VINwiki Car Stories Recalls Epic Evo Build & Celebrity Drag Race
Vegas, SEMA, and Funkmaster Flex all contribute to this wild story of building a Evo for a celebrity drag race.
“To add to the insanity of the whole circus, the race was being flagged by Funkmaster Flex.”
This is how the latest video from VINwiki starts out. It is a entertaining and fascinating story of drag racing on the Vegas Strip in an Evo built in just three days. Arne Toman, former Vice President and Co-Founder of AMS Performance, sat down with VINwiki to tell the crazy story of how he and his team built a Evo at such a breakneck pace for a 2005 SEMA event.
Toman was and racer Chris Rado were asked to participate in a SEMA build-off challenge. Two Evos would be built at SEMA in the parking lot, then the cars would face off on the dyno, and ultimately go head-to-head in a drag race on the Las Vegas strip. Rado and Toman would be facing off against Paul Efantis. They had 3 days to create a savage racer. It was on.
“To add to complexity to this, it wasn’t out usual build at AMS where we have our set parts that we use,” Toman explains. “It was kind of a hodge-podge of sponsored parts.” The team was challenged to use parts they wouldn’t normally include, such as a nitrous kit. The team had to find a way to be clever and spontaneous throughout.
“We were leaving the engine stock internally because you just can’t build an engine in that amount of time,” Toman recalls. “The goal, realistically, was 550 whp, we knew that was safe.”
They met their goal and put out 550 whp on the dyno, beating Efantis’ team which came in with 520.
Next up, it was time to put rubber on the road. The race was scheduled for 3am on an 1/8th mile blocked-off section of the Vegas strip. Funkmaster Flex was on hand to flag the race. In the first race, Rado easily takes the win. In the second, a little hell broke loose.
“Efantis was using nitrous,” Toman says. “He was on the two-step and ended up throwing a rod through the side of the block.” Check out the video for this cool and smoky footage. Obviously, Rado and the team swept the race.
The win marked a turning point for the AMS crew, they started becoming a hotter and in-demand. But Toman can’t forget the wild, over-the-top craziness of that SEMA event. Building an aggressive performance machine in a parking lot scattered with parts all around the pit, crowds watching the build-off, go-go girls dancing on stage, and Funkmaster Flex spinning. And ultimately, the crew created a masterful Evolution racer out of mismatched parts. Yeah. not exactly your average drag race.
The Evo was given away in 2006 at a Nopi racing event. While Toman doesn’t have the VIN, he’s hoping the video will help him reunite with this revolutionary Evolution.