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 World's Fastest Riviera ?

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Boattail Bill
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PostSubject: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptyFri Nov 28, 2008 12:52 am

1971 Buick Riviera boattail ran 182.2 mph at Bonneville Salt Flats at the 2008 Utah Salt Flats Racing Association (USFRA) "World of Speed" event.

World's Fastest Riviera ? 508Buick2007030-1

At the 2007 "World of Speed" after having Shelton Racing & Fabrication of Carson City build a roll cage, add a quick-change rear-end, and lower & tune the suspension

World's Fastest Riviera ? 508Buick2007031-1

A different angle at the 2007 "World of Speed". This car reached 161 mph that year with a Buick 455-based 508 cid roller-cammed stroker that made 517 hp at the rear wheels, but blew up after going to 7000 rpm when the overdrive didn't shift in.

World's Fastest Riviera ? Rearendfuelcell

Where the trunk, gas tank, and rear seat used to be!!! Winters quick-change rear-end, 20 gallon fuel cell, and 3-link suspension with coil-overs and 4-caliper disc brakes on all 4 wheels. This car should be capable of running in the "Silver State Challenge" as well as Bonneville Salt Flats.

World's Fastest Riviera ? Enginefor2008

The new 505 cubic inch engine for 2008. 692 hp at the flywheel and 595 hp at the rear wheels at 6600 rpm. Front coil-overs, 4 caliper brakes, and dropped front spindles, too. Still using the stock steering wheel. Power windows still work too - - cruise control and tape deck don't, though!!

World's Fastest Riviera ? BobMePHASE-4in2008

Outside Shelton's shop before 2008 "World of Speed". Bob Whited, my engine builder/project manager/alternate driver on the left in black t-shirt. Yours truly on the right. Notice the height; 50" to the top of the roof compared to 54" for stock.

World's Fastest Riviera ? Instaginglinein2008

In the staging lanes at the 2008 "World of Speed". The mirrors are removed and roof rails added for this year. New marine GPS speedometer that worked-out much better than the old Garmin. Small white GPS antenna is visible at the back of the cowl scoop. The car achieved an official 182.2 mph through the final mile of the course, and the engine let go right then. We never took it over 6000 rpm this time, either.
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millerje18
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptyTue Dec 02, 2008 6:09 pm

wow nice car. engine looks spectacular.
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Boattail Bill
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptyWed Dec 03, 2008 12:50 am

Thanks Jordan,
It's waiting for it's next new engine now. Maybe a turbo V-6. More power (incredibly) and a lower record (152+/-).
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Snowdog
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptyWed Dec 03, 2008 10:36 am

the engine looks very interesting!
i heard from uno that the land speed record whti a piston engine was made whit the same 3800 V6 engines as on riv...but the car had 3 3800 v6 engines?

would be interesting to have one V6 biturbo supercharged intercooled happy

would liek to see more pictures of the engine.
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Boattail Bill
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptyWed Dec 03, 2008 12:27 pm

Hey Snowdog, here are some internal engine pictures. Yeah, a dual turbo V-6 will definitely be "different". wink

World's Fastest Riviera ? 508Buick2007019

TA Performance Stage-2 Track Eliminator head with ported exhaust ports

World's Fastest Riviera ? 508Buick2007016

TA Performance Stage-2 Track Eliminator head with ported intake ports.

World's Fastest Riviera ? 508Buick2007013

Combustion chambers with oversized stainless Stage-2 valves

World's Fastest Riviera ? 508Buick2007006


Bottom end with TA Performance block girdle, Moldex 4.25" stroker crank, and Eagle H-beam rods.
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Boattail Bill
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptyThu Dec 04, 2008 11:00 pm

Here's some more photos:

World's Fastest Riviera ? SaltflatsBuickengine088

How low can you go? The front end of my bad boy.

World's Fastest Riviera ? SaltflatsBuickengine102

Sitting next to my 2007 nemisis in the staging lanes. Todd Low's El Camino had the 152 mph record I was originally going for in 2007. By the end of that year, he had raised his own record to 188 mph. But by the time this photo was taken (World of Speed 2008), the former Hod Rod Magazine's Camaro had raised the record to 225 mph.

World's Fastest Riviera ? SaltflatsBuickengine092

The inside of my '71 Riviera's cockpit. I thought keeping the original steering wheel & turn signal lever was a nice touch. I was trying to keep as many things original as I could.

World's Fastest Riviera ? SaltflatsBuickengine090

The cowl scoop that was needed to cover the air cleaner with the tall port intake manifold being used. Notice original inside door panels still in use.

