Roadkill is the gearhead adventure show on the Motor Trend channel of YouTube with David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan from HOT ROD. In the latest episode, it’s 2,600 miles, 530 cubic inches, 700 horsepower, six speeds, 17 mpg, and two fun visits with some friends from TV. The previous episode (episode 29) showed us finished our Chrysler-Hemi-powered 1955 Chevy gasser in about two weeks of thrashing (it’s the same car you saw us take, as a bare shell, to Jim Meyer Racing in Oregon in Episode 8). On this latest episode (episode 30, seen below), we drive it around the block once, then hit the road on a cross-country journey from Los Angeles to the kickoff party of the 2014 HOT ROD Power Tour in Concord, North Carolina. On the way, there’s the breakdowns you expect from Roadkill, plus two surprises: a stop at Midwest Street Cars with Justin “Big Chief” Shearer and Shawn “Murder Nova” Ellington from Street Outlaws, and another with Rutledge Wood from Top Gear USA.
The “Blasphemi” ’55 Chevy is based on an original body with new quarters and floors and a fiberglass decklid and tilt front end, and Lexan windows from ProGlass. It’s not in primer: the car was wrapped in satin black by Moody from High-Tech Auto Wraps. The car sits on a complete gasser chassis from Jim Meyer Racing with a solid front axle on leaf springs and a ladder-bar setup with Viking coilovers on the rear. The rear tires are reproduction Firestone piecrust slicks from Coker tire, and the fronts are just like stock VW Bug tires.
The engine is a 530ci Hemi based on a Mopar Performance crate engine. With a Comp solid roller cam, 10.5:1 compression, homemade 2-1/4-inch headers from a Hedman kit, and Hilborn stack injection powered by a FAST XFI controller and Aeromotive fuel system, it makes 700 horsepower and 700 lb-ft of torque. We were stunned to see 17 mpg a few times on the cross-country trip, especially with absurd 5.43 gears in the Ford 9-inch rear axle. The key to it all is the Tremec T56 Magnum six-speed manual double-overdrive trans installed with a conversion kit from American Powertrain. The car uses a Speedwires harness, charging and starting by Powermaster, and a Braille lightweight battery in the trunk.
Would you drive this thing across America? Watch below.