Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

They Call Him Mr. Norm

Friday, August 14th, 2009

The Mopar Performance King Rides Again

MainJPEG_328

The question has been asked, “What’s in a name,” but there are those in every area that evoke a response simply by saying it. With Ford it’s Roush, and for some Chevy guys, it’s Zora Arkov Duntov. For lovers of all things Mopar, however, that name is Mr. Norm.

(more…)

Street Smarts

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Subtle Style And Serious Power Define This Chevy

MainJPEG_311

Photos by Travis Noack

Sometimes it’s hard to characterize what a hot rod, muscle car, or a street rod is. It’s easy when you’re talking about a ’32 High Boy, and a ’68 Camaro is even easier still, but what about a customized 1957 Bel Air? Especially one that is nearly stock appearing on top, but has been completely built underneath? Whichever category you want to put it in, this car is a sweet ride.

(more…)

Sound Machine

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Custom Autosound Cranks It Up

15560_thumb_MainJPEG

There was a time in our history, and not too long ago at that, someone could come up with an idea, and through a need for that product, become successful. Call it the “better mousetrap” syndrome. People like Carl Sprague, owner of Custom Autosound, are those who took an idea and ran with it. In Sprague’s case, it was in 1977 that he took a newer AM/FM-cassette capable radio and adapted it to work in his AM-only-equipped 1963 Corvette. And as these usually happen, it was through prodding from friends and others who wanted him to upgrade their cars that he saw an opportunity to make a nitch for himself. He soon was producing vehicle-specific units that looked like the stock unit, and fit in the stock location, but had all of the latest features that any driver really wanted in their sound system. And the rest, as they say, is history.

(more…)

Retro Radical

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Come With Us Back To Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear

15545_thumb_MainJPEG

With the possible exception of the slingshot Top Fuel cars, no other vintage drag racers elicit the same response as the early gassers. With their nose-in-the-air attitude, huge blown engines and massive slicks, they were the funny cars of their day and arguably the most fun to watch as a straight run down the quarter-mile was a rarity. And when one thinks of the early gassers, one of the first that jumps to mind is the Willys of Stone, Woods and Cook.

(more…)

The Great One

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

An Original Muscle Car Drives Into The 21st Century

MainJ_292_PEGIn late 1963, an event occurred that changed everything. Pontiac debuted its newly restyled Tempest Le Mans, along with a special model named the GTO, and the rest, as they say, is history. The brain-child of Pontiac Chief Engineer John Delorean, the new GTO revolutionized the intermediate segment by using the powertrain from a full-size Pontiac, in-cluding a large displacement 389-ci engine, and raised the stakes by adding multiple carburetion and a 4-speed manual trans-mission to the mix. To say that perfor-mance enthusiasts embraced the GTO is an understatement. The new car was such a big a deal that then fledgling Car & Driver tested the new Pontiac GTO against a Ferrari GTO. The result was a historic cover story from late 1963 that helped launch both the car and what was then a relatively new magazine. Of course, there was some “interpretation” of the shootout rules, and Pontiac PR guru Jim Wangers admitted later that the Pontiac used for the testing was armed with the larger displacement 421 engine rather than a stock 389.

(more…)

Hell’s Fury

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Hell's Fury

Built By A Preacher, Owned By A Hot Rodder

Text and Photos by Matt Emery

The price of the vehicle he owns can’t define a true hot rodder, but he can be judged by the enthusiasm he displays for our pastime. Some guys, who have more money than sense, throw hundreds of thousands at top name builders simply so they can say that they own a Foose- or Boyd Coddington-built car. Many times, once the Grand National Show is over, they lose interest and the car languishes in their garage. Randy Palmer of Huntington Beach, CA, is one of those rare breeds of rodders who not only has the cash to own what he wants, he also wants to take his vehicles to shows, both large and small.

(more…)