ACE Racing – ’66 Chevy II Nova SS – Drag Week Thrash – October ’21 update.

Posted on October 8, 2021January 6, 2022Categories ACE Racing

The events of the week leading up to Drag Week 2021, featuring a very messy shop and an emergency haircut!

Drag racing Nova Drag week 22

I’d like to start this update by saying a huge thank you to all our customers for their patience whilst we took a little working hiatus. Thankfully they are all very cool guys and were just as excited as we were to see our ’66 Nova race car build finally get underway!

Stefan and I originally planned to bring the Nova back to the shop at the beginning of August. It was August 23rd by the time we had crated and shipped out the last two completed engines and had a little move around in the shop to accommodate the car and the bodies that would be surrounding it during the next few weeks.

I’ll set the scene – It’s Thursday 9th September 2021 and we had planned to to depart California for the 30+ hour drive to Michigan yesterday. Drag week starts on Sunday morning, the 12th. Three days away and a drive that takes over one and a half of those days.

The Nova build has been ongoing during weekends and evenings for most of the year. Since June, our fabricator Chad, has been helping Stefan on evenings and weekends, with placement and mock up of the engine, turbos and fuel cells, in order to build the headers and weld the firewall and any framework, tabs, etc, that were required.

Covid-19 has caused a lot of back logs for our industry on a whole over the last 18-months but, although everything that could have been ordered in advance, was ordered in plenty of time, unfortunately, no amount of planning and organization will ever cover all the little hiccups in a build this extreme. Parts coming from the East coast were stuck on a freight train arriving a week later than expected, incorrect measurements of custom items, wrong spec of hoses supplied, and an extra days’ wait for last minute items to arrive due to the Labor Day holiday. These mishaps all added up and took it’s toll on our timeframe.

BIG thank you to Mike @ Dynamic Drivelines for sending this Carbon Fiber beauty to us last minute!

Hot Rod Drag Week is covered by 1320 Video and many other media outlets and YouTube enthusiasts. With this in mind, I scheduled a long overdue and impromptu hair cut for Stefan at the shop.

I also made him a makeshift bed for a couple of nights and told him not to leave the shop until the Nova was finished!

The time is now 10:30pm and I went home to fetch our bags which were packed days ago; the guys gather together to check the to-do list and establish if we really can complete the build in time, or if we should call it quits.

The last two weeks have seen us working 7 days a week, 15-20 hours a day, with very little rested sleep. A good friend offered to drive us to Michigan so we could catch up on sleep during the journey. This generous offer meant we could leave at the very latest about 10am Friday morning. We were about 12 hours away from that deadline, Stefan and our four friends/helpers decided to give it a shot and reconvene at 2am. Could we collectively and realistically get the Nova finished to leave in the next 8 hours, for Drag Week ’21? The answer the second time round, was a resounding ‘no’.

To say Stefan was gutted, would be an understatement. Attending Drag Week has been a dream for a very long time. A lot of planning, time, blood, sweat and (almost) tears, had gone into this build.

Alongside the defeat was also a sense of relief. We each knew we had made the right decision before collectively agreeing. A car that hasn’t seen the street, let alone the track for five years, being driven by a driver running on very little sleep, un-tested, capable of 3000hp+ and running a low 6, a complete rebuild from the bottom up, everything upgraded, ‘no stone unturned’ besides the body and some of the chassis; would’ve been a huge and potentially dangerous undertaking.

We now have a Nova that’s more than 98% ready to go. More ready than it has been since it was last raced and stripped of the small block Chevy in 2016. The 3000hp+ LS engine is in and running. Just a few more bits of fabrication to complete and we are ready to take the car off the stands and go for a test drive.

We aim to test at our local track over the next few weeks and perhaps sign up for some drag events before the new year. We are very much looking forward to attending Drag Week 2022 with a fully dialed car and plenty of street testing miles behind us. Tom Bailey has also announced a new event – ‘Sick Week’, which will be a similar drag-and-drive event in Florida, expected to run in February ’22. This has certainly got our attention!

We would like to say a huge thank you to our sponsors, not only for their top of the range parts and craftsmanship, but for believing in this build as much as we do.

