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38th Annual Concours d’ Elegance of America

By: Karl Nilsson with Brian Rhodes Imagine seeing over 300 of the world’s most spectacular automobiles in one place! Sunday, July 1, 2016 marked the 38th Annual Concours d’ Elegance of America. It was held in Plymouth, Michigan on the beautiful golf course at the Inn at St. Johns. Since its beginning in 1979, the show has grown in prestige and attendance. It is now considered an equal member of…

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A moment with JIMBO from the Reverend Horton Heat: Throttle Guy of Issue 19

Recently I had the pleasure of having an informal chat with Jimbo, the bass slapping musician from the Reverend Horton Heat. As the Throttle Guy for Issue 19, he was more than happy to give us a personal look into his life. Doni: What guilty pleasure do you have in your music collection? Jimbo: My favorites include the Ramones, which is not very rockabilly but that music really grew from…

Read More…

Photographer Tara Hurlin Heads to Northern Michigan’s Empire Hill Climb Revival

It’s an event that locals look forward to all year. The historic Empire Hill Climb, located in the quaint, otherwise quiet town of Empire, Mich., ran for just shy of two-decades before a severe crash in 1982 shut everything down. The hill was re-awakened in 2014 when local rally fans, Mike Kelty and Ian Dawkins helped bring the event back as the Empire Hill Climb Revival. This year’s race brought…

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A Celebration of the American Dream, the Annual Woodward Dream Cruise

Over 45,000 vehicles shook up Michigan’s Woodward Avenue for the 21st consecutive year on August 20, 2016. Woodward Ave., also known as “Detroit’s Main Street”, was the world’s first concrete highway ever made and runs Southwest from Pontiac, Michigan to Detroit, the heart and soul of America – the Motor City. The Woodward Dream Cruise is the world’s largest annual one-day automotive event, bringing in over $56-million dollars to the…

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Roadkill’s Street Racing Revival leaves its mark in Pontiac, Michigan

By Tara Hurlin When I arrived at the brand new M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan on Friday, August 19th, I immediately heard tires shredding against the freshly-tarred skid pad. My uncaffeinated-paced walk transitioned into a slow run that resembled a corny chick flick scene; A lustful woman dramatically running to her long lost lover, arms wide open. All that was missing was the kiss. Roadkill, a series that airs on MotorTrend, is known for their automotive chaos: David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan work together to hunt down and purchase affordable, rough-looking car projects to get them back on the road as inexpensively as possible. It’s all about having fun, even when they are roughing it on the side of the road. They joined forces with Dodge to present fans with…

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The battle between the EPA versus Vehicle enthusiasts continues: Non-road vehicles are at stake

By Tara Hurlin Cars are an enormous part of my life. They are my livelihood, my passion and my love. They give me joy, a reason to smile and an outlet when I need a break from day-to-day dramas. Nothing makes me giggle like hearing a car’s engine backfire or the blow-off valve flutter. And the EPA wants to take it all away. For those who haven’t “heard” from the various posts being shared on social media outlets, the EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency), has stepped far beyond their general environmental knowledge and into the realms of automotive culture, to threaten to take away millions – yes millions – of American Citizen’s rights to drive the cars they love, all based upon their misguided beliefs. If this is new…

Read More…

Copyright Office Grants Exemption to Allow for Vehicle Modification

For those of you following this story: Diamond Bar, CA. (October 27, 2015) – The U.S. Copyright Office today issued a ruling to allow vehicle owners to perform vehicle diagnosis, repair and modification without fear of prosecution under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). However, the Copyright Office declined to provide the exemption to third parties who diagnose, repair or modify a vehicle on behalf of the vehicle owner. The Copyright Office concluded that extending the reach of an exemption to cover third-parties requires a legislative amendment undertaken by Congress. Access to a vehicle’s telematics or entertainment system was also specifically excluded from the exemption.  Earlier this year, in support of the industry and consumers, SEMA provided comments to the Copyright Office seeking an exemption from the DMCA for circumvention…

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Camo Cars

Hi, my name is Doni, and I’m a gear head. I am a bit crazy about motorized vehicles in general, but especially when I see one of those ‘camoflauged’ cars. You know the ones.. Wrapped in crazy stripes and the drivers drive weird so you can’t check them out too closely.  I’ve been catching glimpses of them around the M59 corridor lately, and it had me thinking: how much fun would it be to just camo wrap your daily driver? Think about it. Get your Cavalier (or any other normal car), and wrap it all up in funky black and white swirly designs. Maybe for fun glue some weird shaped foam to your bumper first to make it look like you’re hiding something. Then drive like a weirdo. People will…

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Ford GT350 Review

“It’s a great time to be a geek.” What? Geek? Geeks are people who are into the latest technology. The ones who love gadgets.  Jim Owens, of Ford Performance explains, “Today’s cars are amping up high performance like their 60’s muscle counterparts – but with the latest in safety and performance gadgets. When you grab one of these (GT350R) cars and misjudge a braking distance, these cars will stop! It’s not like the athlete drivers of the 60’s whose drum/discs may or may not have properly functioned on the racetrack.   The GT350 comes in a few flavors. There is the ‘Technology Package” which, as you may expect, is fully loaded in all things “Geek”. From the state of the art navigation system, advanced steering wheel controls, you can really…

