They said fashion repeats itself, but you’ve got to add a fresh touch to your new piece of work, don’t you? This is precisely what famous engine builder Steve Morris did when recently introducing the Boostmaster 2. This is his latest take on a 1990s Chevrolet Caprice Wagon that made drag racing history in the 2010s, but has been off the strip for a decade. So, how does up to 4,500 horsepower sound for a comeback?
The fourth-generation Caprice Wagon, together with its Buick Roadmaster sibling, which were built in the early-to-mid 1990s, brought a bit of a 70s flavor to the era, casting a super-sized shadow, sometimes accentuated by simulated wood grain, while catering to the need of the whole family (they could seat up to 8 people). However, they quickly faded away, with sales being impacted by the rise of the minivan segment. Heck, once the latter was superseded by the SUV a decade or so later, these uber-long haulers were even mocked at times.
Of course, a guy like Steve Morris, whose engines range from high-four-figure drag specials to the monstrous V16 animating the Devel Sixteen hypercar, wouldn’t have any of that. And we’re referring to both the dad mobile image of the original GM toys and the less-than-ideal reputation they enjoyed before returning to the auction scene as retro-perfumed contraptions a few years ago.
Some ten years ago, Steve built one of these Chevy station wagons into a seven-second monster, dominating the quarter-mile and turning heads with the reinvented family hauler.
How much horsepower does Steve Morris’ Boostmaster 2 have?
Initially dubbed Boostmaster, the wagon now gained a “II” suffix—this obviously dictates its reinvented nature, but it could also deliver a hint on the pair of Precision 98mm turbochargers residing under the hood.
The turbos, which suck air via massively cool wood stack intakes that protrude through the hood to breather via a 3D printed NACA duct, feed an SMX 572 big-block. Once fully dialed in, the V8, which works with a Turbo 400 tranny, will be able to deliver the said 4,500 horsepower—about those intakes… you’ll see Steve fisting them in the video below.
Sitting on a Pro Mod drag racing chassis, the beast is still street-legal. In fact, switching from the track to the road setup merely involves different shock absorbers and wheels. For one, while the drag strip setup involves Mickey Thomspon slicks, the 37.5-inch rear road tires seem like they came straight from the offroading world. Actually, as Steve explains in the clip, he chose these large-diameter tires to adjust the wheel rotation, compensating for the fact that there’s no overdrive (think: longer top gear) on this transmission.
Opening the front door reveals a mix between a fully caged interior and features such as power windows and cup holders. There’s also a radio in there, but this serves for racetrack communication rather than playing your favorite tunes.
How to drive a Pro Mod drag racer
And once you work the swing-column steering, you climb into the pair of seats placed where the factory second-row used to be. As for the trunk, the rear-facing original seats are nowhere in sight, with these having made rood for the monstrous wheels and the fire suppression system.
Having recently dynoed the Boostmaster II, the enthusiast brought the vehicle to the drag strip for some shakedown passes—as highlighted in the final part of the video below (11:15 timestamp), getting thething down the quarter-mile is no simple task, requiring a precise button combo to ensure that, for instance, the vehicle exits the boost- and RPM-limiting Burnout Mode and enters the full racing setup.
And you can bet your helmets on the fact that we’ll see more of Steve Morris’ Chevy Caprice Wagon soon. That’s because the vehicle is set to enter the 2022 Sick Week, which kicks off Sunday, February 6 . As its name implies, this is a week-long event that will have participants driving across Florida to compete on multiple drag strips.