Hot Rod January 2022

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!

United States
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12 Issues

in this issue

5 min
the c8 corvette is the best car i’ve ever driven

Editor-in-Chief @john.mcgann I was afraid to drive the 2021 Corvette after it was dropped off at the warehome. Not because I feared it’s power or performance potential, but rather, I was afraid I wouldn’t like it. After more than a year writing about the new Corvette and covering the C8.R in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, I was worried it would be a “never meet your heros” situation. After all the anticipation, what if the car was boring, uncomfortable, or irritating in some way? What if I didn’t like it? I waited a day, then I drove it. It was amazing. The version I received on loan from Chevrolet was a 2021 3LT dressed in electrifying Accelerate Yellow paint and sporting an $81,000 price tag. It was mine for a week, which sounds…

4 min
the hot rod archives

20 Years Ago January 2002: 114 pages, $3.99 Tech geeks would have loved the January 2002 issue – a collection of intake manifolds and carburetor combinations all tested on the same engine. David Freiburger oversaw this piece, and the test engine was a crate 350 from Chevrolet that had been outfitted with AFR 195 cylinder heads and a roller cam from Comp. The 9.5:1 small-block made baseline numbers of 491 hp and 436 lb-ft of torque. DF then proceeded to run it with dual quads on a dual-plane, and dual quads on a tunnel-ram. If you’re curious, the tunnel-ram and dual Dominator carburetor combo made 485 hp and 438 lb-ft. Of it, David said, “Despite the seemingly healthy power numbers, we wouldn’t use this manifold on an engine this mild. Low-end driveability…

3 min
nascar’s hidden history: 1970 riverside raceway

By 1970, the American automobile was undergoing a transformation at light speed, surpassed only by the technological changes in the racing world. As if to underscore that change, for the first time in the history of NASCAR’s Motor Trend 500, the magazine’s photographers would document the entire event at Riverside Raceway with color film. As an overcast sky dawned on Riverside Raceway on January 18, 1970, race teams and spectators were a million miles from the national discord, choosing instead on that day to celebrate what made America unique. A field of 44 cars from all over the country (and even one from Germany) would take the green flag at what was easily the single most difficult track on the NASCAR circuit, and in the most powerful American cars to date…

9 min
speed week 2021

You would be forgiven for thinking the meet was doomed based on the apocalyptic conditions of the first day of Speed Week. Nearby wildfires filled the sky above the Bonneville Salt Flats with a brimstone haze, while whipping wind gusts toppled canopies and stirred up salt and dust, turning an already angry sky into something looking like the end of days. The doom was short-lived, thankfully. Growing up in northeastern Ohio, we had an expression, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a day.” Indeed, it was possible to experience an entire year’s worth of seasons in Cleveland over a period of 48 hours, and such was the case in Wendover, Utah, this year. Fire and brimstone skies gave way the next day to azure blue with fluffy white…

6 min
careful steward

It was the early ’70s and American muscle cars were ruling the U.S. highways, but as evidenced by the design of the second-gen Camaros, the cars from Europe were also getting noticed. It was in this age before oil embargos and soul-crushing government mandates when anything was possible. It was just the right time for something new, different, and fast to hit the market: the De Tomaso Pantera. The Italian-American mid-engine exotic featured a gorgeous body designed by Tom Tjaarda at Ghia and a monocoque chassis engineered by Gian Paolo Dallara. The partnership with Ford brought a dealer channel in the U.S., production advice, and a great engine—the 351 Cleveland. Launched in 1971, in partnership with Ford, the Pantera (Italian for Panther) was a melding of Euro styling and American power.…

5 min
bee in a barn

Don’t hold it against him, but Jeff Schwartz isn’t a Mopar guy—he’s a car guy. He certainly wasn’t looking for another project when he happened upon this survivor 1971 Dodge Charger Six-Pack 440 Super Bee, but he’s in love with it now. Schwartz’s credentials as a car guy can’t be beat; not only is he the creative and engineering force behind Schwartz Performance in Woodstock, Illinois, he’s a force to be reckoned with on a road course, and he’s built a pile of insane machinery including a 1965 Pontiac Tempest, a 1971 Olds Cutlass, 1972 Chevy Vega, 1967 Ford Custom 500, and a 1981 Pontiac Trans Am—and that’s only a fraction of the cars he’s built in his garage. While a Mopar has yet to benefit from Schwartz’s deft handiwork, it’s…