Tire smoke slowly clears the pavement as the two drag cars stage at the starting line. The metallic orange 1968 Camaro spools up the turbochargers with the brake system lined-locked into place. A drop of the staging tree lights and the Camaro let’s lose as the front wheels pulling across the line. At full throttle, nearly fifteen-hundred horsepower barrels the orange Camaro through the quarter mile strip and through the finish. The spectator boards read 8.35 seconds at 167mph. For Alex Taylor, this was her first day during the Drag Week event of 2017 — and a damn good start with the “Badmaro.”
Though Alex is no stranger to custom high-horsepower cars, her father Dennis Taylor is a long time-custom rodder, previously running his own fabricating business, building high-end fiberglass early model Ford “Willies” bodies. He then moved into one-off custom steel body fabrication and drag cars. “Since I was just a few weeks old, I’ve been at the shop.” Says Alex. “So I grew up around the industry and fell in love with it. I was always around to lend hand when I could and was ready to learn anything new.”
Photo by Adrian Berryhill
At the age of 14, she received a “hardship” license, allowing her to drive to work and school, so with that she needed a car. Just a few years prior, her mother purchased a ’68 Chevy, Camaro and began planning for a paint job. But her project wasn’t a priority and the Camaro was left sitting in back of the shop. She says, “My parents and I always had the deal that if I kept straight A’s through high school and got my college paid for, then they would purchase me a car to drive to college. We ended up switching that up a little bit though because my mom was nice enough to give me her Camaro. So my dad made the deal with me that if I was fully involved in the car and still kept my grades up, that we would build it.”
So then project began, and over the following years she and her father set out to create and daily driven high-horsepower muscle car and together they stripped it down, to began completely from scratch. For the process, Alex wanted to be hands on — she says, “I never wanted to just be a girl that could drive a car, I wanted to know as much as I could about every aspect of it and be able to hold my own when it came to building, tuning and working on cars.”
Starting out with a naturally aspirated LS1, she quickly found out it just wasn’t enough during her first attempt at a Drag Week event, so that’s when things began to snowball. “Eventually it ended up with a 6.0 LS1 motor with twin-turbos that was still my daily driver to high school. But it still had stereo, power windows, power steering, and A/C. It just happened to be making 1,200 plus horsepower as well.” She says.
Photo by Adrian Berryhill
Fast-forward to a few years later and present day, and now the Camaro is now a force to be reckoned with. Still based as a daily driver, it doubles as an 8-second drag strip terror hosting a Dennis Taylor custom 427 LSX motor, with a massive laundry list of custom built parts including Crower rotating assembly, Custom BME pistons, AFR LS3 Mongoose heads, hand fabricated sheet metal intake, hand fabricated headers and more.
The power plant is topped off with Twin BorgWarner 69/72mm turbochargers pushing the exhaust through a TiAL stainless steel housing, TiAL wastegate and blow off valve, with 160lb Holly Fuel Injectors that drink from a custom Dennis Taylor dual fuel system, which include a “race tank” with an Aeromotive 1700hp “Pro Pump” and the stock ‘68 Camaro supplemental tank with twin infant 340lph Aeromotive pumps.
But when the 1,500 plus horses and the 1,200 foot-pounds of torque from the 427 need to grip the asphalt, power is slammed through a Dennis Taylor custom built 4l80E transmission, backed by a custom built, Ford 9-inch spooled rear axle with 3.50 gears and Moser 35 splined axles, then down to the pavement through Billet Specialties Double Bead Locked, “Win Lite” wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson ET rubber.
Though with a daily driven high-horse power car such as the “Badmaro,” it requires dedication, commitment, and includes a lot of ups and downs. “This car has so many stories with it!” Says Alex. “An event that encapsulates all emotions is Drag Week and Rocky Mountain Race Week. During these weeks you drive your racecar 1,000 plus miles on the street and race at four different racetracks over the course of five days — without a crew or any support vehicles. I have laughed, cried, and beat myself up mentally and physically during and prior to this event. It is truly a test of man and machine!”
That day was a highlight among many since building the “Badmaro.” Together they have been featured as a Drag Illustrated Magazine “30 Under 30” nominee in 2016, successfully completely the Rocky Mountain Race week in 2016, have successfully completed four Drag Week events, and posted an 8.35 second pass at 167 mph at Cordova International Raceway during the first day of Drag Week in 2017.
“I have to say, one of my most memorable times was when I finally broke into 8’s!” She says. “I was on Rocky Mountain Race Week and turned 18 during the week. We were filming a pilot for a TV series during the week and I had told the camera crew that my 18th birthday present to myself was going to be me breaking into the 8’s. I did it, but barely! It was the day after my birthday and a lot of people were waiting on it to happen. I ran an 8.99 second pass and was one happy girl!”
Now at the age of just 20 years old, and with a massive amount experience, Alex still has plenty of room to grow. Although, she couldn’t indulge too much about her future plans of the “Badmaro,” she says that she intends to keep it as a daily driven car with power windows, air conditioning and the comforts needed to drive and race a week across four states, but we can certainly expect things to be changing up. All and all – she’s one bad chick, with a badass Camaro.
Alex personally wanted to thank her sponsors including;
• KPE Racing