Hot Rod July 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

3 min.
in the blink of an eye

"If something like this had to happen, this was the best place for it. Otherwise, my car would have burned to the ground.” That was the sobering message 2019 HOT ROD Drag Week winner Tom Bailey relayed to us while describing the engine fire that nearly destroyed his car at the 2021 NHRA Gatornationals. Tom was there making exhibition passes in his Sick Seconds 2.0 Camaro, when a damaged fuel injector O-ring caused a massive fire on the top end of the track after his second pass. Tom credits the quick response from NHRA’s Safety Safari, the on-track fire and medical personal, for saving his car. How does a broken fuel injector O-ring nearly destroy a car? Easily, and often it’s the simplest of parts that can cause the most destruction.…

3 min.
the hot rod archives

20 Years Ago July 2001: 148 pages, $3.99 Cheaper, Faster! That was certainly a compelling headline to get people to pick this issue off the newsstand. If that wasn’t enough, the cool driving shot of the red ’72 Chevelle SS454 is added incentive. Staffer Jeff Koch snapped that image, and the car itself was powered by a 502 crate engine from Chevrolet Performance. A TH700-R4 transmission and 12-bolt axle rounded out the drivetrain. The “cheap and fast” of this issue refer to a feature of a ’79 Ford Fairmont with a 302 engine in place of the stock 3.3L six that the staff spotted on Power Tour. Repurposing used NASCAR parts is always a hot theme, and staffer Will Handzel went deep into the race car parts bin. A big-block ’81 Malibu…

2 min.
vintage supercharged and injected 1956 chevy sleeper

The man posing next to the plain-Jane ’56 Chevy Bel Air is John Bandimere. That would be the same John Bandimere who, about a year after these photos were taken in April 1956, chose a parcel of land on the west side of Denver that he would transform into a place where local hot shots—including his own son, John Jr.—could race safely off the streets. “Thunder Mountain” still bears the name of its founder, and Bandimere Speedway is still running strong six decades later. John Bandimere, Sr. was an avid racer with a history of hot cars that reached back to the 1930s. To help make power in the Rockies’ thin air, he became an expert on supercharging and even put his name on a few blower systems, which are now…

6 min.
tube chassis grocery getter

Tony Rock is like most gearheads in his age group. While growing up, he took a particular liking to muscle cars as a result of the influence from a family member. He notes, “I’m sure it was something that I got from my father, Rich.” Not only did he get that from his dad, but both parents were complicit in feeding that burn when they dropped some cash on a 1968 Chevelle for him as his first ride at the age of 16. That act of kindness was repaid in a matter of weeks when Tony decided to take the engine completely apart because he wanted to “make it faster.” He eventually did put the car back together, and drove it for a while until selling it to a friend. At…

8 min.
flathead gulch

During a visit several years ago to Frank Pratt, an ex-West Coast refugee living in the Ozark Mountain community of Bella Vista, Arkansas, I asked about a rumor I’d heard about a ’32 Ford three-window that was built as a hot rod in the early 1950s and was still in the owner’s possession. Adding to that mystery, the garage in which the car was parked supposedly contained a large collection of Ford flathead parts. He laughed, grabbed his cell phone, and 20 minutes later we pulled up in front of a large home on a cul-de-sac that overlooked Loch Lomond, the largest of the town’s lakes. Through each of the four open garage doors, I could see a roadster peeking out. Greeting us at the door was a tall, gray-haired septuagenarian…

5 min.
wolf in fox clothing

P.J. Pasierb’s Fox-body story starts like many we’ve heard before. It’s a story of a dream fulfilled; a low mileage car that was preserved and improved with cylinder heads, a cam, and an intake. However, this story had one crushing blow that led to an amazing transformation. P.J.’s family has a long history of Ford ownership. His grandfather is a 30-year Ford Motor Company veteran, his father’s first car was a 1960 Ford Falcon, and P.J.’s first car was his family’s hand-me-down 1984 Mercury Marquis. He’s always had an affinity for the Ford brand, but it was his parents’ purchase of a 1990 Mustang LX 2.3 that got P.J. hooked on Fox-body cars. Although P.J. lusted for a Fox throughout his formative years, he steadfastly piloted the trusty, Griswold-style station wagon…