I looked all through the magazine and all over the Web site. Where do I find the rules for the PRO Hot Rod and Muscle Car Nationals classes?
You can find the rules at www.fasteststreetcar.com. All the classes are listed separately, and you can even find the latest rules revisions that will keep you up to date.
Who: The Doty Family
Where: Pinon Hills, CA
What: A fleet of cool cars
Why: Greg Doty wrote in to tell us that his whole family is infected with the car-crafting virus. That's Greg with the '30 Model A roadster, which runs a 350ci/TH350 Chevy combo. The '37 Ford coupe belongs to Greg's dad, David. David built the rod himself, also selecting a Chevy 350ci/TH350 powertrain along with a 9-inch rear. The '68 Mustang belongs to Greg's 19-year-old son Adam and runs a 289 with Edelbrock goodies and 17-inch Boyd's wheels. Even Greg's 21-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, is into it with her '68 Camaro, though for now it retains its straight-six.
I was reading the May '04 issue where you guys recommend ex-police cars as affordable supercars. A word of caution: At my former job in the environmental industry we tested some police cars and they were full of lead dust tracked into the car, apparently from officers returning from the shooting range. If I recall correctly, we had to decontaminate the cars twice to get the lead concentration to an acceptable level.
To anyone with kids, I would think long and hard before buying an ex-police car because of this potential issue. Lead poising can be a serious problem for young children.
In your Jan. or Feb. issue, there was a picture of a George Barris T-bird with whitewall tires. I have tried several tire companies in an attempt to locate them without success. Could you help me?
We'd try contacting Coker Tire, 800/251-6336,or at www.coker.com. They have a tremendous selection all kinds of antique and performance style tires from past decades.
Gratuitous Burnout Of The Month
Just thought I would send pictures of my son's '71 F-100. The whole thing is basically a salvage yard buildup. The motor is a factory 429 4V from a '73 Marquis. He gave the motor a bigger cam, an old 750 Holley, Duraspark ignition, and an old ACCEL coil (all from the junkyard). He did scrape up the money for a gasket kit so the motor wouldn't leak. The 9-inch is equipped with a Lincoln Locker 4.11 third member (real rough in the corners). This truck has all kinds of power and gobs of grunt. The bad part is, he will have to finance the gas.
Just wanted to let you know I love the direction the magazine is headed. I am an avid 5.0 Mustang fan, and I feel I have more in common with Car Craft than the other Mustang-specific magazine I get. It just seems like it's all about new Mustangs, Cobras, and $5,000 superchargers for them. A lot of the articles in Car Craft use low-dollar hop-up ideas that will work on any car. I've always been a fan of working with what you have instead of buying the latest go-fast part from a catalog. My '92 Mustang started out running 14.7 in the quarter. Just by getting to know the car and adding cheap or free go-fast parts, I now have run a best of 13.54 at 101. Again, I love the direction you're headed-keep up the good work.
Look for an upcoming buildup of a carbureted Fox Mustang that will also be budget based.
Who: Steve and Keren Gantz
Where: Ankeny, IA
What: '68 Torino Grand National Stock Car
Why: Few readers' rides have this kind of history
Goodies: Steve didn't tell us how he actually acquired this car, originally prepped by Holman-Moody and driven by David Pearson all the way to the '68 NASCAR Grand National Championship, but he is responsible for its restoration. As the photos depict, the resto is impeccable, good enough in fact that the Ford Motor Company invited the Gantzes to display it at the Ford Centennial Celebration. It's functional, too, although Steve says cruising the 427-powered Torino through the high banks at Charlotte was made more exciting thanks to the 30-year-old Firestone rubber. Thankfully, car and driver emerged without a scratch.
When can I expect to see an article with some good tech tips on achieving 20-plus mpg from a late-'60s/early-'70s musclecar? Gas is approaching the $2 mark, and I don't want to just stick the old car in the garage because I know there are plenty of tricks for good mileage.
I drive 120 miles per day round trip. Last year I put 30K on my '70 'Cuda at 20 mpg, and I loved the commute. On the 'Cuda I had a '95 Magnum 360 with a Tremec TKO 1, 3.23 gears and a Carter 625 for the fuel. I was getting between 17-20 mpg, and I was happy with that. Even with that fuel economy, I was not giving up any performance because on several occasions LS1 six-speed cars were beatable.
On the car I own now, I'm interested in the same mileage but without the high-dollar tranny. I have a 390/automatic with 3.15:1 gears and a 650 AVS. I know with the gears in the car now, I will not see good off-line performance, but that is fine.
I know 20 mpg is not out of the question for this setup, but a tech article with some tips would be nice. I hope to see in the next few months something outlining a plan to achieve this.
