Road & Track February/March 2021

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
5,39 €(VAT inclusa)

in questo numero

2 min
the custom culture revolution

AT THE HEART of car culture lurks a powerful strain of creative destruction. A certain species of enthusiast chases a rare machine to the far reaches of the Internet or rummages through barn chambers. He or she then buys the car, only to deplete all resources customizing it in ways that make other species of enthusiasts cringe. In this Custom-themed double issue, we hack through the fascinating world of custom culture (and Kustom Kulture) and examine the impulse to not leave well enough alone, to transform a work of art into a new, more personal work of art. Like a lot of great moments in art, the lunatic flamejob Von Dutch painted on this Mercedes 300SL Gullwing is a desecration of sorts (the car was eventually returned to its original paint scheme…

1 min

Matt Farah I’M THE HOST and producer of The Smoking Tire YouTube series and podcast and the owner of Westside Collector Car Storage in Playa Vista, California. I currently own four-, six-, eight-, and twelve-cylinder cars from 1986 to 1991. I selflessly agreed to a second loan of a McLaren 765LT so that I could help with photographing the car. I’m a giver. Also, I didn’t get around to scaring everyone I know during my first drive of the LT. Paul Kix I’m a writer and entrepreneur whose best-selling book, The Saboteur, was optioned by DreamWorks. I keep a newsletter on my website about the creative types who inspire me. Currently, I’m at work on a second book for an imprint of Macmillan. For this issue, I wrote about how Lewis Hamilton, with…

5 min
micro modified

THE COPS JUST pulled up. The K-9 unit’s here and the dog is out, sniffing around the trunk of a highly modified import. Pulses rise. A man with slicked-back hair relaxes against the powder-blue sedan, hands stuffed into his pockets. His posture is picture-perfect cool, but you can almost feel the man’s sweat-soaked pits as a second officer pulls out a notepad and pen. It’s all fake, of course—a scene ripped straight off the Instagram page of Paul Brewer, 36, of East Rochester, New York. Brewer is a paint-and-body man who moonlights as a Hot Wheels die-cast customizer. His elaborate dioramas of 1/64th-scale die-cast vehicles and tiny figurines are filled with whimsy, rendering his passion for fast cars with the delicate idealism of a Cézanne still life. While you’ll find every shade…

3 min
what does it even mean?

IN THE BEGINNING, there was only custom. Shape your own stone ax. Weave your own basket. Everything was engineered to hazy eyeball standards and built out of whatever was lying around. That changed around 1450 in Hungary when the “carriage trade” was born, and all the rich people started trying to one-up each other with super-fancy horse-drawn coaches. Mere carts and wagons were for farmers and tradesmen. The elite commissioned fine coaches. That’s when “custom” was born—for the first time. The industrial age brought standardization and mass production, and products that were once miraculous became ordinary. Anyone could have a Model T. Then, in 1919, George Riley of Los Angeles invented the “MultiLifts” that multiplied the valve lift on the Ford engine, increasing its power. This, the first known product intended…

2 min
foot juice, fancy free

AS CELEBRATORY CUSTOMS GO, the “shoey” is revoltingly simple: Take a shoe—yours, or someone else’s. Fill it with a beverage—traditionally beer, though champagne is an acceptable substitute. Then pour it into your mouth. Yes, we’re talking about Daniel Ricciardo’s customary podium champagne shoey. Ricciardo debuted the boot-chug at the 2016 German Grand Prix. Since then, he’s done shoeys with then-teammate Max Verstappen, competitor Lance Stroll, and even his boss at the time, Red Bull chief Christian Horner. He’s downed foot juice alongside Sir Patrick Stewart and fellow Aussie Mark Webber. A few months ago, seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton joined the act. The shoey’s origins are obscure. Historians cite evidence of footwear as impromptu drinking vessels throughout antiquity, though mostly of necessity. An Ethiopian tale from the Middle Ages suggests the Virgin Mary filled…

2 min
a valley forged

THERE’S A REASON Chevy’s LS series small-block V-8s dominate the custom-car world. They’re compact, lightweight, relatively cheap, and backed by seemingly infinite aftermarket support, making them an easy choice to replace a stock engine. So for decades, the LS served as a mainstay for backyard DIYers and professional builders alike. But easy isn’t always right. Race Cast Engineering’s co-founder, Matt Corish, felt the ubiquity of LS crate engines was stagnating the tuning industry. The revelation came during a 2015 trip to SEMA, the Las Vegas expo dedicated to custom cars and aftermarket equipment. “The really high-horsepower builds would still be [powered by] variations of something you could get from a parts counter, so it would be a parts-counter engine with some bolt-ons: valve covers, really cool intake, a nice drive system…