Just back from his 317.756mph run for Danny Thompson's Challenger 2.5 streamliner at this week's test and tune leading up to the 2014 Speed Week next month, we talked with him to get his impressions. Thompson has two goals: to beat the Speed Demon speed of 437.183 mph and to take the Challenger 2.5 to 500 mph. "Everything went perfectly last week," says Danny. "There is nothing I would change on the car, other than more horsepower, which we're going to take care of this week."
Salt fever is in the air! Another party heard from is Sactoâs Eddie Umland of Eddies Chop Shop. Any reader of HOT ROD in the last year or so knows about Ed, having built a couple of memorable coupes featured in our March 2013 and January 2014 issues. On weekends heâs been working on his Bonneville roadster; a steel-bodied, tube chassis racecar heâs shooting for over 300mph in B/BGRMR .
If the names Kuhl and Olson have a familiar ring, well, they should. Having spent the â70s as a Top Fuel team with both front- and rear-engine dragsters winning some prestigious races like the NHRA Winternationals, the March Meet, and The Last Drag Race at Lions Drag Strip, and an IHRA world championship, they made one Hell of a team. In 2007 they were awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield, and in 2012 were inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame as a cherry on top of their fun Fueler forays.
Back in the day it was fairly common to see Cobras, Corvettes, and other sports cars dicing with each other on the Pomona Fairgrounds' 1.8-mile road course. However, it has been a good 20 years since someone last heard the throaty roar of a 427 big-block Ford going through the gears on that stretch of SoCal pavement.
HOT ROD was there for the Friday qualifying rounds of the NMCA West drags at Fontana Dragway. Check out the pit area with this gallery of Friday's festivities. A huge crowd of both spectators and racers showed up for the highly organized NMCA West event.
The 3rd Annual Lucas Oil NMCA West Street Car Nationals at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana celebrates the return of quarter mile drag racing in SoCal. A huge turn out of street and strip hot rods brought lots of racing action and a busy pit area. What's amazing is that such a large number of cars exist in a region that's seen all of its quarter mile drag strips bulldozed with the exception of Pomona, which hosts limited meets.
The world-famous TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood (formerly Grauman's and Mann's Chinese Theater) hosted the West Coast debut of the 2015 Ford Mustang. The redesigned pony car is a logical step in the evolution of the Mustang DNA that we've become familiar with over the past 15 years. Equipped with a choice of three engines, from a standard V-6 to the obligatory all-aluminum 420hp 5.0L Coyote GT motor plus and the new 305hp (projected) 2.3L twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder.
For the 50th anniversary of the original pony car, Ford redesigned the platform, changing around the rear (independent) and front suspension to not only give better ride, handling, and steering, but also to allow the stylists to redesign with less restrictions. One of the benefits of the new suspension design are bigger brakes.
The event kicked-off with a breakfast and presentation by Ford executives, then the launch of the all-new Mustang. Judging by the photos, the Mustang's gone Hollywood! Millions of people walk past the theater each year to admire the famous handprints and signatures displayed out front, and the Mustang is no different, leaving its tire tracks on a slab of soft concrete.
Later this afternoon, HOT ROD will be headed to Venice Beach for another Mustang celebration hosted by Ford. This car show will be for the general public, so if you're local and want to display your Mustang colors, not to mention get close to the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang, you will be welcomed.
There's no passing up a red muscle car, especially at the 2013 SEMA Show. That said, we couldn't hep but showcase this Glasurit Fire Red, 1967 Chevrolet Nova sitting in the Magnaflow exhuast booth. Owner Jimmy Shaw has always shared an affinitiy to the Nova; even owning a couple of them. However, this one couldn't just be a cruiser. It had to handle, stop and have the stance of some of our late-model favorites.
What better way to celebrate the SEMA spirit than with this 1973 Chevrolet Camaro. It's oozing with performance goodies from some of our favorite aftermarket heroes. Randy Johnson, D & Z Customs owner and builder out of Wisconsin planted this second-gen in the Auto Meter booth and we couldn't help but showcase this awesome ride. Though information on the car is limited, we were able to pull out some of the details including a go-fast goodies from Heidt's suspension for a slick stance.
The standing mile. Itâs a simple premise, one thatâs caught on big lately: From a stop, you accelerate your car to the fastest top speed possible before the 132-foot timing traps at the end of a single mile. Itâs a great high, and the East Coast Timing Association has been dealing it since 1994 at Moultrie, Georgia (briefly), and Maxton, North Carolina (from 1995â2011). After losing the Maxton venue, the ECTA kicked off races at the Airpark in Wilmington, Ohio, in 2012 and hasnât looked back, with participation numbers soaring.
Fifty years ago, Carl Casper staged his first show in the Louisville Exposition center. It was a busy year for car guys: Nitromethane returned to NHRA at the â63 Winternationals, the last Studebaker rolled out of South Bend in 1963, drag racing made its national-television debut on ABCâs Wide World of Sports, and indoor car shows packed crowds into local armories and huge exhibit halls. The proliferation of outdoor car shows, aka rod runs, was still years away.
The Detroit Autorama has been showcasing custom cars since 1953 and awarding the coveted Ridler award since 1964. In February 2013, we had one job to do at the show: find the eight cars contending for the Ridler, nicknamed âThe Great Eight.â It seemed easy enough, but sending us to a car show in the Motor City is like sending a squirrel into a nut factory. We got distracted.
