Loaded Weapon: Coleman Heath’s Boosted 1971 Vega

Racers have certain options available to them when they’re building a car, but there comes a point when you’ve exhausted the performance potential of a combination. Coleman Heath needed a car he could push further based on his goals, so he built his 1971 Vega known as “Velvet Revolver” for some no-time racing action.

Heath grew up and resides in the state of North Carolina, a hotbed for all forms of motorsports. Heath gravitated toward drag racing thanks to the influence of his father.

“I have been into cars since I was able to talk. My dad has been my best friend and has taught me everything I know about cars. Drag racing is something we enjoy and I like building cars with my family and friends. The Velvet Revolver is the product of everything my dad has taught me,” Heath explains.

The Vega project came into play after Heath cleaned out some space in his shop by selling another car. Heath wanted to build a car that would be lighter and use a four-link style suspension. Heath, Chris Herring at HRT Unlimited, and his uncle Jesse all pitched in to build the Chromoly chassis for the Vega. The suspension consists of parts from Tin Soldiers Race Cars and shocks from Menscer Motorsports. Mike Taylor at TNT Customs worked with Heath to lay down the stunning paint on the Vega.

The Velvet Revolver is more than just a pretty face — Heath wanted to be sure the car had plenty of power for the no-time events it would participate in. A 400 cubic-inch LS built by P&M Performance found a home under the Vega’s hood. Heath selected a Dart LSNext block, Dart heads, a Callies billet crankshaft, billet rods, and pistons from JE as the base for the engine. A 102mm turbo from Forced Induction turbo provides the boost through a turbo kit that Quinton Perry and Heath built. The engine is managed by a full Holley EFI system.

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Heath plans on racing at a few Carolina N/T races, limited 28-inch tire events, and his local 252 list races, as well. Heath appreciates his family and friends that have helped make the Velvet Revolver come together. Josh Deaver and Jordan Alphin have played a big role in getting the car ready and Heath is thankful for their assistance.

About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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