And to our friends:

Brad Lagman at QMP for his machine work & advice.
Nick Evdos at BTR for the badass Hydraulic roller camshaft.
Pete Nicholls at Hughes Performance for the pro mod transmission and Gear Vendors Overdrive.
Jerome for his electrical & plumbing expertise.
Moises for making the brake lines and providing the last minute tools.
Stretch for the paint work and other odd jobs.
Chavez for the color-sanding.
Eugene for the fabrication help.
Andrew Calkins for making a new HD wishbone for us with measurements Stef gave him from 400 miles away.
Greg Stephens for the spare center section.
Andrew Peterson for being on standby as co-pilot for the week.
Scott Breckenridge for spare supplies and diagnosing a faulty master cylinder on the last day.
Andrew for the haircut.
For staying up late with us. For laughing with us through the delirium, sharing both the stress and the victories. And for making our ’66 Nova Drag ‘N’ Drive car a reality!

Thank you!


Beadlock assembler, feeder, parts runner and the other half of ACE.

Engine Builder Magazine Feature

Posted on October 7, 2021October 7, 2021Categories ACE RacingTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ENGINE OF THE WEEK – September 28th 2021

3,000hp+ Twin Turbo 427 CID LS Engine

Many thanks to Engine Builder Magazine for this awesome write up about our 3000hp+ Twin Turbo 427 CID LS Engine. Including the thrash for Drag Week 2021, the defeat, and what’s next in line for our ’66 Nova!

Check it out here or click on the image to be taken to the article on the Engine Builder Magazine website.

Engine Builder Magazine Article – BUILDING AIRCOOLED VW ENGINES

Posted on October 6, 2021October 6, 2021Categories ACE RacingTags , , , , ,

VWs are essentially the hot rods of the air-cooled world

When Greg Jones, editor of Engine Builder magazine, asked us to write a small piece about air-cooled engines, we were honored.

We wanted to discuss the past, present and future of the air-cooled engine; the inner workings, the great aftermarket products now available, and the evolution of the aircooled turbo motor with EFI.

There’s some V8 talk and plenty of machining discussion, guided by our own story and experiences.

Check it out here!

ACE Racing – ’66 Chevy II Nova SS

Posted on March 10, 2021July 29, 2021Categories ACE RacingTags

Hot Rod Magazine Drag Week 2021 preparations are fully underway…

The new overhaul sees, FuelTech FT600 ECU, two Garrett GTX5533R Turbos, Dart LS Next2 block, Callies Ultra Billet Crank, our own JE Pistons/ACE Racing Engines custom pistons, MGP Aluminum rods, RDC gear drive, Aeromotive fuel pump, Dailey Engineering dry sump oil system, Shaun’s Custom Alloy Billet Intake, Hughes Performance Transmission with Gear Vendors overdrive and Sander Racing Double Beadlock wheels.

The old Nova…

Summer 2016 – Shakespeare County Raceway -Warwickshire, England, UK.

Best 1/4 mile E/T to date: 8.97 @ 148 (2016)
Previous Engine: 415ci Small Block Chevy (6800cc) 800hp on methanol
Transmission: Powerglide
Chassis: SFI Spec 25.1

The 2016 season in the UK, saw the Nova with a fiberglass front end and a 415ci Small Block Chevy engine. Shortly after reaching the goal of an 8 second quarter mile pass, the Nova was stripped back in preparation for the Drag Week dream, stateside.

Grandma’s More Door

Posted on February 20, 2021February 20, 2021Categories ACE Racing

The twin turbo ‘more door’ sleeper coming to the streets of LA very soon…

Sunbathing in the Arizona desert, this lucky 1966 4-door “more door” Chevelle Malibu has been brought back to a slightly cooler SoCal for a new lease of life.

A few upgrades have taken place; Wilwood brakes, Viking Crusader coilovers, UMI tubular suspension, Hughes Performance billet torque converter and 2000hp TH400 transmission, Precision Performance shifter, FuelTech FT550 EFI, and last but not least, an ACE Racing 1200hp motor with two G35-1050 reverse rotation Garrett turbos. All mounted on four perfectly conventional steel wheels with dog dish caps for true ‘sleeper’ demeanor.