World's Fastest Riviera ? SaltflatsBuickengine070

The 505 cubic inch beast on the engine stand before installing in the car.

World's Fastest Riviera ? SaltflatsBuickengine052

The custom windage tray. The braided stainless line on the left in this photo is the "balance tube" for putting a source of pressure-side oil to the BACK of the main oil gallery in addition to the stock front feed location. This is part of the "scavenger kit" sold by Mike Phillip's AM&P in Kentucky.
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Snowdog
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptyFri Dec 05, 2008 9:19 am

Very Impressive engine!
what size are the spark plug wires? +14mm?
the intake is custom made? or...edelbrock intake?
how much dos the car waight?
just very respective work you have done to the car.
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Boattail Bill
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptySat Dec 06, 2008 12:18 am

Thank you, snowdog. The spark plug wires aren't as big as they look - they have an extra shielding sleeve over them. I think they're 9mm, but I'm not 100% sure of that.
Yes, the intake manifold is completely custom made. Edlebrock doesn't have anything like this!! (no one does)
I can't remember exactly what it weighs, but with about 15 gallons of fuel and no driver, it's slightly under 4000 lbs. (something like 3899) With driver, it's 4100-something.
Thanks for the compliments. I had a lot of help though. My engine builder is far more to me than just an engine builder. He's been my advisor every step of the way, did almost all the research on what combinations to use and how to proceed, where to get the roll cage & chassis work done, where to get the dyno work done, the rockers, pistons, electric - - the list just goes on and on. It is one of his friends who made the custom intake manifold and his cousin who did the outstanding electrical wiring.

And now he's also the "test driver", having reached an exit speed of 180 mph on his second run. There are several others who have been tremendous help too, but Bob's responsible for 99% of the success we've had so far. I would have been totally lost without him.

- - He's the one who's bringing Kenny Duttweiler and the turbo V-6 on-board, too!!
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ewolfe0050
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptySat Dec 06, 2008 12:49 am

Keep the pictures coming! What a cool project... I haven't been through all of your posts yet but are you still planning on topping your record? As soon as winter is over the Bronco is up for sale and i plan on buying a boattail. '71 specifically because I like the louvers and bumpers. I won't ever be going for a speed record but maybe you could give me some tips on rebuilding the 455.
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Boattail Bill
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptySat Dec 06, 2008 8:14 pm

Hey Eric, Thanks.
Yes, we intend to go faster. We really, really want to get it over 200 mph. It really sucks having another destroyed engine block, though.

Yeah, I particularly like the louvers and bumpers of the '71, too. That's my favorite year - although I'm really starting to like the "new" Generation-8 Rivieras - '95-'99, too.

My buddy Bob is the one who really knows the tricks for getting that 455 to screaming. But I'd certainly be happy to help you any I could - and either ask him or get you in touch with him when the time comes to get into some of the real nitty-gritty of it.


Last edited by Boattail Bill on Sun Feb 22, 2009 2:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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Boattail Bill
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptySat Feb 21, 2009 6:09 pm

Just a quick update:

New aluminum block Buick 455 still in the works. We're trying to get it, but negotiations are ongoing. The new plan (if I don't run out of money first - credit, actually - sigh) is a twin turbo 496. (stock bore 455 with our 4.25" stroke crank). We had a custom billet crank made the year before last from Moldex, which gave us a 508 with the bore we had. It was damaged when the engine blew, but we had it repaired. Last year, with the same repaired crank and a slightly smaller bore, we had a 505 inch screamer that was 85 more horsepower to the rear wheels. It blew too, but the crank survived (with a few minor scratches). So yesterday, Bob sent it off to be re-ground & polished (to fit the new block).

That will move us down from "AA" (over 501 cubic inches) to "A" (440 to 501 cubic inches), and with the turbo setup, make it a "Blown "A" Classic Gas Coupe" where the record stands at 203 mph. At this point, we should have a better chance of going over 203 with a dual turbo 496 than we'd have of going over 225 with a naturally aspirated engine over 501 cubic inches. We could take this new aluminum block to 540 cid if we use our existing 4.25" stroke crank and go with the maximum bore (cylinder sleeves, actually) of 4.500", but with the maximum airflow of the "baddest" ported TA heads, it won't go beyond 800 horsepower naturally aspirated. And our results show us needing at least 950 TO THE REAR WHEELS to go over the 225 naturally aspirated "AA" record.

