Hot Rod December 2019

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!

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12 Números

en este número

4 min.
on the road to bonneville

Editor-in-Chief @john.mcgann I attended Bonneville Speed Week for the first time this year. After nearly 15 years with the company, that statistic is a little surprising. However, it’s historically been the case that, whether it was with Car Craft, or now HOT ROD, Bonneville was always someone else’s assignment; my presence would have been redundant or unnecessary. This year was the exception. When my time came, I opted to drive the 650 miles to Wendover, Utah, rather than fly from LAX to Salt Lake City and rent a car. Among other things, a long drive like that is a mental vacation from the day-to-day routine at work and a much-preferred alternative to the soul-crushing experience of TSA pat-downs and overcrowded airplanes. I loaded a Tom Clancy audiobook, plugged in my headphones, and…

2 min.
the hemi 454

Network Content Director @douglas.glad There was a time when big-inch small-blocks only orbited in the world of Chevrolet. Sometime in the ’80s, Chevrolet rocket blocks appeared with 420-, then 454-inch capabilities, making the lightweight car and SBC combo on boost or juice hard to beat. If you wanted to see that with a Ford or Mopar, you needed to look at big-blocks. No one complained, because a smashed 429 T-bird or 454 Chevy Suburban was a walk in the junkyard away. The 2000s brought the LS, and big-inch–capable blocks soon followed. Dart promised huge LS engines, and AFR provided matching cylinder heads to get past the 1,000hp mark, a trick the 385-series Ford and RB from Mother could do, but at the expense of larger packaging and older technology. In 2003, Mopar hatched…

2 min.
first sema show: 1967

A bunch of automotive aftermarket companies gathered in the basement of Dodger Stadium in January 1967. Sounds like the roots of a bad, niche joke, but it represents the birth of what would become the aftermarket’s largest gathering, the SEMA Show (acronym then, Speed Equipment Manufacturing Association; now, Specialty Equipment Market Association). Having a trade show at all was the brainchild of Petersen Publishing Company’s founder, the late Robert E. Petersen, publisher of HOT ROD and its sibling magazines. But a baseball stadium for a high-performance car parts show? The only place available. Mr. Petersen’s executive assistant, GiGi Carleton, and Alex Xydias, then publisher of Hot Rod Industry News, were working with Mr. Petersen to organize the event and were unsuccessful at booking the Hollywood Palladium (more of a dance hall…

1 min.
the hot rod archives

20 YEARS AGO (December 1999, 138 pages, $3.95): This was the Y2K issue, as in the last issue of the 20th century. The future was coming (aka the year 2000) and where would that leave hot rods? We asked the experts who nailed it in some ways such as imports, family sedans, and SUVs evolving into versions of hot rods, and there would be an expansion of putting late-model drivetrains into early cars. But their tea leaves also said cars like the 1967 Camaro would be considered too valuable to drive anymore. A Power Tour trend and the mysteries of spark advance were among the other stories. 40 YEARS AGO (December 1979, 136 pages, $2.00): Gray Baskerville walked us through how to build a street rod (but not a budget case study), which…

13 min.
take 5 with ben collins

Ben Collins is a man of many helmets. As the former Stig on Top Gear, he’s trounced some of the most exotic automobiles ever produced. He’s run the 24 Hours of Le Mans in an LMP1 prototype, doubled for Daniel Craig in a number of the Bond films, and written multiple books on how to properly wheel a car. On this edition of Take 5, we talk about the secrecy behind The Stig, his time in the Army, autonomous vehicles, and how he transitioned from race car driver, to becoming one of the most sought-after stunt drivers in the world of film and television. HRM] When did your fascination with cars begin? BC] I grew up on a farm where we had lots of outdoor machinery. The fields were always muddy due…

1 min.
automotive archaeology private junkyard in pennsylvania

Traveling through Pennsylvania, it seemed that the backroads were full of old cars. In one stash, sitting behind a friend’s shop, was a group of old Mopars waiting for future projects or to become parts for others. A 1969 Dodge Superbee was almost completely enveloped by the tall weeds, where you could barely make it out at all. There were two mid-’70s Road Runners around the yard. We spotted one Ford: it was a Galaxie, and though it wasn’t rare or special, it had an original Holman & Moody Competition Plus sticker on the driver-side wing window. A tiny little sticker likely saved this car from becoming razor blades. Who knows what will happen to it now, but at least it isn’t getting crushed.…