Like stories like this? You’ll see every article as soon as it’s published by reading the print edition of Grassroots Motorsports. Subscribe now. story by bill cuttitta • photos by mark langello What do you get when you put together two Honda CRXs, a Ford Mustang, a Chevy Corvette and a Chevy work van? Although most people would come up with some kind of corny punch line when faced with this question, Denny Crabill saw it as the recipe for a successful entry in the Kumho Tires Grassroots Motorsports $2004 Challenge Presented by CRC Industries. As most of our readers already know, the GRM Challenge events inspire a lot of original thinking, since entrants must buy, build and campaign their cars in three competition events—an autocross, drag race and concours—all on a two-grand budget. Denny Crabill’s Honda/Honda/Ford/Chevy/Chevy (which will, in the interest of brevity, be hereinafter referred to as simply the CRX), was both … [Read more...] about A “Shock and Awe” Approach to the $2000 Challenge
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Zen philosophy states that there is an interconnection of all things physical and spiritual, that there is a unity at a profound level, and that our actions have infinite repercussions. In the mid-1960s, this discipline was integral to the machinations of an offbeat trio of nitro bums from the west side of Los Angeles: Bob Skinner, Tom Jobe ,and Mike Sorokin, aka “The Surfers.” It defined their approach to the application of nitromethane vis-à-vis compression ratios and blower speeds. Further, it defined who they were as individuals. This is the story of how these three stood the world of drag racing on its ear via their theoretical approach to life as applied to a Top Fuel dragster. It is the parable of two abstract yet linear thinkers, Skinner and Jobe, and their driver, Sorokin, and how they discovered that the path to Drag City and the trophy queen was also the path to nirvana and enlightenment. For these shrewd and mischievous nitromaniacs, the dragstrips of … [Read more...] about Southern California Top Fuel Movement – The Epic Saga Of The Surfers
Getting ClearancePeter Constantine, via carcraft.com: I’m in the beginning stages of my first engine build-nothing fancy, just a mild 355 small-block Chevy to replace the exhausted, nonoriginal small-block in my ’69 Z/28. I have a question about bearing clearances. I make my living with precision measurements so I have no problem with the actual measurements. It’s the calculation I’m wondering about. Is the bearing clearance radial or diametric? For example, if a recommended clearance is 0.0025 inch, is that 0.0025 inch per side (radial) or total (diametric)? If it’s total, then the actual clearance is 0.00125 inch per side. Am I correct? Jeff Smith: Yes . . . but not always. How’s that for an answer? Yes, you are correct that the distance between the bearing insert and the main journal, for example, is the total clearance, which means your above numbers are accurate with the actual clearance on one half of the bearing being 0.00125 inch with a total … [Read more...] about Measure Bearing Clearance – What’s Your Problem?
The assistant to a high-ranking auto exec told us, after we’d asked to hear the exec’s favorite road-trip story, “it was fun seeing his face light up relaying this.” And that’s something we discovered while creating this story—ask anyone about a favorite road trip or destination, and that cruise down memory lane will usually end with, “I had a good time thinking about that trip again.” On the following pages, we’ve created what we hope will be the inspiration for you to create an ideal road trip of your own. Small towns, big cities, tallest landmarks, smallest dives. This is your America; this is your adventure. Tell us how it goes. Car Museums 01] RK Motors Charlotte RKMotorsCharlotte.com RK Motors is a must-see, 60,000-square-foot facility with a massive display of pristine muscle cars available for sale. The company also operates RK Performance Center in Mooresville, the shop that restored the 1971 Charger that’s the … [Read more...] about Guide to Gearhead Getaways
While a lot of racers probably won’t admit it, drag racing is an addictive sport. Jack Werst knows all about it. After all, Jack was in the middle of the fray during the glory days of factory racing in the ’60s, moving from Super Stock to Pro Stock. By 1972, when the Detroit conduit was running dry, Jack wisely decided it was time to do something else. After leaving Chrysler, he went to work for Winnebago Industries-a career spanning 20 years-before returning to a dragstrip. Now, with a couple of years back in the saddle in a Max Wedge car built by Jerry Stein, “Mr. 5 and 50” is loading fuel into a Hemi again. As recounted in the historical story that accompanies this car feature, the A990 Plymouth that Jack drove in 1965 and 1966 was no slouch. After all, he had none less than Bill “Da Grump” himself Jenkins spinning wrenches on those first 426 drag machines, and Werst was a pretty good shoe. To his recollection, the only time the car didn’t … [Read more...] about 1965 Plymouth A990 Hemi – Gimme Another Five!
