Hot Rod December 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

4 min.
remember when 400 was a lot of horsepower?

Editor-in-Chief @john.mcgann I do. As a kid, I remember family get-togethers where the guys would inevitably begin talking about cars they owned and wished they still had. Invariably, the eyebrows would raise and admiring glances would be directed at my dad when he spoke about the 1969 Corvette he owned when he and my mom met. It was a Tri-Power 427 with a four-speed and the plaque on the console read “11.0:1 compression and 435HP and 460 lb-ft of torque”. I remember an uncle once saying that driving the car was an intimidating experience and marveling at the gallon of gasoline he saw the carburetors gobble up as the engine was started with the air cleaner off. That prodigious shot of gasoline would have been delicious-smelling Boron, the premium fuel sold at…

3 min.
going big with the 1974 motion 454 vega

King Kong is Alive on Kong Island! “The title sounds like bunk, you say? Well, what would you call a street Vega with a 454-cubic-inch big-block, Aunt Mary? That certainly might be foolhardy, especially behind the wheel; you’d have to whisper because, if the Vega heard, it might get mad and snap your neck at the next traffic light.” With that evocative paragraph, Car Craft magazine’s Ro McGonegal introduced CC readers to a remarkable piece of 1970s engineering: a Vega GT with a big-block transplant courtesy of Joel Rosen and the crew at Motion Performance on Long Island. The Motion team was already converting Vegas to Chevy 350 power, but this car took things to the next level in a big way. The size of the big-block, for instance, meant cutting the…

2 min.
the hot rod archives

20 Years Ago December 2000: 148 pages, $3.99 Though it’s not such a big deal these days, our cover star Camaro was the recipient of an LS engine and T56 transmission swap in the early days of such an endeavor. The team at Hotchkis Sport Suspension undertook the work, and had to make many parts from scratch—things we can buy off the shelf right now like motor mounts, trans crossmembers, and fuel tanks and lines. Tech Editor Terry McGean left no stone unturned in his coverage, and the team had the car running in 30 days—just in time for the Power Tour that year. Steve Magnante had a good article on cost-conscious upgrades to an ’83 Mustang, and Gray Baskerville had excellent coverage from Bonneville. 40 Years Ago December 1980: 132 pages, $2.00 A retrospective…

5 min.
unearthing a time-forgotten fleet of rare muscle cars

Check out this exceptional find, recently exhumed in Tucson, Arizona. This “Fab Five” belonged to Mark Spear, a gearhead with a taste for muscle cars, who passed away last April at the age of 71. His love of cars came from his father who worked at a local Ford dealership in Minneapolis, Minnesota. When Mark turned 21 in 1970, the elder Spear turned his son on to quite a bargain. A customer had traded in a ’68 Shelby GT500 KR, a soon-to-become iconic Mustang equipped with a stout 428ci V8. The KR was rated at 335 hp, although later independent tests reported that the engine made well over 400 hp. Mark had to have it, and so started a lifelong journey with the four-speed car, one of a little over 1,000…

3 min.
rusty rental

As rusty as it is, and as ugly as it is, there is so much good here,” said Rick Parker as he and his team from Signature Auto Classics, in Columbus, Ohio, were working with pickaxes and shovels to dig out a 1966 Shelby G.T.350-H that had been parked in a backyard for nearly 40 years. The registration on the plate expired in 1981. The entire car had sunk into the mud and might not have been worth the trouble except it was a real Shelby, one of the 936 G.T.350-H models that Shelby-American produced in the Rent-A-Racer program. Most being automatic, these rental cars were once deemed slightly watered down and thus not destined to be as desirable as a basic four-speed 1966 G.T.350. Perhaps the wondrous black-with-gold paint stripe…

2 min.

They say patience is a virtue, and if this is true, Tony Agnello has an abundance of it. The term “barn find” doesn’t mean it had to literally come from a barn; it’s used today any time someone finds a classic car that’s been hidden away or forgotten. Sometimes they are stuffed in garages, but oftentimes they are slowly decomposing in the great outdoors and somewhat sheltered under a tarp. Tony’s 1972 Chevelle Malibu was purchased new on September 25, 1972 from Eddie Hopper Chevrolet in Garden Grove, California. From then until 2000, it belonged to the original owner who spun 54,000 miles onto the odometer before she passed away. During this time it lived under a carport. The Malibu was then passed to her daughter and son-in-law who moved it to…