The Rise from the Ashes of Black Sunshine

by Gene

The first time I saw the car.

The first time I saw the car.

I'm known as the Boilermaker by some. The Godfather of INC (Impalas N Caprices OG) by many. I'm a bit of a nut about the 1996 Impala SS.

I bought the Impala SS I'm gonna tell ya bout late in 2004 down in Tamap, FL from an Ebay dealer. The car was originally titled in VA then resold in FL. 60K miles on the odo, $10K. It was purchased to be used as a daily driver and road warrior (I drive > 50,000 miles each year on business).

I started traveling in the car doing business during the week and racing or showing with locals on the weekends. Road race, auto-x and drag race. Anything the SS wanted to do. I have met and probably know a thousand b-body fanatics in my travels.

Ran up on the Impala SS Forum, Karl Ellwein and the guys from the East Coast Impala Racing Series up in the North East. Things start getting out of hand here.

The car was originally a 15 second quarter mile OEM ride.

I began modding the car with the goal of reducing this time by one second each year I owned it until I couldn't go any farther and still be able to DD the car. The car is full weight with a full interior. I will not install a roll bar so I'm basically limiting this journey to getting thrown off the track for going too fast without one eventually.

Headers, exhaust and tuning got me into the 14's.

Transmission work (Stage V 4L60E from my friend in Sweden, Bostic (nuther story) and some valve train mods took the car into the 13's.

At 180K miles a 383 stroked LT1 with a M112 blower on it made the car do 12's. 2007 the car also won 1st Place - High Mileage Class at the Impala SS Nationals Car Show in Indianapolis.

The last year it ran with twin T3/T4 turbos mounted on the now forged 383 stroker LT1 and did 11's. All while driving the car daily and over 50,000 miles a year.

The car, AKA BOILRSS, has run Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Byron, MIR, NY Int, Milan, Commerce, ATCO, Englishtown, Cecil (GA (my home track) & MD), Albany, Warner Robbins, Jacksonville, Island, 75/80, etc., etc. Got a ton of slips.

Long story short, I took the car to the Southern Super Heavy Shootout in Commerce, GA, turned the wick up to 22 PSI and burned three pistons runnin an 11.7 getting out of it at 800 ft. Runnin and howlin like a scalded dog.

The car drove back to the pits, barely, was trailered home and parked in my Father-in-law's pole barn on the farm. It did not move from that spot for over four years. The combination of a CTS-V (that's a whole nuther story), some family emergencies and a lil girl's wedding pretty much kept the fund empty.

In late September of 2011, after an extended reprieve from tuitions and weddings, I loaded the car onto a trailer and took it to some crazy mud truck racing engine builders down in the woods of North Florida. At first, I didn't believe it either. Trust me. Highest local club/racer endorsements and an engine shop with 4 CNC machines, heads, blocks, plasma table, 3,000 HP engine dyno, etc. These boys know how to build engines.

Custom O-ringed LT1 block, copper head gaskets, fresh cam, lifters w/ bars, springs, three new pistons, iron heads ported/polished for the third time, intake massaging, AND A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE. I ain't gonna tell ya everything.

We ended up using a shop behind a local body shop to do the R&R. Of course, the temptation was too great, so while the engine was out they gave the car the first fresh paint it has ever seen. Close to 300,000 miles are bound to do some damage. Debadged. Blacked out.

As of today, Jan. 21st, the current drive train mechanics are completed. It rolls into the paint shop for final cut and buff Monday.

Complete steering update, rebuilt A-arms, Dick Miller racing suspension w/ QA1's and new wheels should complete this build until I get the itch to redo the interior and trunk.

The car's name is Black Sunshine.

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