Can You Do This?
Who: Brandon Wood
Where: Valdosta, GA
What: '85 Camaro
Why: This is the '05 NHRA F/FIA record-holder in the eighth- and quarter-miles. The car has run 11.49 in the quarter-mile and leaves with an impressive wheelstand.
Which Kit Car Is That?
Who: Walt Zimmerman
Where: Originally from Kenosha, WI
What: '68 AMX
Why: Whenever we show interest in AMCs, we get e-mail from guys like Walt describing his 0.030-over, 401-powered AMX with a 727 TorqueFlite, and 3.73:1 M20 rear.
He Says: I was once asked, "What kind of kit car is that?"
Who: Chris Walsh
Where: Saint Charles, MO
What: '89 Camaro IROC-Z
Why: It was originally a Flame Red L98/700-R4 with the Aussie 9-bolt and 2.77s. Now the car has a 355-inch L98 with a Super-Ram intake, an LPE 219 cam, aluminum Corvette heads, a '91 body kit, and DuPont Chromapremier G9900S Super Jet Black paint with Royal Plum accents. He's done the six-speed upgrade with some suspension tweaks and added a '99 Camaro rearend with 4.10:1 gears.
Draws A Crowd
Who: Manny Garcia
Where: Torrance, CA
What: '69 Pro Street Chevelle
Why: Manny's father was a street racer back in the '60s, so Manny grew up around hot rods. They talked about building a Pro Street car together, so this is a father-and-son build with a little help from their friends.
He Says: The old-school look of a big Rat motor with a blower ripping out of the hood and the super-wide rear tires always draws a crowd.
One More '67 Camaro
Who: Jay C. Hatler
Where: Near Russellville, AR
'67 Camaro Rally Sport
Why: He bought the car in 1978 for $450 looking about like it does now. Since then, he's bolted in a 454, 700-R4, (great for driving cross-country-he claimed 17.8 mpg), and a 12-bolt Posi with 3.73s. He also added Vintage Air A/C, front discs from a Buick Apollo, and rear discs from a Caddy Eldorado.
$300 Chevelle Project
Who: David Middleton
Where: Broomall, PA
What: '70 Chevelle
Why: He has owned the car for nine years, and he spent the last two restoring it. It has 57,000 original miles and was owned by a little old lady. He paid $300 for it, and it was a clean East Coast car, which meant it only needed quarters, inner and outer wheeltubs, trunk floors, trunk extensions, and fenders.
Since the merger of Car Craft and Teen magazine, it's been all downhill. Goofy layouts, sideways pictures, weak print on pastel backgrounds, fillers like some clown's guitar collection, or cars that were for sale 15 years ago, and the moronic obsession with burnouts. There are still a lot of great articles, but the teen influence has turned what was once THE rodders mag into a poorly done rag. If you think readers want to see Dodge caravans doing burnouts or some 12-year-old with Granny's station wagon, you've spent too much time watching Vin Diesel films. Grow up!!
And please don't paint any more cars "Dole banana yellow." I hate to burst your "Dukes of Hazzard" bubble, but tripe like that has created the public impression that rodders are all jerks. As you can tell, I'm disgusted with the downgrade at CC. -John Zelina, ex-subscriber
It's easy to tell that Car Craft is being shafted by corporate. I lost count of how many project cars and engine builds you guys have purchased and/or started only to have them drop out of sight. It looks as if they are willing to give you guys two or three grand to purchase cars, but no more to actually build them. Now a Mustang for the collection. Great. -Andrew O'Neill, via e-mail
Who: Clay Raymond
Where: Southern Illinois
What: '88 Oldsmobile Trofeo
Why: Some students from the University of Illinois turned this Trofeo into a giant barbecue grill.
The grill is all custom-built and is located under the hood. The trunk is a keg holder with a table built in to hold condiments. The interior has been stripped, and custom wood floors, door panels, and dashboard have been installed. The car has working power windows and a stereo system. They Say: We built a tow bar that connects directly to the bumper but is also detachable once we park it. The taillights and turn signals still operate, so we can tow it to all of the football games, and we use it at home all the time. I know there is nothing high-performance about a grill, I just thought maybe you guys would like it.
Fresh El Camino
Who: Greg Hunter
Where: New Mexico
What: '66 El Camino
Why: This 20-year-old has been assembling this car in his spare time doing everything except taking the body off of the frame. He plans on replacing the 327 with a 434 small-block soon, and he has already prepped the rear with a Dana 60 from Strange Engineering. The wheels are 20-inch Eagle alloys in the rear and 18s in front on Potenza tires.
Send Stuff To Car Craft:
mail: 6420 Wilshire Blvd.,Los Angeles, CA 90048
paper airplane: it's all in the wrist