Hot Rod October 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.
the right tool for the job

@john.mcgann Last month, I wrote the autopsy report on the small-block Chevy that lived briefly in the engine compartment of Truck Norris, my 1967 C10. It suffered an untimely demise due to operator error (mine) when something got into the carburetor and took out cylinder Number 8. There is no point in rehashing all that here; you can read last month’s issue or look online for an article titled “How to Destroy an Engine with a $6 Part” for all the gory details. If there is a bright side to all this, it is that a replacement engine is ready to drop back into the pickup, and my C10 will be back on the road soon. I purchased a new 350 from BluePrint Engines and got it running on my Easy-Run…

3 min.
the hot rod archives

20 Years Ago October 2001: 140 pages, $4.99 Compelling cover art drives newsstand sales. That’s an obvious fact, but a subtle concept that can be difficult to pull off. However, it’s nearly impossible to mess up a picture of a supercharged big-block, making it the no-brainer choice for this issue. David Freiburger’s excellent article on effective power improvements to a junkyard-sourced 454 Chevy stands the test of time, and is a compelling read even today. He started with a big-block pulled from a truck, then did a basic freshening up with new cam, intake, carburetor, and valve springs for an initial cost of $1,479.41, including the cost of the engine. That combo was good for 393 hp. He then went through a progression of intakes, cylinder heads, various camshafts and carburetors, and…

2 min.
road testing the ’59 el camino and its 348-inch w-series

In December 1958, Ray Brock, HOT ROD’s technical editor, was in Chevy’s all-new 1959 El Camino for a comparison test with the Ford Ranchero. His enthusiasm for the car/truck hybrid (essentially a Brookwood two-door station wagon with an abbreviated roof and a bed floor over the wagon’s floorpan) obviously got the better of him on this mountain road, as you can barely see daylight between the pavement and the El Camino’s rocker panels. As former editor Drew Hardin pointed out, “Maybe he thought he was at Pikes Peak.” We probably would have done the same in this bomb. While El Caminos could be equipped with any passenger car engine down to the 135-hp Stovebolt Six, Brock’s tester had the hottest engine available: a 348-inch W-series with 11:1 compression, a performance cam,…

4 min.

Back in the before times, our hot rodding hobby was the wild west. Yeah, 40 years ago there was an aftermarket, but it didn’t even remotely resemble what you see today. Four decades ago, there weren’t terms like Pro-Touring, restomod, or even the Internet. There were no tubular control arms, and handling, for the most part, was left to Porsches and ’Vettes. You got your parts from brick-and-mortar speed shops and a few chains like Super Shops. But what we did have was Pro Street. Why? Well, because most of the aftermarket for hot rods was focused on drag racing, and guys worked overtime to meld drag race parts to their street cars. This is the story of one such Pro Street Chevy that was iconic in the ’80s SoCal…

1 min.
pro street clarified

Just a few months ago, David Freiburger penned a rant about loosening the definition of certain styles of cars, particularly Pro Street. Not one to mince words, David defined Pro Street thusly: “A Pro Street car must be drag racing oriented and have wheel tubs under the back end that allow for oversized, very wide tires to be fit under the stock body. That’s fact. As for my opinion, a Pro Street car is typically also stock bodied and ostensibly street driven. When the style originated in the mid to late ’70s, it was inspired by the NHRA drag racing Pro Stock class of the mid ’70s, hence where the “Pro” in Pro Street came from. Scott Sullivan’s Nova that debuted at the 1979 Car Craft Street Machine Nationals is often…

5 min.
radical in red

The trophy they gave to Don Gira’s 1956 Chevy at the 2020 Grand National Roadster Show said it right on the front: Radical Hardtop/Sedan ’55‐’59. For Don, radical wasn’t always the plan—it’s just where things went with his middle year Tri-Five Chevy. Don is more than a car guy. “I’m addicted to adrenaline,” he told us, and he has always been into any machine that moves under the power of an engine. In addition to his long lifetime list of street cars, he’s raced all kinds of drag cars at all the historic Southern California tracks. His passion goes beyond four wheels and solid ground. He’s raced dirt bikes and drag boats and flown planes. Don spotted the raw material for this project, half covered and parked alongside a house, while taking…