We first heard the rumors about fresh Edelbrock aluminum heads for the Chevy 348 and 409 W-motor a year ago. To be frank, our ears perked up big time, but we honestly didn’t believe the rumblings and chalked them up to wishful thinking. After all, why would Vic and the boys tool up for an engine family that’s been dormant since 1965? But when a semifinished aluminum 409 cylinder head casting was spotted at the ’07 SEMA show, we knew this was no fairy tale. It’s true-the new Edelbrock Performer RPM 348/409 Chevy heads are on sale right now. These new heads are fabulous news for hot rodders, street cruisers, and drag racers looking for a break from the same old, same old. The horse for this saddle-the Chevy W-series V-8-was produced from 1958 to 1961 with 348 ci and from 1961 to mid-1965 with 409 cubes. While the 348 was a solid workaday offering in everything from 5-ton dump trucks to police interceptors and family sedans, the bored and stroked 409 launched … [Read more...] about Chevy Heads – So Fine 409
Dump truck song
got Fiat scoops on the hood and hit the I-5 trail again. By late 1993, the car looked more or less the way I’d planned when I started the project and had become a surprisingly good daily driver (thanks to more modern brakes and a reliable, HEI-equipped 350 engine). I still planned to do some suspension and horsepower upgrades, once the early 1990s recession relaxed its grip enough for me to land a decent-paying job, but the setup I had was fulfilling my driving needs very well. Then, in the spring of ’94, Richard Nixon died, and I decided to take the Nixon-hood-ornamented car down to his birthplace and mingle with the mourners.Fish Driver (that was me, generally at SFO) arrives in a Mitsubishi Fuso van to pick up a bunch of insulated boxes full of plastic bags containing dead, dying, and (a few) living tropical fish. The fish then take a ride to the Fish Room, where they live in aquariums until being ordered by a retailer. Then the employees of the wholesaler net the fish … [Read more...] about 1965 Impala Hell Project, Part 11: Son of Orange County
Wednesday marks the 16th anniversary of the Daimler-Chrysler merger. One day prior to this milestone, Fiat Chrysler has unveiled their business plan for the next 5 years. While the industry norm is to keep future product plans, brand strategies and sales targets as a closely guarded secret, FCA took the unusual step of making it all public, with FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne headlining the event (billed as a conference for investors) at an event in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Each of FCA’s brands and subsidiaries was given the chance to present their strategy through 2018, with healthy helpings of new vehicles, future technology and corporate strategy being revealed.Chrysler: Currently, the Chrysler brand is arguably the weakest in FCA’s portfolio, with just three offerings – the D-segment Chrysler 200, the E-segment Chrysler 300 and the Town and Country minivan. Combined, those account for just 350,000 units globally, a tiny number in the context of a 16 or 17 … [Read more...] about Analysis: The Definitive Guide To The Fiat Chrysler 5-Year Plan
“We have, oh, I don’t know, maybe four hundred and thirty miles behind us,” William said, “and one-twenty-ish yet to go. But trust me, the worst is yet to come. Route 58 from the freeway to the four-lane before VIR is just… hateful, particularly with the tire trailer behind us. Not a single light on the road. No gas stations — the public-urination stories I could tell you, seriously. And the road twists and turns forever, one time we were towing the race car here and Jim literally freaked out, made me stop the truck in the middle of nowhere so he could calm down, he was convinced we were going to tumble down the side of a hill, a lot of spots there’s a sheer drop. I think half of the reason anybody ever goes to Summit Point is that, frankly, it’s an easier drive by a long shot. Same distance from Indy almost but so much easier. But, you know, one more fuel stop at the exit, then you can sleep, I’ll go slow, and then we have the … [Read more...] about Sunday Stories: “Turnaround” by Jack Baruth
warning: the song in the video (“A Mistake” by Fiona Apple) contains strong language.When I announced that fiction would be verboten on these pages, more than a few readers suggested that it might still have a place if it could be clearly marked and separated from the usual content. So here we go: “Sunday Stories” will be the place we put fiction. The usual TTAC loose restrictions on length and content will be further loosened for Sunday Stories, so read at your own peril. We’re welcoming submissions for this. If you readers don’t send me anything, you’ll be forced to see “fiction” about Tennessean hairdressers and Nevada strip clubs and whatnot, so get cracking! – JBKenny Huynh awoke alone in his room on the thirty fourth floor of the drab grey tenement. It had been a fitful sleep but it would be enough. He had a job to do. Only his great skill could ensure that the people he cared about had enough to eat. Fortunately he … [Read more...] about Sunday Stories: “Night Racers” by Thomas Kreutzer
