After purchasing his 1979 Mustang 12 years ago, Mike Carvalho set out to transform it from a street car to a strip car, and it wasn’t long before he was wrangling up wins in X275 at New England Dragway in Epping, New Hampshire.
But all the while, he was eyeing NMRA VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw, its drivers, what combinations they were running and what elapsed-times they were laying down, and last year, he decided he wanted to throw his hat into the ring and race in the class where the current records are the 4.334 and 177.47 held by Manny Buginga.
“Racing and being competitive in the NMRA is something I’ve always wanted to do, but it was about waiting until it was in my budget,” said Carvalho, whose shop, County Street Collision in Fall River, Massachusetts, performed the body work and laid the paint on his car. “I’m definitely looking forward to this.”
Because he felt that the 358ci small-block Ford he had been running wouldn’t be quite enough engine for NMRA VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw, he hired Bennett Racing Engines in Haleyville, Alabama to design and build a 9.5 deck 427ci small-block Ford topped with Edelbrock Victor heads massaged by Kuntz and Company and an Edelbrock intake. He also replaced his ProCharger F-1R with a ProCharger F-1X and gear drive, and is confident the new combination will offer him close to 2,000 horsepower.
Halifax, Massachusetts-based DMC Racing relocated cold-side piping in the car to accommodate the new ProCharger F-1X and gear drive, fabricated a new steering column and took the car’s 10-point cage to a 25.5-spec cage.
Carvalho will rely on a new ATI Superglide and Ultimate Converter Concepts converter to help plant the power in the car which will roll on stock-style suspension and 275 Mickey Thompson ET Street Radial Pros wrapped around a new set of Weld V Series wheels, and noted driver and tuner Eric LaFerriere — who installed the engine in the car and put more than 40 hours into rewiring it — will tune the combination with Big Stuff 3.
Carvalho, who said work on the car which features bumpers by Schoneck Composites is nearing completion, plans to make his NMRA debut at the 17th Annual WyoTech NMRA Ford Motorsport Nationals, May 4-7, 2017 at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pennsylvania.
“We know the track will be good with NMRA prepping it, and we’re just going to go out there, have fun and see where we can land in the field,” said Carvalho, who also plans to take part in some X275 events across the country. “This wouldn’t be possible without the help I’ve had from many people, including Marco Dias, who basically manages my whole operation, and my cousin, Danny Reis, who handles a lot of the prep and getting the car where it needs to be. It’s going to be a good year.”