Yesterday we took the car to the shop (Sheltons) that will lower it another 2", and now that it's out of my garage and there's some room, I think I'll lay-up another fiberglass air dam to test (gotta cut that aero drag any way we can!!). Once that's done, it should have a much "racier" look than even last year, so we may haul it out to a nearby lakebed and do a photo shoot for promotional purposes. I seriously need to get some sposorship money on-board, or I'm afraid I might not be able to complete it. Anyway, when (and if) we get those pictures, I'll post them. I've got an idea of one looking at it from the side-rear (showing the boattail kinda like my signature), but with the inflated parachute behind it - - and on a lakebed. In my mind's eye, I'm thinking that would look totally bad-ass. With the amount the wind blows around here - especially in the spring, it shouldn't be hard - - just go out on a breezy day and aim it into the wind, hook up the 'chute, and get in the position for the shot!! Then take that around and see if anyone wants to sponsor this bad boy. wink
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ibmoses
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptySat Feb 21, 2009 6:17 pm

How about you try and get some time sponsorship in a Wind Tunnell to tweak on your aero package...if there is one close enough to you to be able to use it.

Maybe you could email Kyle/Kurt Busch and see if they are interested in helping/driving since they are from your neck of the woods. They could bring tons of sponsorship money or might refer you to someone who might help...


Bert tavis
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Boattail Bill
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptySat Feb 21, 2009 6:35 pm

ibmoses wrote:
How about you try and get some time sponsorship in a Wind Tunnell to tweak on your aero package...if there is one close enough to you to be able to use it.

Maybe you could email Kyle/Kurt Busch and see if they are interested in helping/driving since they are from your neck of the woods. They could bring tons of sponsorship money or might refer you to someone who might help...


Bert tavis

Ummm - - Yeah!! I've tried to search out wind tunnels on the "west coast", but didn't really come up with anything I thought I could get into (NASA at Edwards, big car companies, aerospace companies, etc.)

I don't know anything about the Busch boys. I mean I've heard the name - - they're NASCAR, aren't they? I guess I figured I'd have to PAY THEM to get someone like that involved. HAH!! Why would they want to do it? I mean, how would it benefit them? I'd assume they have all the publicity they need, etc. Unless maybe they just think it's a neat thing to do - - like if they always thought Boattail Buicks were "cool" or something. Guess it never hurts to ask - - - the worst that would probably happen is either no resonse at all, or a polite "thank you, but we're not in a position to get involved with something like that at this time" type of thing.
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ibmoses
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptySat Feb 21, 2009 7:45 pm

Maybe some of these guys on the board that have access to all the engineering tools could do some sort of wind tunnel simulation to help with your aero package. 3gears

I obviously know nothing about aerodynamics or high speed down forces but it looks to me like the front end of the Boat would be a good place to reduce drag. If the rules even allow modifications like that... suspect

How about a "splitter" like NASCAR has on the very bottom of the front end of the Sprint Cup cars? Maybe something like that would make a big difference. I know you cant make many changes to the Boat but if you can do anything to "slick" the front end up it will be worth the equivalent of some big horsepower numbers...can you seal up the headlight buckets to make them slicker.

Bert tavis
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Boattail Bill
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptySat Feb 21, 2009 9:39 pm

Yeah, I know a little about aerodynamics, but not enough to really know what I need here. I mean, I know that it's not all "obvious." Things that are "obviously really bad" sometimes aren't nearly as bad as you'd think. - - - And vice versa.

As far as the rules, THOSE guys know enough about aerodynamics to screw you up!!!!! The stuff that would really help isn't legal!!!! - - depending on your class. Obviously, an unlimited streamliner allows you to do just about anything, but even so, there are still rules to screw you up. For example, I couldn't just take my car's body off and put a cigar shaped one on and call it a "streamliner". Nope - - no stock chassis are allowed for streamliners - - they've gotta be specially designed non-stock frames!!! And of course, all the records for streamliners are in the 400 mph range too, so that makes the competition just as tough. 400?!?!?!?! Hell, I'm just trying to go 200!!!!!

But basically, to get directly to your question, the class I'm running in is "Classic Gas Coupe". The age of my car (pre 1982) and the fact that it's American (foreign cars can't enter the "classic" catagory) allow me to enter that class. And when the decision to run in that class was made, the record was 152 - - which seemed easier than the other records. Now, in that very same class, the record's 225. No longer "easy"!!!!! That's why we're trying to switch to "Blown A" engine "Classic Gas Coupe" That record is 203 - - higher than what we started out after, but lower than the new one.

