Hot Rod January 2020

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

3 min.
aisle seats and overhead compartments

Editor-in-Chief @john.mcgann It’s no secret that this job entails a lot of traveling, and for the most part, I don’t mind it. Things get tough when trips stack up, though. We just returned from Drag Week and I find myself again on a plane to Ohio for the Engine Masters Challenge. Frequent travel poses its own set of issues that affect productivity. You learn quickly that the free airport WiFi is only good for light Internet browsing and the in-flight WiFi, that you have to pay for by the way, isn’t much better—if it works at all. Hotel WiFi runs the gamut from acceptable to functionally useless, though I finally have the ability to turn my phone into a WiFi hotspot and that’s gotten me out of some jams. We also…

2 min.
the heroes of drag week

Network Content Director @douglas.glad My involvement in HOT ROD drag-racing events has been on-and-off since the Pump Gas Drags in 2003. I was there when 50 cars used mandatory 93-octane fuel to drive in what was considered “brutal” stop-and-go traffic for 30 miles from the starting point at Comp Cams to Memphis Motorsports Park. Those cars ran high-8s and low-9s, and we thought drag racing couldn’t get any more challenging. The next year, we launched Drag Week. Instead of taking small steps from the 30-mile drive, HOT ROD went directly to a 5-day, 1,000-mile drive that covered four or five different dragstrips. Surprisingly, the 400 online slots sold out in a few minutes, with hundreds more racers showing up for the on-site waiting list. Since that time, there have been one-timers looking for…

2 min.
readers’ letters

The Feb.1948 issue of HOT ROD—better known as issue No. 2—introduced a new department called It’s in the Bag! “It’s composed of many of the interesting letters our readers have sent us. If you have a gripe or a praise about hot rods in general or about HRM, drop a line to ‘It’s in the Bag’ today!” The first letter HOT ROD got (technically, the letter appearing first on the page) agreed with our “editorial stand on a recent accident involving a rebuilt car. Most of the fellows are far better car handlers due to the training they have given themselves. It is a shame that the general public, including newspaper reports, immediately cry ‘Hot Rod Driver!’ whenever they see an accident.” The other letters were positive, including that we were…

1 min.
the hot rod archives

20 YEARS AGO (January 2000, 130 pages, $3.50): An engine on the cover (in this case, a 351W Ford) could only mean plenty of engines inside. Our popular Junkyard Jewel theme was featured again, and we had stories on a TBI 383 conversion, why coating matters, and how to build a cold-air intake setup—for $70. Gray Baskerville was the only person correctly suited for the job of discussing the first hot rods and roadsters. Are engine output and proper cooling tied together? Our 1969 Ford Ranchero tackled that question (hint: yes). 40 YEARS AGO (January 1980, 96 pages, $1.50): Chevy Nomads! A lot of them. We showcased the “world’s greatest station wagon,” which we also called “world’s wildest wagon,” and in addition to featured Nomads, we detailed its history. Another in-depth piece was…

9 min.
take 5 with tom bailey

Gregarious. Chatty. Loquacious. Voluble. There are a lot of synonyms for “talkative,” and none of them apply to Tom Bailey. It can take three years of knowing the man before you’ll ever hear him say more than “yep” or “nope.” Judging by his accomplishments, he’s put the energy saved on talking into building cars and winning races. Bailey was born in Ohio in 1971, but we associate him with Detroit—where he lives now—and with Detroit iron. He has a half-dozen fast Camaros, and that’s only half his project collection. He’s raced HOT ROD Drag Week 10 times, finished five, and won four—including 2019, where he ran the first-ever 5-second e.t. in competition. His cars have been invited to SEMA, Saudi Arabia, and the NHRA U.S. Nationals. Maybe he’s just too…

1 min.
automotive archaeology private junkyard in pennsylvania

Traveling the backroads is always the best option if you have the time. Going through Wisconsin, there was a red, white, and blue AMC product in the weeds off the road, and it looked like a 1969 American Motors Corporation Rebel Machine—so we stopped to check it out. The shop owner said it was a friend’s car and we could take a look at it, but it wasn’t an AMC Rebel Machine—it was an Ambassador! The AMC “big car.” Someone had taken the hood off of an original “Machine” and put it on the Ambassador, then put similar stripes on the car. It fooled us when we drove by! It hadn’t been sitting long, and it was gone when we recently went by the place again. Hopefully we’ll see it out…