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Wheels Day – UK: By Holly King

Note: To those who haven’t picked up a hard copy of Throttle Gals lately, we have expanded worldwide! We regularly receive submissions from our Throttle Gals Australia team about cool happenings over in Oz, and we recently became friends with Holly King – Throttle Gal extraordinaire across the pond in the United Kingdom! She regularly sends us a variety of stories, including: car shows, interest pieces and more! Here is one from her that will be internet only, due to the timing of the show versus the next issue of Throttle Gals (due out in June 2015). Please enjoy! ~Doni Langdon, Head Chick in Charge   At the start of April Surrey Street Rodders held their annual show, which attracts possibly the most eclectic collection of interesting cars to gather…

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38th Annual Concours d’ Elegance of America

By: Karl Nilsson with Brian Rhodes

Imagine seeing over 300 of the world’s most spectacular automobiles in one place! Sunday, July 1, 2016 marked the 38th Annual Concours d’ Elegance of America. It was held in Plymouth, Michigan on the beautiful golf course at the Inn at St. Johns. Since its beginning in 1979, the show has grown in prestige and attendance. It is now considered an equal member of the Big Three Concours, sharing the honor with the annual shows at Pebble Beach (CA) and Amelia Island (FL). Walking among the cars, it’s easy to feel the passion of the collectors, restorers, and owners of these amazing treasures dating from the Brass Era  through the present. The show used to be limited to cars built prior to the 1970s, but recently added Modern Collectibles to acknowledge the exotics (can you say Ferrari Testarossa?) that many of us lusted after as teenagers with posters on our bedroom walls! This year, the  show ranged from a 1907 Thomas Flyer through the elegant classics of the Jazz Age to the raw muscle cars of the Sixties that roared down Woodward Avenue. From custom-bodied examples of the coachbuilder’s art to racing legends like the Ford GTs that beat Ferrari at Le Mans, it was all on display in the outskirts of Motown – where automotive history is still being made!

img_0538Four GT40 MK IV Racing Coupes were built, all fitted with 7-liter engines and prepped to Le Mans specs. This version was driven to victory  at Daytona and Sebring by Mario Andretti and Bruce McLaren. It went on to finish 4th at Le Mans in 1967.


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 Dating back to the 1930s, Vintage Airstream travel trailers are highly collectable. This 1965 Airstream Caravel is being towed by a pristine 1967 International-Harvester Travelall Wagon. This one-owner brute was powered by a 345-cubic inch V8.

img_0547This Lancia Stratos Coupe by Bertone was shown at the 1971 Turin Auto Show. Only 492 of the mid-engined Italians were ever built. The stock version hit 144 mph, and the race versions dominated world rally competitions

img_0553“Best in Show” 2016  Winner! This 1937 Talbo-Lago T150CSS Coupe is a “hemi” with a 4-liter six topped with a hemi head that cranked up 170 horsepower. Produced in France, the ultra-rare Talbot-Lagos are among the most sought-after collector cars on earth. Exceptionally streamlined and light, they became known as the “teardrop” racers.

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Who knew Spain built cars? In 1898, Hispano Suiza made electric automobiles! This 1921 Hispano Suiza Torpedo (403 cubic inches with overhead cam) was originally owned by Horace Dodge (Yes, of the famous Dodge brothers!). It was found in a barn in Romeo, MI in 2004.

img_0563Designed by Jean Bugatti, son of founder Ettore, this is a 1939 Bugatti Type 57A. Produced in 1934 through 1940, the Type 57 was the ultimate road car. This example is known as the “Waterfall” Bugatti due to its unique grill work.

img_0572This 1983 Lancia 37 was built for one purpose – to win European rally events.  Power comes from a tiny four-cylinder supercharged engine producing 325 wild horses. This car won the championship in 1985.

img_05751972 Chevy Vega “Grumpy’s Toy X”. This short wheelbase monster set NHRA records with 9.42 seconds at 147 mph. That speed blew out the “Hemi Haulers” and earned Bill (Grumpy) Jenkins a roomful of Pro Stock trophies.

img_0581This rare 1972 AMC Gremlin Pro Stock raced against Pintos and Vegas. This example had AMC factory support.

img_0587Check out the lighting gear! This 1985 Lanci Delta S4 Racer campaigned in World Rally Championship events. This S4 dominated hill climbs due to being mid-engined with all-wheel drive. With only 1759 cc four-cylinder, the Italians found 560 horsepower to go sideways in the snow-covered mountain roads.

img_0659The street racer of its day! This sleek 1928 Auburn Speedster was built in Auburn, Indiana. Its boat-tail styling and 8-cylinder engine made it a favorite of thrill-seekers and movie stars.

img_0680This original 1963 Studebaker Avanti R1 Coupe featured a Paxton supercharger. This modernistic grille-less body was too expensive to build in steel, so Studebaker chose the same company that built the fiberglass panels for the early Corvettes. Studebaker’s financial problems caused them to halt production after just two years. The car is featured in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

img_0694Imagine five Ford GTs lined up side by side. 50 years after beating Ferrari at Le Mans in 1966, a Ford GT won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2016. This row of current racers were on hand to celebrate!

