Larry now has the brakes, wheels, and tires dialed in the way he likes them. The binders are Stainless Steel Force 10 aluminum calipers on Power Stop cross-drilled rotors, and all lines are plumbed with braided stainless lines. At the front, Boyds Super Star billet wheels measure 17x9 inches, with Michelin 275/40ZR17 Sport tires. Larry chose 17x11 Super Stars on 335/35ZR17 Michelin Sports for the rear
The stock iron 427 was recently replaced with a 479ci Merlin aluminum block and Edelbrock aluminum heads, a transplant that shed almost 200 pounds from the front tires. Larry chose a Crane solid-roller cam with .595/.615 lift and 288/296 duration to bump the roller valvetrain.
The fuel-induction system is a cleverly engineered combination that starts with a B&M supercharger with an 8mm drive. "The supercharger was one of the earliest released by B&M for big-blocks," Larry says. "The main prerequisite for installation in Nightwind was it had to fit under the existing hood."
The upper plenum manifold was fabricated from .125-inch sheet aluminum and Schedule 40 tubing to place the four Model 40 DCOE Mikuni carburetors, as well as the fuel inlets, as low as possible. "Changing from carburetors to fuel injection required installing a high-pressure fuel system, mounting eight 42-pound injectors in the upper plenum, and installing sensors and controls for intake-charge temperature, idle air control, and manifold absolute pressure," Larry says. The carburetors were converted to throttle bodies by gutting them and blocking all internal passages with carbon-fiber plates. A divider plate was added inside the plenum to enhance fuel dispersion, and the entire system was programmed to operate in speed-density mode.
Grant Goheen fabricated a custom upper intake manifold, while the fuel-injection system is controlled by a Holley Commander 950. Just for laughs, Larry added a 200hp shot of nitrous. The spark to light this colossus is controlled by an MSD billet distributor, ignition, and rev limiter.
Next, a Richmond six-speed transmission was hooked to the lightweight Fidanza aluminum flywheel. "The transmission was one of the very first six-speeds released by Richmond," says Larry. "It required removal of the factory-welded, center-frame crossmember, which was replaced with a new, removable unit fabricated from 2x3-inch steel tubing. I designed the shifter mounting to place it as low as possible in the console and in the stock location." An Eaton Posi-traction differential is filled with 3.08:1 gears. This combination provides neck-snapping launches and lets the Merlin lope along at high speeds.
The cockpit also reflects Larry's take-no-prisoners attitude. The original Saddle interior was trashed in favor of the more comfortable '79-'82 seats, which also appeared in the '78 pace car. While the upholstery has gone through a few changes over the years, today the interior boasts natural-grain leather with grey perforated suede and Indian Red suede accents. It also has carbon-fiber and polished-aluminum accents. A set of five-point competition belts and shoulder harnesses keep driver and passenger well cinched
The Grant Corsa steering wheel boasts integrated radio controls. Behind the wheel is a five-instrument Cyberdyne driver information center. The gauges are hidden in the center stack behind a smoked Plexiglas panel so they don't show until the ignition is activated. Larry even tricked out the Kenwood sound system. "It sports a plain black plate over a face that flips into view when activated," he says. Four Alpine speakers in hand-formed housings keep the music thumping from the 200-watt amp.
Larry considers Nightwind a work in progress. "As technology changes and advances, the car will continue to be modified and improved," he says. "That's what keeps the entire concept dynamic, interesting, challenging, and fun."