Gary Hart’s Land-Speed Record Holding Studebaker

Can you say 249mph MegaSquirt’d Monster?

(scroll down for pics and IN CAR VIDEO)

Big Block 515 with twin Garrett turbos

 Full specs and details can be found at the bottom of this page.  Also there is in-car video of a record run below.

So the background story is in early 2005 I sold a PCB2.2 MS-I unit to a guy in Missouri planning to use it on a boat, I’m not sure exactly what happened to that but I got a call/email a while later from Mike Collison, a cohort of Gary Hart’s, after they had purchased the ECU from the original owner and wanted to talk to me about using it on this twin-turbo’d beast instead.  With low-impedance injectors being a must for this horsepower level I had Mike send the ECU back my way and I upgraded the unit with the flyback board to allow for this (this was all before the new PCBv3 came out, which is fine with low or hi-z injectors) and I then got it back to him.  It was a while later that I heard back from the guys there, but it turns out they had been staying very busy…  After the MegaSquirt-I PCBv3.0 board was released we upgraded Gary to this board running the same code and configuration for no reason other than we could, though it’s a good move with the improved design of the v3.0 PCB.  Then, keeping Gary running the latest/greatest mainboard we swapped in a PCBv3.57 SMT MegaSquirt-I EMSwhile out on the salt last year.  So at this point Gary is again running the latest/greatest mainboard available, still running the eariler processor however and the MS1 Extra code version 029t controlling his EFI.

In 2008 the Stude’ made about 750whp on a Mustang Dyno and similar torque, this would be closer to 900whp on a Dynojet more than likely as Mustangs have a bit of a heartbreaker reputation.  This was at about 11psi.

In 2009 after having the turbos gone through by Tim’s Turbos to increase exhaust flow and reduce backrpressure we bumped the boost up to about 14psi and picked up about another 150whp on the dyno.   The motor should be good for significantly more boost and capable of producing 1500+whp, but this isn’t drag racing for 6 seconds and shutting it down.  This is all about WOT runs for 90 seconds straight, and he has to pull two of them for it to count, at over 245mph each.  Longevity is key.

See the links below for the results of Gary’s trips to Bonneville SpeedWeek 06 / 07 / 08…..

 

Here’s more pics of the car, click the thumbnail for large versions…

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Here are a few pics (plenty more at the links at bottom of page)

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For more details and a ton of pics of SpeedWeek 2006, 2007, and 2008 check out these links:

Bonneville SpeedWeek 2006

Bonneville SpeedWeek 2007

Bonneville SpeedWeek 2008

We were also at SpeedWeek 2009 with the car.  I haven’t put together a full writeup yet, but in a nutshell, Gary took the car up to 248mph average, 249mph exit speed to qaulify for a record.  Unfortunately though we were unable to confirm that record as an oiling issue cause one of the turbos to fail at 235mph+ on the record run.  Still though, Gary went nearly 250mph!

 

 

Here’s the 2008 Record Run:

 

Here’s a link to the video on Youtube if you want to leave a comment or rating

 

Specs and Details of the car:

1953 Studebaker

Body/Suspension

  • Steel Body w/Fiberglass Front End
  • Frame is 2″ x 4″ x 1/4″ wall Steel
  • Front Suspension is a Speedway dropped axle with leaf springs and Chevy spindles
  • Chevy Vega Steering Gear w/ Panhard bar
  • Art Morrison Coilover Shocks and Ladder Bar with Panhard Bar.

Drivetrain

  • Rear End is 9″ Ford (Lincoln) 2.47:1 Ratio
  • Full Spool and Forged Yoke
  • Driveshaft using Spicer 1320 U-Joints
  • Transmission is a Jericho 4-Speed w/ Gearvendors Overdrive.  Final Drive ratio is 1.93:1
  • Clutch is nothing special.  Just a good pressure plate and ceramic clutch plate.  Does not slip.
  • McCloud Scattershield Bellhousing

Engine

  • 515ci World Product Iron Merlin Pro Block (1996)
    • Bore is 4.530 x 4″ Stroke
  • BRC 4340 Forged Crankshaft (1996)
  • Brooks Aluminum Rods.  .25″ longer than stock
  • JE Flat Top Blower Pistons
  • ATI Super Damper
  • World Products Cast Iron Heads (2003)
    • 345cfm w/ 2.30″ SS Intake Valves & 1.90″ Inconel Exhaust Valves  (Exhaust Valves 2008)
  • Comp Cams Valve Springs, Cam (2005), Roller Lifters and Pushrods
  • Harlin Sharp Roller Rocker Arms
  • Pete Jackson Gear Drive
  • STEFS Aluminum Oil Pan (12 qt)
  • Melling Oil Pump
  • MSD Pro-Billet Distributor w/ Taylor plug wires.

Turbos/Induction

  • Dual (2) Garrett GTP38 Turbochargers
  • All custom fabricated stainless steel plumbing.
  • Air-to-water intercooler with ice chest inside the cockpit.  Datalogged Intake Air Temps after long course pass at Bonneville usually in the 90-100*F range.
  • Twin 75mm Throttle Bodies
  • Twin Tial 60mm External Wastegates
  • Twin Tial Blow-Off Valves

EFI/Fuel System

  • MegaSquirt-I PCBv3.57 EFI System controlling fuel and ignition timing
    • Triggers off of the MSD distributor and fires MSD CDI box
  • Ford Motorsports 150lb/hr Injectors
  • Weldon EFI Fuel Pump & Filters
  • Holley Boost Referencing Fuel Pressure Regulator
  • Edlebrock Fuel Rails
  • 20gal Stainless Fuel Cell in the trunk
  • Custom 2.5gal Surge tank (front) .  Pumps low pressure fuel from main cell in the back up to the front where the high pressure system picks it up for supply to the engine.

Cooling and Electrical

  • Large Aluminum Radiator with manual High Volume Water Pump
  • 140amp Alternator
  • Two Batteries in trunk

Interior

  • Two seats fabricated from 16ga galvanized steel
  • Stock dash is retained
  • Funny car style roll cage
  • 6-way harness (stroud)
  • Removable Grant steering wheel
  • Fire Fox fire suppresion system – 2 bottles
  • Intercooler ice chest and pump are located in the interior, as well as the EFI ECU, relays, and MSD Ignition box.

Brakes

  • Stroud Parachute w/ manual release
  • Rear brakes only (level actuated)

Misc/Exterior

  • Aluminum Spoiler in rear
  • Goodyear Eagle Land Speed Tires
    • Front 4.5″ x 25″
    • Rear 4.5″ x 26″

 

So what’s wrong with the car?  Well, any car worth it’s salt has seen a bit of, well, salt.  Yes there is some rust.  The car is a great runner and safe just as it is, the frame is overbuilt 1/4″ steel, and anyone that can drive should have no problems running records with this car just as it sits.  Gary just ran 249mph in it at SpeedWeek 2009 actually.  This car is pure awesome.  Gary one-hands it down the track at 240+mph.  It’s funny watching in car video of this, occasionally he gets in the throttle a little too much while doing this and the back end gets a little loose.  He gets that second hand back on the wheel pretty quick…