ProCharged 406 cid Small Block Chevy Engine - Engine Builder Magazine

ProCharged 406 cid Small Block Chevy Engine

In an effort to keep his 1957 Bel Air mostly original, Stew Hill kept the car primarily steel, but opted for a fiberglass hood. Under the hood, however, is a ProCharged 406 cid small block Chevy built by Riegel Engines. Check it out!

Engine of the Week is presented by

At a certain point in drag racing, no matter if it’s NHRA ranks or those of drag-and-drive competition, many folks alter their cars in an effort to trim weight and make the vehicle faster. However, car owner Stew Hill decided to retain a majority of his original 1957 Bel Air in steel and only went to a fiberglass hood. Of course, the upgrades under that hood are another story as well.

We saw this 1957 Bel Air, owned by Stew Hill, during Sick Week 2023 on day four when competitors were tackling Gainesville Raceway. The car features a ProCharged 406 cid small block Chevy engine and Hill’s co-pilot Ray Schrandt was kind enough to tell us some details about the car, which glimmered in the afternoon sun thanks to its ‘blurple’ paint color.

“It’s a ProCharged 406 small block Chevy with 9.5:1 compression,” Schrandt told us. “The engine has all forged internals from Howards, Ross pistons, a Howards roller camshaft, Trick Flow heads, a Dart block, Howards valvetrain components, a Dean Nickerson blow-through carburetor, a Moroso pan and oil pump, an MSD ignition, and a D-1SC ProCharger.”

With the ProCharger, Schrandt says they run about 6-7 lbs. of boost on the street and about 13-15 lbs. at the racetrack. They even change the pulleys for the street and the track.

“In terms of horsepower, the small block dyno’d at 770 hp,” he says. “The short block was built by Ron Riegel of Riegel Engines. He’s a friend of ours. Ron also uses PMS for his machine work.

“The car has been in the 9.80s, but it usually runs low 10s. It’s heavy. It’s 3,700 lbs., so it’s not the smallest or lightest car out there. Stew wanted to keep it mostly steel. The hood is the only fiberglass part.”

In talking to Ray about Sick Week, he said the street drives had been going fairly well with only a few minor issues.

“We had a rocker arm seize up and we had a little oil leak,” he points out. “Other than that, it’s just been hot. It’s still the best vacation though.”

Both Stew and Ray are well-versed in drag-and-drive competition as they’ve done several Drag Weeks over the years (three), but this was their first Sick Week, and the event met their expectations.

Over the course of five days of racing at Orlando Speedworld, Bradenton Motorsports Park, South Georgia Motorsports Park, and Gainesville Raceway, Stew and Ray managed passes of 10.31 at 132 mph, 10.08 at 133 mph, 10.18 at 133 mph, 10.24 at 130 mph, and 10.35 at 129 mph for an average of 10.23 at 131 mph.

Not too shabby for a 1957 Bel Air and its ProCharged 406 cid small block Chevy!

Engine of the Week is sponsored by PennGrade Motor OilElring – 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].

You May Also Like

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!

Anyone familiar with the drag-and-drive scene will know the name Steve Morris and his shop Steve Morris Engines. Steve has been building high-horsepower engines for decades and is a ‘household name’ in Hot Rod Drag Week and Sick the Mag’s Sick Week circles, as Steve has both competed in these events and has been Tom Bailey’s right-hand man for numerous Drag Week wins.

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!

All-Billet Subaru EJ 2.5L Engine

This 2016 Subaru STi, which features an all-billet EJ 2.5L engine, was built to showcase what Kaiju Motorsports is capable of. Not only does it look great, but all expectation is that it performs well too. Check it out!

Kaiju Motorsports 2016 Subaru STi with a billet EJ 2.5L engine
Turbocharged Billet K24 Honda Engine

Noonan Race Engineering is well-known for its V8 engine platforms, but the shop has now dipped its toe into the 4-cylinder world with a billet K24 Honda engine. The objective – huge horsepower, while keeping factory creature comforts. Check it out!

Other Posts

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

Sick Week Wins USA Today’s Readers’ Choice for Best Motorsports Race

The week-long event held throughout Florida, plays host to over 350 street cars.