If there is enough reader interest in these kinds of stories, we can certainly accommodate you, Chris. You're on the right track with the Carter AVS carburetors. With the metering rod design, you can dial in a relatively lean cruise air-fuel ratio. Don't overlook the idle feed restrictor when leaning the carb. That plays a big part in part-throttle metering, especially at cruise speeds on the highway.
I read your Cadillac article. I really enjoyed it. Your comment about being unable to find the torque rating for the V-16 really piqued my interest. I immediately recalled having my late stepfather Ryan Connell's old Motors Auto Repair Manuals. In the 1954 edition, under the Cadillac section, page 483, it notes the '40 V-16 (valve in block) had a bore and stroke of 311/44x311/44 inches with a displacement of 431 ci, max brake horsepower of 185 at 3,600 and a maximum torque rating of 324 lb-ft at 1,700. Ryan would be amused that his old book was still informative. Thanks, Ryan, I still think about you. We still like old stuff!
Reader's Top 10 List
l'm sure you guys get these all the time, but l thought l would drop it on you anyway. This is something that l never would've considered writing 10 years ago. These are my Top 10 reasons for justifying marriage, especially for my wife, Ashley.
10. She wakes me up to tell me I'm late for work without yelling even though l fell asleep under the car in the driveway
9. She tolerated that l wanted to leave the reception to do a burnout in my Camaro in front of my friends
8. During our honeymoon we went to the swap meet at Charlotte Motor Speedway
7. Also during the honeymoon, she understood that l wanted the Camaro in the landmark pictures
6. She let me put a pool table in the formal dining room and hang up pictures of old cars
5. She woke me up for work and told me l was late without yelling even though l had fallen asleep under the car in the driveway ... again
4. Let's me keep my two Snap-On toolboxes and my air compressor in the laundry room cause we don't have a garage at the new house ... yet
3. Knows the subtle differences between a '55 and '56 Bel Air
2. Knows that sometimes the cable may be out but digs that the new swap meet Rally rims are on
1. There is one day a month that she always walks through the front door from work and the first thing she enthusiastically says is "Honey, the new issue of Car Craft is here"Thanks for the great magazine.
Who: Dean Huck
Where: Bellingham, WA
What: '64 Dodge 330
Why: He saved it from the crusher
Goodies: Dean not only saved this car from certain death, he managed to score it for just $250 ... delivered! That was several years ago, and since then, the Dodge has been treated to a 440 built with #915 heads, an Edelbrock cam and RPM intake, Holley 780-cfm carb, and Hedman Headers. With a 2,800-rpm stall converter in the push-button Torqueflite and 4.10 gears in a '65 831/44 rear, the Dodge turned 13.0s at 105 on street radials. This season Dean says he's pulling more weight and going with a bigger cam and sticky tires for 12-second action
A Street-Strip-Corner-Carving Show Car
Thank you for helping out the young kids. I am 14 and just bought a '74 Camaro that my dad and I will be restoring with the help of friends and family. I am not sure where the money will come from or how long it will take, but it is a good restorable project. My plans are to keep the body and interior mostly stock but with a wild 350 motor. It already has a Turbo 350 trans in it and a 4:11 posi rearend, but I am gonna put 3:73s in it or something like that for road manners. Basically I want to build a street-strip-corner-carving show car. I know it will take a while to get it how I want it, but it will be fun to build even if it isn't completely finished when I put it back on the road. Projects are never finished. My brother wants me to have it running for his wedding, and I am gonna try. Also, about imports, thankfully in our town we don't have a lot. Most of the kids stick with the newer Mustangs and Camaros, and I have seen some sweet American muscle around. Thanks again for the great magazine. I will keep you updated and I will send you pictures.
Soldiers Grove, WI
Please do, Daniel. How about you other young car crafters out there? Send us photos and a description of your car, and we'll run as many of them as we can.
Reader's Letter Of The Month
I am still relatively new to your magazine, and while I love it in many ways, I am also beginning to hate it at the same time! Here are some reasons for both:
I love it for the tech articles but hate it because I get lost in the lingo.
I love it for the article on "Build 'Em! Freeway Flyers" but hated it for teasing me this way! I own an '88 Camaro IROC Z28 and was totally enthused by the idea that I was finally going to find some useful information about how to make it really fly since I have finally finished all the basic maintenance it required that had been neglected by the previous owner. The article "Affordable Supercars" promised "some advice on what to look for and what to do once you've taken title" but then does nothing useful of the sort! The article says there are a lot of parts out there, but I have no idea where to begin to find the ones that are really going to give me the most bang for my buck and make my machine really perk up.
So where's the real advice? Can you give a guy some real down-to-earth basic advice on where to start from bone-stock that won't break the bank? I'd appreciate some more pertinent and directly useful information if you can help me out.
