Sometimes we discover cars that demonstrate such an extraordinary level of commitment to hot rodding, racing and engine building that we just have to share them with our readers. Such is the case with the Doomsday Impala built and campaigned by Andy Bennett and Dave Evans in the UK. It's rare indeed even in America for racers to go to the extremes that these men have done to create a one-of-a-kind supercar that captures the admiration of everyone who see it. It's difficult enough to build a car like this in the United States, but when you have to source almost everything from overseas it requires a level of determination not often seen.
Methanol burning 496ci big block Chevy
The Never Again Drag Racing team consisting of Andy Bennett and Dave Evans is backed by legions of friends, supporters and contributors. Andy and Dave have both built and raced a number of previous cars and the wanted to create something completely unique in all the world. The Impala body was found through stateside Impala guru Jon Krogh of Wisconsin who directed them to Jacob Rubio in Antioch California. Jacob was selling a palomino ivory 2 door Impala sport coupe (fastback) rolling shell. The guys purchased it minus the trim, glass, interior, engine and box in January 2007. Three and a half years later the wicked looking Doomsday Impala emerged from their humble shop ready for action.
Photo by Tog at Eurodragster.com
1968 Chevrolet Impala Fastback Sport Coupe. Glass trunk lid, Glass doors, Glass front clip, Glass scoop.Painted BMW 870 Electric Blue Metallic by Autoline Bacup. Airbrush work by Chris Rushton
According to Andy, the single 4-barrel car has run a best of 8.80 at 150mph with 489ci naturally aspirated on methanol. In 2012 they damaged the motor so it was rebuilt to 496ci for this season, (as yet untested). They are hoping it will tip it below 8.80 as it already ran very consistent high 8's with the 489. The chassis is tagged to 6.0 but the team is not sponsored and both guys work for a living, so funding has delayed plans for a 632ci engine that they believe will allow the car to run mid 7's consistently. The British economy is poor and work in the construction industry is intermittent. Dave has struggled as a stone mason. You have to applaud these guys. They're everyday working men with the fire and passion for racing and hot rodding we can all admire.
The 489 engine was around 800hp it's not been dyno'd with the new build and they're hoping the 496 makes a little more. Recently Dave tagged the wall when the steering wheel cam off its mount on a very hard launch. A simple $5.00 part cost them a full side repair and repaint. But setbacks don't deter them. Hardcore is not the exclusive property of the American hot rodder. Andy and Dave have gone to greater lengths than most to make their performance dreams come true. The Doomsday Impala is clear evidence of their remarkable commitment.
Here's Andy and Dave with the bare Impala body only six days into the build.
One of the best things about this build is that the guys were careful to thoroughly document the entire process right from the time the car left Jacob Rubio's driveway in the United States until the slicks hit the pavement in the UK more than three years later. They have over 5000 hours in the build with extensive photo collections and a book was generated about the car (see book review). The build sequence is so complete that there is no way we could show you all the detailed photos describing it, but we are providing an extensive set of links that take you directly to the team's extensive web site and other media locations that detail the car's construction and subsequent history.
489cu Big Block Chevrolet by Jeff Bull, (454cu bored and stroked), 4 bolt mains, Refaced decks, honed bores with torque plates, Faced main caps and line hone, chemical clean, balance of rotating assembly, bored +30', with stroker crank to 489cu, 8013cc. Race prepared for Methanol (Alky), Air Flow Research 335cc Fully CNC Ported Magnum BBC Head. Competition 5-angle valve Job. Intake Valve 2.300" stainless steel. Exhaust Valve 1.880" stainless steel, 1.550" OD Roller Dual Valve Spring with damper, 240 lbs. on seat, .750" maximum lift, 10º Chrome Moly Retainers, 10º Chrome Moly Valve Locks, Valve Seals, Hardened Shims, Intake Valve Seats, Exhaust Valve Seats, Bronze Valve Guides Intake, Bronze Valve Guides Exhaust, Guide Plates, 7/16" Exhaust Rocker Stud, 7/16" Intake Rocker Stud, Scat 4.250 crankshaft, JE 13.5 to 1 pistons, Eagle .250 longer H beam rods, Childs and Albert zero gap ring set, Clevite 77 H series std rod bearings, Clevite 77 H series std main bearings, Clevite 77 cam bearings, Crane HP timing set with torrington, Felpro RACE gasket set, Felpro oil pan set, Felpro 1027 head gaskets, SCE intake gaskets, Melling hv oil pump, B and B (steff) oil pan and pick up, Crane roller camshaft, Brass core plug set, Oil gallery oil plugs, SFI flex plate, ATI fluid damper, Manley cam lock set, Crane roller lifters, Crane rockers, Chet Herbert Race valve springs, Dart intake manifold, Mallory 37 distributor, MSD race ignition 7AL-2, Griffin Ally radiator, Weiand electric water pump, BLP alky crank drive fuel pump, 1150cfm BLP alky Dominator carburetor, 2” carburetor spacer.
Race Built TH400 by Andy Frost, Precision Performance air shifter, Trans cooler, Neil Chance Aluminum Torque Converter
Doorslammer - SFI 25.2, Full Bodied Car, Tube Chassis, tagged to 6.0 et @ 3,200 lbs max weight. Chrome Moly. Shortened wheelbase to 115" (from 119"), 4" stretched rear arches. Fabrication by WRE and Never Again Racing. Painted by Autoline Bacup
New Ford 9", fully braced by WRE. Third Member by Hauser Racing.
Ally paneled by WRE and Never Again Racing.
Strange all round, Parachute
Convo Pro's front and Rear
Good Year Eagle all round
Doomsday Impala Links:
Team Web Site
Early days / build and build story / first year racing
Short Clips Movies in 1920 x 1080 HD
Building a Doorslammer movie (5000 hours work in 5 minutes) - big file.
Doomsday Impala Book
Second year Racing / ups and Downs, breaking the motor / t shirt girls / modelling shots
Doomsday Impala - Blurb Book 2012.pdf - 77 MB
Note: contains some topless photos (just a few) from a modeling shoot done with a semi pro photographer