Friday, April 20, 2018

The ICON Reformer “Six Pack”


Just for today, Triplett’s Eye on Cars becomes....
Triplett's Eye on Trucks.

Beginning in 1964 Ford Motor Company offered a “Crew Cab” body style for their new fourth-generation F250 (3/4 ton load capacity) truck. The early 1961-1963 F-series Ford truck featured a uni-body (cab and bed integrated) design which was dropped for 1964. While a four-door “Crew Cab” pickup truck is a common site nowadays, in the nineteen sixties this design also known as a “Six Man Cab” was factory custom built starting with a regular cab.
from this.....
(photo courtesy ICON) this
(author's photo)
Beginning with a well-used but fairly rust free example, ICON Reformers based in Los Angeles created this one-of-a-kind four-wheel drive 1965 Ford F250 that they call “Six Pack” that was parked outside the North Hall at the 2017 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show. 

The stated purpose of ICON Reformers simple - Take timeless classic vehicles from any maker, from almost any era, then re-imagine them for modern use. Restore the vehicle inside and out to better than new condition, tailor the vehicle to the client’s personality and use but all of the updates are hidden under the restored original look. ICON Reformers advertises that they “design, engineer and build modern rides with vintage vibes”


Some of the highlights of the build which is powered by Banks Power modified 5.9 liter (360 cubic inch) straight six Cummins turbo diesel engine connected to a 48RE transmission and the truck rides on Fox racing suspension.
photo courtesy ICON
Author photo

Custom touches include the nickel plated aluminum trim with stainless inserts, and custom built rear bumper
Photo courtesy ICON

The luxurious interior features Moore & Giles leather seating with German wool square weave carpet.  Amp Research power steps deploy when the door is opened.  

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Hyundai at SEMA 2017

The Hyundai Motor America booth at the 2017 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show in Las Vegas combined a racing theme along with two unique customized vehicles.

i30N race car

Sold in the United States as the Elantra GT, Hyundai proudly showed off the i30N which raced in the 2017 24 hours of Nurburgring race. Hyundai entered a pair of i30N racers in the SP3T class for production-based cars with turbocharged engines displacing between 1.6 and 2.0 liters, and both cars made it across the finish line. This car, the #92 shown at SEMA just as it rolled off the German track finished 4th in class and 50th overall with 135 laps completed around the 15 ½ mile track which is a combination of the historic Nordschleife and Grand Prix circuits.

The i30N racer is powered by an all-aluminum four-cylinder double overhead camshaft 16-valves engine with direct injection and continuous variable valve timing that develops 270 horsepower in race trim. Don’t look for the Elantra GT in your local showroom to develop that much horsepower, as Hyundai advertises 161 horsepower in the base GT or 200 horsepower in the GT Sport, or to come equipped with a six-point roll cage.  

Vaccar Tucson concept

After they started with a 2018 Hyundai Tucson Sport, the team at Aaron Vaccar's design studio set out to “build upon the well-developed Tucson platform, powertrain and design to give enthusiasts a vision of just where this affordable crossover aspires to go." Under the hood the team added a Boostec turbocharger and blow-off valve, AEM air intake system and a Mishimoto G-Line Intercooler to the intake side of the Tucson’s 2-liter engine. On the exhaust side, Vaccar fabricated front-mount piping and cat-back exhaust with Magnaflow stainless piping and performance mufflers.

The Tucson now rides on Gecko G-Street Coil overs with Power Stop Z23 Front and Rear Evolution Brake Kit and Concept One Forged Wheels on Continental Extreme Contact Sport tires. The body features Vaccar fabricated front lip, side skirts, rear diffuser and an M&S mesh front grille covered with a two tone scheme that used BASF R-M Paint Systems Silver over Blue Metallic.  

Blood Type Racing Elantra Sport

The Blood Type Racing in Glenview Illinois modified a 2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport engine with a Torcon CAI intake Pierce Motorsports exhaust system and Devil's Own water/methanol injection system.  Suspension was upgraded with HSD coil over suspension on all four corners, Pierce Motorsports sway bars, strut tower brace and chassis brace, and Fella Big Brake kit. The Elantra now rides on SSR GTX01 wheels wrapped with Toyo T1 Sport tires.
This fellow took a different tact - instead
of photographing the BTR Elantra, he sketched it!