OK, I'm rambling. - - Aerodynamics that are allowed by the rules: There's no limit to how much we lower it as long as we don't alter the BODY. We can't lower the body on the frame, either, so basically, when the frame gets to the ground, that's the limit for lowering. Right now we're about 2.5" up from the ground with the frame, so that's why I'm saying we're gonna try to lower it another 2". The cross member will have to be trimmed, but I think that's OK. And a new dry sump oil pan will get us the clearance we need with the engine. I'll lose my deep sump tranny pan and go back to stock - - that'll buy us back some tranny pan clearance.

So lowering it as much as possible is an obvious first step. Second, they allow a fabricated air dam as long as it doesn't go forward of the leading edge of the stock bumper OR higher than the stock bumper. The one I've used the last 2 years follows that exactly - - the front bumper shape and then straight down. So you're splitter idea, while it might very well help cut drag, would not be legal. The bumper, can't be removed or trimmed, nor can the headlghts and/or grille be covered. That's why there are the two holes in the air dam on either side of the stock center license plate location, because that's actually part of the grille behind there. So the holes conform to the rule of not covering "any part of the grille". What I'm thinking of doing with the "new" airdam is rounding off the corners more - increasing the radius, and tucking it under the corners of the bumper there. If it leaves a high drag area where it and the bumper interface, it could make it worse - - just don't know without testing it (or having a really good simulation program).

I saw a car at the salt last year that had it's exhaust exit from the front of the front wheelwells - in front of the tires. That car was FAST, too. I'm thinking the exhaust blast might have helped keep the air off the front of the car from "curling" around and going into the wheelwells. Now THAT might really help - - and it WOULD be legal. AND, with the turbo setup, if we put them in front of the engine, would probably be fairly easy to do. So that's another idea we have. Dunno how you could test that without going fast (or being in a wind tunnel) AND having the engine running full blast & putting out massive amounts of exhaust. I suggested to my engine builder doing coast-down tests with a couple big gas leaf blowers running full tilt, but he didn't think it would approximate the exhaust stream(s) close enough.

If we go to the "Altered" class, THEN the bumpers, grilles, & headlights can be removed, and the openings created covered with flat panels that match the surrounding body. And a spoiler can be put on the back. Of course, spoilers have to be tested very thoroughly or they will add drag. It's a delicate balance to get improvements in BOTH downforce and drag. A "step pan", which is basically a partial belly pan, can be used in the "Altered" class, too. Of course the record for "Classic Gas Altered" in "Blown A" engine size is 239 mph. If we can go 230 in "Classic Gas Coupe", then all those aero tricks might allow us to get another 9 or 10 mph in "Altered".

Going to electronic fuel injection would move us out of "Classic" catagory and then we'd be competing with the newer cars - - like modern Firebirds and stuff that are MUCH cleaner aerodynamically. We'd need to use a Generation-8 Riviera for that!!!!!
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ibmoses
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptySat Feb 21, 2009 10:11 pm

The splitter would be legal as long as it does not extend beyond the leading edge of the front bumper?

Perhaps you could emulate the front of a Sprint Cup series car. study

Sounds like you have put a lot of thought into your car and I know its a lot of work...If you can somehow get rid of that cow catcher and replace it with something that will cut the wind I think it would be well worth the cost and the weight.

Bert tavis
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptySat Feb 21, 2009 11:05 pm

I can't get over how cool that car is. Seriously, haha I had a dream last night that I still lived in Utah and I saw it at the flats and got to see it up close. I've had lots of interest in purpose built top speed machines ever since I saw "the Worlds Fastest Indian".

Despite all the interest I still don't know a whole lot about aerodynamics. Maybe you could get some ideas on how to slick her up by looking at the old Nascar cars from the 60's- they went near 200 40 years ago without the benefit of turbos or anything like that. Just an idea.
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Boattail Bill
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptySun Feb 22, 2009 12:05 am

ibmoses wrote:
The splitter would be legal as long as it does not extend beyond the leading edge of the front bumper?

Correct. - - I think. There's a lot of stuff in the rule book that seems clear, but when you start thinking about it, leaves more questions than answers. My best interpretation (and this IS after talking to the "Rules Committee Chairman" several times) is that if you were to drop vertical lines straight down from the leading edge of the bumper at every point, the air dam is not allowed to be ahead of those vertical lines at any point. Anywhere behind it IS specifically allowed, though. I also believe that if you said, "OK, I'm gonna use the tip of the "point" of the front bumper and stay behind that line all the way across the width of the car", that would NOT pass muster. I think it's AT THAT PARTICULAR POINT of the bumper you have to stay behind


ibmoses wrote:
Perhaps you could emulate the front of a Sprint Cup series car. study

Dunno. Gotta plead ignorance on that. Off the top of my head, I don't know what a Sprint Cup series car looks like.


