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Goodguys Del Mar Nationals at Del Mar Fairgrounds, CA

The 17th annual Goodguys Del Mar Nationals, presented by Meguiar’s, started early at the scenic Del Mar Fairgrounds on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Known in the past as, where the “Turf Meets The Surf”. It featured speed, beauty, and celebrities. 

Today the “horses” were under the hoods of pre-’72 hot rods, muscle cars, customs, roadsters, trucks, station wagons, Woodys, vintage and classic cars of all descriptions. Talk about “horses”, the Nitrothunderfest featured vintage top fuel dragsters cackling to life just a few feet from the fans! Speed was on-hand in the form of the Goodguys AutoCross racing competition.

 Today the “horses” were under the hoods…

The “Builders Choice Award” went to Brice Graham from Amarillo, TX. for his surprising ’57 Chrysler Saratoga with 354 HEMI

The event ran Friday through Sunday and featured warm, sunny weather with not a cloud in the sky all weekend. After exiting the last building of vendors and the Show n’ Shine cars, there was a huge parking lot dedicated to every type of car imaginable.

 Vendors hawked a wide variety of goods: hoists, auto parts, time shares, personalized license plates, engines, polishes, jewelry, art, original gas pumps, auto insurance, custom car shops, bric-a-brac, Hawaiian and hot rod shirts, golden oldies music and tapes, bicycles, drivelines, hubcaps, tools, motorcycles and choppers, gaskets, rims, wheels, car seats and signs.

Every so often cars left their parking space to take a ride down the cruise route, past the Woodys pavilion, then back down the cruise route to parade in front of the crowd. There were friendly people everywhere who willingly talked to you about their cars, offered you a chair to stay awhile, and made you feel right at home.

Fantastic cars, wonderful people, nice weather, and a show that provided it all, wraps up this 17th annual Goodguys Del Mar Show.

.. a huge parking lot dedicated to every type of car imaginable

Bruce Wanta’s “Mulholland Speedster” won the Goodguys 2017 March Performance, Street Rod d’Elegance

The “Cool Caddy” pick went to Justin Carrillo from Visalia, CA. for his stunning ’60 Cadillac de Ville convertible. Check out the ’60 Chevy dash!

Check out the fresh Cadillac Phantom from Chip Foose and Wes Rydell

The race cars are staged waiting their turn at the AutoCross course


Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the July 2017 print issue of the Drive Magazine.

The largest one-day charity car show

The 18th Annual Cruisin’ for a Cure: The Largest One-day Charity Car Show in the Nation

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. “We figure having the guys here with their toys is the best way to get them tested, and the timing is perfect”, says event organizer Debbie Baker.

Cruisin’ For A Cure, the largest one-day charity car show in the nation. Over 3,500 vehicles will cruise through the Orange County fairgrounds for 1.5 miles and/or park and be on display.  There’s no restriction on what make, model or year. An entry car can be – classics, muscle, trucks, exotics, customs, vintage, movie cars, and even new cars.

Cruisin’ For A Cure: the “SAVE YOUR LIFE CAR SHOW”, was started in 2000 by Debbie Baker whose husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Cruisin’ For A Cure is a registered non-profit California organization helping to raise money for the KSK Cancer Center of Irvine, CA. The logistics, marketing, and organization of the charity car show are handled by volunteers dedicated to the cause of “Saving Our Men” from prostate cancer. All proceeds and donations go directly to prostate cancer research to find a cure.

Men in attendance can take advantage of FREE prostate cancer screenings performed by the doctors and staff.

Thanks to Debbie Baker and credit to Blacktop Media Network.
Thanks to Debbie Baker and credit to Blacktop Media Network. Credit to Blacktop Magazine for CFAC

The 18th Annual Cruisin’ for a Cure

Men in attendance can take advantage of FREE prostate cancer screenings performed by the doctors and staff from the KSK Cancer Center of Irvine, CA. “The organizers of Cruisin’ For A Cure didn’t put this event together just to see an assemblage of interesting vehicles. They want to save lives,” said Dr. Kenneth Tokita, a Radiation Oncologist with KSK Cancer Center of Irvine.

At last year’s charity car show, 815 men were tested and 153 of them were advised to seek additional medical attention.  “For most guys, the doctor’s office is not somewhere we’re particularly enthusiastic about, so integrating non-invasive, preventative medicine into an event that caters to the demographic of men who are the most at-risk for this disease is nothing short of brilliant”.

An entry car can be – classics, muscle, trucks, exotics, customs, vintage, movie cars, and even new cars.

The 18th Annual Cruisin’ for a Cure The 18th Annual Cruisin’ for a Cure

Automotive industry movers and shakers Troy Ladd (America’s Most Beautiful Roadster), Chris Jacobs (Overhaulin’), Chip Foose (Foose Design), Larry Wood (Hot Wheels Designer), Carson Lev (Redphin Productions), and Barry Meguiar (Meguiar’s Inc.) will  meet fans along with Dave McClelland (‘The Voice of the NHRA’) in The Hangar building from 11am until 1pm.

