Scott Kalitta, son of drag racing legend Connie Kalitta and two-time NHRA Top Fuel Dragster World Champion, died Saturday afternoon, June 21, while on a qualifying run for the Lucas Oil NHRA SuperNationals. The crash occurred at Old Bridge Township Raceway, in Englishtown, New Jersey. Scott Kalitta was 46 at the time of his passing. Anyone remotely interested in major event drag racing will recognize the iconic name Kalitta. For older fans the name Kalitta defines the family patriarch, Conrad “Connie” Kalitta, the legendary dragster and Funny Car driver. Younger enthusiasts know it means Connie Kalitta’s nephew, Doug Kalitta, and Connie’s son, Scott Kalitta, both of whom have enjoyed highly successful careers as drivers of the world’s fastest, most powerful race cars. Connie Kalitta’s self-proclaimed nickname was “The Bounty Hunter”, and he displayed his conquests on the side of his dragster’s cockpit. There he placed the names … [Read more...] about Scott Kalitta Mourned After Funny Car Crash At Englishtown, NJ
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Once upon a time, not that long ago and not so far away either, before Internet-induced antisocialism was common, most hot rodders knew their neighbors and what was on jackstands in their garages. There were little shops in nearly every town where they congregated to get sage advice, buy parts, or just hang out and bench race. The guys behind the counter weren’t the same variety of robotic keyboard jockey who inhabit most big chain parts stores; these guys knew their stuff and could guide you with expertise. And as a bonus, some of them even had machine shops in back, making them truly one-stop destinations where you could reach gearhead Nirvana-you know, just like Salem Speed Shop, which we profiled last month. Real speed shops are few and far between these days, and there’s a whole generation of hot rodders spoiled by the instant gratification of the Internet missing out on the character-building experiences and interactions that come with hanging at a speed shop. But it … [Read more...] about Old School Speed Shops – Speed Shop Survivors
Do your research. If you’re shopping for a race school, that’s the best advice we can give. Ultimately, finding the correct school requires shopping around. Since more racing schools exist now than ever before in the history of mankind, we put this handy guide together to help make shopping around a little easier. Driving schools typically come in three flavors: serious race driver training, fan experience, and then there are ones that cater to both audiences. For the fan who wants a taste of driving a real race car and has no serious intentions of competing, there are many schools from which to choose. The weekend racer who seeks serious training has fewer options. In fact, most schools across the country cater more to the fan audience. But this is America, and somewhere and somehow, somebody is probably selling something you want. (If somebody’s not selling it, figure out how to sell it, and then you can drive a Cadillac Escalade for the rest of your life.) Schools … [Read more...] about Race Car Driving Schools- Schools Around The Country
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
This issue is dedicated to speed, and when you’re a gearhead, you kind of have tunnel vision in that regard: How can I drive faster? But there are other things you can do all across the country by land, sea, and air that net you insane mph and g’s without the risk of losing your driver’s license. We’ve got 41 places and ways you can go fast, and some are guaranteed to push you to limits you never thought possible. Check it. 01 BE A FIGHTER PILOT Air Combat USA calls itself the first original civilian dogfighting school in the world. What that means for you is that it’s an air-combat school that feels very realistic for what took place during an actual air-to-air skirmish. What that also means is you don’t need any flight experience to be a “guest pilot.” You’re flying with a licensed fighter pilot to evade fighter aircraft through various maneuvers. 3815 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, CA – AirCombat.com 02 RIDE IN … [Read more...] about 41 Places To Go Fast!