ibmoses wrote:
Sounds like you have put a lot of thought into your car and I know its a lot of work...If you can somehow get rid of that cow catcher and replace it with something that will cut the wind I think it would be well worth the cost and the weight.Bert tavis

Yes, I have put a lot of thought into it. Just gotta do some head-to-head tests on it (or meet some aerodynamics guru who could maybe just tell me the answer and I could run with it. freak ) One thing I can (Almost) tell you is the "cow catcher" in these pictures is actually better than no air dam at all. I say "almost" because I did a set of tests with my '73 Riviera, the "Green Turd". I built an air dam specificaly for the "turd" that just followed the line of the "point" part in the middle, "tucking under" where the bumper bent "straight" and deviated from that line. Then I curved it around towards the front of the front wheelwell with a 12" radius curve (if I remember right). I was able to bolt the "cow catcher" from the "71 salt flats car on top of the "Turd" air dam and drive it like that (although it tended to overheat).

With this setup, I went about 75 miles away to a nice, straight stretch of highway that didn't have too much traffic and a 70 mph speed limit. I carried bricks to compensate for the weight of items added or removed, and a gas can that I used after each run to try to keep the weight of gas the same. I would accelerate to over 110 mph (by GPS unit) and then throw it into neutral. My girlfriend was riding with me with my stopwatch, which she'd start when I called out "MARK!" (at 110 mph on the GPS). Then I'd let it coast in neutral until I was down to 60 mph and call out "STOP". She'd write down the time it took to drop the 50 mph from 110 to 60 while I let it continue to slow down and get turned around. Then we'd repeat the test going the other way, trying to do the coast down at about the same stretch of road. Then we'd mean the two times for our two-way average. I did a two-way test with the "cow catcher", then one with the "turd pointy" airdam, and then one with no air dam. Then did the ones with the two air dams again. So all 4 runs with one air dam got averaged, all 4 with the other, and the two with no air dam at all.

This test was designed to maximize the effect of aero changes over anything else. Coasting from 110 to 60 keeps the test in a speed range where aero drag is the biggest factor in how fast it slows down. And by going for such a long time (speed range), little innacuracies in hitting the stopwatch button or in reading the GPS etc should be less significant, right? And by adding a couple bricks to the front when taking an air dam off and adding a gallon of gas after each round trip should keep the weight so close that the variation there is insignificant, too.

The configuration that takes the longest to slow down is the aerodynamically "cleanest", right? Anyway, the end results (like 4 HOURS later) were as follows: "Stock" configuration with NO air dam averaged a certain amount of time - - like 54 seconds or something - - don't remember exactly at the moment, but it was something like that. With the turd-style air dam, the average was about 2 to 3 seconds longer to slow down, meaning less drag. And with the "cow catcher" (I call it the "snow plow"), it took 3 second longer yet - or 6 seconds longer than with NO air dam!!!

See, where some of this stuff gets a little counter-intuitive is that the cow catcher is actually better than no air dam at all. The deal is, there will be less drag if the air is kept out of and out from under the car - - - even if done with a "cow catcher"!!! Air that gets into the engine compartment and then gets jammed down under the floorboard (or flows directly under the car - why we want to lower it) adds LOTS of drag. Getting it around smoothly is better than bolting a sheet of plywood on the front, but the sheet of plywood can actually be better than nothing - - and if the smooth bullet-nose is not allowed by the rules, such as in our case!!! (if it's trimmed around the corners, etc, etc.)

Now there were a couple little areas where we weren't exactly comparing "apples to apples" . The "cow catcher" caused the car to overheat pretty bad. The "turd dam" did too when I first built it, but I'd cut holes in it and "notched" the bottom in the front to let air in. OK, here comes the guessing game: IF the turd dam didn't have the holes, would it have had better drag than the "cow catcher" - - and overheated as bad too? Conversely, if the cow catcher had been "ventilated" more, would it NOT have performed better than the turd dam? On my '71 (the salt flats car) there doesn't seem to be an overheating problem with the "cow catcher". The fronts of those two cars are very similar, but NOT identical, so - - - ???????

Like I say, I think I need more tests. The '71 has fully adjustable suspension, so I could jack around with front and rear heights and test "pitch". BUT - - it's not "street legal" - - and here the last couple years, usually doesn't have a running engine in it most of the year. - - just long enough to take it to Bonneville and blow it up!!! headbutt So what are we gonna do? Trailer it out to that lonesome road (it's not TOTALLY deserted) and try to push/pull it up to 110 behind/in front of Bob's truck? I'd hate to be there if the Highway Patrol happened by!!!!

