Oscar played favorites in 1991 when "Silence Of The Lambs" cleaned house, winning the Academy Award for Best Film, Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins who beat out Robert De Niro and Warren Beatty), Best Actress (Jodie Foster) and Best Director (Jonathan Demme). Talk about awe-inspiring domination.
About the same time, the import craze began to form. An unsuspecting Eagle Talon TSi rolled onto the dealership floor; like "Lambs," it, too, was destined for domination. While Honda was about to bust the scene open with the 1992 Civic, the DSM camp had a hit of its own on its hands-the Eagle Talon was turbocharged from the factory and could be ordered in all-wheel-drive configuration.
As the scene began, these two import icons soon became rivals, of which Turbo played a small role. The Hondas of the day were fast but ugly as sin. Racers would take off bumpers, hatches and sunroofs to lighten the load and go fast, then tape plastic to the hatches. The extensive use of tape on body parts, headlights, etc. got out of hand. Meanwhile, the DSM devotees adopted the Buick Grand National catch phrase "Go Fast With Class" and they were turning out cars with more attention to detail and with more pride.
Since the Hondas were primarily West Coast and the DSMs were primarily from the Midwest, a geographic element also developed. The breaker was a photo of a roll of "Honda Race Tape" we ran in one of the first Diamond Star Shootouts. The idea for the "Honda Race Tape" sign and roll of duct tape occurred at the spur of the moment, pulled off by Dave Buschur, and the Honda camp got the message. It was good because the H-pilots began to look past the timeslip and invest beyond the engine bay.
The Talon shown here belongs to DSM enthusiast Scot Wegman, but it used to belong to Tym Switzer, chief key tickler and overall tuning guru at Buschur Racing. The Buscher Racing white Talon was the first DSM to break into the 10s. About a month after the car changed hands, the flywheel exploded and took out the whole engine. "I called Tym mere minutes after the explosion and he calmed me down and assured me it could be fixed," says Wegman.
The venerable 4G63 was fortified with the right tricks, some tried and true, some one-off, but all with one foot on the strip and one foot on the street. Buschur Racing has plenty of experience tweaking these wild DSMs and is clearly one of the top 2.0-liter DSM tuners in the country. The block has been prepped for power while the stock crank has been shotpeened and magnafluxed for severe duty. Custom Wiseco pistons forged to Switzer's specs fill the holes. The 9.5:1 slugs are joined to Crower forged connecting rods and ARP fasteners are used throughout.
Switzer did the honors on the head, performing extensive porting and bowl work, then building the unit with Buschur-spec valves, Crower springs and Crower retainers. A set of Crower custom-ground bumpsticks orchestrate valvetrain activities, while a pair of HKS adjustable cam gears aid in fine tuning.
One of the more interesting and innovative portions of the car is the intake manifold. Tym Switzer earned his pay for the week, as he fabbed a big-plenum intake manifold with an integrated air-to-liquid intercooler.