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Bad Ass Road Kill Charger

Muscle carĀ enthusiastsĀ will haveĀ definitely heard of Hot Rod Magazine and their brilliant YouTube channel. If you know this channel you’ll most likely know the Road Kill channel formed by Hot Rod Magazine’s Mike Finnegan and David Freiburger. These two guys literally know every nut and bolt of any muscle car ever built – the episode featured in this article is aĀ testamentĀ to their knowledge.

The Dodge Charger is an iconic muscle car, not onlyĀ featuringĀ in classic TV andĀ cinema but also making it into modern film too. The car pictured above is a ’68 Charger painted with the ‘serial child murderer’ brush. It is dripping with ‘bad ass’; itĀ emanatesĀ a sense of dread, fear and disgust.

Finnegan and Freiburger take this beaten up Charger, throw spanners andĀ wrenchesĀ its way and take a road trip any true man would kill for. It’s the kind of adventure that would take you to the level of excitement an 8-year-old kid would experience the night before Christmas. The best bit is its heart… yes, it’s a 440 big block, but it is ripped from the bowels of a camper van.

This is a bastard of a car, a Frankenstein machine botched together for the purpose of eating tarmac and terrifying the general public (the latter, I’m all for :D). It looks extremely sinister and irrationally evil; it is loud and probably handles like the devil with an icicle shoved up his arse, but it is beautiful and I want it.

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What Car Made You A Car Guy?

As you can see, the car above is the car that first made my infantile senses tune into something and take the time out to think, “Cool, that’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.”

In the early to mid-eighties, The Dukes Of Hazzard aired every Sunday afternoon here in the UK. My Grandad, snoozing from the Sunday roast, would be awoken to the sounds of a four-year-old me running around the house, up and down the stairs, holding an invisible steering wheel and pretending I was driving The General Lee. I had all of the toys and the show remains the most vividĀ memories of I have during that era.

Films like Cannonball Run and Smokey And The Bandit also made an impression, as when it came to owning a real car I wanted something different to all the generic modern 1.0-L cars nearly all teens end up driving. After my MGB-GT I ended up with a 1983 2.3-L Turbo Ford Mustang, a car mostĀ definitelyĀ chosen thanks to the influences of my childhood TV viewing.

Three decades on and I’m still tuning in to all of the car shows, even writing a blog and contributing to car magazines, and it’s all thanks to The General Lee. Although shows like Street Outlaws is partly set up, I still get pumped up for the drag races featuringĀ the Murder Nova. I love watching YouTube channels such as DRIVE, The Smoking Tire and Mighty Car Mods – there’s literally nothing that slips the net when it comes to automotive viewing.

So what’s the car that had a significant enough effect on you to call yourself a car guy?

 

 

Fugly Yet Fast Sleeper

What you see above is a typical elderly person’s car, or a hand-me-down any teenager would secretly appreciate as a key to freedom . It’s a rather bland FordĀ Festiva, a late eighties box of delights. By ‘delights’ I mean the installation of a beautifulĀ mid-mounted V8 – this is taking the creation of the SleeperĀ to the highest level.Ā 

In many ways this is complete insanity; not in the concept of transforming this car into a stealth whip, but the fact the gorgeous V8 and itsĀ set-upĀ must cost around twenty times the price of the vehicle. Whilst it can obviously pump out some serious BHP, it can only find the tarmac through the Ford’s silly little 13″ wheels.

The engine may be mid-mounted but it’s still a front wheel drive car, which equals mental under/torque steer. Another factor that may/will kill its driver is theĀ decisionĀ to overlook the addition of bigger brakes… the builder “might get around to those” –Ā let’s hope he stays alive long enough.

Now take these exhausts into consideration – I’ve seen a picture with them hidden beneath those black flaps (Maybe they only pop out when on the move?) but they are a pretty original looking, very Mad Max. If you dig this sleeper, there are more pictures on Autoblog.

 

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When Cars were Cars R.I.P.

Trawling the net for cool car stuff this morning, I happened upon a decent car site called AMCAR Guide and a particular page featuring some “Junkyard Beauties”. Compared with the cars of today, these machines are wonderful, charming and exciting to look at, and it’s a shame they eventually meet their end. However, there’s something beautiful about a junkyards like these – the way the clunkers now sit, battered and bruised, their bent grilles now twisted smiles, their broken headlamps, tired eyes.

It’s not all doom and gloom though; thousands of classic car enthusiasts flock to places like these, and it’s these rust-filled burial grounds that allow running examples to roar up and down the highways of today. One man’s petrol pump is a chance to make $100, whilst for another it’s the chance to cruise the highway in a restored classic.

Anyway, take a look at these cool graveyard, I mean, junkyard shots – they are fantastic.

 

Resto-Modding: Are you In Or Out?

 

Over the past 5 years or so of tuning into literally every car show on the planet, I’ve noticed the rising popularity of resto-modding. Resto-modding is basically grabbing a classic car, gutting it and restoring it with modern components to make it perform and handle better. I recently wrote an article on resto-modding for rpmrush and also included what my personal resto-mod would be. It also goes into a little more depth about the whole process.

 

 

I’d love to know who is a purist and can’t stand the thought of butchering a classic, and those who are all in for the Frankenstein method of marrying retro to modern.

 

What’s Your Ultimate Frankenstein Car?

Lately I’ve been watching ALOT of shows on muscle cars, from the purists at Graveyard Carz to the Super muscle car builders at Wrecks To Riches. In Graveyard Carz I respect their dedication in literally bringing a Mopar car back to the day it rolled off the production line – in fact, I think Mark Worman has a severe case of OCD on Mopar coding.

Wrecks To Riches is a little different in the fact they restore a classic, but instead of retaining anĀ originalĀ nut and bolt build, they install modernĀ technology, such as shocks, brakes and engines.

Purists may gasp at the use of modern tech, but I think it’s better to create a modern alternative out of a classic than crush it or use it for parts. This got me thinking about what classic I would choose to restore, and what main piece of modern tech I would incorporate into it.

I love the third generation Ford Thunderbird. It’s a real classic shape, and those rear lights look like jet afterburners. I also like the lines and the small fin running into the rear. Only 200 big block V8 Thunderbirds were produced between 61 and 63, so these are very rare indeed. What I’d like to do for my ultimate Frankenstein car would be to take a black or red third generation Thunderbird and keep it’s looks as stock as possible.

I can fully appreciate keeping a car as original as possible, but I can also appreciate the use of modern tech for extra power, better handling and superior reliability.Ā After pulling the engine, I’d like a brand newĀ 392 HEMI Crate EngineĀ and suitable tranny and drivetrain installed. The wheels would have to encompass Brembo disc brakes andĀ callipers, but ultimately, I’d like the rims to look as old school as possible – no shiny chrome blades or the like here. I wouldn’t be tracking the car so the suspension wouldn’t have to ultra expensive, so coil overs to possibly drop it an inch or two would suffice.

After everything is finished I’d have a really cool Thunderbird capable of pounding out 540-bhp and running gear to handle the extra power.

So with all this in mind, what would you put together for your ultimate car?