We asked Car Guy Chronicles' Jim Palam to travel back to the Halcyon Days of Flathead hot rods and drag racing. He didn't need a time machine – just a tank of gas, an alarm clock set for 4 am, and directions to Santa Margarita Ranch in Central California for the ’21 RPM NATIONALS: FLATHEAD DRAGS, SHOW & SWAP MEET. I started sticking my head into dimly lit garages and greasy engine compartments when I was 14 years old. My older brother Tommy – AKA Tommy Tuner - who at 16 was already ...Read More
THE WAY IT WAS: DANGEROUS DRAGSTERS!
ROD and CUSTOM’s Pat Ganahl blogs about California drag racing pioneers and THE WAY IT WAS: DANGEROUS DRAGSTERS! Yes, I will admit to having a bit of corncob embedded in a certain portion of my anatomy. Why? I won’t go too deeply into it here. But most of you know that I was an avid and active supporter of Nostalgia Drag Racing from its beginning, participating with a Hemi-powered A/Altered and then a Top Fuel dragster, neither of which I had any desire to drive myself. After a couple of ver...Read More
E.J. POTTER: MICHIGAN MADMAN V-8 MOTORCYCLES
When it came to exhibition drag racing, the biggest crowd-pleaser was E.J. POTTER: MICHIGAN MADMAN V-8 MOTORCYCLES. Nobody and no motorcycle did it better than the maximum motorhead from Ithaca, MI! Growing up, young E.J. Potter proved to be an inventive and daring motor-head. The teenage Potter was stuck with a crazy idea, one that was unheard of - drop a V-8 engine in a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. He was already tinkering with tractor engines on the farm, building motorcycles and racing at th...Read More
WHERE HAVE ALL THE RACETRACKS GONE?
Drag strips as well as entry-level stock, modifieds and sprint car tracks have become endangered species. CARS-magazine sponsored record-holding Baldwin-Motion 427 Camaro and Pacers Auto blown-fuel roadster at Island Dragway, Great Meadows, NJ in mid-1960s. Photos: Martyn L. Schorr. Fifty years after the heyday of drag racing, local tracks to national circuits have been feeling pressures of changing times, an aging fan base, and competition for entertainment dollars. “People have so many ...Read More
YORK-US30 REUNION: MUSCLECAR MADNESS!
Legends of the quarter-mile celebrate one of the most exciting periods in drag racing history. Thomas Wolfe got it wrong when he wrote, ‘You Can’t Go Home Again.’ The original Golden Commandos "Goldfish" Barracuda, owned by Bruce Lindstrom, Sarasota, Florida will be one of many featured cars at the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the First Super/Stock Nationals held at York US30 Dragway on August 7, 1965. It will be presented at the York Expo Center, York Fairgrounds during the...Read More
FORD 427 SOHC VS. CHRYSLER 426 HEMI: WIN-WIN!
Ford’s 427 Cammer challenged Chrysler’s 426 Hemi and the Hemi prevailed. Both were winners, however! Chrysler’s Hemi is a study in evolution, starting life in the 1950s, emerging in the 1960s as a hard to beat powerplant on drag strips, NASCAR ovals and in Street trim. It continued for decades, adding new levels of sophistication and still available. Ford was the challenger with a complex, powerful overhead cam 427. While engineered to beat the Hemis in NASCAR, it earned its cred on the q...Read More
’70 OLDS W-30 442: FROM TRACK TO STREET!
Record-holding D/SA racer goes back to its roots, now a street & show muscle car. Most drag racing cars, especially those that were hard-charging record-holders, end up being parted out, updated for new seasons, or relegated to spend its life rusting away. Not so with Tom Kelly’s W-30 442. His beautiful restored street & show machine started life as D/SA racecar campaigned on the NHRA-IHRA circuits for a couple of decades, with sponsorship from the Music City Rod Shop in N...Read More
SANTA POD DRAG RACING: STUDENTS WELCOME!
Santa Pod Raceway (UK), home of drag racing in Europe, hosts the FIA European Drag Racing Championships. Drag racing at Santa Pod, the fastest and loudest motorsport on earth showcasing everything from door slammers, beetles and bikes to 300-mph Top Fuel dragsters, will be for the third year supporting the Institute of the Motor Industry’s (IMI) Autocity careers and teaching resources. They will be offering free passes to groups from schools and colleges at the 2014 FIA European Drag...Read More
GEN 5 CAMARO: WIN ON SUNDAY; SELL ON MONDAY!
Chevrolet not only sells the car, but also the parts needed to go racing and win. And in some cases, warranty protection. The good old days are now! Chevrolet has released a comprehensive collection of factory-engineered performance parts and accessories for Camaros, 2010 model year and newer. Many of the parts preserve the vehicle warranty when installed by a Chevrolet dealer, an advantage aftermarket suppliers and installers cannot provide. The portfolio of parts is designed to make V6, an...Read More
PURE STOCK MUSCLE CARS: GO & SHOW!
Serious quarter-milers mix it up on the strip and will turn heads at MCACN. MCACN’s Bob Ashton is always looking for ways to keep the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals fresh and exciting. This year the show will have a very special display, unlike any that they have done in the past. Imagine a dozen serious Muscle Cars lined up side-by-side, drag race style. Each is show ready, but with a bit of a difference. You see, these cars are likely to have plenty of rubber on the quarters, as all ...Read More