img_0698Head for the nearest Grateful Dead concert in this 1967 Volkswagen 21-Window Samba Deluxe. This example is the last of the first generation VW Buses built on the original rear-engined sedan. Today’s ubiquitous minivans can be traced back to this vehicle.

img_0706Forget Ralph Nader and enjoy this 1963 Chevrolet Corvair Rampside Motorhome by San-Cruiser. This rear-engined rarity has its original appliances and screened-in roll-out awning.

img_0724This rare 1949 Cadillac Custom Sedan Woody has a glamorous past. Hollywood’s MGM studio ordered six new Cadillacs from Hillcrest Cadillac in Beverly Hills, then customized them as Woodies to transport their movie stars to location shoots.

img_0750This 1971 Dodge Pro Stock Challenger turned heads at the Concours! The open hood showed off a 426 Hemi engine with dual 4-barrel carbs on a tunnel ram intake.

img_0768Only 100 of these have survived! This 1958 Studebaker Golden Hawk Hardtop Coupe was essentially an early “muscle car” (352 cubic inch V8) that beat the 1968 Pontiac GTO by eight model years.

img_0769This 1956 Lincoln Continental MK II Convertible was designed to draw a higher caliber customer into Lincoln-Mercury showrooms and defend the luxury car market.

img_0789This car defined elegance and prestige during the Great Depression. Rare 1931 Duesenberg Model J Convertible was owned by the heiress to the Woolworth department store fortune, Clara Peck.  This is the only Dietrich-designed convertible known to exist.

img_0784Owned by the man who built the Empire State Building! Millionaire Andrew Eken bought this 1934 Packard Stationary Coupe by Dietrich as a gift for his wife. Then it was lost for over 50 years. Today, it is one of only five in existence.

img_0792Photo 32 – 0792: Ahead of its time! The 1934 Chrysler Airflow Sedan was the first production car to be streamlined for aerodynamics. Chrysler built a wind tunnel at their Highland Park plant just to test it. Sadly, the public was not ready and it was a sales flop.

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Pony Car showdown. This 1965 Ford Mustang is a 2+2 Fastback (priced under $2,500 when new). Parked next door is a 1965 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S with the performance package of a Commando 273 cubic inch V8 with four-barrel carbs and a hot cam. Most folks don’t know it, but the ‘Cuda beat the ‘Stang to market – it debuted in 1964, becoming the first “pony car” in Motown history.

Stay tuned for more show coverage from these guys! Thanks Karl and Brian for sharing with us! ~Doniimg_0788

A moment with JIMBO from the Reverend Horton Heat: Throttle Guy of Issue 19

Recently I had the pleasure of having an informal chat with Jimbo, the bass slapping musician from the Reverend Horton Heat. As the Throttle Guy for Issue 19, he was more than happy to give us a personal look into his life.

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Doni: What guilty pleasure do you have in your music collection?
Jimbo: My favorites include the Ramones, which is not very rockabilly but that music really grew from the soul. Girl Groups, I love their melody. I like all bands, even ones that aren’t that good. If it means something and they are trying, stretching themselves – I find beauty in that. Even me! What I lack in talent I make up for in show.

Doni: What are you doing right now during this phone interview?
Jimbo: Honestly, folding laundry. (laughs)(Shit he even does laundry! He’s a normal person!)

Doni: So what is your house like?
Jimbo: I live in a pink house from the 50s. Looking out the back window at okra, tomatoes etc, our garden. Nice to come home and see.

Doni: What is your favorite part of touring? Tell us some stories!
Jimbo: My favorite part of tour is playing. We never get to see anything. One time we pulled up to Niagara Falls, and we got out to look at it. Another bus pulls out, bunch of smoke pours out when 7-8 black guys exit. It was the Wutang clan. Neither of us knew what each other said due to our accents. So we got to see the falls with the Wutang clan. Imagine us, the Reverend Horton Heat and the Wutang Clan nodding to each other. I have a million more stories.

Doni: So, tell us more!
Jimbo: We were playing Fillmore in San Francisco opening up for Johnny Cash and had another quick show. But, due to contractual obligations, we couldn’t use our name. So, we were the Pajama Party Orchestra. Were in dressing room drinking Jack, etc. Cash came by and said hi. He’s like: “I’m Johnny Cash”, and we’re like, Yea you are! June led him out of the room by his earlobe. Apparently he’s stayed too long. She’s taking care of it, we had liquor and she wasn’t having him in that. It was out of love.

Then, there was Little Richard. We were in LA across from the House of Blues at the Hyatt House. For many years, Little Richard lived in the penthouse. We happened to get a room there, and during the day we walked down past the bar. There are a guy in silk pajamas in the bar. He called me little Paulie McCartney. “Come over here” he said – and gave me a hug. He was wearing little Prince shades. We took pictures. Were on either side of him leaning over – looks like Weekend at Bernies.

Doni: Who do you hang with on tour?
Jimbo: We try to see all the bands that we play with. Koffin Kats are coming on the next run. And Unknown Hinson. And of course. Lucky Tubb – good friend of mine. We enjoy MI area.

