Hot Rod February 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.
cars and movies

Editor-in-Chief @john.mcgann By the time you read this, the movie Ford v Ferrari will be out, though obviously it’s not, at the time I’m writing this. The movie is set to come out on my birthday, which makes the date easy to remember, but also gives me something to look forward to during my slow, but inevitable, march to turning 50 years old and whatever that brings with it. I still have a couple years to go before that happens, and I suspect 50 will feel a lot like 40 or 45. It sounds more ominous, though, and I know the sounds of a 427 FE with High Riser heads on the big screen will be a worthy distraction. A few of my colleagues have seen advanced screenings of Ford v Ferrari…

2 min.
the best in world-town alternative transportation

Network Content Director @douglas.glad Nothing is better than an emerging country for a fun look at daily transportation. During a recent adventure, I visited a South American jungle town abandoned by turn-of-the-century colonial rubber traders. Exiting the plane, I was immediately smothered by pre-monsoon heat and a marauding pack of Mototaxi drivers looking for a fresh, pasty, tourist fare to the ubiquitous Plaza De Armas. There was pushing and shouts of 20! 20 soles! I raised my hands with a confident one-five soles, as a sign that I wasn’t a chump. Five bucks was the going price, right? (Later I learned it should have been three). Highway robbery notwithstanding, I put my bags on the floor of the motorized contraption and ducked in. Like many jungle-frontier towns, there are no roads connecting…

2 min.
vintage drag racing: 1st nhra nationals

There was quite a build up to the first-ever NHRA National Championship Drags meet, “America’s First Acceleration Championship.” It marked official national acceleration records for the standing quarter-mile for 30 competitive classes, and the event also conducted some special testing: trying out kilometer runs. This race—held on a concrete runway in Great Bend, Kansas, in September 1955—was going to make all sorts of history, even with the final day being rained out by way of the worst storm in 30 years. Yet the Nationals “produced some of the hottest competition ever seen in the annals of hot rodding,” HOT ROD goes on to say. But let’s back up a bit. In the Sept. 1955 issue of HOT ROD, we conceded we had an obsession with drag racing and that month’s magazine…

1 min.
the hot rod archives

20 YEARS AGO (February 2000, 130 pages, $3.50): “How to Drag Race” was this issue’s theme, and we definitely covered all the bases, including how to pass tech inspection (rather, what will make you not pass). We advised on tech inspection errors you could accidentally make, and also had a few tricks for racing a late-model (rear bars, overdrive, and such). There’s an art to towing a drag car to the races, so we explored that process, too. Truth: The dragstrip can function as a calculator to figure out your car’s horsepower number. Even for the math haters among the readership, it was a tolerable equation to sort out. 40 YEARS AGO (February 1980, 108 pages, $1.50): Corvettes were the current rage, so we featured a few fine examples, showed a rebuild, spotlighted…

10 min.
take five with leah pritchett

Leah Pritchett has made a name for herself with a hard-knock, but fun-loving perspective on drag racing. The day she turned 8 years old, she began racing Jr. Dragsters with her older sister under the watchful eye of her father (a Bonneville 200 MPH Club Member), before claiming Division 7 championships in 2000 and 2001. She eventually moved into a family-built, 7-second altered Bantam. The family sold it and built their own Nostalgia Funny Car in which Leah earned her fuel license before stumbling into Steve Plueger’s 1972 Mustang Mach I; a wild and nitro-thirsty vintage Funny Car that gave the Redlands, California native an addiction she couldn’t shake until she had found a seat in NHRA Top Fuel. That chance would come from Don Schumacher himself, who signed off…

1 min.
automotive archaeology original 429 cyclone bought back and about to be restored

Back in 1970, a guy (who we’ll call Richard) walked into a Mercury dealership and ordered a 1971 Mercury Comet Cyclone GT with the 429 engine and special paint. He drove it for several years before selling it to free up some money. Recently, Richard was able to buy it back with the original 429—just not in the car anymore. A Marti report says with all the options and rare paint this Cyclone is just one of one built! The car is now safe in Richard’s garage until he can work on it again.…