Yes, it’s been a little while since we last brought you an update on Project Grandpa, our 1982 Caprice whose longing to see 11’s and still be nimble enough to master the autocross track. Yes, our ambitions are high, and to be honest, saying Grandpa was a little weak in the knees would be like saying a Corvette is a little faster than the Prius – a huge understatement.

OK, we know what you’re thinking: Seriously, a ’82 wagon? We get it, but
Grandpa is going to be the ultimate sleeper, running 11’s and even
tackling the road course. Can we make this happen? Stay tuned to see.

This abused wagon was in desperate need of major surgery to repair the crumbled bones and joints that were the shocks, control arms, and pretty much every suspension part on this car. If we were going to be able to claim this car a success, this is where we really needed to shine.

But before jumping straight into mastering the air element, we needed to lay a strong foundation on which to operate around our fine tuned air bags. Here’s a quick recap on where we’ve beefed up Grandpa, all in the ongoing quest to install our mean 655hp Dart big block 509.

Big thanks go to Dart, JE pistons, Howards,K&N Filters, Harland Sharp,
Moroso, Mallory, COMP Cams, Quick Fuel Technologies, and Professional
Products for making this rat motor the perfect plant for our Project
Grandpa.

Wait, a what? That’s right, we somehow convinced Dart to build us this wickedly potent 650-plus-horsepower powerplant for good ol’ Gramps. This monster rat started with a Dart Big M block, with a stout 4-inch-stroked Howards Pro Max crank, billet rods, SRP pistons, a COMP Xtreme Energy Hydraulic Roller cam, topped with a Dart single plane intake and a Quickfuel Q 850cfm carb. When dyno’ed, this big ol’ boy pumped out 655hp at the flywheel.

Our factory suspension just couldn’t possibly handle the torque and torsion
that we knew we were going to be throwing at it. That’s why we went to
Spohn Performance for some serious suspension upgrades.

Thanks to help from Spohn Suspension and Energy Suspension, Grandpa was outfitted with new rear control arms, front sway bar, and steering – plus we were able to completely rebuild the front control arms. We knew that our 509 was going to push our Caprice’s suspension to its limits, so new, stronger and lightweight control arms and sway bars were just what the doctor ordered.

Being able to get all that power produced by the Dart block to the
pavement would take the right rear, and that’s why we went to Currie Enterprises to build us the right 9-inch. Fitted with a Detroit Locker and 4.10 gears, we’re going to be pulling a whole lot of sheetmetal down the quarter mile.

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