Doni: How did you end up in the Reverend Horton Heat?
Jimbo: True story – I lived in Houston and had a band called Six Gun. Someone called me and told me to go see this band called the Reverend Horton Heat. I was tired, so I was like,  I don’t know. I went to see them and was blown away. Got to talking to them while cleaning up. I chatted with the bass player. I asked,  “Can I slap your bass?” I started doing this triple slap thing that apparently they had been talking about. Jim walked up to me and asked for my phone number. I got a call from him a week later and his bass player were discussing techniques. He drove down, I auditioned. Had a show 3-4 days later. Had to learn 2 hours worth of material in a few days and made it through. And to think, I almost didn’t go.

Seriously, playing music for a living  makes me the luckiest guy.

Doni: What’s your favorite car, or hot rod?
Jimbo: I am an old truck guy. I like all old trucks. I have a mid 70s old chevy truck that I work on. Jim (Heath) had an old 5 window Chevy.

I also have a Land Rover which holds family and 2 upright bases.  I have 3 tattoos of my bases on my legs and an arm. I think I have had 10.

Doni: What are your favorite Reverend Horton Heat songs to play?
Jimbo: Right now – She Likes The Smell of Gasoline. I get to do a lot of slapping on that song. And then there is Wildest Dreams on the romantic side. Now, right now,  any aggressive punk song. I don’t get tired of them. We’re getting ready to bring out some of the old songs.

Doni: How long have you been playing?
Jimbo: In band for 28 years.  Six Gun in Houston TX. was my first band. That was more punk rock. Then Stray Cats came out. A friend of mine, Finger and I, we wanted to play that kind of music. He stole a bass form a school, dragged across the field and I decided to learn the upright bass. I taught myself.

Doni: What is the background of the Jimbo songs (both of them)?
Jimbo: It’s all Jim Heath. At times I amuse him. He’s a very people person, he soaks in people and their personalities. John Lennon wrote songs on weird stuff Ringo would say. It’s off the wall. I amuse him. He throws stuff together. It’s funny. I am flattered. Just silly things that go through his mind. I like the way the song (The Jimbo Song) slows down, tells a story and then goes into that fun rockabilly. I own all of it.

Doni: What is your family life like?
Jimbo: Married for about 18 years. She puts up with me. 2 kids. Austin and 9 year old Hunter. He’s a wild cat. Oldest plays upright bass in orchestra in music special school. I taught a master class in the school. They all lined up and I taught them to slap it, but don’t think the teacher liked it.

We used to play ¾ of a year before families, but now we are usually on tour 6 months. Going to Australia soon. And, my 16 year old son is set to get his driving permit today.

Doni: What do you think about the concept of  a Throttle Gal? What does that mean to you?
Jimbo: Well, I guess because I met you, a gal that isn’t a pinup girl but actually enjoys the car culture and can get grease on their hands and have fun, be part of a goup – love of cars, rockabilly culture. Not uptight. Let your hair down, and be real.

Half the time we meet people they are playing a part. Expressing the love of the culture all the time and not be uptight about it. That’s a Throttle Gal.

 

You know what Jimbo? We agree. I can’t wait to see you next time our paths cross.

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“Hey Doni – Let me teach you how to slap a bass!” ~Jimbo

If you want more info on this awesome guy, and the great fun music of the Reverend Horton Heat, check out http://www.reverendhortonheat.com/

Photographer Tara Hurlin Heads to Northern Michigan’s Empire Hill Climb Revival

It’s an event that locals look forward to all year.

The historic Empire Hill Climb, located in the quaint, otherwise quiet town of Empire, Mich., ran for just shy of two-decades before a severe crash in 1982 shut everything down. The hill was re-awakened in 2014 when local rally fans, Mike Kelty and Ian Dawkins helped bring the event back as the Empire Hill Climb Revival. This year’s race brought perfectly cool, sunny weather, and I was there with bells on.

When the Hill Climb was founded in 1964, the old-school mindset, “Run what ya brung,” was the usual way to race up the challenging, ½-mile course. The hill has seen some of the best cars from their respective time periods compete during the original timed races, including Jaguar E-Types, Austin-Healeys, AMC Gremlins, Formula Fords, Triumphs, Porches, a large compilation of Corvette clubs, and even a Ferrari or two.

This year’s stars included balls-to-the-walls driver Mikko Kataja’s and his eardrum rattling 1980 Toyota Starlet (who left his mark on the event with a new 21.222-second record time), also seen was Mead Korwin’s sling-shotting 1971 Lola Lola, Cody Loveland’s monsterous Enviate Hypercar, a brilliant blue 1987 BMW 325is driven by Patrick Waligore, and local favorite Dylan Helferich who skidded to an effortless win in the AWD class with his rough-and-rugged 2000 Subaru Impreza.

But enough talk, lets get on to the photo gallery, because that tells all!

 

A Celebration of the American Dream, the Annual Woodward Dream Cruise

Over 45,000 vehicles shook up Michigan’s Woodward Avenue for the 21st consecutive year on August 20, 2016. Woodward Ave., also known as “Detroit’s Main Street”, was the world’s first concrete highway ever made and runs Southwest from Pontiac, Michigan to Detroit, the heart and soul of America – the Motor City.

