Can't Find Car Craft?
Did you have to kill a man to steal the issue of Car Craft you're reading right now? It might be because the local grocery guy is too busy looking for that golden entry ticket to the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory to stock the best car mag in the universe. Step up and tell him the contest ended 40 years ago, and he needs to get a rack of Car Craft to rope the cool kids and thereby the hot chicks in miniskirts into the store. Tell him all he has to do is call the Retail Vision Direct-to-Retail Program at 800/381-1288 and buzz Liz Warden at extension 6047. Then be nice and buy an ice cream sandwich or something. -Douglas R. Glad
SS-427 and Phase III 540 Camaros
Get 'em while you can. If you're a procrastinator, you're hosed. If you're a budget procrastinator, hosed squared. Baldwin-Motion is building a small number of 450hp SS-427 and 600hp Phase III 540 Camaro coupes and convertibles in SS (that's Super Sport), RS (that would be Rally Sport), and SS/RS (that would be one and two together). Neat, right? So neat you better start coughing up 169,000 bills for the SS-427 Classic and $189,000 for the Phase III (starting price tags). You can even tack on a warranty!
If you're interested in one, you're not bound by those horsepower figures. B-M says these will be custom built to order, so the company can pop in a supercharged or twin-turbo 720ci big-block for up to 1,000 hp for the Phase III. Stock, you're looking at either car having items such as Hooker headers, a Tremec TKO 600 five-speed tranny, front and rear spoilers, upper and lower tubular A-arms, QA1 coilover shocks and springs, and Baer performance brakes. Optional hardware will include a 562, 572, 632, and the aforementioned big-mama 720ci mill for the Phase III, a power hood, an engine-appearance package, and a hood tach for either model. There are a million more options available, but suffice it to say, you can build your fantasy Camaro as well as incorporate those of your five neighbors.
The Baldwin-Motion do-overs will be out-of-the-box streetworthy '69 Camaro donors and have original '69 Chevy VINs so no back-alley registration will be needed. They will even be signed by the Motion part of the company, Joel Rosen. (Don't scratch your brain holder over that puzzler-read the history on the officialbaldwinmotion.com Web site to understand Rosen is Motion.)
Although they are currently under construction, two coupes and one two-seat speedster have already been ordered from the 12 cars being built.-Tori Tellem
Rockford On Dvd
We know lots of guys who have built up their collections of videos and DVDs in recent years just so they can play, rewind, and freeze all the best shots of their favorite TV and movie car chases to soak up the details. Finally, you get a chance to scrutinize the Rockford Firebird. Even though The Rockford Files has reportedly been playing in reruns almost nonstop since the series ceased in the late '70s, it was released on DVD only recently. Thanks to Universal Studios Home Entertainment, the first two seasons are now available with more to come. We've already spotted some interesting Firebird trivia items after watching the first few episodes. Check it out wherever DVDs are sold or go to the DVD section of universalstudios.com on the Web. -Terry McGean
Osha Gets Tough On Chrome
Anyone who's tried to restore an old car in the past 10-15 years knows the availability and cost of having chrome plating done has climbed significantly, mostly as a result of ever-tightening government regulation. Now it looks like the standards will become even stricter. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration-you know them as OSHA-has set new limits for exposure to airborne particles of hexavalent chromium, limiting the exposure level to five micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an eight-hour period. According to SEMA, this is about 11/410 the amount previously allowed, though it's still 20 times higher than the levels sought by the activists who have been fighting for the reform. The change will affect plating facilities as well as paint manufacturers, steel manufacturers, and industries involved with welding. Despite this, OSHA estimates that 88 percent of the affected workplaces already meet the new standard. You can probably figure that the other 12 percent includes your local plater, if you even still have one. Better get those unobtainum chrome goodies redipped now. For more information, log on to sema.org.-Terry McGean
The King Hits the Silver Screen