Blood Type Racing re-stitched the interior with Diamond-stitched floor mats and fitted with a SoCalGarageWorks carbon-fiber steering wheel. The body was customized with Aerotek custom front, side and rear valances, an APR GTC-200 GT wing, and BTR custom fender flares all covered with BASF Glasurit 55-line Arancio Borealis paint applied by AutoArt body and paint.
All photos by the author - design sketch provided by Hyundai Motor America

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Ford 427 SOHC “Cammer” at SEMA 2017



At the first NASCAR (National Association of Stock Car Racing) Grand National series race of 1964, the Daytona 500, the Chrysler teams debuted the 426-cubic inch hemispherical cylinder head “Hemi” V-8 engine.  Contrary to contemporary legend, NASCAR did not require the new engines to be sold in factory-assembled cars, but had to be available “over the counter” at dealerships. The “Hemi” engine immediately became a dominant force in NASCAR. 


In order to beat the “Hemi” motors over a ninety-day period Ford Motor Company engineers developed the Single Overhead Camshaft (SOHC) “Cammer” engine based on the 427-cubic inch Ford FE block, the regular version of which was being used by Ford NASCAR teams. The overhead camshaft cylinder heads required a different oiling system from the standard 427, so the oil supply had to be routed through a gallery along the left side of the block which led to theses becoming known as the “side oiler” block.

In testing fitted with a single four barrel carburetion the “Cammer” engine produced more than 600 horsepower.  Unfortunately, NASCAR President “Big Bill” France increased the number of units that had to be manufactured to homologate engines so the new Ford engine could not be used in NASCAR.  Ford instead raced the “Cammer” engines in NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) drag racing competition in a number of classes. The Ford “Cammer” engine was never installed in production cars, but they were available over the counter at dealerships.   

Jim Ring's 1964 “Pro Street” style Galaxie 500 shown in the Vibrant Performance booth at the 2017 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show is an example of the final year of this body style which had been in use since 1960. Mid-year during the 1963 model year, Ford had introduced a fastback or "sports hardtop" roofline was added mid-year to make the cars more competitive on the high-speed NASCAR tracks, and were introduced a “1963½” model an industry first. 

Ring’s car, built by Bones Fabrication in Camarillo, California, is powered by a Ken Duttweiler-built all-aluminum 427 cubic inch “Cammer” engine. The engine sourced from Robert Pond Engines was enlarged to 482 cubic inches and is fed by a pair of 76mm Precision turbochargers which draw air through the inner headlight buckets in the grille. The Holley Terminator EFI system makes this car which develops over 1000 horsepower tame enough to be driven on the street.  

The Galaxie’s front end uses an Art Morrison front clip outfitted with JRI coil-over shock absorbers with tubular control arms. The 9-inch Ford rear end is suspended via a 3-link setup and JRI coil-over shock absorbers. The car rides on polished KWC Forged wheels with Mickey Thompson tires – 18-inch diameter by 6 inches wide at the front and 20-inch diameter by 15 inches wide in the rear.

All photos by the author


Monday, April 9, 2018

A striking 1936 Ford Roadster custom
The Meguiar’s Inc. booth at the 2017 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show featured Jon Wright’s amazing 1936 Ford Roadster built in early custom “tail dragger” style.

for comparison this is a factory photo of a 1936 Ford Roadster

The bodywork which included stretching the car’s wheelbase was completed by Squeeg’s (Jerger) Kustoms in Chandler Arizona, with the chrome and final assembly completed at Wright’s Custom Chrome Plating in Grafton Ohio.


The car powered by a Ford 351-cubic inch Windsor engine fitted with three “deuce” carburetors was a finalist for the 2016 America’s Most Beautiful Roadster title at the Grand National Roadster show.

Check out Meguiar's website at
Color photos by the author

Friday, April 6, 2018

The POR-15 1932 Ford at SEMA


P.O.R. (Paint Over Rust) Products  is well-known in the automotive hobby for their signature rust preventative coating product POR-15, but in fact the company offers a full line of products that include metal preparation products, engine paints, high-temperature paints, undercoatings and fuel system treatments.

To show off the wide range of their products for use in the hobby, the POR-15 booth at the 2017 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show displayed a 1932 Ford roadster traditional style hot rod.

POR-15 first displayed a rebuilt 1939 Ford flathead engine equipped with an Offenhauser intake manifold with two Stromberg 97 carburetors and Offenhauser cylinder heads at the 2015 SEMA show, then brought the engine mounted in a finished chassis finished with the POR-15 3-step System Treatment for the 2016 SEMA show fitted with a T-5 manual transmission and a 1941 Ford “banjo” style rear end.  

The car's Brookville reproduction roadster body was prepared and painted by Classy Chassis Restoration in Midland Park New Jersey.  Final assembly was completed by the crew at POR.  