The Woodward Dream Cruise is the world’s largest annual one-day automotive event, bringing in over $56-million dollars to the Metro-Detroit economy and attracting around 1.5 million spectators each year from around the globe. License plates from Vermont, Colorado, Arizona, Missouri, and Michigan’s surrounding states, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, were identified throughout the day.

The variety of cars is as diverse as Detroit’s culture: Muscle cars, exotics, imports, sports trucks, off-road vehicles, customs, hearses, hot rods and rat rods lined the streets for the moving car show extravaganza. Unique,  hand-built creations also caught the eyes of the spectators, who lined each side of Woodward Ave with tents and folding chairs to watch the action.

But it’s not just a cruise. Multiple car shows and displays are spread across several cities, accessible right off of Woodward Ave. There’s a car show at every turn, and there’s something for everyone to love.

This photo gallery only scratches the surface of the intensity of the weekend. Considering the constant distractions from the magnificent scattering of vehicle displays and the reverberating rumbles of classics on the road, it is nearly impossible to see everything in a day, and that is exactly why millions of people return every year.

 

Roadkill’s Street Racing Revival leaves its mark in Pontiac, Michigan

By Tara Hurlin

When I arrived at the brand new M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan on Friday, August 19th, I immediately heard tires shredding against the freshly-tarred skid pad. My uncaffeinated-paced walk transitioned into a slow run that resembled a corny chick flick scene; A lustful woman dramatically running to her long lost lover, arms wide open. All that was missing was the kiss.

Roadkill, a series that airs on MotorTrend, is known for their automotive chaos: David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan work together to hunt down and purchase affordable, rough-looking car projects to get them back on the road as inexpensively as possible. It’s all about having fun, even when they are roughing it on the side of the road. They joined forces with Dodge to present fans with an epic event called Roadkill Nights. Last year was a success, and this year was even bigger: For the first time ever, Woodward Avenue was closed for legal drag racing.

I was about to join over 30,000 people for an entire day on Woodward Avenue, Roadkill style. First stop, a joyride in a Dodge Hellcat.

The smell of smoked tires crept farther up my nostrils as I approached the skid pad. Tires screamed bloody murder under the deep rumbling power of the Dodge Hellcats, when suddenly a loud “POP!” reverberated through the atmosphere. The first tire out of hundreds that would meet their demise that day gave in to the hot pavement’s abuse.

Thanks to Dodge, spectators were able to feel a Hellcat’s power for themselves, and I was the first one in (right after Detroit Fox News and a few others who were running the show). The Hellcat took off faster than a viper strike and drifted around corners as if the tires were made of butter. Now it’s my turn to drive right? No? Aw, well, maybe next time.

Roadkill Nights accomplished the impossible by being approved to run the first legal road races ever held on Woodward, which allowed people to re-live the old school drag races without the fear of being presented with a “high-performance driving certificate”. Anticipation flooded the crowd as the clock struck 1pm. Race time. The grounds rumbled for hours as cars, trucks and SUVs tested their limits and left behind deep black lines of rubber that will remain on the street for years to come.

I knew there were more activities going on outside of the races, but it was impossible to peel myself away. A 20-minute rain gave just enough time to mow down on some bbq, use the ladies room and browse the car show while Woodward dried enough for the next rounds. Each vehicle on display was a custom in its own right, whether by the hands of Mother Nature or by the owner’s innovation, and the diversity is exactly what I love about Roadkill.

Before sundown, Roadkill’s Dirt Track Challenger hit the strip, after swapping the rear end in their hotel’s parking lot, of course. To add to the suspense, a potentially disastrous hold up caused by an incorrect u-joint was averted when the proper part was found at a local parts store just in time for the Challenger to be re-assembled the day of the race, during lunch hour. According to Freiburger’s glee after the first burnout, the struggle and lack of sleep was all worth it.

The smell of gas and burned rubber take on a whole new meaning after sunset. The lights over Woodward Avenue set the perfect ambiance for the ending of Roadkill Nights, resembling the nostalgic effect of flashlight drag racing. The cool night air was a relief for every spectator, and with the uncomfortable heat gone, the energy in the crowd rose. The engines sounded more determined than ever and the burnouts lasted longer.

The fastest remaining drivers raced head-to-head until the end. The crowd gasped in unison each time a competitor got squirrely between the track’s concrete barriers. Maintaining traction on the street wasn’t easy, but these guys had skills, and they weren’t messing around. Each vehicle in the winner’s circle was none worse for the wear, and the owner’s faces glowed in the darkness from the day’s rush of adrenaline.

In first place for the quickest Dodge was Mike Moran’s black 1969 twin-turbo Hemi Charger. (Duh, he was photographed as a line of black blur in several of my photos.) Runners up in the All-Dodge group were Greg Charney in his baby-blue ‘68 Dart, and Tom Drago and Micheal Cole with their modern Hellcat Charger SRTs.

Tom Bailey, known for his intimidating, record-breaking 1969 Chevy Camaro, is no one-trick pony. He took first place in the All-Run Fast Four class. Standing with him in the winner’s circle were the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place winners of the All-Run fast four: Bryant Golstone with his ’73 AMC Javelin, Adam Hodson and his ’73 Camaro, and Mike Moore’s diesel Silverado.