So that's a little glimpse of my aerodynamic frustrations, anyway. headbutt

Of course, using a car that wasn't 80 inches wide with a huge, flat front would have helped too, but - - - - dunce
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Boattail Bill
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptySun Feb 22, 2009 12:12 am

zombiesarebad wrote:
I can't get over how cool that car is. Seriously, haha I had a dream last night that I still lived in Utah and I saw it at the flats and got to see it up close. I've had lots of interest in purpose built top speed machines ever since I saw "the Worlds Fastest Indian".

Despite all the interest I still don't know a whole lot about aerodynamics. Maybe you could get some ideas on how to slick her up by looking at the old Nascar cars from the 60's- they went near 200 40 years ago without the benefit of turbos or anything like that. Just an idea.

That's probably a good idea. Might give me some hints. My biggest problem is the damn rules. They don't LET you do too much. So we have to work within the confines of those parameters. The real "trick" - - unlike "Mr Genius" here - - is to pick a car that is SMALL and has a smooth front end to begin with. But oh no - - I had to pick the biggest friggin' coupe ever made!!!! HAH!!! headbutt

Oh, "Worlds Fastest indian" really inspired me, too. In fact, even though I'd been wanting to, I don't think I actually DID go to Bonneville until I saw that. At that point it was like "Screw it - - I'm doing it!!!"
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Boattail Bill
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptySun Feb 22, 2009 2:07 am

ibmoses wrote:

Perhaps you could emulate the front of a Sprint Cup series car. study
Bert tavis

Duhhhh. OK, googled "Sprint Cup Series" and they're nothing other than the NASCAR class that often carries the name of a major sponsor like "Winston Cup" or "Nextel Cup", etc. Duhhhh - - dunce

If I was running in "Competition Coupe", I could splice an exact NASCAR shaped front end on it (or even better - I think NASCAR has some pretty strict rules regarding the car's shape, too) But in "Classic Gas Coupe", the grille & headlights have to stay in - -and not be covered, the bumper has to stay on - and the radiator has to be there, too. They don't even allow any ducting to direct airflow, can't tape up the seams, nuthin. And can't alter the actual shape of the body in any way.

Basically all you can do is:
1) Lower the car - as much as you want WITH THE SUSPENSION - but not lowering the body on the frame.
2) Install an air dam - either a manufacturer's factory option for that car or fabricated, but then the bumper rule thing kicks in. And it can go back to the front edge of the front wheelwell.
3) And you can do a hood scoop as long as it's not more than 11" above the hood. A cowl type is OK, and that's what I've got. I've been thinking about customizing it so it tends to make for a sloping hood. You know, 6" high at the windshield and 90% of the way across the windshield. wink The problem with getting "cute" like that is the officials won't care, but there's a provision for another contestant (usually the guy who's record you are breaking) to contest the legality of the car. So I have to decide if I want to risk having my would-be new record shot down because the guy I'm trying to beat convinces the officials that my "hood scoop" is actually an illegal "aerodynamic device", which are NOT allowed in my class. scratch
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptySun Feb 22, 2009 2:53 am

Does your modified front bumper fall into the air dam criteria of the rules.?
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptySun Feb 22, 2009 9:59 am

How about you move the cow catcher back behind the bumper and then have the splitter extend forward to conform with the leading edge of the bumper.

It would be like the original valance sloping rearward to the ground from the back lower edge of the bumper with a splitter extending forward to the leading edge of the bumper. The splitter would be adjustable (slots/bolts) so you could move it forward/rearward a bit. The "valance extension" would also be adjustable so you could raise/lower the splitter.

You should really just take my thoughts as such, thats all they are. The setup you have is working pretty good and like you said it ain't like you can do much testing and experimenting. For instance if you were to fabricate a new front air dam or cow catcher or whatever and then it comes loose at speed at cuts a tire...that would not be cool. censor

The Sprint Cup teams do a "coast down" test on all the cars they build to compare the aero from car to car. I guess the way to know what would work best is to look at what your competitors are doing at the front of their cars.

You got any pics of them you can post for us? clap

Bert tavis
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptySun Feb 22, 2009 3:21 pm

Rickw wrote:
Does your modified front bumper fall into the air dam criteria of the rules.?

