NHRA Nationals Hits 50It was pretty crude by today's standards, but when the National Hot Rod Association held America's first national drag race in Great Bend, Kansas, in 1955, it was an enormous undertaking and an historical moment, beginning drag racing's ascension from a disreputable hot rod pastime to a recognized motorsport on the level of Indy racing and Formula One. This year marks the 50th running of the oldest ongoing drag race in history, the NHRA Nationals. Now called the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, this historically significant race rolls into Indianapolis Raceway Park on Labor Day Weekend in September. This will be the race everybody wants to win, and more than 1,000 competitors are expected to show up in Indy for this event. In honor of a half-century of hot rod racing, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals will showcase 50 of the most significant cars in NHRA history, from today's mega-buck pro dragsters to the early hot rods that were the beginning of this whole thing.
Cyber Roddin'Wake up, kids. It's time for another field trip through cyberspace. This trio of Internet attractions offers something for every hot rodder's taste. Right?
This relatively small Web site is dedicated to the racing career of "TV Tommy" Ivo. Ivo was a popular actor as a boy and young man, appearing in hundreds of movies and TV shows, which provided him with a taste of fame and a nickname he never shook. As an adult, he shifted his attention to drag racing and raced Top Fuelers and Funny Cars, most of them powered by Buick engines. The site features a magazine clipping profile of Ivo, a short biography by journalist Rick Voegelin, and a photo gallery of some of his better-known drag cars, including his most famous ride of all, Showboat, powered by four Buick engines.
Join the Clubwww.clubhotrod.com
With 100 drag racing photos, 127 buildup shots, more than 500 car show pix, and 2,700 photos of club member cars, the Gallery section of the Club Hot Rod site is worth the visit. Of course there's more to the site than that: classifieds and a forum and discussion site dedicated to hot rods, classic cars, and street rods. The forums are divided into numerous message board categories-including manufacturers' info, stuff for sale, clubs, drag racing, engines, and many others. Check it out as another place to glean some useful tech info from fellow rodders and to share your own advice and opinions.
Featured Artist: Jeff Norwellwww.jeffnorwell.com
This month's automotive artist's work has appeared all over the pages of R&C in the last several years, and all over our office walls as well. Jeff Norwell is a commercial artist from the Toronto, Ontario, area. As his Web site shows, his talent extends beyond hot rodding, but that is clearly where his passion lies. His style ranges from fine art (take a look at "Salt and Metal" on his Paintings page) to more of a comic book look, especially when he assumes his alter ego, Norton. Anyone who wants Jeff Norwell artwork for his own walls can commission an original piece or pick from one of the prints for sale on the site.
Monster Garage: How to Customize Damn Near Anything
MBI PublishingDon't judge a book by its cover. A wise man once told us that, but we weren't listening. Therefore, naturally, our first impression of Monster Garage: How to Customize Damn Near Anything, judging from the Monster Garage TV show tie-in and the "Damn Near Everything" part of the title, was that this would be a semi-humorous coffee table book chock full of tips for building the kind of whacky vehicles the TV show is famous for.
Wrong. The book, published in 2003 by Motorbooks International, is specifically about how to build a car. Also, despite the Monster Garage credentials, the information on these 224 pages applies more to building the kind of car you're probably going to build than the kind Jesse James would.
Part 1, the shortest segment, is dedicated to tips for planning your project. From there, Part 2 dives right into practical tech on engine and suspension components-what they do, how they work, and how to pick the right ones for your application. Part 3 gets into the area of welding and continues with information on various welding techniques and equipment. Finally, Part 4 is an extensive look at paint and graphics-once again with lots of details on the products out there as well as tips for applying them correctly and achieving various graphic looks.
As is usual with Motorbooks publications, this book is well illustrated with hundreds of good photographs. It's a great one-volume reference to what goes into building a custom car.
Monster Garage: How to Customize Damn Near Anything is available at most larger bookstores or retail Web sites, or from Motorbooks International at www.motorbooks.com or by calling (800) 826-6600. The cover price is $19.95.