We don’t know if this special event will ever happen again, but it is one that is sure to go down in history. #BecauseRoadkill. (Yeah, I just did that.)

 

 

Want more? Good vibes are in the photo gallery below!

 

 

 

This article originally posted on Driving Line.

 

 

The battle between the EPA versus Vehicle enthusiasts continues: Non-road vehicles are at stake

By Tara Hurlin

Cars are an enormous part of my life. They are my livelihood, my passion and my love. They give me joy, a reason to smile and an outlet when I need a break from day-to-day dramas. Nothing makes me giggle like hearing a car’s engine backfire or the blow-off valve flutter. And the EPA wants to take it all away.

For those who haven’t “heard” from the various posts being shared on social media outlets, the EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency), has stepped far beyond their general environmental knowledge and into the realms of automotive culture, to threaten to take away millions – yes millions – of American Citizen’s rights to drive the cars they love, all based upon their misguided beliefs. If this is new news to you, I encourage you to do all of the research you possibly can, because there may come a time when the automotive hobby and industry will need to fight back.

Racecars are a rich and intricate part of American history. They have saved lives and kept people out of trouble. They have raised money for thousands of charities and have inspired people who come upon hard times to hang in there and keep building their cars, in turn contributing to society. For some, it is all that they live for and all that they have to look forward to.

If it wasn’t for the hobby and passion for performance modifications, my husband may have never been my husband; he might not have even lived. Emotional and mental stability are an intricate piece to the puzzle while trying to heal your body from overcoming traumas and heavy treatments for cancer throughout your childhood. He spent countless hours modifying vehicles while other kids were out getting into trouble, or worse. The cars were his constant in life – his saving grace.

Ryan Thompson, president of Thompson Racing, says “I was born into the automotive world; my dad was career mechanic. It’s something that I greatly enjoy doing, and it is also a constructive outlet for adrenaline junkies to get their fix of excitement. Much of my time growing up was spent working so I could afford playing with cars, and when I wasn’t at my job, I was actively building and driving them. For the most part, that trend continues to this day.”

Dylan Helferich, a rally car driver for the Relentless Rally Team, talks about how these cars have had such a positive impact on his life; “Everything in my life is handled by getting behind the wheel or picking up a wrench, whether it is pets being put down, break ups or any other hardships. Competing in rally demands full focus, so it keeps your mind from wandering to those places you don’t want it to go. When my friend Matt Marker passed away during a competition, it did not deter me from my passion, it only pushed me closer. Building and racing cars kept me closer to him even though he was no longer there, and because of this I offer an open invite to anyone interested in the automotive racing world to participate in any of my builds or on my team, to spread that same motivation and way of release.”

Cody Loveland of Lovefab, Inc. and Affinity Aero, LLC., has proudly built his life around the aftermarket racing industry, and he states, “Having made a living from the industry since 2002, this legislation will potentially crush the business that I dedicated my entire life to, and in turn it would diminish my family’s income, putting our livelihood in jeopardy. The racing world is a minute percentage of pollutants compared to more easily obtainable and cost-effective regulation alternatives that won’t shatter lives, hopes and dreams.”

Christopher Post, a dedicated teacher, IT consultant and part-time administrator, says the automotive world is his outlet; “It’s hard to put into words because it is so central to how I encourage myself to stay positive – it’s the only thing I look forward to that belongs purely to me. Cars are my passion and energize me for the incredible amount of work and love I pour into my school and family, but I can’t afford even a remotely new Porsche or other high-performance car because I have an idealistic job. Instead, I have to transform inexpensive cars into experiential performance machines. When I am at the race track, all of my worries and stress evaporate and I remember who I am individually, and then I am ready to serve others again.”

Amy Holbrook, a hot rod builder, says that her entire family bonds through their love of custom cars, “Our cars and builds keep our family going; it gives us all something to look forward to — it is our legacy. It teaches our son about hard work and responsibility and it keeps our minds busy thinking of new ideas.”

The law has always stated that any tampering with federally mandated emissions controls on street-driven cars is illegal, but now the EPA is proposing to encompass any vehicle that is not driven on the road. This means that any manufacturer that produces performance parts that do not meet emissions regulations could potentially be put out of business completely, in turn affecting the entire hobby as a whole. The EPA maintains broad abilities to make laws and serves directly through the discretion of the President of the United States, but they have limited ability to enforce the set laws. Manufacturing companies are at the highest risk, but in turn, so is any off-road hobby, whether racecars, snowmobiles, overlanding vehicles or dirt track vehicles.

The EPA may not be taking away our rights to enjoy our hobby at this given moment, but modified vehicles are the low-hanging fruit that is easy to pick, even though motorists in this niche of the hobby are more environmentally conscious than, let’s say, lithium-ion battery production companies, bottled water companies, and who could forget Monsanto, the company that thinks it is ok to put poison into the earth and into food we eat.

Cars are our life and an intricate piece of America’s history, and passing this needless law will endlessly destroy the lives of good people — it has the potential to take away thousands, if not millions, of jobs. Turning American Citizen’s lives upside-down is not the answer to environmental issues, there are much, much larger environmental problems at hand.