???? - MY modified front bumper? My front bumper isn't modified (other than the pointy front has been shoved up at some time before I bought it like 90% of all the other '71 Rivies I see). I mean, it has holes drillid in it for the bolts that hold the air dam on, but then they're filled by the bolts (and covered by the air dam). They DO allow you to bolt a FLAT air dam to the front of the bumper. So (after confirmation from the "Rules Committe Chairman") the rule is actually "only the thickness of the air dam ahead of the front bumper". And no, that doesn't mean you can do a styrofoam-core air dam that gets 12" thick at the bottom!!! HAH!! (I wish)

And it also says that if you narrow, trim or fair the bumper (like to make it "hug" the car better at the outside ends), that will move you to the "Altered" class.


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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptySun Feb 22, 2009 4:47 pm

ibmoses wrote:
How about you move the cow catcher back behind the bumper and then have the splitter extend forward to conform with the leading edge of the bumper.

It would be like the original valance sloping rearward to the ground from the back lower edge of the bumper with a splitter extending forward to the leading edge of the bumper. The splitter would be adjustable (slots/bolts) so you could move it forward/rearward a bit. The "valance extension" would also be adjustable so you could raise/lower the splitter.

Yes, I think that "might" be legal. Lemme get out the rule book real quick - - -
- - OK, I'm just gonna quote it verbatum for you:

"The air dam may be either identical to an O.E.M. option for the body used, available as an after-market part, or fabricated. The air dam may extend straight down from the front bumper and may extend rearward to the leading edge of the front wheel well. The air dam must follow the contour of the leading edge of the front bumper unless the air dam is an O.E.M. part. The air dam may be set back from the leading edge of the front bumper, but in no case can the air dam extend forward or above the leading edge of the front bumper. In Gas Coupe and Sedan classes the original grille opening must remain uncovered."

What you just described sounds a little like the old Dodge Daytona Charger/Plymouth Superbee front end. And those things DID work!!! In my case, we are all thinking that trying to force the air up over the hood and/or around the sides (it will choose it's own path as much as it can) is about the best we can do. The Superbee idea directs it down and starts it going under the front end of the car, and then the "chin spoiler" catches some of it and forces it out around the sides. We're thinking that probably wouldn't really end up cutting much drag in the case of my car's front end.

And when I say "we", this includes Tom Burkland, "AA Blown Fuel Streamliner " record holder at 417 mph & fastest man alive in a piston-powered, wheel-driven car. He was at last year's "Silver State Open Road Challenge" with a friend, spotted the "green turd", and walked over and started a conversation. (I had salt discs on the turd, which he liked), Anyway, he ended up discussing the salt flats project at length with Bob and me on 3 separate occasions over the next couple of days). Tom is an aeronautical engineer in his "day job", so we take his opinions seriously!!! That doesn't mean he couldn't be wrong, but - - -

ibmoses wrote:
You should really just take my thoughts as such, thats all they are. The setup you have is working pretty good and like you said it ain't like you can do much testing and experimenting. For instance if you were to fabricate a new front air dam or cow catcher or whatever and then it comes loose at speed at cuts a tire...that would not be cool. censor

Bert, let me be quick to say I really appreciate your input, and thoroughly enjoy discussing this stuff. If it was easier to do, I'd test out every idea everyone gave me. Unfortunately, as it is, I can't even test out all my own ideas. But I guess I discuss this at length with you and anyone else who wants to because I'm kinda looking for an idea that makes me go, "Hmmmm - - - !!!!" If someone comes up with something that can legally cut a big slice of drag off my car they'll be my hero!!! Seriously!!!! I'd even put a sticker that said "Aerodynamics by Bert" on there if it was a big help!!!!!

ibmoses wrote:
The Sprint Cup teams do a "coast down" test on all the cars they build to compare the aero from car to car.

Wow, really?!?!?! That makes me feel a whole lot better knowing that it's not just some hare-brained idea from a Nevada derelict that came up with it!!! Now I wonder how their test procedures and mine compare? Always wanting to do the best I can, you know.


ibmoses wrote:
I guess the way to know what would work best is to look at what your competitors are doing at the front of their cars.

Well, yes and no. My goal isn't to duplicate my competitor's abilities, but to exceed them!! And how can we be sure that what they're doing works the "best"? I tend to look at the fastest cars out there and pay attention to THOSE air dams!!! Last year I talked to Todd Low, who had the record when I first started this. But he didn't even have an air dam that first year. His record was 152 in an El Camino. Then last year, he hopped up his car some more and added an air dam trying to break 200. He didn't break 200 and his record got beat by a Ford (yes, Shintsu, a FORD). So he told me he thought it might be faster without the air dam and took it off. Nope - - slowed it down. So he put it back on. So you can be sure I'm eyeballing every car out there, and especially the ones that really haul, but then, none of them are boattail Rivieras either, so in the end, I've gotta find out what makes this particular car of mine go the fastest.