Previously, we told you of the upcoming Disney animated movie Cars about a world of talking machines and racing. Like most of Disney's animated films of recent years, Cars is aimed at a younger audience but with elements that appeal to adults. One of the things we appreciate is the use of specific makes and models rather than just goofy generic cars. When we got a follow-up press release on the film mentioning that Richard Petty would be providing the voice for one of the characters, we had a hunch it would be for the '70 Superbird on the list of cars depicted. Sure enough, Petty's character is a veteran stock car with more "Piston Cup" races than any other car in the history of the series. Aptly nicknamed The King, Strip Weathers even wears the 43 over Petty Blue paint. We may have to grab a nephew, niece, or kid off the street to justify seeing this. -Terry McGean
Peak Antifreeze And Splitfire Mustang Sweepstakes
Next to the free Danica Patrick poster, we can't think of a better reason to visit peakantifreeze.com or splitfire.com for a chance to win an '06 Mustang GT during the Project Fire & Ice Sweepstakes. To enter, visit one of the above-mentioned Web sites or stop by your local AutoZone to sign up in person. Unlike other giveaway cars that get fender flares and a chrome cupholder for mods, the '06 GT has extensive chassis and engine upgrades courtesy of Ford Racing Performance Parts (FRPP). The big ones are the FRPP Drag Pack, which should shave 0.50-second off the car's e.t., and the Handling Pack, which lowers the car 1.5 inches and adds a beefed sway bar and trick Ford dampers. Makes us want to sign up. Since we can't, you should. Do it before July 1, 2006 or you don't have a prayer.-Douglas R. Glad
The Auction You Weren't Invited To
What happens when an industry bigwig decides to clean out his garage? More cool artifacts than a King Tut exhibit. To continue the 2006 theme of party-all-the-time 60th anniversary events, So-Cal Speed Shop founder and former CC editor, Alex Xydias, attended a gala in his honor-and gave back in the form of auctioning off a little history to benefit the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California. In the audience were recognizables such as Parks himself, Vic Edelbrock, and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons. In fact, Billy forked over $12,000 for Alex's original pith helmet, worn when he set the first land-speed record at Bonneville in 1949. His first "fire suit" (a silk-screened T-shirt) fetched $1,100, and even an autographed poster board of the Oct. '49 cover of Hot Rod was up for grabs, bringing in $4,200. All told, the museum landed $32,050. -Tori Tellem
The Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, Florida, has inducted 11 new members into its hall of fame. Here's a glimpse of why. They are in alphabetical order, not by prettiest:
Arnie Beswick: "The Farmer" has been credited with being the first person to drive a stock-bodied car to break the 9-second e.t. barrier, as well as the 8-second. He won the A/FX and B/FX in 1963 and plans to compete in 2006, his 51st year of racing.
Jim Brissette: An engine builder and tuner, he has been behind winners of the NHRA Top Fuel championship and the IHRA World Championship.
Gordon Collett: After winning the '64 NHRA Nationals, he was handed the keys to a brand-new Mustang. Nice. He was constantly ranked in the top three on the Drag News Top Gas Mister Eliminator list.
Jim Deist: While working for a parachute manufacturer, he experimented with a chute on a dragster. Mickey Thompson suggested he make the Drag Chute a commercial item, and next thing you know, Deist Safety was formed.
Jim Dunn: Number 27 on the NHRA list of Top 50 Drivers for the First 50 Years and recipient of the Special Recognition Award at the Car Craft magazine All-Star Drag Racing Team in 2000, he's been a driver, tuner, and the star of his own movie, Funny Car Summer.
Steve Gibbs: He's been a manager of dragstrips, vice president of competition for the NHRA, a name behind the modern Safety Safari, and the person who formed NHRA Historical Services. In 1991, this magazine gave him the All-Star Ollie Award for career contributions to drag racing.
Bruce Larson: In 1965, he drove a Ford Cobra to national records for the NHRA A/Sports and AA/Sports, and also had wins at the Winternationals, Springnationals, and U.S Nationals. Sporting USA-1 colors, he had to reveal the first all-fiberglass, Camaro-bodied Funny Car and set records in Funny Car racing as well.
Joe Lunati had a reputation for racing ugly cars. He set eight records and won Street Eliminator at the Indy Nationals in 1966 and 1969. Joe transitioned from building and racing to building racing and performance parts via Lunati Cams.
Joe Mondello: An engine builder, driver, and designer, he won back-to-back IHRA Comp Eliminator titles and set a class record at the '69 NHRA Indy Nationals, which stood for 10 years, until the class was dumped. In the late '60s, Car Craft named him both All-Star Team Engine Builder and All-Star Team Crewchief.
Shirley Muldowney: She was the first woman licensed to drive a Top Fuel dragster, to win an AHRA and NHRA professional national event and a professional NHRA Winston World championship (three times), and she was honored with a Car Craft Ollie. Plus, there's the 18 national event titles and records she set.