Think of that unbelievable eight-and- one-half decades time period. There are few blue chip companies of today that have reached that longevity. But that is just part of the significance of this organization. First, it has always been a racing operation, and to make things seem even more improbable, it’s always been a family operation, four generations worth. You would think that there would be an impressive racing complex that has evolved through the many decades with elaborate signage on the road. Again, neither is the case for Hoffman Auto Racing. What you see is an ancient stone fence in front of a sprawling turn-of-the-century house and former farm buildings on 100 acres in the middle of Milford, Ohio. That was the way the late family Patriarch Gus Hoffman loved it right to the day he passed away in 2001. And even with that huge family loss, the quality and quantity of Hoffman Auto Racing continues today. It’s always been open wheel racing with Midgets, Sprint Cars … [Read more...] about Hoffman Auto Racing – 86 Years Young
The Combo Bill Hedekin’s 1967 Corvette should have been a runner. Once a late-1960s-style SCCA B/Production road racer, the car was returned to street duty, still equipped with a vintage 355ci Mouse with fuelie heads and vintage Edelbrock Torker single-plane intake—but upgraded and rebuilt with Total Seal piston rings, a modern Comp Cams Magnum 280HR hydraulic roller cam, an MSD-6AL ignition, and a FAST EZ-EFI self-tuning, throttle-body fuel injection. Power is transferred back through an M21 Muncie close-ratio, four-speed manual trans to a 3.73:1 Posi IRS. The Problem After the engine refresh, “The car never seemed to be right,” Hedekin says. “It popped and banged whenever I backed off the gas, like a backfire from an old-fashioned carburetor. It always starts fine, but cuts out under throttle. There’s always oil on the [spark] plugs. I’ve changed the plugs myself three or four times, even tried specialty plugs. Several shops tried to tune … [Read more...] about HOT ROD Rescue: EZ-EFI Issues on 1967 Corvette Traced to Bad Valve Seals
Marc and I would push start it every morning senior year so it would get us to high school and then again at lunch time so we could eat off campus. It didn't matter that Mexico's Baja Peninsula was over 3,000 miles from our slice of suburbia in Old Bridge, NJ.Since the late 1960s, thousands of similar Volkswagen Beetles have been modified for off-road use in home garages all over the world, and the man responsible is Bruce Meyers.The first Baja 1000 off road race, then called the Mexican 1000, was held on Oct. 31, 1967. Of the 68 vehicles that started the event, only 31 completed the 950-mile run from Tijuana to La Paz. Motorcycles led most of the race, but Vic Wilson and Ted Mangels drove to victory in a Meyers Manx dune buggy built by Meyers on a Volkswagen Beetle chassis. They completed the course in 27 hours and 38 minutes.That win ignited the popularity of Baja Bugs, like the one that got me to high school. Today, fifty years later, Baja Bugs remain at the core of grassroots … [Read more...] about 1969 Volkswagen Baja Bug Quick Spin | 50 years of VW at Baja
151 teams started the fourth annual Real Hoopties of New Jersey 24 Hours of LeMons, quite a few blew up during the first day of racing, and the teams that hadn’t scattered their engines all over New Jersey Motorsports Park‘s tarmac battled for glory on Sunday. Here’s the story of the winners.Getting the most total laps and taking the Class A title, the Near-Orbital Space Monkeys finally achieved a dream they’d been chasing for nearly five years of LeMons racing: a win on laps in a 24 Hours of LeMons race. They’d come close in the past, with plenty of top-ten finishes, but this time their Mustang held off their nearest pursuer— the RealDime Racing Acura Integra— and the Space Monkeys won by just over a lap.The team started their LeMons career in the bash-and-crash confines of Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut, with this BMW E28 5-series, and they did pretty well with that car. The urge to build a winning car out of a Fox Ford colonized the … [Read more...] about Real Hoopties of New Jersey 24 Hours of LeMons: The Winners!
Note: This story originally appeared on Hooniverse.com. It is republished here with permission.My mother used to have a very nice 2005 Acura TL. For almost nine years she used that car to commute from her home in Edgewater, NJ to work in the Bronx. Those of you that have not traveled between New Jersey and New York over the George Washington Bridge, and further north over the Cross Bronx Expressway, should know that this may be the worst road in the United States. The bridge converges four highways into one. The traffic jams are constant, as is construction. Someone always breaks down or rear-ends someone else. Due to heavy truck traffic the pavement is extremely wavy. It’s bad, really bad.The third generation Acura TL came standard with 17-inch wheels wrapped in 235/45-17 tires. The car handled very well right out of the box while retaining a ride that was comfortable. With a 270hp engine, it was a fun car to drive, even with the ever-present torque steer. The … [Read more...] about A Tale of Craigslist Wheels