ibmoses wrote:
You got any pics of them you can post for us? 👏Bert tavis

Not really on my computer, except a couple of Todd Low's car. I think on this same thread there's a picture of it and my car sitting side-by-side on the salt. But that picture doesn't show his front end. I may have one that does. Gotta check and see. Are you familiar with the "Hot Rod Mag Special"? It's like an '80 Camaro - a white one. That's the car that now has the record we had been going for. (and it's now the "SoAl Special", I think. Freiberger is no longer with Hot Rod). There were a couple articles in Hot Rod magazine about it and some wind tunnel testing they'd done working on it, and it's air dam is EXACTLY like mine - - except on a swoopy Camaro, which allows it to blend in a lot better, etc. And I actually followed a lot of the advice from the Hot Rod article about that wind tunnel testing they'd done on that car. I'd just go to the wind tunnel myself, but it's in either North or South Carolina!!! GULP!!! What would it cost me to take my monster there!?!?!?!

An interesting note about the Hot Rod car though. It had been in the "Altered" catagory until this last year when they moved it to "Gas Coupe". In "Altered", it usually ran in the 240's. It has several records, and they're all like 244 to 249, it seems - blown & un-blown, fuel & gas - they all seem to hit that approximate speed range. Then they enterd it in "Classic Gas Coupe", ran it, and got protested. Their air dam wasn't legal for Gas Coupe. See, it extended above the natural bumper line and part of the grille was blocked. So they had to get another Camaro front end and hack their air dam until it conformed. Finally on the last day of Speed Week, they ran it - un-matched paint, duct tape, and all - - and went "only" 225. Of course, that was enough to move the record out of reach of my poor naturally aspirated Buick, but the moral of the story is how much it slowed down when they had to surrender some of their carefully arrived at aero tricks. About 20 mph by my reconing. So what I need to do is FIND my own aero tricks to GAIN that 20 mph!!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: World's Fastest Riviera ?   World's Fastest Riviera ? EmptyMon Feb 23, 2009 7:43 pm

ibmoses wrote:
I guess the way to know what would work best is to look at what your competitors are doing at the front of their cars.

You got any pics of them you can post for us? clap

Bert tavis

OK, here we go!!!

World's Fastest Riviera ? ToddLowscarandPHASE-4

The "original" record I was going for in 2007 was 152 +/- held by this car, Todd Low's El Camino. Here you can see side-by-side his car and mine after he added his air dam in 2008. He could never get above the 190's however, but was faster WITH the air dam than without it (at least, that's what he told me)

World's Fastest Riviera ? FrontsofToddLowsPHASE-4

Here's looking more straight-on at the fronts of our two cars. I have the advantage of being lower, while he has the advantage of being narrower. My new air dam will "tuck in" under the outside edges of the bumper and be 1.5" narrower on each side, for a total of 3" overall. That alone should take about 40 square inches off my frontal area. Lowering the car should take another bunch off of it, too. Our goal for 2009 is to have to remove all the aluminum AND some of the fiberglass at the bottom!!! (if we continue to use this air dam instead of a new design, of course.)

World's Fastest Riviera ? BrianDeansThunderboltatsaltflats

Early on in 2008 SpeedWeek, this Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt of Brian & Celia Dean had the record at 209, after breaking Todd Low's 188 mph mark. From one shot looking down the side from the back, you can clearly see the air dam out at the bumper width, standing out from the side of the car's body. One school of thought is that this is better, getting the air farther out and away from the front fender opening. Air that "curls" in and gets into the wheelwell is NOT good for streamlining.

World's Fastest Riviera ? HotRodCamaroatsaltflats

Here is the "Hod Rod Magazine" (now the "SoAl Special") Camaro that currently has the record in "Classic Gas Coupe" for naturally aspirated engines over 501 cid. (225 mph, breaking Brian Dean's 209 mph record). They had to change the front end from what's shown here to comply. (and remove the blower, of course). They used the same air dam, but had to cut holes to "un-block" ALL of the grille, and also had to get a "stock" front end to replace the one-piece fiberglass with painted-on grille & headlights. Lo and behold - - their new record in that now "legal" configuration was about 20 mph slower than most of their other records (225 vs. 245 +/-)

World's Fastest Riviera ? RedCamaroatsaltflats

And another car with a very similar air dam to mine & the Hot Rod car's. This red Camaro ended up going about 250 mph in "Classic Fuel Altered" class. In "Altered", it's legal to cover your grille & headlights (like the Hod Rod car had done before, when it was also in "Altered".)


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