Hot Rod

Video: This is Why Dragsters Go in a Straight Line Only

“Epic fail” is ultimately one of the most overused and incorrectly used phrases in the world. But, we are going to go ahead and chalk this one up as just that, an epic fail.

If you have ever watched drag races, you have likely noticed one thing in common with all of them. They are always on a straight and flat track. This is not without good reason, as drag cars, rail cars especially, are designed to simply go in a straight line really fast. If you’ve ever seen a rail car veer off the track you might notice that they rarely ever recover prior to a spectacular crash. This is because they have the turning capabilities of a fully loaded semi truck on an icy downhill slope.

Now that we’ve let you in on that secret of the dragster, what do you think would happen when a 1,000+ horsepower rail car decides to take a Sunday drive down a back country road? If you still don’t know, we’ll fill you in. It would crash at the first tiny kink in the road, much like the above video.

In what looks to be some sort of dragster road racing event, these guys take a rail car about 50 feet up the road before sitting it down in a small ravine, in a less-than-desirable way. It’s absolutely hilarious to watch the driver attempt to correct the car and you can really see the minimal amount of steering these things actually have. Fortunately, the driver wasn’t hurt, but we are pretty certain the car has a couple of bucks worth of damage… Enjoy!

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The Indy Speedster is America's Most Beautiful Roadster

The Indy Speedster is America’s Most Beautiful Roadster

This awesome roadster was crowned America’s Most Beautiful Roadster for 2012 earlier this year at the 63rd annual Grand National Roadster Show. The custom 1927 Ford Track T Roadster, better known as the "Indy Speedster," is owned by Bill Lindig of Houston, Texas, and was built by SoCal Speed Shop in Pomona, California. The craftsmanship that went into this roadster is absolutely amazing. It features an Art Chrisman built small block engine. The 352ci Ford makes over 450HP and is mated to a Tremec T5 five-speed transmission. And don’t think for a second this is just a show car; Bill actually does drive the Indy Speedster.

The Indy Speedster project goes back 16 years. Bill’s friend, Indy car driver Jack Howerton, wanted a racecar-inspired hot rod like the old sprint cars he used to drive. About 12 years ago, Jack started the Chrome-moly chassis, but never finished. Later, he brought in Moal Coachbuilders, and they made some progress, but the car was still very far from complete. Finally, Bill asked Jack to sell him the roadster, and promised him it would get finished. Jack sold the car to Bill, Bill took it to SoCal Speedshop, and the rest is history. As you can tell from the video, no corners were cut and this hot rod was done right.

The Grand National Roadster Show, once known as the Oakland Roadster Show, is the longest running indoor car show in the world. It was held at the Fairplex in Pomona, California for the ninth consecutive year. The show features the best of the best when it comes to roadsters, and this year the Indy Speedster proved to be the absolute best.

Hit the jump to watch America’s Most Beautiful Roadster for 2012 on HOT ROD Unlimited

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Win a Factory Five Mk4 Kit through PowerBlock TV

Win a Factory Five Mk4 Kit through PowerBlock TV

Factory Five is known for being the premiere Shelby Cobra replica builders of the world, but how does their Mk4 Roadster stack up against the original 427? On March 17th and 18th, 2012, Powerblock TV will be airing episodes of MuscleCar TV that will show both cars stacked up against each other in a variety of driving categories. The Mk4 Roadster was jacked up with Ford’s new 5.0L Coyote engine, upgraded Wilwood brakes, Moser’s wavetrack rear end, and KONI’s latest double-adjustable shocks before both cars went to Charlotte Motor Speedway for a little one on one action. To watch the action, make sure you catch those episodes on March 17th and 18th, then again on March 24th and 25th on The Powerblock. Of course, if you want to be part of the action, then head over to the PowerBlock website, or visit the PowerBlock TV Facebook page where you can sign up to win the Ultimate Do-It-Yourself Package.

PowerBlock is holding a sweepstakes in which the winner will receive a complete Factory Five Mk4 Kit, complete with Ford Racing parts and Matco Tools, as well as a bunch of other prizes. All you have to do is sign up online to win. No purchase necessary.

Hit the jump to get full details on how to enter.

For full contest rules and all the wonderful fine print, go to http://www.powerblocktv.com/roadster/#!/rules

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Woodward Dream Cruise 2011 ready to hit the road

Woodward Dream Cruise 2011 ready to hit the road

Anybody that has ever had an appreciation of classic cars knows that the annual Woodward Dream Cruise is one of the can’t-miss events of the calendar year.

