Tuesday, March 29, 2016

We wind up our SEMA 2015 coverage 
with some really wild vehicles

The absorber high performance towel booth featured this wild cartoon VW van. Built by Ron Berry Customs of Salt Lake City, it actually runs and drives

This creation, which the author guesses was based on a bumper car 
was on display in the PPG booth

This four-engine 1962 Ford Econoline pickup truck built 
by reality show star Gordon Tronson was in the Amsoil booth. 

Toyo Tires displayed this super-low Chevrolet Camaro

Who doesn't love ice cream, particularly when its served from a hot rod?

The Galpin Auto Sports display showed this tiny hot rod 

All photographs by the author 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

A Ford Maverick Fuel Coupe

Another drag car on display in the Galpin Ford display part of the “Ford Out Front” compound at the 2015 SEMA show in Las Vegas was this re-creation of Larry Fullerton’s 1970 NHRA Ford Maverick-bodied fuel coupe also known as a “funny car.”
Sponsored by Galpin Ford and MacMillan Ring-Free motor oils, the car was powered by supercharged Ford single overhead camshaft (SOHC) FE Ford engine connected to a Lenco two-speed transmission and rode on magnesium wheels with Dow Chemical Treatment No.7 sodium dichromate coating which gave the wheels their golden hue.

Interesting features of the car were that Fullerton used real Maverick taillights, rear chrome bumper and radio antennae, and the fiberglass body built by Fiberglass Trends of Orange California followed many of the stock body’s dimensions.
The original Galpin Maverick was not particularly successful on the drag strip as the Ford SOHC engine, originally planned for use in NASCAR stock car racing, when run on a nitromethane fuel blend in drag racing applications, suffered from engine block durability and timing problems with the chain driven camshafts.

Fullerton replaced the “Original Maverick” with the black and purple “Trojan Horse” 1971 Mustang powered by a Ed Pink Hemi engine, which set a new national record of 6.42 seconds over the quarter mile with a top speed of 228.42 miles per hour in the first round of the 1972 NHRA Summernationals, and later won the 1972 NHRA championship by winning the World Finals in Amarillo, Texas.
Photos of the “Original Maverick” recreation part of the Galpin Auto Sports Museum collection were taken by the author.  

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Long Beach Grand Prix Safety Seminar

Doug Stokes passed along the details of the upcoming FREE safety seminar held  on Saturday morning April 16 during the Long Beach Grand Prix weekend.  

Topics at the fifth annual event include proper helmet selection, head and neck restraint devices and the danger of low hydration.  You have to register in advance at the Racing Goes Safer Foundation website at


You will need to have a general admission LBGP ticket, but reduced price tickets are available through the website.

Click to enlarge
Driver Brian Redman has been added to the program along with Danny Sullivan and Del Worsham 

Please consider joining the Racing Goes Safer Foundation while you are at their website.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Hybrids & electric cars at SEMA 2015? YES!

If you think that the SEMA show is just about high horsepower fossil fuel burning machines, you would be wrong.  Check this gallery of hybrid electric cars that were on display in Las Vegas. Photos by the author.

 An electric drive SMART car on display at the Goodridge Performance booth 

A lowered Toyota Prius from Aggressive Autosounds booth 

Toyo Tires displayed this Tesla Model S with custom rims and body kit. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Indy Cars at SEMA 2015 

photos by the author 

Graham Rahal's car at the Honda booth

Pennzoil had Rick Mears' 1989 Indy '500' pole position winning car as part of their outdoor display 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

1969 Mustang Mach IV exhibition dragster at SEMA 2015

Part of the Galpin Ford display part of the “Ford out front” compound at SEMA 2015 in Las Vegas was Gary Weckessen’s Mustang Mach IV exhibition dragster. Inspired by “TV” Tommy Ivo’s “Showboat,” powered by four Buick engines,  Weckessen had master fabricator Kent Fuller build him his own four engine monster.
Carrying sponsorship from Galpin Ford in North Hills California the Mustang is powered by four alcohol-injected Ford 351 cubic-inch “Windsor” engines introduced in 1969, so named for the Canadian engine plant where the engines were manufactured.  

Unlike Ivo’s car, the ‘Mach IV’ fed the output (estimated at 3000 horsepower) through a single clutch and transmission, and was claimed to be capable of 8-second elapsed times on the quarter mile drag strip with a top speed of over 180 miles per hour.
Probably the most unique features, which the author noticed as he photographed this monster, are the real steel chrome bumpers front and rear. Weckessen toured this car all over the United States from 1969 until 1975, and then put it in storage. The car restored for its debut at the 2013 SEMA show, is part of the Galpin Auto Sports Museum collection.     