Andy Caldwell of Melbourne, Florida, tells us his interest in ’70 Dodge Super Bees started when he was growing up in Maryland. Andy recalls, ” In June 1973, my dad brought home a 440 Six-Pack-powered ’70 Super Bee that he bought at the used car lot of Fairfax Dodge. My dad bought and sold a lot of cars throughout his lifetime and drag raced many of them, but for me, this Super Bee always stood out. It was Sublime outside with a black bucket-seat interior, floor-mounted automatic shifter, and black ‘C’ stripes around the quarter-panels. I was only 8 years old at the time, and thought it was one of the coolest cars I had ever seen. Even though my dad only owned the Super Bee for a few months, I always knew I would own one someday.” In March 1984, Andy was in his first year of college, and helping his dad find another car to enjoy and run at the local drag strip. Andy found an ad in Hemming’s Motor News describing a near-mint-condition, red, … [Read more...] about 1970 Dodge SuperBee – Surviving Life
Mark Mutert was cruising around in his Pro-Touring ’68 Camaro when he started to feel that it was time for something new. Soon, the ’68 had a new home and Mark was hot on the trail of his next project. It wasn’t long before he came across a barn fresh ’66 Chevelle that was in great condition. Mark was all ready to start work on the Chevelle when this ’70 Nova fell into his lap. After all, how could he pass on the Nova? He had seen it driving around his hometown of Moscow Mills, Missouri, for 13 years and since his very first car was a ’72 Nova, he had always had his eye on the local ’70. When it came up for sale the notion to buy it was a no-brainer for Mark. The Chevelle was put on the back burner and work began on the tired Nova. The first thing Mark learned was that the car looked better driving around town than it did up close. As Mark put it, “Obviously the old guy that owned it had a few fender benders. At one time he had wrecked … [Read more...] about Bang For The Buck — Feature — Popular Hot Rodding
You’re being chased by a bear. While you run from the bear, you have to assemble some Ikea furniture from directions that are being held by a kid on a trampoline. Everything is loud and everything is vibrating. Don’t mess anything up. That’s about how I felt in my first run in Anthony Bongiovanni’s Resource 1–sponsored 2014 Cobra Jet Mustang FS/E Stocker. There was too much to do, not enough time to do it, and I did it all wrong. My burnout was weak, I rolled too far in staging, was late on both shifts, and forgot to check the car’s weight on the scale. I still ran a 10.21 at 133 mph. What kind of magical racing machine is this? Today’s Cobra Jet Mustang is a track-only drag car with a family tree that blossomed in 1968, when Ford-sponsored-racer Al Joniec showed up at the Pomona Winternationals with a 428-powered Mustang and put all the other Super Stockers back on their tow bars. Ford brought back the CJ in 2008 as a limited edition … [Read more...] about What It’s Like to Race a 10-Second Cobra Jet Mustang
We like every kind of street rod show. We like the quality and quantity of enormous national events where we can get caught up in a tsunami wave of thousands of vehicles. We also like the local club shows where we can take in some great cars in an atmosphere that is laid back and friendly. What if you could combine the excitement, activities, and vast size of your favorite national event with the personality of your favorite club show? And what if you could repeat that successful combination every June for 43 years in a row? You’d have the Minnesota Street Rod Association’s Back To The 50’s car show. If you were to visit the Minnesota State Fairgrounds when it’s empty, you would have a tough time believing that those 320 acres would be covered with cars. Then again, if you had to count to 11,943 (the number of registered vehicles at this year’s event) you’d realize that all those acres doesn’t have a lot of room left over when all those cars, … [Read more...] about The 43rd MSRA Back To The 50’s