Bill Schurr's Jeep SRT8 Featured in DRAGZINE
MONSTER MOPAR: BILL SCHURR’S TWIN TURBO SRT8 JEEP
Modern medicine has been able to cure many diseases, but it’s never been able to conquer an addiction to racing. When the racing bug infects a person and takes root, it never goes away — it may be dormant for a few years, but the track is always calling. The bug bit Bill Schurr hard at a young age and has led to the construction of a 4,200 pound Jeep-based racing machine that laughs in the face of convention.
For Schurr, being around cars and racing is something that started in his youth and blossomed into a career, as he now operates Paramount Performance. Schurr’s racing addiction got a heavyweight shot in the arm early on. “My drag racing career started off in the early 70’s when my fraternity brother, Charles Lingenfelter, introduced me to his older brother John, who at that time ran the flow bench at International Harvester plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana where we all lived at the time. He suggested I purchase a 1966 Chevy Nova which would be slowly built — due to my cash flow — for NHRA Super Stock racing,” he explains.
Fate would step in for Schurr and help accelerate his build due to the untimely loss of Lingenfelter’s Super Stocker Nova Wagon to a traffic accident. According to Schurr, not much was left after the accident. “All that could be salvaged was the motor and new top secret Steve Griner transbrake Powerglide. John called and made me an offer I couldn’t turn down. He sold the brand new engine and tricked-up Powerglide for a great deal.” Like any rational racer, Schurr purchased the proven driveline parts for the agreed-upon price and promptly bolted them into his Nova. “I installed the engine and Powerglide and went racing in Super Stock I/Automatic. My 1966 Nova was extremely competitive until I sold it in the late 70’s to move to Cleveland and work for Mercedes as a Senior Engineer.”
After selling the Nova, Schurr took a pretty lengthy break from racing.
“From the late 70’s until 2007 I didn’t do any racing, however once it’s in your blood, it’s there forever. I purchased a 2007 SRT8 Grand Cherokee and immediately got the bug back.”
To say Schurr got the bug back is an understatement, because what he did with this Jeep is nothing short of amazing.
Schurr purchased his Jeep in January of 2007 right off the showroom floor and took it to the track to see what it could do. In stock trim it was tremendously quick for a 4,000-pound SUV, running deep into the 13-second zone. Like any person who’s eaten up with racing, the stock nature wouldn’t last long. After just three months, Schurr decided it was time for a big power upgrade.
Out went the stock powerplant, and in went a new 426 cubic inch stroker motor. The new Mopar mill lived for about a year until epic engine failure occurred and took the motor down. “The Jeep decided to inhale a valve running down the highway at a pretty decent rate of speed and as most realize, there’s not much to save when a motor swallows a valve at high rpm. So, a fresh motor was ordered — this one built with more goodies than the previous motor,” explains Schurr about the engine’s demise.
Click here to read more...