Hot Rod January 2021

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.
racing success story

Editor-in-Chief @john.mcgann In the midst of what can technically be called a pretty bad year, it’s encouraging to see professional motorsports persevering, which in this year should be seen as a raging success. Initially many NASCAR and Indy Car events were canceled or rescheduled, but as the year has progressed, it seems that those organizations have gotten pretty clever in how to complete their schedule by combining events at the same track on the same weekend or running double-header races. I’ve especially been enjoying the IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship series this year and the success of the Corvette Racing team with the mid-engine C8.R, which competes in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class. The team is comprised of the yellow Number 3 car driven by Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor, and the silver…

4 min.
1968 chevelle ss396 vintage drag test!

“AS the lights come down, you squeeze the engine toward six grand, slide your left foot off the clutch, stab the loud pedal between the last yellow and the green, and bang!— 375 horses (a 425 Performance Rating via NHRA’s new system) launch you off the line for a near record run. Right? Wrong! At least that’s the way it was on every run we made with this month’s drag test vehicle, a ’68 Chevrolet SS396 Chevelle hardtop.” Drew Hardin explained that Car Craft’s John Raffa was obviously frustrated while testing Chevy’s all-new A-Body at the Irwindale dragstrip in November 1967. That frustration boiled right to the surface in the paragraph above, which opened his Drag Test in the magazine’s Feb. ’68 issue. “Oh, the horses are there all right (just witness…

3 min.
the hot rod archives

20 Years Ago January 2001: 180 pages, $3.99 Tried and true, a budget small-block Chevy build made the cover of this issue. Inside, Tech Editor Terry McGean walked through the process of building the 383 small-block from the bones of a 350 pulled from a one-ton dually in the junkyard. Adding a mail-order stroker kit, he and the folks at JMS Racing Engines ran a couple different Crane hydraulic flat tappet cams through it and three sets of cylinder heads across the top. They started with a disappointing 354 hp with stock “Camel Hump” heads from the ’60s and ended up making a much more respectable 421 hp and 338 lb-ft of torque with Trick Flow heads and a Performer RPM intake. Total price of the long-block: $1,985. Further back in the…

7 min.
second time around

Paul Brunner fell in love with 1969 Camaros the first moment he saw one, all the way back in the fall of 1968. He would have bought one brand-new but was unwilling to give up his 1967 427 Corvette, and at the time, he couldn’t afford both. Over the ensuing years, his love for ’69 Camaros continued unabated, but it took exactly four decades before he actually bought one. “In 2008,” Paul remembers, “I was looking through an Internet auction site and found a 1969 Camaro for sale in Texas. It was a ZL1 clone that looked really good. I was in New Zealand at the time and called the man who had built the car. This car had an aluminum 427 engine and a rock crusher M22 tranny.” The seller…

4 min.
stylish in garnet

Bill Jones refers to the 1960s as “my day” and remembers the hot rods that were all over the streets of Southern California when he was a teenager. He was driving a 1956 Chevy Bel Air back then and (not surprisingly) got into the occasional stoplight showdown. You had to be smart about picking your competition. Most of the time, the fast cars were easy to spot. Some of the time, though, they could fool you with a mild outward appearance that hid their potential to humiliate challengers. “In my day, we called them sleepers,” Jones said. The dictionary defines a sleeper as a hot rod intentionally built to look milder than it is, at least that’s how it would sound if we were writing the dictionary. A few years ago,…

5 min.
racing pedigree

Don’t be fooled by its understated appearance, John McClintock’s 1967 Mustang Coupe is a purpose-built race car. To give perspective to John’s build, it’s important to understand that in 1966 and 1967, Shelby American built a handful of Mustang coupes to compete in the SCCA’s fledgling A-Sedan (amateur)and Trans Am (professional) classes. Shelby’s GT350 wasn’t legal to race in either class since it was homologated as a two-seater for B-Production, so the Group II coupes were essentially built to GT350 R-model spec and met the rules of the day. For 1967, 25 coupes were built, according to the Shelby American Automobile Club, with four used as team cars and the rest being sold to privateers. Shelby team cars were key to Ford winning the Trans Am title that year, helping…