David M. Grubb
It's difficult to put all the specific information for all the cars we mentioned in the story, David. We'll admit that we sucked you in, but that's our job. More to the point, the information you seek is in all the stories that we do. For example, in the '93 GMC TBI trucks we just finished, the first thing we did was open up the exhaust system with a high-flow cat and exhaust and eventually headers. That's the same thing we'd suggest for your '88 IROC. Then we'd add bigger runners for the TPI unit and make sure your fuel pressure is up to par. Balance and clean the injectors, put good spiral-wound plug wires (Moroso, ACCEL, or MSD for instance), and add a better air filter from a company like K&N. Then perhaps more gear in the back since you've got an overdrive automatic. That should wake up your Camaro. Now you need to stick with us, and we'll do more stories like this.
The Reader's Letter of the Month winner gets a free Car Craft license plate. There's just one rule: In order to receive the prize, you have to include your full name and return mailing address in your letter, fax, or e-mail so we can ship the prize to you.
How To Write To Car Craft
Mail: Car Craft Readers' Pages, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048
Subscription inquiries: Car Craft, P.O. Box 56095, Boulder, CO 80322-6095
Remember: We can't handle your subscription questions here at the editorial offices (log onto www.carcraft.com for info on that stuff). We also can't return anything you send us, but we want all the photos we can get.
Urban Assault Vehicle
Who: Ed Tapper
Where: Brooklyn, NY
What: '80 Camaro
Why:Ed says: "Because second-gen Camaros come in tasty flavors other than '70-'73"
Goodies: Ed sent us another letter some time back, with three pages of details, which apparently we missed. As a result, Ed was much more brief this time. He did outline the 383 small-block he's running, using a Scat crank, KB 9.5:1 pistons, World Products Sportsman II heads, Comp XE268 cam, Holley Street Dominator intake, Hedman Headers, and Flowmaster 211/42-inch exhaust. The power is put down via a TH350 trans with 2,400-stall converter and a 3.42-geared rearend. Quarter-mile times have yet to be established, but plans for a bigger wheel/tire combo and overdrive are in the works.
From A Roll
Here's what I'm looking for: What makes a fast 10-to-20-mph-from-a-roll car? In 20 years of street racing, less than 10 percent of my races have been dead-stop, burn-the-tires, drop-the-flag runs. The vast majority of "rat races" I've been in are slow rolling, cold-tire runs. Does a big converter hurt or help from a roll? Gear? Suspension? I want driveability and wicked-quick acceleration. I don't care about a 1.45 short time. I think this sort of information would be interesting to readers who want fast cars that aren't annoying to drive.
The simple answer is that more torque from the engine is the key. Then, perhaps, less stall will help because the car is already rolling. If the gear is right for the engine, keep it because it will still help acceleration.
Reader's In and Out List
In: Building a show quality orange '71 Z28 Camaro
Out: Ad (as seen on eBay) reads: "Dents on the roof and hood (thanks to an angry ex-wife); $2K to fix dents. 24K invested. Must sell due to divorce.
In: Going out of state to a magazine-sponsored car show
Out: Going to local car shows and seeing the same cars every weekend
In: Demolition derby is cheap therapy
Out: Cost of a real therapist
In: Hunting for demo cars
Out: Finding good cars
In: Welding on your car late at night
Out: Welding on you car in the rain
Out: Getting shocked in the process.
In: Building the cheapest car you can
Out: You have to build a cheap car because yours broke
In: Winning with the biggest piece of junk there
Out: Not able to get it off the trailer cause it's junk
In: Beating high-dollar cars with your beater car
Out: That you wished you had half the money they put into their cars
In: Demolition cars are still fun
Out: It's turning into a sport of who has more money
In: Working on your car
Out: When your throttle sticks and your car kicks into gear
Out: You are strapped to the hood trying to shut it down
In: You missed the neighbor's house
Out: Walking in on your 7-year-old son while he is sitting on the can [Thank you for not sending a photo like everyone else.-ed.]
In: Finding out he's reading Car Craft
In: Renewing your Car Craft subscription.
Out: No more money for beer
In: Canceling Hot Rod in favor of more beer moneyJeff LangJacksonville, Florida
In: Street racing and smoking a Mustang Cobra by a mile!
Out: Discovering the state trooper was undercover, and those pretty blue lights mean you won't win that $50.John Polihronidisvia e-mailCan you say "entrapment"?
In: Cruising with a friend in his V-8-powered '68 Cougar
Out: Getting beat in that Cougar by a bone-stock late-model Grand Am GT (that really happened)
In: Friends admiring the musclecar in your garage
Out: It will stay there for the next 180 days due to license suspension from speeding tickets