In: Selling your car for exactly the price you wanted for it.
Out: Having to deal with the Department of Motor Vehicles for three days trying to transfer the title.
In: The '68 Chevrolet Impala SS.
In: The '69 Chevrolet Impala SS (only 2,425 built).
Out: That there was no '70 Chevrolet Impala SS.
In: Stock hubcaps on widened steel wheels.
In: Stock wheel covers modified to fit over 17-, 18-, or even larger-diameter alloy wheels.
Out: Pulling stock steel wheels out of junkyard and mounting them to your car without balancing them.
In: Seeing that you have just enough in your bank account to cover a new set of cylinder heads.
Out: Doing your taxes and finding that what's in your bank account is going to the IRS.
In: Bolting on a new set of shocks.
Out: Having the shock boss snap off in your hands as you remove the old shocks.
Production total: 319
Engine: 327ci with 300 hp
Transmission: Three-speed manual (std.), four-speed manual (opt.), two-speed automatic (opt.).
Base price: $2,381 (base)
Everything Is A Race Car
The best thing about drag racing is that anyone can do it. The second best thing is that anything can do it. Proof comes in the form of the Diesel Hot Rod Association (DHRA), which was (quoting its Web site) "formed to promote and advance automotive sports that involve the use of diesel (compression ignition) engines." In essence, it's run-what-you-towed-your-race-car-to-the-track-with racing.
With the truck-makers in an arms race to see who can build the most powerful and technologically advanced turbo diesel heavy-duty pickup, that racing would ensue was pretty much inevitable. Ford Powerstroke vs. Dodge Cummins vs. Chevy Duramax is at least as spirited a rivalry as Shotgun vs. Hemi vs. Big-Block ever was. And the DHRA's "Weekend on the Edge" event last September at Rocky Mountain Raceway in Ogden, Utah, was indicative of how entertaining a rivalry it can be.
The two-day event started with dyno runs at Edge Products in Ogden. Spewing black smoke like the Titanic's coal bunkers as it went down, the big trucks proceeded to put up some absolutely astonishing numbers. Richard Madsen's Cummins-powered Ford knocked out an astounding 563 hp at the rear wheels, and that translates into enough torque to pull the entire state of Utah up and over the Rockies. Madsen's pickup also holds a current All Motor class quarter-mile record of 11.29 at 118 mph.
Fully 40 trucks showed up for race day, and burnouts that seemed to crack the Earth's crust were commonplace. It turns out that four-wheel-drive pickups with overwhelming torque launch best in four-wheel drive, and low 14s weren't uncommon. Power-adders like nitrous and turbos are almost commonplace, and (with these trucks at least) propane is an effective performance fuel as well.
Information about the DHRA is available on its Web site at www.dhraonline.com, and you can explore all the various classes there and the schedule of events. Here's the class we suggest: combined e.t. for both the truck and whatever race car it can tow to the event. Just have the tow vehicle performance set the handicap for the car races.
Sometimes we're just brilliant.
Movie and TV Car Web Sites
Are you fascinated with the original Batmobile from the 1966 TV series? Want to know everything about the 1968 Steve McQueen classic Bullitt? Obsessed with the Gran Torino from Starsky & Hutch? Car Craft is proudly ignorant about these cars. But if you're craving more info, we suggest these 10 sites on the Internet. Then you can stop bothering us.
None of these sites are professional efforts or tied in with the producers of the series or movies they celebrate. So cut them some slack if the coding isn't slick or a link is broken.