Copyright Office Grants Exemption to Allow for Vehicle Modification

For those of you following this story:

Diamond Bar, CA. (October 27, 2015) – The U.S. Copyright Office today issued a ruling to allow vehicle owners to perform vehicle diagnosis, repair and modification without fear of prosecution under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). However, the Copyright Office declined to provide the exemption to third parties who diagnose, repair or modify a vehicle on behalf of the vehicle owner. The Copyright Office concluded that extending the reach of an exemption to cover third-parties requires a legislative amendment undertaken by Congress. Access to a vehicle’s telematics or entertainment system was also specifically excluded from the exemption. 
Earlier this year, in support of the industry and consumers, SEMA provided comments to the Copyright Office seeking an exemption from the DMCA for circumvention of controls on vehicle software for the purpose of vehicle diagnosis, repair or modification by the vehicle owner. “The issue of copyright affecting the ability to diagnose, repair and modify vehicles has come up recently due to the proliferation of advanced vehicle technology, specifically software, in modern vehicles,” said SEMA CEO and President Chris Kersting. “SEMA has always maintained that the right to access vehicle systems to utilize, maintain and upgrade vehicles is legal as fair use under copyright law, as are activities undertaken to achieve interoperability with aftermarket products.” 
The DMCA was enacted in 1998 and prohibits the circumvention of measures put in place by a copyright owner to protect copyrighted works. The law also includes a provision allowing the Copyright Office to grant exemptions from this anti-circumvention provision, and the exemption for vehicle repair, diagnosis or modification was granted under this provision. A copy of the SEMA comments is available on the Copyright Office website at http://copyright.gov/1201/2015/reply-comments-050115/class%2021/ReplyComments_LongForm_SEMA_Class21.pdf.
About SEMA 

SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association founded in 1963, represents the $36 billion specialty automotive industry of 6,814 member-companies. It is the authoritative source for research, data, trends and market growth information for the specialty auto parts industry. The industry provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger and recreational vehicles. For more information, contact SEMA at 1575 S. Valley Vista Dr., Diamond Bar, CA 91765, tel: 909-610-2030, or visit www.sema.org.

Camo Cars

Hi, my name is Doni, and I’m a gear head. I am a bit crazy about motorized vehicles in general, but especially when I see one of those ‘camoflauged’ cars. You know the ones.. Wrapped in crazy stripes and the drivers drive weird so you can’t check them out too closely.  I’ve been catching glimpses of them around the M59 corridor lately, and it had me thinking: how much fun would it be to just camo wrap your daily driver?

Think about it. Get your Cavalier (or any other normal car), and wrap it all up in funky black and white swirly designs. Maybe for fun glue some weird shaped foam to your bumper first to make it look like you’re hiding something. Then drive like a weirdo. People will think you are some special person ‘allowed’ to test drive prototypes. And any erratic movements will be assumed that you are trying to shake off people looking too close.

And all that body work damage or rust you have to deal with will be totally hidden. Actually, put a bit of foam in those areas to block it out, perhaps to ‘hide’ experimental design elements of your vehicle. And poof- you have a really cool car. No matter what you drive.

  
😉
*this is written in satire form, however if you choose to do this, send us pics!

Ford GT350 Review

GT350 Old and New

“It’s a great time to be a geek.” What? Geek? Geeks are people who are into the latest technology. The ones who love gadgets.  Jim Owens, of Ford Performance explains, “Today’s cars are amping up high performance like their 60’s muscle counterparts – but with the latest in safety and performance gadgets. When you grab one of these (GT350R) cars and misjudge a braking distance, these cars will stop! It’s not like the athlete drivers of the 60’s whose drum/discs may or may not have properly functioned on the racetrack.

 

GT350 console

Console of the Technology ‘flavor’

The GT350 comes in a few flavors. There is the ‘Technology Package” which, as you may expect, is fully loaded in all things “Geek”. From the state of the art navigation system, advanced steering wheel controls, you can really customize this car on the fly. Changing suspension modes, monitoring fluid temperatures and customizing the heads-up display is just the beginning of the technology in this car. If you are a typical street driving consumer, and plan to enjoy the 526 horses on your daily drive to work, this car is definitely for you.

 

The Track Pack takes away some of the ‘Technology” by way of the navigation system but gains additional performance upgrades such as a rear differential cooler, trans cooler, and the Recaro Racing seats. Because of the immense amount of engineering done, the seat not only fits like a glove – but also is comfortable for both me and my 5’4” frame, but also Eric, our Token Male, at 6’. The seats are designed to remain comfortable even while wearing full racing gear – in our case a hybrid head and neck device and helmet.

 

For the hard core racing enthusiast, the R series is for you! The GT350R is immediately distinguishable by the red badge, the taller carbon fiber wing and low front splitter. Initially the R series was set up with the same rear spoiler as the rest of the line, but with the weight reduction of the luxury items. Think no back seat, no AC and nothing in the trunk including carpet, along with the carbon fiber wheels. This car needed the additional down-force.

GT350R

The GT350R Badge makes this immediately recognizable

All of this info is great, but can be found in about any tech or sales sheet. What you won’t find there is how this car made me feel!