On the day of the show Debbie Baker drives around in her decorated golf cart checking men’s arms for cotton balls and tiny bandages so she sees they have had their blood test.  She knows that Cruisin’ For A Cure could save their life.  Debbie says they have tested well over 14,000 men over the years and have saved more than 3,000 men’s lives.

At last year’s show, 815 men were tested and 153 of them were advised to seek additional medical attention.

or telephone (949) 353-7353.

WHEN: Saturday, September 23, 2017
6:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

WHERE: OC Fair & Event Center
88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA  92626

Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the September 2017 print issue of the Drive Magazine.

Recycling Trucks Specialist Embraces EV Conversion On Massive Scale

In 2018 David Lorenz scribbled down some ideas for a new business venture. He wanted to identify different vehicle types which he could convert to electric. This is how retrofit specialist Lunaz started, as Rod Kirkpatrick report.

“I drew a spider diagram for electric power trains – it included classic cars and bin lorries!” he chuckled.  Wind the clock forward and Lorenz, the founder of Lunaz, has now filled a huge factory space, yards from the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire, UK, with a state-of-the-art production line where the most exotic and premium British classic cars are being electrified and re-imagined into very expensive works of automotive art. Rolls Royces, Bentleys and Aston Martins share the space with Jaguars and Range Rovers. Each car is stripped to bare metal before being rebuilt and given its new 21st-century power-plant.

The company has just moved into a second 140,000 sq ft warehouse next door. This is where Lunaz is giving the same treatment to a fleet of six-year-old 27-tonne Mercedes thrash collecting trucks or ‘bin lorries’. Lorenz continued: “We’re among the UK’s fastest-growing companies; we’ve raised thirty million pounds in investment and have a unicorn growth trajectory.

“We are now going to market with lorries which are better for the planet and the taxpayer and are functionally better than when they were new. More than 80% of embedded carbon over the total lifetime is saved when upcycling rather than replacing an existing truck with a new EV equivalent.

Converting trucks to electric also stops them from being shipped abroad to carry on polluting for years to come – we’re helping with the circular economy. And for every twenty trucks, one million pounds will be saved by councils.  Our first trucks will be on the streets next year – upcycled and electrified.”

“Buckinghamshire Council has already signed a fleet electrification agreement  – they are transitioning their entire fleet to electric over the next ten years. We’re also talking to private waste management companies. The first trucks being converted are the same model of diesel-powered Mercedes Econic, all built in 2016. But the 82-strong engineers at Lunaz will adapt other types in the future as they can predict exactly when, how many and which vehicles will come to market.

Most bin lorries come off-fleet on a seven-year cycle with about seventy to one hundred thousand miles on them, but the lorries are good for about a million miles. We don’t build one-off vehicles – it takes a year-and-a-half to engineer each development model,” explained Lorenz.”

“Each truck type is stripped, its components scanned before they can be re-designed, re-built and given their new powertrain. One size does not work for all, so our lorries are tailored around duty cycles – how many lifts they need to do – with plug-and-play modular battery options.”

“Our trucks must outperform their ICE (internal combustion engine) equivalent,”

“Lunaz Operations Director Kirk Trewin said: “Recycling lorries are perfect for running electric powertrains as they spend ten to twelve hours resting overnight when they can be charged up with a slow and low-power charge – which batteries like. We fit them with a large 370kW motor which will take them to 62mph – in service; they’ll be limited to 56mph. They also come fitted with an onboard 22kW charger. Each modular battery is 65.5kW – and we can fit six. In service, these trucks can range from four-hundred and to one-thousand-six hundred daily lifts. It’s more efficient on the shorter urban routes to carry fewer batteries – bin lorries are one of the few commercial vehicles that get heavier as they route. Lighter batteries mean increased payload and more efficiency.”

“If a vehicle is designated a new route, we can easily add or remove batteries. Our lorries are installed with the latest tech too, with cameras for wing mirrors, an updated dashboard and 360-degree cameras with pedestrian and cyclist detection. We’ve also improved over the original trucks with a comfier middle passenger seat and brass – rather than poly – bushes fitted to some of the moving parts on the Faun Zoeller body. They’re also fitted with a regenerative braking system and a ZF transfer gearbox with high and low ratios to filter power to the rear axle.  This is fitted over the front axle – where twenty-per-cent of the weight needs to be to stop the truck wheelieing when it’s fully loaded.”




Breeding the Next Generation of Truck Cutters

As a guy, there’s nothing more valuable than something that has been passed down from your old man. Think about it, he was cool before you even had an idea what it really meant to be cool. So for him to hand off one of his most prized possessions is truly a big deal.

Some guys might be lucky enough to get their dad’s record collection or tools that might have even been handed down from his father. But there are rare occasions when a father will entrust his son with the most sacred of his belongings. Nope, it’s not a watch or some random trinket picked up from a trip to Hawaii years ago—it’s much larger than all of that combined.

