KEEP ON TRUCKIN’: ‘74 INTERNATIONAL VS. ‘75 FORD F150!

Racer Stephen Cox blogs about trucks before they became collectibles.  It's no secret that vintage pickup trucks are the latest rage in collectible vehicles. They are inexpensive to restore, utterly reliable, born with a lengthy shelf life and they are enormously popular right now. If a collectible truck is on your wish list, here's what you should know about two mainstay pickups from the 1970s.         ‘74 International Pickup When I began racing d...
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TRIUMPH SQUARE BARREL: A 500-CC TWIN FOR ALL SEASONS!

From WWII bomber to Grand Prix Winner, Triumph’s Twin was an incredibly flexible engine, blogs Stephen Cox. Triumph took the world by storm in 1938 with its its Speed Twin, the first of the great British parallel twin street motorcycles. But their enthusiasm – and sales – were cut short by World War II, which began the following September. Triumph engineers quickly adjusted to wartime production by re-designing the Speed Twin's excellent 500-cc power plant as a portable generator for milita...
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PLYMOUTH SUPERBIRD: THE RICHARD PETTY CONNECTION!

Our man on the track, Stephen Cox, talks with Richard Petty about his connection to the winged Superbird. It has been claimed that Plymouth's legendary winged ‘70 Superbird was the brainchild of NASCAR champion Richard Petty. The rumor has been around for decades but I've never found anyone with first-hand knowledge who could absolutely confirm or deny that the car's origins truly began with The King of Stock Car Racing. But opportunity knocked a couple of weeks ago when Petty was in attend...
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INDYCAR: SO YOU WANT TO DRIVE THE INDY 500?

We've suspected this for many years and now it's official. The Indianapolis 500 is no longer a reasonable aspiration for most racing drivers, blogs Stephen Cox.  Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) president Doug Boles was kind enough to talk with me briefly at the annual PRI trade show in Indy. I asked him what his plan was to increase the number of entries at the Indianapolis 500. His answer took me by surprise. “We grew up falling in love with the sport when you had that number of ent...
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RACING’S GREATEST UPSETS: 1966 TRANS-AM ENDURO!

Stephen Cox blogs about Shelby American’s legendary Group 2 Mustang racers, Part 3 of 3. John McComb ordered a new car for 1967. The choice was easy. Given his success in the 1966 Group 2 Mustang, he ordered a new notchback for 1967 to pick up where he left off with the Shelby program. The ‘67 Mustang was the model’s first major redesign and the car gained both size and weight. McComb didn’t care for either. “Even though the ’67 car had a wider track, it was a heavier car, so I don’t really...
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RACING’S GREATEST UPSETS: 1966 TRANS-AM ENDURO!

Stephen Cox blogs about Shelby-American’s legendary Group 2 Mustang racers,  Part 2 of 3. The next weekend John McComb was racing again. The Trans-Am Series Six-Hour Pan-American Endurance Race was to be held at Green Valley Raceway in Texas. The sanctioning body mandated a second driver for each team due to the length of the event. McComb chose veteran Brad Brooker, a successful club racer who had logged plenty of miles in the Group 2 notchback’s nearly identical twin, the Shelby GT...
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RACING’S GREATEST UPSETS: 1966 TRANS-AM ENDURO!

Stephen Cox blogs about Shelby American’s legendary Group 2 Mustang racers, Part 1 of 3. On a hot summer afternoon in late August 1966, the telephone on John McComb’s desk rang. On the other end was automotive design engineer Chuck Cantwell of Carroll Shelby’s legendary racing shop, calling with the surprising news that Shelby had a Mustang Group 2 racecar for sale. McComb was delighted since his prior inquiries at Shelby had been met only by rejection. He had raced MGB sports cars for years...
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STEALING THE 500: SHELBY’S 1968 TURBINE-POWERED INDY CAR!

Stephen Cox blogs about Carroll Shelby’s assault on Indy - Part 2 of 2. Ken Wallis was running out of time. Both of Carroll Shelby's turbine-powered cars were now at Indianapolis but they were nowhere near race-ready condition. His drivers, McLaren and Hulme, had only a six-day window before they returned to Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix. In a desperate bid to make the cars competitive, Wallis used a liberal interpretation of USAC rules to design a new annulus (the engine opening ...
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STEALING THE 500: SHELBY’S 1968 TURBINE-POWERED INDY CAR!

Stephen Cox blogs about Carroll Shelby’s assault on Indy - Part 1 of 2. He wasn't the first to try, nor was he the last. Armed with a huge budget, a massive turbine engine and two of the finest drivers on the planet, in the spring of 1968 Carroll Shelby was ready to steal the Indianapolis 500. The plan was straightforward. Ken Wallis, a 38-year-old British aircraft engineer, had designed the famed Granatelli-Lotus Turbine with which Parnelli Jones had nearly won the race in 1967. Wallis had ...
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TIME TO WIN: A WEEK IN THE LIFE OF A SHORT TRACK RACER!

Last season was a dream year. Seven starts produced three poles, a track record, five podiums and three wins, blogs Stephen Cox.  This year, not so much. My car caught fire in a well-publicized road race at Circuit of the Americas, burning the team's Porsche to the ground and sending me to intensive care. Driving for NASCAR's Rohrbaugh Racing at Midvale Speedway in June, we set a new track record and won the pole but went home a disappointing second place after a controversial finish...
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