Good day BMW aficionados, my name is Dale Pelvit and I would like to tell you a story. The story is about
twin BMW V12 (M73b54) engines being used to power a hot rod. Before we get to the meat of the story,
I'll ask you to indulge me for a bit of background.
The main characters in this story are my old friend Gary Kollofski and myself. Gary is a retired high school
mathematics teacher and I am a retired automotive machinist. We've known each other for over 40 years and
share a passion for virtually all things automotive . . . and Hot Rods in particular.
Gary has been involved in motorsports for over 50 years. In the mid 1970s he had a '55 Chevy built that was
instrumental in the establishment of a new genre of Hot Rod – that being “Pro Street”. This car was powered by
a 440 cubic inch supercharged big block Chevy. This enabled it to run low 10 second ET's at the drag strip while
retaining the streetability and reliability necessary to be a practical driver on the street. The car won a bunch of
awards at car shows and was featured in Hot Rod Magazine in 1977.
In the 1980's Gary's fancy turned to powerboats (with an emphasis on the “power” aspect of the equation).
That quest for power culminated in a 38 foot cigarette boat that was capable of 100 miles per hour. The thrust required to
attain that speed was provided by a pair of supercharged and intercooled 572 big block Chevy engines. I assembled those
engines for Gary and they each produced over 1100 horse power on the dyno.
Gary also traded in marine parts and at one point, acquired a pair of 730 cubic inch Italian BPM V12 marine
engines. One of those behemoths found an unlikely home in another '55 Chevy. Like his first '55, this car won many
awards at car shows and was featured in a major magazine (the May 2014 issue of Car Craft).
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If you would like to add any comments, remarks and/or corrections to this article, feel free to email Mike Oswald and we'll put it on our site. Share your experiences with us so others may benefit from it.