In “Woodward Avenue History,” page 22, Robert Genat singles out one street racer as being at the top of Woodward’s street racing pyramid: Jimmy Addison’s Hemi-powered Silver Bullet. Addison worked at a Sunoco gas station on Woodward in Birmingham, and his ’67 GTX was a mid–10-second/132-mph street and strip terror when Car Craft’s Ro McGonegal profiled him and the Bullet in the magazine’s Sept. ’71 issue.
By then it was no secret that the GTX was something of a Chrysler skunkworks car, used by the Mopar engineers “as a test bed for new parts and theories,” McGonegal wrote. For example, the Hemi in the Bullet in 1971 was based on a ’68 block with a 0.020-inch overbore and a CSC crankshaft with a 4.25-inch stroke, pushing the motor out to 487 ci. Aluminum cylinder heads were used to save a few pounds off the front end, and while McGonegal didn’t publish valve sizes, he did note that the combustion chambers measured 169 cc’s. He also revealed some of the Racer Brown cam’s specs: 322 degrees duration and a total lift of 0.590 inch. Topping the elephant was an early magnesium cross-ram intake mounting twin Holleys that had been “tweaked” by Chrysler fuel systems expert John Bauman.
Backing the Hemi was a TorqueFlite that Addison built, working closely with B&M Automotive. “A recent addition to help the overall starting gear ratio is a B&M 069-J 8-inch-diameter converter,” McGonegal said. “Addison says the unit will realize nearly 4,000-rpm stall speed with the B&M shifter placed in low gear.”
In an effort to trim weight, the Bullet had been fitted with a lightened K-member, but it was “so thin that it finally gave up last winter and started to crack,” wrote McGonegal. A stock K-member was put in its place. “Addison’s Belvedere has dieted somewhat from its former 3,700-pound carcass through liberal use of fiberglass replacement body panels,” he said. “The hood, front fenders, and outer door panels are lightweight ’glass.”
The GTX rode on a set of re-arched B-Body Super Stock springs and used Mopar shock absorbers “in conjunction with a homemade pinion snubber, positioned about 1 inch from the floor pan with the driver in the car,” wrote McGonegal. “At present, an 8¾-inch ring gear rearend is being used, and it has been fitted with a set of 4.56:1 gears. Ring gear longevity seems rather short, about a year, so Addison plans to replace the entire rear assembly with a 9¾-inch Dana model very soon.”
Up front, said McGonegal, “the torsion bars have been rendered practically inoperative, allowing the frame to rest on the snubbers. Though this is not good practice for street driving, it allows the front end better rise during acceleration.”
Rolling stock consisted of Firestone 8.45x15 lightweight tires on Cragar 5½-inch wheels in front and 12x15 M&H tires screwed to 8-inch Cragars in back. The sheetmetal screws were necessary “because Addison runs very low pressures: street 8 psi, strip 6 psi.”
The Silver Bullet’s exhaust system consisted of Hooker 2 1/8-inch headers flowing through 3-inch pipes to a total of four Cadillac mufflers. At first McGonegal called the setup “extremely quiet” but later admitted that quiet was “a relative term. Inside the car one can’t escape the roar of the engine and the exhaust under full throttle. This situation is aggravated by the absence of sound deadener and the use of very rare 1965 Factory Experimental lightweight bucket seats.”
At the time, Addison was continuing to tune the car, hunting for 10.40-second e.t.’s. “Then he’ll probably swap the entire driveline into something much sleeker, like a Challenger, to put a stop to the bloodthirsty Camaros that are trying to usurp his position,” wrote McGonegal. We’re not sure if that’s where the driveline went, but the Silver Bullet still lives and was painstakingly restored by current owner Harold Sullivan.