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Midwest Street Machines - Crazy 8s

In this wild pack of Midwest street machines, big-blocks, fogger nozzles, and 8-second timeslips are the norm. Watch and learn

By Stephen Kim, Photography by Stephen Kim

There’s a two-lane stretch of asphalt right behind the Harley-Davidson factory in Milwaukee, curiously decorated with epic streaks of rubber. Some squiggles are S-shaped and others look like O’s, but alphabetic resemblance aside, someone’s been having a very good time. That someone is one of the craziest band of hot rodding buddies you’ll ever meet. They don’t believe in small-blocks. To them, nitrous that doesn’t have at least two stages isn’t worth your while, and the only carb that matters is a Dominator. They even have the audacity to equate trick suspension parts and big tires to cheating. Rounding out this opinionated group of Midwestern iron is a ’72 Nova, a pair of ’67 Chevelles, a ’66 Coronet, a ’67 Chevy II, a ’66 Biscayne, and a ’55 Chevy pickup. These cars range from show-car pretty to downright ratty, but what they all share in common is serious speed.

Considering the slow car in the pack runs 10s and everything else runs 8s, these guys have every right to be opinionated. They’re so hard-core and so consumed with going fast that they didn’t even waste their time coming up with some cutesy name for their club. We’re talkin’ cars that trip the 60-foot marker on the back tires, cams pushing 300 degrees of duration, spread-port heads, and interiors stuffed full of rollcages. Yum. When they’re not cruising down the freeway or pulling wheelstands at the track, these boys congregate at the local burger joint, talk some trash, then settle their differences behind the Harley building. This might be Hog country, but V-twins aren’t the kings of this secluded industrial street.

At first, experiencing Rat motors and Chrysler 440s battering air molecules into deafening sound waves and seeing social miscreants whizzing by in muscle cars might make you think it’s 1967 all over again. Then you’d realize something else is going down because even all-out race cars didn’t run this fast back in the day. What these Wisconsin boys have managed to do is combine the blue-collar know-how of ’60s hot rodding culture with modern technology to create some wickedly fast street machines. Needless to say, the results are devastating in a very good way. Sure, you can find a faster car every now and then, but rarely will you witness so many hard-core, track-honed, and street-driven hot rods hanging out together in the same place at the same time. So let’s take a closer look at machines behind the hype, shall we?

By Stephen Kim
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