Road & Track Mar/Apr 2020

Road & Track includes technical features on automotive subjects, wide-ranging feature stories, spectacular automotive art and standard-setting new-car photography, humor, fiction, travel stories, book reviews and the most comprehensive racing coverage offered by a monthly magazine.Bonus: iPad Interactive

United States

in this issue

4 min
fast in, slow out

SPEEDING IS BARELY ILLEGAL. Yes, if you break the limit, you can technically get pulled over and fined. Yes, your car can get impounded, and you can lose your license. But odds are that neither will happen. This is why drivers often feel they can get away with incredible feats. Take the group that recently drove a Mercedes E63 cross-country, New York to L.A., in 27 hours and 25 minutes. A new Cannonball record. GPS traces showed their average speed was around 103 mph, significantly higher than any of this country’s posted limits. Most people had one of two reactions. Some were ebullient, excited that a group of rebels was keeping alive the spirit of the Cannonball Run and U.S. Express cross-country races. An overt middle finger to our controlled and regulated…

1 min
boogie shoe

WELL-HEELED entrepreneurs and their race teams are rarely underdogs. But at the 2019 Baja 1000—the annual sprint race across Mexico’s desert peninsula—that was Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus. When the boutique supercar manufacturer wheeled its first Baja effort onto Mexican soil after just a year of development, skeptics were legion. Jim Glickenhaus’s team brought the right equipment. They call it the SCG Baja Boot—a righteous homebrew throwback to a late-Sixties desert racer of the same name that was famously driven by Steve McQueen. Chromoly and mild-steel tube frame, a supercharged, 650-hp LT4 V-8, independent front and rear suspensions with almost two feet of wheel travel. And a penchant for hang time. When the dust settled, just 145 of the 264 starting vehicles had finished last year’s desert classic. The Boot was among the survivors,…

2 min
madness on ice

STAFF PROJECTS/DISASTERS HOW TO PREPARE YOUR $700 V-12 TRAINWRECK FOR A WINTER OF RACING. THE SEARCH FOR the perfect-ish crapcan ice racer began last summer. The parameters, in order of importance: cheap, rear-wheel drive with a limited-slip differential, straight, pretty, safe. So I pounced on the first budget rear-driver with a limited-slip that popped up on Craigslist: a 1992 BMW 850i. It’s the desirable one. A rare V-12 and six-speed manual combo. I bought it for $700 from an embryologist who needed the heap off his property. The 850 hadn’t moved in two years, the seller said, so I trailered the car to my shop and got to work. I replaced the old batteries (the car has two), a trashed fuel pump, and some bad gas, and the BMW fired right up. After…

3 min
same as it ever was

THE 2020 TOYOTA 4Runner TRD Pro isn’t exactly new—the current, fifth-generation SUV just entered its tenth model year—but it’s good. Toyota recently updated the TRD Pro trim, introduced in 2014, with Fox Racing shocks, while all 4Runners get new safety and infotainment tech for 2020. These revisions, combined with a severe case of Seasonal Affective Disorder at press time, seemed reason enough to head off road. On an icy December day, I aimed the Toyota’s snout northwest from New York City towards the Catskill Mountains and the Monticello Motor Club. While Monticello is best known for its 4.1 miles of challenging road course and its country-club atmosphere, the track sits on a 300-acre property stuffed with off-road trails: 4Runner territory. In the city, the 4Runner’s road manners surprised me. At heart,…

4 min
japanese domestic masters

THE JDM LEGENDS SHOP truck will tell you everything you need to know about the small but stellar import and restoration shop specializing in vintage Japanese rarities. The feisty 1973 Datsun 620 pickup wears weather-beaten paint. But the truck’s been stanced on larger steel wheels and upgraded with front disc brakes, a dogleg five-speed, and a snorty Japanese domestic-market SSS engine with twin Mikuni Solex side-draft carburetors. “It’s a tin can,” JDM Legends founder Eric Bizek admits, “but the Japanese have always done a lot with a little, and I think that’s really cool. That’s what got me into cars in the first place—taking something that was never meant to be fast or fun to drive, and transforming it into just that.” Located in Murray, Utah, just south of Salt Lake City,…

4 min
weather helm

THIS CAR SAT IN the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart for years. An aluminum-bodied rarity resigned to live out its days safely, under soft incandescent light. But Porsche abhors a mausoleum, and in 2019, the company dusted off this 1953 356 America Roadster. Factory mechanics rolled it into a workshop, and readied the car to do more than languish. The 356 America was built for Americans. Today, we take that to mean the wide-hipped and litigious, but it once meant something else. Merry masochists happy to trade a bit of comfort and safety for transcendence. THE ORIGINAL OWNER ordered the car with a 70-hp flat four, a four-speed transmission, and almost nothing else. No indicators or seat belts. No carpet, wipers, side mirrors, or exterior door handles. An afterthought of a windshield. Car,…