565 cid Big Block Chevy Engine - Engine Builder Magazine

565 cid Big Block Chevy Engine

Looking to clinch a three peat at this year's Summit Midwest Drags in the naturally aspirated class, Terry Miller was at the drag-and-drive event with his 1982 Pontiac Firebird that features a 565 cubic inch big block Chevy engine. Check out this 1,000-hp NA beast!

Engine of the Week is presented by

One of the first cars we came across during the Summit Midwest Drags earlier this summer was Terry Miller’s 1982 Pontiac Firebird with a 565 cubic inch big block Chevy engine in it. It turned out that Terry was at the drag-and-drive event chasing a three peat in the naturally aspirated class having already won in 2020 and 2021.

We spoke to Terry, who does his own engine work under the guise of Miller Engines, during Day 1 of the Midwest Drags. Terry bought this ’82 Firebird when he was just 15 years old, and now closing in on 45, he’s owned the vehicle for 30 years. Naturally, the Firebird has gone through several different iterations, but it’s always remained street oriented. Terry has done some small tire 275 radial racing and heads up racing. He’s run it on nitrous as well, but since finding drag-and-drive events back in 2017, Terry has focused on the naturally aspirated classes.

Helping him attempt to achieve the three peat this year at the Summit Midwest Drags is a 565 cubic inch big block Chevy engine that features a Dart aluminum block and Dart Pro 355 heads, which aside from new valve and spring combos, new Jesel rockers and some port work, are right out of the box.

The engine has a short 4.250” stroke, but a 4.600” bore. It has a Callies rotating assembly with 13:1 compression JE pistons. Terry also told us he turns it at about 8,600 rpm through the traps. The Dominator carb on top was built by Competition Carburetion in Nevada. Wilson Manifolds did the intake manifold and the bulk of the engine was put together and built by Terry himself.

Of course, not owning his own machine shop, Terry does get machine work done at either Sperry Engines in Cedar Rapids, IA or Shepard Engine Development in Muscatine, IA.

According to Terry, every time this engine has been on the dyno, it makes just under 1,000 horsepower NA. The car has been a fastest 7.63 at 182 mph in the quarter mile on nitrous, and it consistently goes 8.50s-8.60s naturally aspirated. The Firebird has an 8.50-cert cage, so Terry admits it’s a little sketchy going mid-7s.

Behind the big block Chevy is a Powerglide transmission with a 180 first gear and a 410 9-inch rear gear. The car is pretty streetable thanks to a big radiator, an electric fan and electric water pump. The vacuum pump for the engine is actually removed when Terry street drives the Firebird, so it doesn’t pull oil out. Going down the track, he runs about 10-inches of vacuum.

Something a little unique that Terry does is drive and race on the exact same tires, which not many other drag-and-drive competitors do, but it seems to work as he’s had no trouble winning recently. He even ended up completing his three peat at the 2022 Summit Midwest Drags!

Engine of the Week is sponsored by PennGrade Motor OilElring – Das Original and Engine & Performance Warehouse Inc./NPW Companies. If you have an engine you’d like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder Editor Greg Jones at [email protected].

You May Also Like

Turbocharged 5.0L Coyote Engine

This 50th anniversary Mustang Cobra Jet features a turbocharged 5.0L Coyote engine and it’s one of the fastest Mustangs in Mexico. That said, there’s still room for improvement, and Martin Martinez of Junior Performance plans to make it even faster!

Just about any car with its hood open will garner my attention, at least enough for me to poke my head into the engine bay. During our PRI weekend this past December, I came across a Mustang in the Frankenstein Engine Dynamics booth that had me circling the car a few times. That’s because this was no ordinary Mustang – it was a 50th Anniversary Cobra Jet with a turbocharged 5.0L Coyote engine.

Twin-Turbo 572 cid Big Block Chevy Engine

Bryant Goldstone and his AMC Javelin are drag-and-drive staples. Consistently running 6-second ETs, the car is powered by a twin-turbo big block Chevy engine built by Bryant’s father-in-law Norm. We caught up with the two of them at Sick Week 2024.

Twin-TorqStorm-Supercharged 454 cid Big Block Chevy Engine

It had been more than two decades since Val Morris of Steve Morris Engines was behind the wheel of a drag car. This Chevy Malibu with a twin-supercharged 454 big block Chevy engine was her forray into drag-and-drive, and now she wants to go even faster!

Supercharged 572 cid SMX Engine

Danny Humphreys’ 928 Porsche has a supercharged 572 cid SMX engine in it from Steve Morris Engines, complete with a “shark fin” blower hat that really puts this car and engine combo over the top. We were able to catch up with Danny during day one of Sick Week 2024 at Orlando Speedworld.

Supercharged 588 cid Hemi Engine

Ken Lazzeri, head engine builder for Indy Cylinder Head, has helped build over 5,000 Hemi engines during the life of the Mopar component manufacturer’s business. We were pumped to get time with him to discuss the details of this 588 cid supercharged Hemi engine for bracket racing. Check it out!

Other Posts

Twin-Turbocharged 6.6L Duramax Engine

Enrique Gonzalez, owner of The Diesel Shop Inc., has pushed the boundaries of what’s possible with a Duramax engine, earning him recognition in the Duramax world and greater diesel motorsports community. Check out his twin-turbo 6.6L Duramax engine!

Duramax truck
Kingdon Drags Joins IHRA

This adds recognition to Kingdon Drags, and the track is proud to fly the IHRA colors.

Exposed Hot Rod Features a 572 cid ProCharged Big Block Chevy Engine

In the weeks leading up to Sick Week 2024, we caught glimpses of Leroy Edwards’ custom-built yellow hot rod. With its unique look, even for drag-and-drive, we knew we had to know more about this build and the ProCharged big block Chevy engine Leroy put in it. We got the details in this episode of

Li’l Red Express Twin-Turbo 6.4L Hemi Engine

A couple years ago we were following along with the 2022 Midwest Drags event, and at the Dragway 42 stop, we got a front-row seat to see Rick Russell’s Li’l Red Express truck go down the track. Unfortunately, that pass quickly ended with the truck hitting the wall and crumpling the front end. Rick has