You already know that Sick Week was filled with awesome street cars and hot rods burning up both the tracks and the streets of Florida earlier this year. However, amongst the sea of Novas, Camaros, Mustangs and other more common cars, there was Bryan Anders’ 1977 Chevy Chevette. We had to know more about this Sick Week ride, so we chatted with Bryan at Gainesville Raceway during day four of Sick Week 2023.
Competing in the Unlimited Iron class with the likes of Steve Morris, Bryant Goldstone, Jason Sack, Alex Taylor, and Tina Pierce, Bryan Anders’ Chevette was definitely the oddball of the group, but in the best way possible. And the combo is no stranger to drag-and-drive events, having competed in Sick Week previously, in a couple Drag Weeks and the Midwest Drags as well. The Chevette is powered by a 416 cubic inch LS engine that sports some additional horsepower courtesy of nitrous.
“In high school, I got a ‘71 Chevy Chevelle,” Anders told us. “I drove to school every day in the wintertime, so I bought a cheap Chevette to cruise with and save on gas. I’m from West Virginia, so it’s cold. I drove the Chevette in the wintertime, and as soon as it got warm, I drove my Chevelle. I tell my kids, you’ve got to watch what you do with your youth because it comes back and haunts you when you get older.
“I’ve got a Chevette still – not the same Chevette, but it’s similar. The other one was not fast. This car is an old square tube chassis hot rod from the ‘80s that was redone twice. It’s 8.50 certified. For Ultimate Iron, we weigh 3,050 lbs. We add some weight – it’s got 110 lbs. on the nose.
“Other than that, it’s got a 416 cubic inch LS engine with a 4.000” stroke, LSX cylinder heads, a Holley split intake, and Mark Sullivan’s 950 carburetor. The car also has a 350 Turbo transmission, a trans brake and a 9” rear with 3.50 gears. We cruise 70 mph normally with the trailer at 2,800-3,000 rpm. The trailer and car weigh about 5,900 lbs. together.”
As we said earlier, the combo certainly caught our attention, and we wanted more details about the LS engine.
“It’s a Texas Speed rotating assembly, so it’s their 4.000” stroke crank, their rods and CP pistons,” Anders says. “It’s got the LSXcceleration Edelbrock cylinder heads with 280 flow, stamp steel rockers and a 630 custom nitrous camshaft.”
According to Bryan, during Sick Week he was fighting the car’s desire to wheelie.
“We’re fighting the intermediate where we finally get it to leave and then it goes on the bumper and then next pass it looks like it’s doing a Sunday cruise,” he says. “I literally can change the tune on the nitrous, like 0.1 from 0.5 to 0.4. It goes from a Sunday drive to on the bumper and you’re banging third – it’s crazy.”
Speaking of Bryan’s nitrous setup, he’s running an NOS nitrous fogger system. At Gainesville he tried a 300 shot and had been ramping it up all week. The engine was a fresh rebuild over the winter, so he started the week with a 150 shot to make sure the tune was right and then he went 220 on day three.
“We went 9.15 yesterday on 220, which I thought was aggressive, but I wanted to run 8.60s by the end of the week,” Anders says. “I’m not going to get there if I’m fighting a wheelie. I decided to put the big pills in because it’ll run 5.70s / 8.90s all day long on an easy shot. I did that here [in Gainesville] and it didn’t work out well.”
Bryan’s 416 cid LS engine is capable of running 10.00s on its own at 650-675 horsepower. However, with the nitrous helping things, another 300 horsepower is possible, making this a 1,000-plus hp Chevette.
While Bryan was fighting some things on the track throughout the week, his drives went very smooth, which made for a fun week.
“It’s a Sunday drive,” he admits. “It literally cruises down the road like your car that you drive every day. It’s kind of amazing. You set the shocks up a little bit soft and you just sit back and cruise 70 mph. It’s nice.”
All in all, following his second Sick Week competition, Bryan and his Chevette finished the week with runs of 9.20 at 147 mph, 9.40 at 144 mph, 9.15 at 148 mph, 9.32 at 145 mph, 10.05 at 132 mph for an average of 9.42 at 143 mph.
“We’re still shooting for that 8.60,” he says. And we hope Bryan gets that pass soon!
Engine of the Week is sponsored by PennGrade Motor Oil, Elring – Das Original and 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].