Jon Asher (Founder's Award): A photojournalist and writer for the NHRA, AHRA, and IHRA, he was even editor of Car Craft and co-owner of the Jade Grenade Top Fuel dragster. (He didn't do those things at the same time, so don't worry Glad, you have nothing to prove. Enjoy that Twinkie and nap.)-Tori Tellem
Not Coming to NBC This Fall
For once, other people's misery isn't being made into a reality show. But it's still in the name of cash and prizes via Thrifty Car Rental's Honeymoon Disaster contest. It's actually the 11th such contest for Thrifty, which gave the winning couple, Jeff and Rhonda West of North Carolina, airfare, a hotel, and a rental car plus $500 to have a second honeymoon. Here's why you'll care.
The couple was headed to their honeymoon in Jeff's mint '68 Camaro RS when a hubcap fell off. They found it, and the journey continued. Then a rear tire blew out. While Jeff-still in his tux-was inspecting the car, it started rolling down the hill because he forgot to stick it in Park. Oh yeah, and Rhonda was still inside. Car and woman came to a stop in some bushes. After dealing with the tire change and hubcap, they got to their hotel, only to discover it had burned down the day before.
They went from hotel to hotel looking for a vacancy, but as they were rejected from yet another, they returned to the parking lot to discover the Camaro had been stolen. Honeymoon over.-Tori Tellem
Some people might get a hankering for a Harrison Ford flick or one with Angelina Jolie. Those people are lame. What they should be craving is a movie with an Impala as extra No. 455, or maybe something starring a too-fast-and-too-furious Plymouth Fury. And that's what imcdb.org is all about: Internet Movie Cars Database. Pick a make of vehicle, and you'll find a pretty good inventory of movies and television shows in which it appeared. Star rankings signify whether the car had a mere drive-by performance or if it was a full-blown costar. Are you in the mood for popcorn and a GTO? Don't bother with your box set of ChiPs, since the '69 ended up mostly on the cutting-room floor. Go with Two-Lane Blacktop for the '70 in all its Oscar-worthy glory.-Tori Tellem
Car In Black
Johnny Cash's '75 Cadillac Fleetwood sedan was auctioned off at the fourth-annual Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach World's Greatest Collector Car Event and sold for $23,220, including fees. At auction, it had about 50,000 original miles on it and featured an all-original body, a rebuilt auto transmission, a two-year-old paint job, and a 500ci V-8.-Tori Tellem
Think You Might Die In A Car Wreck? Check Your SkinWe're not entirely sure what this has to do with orthopedics, but as doctors were gathered at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting and wet T-shirt contest, Dr. Justin S. Cummins presented the results of a study he'd led. It claimed that when all racial groups are using the same safety equipment (think seatbelts and airbags), white drivers and passengers have a 50 percent greater risk of death and a notably higher incidence of severe injury during an accident than nonwhite occupants. It's a crapshoot, but they're guessing driving patterns play the key role (as in stop driving so fast). All the evidence to support this theory is weak at best, but since we're the media, it's our job to make you afraid of birds, your car, and leaving the house. Assume the fetal position. -Tori Tellem
Can't Be At The Races? They'll Come To You
NMRA TV Online (nmraracing.com) is putting up same-day race coverage and event results so you don't have to miss any of the thrills. Throughout the weekend, you'll be able to see qualifying footage, eliminations in each class, pit tours, and interviews in digital-television format thanks to the NMRA digital team. For the first time in the NMRA's history, broadcasts are from its own four-camera shoots, including the starting line, half track, 60-foot, and shutdown area. In fact, in the three days following the Nitto Tire NMRA Spring Ford Nationals, more than 70,000 separate streaming videos went up. Around 200,000 videos total are expected during the two weeks after the event.
And since you asked about the Car Craft Street Race class, keep your eye on Paul Wiley, who after a five-year run in NMRA Real Street has joined the NMCA Street Race club. Since the NMRA didn't have a class in his budget, Street Race appealed big time to the Warren, Michigan, resident. He had his '93 Mustang LX's Edelbrock Performer RPM heads and Victor 5.0 intake reworked, and he added a Comp cam. There's also a driver-side-mounted Vortech T-Trim blower with cog drives.
To compete in or learn more about the Car Craft Street Race Class or NMCA racing series, visit fasteststreetcar.com. You can also sign up by calling 866/694-3475. -Tori Tellem