A good rule of thumb is that if it’s insane, and it’s made from beautifully-welded stainless steel, Jack Burns has something to do with it. Over the years, we’ve seen all sorts of innovations in race exhaust technology, design, and materials from Burns Stainless, and they’ve almost always been things that were a complete surprise.

This year’s PRI show was no exception, but it was in the opposite direction from what we’ve come to expect from Burns. Instead of something bigger and louder, Burns handed us what looked like one of their typical straight-through stainless mufflers, but when we looked inside, we found something quieter and cleaner than we would have ever expected.

From the back, it is indeed a high-flow stainless steel muffler, but flip it over to the inlet side and the metal-matrix catalytic converter core is revealed. Muffler and cat in one, it’s an innovative way to package the essential elements of an emissions-and-noise-friendly exhaust in the smallest possible package. For street rods, muscle cars, and other custom vehicles, it’s a tidy solution to the problem of unburned hydrocarbons – no more complaints from the significant other about the smell when you start your car inside the garage is reason enough to want a pair.

Of course, we can’t mention Burns Stainless’ booth at PRI without talking about the LS7 on display there. Wearing (of course) a Burns Stainless exhaust set up for sand rail use, it was topped by an incredible carbon-fiber cross ram dual plenum intake manifold.

In development by Performance Design, the Carbon XR manifold uses a nested design so it will adapt to a standard or tall deck block without spacers, and features runners with 11.5 inch length and dual 7.2-liter plenums. Dual Mustang-style 75mm throttle bodies are used, but pretty much any throttle can be accepted via custom plates.