Stay tuned for engine photos coming very soon!

Our DYNO Room is becoming a reality!

Posted on December 9, 2020April 30, 2021Categories ACE RacingTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Sneak peeks of our newly acquired 1600hp capable Stuska Dyno, accommodating it into our workshop and the excitement of our future growth of research and pursuing HP!

We have spent many hours inquiring and doing a LOT of research on the best Dyno for our LS and VW needs, only to come across this gem. A 1600hp capable Stuska dyno with full data acquisition, automatic load control and internal starter.

For the past 10 years we have run our turnkey engines up for testing and tuning but we will now be able to test, fully break-in and tune under load, all of our turnkey Aircooled VW and LS engines in house! We are also looking forward to many hours of R&D, finding even better combinations and trying new things in the search of more horsepower with today’s available engine parts and technology!

The base of the dyno room is built along with the new engine room, which, albeit a bit smaller, is now much brighter, cleaner and ready for more blueprint and engine building action. Next up, is to remove the cupboards before the installation of the water tanks and observation window, finishing the internal walls and insulation of the room and some modifications to the Dyno frame in order to mount the automatic load control and FuelTech ECU which we use on all of our EFI engines. A desk and a custom control panel is also on our to-do list for outside of the dyno room.

LS engine’s already fit thanks to our billet SBC to LS adapter that we had made a few years ago (notice our old logo!). VW motors will fit with a little work to the motor plate and a custom adapter will be made to mount the driveshaft to the flywheel.

Just a ‘bit’ of work left to do!

We hope to offer the dyno service to all our turnkey engine customers, early in the new year!

Let’s Talk Dubs Podcast

Posted on December 2, 2020December 2, 2020Categories ACE RacingTags , , , , , , ,

Have you ever wondered why Stef brought Aircooled Engineering from England to the US? How did he get into building motors? Why VW and Chevy LS? and where exactly did he learn everything he knows about blueprinting an engine?

Back in June, Bill from Let’s Talk Dubs approached Stef about recording a podcast to ask these questions and many more…

Click the link below to find out all the answers and hear how ACE Racing Engines all began!

ACE ’68 Patina Porsche Build

Posted on June 21, 2020June 21, 2020Categories ACE Racing

The 912 that became so famous the patina has been copied as a wrap!

When Stefan saw this 1968 Irish Green Porsche on Ebay he knew he had to rescue it before a true ‘restorer’ got a hold of it. Patina is a favorite look of his and there was no way he was going to let this awesome patina and the story of this 50+ year old car be covered up and lost forever.

The Patina Porsche was all the way over in Tennessee (Stefan was still in the UK at this point). It had been sitting in a field for many many years so the floor was completely rotten, there was no suspension nor any of the undercarriage that could be saved, so much so, that it had to be shipped on a pallet!

The first task though, was to obtain a title before it could be shipped to the UK….

Once in Blighty, Stefan got to work on rebuilding the Patina Porsche from the ground up – whilst retaining the original patina, of course!

This was quite simply, a bare shell. No floors meant no interior, no gauges, no nothing! It was built over the course of two years and gained a lot of love and interest from people all over the world.

Once all the lower metal work was carried out, the interior floor pans and rear seat area were painted Irish green for a minimalist ‘outlaw’ look with a pair of re trimmed 912 seats, Momo steering wheel and Simpson Harnesses. The car sat on all new re-built 911 suspension and rolled on RSR styled Fuchs. Power was provided by an ACE built 2270cc stroker type 4 engine with Porsche 911 cooling and Weber 48 IDA’s backed by a 901 5 speed transmission.

Stefan and the Porsche had a front cover feature in Hayburner magazine and Stefan has since been innocently tagged in images on social media that appear to be his Irish Green Patina Porsche but is in fact, amazingly, an exact wrap copy of the ACE Built patina Porsche! Sadly the Patina Porsche is no longer with us at ACE but is providing beaucoup de joie to it’s new family in France!