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Hemmings Muscle Machines February 2020

Each issue is packed with photos & coverage of American Muscle Cars from the 60's through today.

United States
American City Business Journals_Hemmings
12 Issues

in this issue

4 min
time to test and tune

“…the first steps involve figuring out if what you’ve got is working to its full potential.” When we conceived the idea to do a Special Section devoted to Engine Power, the thinking was that we’d focus on extracting the most from muscle car V-8s. The pursuit of performance spawned these cars, and there’s been a faction of the market seeking to improve them since these cars first rolled out of dealerships. I doubt anyone realized back then that we’d still be messing around with the same cars and engines half a century on, or that the aftermarket would be developing new components for those engines long after they’d gone out of regular production, but it certainly has fueled interest in the genre. Now, after those decades of research and development, both on…

3 min

ROGER PENSKE BUYS IMS, INDYCAR SERIES With 18 wins in the Indianapolis 500 since 1972, some would say that Roger Penske and Penske Racing already own the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. On November 4, the sport’s best-kept secret became official: Penske Entertainment Corp., a subsidiary of Penske Corporation, would be purchasing Hulman & Company, and with it, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the NTT IndyCar Series, and IMS Productions. Details of the transaction, between two private companies, remain confidential, but it’s safe to say the purchase price was considerably more than the $750,000 paid by Anton “Tony” Hulman Jr., for the then-tattered track in 1945. Since then, the facility has remained within the Hulman and George families, and Penske becomes the track’s fourth owner since its construction in 1909. No immediate changes are planned for…

2 min
production line

2020 CHALLENGER DRAG PAK Chrysler launched its fourth-generation Challenger Drag Pak quarter-mile conqueror at SEMA this past November. The Drag Pak is not a street-legal car — it’s built to run in certain NHRA and NMCA sportsman drag racing classes. The 2020 Challenger Drag Pak starts as a “body-in-white,” has an SFI-spec rollcage welded in, and is given a specific engine crossmember to lower the car’s center of gravity. Like previous Drag Paks, the 2020 model will be powered by the supercharged 354-cubic-inch HEMI that’s backed up by a T400 three-speed transmission with a Kwik-Shift manual shifter, lightweight driveshaft, front and rear racing brakes, Racetech seats, and a Racepak Smartwire fully programmable power distribution center. New equipment added to the package this year includes a Strange rear axle assembly with adjustable coilover shocks,…

1 min
letter of the month: worst jobs?

“I am a die-hard Mopar guy but enjoy all the old muscle cars. That is why I like reading your magazine and your articles — reading about some of the options on the other makes and what makes them unusual, also the owner’s comments. I just finished, or 95-percent finished (they are never done), my 1966 Plymouth Satellite. I tore it down completely; anything that could be taken off, was. While I was working on it, I wondered what the worst job on the assembly line could be when these things were built. I have to say I would never want to be the person who puts the tracks and the glass in the doors and quarter windows. I find that to be a pain. To get them to fit properly…

7 min

EARLY MUSCLE I am a 77-year-old car fan, and have been since I was 14 years old. I think your magazine is the best of the bunch, including Hot Rod, which I’ve subscribed to since I was 14. My current and last hot rod is a 1950 Oldsmobile Club Coupe, built to B/Gas specs. It was sourced from North Carolina two years ago. The car was trucked to Livermore, California, 50 miles southeast of San Francisco to be completely rebuilt by my 50-year-old son, Jeff. The car was basically rebuilt from scratch. It had a 440-cu.in. Chrysler and TorqueFlite automatic transmission, which I have taken out. The body remains as bought with radius rear wheelwells, no side chrome, and 1977 Camaro front disc brakes. It is equipped with a 9-inch Ford rear-end with…

9 min
muscle car heaven

THE SECOND WAVE OF PONY CARS quite literally grew up in 1970-’71, becoming more Clydesdale than Calabrese. Mustang shed its Falcon underpinnings, instead employing beefy mid-sized Torino bits; GM’s F-bodies had precious little Nova left beneath them; and Mother Mopar sectioned a few inches out of the B-body’s wheelbase and called it E-body. And so, a generation of light, nimble machines went ahead and carbo-loaded themselves into becoming bigger sizes altogether. On the one hand, it meant that these quarter-mile combatants wouldn’t need to be sent to specialty builders (ie, Kar Kraft, Hurst) to wedge the biggest, nastiest engines under the hood anymore. On the other, you needed bigger engines to haul around all that extra bulk. It also meant that the plumped-up ponies had evolved into another category altogether: They became…