At the heart of our sport, there’s a basic fact that many people eventually lose sight of: Cars were made to be driven. I’m not just talking about new cars,but also older cars the way you and I build them. More power, better brakes and updated handling all equate to better driving characteristics. So why do so many great cars get carted to and from events in trailers?
I decided to take a little different approach with my ’66 Chevelle. I’ve owned this car for 25 years and have used it for everything from drag racing to daily commuting in Los Angeles. I have a long history of driving this car, and intend to continue that!
Show up to any of the many pro touring racing events in the country and you’ll spot a sea of Chevys, a few Mustangs and maybe, just maybe a Mopar. But Moparfans should not despair, there are a few car builders doing what it takes represent you with muscle cars that can turn corners on par with modern performance cars, and in some cases, even better.
The best news is that many of these ideas and designs are making their way into suspension systems and even complete a complete chassis or two that you can swing under your Mopar muscle to show the GM and Ford camps that these cars can hold their own on a race track and on the street. They don’t get as much love, though, so we thought we’d pull together a few pages of some of the hottest suspension offerings to help you conveRead More
Anyone can build a Chevy, but it takes a unique person to build an off-brand. There we said it. It’s out in the open. You can argue all you want, but talk to anyone who builds a non-mainstream muscle car and they will quickly tell you that they have to be way more creative and resourceful to build a red-headed step-child from the same era as your Chevelle or Camaro. Of course, that’s also the exact same argument that Chevy guys will use to justify their marque of choice – it’s easier and more affordable, so they can concentrate on take the car tothe next level. Jimi Day did not only took his ’69 AMC AMX that he affectionately calls AMXess to the next level, he did so with a car that is rare to see in any form.
When we installed a 523hp Dart small-block in our 1968 Chevy Nova project car, we pulled the pin on the grenade that was the original rearaxle. While it was fun doing peg leg burnouts on the ancient tires our Nova came with, we’ve since stepped up to a pair of 255/40R17 NittoNT01s on the back. Horsepower and traction equal broken parts in between. So before we scattered the old 10-bolt axle, we decided to do the right thing and build a rear axle that will take the abuse.
If you read most enthusiast magazines, and especially the Chevy-only ones, you’d think that there isn’t a single person building a pre-1997 small-block Chevy any more. With the advent of the LS series of engines, you might believe the hype that everyone has abandoned their old-style engine in favor of retrofitting the newer generation of powerplant. Camshaft makers have chucked those cores on the back lot alongwith flathead Ford and Buick nailhead components. Block makers have smashed those casts and Gen I small block heads are little more than bulky door stops.
We’re here to say that the demise of the original small-block Chevy engine is greatly exaggerated. In fact, Comp Cams sells more Gen I camshafts than LS nearly two-to-one. Go ahead and pop the hood on your favoriRead More
In 1997 former President Clinton began his second term, scientists cloned Dolly the sheep, the spacecraft Pathfinder landed on Mars, and the Spice Girls released Spiceworld-their second Number One album-making the group the first British band since The Beatles to have two albums on the U.S. charts at the same time. Rock aficionados around the world mourned. That year, I was in the Bay Area, taking pictures and scribbling notes for an engine story that would appear in the August 1997 issue of Hot Rod magazine. Mike Blackstone was caressing a big-block Chevy to pump out what was some serious pump-gas horsepower for the day. Fastest street car racing was starting to get crazy and people were losing sight of the street aspect of fun, go-fast cars. This 557ci engine coming together in BlacksRead More
An interesting story about a high-school shop car that graduated to a turbo-charged looker. This story was written by Cole using photography and information provided by the magazine editor, in addition to interviewing the owner of the car.