 

When the opportunity to drive the GT350 arose, I was elated. I read up on the car, asked tons of questions and prepared as much as I could. But nothing could honestly prepare me for the exhilarating experience behind the wheel. My first car to drive at the track was the R. It took me a lap to ‘trust’ the car, to gain confidence that I wouldn’t spin out in the corners, or overshoot a turn and end up in the grass. You know the feeling when you are strapped into a Boeing 757 and it takes off? Yeah, acceleration felt like that… but faster! When the professional driver took the wheel I was flat back in my seat instantly.

 

The flat plane crank, naturally aspirated (meaning no supercharger, etc) 502 felt good. Throaty. Muscular. The manual transmission shift points were close, quickly responsive and running this engine to 8250 RPM was a thrilling experience to say the least. And sticking to corners is a place where this car shines brightly.

 

Specific to the R series are the proprietary carbon fiber wheels and sticky composition tires. I felt this difference significantly between the Track Pack version that does not have this. There was no shift in the tires on the R – where there was a minimal amount of roll and slide on the Track Pack. The R could have been on rails. I actually underestimated my speed once and grabbed a turn late, near 50-60 MPH on a tight right, and she just took it.

 

In addition to the wheels and tires, there are a few significant differences to the R. The R is 120 pounds lighter than the Track Pack. Each wheel is 15 pounds lighter, and the composition of the Michelin tires is specific to this car only. The brakes are different. The rotors are larger and all directionally vented. Six pistons close the front caliper versus the 4-piston setup on the other models.

Carbon Fiber wheels are really this light!

Carbon Fiber wheels are really this light!

 

A really cool function of the car is the exhaust. There is actually a valve that diverts the exhaust depending on function. If you want to cruise out of your subdivision quietly, the valve remains in position to utilize all of the muffling systems. When you want to wake up the world, you can open that baby up and roar!

 

After driving this car, I realize I am totally a geek. And I am proud to admit it. The smile stayed on my face until well after the ferry ride back to Michigan, and returns as I write this. This car made me feel good. Money may not be able to buy happiness, but it can buy a GT350R, and that seems a close second!

 

Wheels Day – UK: By Holly King

Note: To those who haven’t picked up a hard copy of Throttle Gals lately, we have expanded worldwide! We regularly receive submissions from our Throttle Gals Australia team about cool happenings over in Oz, and we recently became friends with Holly King – Throttle Gal extraordinaire across the pond in the United Kingdom! She regularly sends us a variety of stories, including: car shows, interest pieces and more! Here is one from her that will be internet only, due to the timing of the show versus the next issue of Throttle Gals (due out in June 2015). Please enjoy!
~Doni Langdon, Head Chick in Charge

 

At the start of April Surrey Street Rodders held their annual show, which attracts possibly the most eclectic collection of interesting cars to gather in any one place in the country.  I went along riding shotgun in a friends’ 1979 Saab 99, thats been retrofitted to a faster-than-turbo spec, and we were both a bit surprised when the car was ushered onto the show field.  Unfortunately, due to a very rainy start to the day, attendance was well down so the show wasn’t just restricted to pre-booked cars.  The Saab, however, did attract a lot of attention, so it was worthy of being there!

Fortunately we were fashionably late enough to miss the rain, so we had a pleasant wander around the hundreds of obscure or just plain bizarre cars that had braved the spring showers, had an ice cream, and perused the trade stands for interesting bits of tat.  It was nice to be able to check out some great cars, and hopefully later in the year I’ll get to see some more of them at other shows, and have more time so I can catch up with some of the ladies who I saw with cool cars.

(and yes, I’ve deliberately picked out photos of the most European cars of interest on purpose!)


A Triumph Herald, mildly upgraded from a 1.2 litre straight 4 to a small block Chevy

A Triumph Herald, mildly upgraded from a 1.2 litre straight 4 to a small block Chevy

This is smaller than it looks in the picture – it's an original Fiat Multipla

This is smaller than it looks in the picture – it’s an original Fiat Multipla



It's not often you get to see a 1990 Renault 5 GT Turbo next to a Jaguar XK120 Coupe – diversity!

It’s not often you get to see a 1990 Renault 5 GT Turbo next to a Jaguar XK120 Coupe – diversity!

 

A rather fab yet ratty Ford Popular, it runs a modern straight 4

A rather fab yet ratty Ford Popular, it runs a modern straight 4

 

Miniminiminiminimini.

Miniminiminiminimini.

 

 I have no idea what this is, but it's small and has a beautiful ass

I have no idea what this is, but it’s small and has a beautiful ass

 

There was no originally-shaped panel on this Morris Minor; it was cut, sectioned, chopped, yet still managed to find space for a V8

There was no originally-shaped panel on this Morris Minor; it was cut, sectioned, chopped, yet still managed to find space for a V8

 

An Austin 7 with a speedster body.  Behind it is a Morgan 3 wheeler (with a transverse V-tein engine), also custom-bodied

An Austin 7 with a speedster body.  Behind it is a Morgan 3 wheeler (with a transverse V-tein engine), also custom-bodied

 

These are Scamps, a kit car based on Minis and mostly made out of 1” box section.  A very British invention!

These are Scamps, a kit car based on Minis and mostly made out of 1” box section.  A very British invention!