Held annually at Michigan’s legendary Woodward Avenue, the world’s largest classic car cruise is shaping up to have another memorable 2011 staging, complete with over 30,000 classic vehicles and an attendance that’s expected to reach well over 1.5 million people.

This year, the Chevrolet-sponsored event will be held on August 20th when you’ll see some of your favorite cars in history. An event like this brings out all types of cars from different generations. You name it, it’s there: from hot rods, classic cars, muscle cars, rat rods, art cars, TV cars, and everything else in between. In fact, at least one of every type of Mustang model made since the car debuted in April 1964 will be in attendance, as well as the Shelby GT500, both street and racing versions of the Boss 302, and the Mustang GT and V6 Coupe with performance package. Getting back to the main sponsor, Chevrolet, the Detroit-based company is bringing many cars from their past, present, and future, including the Cruze, Camaro, Corvette, Volt, Sonic, and ZL1 Camaro.

If you happen to be in the area this weekend, you’ll get a first-hand look at some of those classic rides that you’ll have the chance to check off of your bucket list. But if you’re not within the vicinity, you can still keep up-to-date with the latest happenings courtesy of the event’s official radio station, 104.3 WOMC. Head over to the WOMC website and find out everything you need to know about the Woodward Dream Cruise 2011.

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2009 Yannick Sire Priapism

2009 Yannick Sire Priapism

There’s an old saying that states, "If you want something done right, do it yourself." While the millions of people that have uttered that phrase a time or two mostly do it when co-workers screw something up or when something at home goes array, Yannick Sire of Sire Performance Custom Performance in Inglewood, CA meant it on a much bigger scale. He didn’t want to provide better landscaping or execute a perfect parallel parking job; he wanted to build a car. And not just any car, he wanted to build the perfect hot rod. A few years - and some spare parts and elbow grease - later, Sire had hand built himself a car that he felt earned the name of Priapism.

Priapism is actually a medical condition that was named after the Greek god Priapus who was known for his disproportionately large and permanent erection. Go ahead and look it up; you know you want to. But whatever its name translates into, the Sire Priapism has got some balls in the form of two Chevrolet 350 small block engines producing a total of 1000 HP. Adding that power to a comfortable 2,370 lbs car gave Sire a hot rod worth getting into.

Hit the jump for details on the Yannick Sire Priapism.

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Recap Of Woodward Dream Cruise In Pictures

Recap Of Woodward Dream Cruise In Pictures

In the world of classic cars, the Woodward Dream Cruise is the cream of the crop. The event is held annually on the third Saturday of August and it takes place in the former home of mostly all American car production, Michigan. The drive starts on Woodward Avenue in Pontiac, through Ferndale in Oakland County, and goes all the way to the State Fair Grounds inside the Detroit city limits, just south of 8 Mile Road. It might not be a Los Angeles beach cruise, as it’s Detroit, but for lovers of all the old days, it’s as good as it gets.

The event isn’t just big for the fans, it’s big for the city of Detroit as well. It is now the largest single day classic car event in the world, and brings in over $56 million annually for the Metro Detroit economy. It is, without a doubt, the world’s largest one-day automotive event, drawing about 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars each year.

After the jump, we have assembled numerous photos of the events. If you have photos of your own, feel free to share them with us.

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TopSpeed's Top Speed Events

TopSpeed’s Top Speed Events

Why do we love cars? Why is it that we know nearly every make and model of vehicle on the road? Why is it that the sound of an Italian V8 or the low-down grumble of old muscle cars excites us? There are many answers to those simple, thought provoking questions.

Some of us love the automotive world because of the engineering aspect. It can be easy to have the best time of your life working under the hood of your favorite car. Some love their beauty and the way artists have sculpted such brilliant shapes. We love them because of the freedom and speed they represent.

Luckily for people like us, there are events that can give us that sense of speed and the freedom to drive as fast we want with no laws to worry about. Two events that are coming up allow anybody to come and take their machines to the limit. The Texas Mile 324 and the World of Speed 2010 at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

UPDATE 08/26/2010: This article has been updated to include another top speed event. Check out the information on the Mojave Mile!

Hit the jump to read on.

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2010 Factory Five Mk4 Roadster

2010 Factory Five Mk4 Roadster

The folks at Factory Five Racing, the premiere Shelby Cobra replica builders in the world, have just come out with their fourth generation roadster complete with a reshaped body for a more period correct look thanks to a new in house fiberglass manufacturing process that significantly reduces the costs to tool the bodywork and apply the paint as well as additional room in the footwells for a more comfortable ride for both the driver and passenger and an optional aluminum shell seat for bigger guys.

