Hot Rod November 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.
starting line

Editor-in-Chief BE TENACIOUS The 2020 running of Bonneville Speed Week occurred last week, as I write this, and unfortunately, none of us were able to be there. These are unprecedented times, and not just for us in the media, but for all of us as a nation, if not the globe. Companies world-wide are tightening their belts, implementing hiring freezes, and cutting costs to survive an economic downturn, and ours was no exception. Without the financial means to travel to Bonneville, we relied on friends, racers, and social media to see what was happening there. It’s old news by now, but the Speed Demon streamliner posted the fastest flying mile and fastest top speed of the meet, earning the Hot Rod Magazine Trophy for the former, and setting a record for piston-powered, wheel-driven…

4 min.
the day organized drag racing was born

Organized drag racing celebrates its 70th birthday on July 2, 2020. On that day in 1950 the first “official” drag race took place at an out-of-commission Army airbase in Santa Ana, California. Soon that airbase was established as Santa Ana Drags, the world’s first commercial dragstrip. When it closed nine years later, drag racing had become a nationwide sport with established rules and classes, national championships, and a major sanctioning body. Today, drag racing has evolved into a huge worldwide motorsport—and it also still exists at a smaller grassroots level not much different from what those guys in Santa Ana were doing 70 years ago. When Did Drag Racing Really Start? To say when drag racing began involves a lot of speculation about an activity that, in all likelihood, has been around…

2 min.
the hot rod archives

20 Years Ago November 2000: 164 pages, $3.99 Engine tech dominated this issue, starting with a piece on GM’s then new Ram Jet 350 and 502 crate engines, which were noteworthy at the time because they were sold complete with an ECM and wiring harness—customers just needed to provide the car and make a few wiring connections. Incidentally, both engines are still available from Chevrolet Performance today, though with some slight updates to the components. Steve Magnante followed that up with a Slant Six Chrysler build, then bolted on a bunch of parts to a 5.9L 1989 Dakota pickup. Gray Baskerville covered the LA Roadster’s Ragtop Reunion car show, and Jeff Koch did a feature on a cool ’68 Valiant that looked like granny’s grocery-getter but ran 11s. 40 Years Ago November 1980: 112…

4 min.
the rake

Dennis Varni, a lifelong Bay Area hot rodder, is no stranger to the world of hot rodding… any part of it. He has tried the likes of Bonneville, vintage Mexican and European road racing, and, of course, the Grand National Roadster Show, where in 1991 he won the pinnacle of rodding awards, the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster trophy. Considering those credentials, what has Dennis been up to lately? Look at this 1934 Ford three-window fenderless coupe, and you will get a good feel for where his rodding roots are taking him now. His garage is neatly parked with a handful of hot rods that came out of Rolling Bones Hot Rod Shop (RBHRS) in New York. Nowadays, Dennis is into hot rods with a nostalgic patina appearance and has come…

6 min.
guided missile

What’s it like to make a pass in a really fast race car? Aaron Wells, owner of this Pro Mod 1967 Mustang, gave us one of the most succinct descriptions we’ve heard in a while. Running in the Mid-West Pro Mod Racing Association, his supercharged Mustang has run a best time of 3.66 seconds at 209.75 mph in the eighth-mile. “Before each run, my dad and my friend Travis Cannon check the track to make the final decisions on the tune. When the car fires, I put it in high gear, roll through the water, and nail it. It’s a rolling burnout; I don’t use a line lock. At the end of the burnout, I go to neutral and hit the transbrake to engage reverse. I hold the reverse handle all…

4 min.
a scot’s honor

“Are you still interested in the Studebaker truck?” That was the phone call Robert Solgat had waited more than two years to get. Solgat is now the owner of this barn find 1959 Studebaker Scotsman pickup, packed with an LS3 engine and customized with hundreds of modifications. He first saw the truck about five years ago. It was in a friend’s barn, being stored for somebody else who had plans to restore it back to its original farm truck form. It appeared to be in good shape, although the paint had dulled to a rhubarb red color and there was some minor rust in the bed, but the sheetmetal was straight. “You don’t see a lot of these trucks, so of course I really wanted it, but my friend said it wasn’t…