“A friend of mine owns an EVO and I raced him, and I lost pretty badly,” says Brian King, when discussing the motivation behind building what we think is the wildest G-Body you’ll ever see. This wicked 1982 Hurst/Olds Cutlass is now home to a Lingenfelter Performance Engineering 403 cubic inch LS2 engine boosted by a ProCharger D-1SC supercharger pushing 15 pounds of boost – and it runs 10.70 at 130 MPH, spinning all four tires on the launch.
But the LS conversion isn’t the part that’s got us looking at the price of plane tickets to Nebraska, where King lives. Nope – it’s the all-wheel-drive conversion that’s been performed to the chassis, using a host of parts from the General.
“Some of the parts came out of an ’07 Trailblazer SS, and some of them came from an Oldsmobile Bravada. It was a lot of welding and a lot of frame fabrication to make everything fit. It was pretty basic, I thought. A little bit of time and a little bit of patience,” he says.
“I bet I only have about 40 hours into the frame build. Once I had everything lined up and welded into place, it was pretty easy to put the parts in from there. It was more or less locating the parts,” he continues. The floorpan area needed to be modified to fit the transfer case into place, and there was just enough room for the front driveshaft to run straight to the front differential.
King spent plenty of time researching the correct parts he would need, and since this particular type of build has never been done before, he was on his own when it came to sourcing everything. “All of the parts came from GM – they pretty much had everything available for it. The engine pan is an LS truck pan that gave just enough clearance for the front differential, and the throttle body linkage is only about a quarter-inch fro the hood, but everything fits.
Front suspension parts including spindles, hubs and axles and the like were sourced from the Bravada, chosen specifically for their use of the same bolt-circle as the Cutlass. Control arm tabs and mounting hardware needed to be welded in, and as is the case with many hot-rod builds, a lot of measure thrice, cut once had to be employed throughout the course of the build.
“I put the LS2 in it initially, and still wasn’t able to beat the EVO, although it was a pretty close race. A friend of mine had a used ProCharger laying around, but nobody makes a bracket to fit this supercharger into a G-body car. It was more work building the supercharger bracket than it was to actually build the frame. And once I got it onto the car, I was trying to self-tune it and figure it out and blew the damned engine up – it threw a rod right out the side of the block,” he explains.
That led to a phone call to Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, and a few months later a brand new bullet showed up. “Three months after I ordered it, it was delivered and I was off like a mad scientist trying to get the car back together,” says King.
The build itself was actually quite reasonable by hotrod standards. The initial LS2/4L80E transmission/transfer case/wiring harness, etc. were sourced from a wrecked Trailblazer SS that was located on ebay for $6500, and the frame build itself was in the neighborhood of $1,200. The replacement engine from Lingenfelter was the biggest expense at approximately $10K, and the time and effort on King’s part finished it off.
Norfolk Transmission tuned up the 4L80E, 3.73 gears from Richmond Gear are attached to both differentials, Moser Engineering built a set of custom axles to hold up to the power, fuel is supplied by Walbro pumps running through an Aeromotive regulator and FiveOMotorsport injectors, and Spohn was tapped to provide additional drivetrain parts.
“It took me about a year to find a really good tuner to work with the HPTuners software – Tom V in California – and it’s only over the last few months that we’ve figured it out and gotten it running well,” he says. The wiring harness was one of the biggest struggles he faced during the build, as the factory body control module gave him fits over the course of a month before he finally figured out how to make everything work.
Dakota Digital, Glowshift, and AEM Performance gauges populate the interior, and fittingly, a Hurst Lightning Rod shifter actuates the transmission.
The car itself has been in King’s possession since 1994 and was the car he drove to high school, and ever since then it’s been an ongoing project.
Fresh paint from Joe B has the car looking slick, and the powertrain has our juices flowing. An awesome build!