Jamie Otts is best known for his time as part of Discovery Channel’s Street Outlaws: Memphis, but he was racing long before the cameras were rolling. The 1955 Chevy he drives known as the “Killer Cab” has a cult following with its unique looks and hard-charging performance. Ottis recently made the switch from a big cubic-inch nitrous engine to a big single turbo engine combination and he’s ready to let the Killer Cab loose.
Otts began racing on the streets of Memphis when he was just 15 years old after spending time at the track with his father as a child. That time at the track with his family, along with being around hot rods, is what pushed him to pursue the chance to go as fast as he could in anything that had an engine and steering wheel.
“I started racing at the track when I was around 29 years old and immediately got into heads-up and grudge racing. When drag radial racing started to get popular I got into some X275 racing and when no prep started to take off I got into that. I really love racing and do it all, street racing, radial racing, no prep racing, it doesn’t matter to me I just want in on it,” Otts says.
The Killer Cab that Otts drives has a real steel body from a 1955 Chevy that has taken up residence on top of a 25.1 chassis built by Teddy Houser Race Cars. This car was built to race on the streets and go no prep racing, but Otts learned that if wanted to run at the front a new engine combination would be required.
“We built the Cab as a big block nitrous car originally to go no prep racing but felt we just weren’t going to be competitive enough after the car was done. We decided to go turbo and talked with Ziff Hudson when he was selling his set up and struck a deal to purchase it as a complete combination. We knew it would work well because it was a proven world record holder that was fast,” Otts explains.
The Cab’s new heartbeat is 526 cubic-inches of TKM-built power that uses a set of conventional-style heads and a Thompson Motorsport billet intake for induction. Behind the engine, Ottis added a Rossler transmission and Camron’s Converters torque converter. A full line of FuelTech parts still control the engine, provide the spark, and fuel as well.
With the new engine in place, Otts has been able to start dialing the Killer Cab in and has seen a large jump in performance with room to grow.
“In the short time we’ve run this new setup it has already been over four-tenths faster with very few hits. We went to Outlaw Armageddon with this setup and made it to the final five cars. We’re also making changes to the transmission and are working on getting more weight out of the car,” Otts says.
The Killer Cab is really starting to show its true potential and Otts says none of this would be possible without the assistance of some key individuals. “I’m very fortunate to have the support of people like James Johnson, Brayden Otts, Geno Bolden, my wife Kelli, my father-in-law Mitch Moorman, and Ziff Hudson with all his tuning assistance.”
After learning more about what this new combination likes in the second half of the 2018 racing season Otts will be coming out swinging in 2019. With a better understanding of the boosted power under the hood of the Killer Cab you can expect Otts to be a contender at any no prep or grudge event he enters.