Some might say inheriting a house would be one of the best things ever, which there is no disputing, financially speaking, but when it comes down to something deeper and more personal, nothing beats getting pop’s old truck. There’s just something about the memories of how it sounded when he pulled into the driveway, or how good it felt to be cruising to the store or home from school in it. Most dudes don’t usually end up with their dad’s old pickups, but the ones who do usually don’t take them for granted.

Ford F-100
The slick front end features a smoothed hood, 1962 F-100 grille and a lower custom roll pan for good measure.
A 1973 Chevy Mark IV 454-ci engine powers the F-100 now
A 1973 Chevy Mark IV 454-ci engine powers the F-100 now, but Tony plans on changing things up here one day.

Take Tony Pimentel, for instance, he’s been working on his dad’s old Ford F-100 since he was 13. The earliest memories he has of his dad and the truck together are the simplest, which usually mean the most: “The truck was a bone-stock, daily driver that he used to drive back and forth to work everyday,” Tony says. “The customization started through my ROP program at school when I was a teen. Now, here it is 28 years later, and I’m still messing around with it.”

Even though Tony got an early start with his dad’s truck, nothing was simply handed to him. He still had to kick in his own time and money to get things done. As a young kid, this was a speed bump for Tony. Most of the time, he had other things on his mind like homework and hanging out with pals (and chicks most likely). It proved to be one of the biggest challenges he would continually face, even into his adult years.

With work, a wife and family life requiring his attention, spending time in the garage became secondary. “With the amount of sentimental value that this truck holds for me, I pressed on as much as I could when I could over the years. Funny enough though, my dad felt that the truck was continually being ruined as the years went by. He was still new to seeing a truck completely hacked up for the sake of bettering it,” Tony told us.

It did take a fair amount of years (almost to completion) for Tony’s dad to fully jump on board with what was being done to his old truck, but when he finally got it, everything clicked firmly into place.

Tony’s F-100
Tony’s F-100 rolls on a set of 20×8 Foose Nitrous 2 wheels, nothing larger than what is really necessary.

Tony’s F-100

The F-100 began as a pumpkin-orange-colored step side, and as it began taking shape, Mr. Pimentel had to have experienced a slight knee-jerk pang of regret initially. The first changes were to the body. First, the door handles, seams and rain gutters were shaved. Then Tony had the suspension completely torn apart and installed a 1979 Camaro front clip and the front and rear air setups. When that work was all said and done, the inline-six was yanked out to make room for the 1973 Chevy Mark IV engine.

The work that Tony put into his dad’s truck was intensive, and his dad’s worries were justified whenever the truck sat in between uncompleted phases. “It wasn’t until the new paint came along when dad finally started coming around with what had been going on all these years,” Tony admits.

Maybe it was the return of a familiar orange color that brought his dad back to what his truck had looked like years ago, or maybe it was a phase of the build that had the truck looking like it was actually close to being completed.

Whatever the connection was, his acceptance and approval pushed the build over the hump it had been climbing for what seemed like forever, and the ride back down was relatively smooth from that point forward.

“It might be tougher to let go of it than it was for his dad, but surely Tony will want his son to feel the incredible sense of pride in owning such a fine piece of family history.”

Tony’s F-100 Tony’s F-100

Suddenly, the build picked up steam, and father and son were both on the same wavelength. As the build neared the finish, Tony had time to sit back and reflect upon the almost three decades he’s spent with this truck.

One usually takes a mental inventory at a time like this, which is exactly what Tony said when we asked him: “I’ve had a great time with a group of good friends that I started out with and the new ones that I’ve picked up along the way. I’ve learned so much over the years and have sharpened some skills as well. I wish that the lack of time and funds didn’t push the completion so far off into the future, but it happened, and that’s all I really care about.”

­­­For the 54-year-old pickup, the timing couldn’t have been better. If it had been wrapped up sometime in the ’90s, its timeless vibe could’ve been a whole lot different. With the current resurgence of classic trucks, now is the time for these trucks to shine. With the strong support from the aftermarket and the many rising stars in the fabrication game, there really is no limit to where these former work trucks can go.

Nobody knows this better than this Ford’s previous owner, Mr. Antonio Pimentel. When the time is right, we’ll see if Tony can bear to hand his impressive creation down to his own son. It might be tougher to let go of it than it was for his dad, but surely Tony will want his son to feel the incredible sense of pride in owning such a fine piece of family history.

A custom-designed bench seat
A custom-designed bench seat was cooked up by Tea’s Design to complement the sleekness of the shaved metal dash and subtle earth tones throughout the cab.


All The Best Engines From SEMA 2019!

Everyone loves cool engines right?! Well, we decided to capture all the best truck engine set-ups at SEMA 2019 so you can spend your afternoon drooling. Which one is your favorite? Check them all out!