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Hemmings Muscle Machines August 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
fantasy sports, gearhead style

“It just kind of happens when you think about this stuff all the time.” Fantasy sports have become a big deal, moving from a novel pastime for superfans to big business over the past couple decades. They don’t hold much interest for me, but I get the appeal for people who are consumed with professional sports. What are you supposed to do in the off season? Just turn off that part of your brain? Nope — it doesn’t work that way for fanatics. I know this because my own obsessions don’t ever really subside, and so I tend to engage in fantasy versions of my favorite pastime by creating would-be car projects in my mind. This wasn’t something I consciously conceived and developed, it’s just been happening for years as I scour…

2 min

FORD MUSTANG DESIGN TEAM MEMBER GALE HALDERMAN DIES It was Ford designer Gene Halderman’s sketch, rendered in clay, that Lee Iacocca selected over the others submitted in a 1962 design exercise, laying the foundation of what would become the first Ford Mustang. On April 29, Halderman, age 87, lost his battle with liver cancer. At first, Halderman rejected the new sporty car assignment, having too much on his plate already as a design manager in the Ford studio. When his boss, studio manager Joe Oros, insisted, Halderman relented, working at home on sketches for what would eventually become the Mustang. Of the five sketches Halderman completed, three featured variations of the quarter panel air scoop, now a hallmark of Mustang design. The clay model submitted by Oros blended Halderman’s styling with elements from…

2 min
production line

It’s called the Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 and, yes, that number stands for 1,400 horsepower. What’s different from other recent Cobra Jets, Ford’s track-only drag racing version of the Mustang, is that this one rips down the drag strip with an electric whine instead of a thundering exhaust note. The Cobra Jet 1400 is an electric vehicle, a one-off prototype that Ford says is capable of low 8-second quarter-mile times at a trap speed of more than 170 mph. When it comes to electric vehicles in motorsports, drag racing is better suited than most. With such short distances, the overall range is less of a concern than racing an EV on a road course. And dragsters are already set up to handle the big, instantaneous torque that electric motors provide: 1,100…

10 min

Letter of the Month: Family Heirlooms “I have a 1976 Trans Am, 455 four-speed car that has been in a couple pictures from the past Musclepalooza event coverage features, which are always nice to see in the magazine. This car has been in the family since new, being passed to me in the mid-’90s by my brother Vince, after he purchased an ’87 Grand National brand new. I grew up with the Trans Am, having been born in 1975. Through my late Teens, 20s, and on, I’ve been a regular at car shows, and I have run the Trans Am for some time at Lebanon Valley Dragway, but it has been mostly a car show/cruise car for some time now. Still, I keep the drag radials and shift light at the…

8 min
it just happened

EARLY IN MAD MAX, WHEN THE TITULAR ANTI- hero is introduced to the supercharged Interceptor, he asks, “How the hell did you get all this together?” “It just happened… A piece from here and piece from there,” was the reply from the mad-scientist mechanic Barry; and the wasteland road trash would soon be sorry he put all those pieces together. Very sorry. “It just happened,” is also how Tom Brown describes the build of his own bad, black and blown Ford — a ’69 Mustang Mach 1 that he calls Instigator, which sort of sounds like Interceptor. “The car and parts just came together.” “We were sitting at the Woodward Dream Cruise a couple of years ago and I had my ’61 Cadillac convertible,” Tom told us. “My friend Brian Thomson said he…

1 min
owner’s view

We built a ’56 Corvette restomod a few years ago that really coalesced the best attributes of performance and design, a concept we built on to develop this Mach 1. The advances in performance technology and the availability of what are essentially bolt-in chassis upgrades, such as the Aluma-Frame from Detroit Speed, have enabled these old cars to handle the massive power and to drive just as good as anything rolling out of the factory today. I love to look at original muscle cars, but I like driving them a lot more when they’re built like this. —Tom Brown…