to begin with and had some people in an uproar about their legitimacy, including Larry and myself. Now don’t get all worked up saying “Well Chad, it’s no different that what you wanted to do with a Brogie roadster!” Well, technically you are correct. But…in my defense, a 1935 Chevrolet bodied hot rod, race car, or whatever is commonly built around a fiberglass body. Camaros are not.
While the beginning of the Pro Mod era of Drag Week was upon us, Larry began preaching the gospel about real street cars being steel, or at least having them start life as an actual car with a VIN, while growing a following of believers and racers who felt the same way and wanted to prove it.
Fast forward to Drag Week 2013, and Larry Larson is sitting at home watching the Kansas City Chiefs play on Tech Sunday of Drag Week for the first time in years. He’s enjoying a beer, but paying close attention to the happening at Drag Week, the amazing attention his lack of participation is creating, and is starting to rattle around an idea to come back and kick ass, regardless of “the man’s” rules or lack thereof.
Brainstorming and scheming by Larry and I, along with some encouraging ideas from a select few guys, had us in full dream mode and with an initial plan we thought would work just after SEMA. After some long hours on the phone, we decided on a partnership that could make this thing a reality for Drag Week 2014. After a few phone calls that showed we could get some support, we decided that PRI was going to be our chance to bring it to a couple of key sponsors and supporters and see what happened. By noon on the first day of PRI 2013, this thing was a reality. At least on paper.
“The truck” as we have called it for the past 10 months, actually started on January 5th with the purchase of a 1998 S10. Since the brakes were stuck on, Larry actually had to pull it off the trailer, and into the shop, with his 5-Time Drag Week winning Chevy II. Strip, cut, hack, were the words of the day for several days as Larson cut this thing into what we needed to get a start. We’ll have build photos for you to check out in coming days, but suffice it to say it got a lot less S10 before it started looking like one again.
The truck, aka Reason #8, features a one-off Larson Race Cars built 25.2 chassis, and every bit of fabrication, bodywork, and paint was done in house at Larson Race Cars. Larry’s normal co-pilot, Troy Wakeman led an insane crew of guys on a bodywork thrash adventure to make it as pretty as it is, and again we’ll go into details on that later.
Besides the obvious chassis and body fabrication, a slew of great companies were involved in this project, providing the best parts the aftermarket has to offer, along with advice and labor to make things happen.
We’re going to let the photos speak for themselves today, but will give you a more complete rundown, with more specs and details, in the coming days. For now, we’re going to act like street racers and not give you much info on particulars. We want to keep you guessing. Let your eyes wander over a few of these photos and see what you can figure out on your own.
Q&A With Larson and Reynolds:
What do you think the response will be from fellow Drag Week competitors, and the public alike?
Larson “I think there will be a few of them that say I folded, but I think there are going to be just as many supporters, backers, that go “Hell yes Larry, hammer them.” And especially when the find out it has factory steel roof, cab, and quarters on it.”
Reynolds “I think there are going to be some people that just about shit themselves when they see this thing. It’s a Pro Mod car, but it has the factory VIN, is way more steel than anyone would believe, and as Larry and I have both said, they decided Unlimited was going to be Unlimited, so here we go.”
Larson “They said they wanted Unlimited. This thing can say Pro Mod, or Top Fuel, on it and as long as it’s legal on the road, they can’t bitch. It’s what they asked for.”
What do you think about everyone’s infatuation with going quicker than Andy Frost? Is that the goal for this new project?
Larson “I have no idea why everyone is so concerned with Andy Frost. Our goals have NOTHING to do with Andy Frost. If beating his “record” were the goal, I wouldn’t have built something like this. If we only run 6:30s, I’ll think about a new career. And if I were him, I wouldn’t be bragging about 6:40’s in a Pro Mod car.”
Reynolds “Somehow Andy Frost has garnered all this attention (including right here since we’re talking about him”, because somehow he’s convinced the world that his car is the ultimate street car. It hasn’t done an event like Hot Rod Drag Week, he won’t bring it here to the states, even after being offered sponsorship to come, and since it’s a composite Pro Mod car, it should run much quicker than 40’s. Our own goals are very specific, and Andy Frost’s ET is so far behind where we are aiming, that it’s not worth discussing further.”
CHAD NOTE: There have been a few people who have suggested that my words on the Andy Frost subject were harsh and that he never was offered a trip to the US to run on Drag Week. I should have prefaced my words in the interview response above by saying that the information I was basing my response on was provided to me by what I took as a good source. If this is not the case, then Andy Frost I apologize. With that said, everyone in the world is going to argue back and forth as to who has the fastest street car, just as they have argued who has the fastest car. Start defining things, and then trying to qualify them further, and it gets pretty grey. If I had a car that ran 3 tenths quicker than anyone else, I wouldn’t have any particular drive to go visit them to prove it, so I supposed the same could be said by Andy. Who knows.
I don’t consider an all carbon door car to be a street car in the ultimate sense of the word. Having steel quarters and cab and doors on ours doesn’t make it incredibly different in this case, which is part of the point we are trying to make. In our opinion this truck of ours is a Pro Mod, and a Pro Mod is NOT what we wanted Drag Week’s Unlimited Class to be about. A Pro Mod car that runs 6.40’s is not a very impressive feat given the performance level that Pro Mods have reached in recent years, and that was my point. It’s not that 6.40’s isn’t incredibly impressive otherwise, but again here comes those little qualifiers. Face it folks, we’re never going to agree on all this stuff, we are racers, but the controversy sure will make it exciting.
Chad asking Larry…Did you hear the rumor that this thing exists and was a former NHRA Pro Stock Truck?
Larson “I saw that on the bullet, and it made me laugh. No it wasn’t a Pro Stock Truck. It was an S10, and still is by the rules.”
Reynolds “The speculation over the past few weeks has been amazing. That one made me laugh too. I still can’t get over the fact that our sponsors and the few people who knew about this thing have been keeping it secret. In fact, I have to say that Freiburger, Finnegan, and Kennedy rule for keeping it under wraps like we asked. That’s a class move.”
Are you looking forward to driving this thing?
Larson “The driving part of it I haven’t even been looking forward to, honestly. I’ve just been looking forward to getting it done.”
Chad asks ” You mean the road trip portion of it, or the driving on the race track?”
Larson “Any of it. I mean I’ve thought about it, but getting it done has been my real motivation. If it goes out there and runs smooth and fast, it will be exciting, but I can’t think about that part until it’s complete and we go testing.”
Reynolds “F yeah I’m looking forward to it! I may not license in it before Drag Week, we’ll just have to see how our testing schedule works. But I will afterwards for sure, and then we plan to run it at some select events and probably match race it against the Chevy II. I’ll drive either one at that point, but I’m pretty sure I’ll have to drive the truck cause the Chevy II is a “don’t even think about it son…” kind of car. LOL ”
Stay tuned for more questions and answers that we grabbed during the build, during the scheming, and all along the way. We’ll feed you more cool stuff in coming days!