The Mk4 roadster replica also comes with an all new assembly manual for complete kits making it easier to put the cars together from scratch as well as a Koni suspension that was first offered as an option on the last generation model and are now standard with all kits, but best of all they are made to accept the all new 400 HP 5.0 Liter Coyote V8 from the new Mustang GT.

Press release after the jump.

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World's most luxurious trike?

World’s most luxurious trike?

“Push it to the limit and beyond.” This should be the motto behind this amazing trike project that we recently came across while surfing the web. It is more like a limo trike built in the hot rod style and powered by a Volkswagen motor, but these are all car words. What makes it appear on the motorcycle page of this website is the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy front end. This last “detail” and the fancy limousine-like interior could easily turn this into the world’s most luxurious trike if an award will ever be given for this.

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Cadillac VSR V-Series Powered Sports Rod Concept at the 2009 SEMA Show

Cadillac VSR V-Series Powered Sports Rod Concept at the 2009 SEMA Show

Cadillac prepared the VSR Sports Rod Concept specifically for the 2009 SEMA Show and anyone who might have overlooked this retro hot rod really missed out. Just like any proper hot rod the VSR is powered by a roaring V8, in this case a 6.0 Liter GM version pumping out a total of 400 HP. The modern day street rod is a one off custom creation that combines meticulous metal work with hand laid carbon fiber to create a true 21st century stylish speed machine. At all four corners are custom oversized five spoke rims from Alcoa wrapped in sticky Toyo rubber. From any angle the exposed rollers give the VSR a unique appearance and when combined with the rear diffuser and laser cut Cadillac emblem give the Sports Rod Concept a look that is all its own.

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2010 Hurst Mustang Pace Car

2010 Hurst Mustang Pace Car

The American aftermarket parts manufacturer Hurst Performance Vehicles is one of the most recognized and revered names in the history of hot-rodding and have long been synonymous with speed and high performance vehicles. Throughout the years Hurst has come up with a host of proven special edition racers and quite a few memorable pace cars. This modified 2010 Ford Mustang will continue the tradition when it leads a pack of purpose built Mustangs around Miller Motorsports Park on September 19th for the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge.

The special edition BFGoodrich/Hurst Mustang pace car has been beefed up with a Roush supercharger that breathes in through a high flow K&N air filter and breathes out though an unrestricted Magnaflow stainless steel exhaust system that work together to increase the pony car’s output to 435 HP and 400 lb-ft of torque. Underneath the 2010 Mustang makes use of a Hurst-tuned Eibach Suspension complete with a fully adjustable set of coilovers and a set of thicker sway bars to keep all four of the Mustang’s hoofs planted as it goes around the bends. The Hurst Mustang Pace Car rides on a set of stunning 20 inch Hurst polished, forged aluminum wheels wrapped in a set of the obligatory BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW tires and wears the signature Hurst gold paint scheme complete with bold stripes running down the length of the body.

Inside the Mustang convertible comes with a Hurst Competition/Plus short-throw shifter with a gold anodized T-handle. The seats are covered with white Katzkin leather with black inserts and gold details. After the pace car has served out its Mustang Challenge duties, the white and gold drop top pony car will participate in numerous parades and even make an appearance at SEMA before being auctioned off for charity next January, with all proceeds benefiting the newest Victory Junction Camp in Kansas City.

Press release after the jump.

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Video: 2010 Mustang drifts Ebisu

Video: 2010 Mustang drifts Ebisu

The American automaker Ford recently sent their Formula Drift driver Vaughn Gittin Jr over to the land of the rising sun along with a 2010 Ford Mustang packed with all sorts of goodies from the Ford Racing Parts catalog in order for the only American to win a round of D1 competition to get a better feel for the origins of the sport while at the same time showing all of the drifting enthusiasts in Japan just what an American car can do. J.R. explains that drifting at the Ebisu circuit is one of those things that he has been dreaming of ever since he began getting his car sideways; Ebisu is one of those infamous circuits in Japan, built by Team Orange founder Nobushige Kumakubo into the side of a privately owned mountain Ebisu is the ultimate destination for drifting enthusiasts from around the world. Thanks to the blue oval, Gitten’s dreams are coming true.
Vaughn was scheduled to arrive just in time to watch some of the D1 professionals perform in front of Option’s cameras and even make an appearance while they shot footage for an upcoming episode of the video magazine. Despite a little inclement weather everything went off without a hitch, not even rain and bald tires could keep J.R. away from having the time of his life.

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