photos by: Daean Chase
Anthony Manna’s Camaro Packs Two Turbos… and 2500 Horsepower
Among the most popular classes in the LSX racing series is Outlaw Drag Radial, because it’s filled with super-high horsepower entires with drag radial tire cars. Essentially, it’s about running a high-horsepower car on relatively narrow, street-legal rubber – talk about an adrenaline rush!
LS-powered iron is quite a popular combination in this world, and Chicago, Illinois’ Anthony Manna is among the leaders in his field. Showing up to the party with a 427 ci. LSX 1998 Camaro SS with plenty of boost and a lot of power. Two-thousand, five-hundred horsepower, to be exact, and Mr. Manna shows no sign of settling with that number. However, unlike a lot of racers in the field today, Anthony’s Camaro was bone stock upon his purchased of the car back in 2008.
Previously owned by LS1Tech alum, John Ryan, Anthony took the former 13-second stocker all the way into the 4-scond zone, in the eight-mile over the last eight years. In fact, its current best time is a 4.21 at 184 mph on Mickey Thompson 315mm-wide drag radials. But he surely didn’t get there with just a set of sticky tires.
Under the hood, the original LS1 flew the coop and an its vacant spot, went a 427 LSX stuffed with bottom-end hardware from Callies, GRP and Diamond. But before you think this was some garage-built, thrown together short-block, you might want to investigate a little bit further. Instead, Anthony enlisted the help of another Tony, Anthony Schroeder, of Automotive Engine Specialties (AES).
Schroeder took immense care and paid excruciating attention-to-detail in the assembly of the boost-intended LSX mill. He and his crew topped it off with a set of All Pro heads with a matching aluminum intake manifold.
Helping the engine inject clean, cool oxygen, is a Wilson throttle body, while the spent gases are exited through custom Speed Inc. headers with 3-1/2 inch dual pipes with dumps. Naturally, the catalytic converters are M.I.A these days.
The engine electronics have been upgraded significantly, utilizing components from MSD Performance in the form of the coil, spark plug wires, distributor and ignition box. For what Manna had own mind for this monster, it was a requirement.
Getting a 427 cubic-inches of LSX to the 2500 horsepower level takes more than a trick set of heads and a camshaft, as a pair of Garrett GTX88 turbochargers are mentioned just off of the aforementioned Speed Inc. headers. A twin set of ProCharger blow-off valves are put to work, as well as a couple of Precision Turbo wastegates. The Camaro utilizes 4-inch cold side tubing and 4-1/2 inch on the hot end. With 43-psi. on tap, the exhaust needs to be as unrestricted as possible, while a Precision intercooler handles keeping the temps at bay.
The fuel system was also upgraded, naturally, with the help of an Aeromotive regulator (set at 55-psi.), 225-lb injectors and Waterman fuel pumps – all of which keep the thirsty, boosted mill satisfied. John Meany’s BigStuff3 software was utilized for engine management, with John Meany and the helm of the laptop.
Sitting behind the 427, is a ProFormance Transmissions TH400 built by Dave Klaput, that’s paired with a PTC high-stall converter and a Reactor flexplate. Manna shifts the Camaro with a Turbo Action Cheetah shifter. A custom driveshaft loop holds the chromoly 3.5-inch driveshaft in place, that connects it to the Fab9 rearend out back.
Inside the rear axle, you’ll find a set of 3.89 gears working in unison with a Strange Engineering spool and 40-spline axles. A solid rearend is needed if you’re looking to accomplish what Anthony already succeeds in doing. Manna credits Neil Becker at Ultimate Chassis for the rearend assembly and set up.
Midwest Chassis upper and lower control arms can be found in the front of the car, while Burkhart hardware helps keep the M/Ts connected to the pavement on launch in the rear. The shocks are a blend of Mencers up front and Santhuff attached to the rear axle with a Racecraft torque arm is bolted in.
For rollers, Anthony went with Weld Racing RT-S at all for corners that house Strange brakes – that drop weight, but improve stopping power over the factory binders. The end result provides function that is also aesthetically pleasing.
Speaking of look, the Camaro still maintains its factory black hue that it arrived to the showroom with, albeit, with a carbon fiber front end upgrade. Manna aimed to keep a sinister, subtle look while shaving weight and having the ability to pop the hood off while in the pits in a matter of seconds. The interior also continues the “because racercar” theme, with its 25.3-certified roll cage by Neil at Ultimate Chassis and Ritli Motorsports, Racepak gauge display, racing seat, harness, carbon fiber and the like.
Since Manna’s car was shot just before Winter, the Camaro has already received a number of upgrades that we’re sure will best his current 4.21 at 184 mph. Until we know for sure, however, we’re just going to have to assume that the high winds are caused by something other than Mother Nature.
- CAR: 1998 Camaro SS
- OWNER: Anthony Manna
- ENGINE BLOCK: Chevrolet Performance; LSX
- DISPLACEMENT: 427 CI.
- BORE/STROKE: 4.125 x 3.825
- CRANKSHAFT: Callies Magnum
- PISTONS: Diamond; forged
- CONNECTING RODS: GRP
- CAMSHAFT: Callies; custom-grind, solid roller
- CYLINDER HEADS: All-Pro 12-4
- COMPRESSION RATIO: 10.5:1
- INDUCTION: All-Pro; CNC-ported intake manifold, Wilson 105mm throttle body
- POWER ADDER: Garrett GTX88
- INTERCOOLER: Precision (4-inch tubing hot side/cold side)
- WASTEGATE/BOV: Precision/ProCharger
- BOOST: 43-psi.
- IGNITION: MSD; Digital-7 ignition, coil, distributor, wires and NGK plugs
- EXHAUST: Speed Inc. custom headers
- FUEL DELIVERY: Aeromotive regulator (set at 55-psi.), 225-lb injectors and Waterman fuel pumps
- TUNING: Anthony Manna; BigStuff3
- TRANSMISSION: Performance Transmissions; TH400, Reactor flexplate
- CONVERTER: PTC; 9.5-inch
- DRIVESHAFT: chromoly; 3.5-inch
- REAREND: Moser; Fab9 Burkhart, Strange 40-spline axles, 3.89 gears
- SUSPENSION: Menser upper and lower control arms, springs, shocks (front), Santruff rear shocks/springs, Burkhart rear upper and lower control arms, Racecraft torque arm,
- CHASSIS MODS: Midwest Chassis subframe connectors, Ultimate Chassis roll cage
- BRAKES: Strange
- WHEELS: WELD Racing 15-inch
- TIRES: Mickey Thompson skinnies (front), 315mm M/T Drag Radials (rear)
- HP: 2500
- BEST 1/8-MILE ET: 4.21/184
- BEST 60-FT.: 1.132
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.