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.  

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

Friday, March 4, 2016

“No one ever regretted buying quality”
the Hinchman story
Hinchman Racing Uniforms started the race suit industry in 1925 when  Peter DePaolo, who drove the winning Duesenberg in the 1925 Indianapolis 500-mile race wore the first Hinchman uniform.
This photo from the author's collection shows
Peter DePaolo is his Hinchman suit

In the past 90 years, Hinchman innovations have included:
The wrap around buttoned collar, first used by Hinchman, was developed after Eddie Sachs complained that the wind made the collars flap. Later  buttons were replaced by Velcro®

In 1966 Hinchman became the first racing suit manufacturer to use Nomex® in their suits, and In 1999 Hinchman was the first company to use the new fire resistant material called Carbon-X®.

 In 2004 Hinchman introduced their new lining called “Comfort Tech” which creates a 3-layer suit that is lighter, thinner, comfortable and more protective than most 2-layer suits.

In 2011, a Hinchman Racing Suit that was worn by actor Steve McQueen in the classic racing film LeMans fetched $984,000 at auction.

In 2013, Hinchman introduced its new 'Hinchman Performance' liner in its new HTO line of racing uniforms, and included it in the new "HP Series" in 2015.

Hinchman believes customer support after the sale is vital and is committed to customer satisfaction, just ask any racer wearing a Hinchman driving suit.

For more details visit their website at http://www.hinchmanracewear.com
Information for this article provided by Hinchman