Hot Rod May 2021

Start running with HOT ROD - the biggest, baddest, car-guy magazine in the business! We bring you the broadest performance car coverage you'll find anywhere. From one end of the smoking¹ rubber road to the other. Barn finds, hot rods, rat rods, race cars, home-built super cars, land speed racers, the latest Detroit iron, and classic muscle - if it¹s hitting the streets, you¹ll read about it here first!

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12 Números

en este número

4 min.
sports car racing resurgence

Last weekend was the 59th running of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, and I was there in spirit as I listened to nearly the entire race broadcast on IMSA Radio through my headphones. It was an exciting race with long stretches of green flag racing and plenty of wheel-to-wheel action. The Wayne Taylor Racing Team, which fields the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura was the overall winner in the Daytona Prototype (DPI) class. That car, piloted by co-drivers Ricky Taylor, Hélio Castroneves, Alexander Rossi, and Filipe Albuquerque crossed the finish line a scant 4.7 seconds ahead of second place Kamui Kobayashi. In four of the other five classes of cars on track during the event, the second-place finisher was on the lead lap, if not within seconds, of the winner.…

3 min.
the hot rod archives

20 Years Ago May 2001: 148 pages, $3.99 Take one crazy staffer, an old-fashioned Deist Nitro-approved fire suit, and an altered wheelbase Nova, and you have the ingredients for one of the most iconic HOT ROD covers ever. Petersen Publishing photographer Jimw Brown shot this memorable image of Tech Editor Steve “Magneto” Magnante springing through the empty windshield of his ’63 Nova, soon to become the famous Wilshire Shaker. Why Wilshire? That’s where Petersen Publishing HQ was located: Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. This is part one of the build series. We contacted Magneto for insider info about the shoot, which he remembers well. The car was photographed at the Van Nuys shop and the company had to sign an insurance waiver for the fire suit, which was borrowed from Deist. Magneto…

2 min.
rare 1966 427 big-block impala ss

At Chevrolet’s preview of its new-for-1966 models held in July 1965, Petersen Publishing’s photo chief Bob D’Olivo captured a boat of an Impala convertible lapping a GM proving ground. It’s hard to make out in the photo, but there are crossed flags on the Imp’s front fenders, a tip-off that this was no everyday boulevard cruiser. It was a Super Sport, powered by a top of the line 427 and backed by a four-speed, no less. Chevy’s big-block offerings grew to 427 inches for 1966, and two versions were offered for full-size cars and Corvettes. The L36 was stout, with its 10.5:1 compression and hydraulic cam working to produce 390 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. But with four-bolt mains, bigger valves, a solid-lifter cam, tighter squeeze at 11.0:1, and a…

6 min.
persistence pays off

Old Smokey is hard to characterize. It’s a tube-chassis race car hiding under a weather-beaten 1949 Ford F1 body. It is registered and legal to drive on public roads. It obliterates a pair of rear tires at will, thanks to a massive wave of torque from the turbocharged Cummins engine that clatters between the fenders, and it set a new record for diesel-powered vehicles at the 2020 running of the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb. Owner/builder Scott Birdsall has a tough time describing his truck, too. It defies easy explanation, and therein lies its appeal. It’s impractically cool because it’s so functional in ways that it shouldn’t be. Most people wouldn’t build a race car out of a ’49 Ford pickup, even within the muscle truck movement sweeping the country right now,…

5 min.
understated elegance

As a young lad, Kevin Martin was always the one who knew what every car brand or model was. As he got older, that passion didn’t fade. When he was financially able to start buying up cars, he went on a shopping spree that included GTOs, midyear Corvettes, Chevelles, Camaros, and even a few Mopars. The list was long, but there was always one that stood out—the ’55 Chevy. “I think it is just tough looking,” he explains. “I like the post cars because they look like hot rods. I prefer the 210 over a Bel Air because I don’t like all the glitzy chrome.” The opportunity to buy a ’55 came about when he found a nice candidate locally with just a little over 55,000 miles on the odometer. “I…

7 min.
long-term commitment

There was no shortage of history-making events in 1971. The Apollo 14 astronauts landed on the moon, the war in Vietnam continued to rage on, Intel released the world’s first microprocessor, and Dirty Harry made his big-screen debut. But none of it mattered all that much to Frank Kassel. At the time, his attention was focused squarely on one thing: scoring his very first set of wheels, and that turned out to be a 1967 Dodge Coronet R/T. “In the summer of ’71 I had just graduated high school,” Frank remembers, “and was working full time as a mechanic in a Cities Service gas station. My goal was to save enough money to buy my first car.” After working at the service station for a few months, Frank met a friend…