Lovefab, Inc., founded and led by Cody Loveland, may have created the most insane 700-plus-horsepower, elevation-dominating vehicle ever built in a home garage. It’s name is the “Enviate,” and it’s a racecar designed specifically for climbing 14,115-feet into the highest summit of the southern Rocky Mountains during the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
It all started in 2010 with Loveland’s daily driver and shop car, a 1991 Acura NSX. By 2012, it was racing up Pikes Peak in mostly-stock form, aside from the massive wings added for aero power. He raced up the hill at full throttle, his knuckles white for good reason: On the second practice day, the NSX flew off of the hill at 60-mph. Loveland and team rebuilt it in 24-hours, just in time to finish the race. The team earned second place on the podium.
The car officially earned the “Enviate” alias in 2013. Being built from an NSX with a V-8 engine, the name is rather brilliant. “If you combine ‘NSX’ and ‘V-8’ you get ‘N-V-8’,” Loveland explained. “All spelled out, it is the E-n-v-i-a-t-e.”
“The main goal was to drop as much weight as possible from the original 2,500-lbs.,” Loveland said. He achieved this goal and shed 200-lbs worth of metal by building frame using 1 3/8” chromoly tube. Carbon fiber was used for the body panels, and power was supplied by an LS1.
The build was wrapped up in time for the 2013 Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb, but it didn’t live long. After the whipping around the first corner, then hitting 80-plus-mph, the car had a mechanical failure and veered into a wall of boulders. Luckily, right before it was engulfed in flames, Loveland made it out unscathed.
(Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXzWPDfGrYU)
Even despite the large loss, Loveland didn’t flinch: the team went right back the drawing board, and this time it was a complete rebuild. “Now it has more power, is expertly aerodynamic, and the overall weight more competitive at 2,050-lbs.,” boasted Loveland.
The Enviate’s featherweight carbon fiber body was paired with enough aero to create four-tons of downforce at 150-mph, and the suspension was built to handle the weight. This combined with a twin-turbo V-8 is the perfect recipe for an unstoppable mountain-eating machine. Loveland’s goal for an eight-minute run up Pikes Peak isn’t farfetched, but the angry mountain can be unforgiving. The team is hoping to send the car up slope in 2017.
All Photos Copy-written By Tara Hurlin
Dodge teamed up with Roadkill for the second consecutive year to bring legal street racing back to Woodward Ave. in Pontiac, Michigan. Because of their mutual desire to fuel the hobby, Dodge and Roadkill are the perfect pair to organize such a massive event, and with the recent Dodge Demon release, the bar was set even higher. Tim Kuniskis, the CEO of Dodge, was present to rev up some gnarly burnouts.
Roadkill Nights stepped it up even more for 2017 by bringing NHRA Fuel cars to shred rubber on Woodward Ave. Leah Pritchett made an appearance to jet down the strip with an 11,000-hp NHRA Top Fuel dragster, while Matt Hagan rattled ear drums in a Nitro Funnycar. The insane horsepower released by these cars made for a full billowing wall of smoke all the way down the strip.
During a celebrity showdown Roadkill’s David Freiburger, Mike Finnegan, and Lucky Costa, The House of Muscle’s Mike Musto, Hot Rod Garage’s Tony Angelo, Overhaulin’s Chris Jacobs, and the NHRA’s Leah Pritchett and Matt Hagan burned rubber down the strip driving Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcats. Tony Angelo and Matt Hagan split the winnings.
Every vehicle entered to race in Roadkill Nights is street legal, which makes these low-seven to six-second cars even more impressive. Racing down Woodward Ave. can be a bit scary for these high-powered monsters. Despite the prep team’s hard work, the Avenue’s pavement is mostly unprepared when compared to an official drag strip. The lanes are narrow, and the caulked cracks and random pebbles dislodged from the asphalt are cause for a case of the jitters.
Tom Bailey won last year’s Roadkill Nights competition and this year he didn’t hesitate to come back for more. His 1969 Chevrolet Camaro was named HOT ROD’s fastest street car in America during Drag Week 2013. It was the first car to run in the 6's for 5 days straight. Bailey earned the record for the fastest pass in drag week history at 217MPH, which also earned him the quickest pass for a street driven car at 6.70-seconds.
Drag Week racer Joe Barry made an appearance with his twin-turbo 2,600-hp 1956 Chevrolet 210 powered by an aluminum 598-cid Dart big-block. This car is special in that Joe maintained the appearance of a Chevy 210 Super Coupe while applying the modifications that allow it to plunge ahead at over 200-mph.
Another familiar face from HOT ROD Drag Week is Bryant Goldstone driving his 2,500-hp 1973 AMC Javelin. He’s a close competitor to Tom Bailey and was last year’s second place winner at Roadkill Nights. Had the event not been rained out, he may have walked away with the win this year.
There is something for everyone to love at Roadkill Nights, and if you are a fan of the show, being present at this event is almost like being in an episode. The wide variety of vehicles and modifications sets off the Roadkill vibe in a race what you brought fashion.
Technically, those who did attend this year’s event were a part of a Roadkill episode. After gutting Mike Finnegan’s engine and throwing the parts in a new aluminum block, and then solving transmission woes caused by installing a clutch disc backwards (#becauseroadkill), David Freiburger and Finnegan went head-to-head down the strip. Despite lightening the load on Finnegan’s gasser, Freiburger still came out on top, having owned his 1970 Dodge Super Bee for 15 years. Blasphemi was described as being “eerily quick” and it will be interesting to see what it can really do during this year’s Drag Week.
We mentioned a wide variety of vehicles, and that’s exactly what we captured. Take a look through the Roadkill Nights Gallery for some of the biggest burnouts witnessed during Roadkill Nights.