For a step-by-step view of the build check out
All photos by the author except as noted

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Mark Malipaard claimed his first
BCRA win in the 2018 season opener

After the cancellation of the co-sanctioned event at Bakersfield Speedway two weeks earlier, the mighty midgets of the Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA) opened the 2018 season at Madera Speedway the day before Easter.    The BCRA Midgets were joined at the Pombo-Sargent Classic by the USAC Western Midgets, Legends of Kearney Bowl, 360 supermodifieds, Pacific Challenge Series super late models and the BCRA Vintage Midgets.

Unfortunately, two of the midgets entered in the program driven by Nick Chivello and David Prickett suffered mechanical problems during the Friday afternoon practice session, which reduced the BCRA entry list to seven cars. In single car qualifying, Chad Nichols in the #17 Shanonian Esslinger edged Scott Pierovich in the Morris #17P by just 5/1000 of a second to grab the top honors with a best lap of 14.014 seconds.
Jerome Rodela in the #25 Trench Shoring Toyota-powered machine timed third, with Cody Gerhardt fourth, followed by Mark Malipaard, 13-year old Jesse Love in the Van Dyne #5 and defending BCRA champion Maria Cofer rounded the field in the Arata Racing #88.

13-year old rookie Jesse Love and the Van Dyne #5

Cofer started the heat race from the pole position alongside Malipaard, who jumped into the lead at the start but Rodela soon took the lead and began to pull away from the rest of the field. On lap six of the 8-lap heat race, Rodela’s car suffered a braking problem and he spun to a stop inside turn two. Rodela’s brake problems forced his retirement, and Malipaard led the final two circuits to claim the win ahead of Pierovich, Gerhardt, Nichols, Cofer and Love. Rodela made repairs to his car in time for the feature.

The BCRA midgets lined up for the start of the 30-lap feature

The redraw for the lineup for the 30-lap feature event resulted in a full invert, with the young rookie Love tagging the back of the field for the flying start. At the drop of the green flag, Malipaard grabbed the lead into turn one with Rodela, Nichols and Pierovich in hot pursuit.

On lap 10, as the field entered turn three, Rodela’s car swung high out of the groove as his braking problems resurfaced, and Jerome pulled into the infield and retired from the event.  Five laps later, the yellow flag flew for the first time as Gerhardt spun to a stop in turn two because of a blistered right rear tire which forced his subsequent retirement.

When the green flag flew again, Malipaard continued to hold his leading position  and he set the race’s fastest lap on lap 21 with a blazing 13.679 second, while Nichols and Pierovich battled for second position.  Scott began to look to the outside of Chad’s orange machine through turns one and two beginning on lap 24, but was unable to make the pass.
On the final lap as the trio entered turn three, Nichols braked late to try to move around the outside of Malipaard’s #51 car, but Chad’s move fell short and Pierovich cut underneath Nichols to grab second place but Chad recovered second place at the checkered flag.

Winner Mark Malipaard interviewed in Victory Lane

Mark Malipaard jubilantly celebrated his first career BCRA feature victory on the main straightaway ahead of Nichols, Pierovich, Jesse Love, and Maria Cofer, as Gerhardt and Rodela failed to finish. The BCRA midgets will return to action on April 7 for the first dirt track event of the 2018 season on the exciting 1/3-mile dirt Merced Speedway on the grounds of the Merced County Fairgrounds.      

Photographs by the author       

Monday, April 2, 2018



The 1955 to 1957 Chevrolet Nomad two-door station wagon is an icon in the classic car and hot rod communities, which has left the two-door Ford Ranch Wagon (also known as the Del Rio) in the background.
“Thumper” a custom 1957 Ford Ranch wagon, displayed at the ARP (Automotive Racing Products) booth at the 2017 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show should bring the second-generation Ford two-door wagon back to the front of fans’ minds.

“Thumper” was built by the crew at Steve Strope’s Pure Vision Design over a period of three years for ARP’s executive vice-president Bob Florine. Designer Steve Sanford made a few important design tweaks to the original Ranch Wagon; they lengthened the front doors leaned the B-pillars forward and added a Thunderbird hood scoop.

The beautiful bodywork installed over an Art Morrison Enterprises custom frame was finished in period correct colors of bourbon and cream, but the engine is the centerpiece of this ride. It’s a 521-cubic inch Jon Kaase “Boss Nine” a modern replica of the Ford Boss 429 cubic inch engine semi-hemispherical cylinder head engine. Built entirely with ARP fasteners and topped with a Borla Induction 8-stack throttle body intake the engine develops at least 800 horsepower. 

The custom interior with Redline gauges and Zebrawood trim was fitted by Gabe’s Custom Interiors with Umber-colored Relicate Napa leather and “Light Roast” Pebble Weave leather over brown German square weave carpet. 
"Thumper" photos by the author.