Hot Rod December 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.
cars, compassion, and humanity

I think it’s important we all pause to appreciate the moment captured in these pictures I snapped with my phone on the HOT ROD Power Tour. Here are two friends who are a generation apart in age but have developed a deep and enduring bond over their shared interest in cars. This moment would not have happened were it not for the keen eyes of MotorTrend photographer Renz Dimaandal, who was riding with me for the duration of Power Tour. He spotted this gravel pile on the side of the road in sleepy Raymond, Illinois, and casually mentioned, “That’s a great place for a photo shoot.” I glanced over as the scene flashed through my peripheral vision and recognized its potential. “Want me to turn around?” I asked. I did and…

3 min.
the hot rod archives

20 Years Ago December 2001: 140 pages, $3.99 Here’s a bit of magazine insider info: these “home-built cars” themed issues are an expeditious way to clear out a bunch of readers’ rides submissions in a single issue. In addition to reducing the backlog of readers’ pictures, it’s a great way to fill a bunch of pages in the magazine. We’ve been employing this tactic for years, and it highlights work of the average reader. The high-end cars from top builders are great, but it’s nice to balance that out with real-world cars. This version was categorized and included entries for Best Street Freak, Best Non-Mainstream Chevy (a Corvair won), and Best Engine Swap. David Freiburger’s editorial column addressed the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. One of his…

2 min.
don cook

For those of us who grew up in the ’60s and ’70s, Don Cook was an established heavy hitter in the SoCal drag racing scene. Born in 1937 and raised in Long Beach, California, Don called Lions Drag Strip his home track. A born knuckle buster, Don was already hooked on all things mechanical and by the age of nine had already overhauled his first Model T Ford engine. I was lucky to be on the same Little League team as his two boys, Donnie and Phillip, and I vividly remember times at practice where we’d hear him crank up his latest fire-breathing monster a block away. Our coach would usually just throw his hands up in the air and say “go on … get!” and we’d all hop on our…

5 min.

You might think that, after being involved with NASCAR, building and driving a street car wouldn’t seem exciting. But for Tony Gomez, his automotive enthusiasm extends to just about everything—whether it’s circle track racing or city street cruising. The hobby is a family tradition, and he’s been involved for more than 40 years. This 1959 Chevy Impala, packed with the original 348 and modified with NASCAR-inspired details, is one of several Chevys in his current fleet, but its interesting history sets it apart. The “Race on Sunday, sell on Monday” heritage associated with NASCAR competition in the ’50s and ’60s is part of what set Tony on the hunt for a ’59 Impala in the first place. This one, however, had never made a lap of an oval track. He found the…

3 min.
1931 dodge dl coupe

Most hot rodders would consider themselves lucky to stumble upon one barn find in their lifetime, but residents who live in the Southern California town of Desert Hot Springs—located roughly halfway between Los Angeles and Phoenix—don’t find anything unusual about this particular 1931 Dodge DL coupe sitting out in the open when they pull into Mike’s Motorsports for the odd auto repair job. Owner Mike Carey operates his small shop part-time repairing off-road vehicles and doing light work fixing the locals’ cars, and like many folks who live out here in the California desert he has no problem storing his vehicles out in the open. The hot, dry desert atmosphere acts like a preservation chamber for Mike’s pride and joy—a 1931 Dodge DL coupe he picked up in a horse trade…

3 min.

Steve Brule, from Westech Performance and the Engine Masters video series sent us pictures and information about a cool Ford 302 he recently ran on his dyno. This is a rather stock-looking Boss 302, but there is extra performance hidden inside. Back in the day, Boss 302s were made by combining Ford 302 small-blocks with the new, high-flowing cylinder heads designed for Ford’s 351 Cleveland. This combination was designed for competition in the 1969 SCCA Trans-Am racing season. Boss 302 short-blocks were highly modified compared to the run-of-the-mill 302 engines, but externally they looked the same as their lower-rpm cousins. When engine builder Ken Maisano was tasked with building a Boss 302 Ford engine, one of the biggest requests from the customer was that it had to look as stock as…