From our very own “Crabspirits” comes this mid-week breaking of the fiction rules. As Anita Baker once sang, “Rules were made to be broken,” but I think of Crabspirits’ work as something beyond fiction. Myth, perhaps — JBMarty’s world was in the process of deflagration.The bowsprit of the ’41 Plymouth knifed through the hot summer air as it cruised down Highway 275. “It’s a real scorcher today, huh?”, asked Marty nervously as he popped open the cowl vent. The gals in the back seat remained silent, knowing they were to blame. The little scoop in front of the windshield provided little ventilation of the cabin in the face of such oppressive solar radiation. A woman’s hairstyle must be preserved at all costs. The cabin portholes shall be configured in such a manner as to not direct airflow upon the hair. Gus slyly slouched in the front seat, and contorted his body so he could deftly reach for the window crank. Marty … [Read more...] about Ur-Turn: “Last Rides(tm) Special Deluxe Edition” by Crabspirits
This 24 Hours of LeMons thing seems to warp the minds of once-sane car builders more deeply with each passing year. We thought it would be impossible to top the brain-boilingly great race-car creations we saw in 2012, but we were wrong! To put a bow on the eighth season of 24 Hours of LeMons action, we’re going to share some of the best cars that debuted (or were revamped beyond recognition) during 2013. Here we go!We started off the ’13 season at Carolina Motorsports Park in South Carolina, and got knocked on our asses right away by the sight of Speedycop’s “Spirit of LeMons” 1956 Cessna 310 road-racer. Speedycop and his Gang of Outlaws began building their amazing LeMons cars during the 2009 season, and (as we’ll see shortly) they weren’t done once they put their road-racing airplane on the track.The Spirit of LeMons triggered a global media frenzy that has yet to subside, but things got even crazier when Porcubimmer Racing turned their BMW … [Read more...] about An Upside-Down Camaro, The Homer, a Cessna Plane, and Many More: Our Favorite Race Cars of the 2013 LeMons Season!
Brian Saylor has managed to combine two of his passions, old trucks and Texaco memorabilia. You can see him at Detroit area car shows with his Texaco trucks, Texaco gasoline pump and assorted Texaco merchandise, with Saylor dressed in the uniform that Texaco service station employees would have worn a couple of generations ago. Yes, Virginia, there was a time when gas station employees wore uniforms and they actually serviced your car. They even sang songs about them. Okay, so they were advertising jingles, but I bet most Americans over the age of 50 recognize, “You can trust your car to the man who wears the star, the big bright Texaco star.” About ten years ago Saylor bought a 1937 Ford dump truck that had been sitting in a Nebraska field for more than a quarter century. It was pretty rough, the engine was seized, but the body was in decent shape and it still had the power-take-off unit that ran the hydraulics for the dump bed. He stripped it down … [Read more...] about A Man Who Wears the Texaco Star and the Man Behind the Jingle
Despite his estimated fortune of $70 billion or so, Bill Gates would be stone-cold broke in less than a week if he went through money as fast as Super Bowl advertisers. Thirty-second spots reportedly sold for around $4 million a pop for Super Bowl XLVIII, which, if I did the math correctly, means Bill could afford to purchase just 145 hours, or roughly six days, of airtime. To help maximize their huge investments, the smartest automakers extended their spots’ exposure by posting them online and incorporating them into social media programs before, during, and after the game. In fact, by the time you saw most of these spots on the air, you probably already viewed them elsewhere, including right here in C/D‘s “The Ad Section.” Were they worth the huge price tags? Here’s our take, with each slotted alphabetically into three categories—Best, Worst, and Meh. Audi A3: “Doberhuahua”Audi has a solid track record of Super Bowl hits, including … [Read more...] about Super Bowl XLVIII Car Commercials Rated: The Best, the Worst, and the “Meh” The Ad Section
It happened. TTAC finally has their very own Ford Sierra.It’s true: the UK-spec Ford Sierra I promised to TTAC readers has arrived. Well actually two Brits, as our man Captain Mike Solo imported both his Peugeot 205 1.6 GTI and my Ford Sierra Ghia at the same time. And while I eagerly awaited the Sierra’s arrival in Houston, I could not meet the ship at the port. The precious cargo went up to an official military delivery area in Dallas, about 4-5 hours away.If you think getting the car from Europe to USA was tough, try making the journey from Houston to Dallas. … [Read more...] about TTAC Project Car: Home and Dry!