By nature, racers are a breed of primates that have their priorities all mixed up. Why treat the old lady to a nice steak dinner when that same $50 will get you three gallons of race gas? She probably hasn't lost all that post-baby weight anyways, and my-oh-my does that Q16 fuel have a wickedly refreshing aroma to it. Likewise, while drag racers might think that nothing is more important than lighting up the scoreboard with a blazing e.t., in reality, staying safe is priority number one. Since few shops build fast late-model GM rides like the School of Automotive Machinists (, we had them make sure that GMHTP's in-house NMCA LSX Real Street race car was up to code before loading up for the track.

Knowing that racers will be racers and try to skimp out on safety gear, the NHRA has made things easy by clearly outlining safety equipment mandates in its readily available rulebook. Strapped with a 451ci LS small-block that kicks out 720 hp, our '95 Camaro is projected to run deep 10-second quarter-mile e.t.'s on motor and high- to mid-8s on nitrous. That means it needs quite a bit of safety equipment to remain legal per NHRA rules, and as such, we installed a Chassisworks 8-point chrome-moly rollcage very early on in the build process. To put the finishing touches on the safety equipment, we installed the parachute, window net, seat harnesses, and fire extinguisher. The best news of all is that The Purp's tedious multi-year marathon build is nearly complete, and hopefully we'll be shaking it down at the track the next time you read about it in GMHTP.