When our big sister committed to renting the expansive and expensive Fairplex for an unprecedented reunion of past HOT ROD feature vehicles since 1948, the big question was whether the response from car owners and spectators would justify such heavy investments in effort and dollars. After all, the targeted audience had been here recently for the huge Grand National Roadster Show, and NASCAR was running the same weekend at nearby Fontana.
Twenty-two years ago, when the Sacramento Autorama named its perpetual Harold A. Bagdasarian Award for World's Most Beautiful Custom after the show's 1950 founder, nobody expected competitive entries to originate outside of our own borders. Back when the hot-rod world was flat, the coolest customs all came from America. a Photo Gallery: 2013 World's Most Beautiful Custom - Hot Rod Deluxe Magazine
Exactly a year ago, we were wondering aloud how much longer the worldâs second oldest hot rod showâindeed, any major indoor eventâcould survive Great Recession attendance levels (July 2012 HRD). Never mind. Call off Dr. Kildare. Cancel the meat wagon.
There must be a law in Australia stipulating any used-car purchase must include a Roots blower, because half of the hot rods at Powercruise had aluminum lungs busting through the hood. How do we know this? Because we were there. How did we get there? Good question. It all began innocently enough: We wondered what would happen if we stuck our 1,160hp drag-boat motor into a hot rod and then drove it on the street. What would 900 lb-ft of naturally aspirated torque feel like if the tires managed to hook up? Would the brute force break the rear tires loose on the freeway and send us straight into the guardrail with a mix of sheer terror and joy on our faces? We had to know, but we didnât have a car to install the engine into that wouldnât twist into a pretzel from the shock of quad-digit power. Our engine also runs on 118-octane Rockett Brand race fuel, so the experiment would be expensive and short-livedâeven if we wrecked the car immediately.
Interested in winning a trip to the 2013 SEMA Show in Las Vegas? Well, then send us a photo of you and your hands at their dirtiest and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org to be entered into our contest presented by LAVA Soap. Please see the Official Rules below. *Note: The SEMA Show is a trade-only industry event that is not open to the general public.*
The Hot Rod Homecoming, presented by Chevrolet Performance and co-sponsored by Edelbrock was this past weekend, March 23rd and 24th, 2013. Building 4 featured the earliest of hot rods ever featured in the magazine. This was the place where you could witness the cars that created the hobby. Stay tuned this week as we bring you more information and photos of the people and cars from Hot Rod Homecoming.
Travis Gilpin lay flat on his back behind the burnout box at Memphis International Raceway in total silence, just a few feet behind Todd Maschmeierâs wounded â68 Camaro. His driver suit was pulled down to his waist, and the racing logo on his hat was almost unrecognizable beneath the dirt and chemical stains. He had a defeated look on his weather-beaten face, the lines of his cheeks caked with oil and aggravation. Except for a puzzled track official who stood over him repeatedly asking whether or not he wanted the Camaro pushed or pulled off the track, there were few people around to witness the dismal scene. Most of the other competitors had already hit the road, looking for victories large and small on the last leg of HOT ROD Drag Weekâ¢, the racing road trip thatâs the proving ground for the fastest street/strip cars on Earth.
Meldon Van Riper Stultz III is a pretty interesting guy. Behind the cool name and the full-frontal fascia of rusty hued whiskers lies the mind of a true innovator. A jack of several trades, Mel and his crew have taken to building cool pre-war hot rods and bikes just off the New Jersey shorefront in the town of Neptune. They started building period-correct rides for Mel and his friends and gradually ventured into fabrication for a select clientele across the globe. A few years back, Mel was sick and tired of going to the typical parking-lot car shows; spectacles of lawn chairs, light conversation, and stagnant rides never impressed him much. So, to demonstrate to the masses that there was more to life than just parking your car, he jumped in the fray, putting on rousing, old-time-styled racing events in the greater Jersey Shore area.
On the surface, HOT ROD Drag Weekâ¢ is all about winning. You say you have a fast street car, we ask you to prove it during 1,400 miles of backwoods road tripping while also being quicker, faster, and staying together longer than all the other cars in your class through a week of drag passes. If you donât break, crash, slow down, and/or dissolve in a weeping puddle of failure in the shadow of a small-town water tower, then you win, and thatâs the point. If someone tells you, âItâs not about winning,â you can usually assume thatâs because they lost. When 32 different people say itâincluding the guy who wonâthen you have to wonder: If itâs not about winning, what is it about?
January 2013 marks the 65th birthday of HOT ROD and we are starting the celebration early with the 2012 SEMA cruise. Every car, truck, motorcycle and scooter rolled through the entrance of the Las Vegas Convention Center on Friday, November 2, 2012. There were more than 1,000 people packed onto the bleachers and sidewalks to watch, listen, and smell the mean machines that were featured all over 2012 SEMA.
It's dark. It's dark and it's cold and I'm on a mountain 11,000 feet in the air, if you can still call the oxygen-starved atmosphere "air." I am covering the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb at the invitation of Jess Neal, driver of the No. 42 '71 Plymouth 'Cuda and member of the Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing (RMVR) group. Jess plans to make his third attempt to take away the Vintage title from fellow RMVR racer Keith Davidson, and he offered to let me work on the team. That was my first indication that these people might be crazy.