Friday, March 18, 2016

NHRA racers on display at SEMA 2015 

All photos by the author 

Courtney Force's TRAXXAS Camaro Funny Car 

John Force's Chevrolet Camaro Funny Car 

Erica Enders-Stevens' 2016 Camaro, the world Pro Stock champion

Matt Hagan's Pennzoil sponsored Dodge Charger Funny Car

To whet your appetite for articles on vintage drag cars from SEMA 2015 to come soon, here's a supercharged Hemi Willys Gasser 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

James Hetfield’s ‘Aquarius’ at SEMA 2015

Rock musician James Hetfield’s ‘Aquarius’ custom, built by Rick Dore’s RD Kustoms, was on display in one of the hallways at the SEMA 2015 show at Las Vegas. The basis of the stunning automobile is an Art Morrison-modified 1934 Packard chassis, riding on an air bag suspension powered by the obligatory crate Chevrolet LS-1 engine.
The flowing aluminum bodywork, based on the French coachbuilders Figoni & Falaschi’s   1938 New York World’s Fair Delahaye 165 Cabriolet show car, was built by Marcel’s Custom Metal of Corona California. ‘Aquarius’ was first shown without paint at the 2015 Grand National Roadster Show, and is indeed a roadster, with a lift-off hardtop. Not clearly visible in the photographs by the author are the full pontoon fenders which enclose both the front and rear wheels.        

The author's opinion- dramatic bodywork, but no imagination when it came to the engine choice.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Custom trucks from 2015 SEMA Ignited
Mike Garner’s custom 1959 Chevrolet El Camino was parked in the Meguiar's Car Wax “Car Crazy Corral” at the 2015 SEMA Ignited car show. Built by Keith Dean’s South End Kustoms, this radical pickup which won the coveted George Barris Kustom D’Elegance Award at the 2015 Grand National Roadster Show is powered by a Hilborn-injected 350 cubic inch Chevrolet engine. 

Also on display in the Meguiar's Car Wax “Car Crazy Corral” at the 2015 SEMA Ignited car show was this lowered 1963 Dodge Crew Cab pickup

Photos by the author

Sunday, March 13, 2016

A pair of cool hot rods from Ford at SEMA 2015

We covered the cool concept cars that were on display at the Ford booth at SEMA 2015, but we forgot to post photos of this pair of nicely detailed hot rods. Photos by the author- click to enlarge

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Two 'Pyramid of Grip' Chassis Set-Up Seminars
Will Be Rescheduled for later dates
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the "Pyramid of Grip" Danny Drinan chassis set-up seminars slated for March 20 and March 26 in Arizona and California will be rescheduled for later dates.  All pre-registered attendees will receive full refunds.
A five-DVD set of the last complete seminar, along with a written booklet, are available for purchase. Please see PyramidOfGrip.com for more information; call (317) 486-9710, or e-mail Drinan Racing Products at DrinanRacing@sbcglobal.net

Information provided by Linda Mansfield at Restart Communications

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

New Congressional Legislation to Protect Modified Motor Vehicles Seeks to Overturn Threat to Modified Race cars
What YOU can do to help!
Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) President and CEO Chris Kersting today praised Congressional members for their introduction of a bipartisan bill that would protect thousands of American racecar enthusiasts from overreaching U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.  

 "The EPA’s new interpretation of the Clean Air Act would essentially rewrite the law and 46 years of policy and practice," said Kersting.  "Without congressional intervention, the racing community and racing parts manufacturers would be operating outside of that new law and could be targeted for enforcement." The language in H.R. 4715 makes clear Congress’ intent to exclude competition-only cars from the scope of the Clean Air Act, including converted street vehicles. “

H.R. 4715, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016 (RPM Act) was introduced by U.S. Representatives Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Richard Hudson (R-NC), Bill Posey (R-FL) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY) to ensure that converting street vehicles to racecars used exclusively in competition does not violate the Clean Air Act. The practice was unquestioned until last year when the EPA published draft regulations that would make vehicle and engine conversions illegal and subject to the law’s tampering penalties. 

"SEMA thanks Representatives McHenry, Cuellar, Hudson, Posey and Zeldin for introducing this bill," Kersting added.  "We intend to work closely with our congressional allies to ensure that the Clean Air Act continues to allow the conversion and use of street vehicles as racecars." said Kersting.

Write or email your congressional representative to urge them to support speedy passage of H.R. 4715

Monday, March 7, 2016

Must See Sprint Cars 2016 schedule

The Must See Racing Sprint Series resented by Engine Pros (MSRSS) kicks off its 2016 season with two races in the Carolinas. The season opener for the pavement winged sprint cars will be April 15 at the 3/8-mile Anderson Motor Speedway in Williamston South Carolina. The next night, the MSRSS teams led by defending series champion Brian Gerster of Fishers Indiana will be two hours northeast in Newton North Carolina racing on the historic 3/8-mile Hickory Motor Speedway.
Click to enlarge the 2106 MSRSS schedule

Information and graphics provided by Jim Hanks at Must See Racing Inc.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Here's how to get your 2106 EMI catalog

The 2016 racing season has started and Eagle Motorsports (EMi) teams wasted no time showing the quality and performance of the new line of EMi products. Two accomplished drivers armed themselves with new equipment and captured wins right out of the gate. Both Seth Bergman  at Magnolia Motor Speedway and John Ricketts at Kennedale Speedway placed their cars in winners circle recently and built momentum heading into a busy spring.

The new EMi catalog contains sixteen new pages of innovative new products and services offer a complete guide to building a Micro, Lightning Sprint, or Sprint Car. The EMi catalog contains everything a racer will need to go from from a bare chassis to a race ready car.
Visit their website at www.Eaglemotorsports.com to see the vast selection of cars and parts. You can pre-order the new catalog by scrolling to the bottom of the home page and clicking the "Request Catalog" button.
information and graphics for this article provide by EMI