What’s the issue?
This issue of RodsandWheels is jamb packed with great information. It begins with our 4th installation of the five part story on the Chrysler Hemi engine, followed by an interview with one of the founders of Thunderhill Raceway and Hooked on Driving.com.
After some time with great engines and performance riving, we visit "America’s Love for All Things from the 1950s" and "Drag Racing". This issue closes with a great story on GM Motorama auto shows.
See Ya Under the Hood,
Paul H. Green
Chrysler Hemi engines get more power (Hemi part 4)
When Chrysler developed the Hemi engine, one thing was on their mind - high performance. An engine that could win races is what they wanted, making the Hemi design a great achievement for the company. The first race won with a Hemi engine took place at the Detroit Fair Grounds with both GM and Ford executives watching. Tommy Thompson drove a Chrysler Club Coupe on a New Yorker chassis to claim the victory. The race was 250 miles long on a half-mile dirt track.
Hooked on driving
I love getting to talk with truly successful people because it is so much fun listening to them talk about the passion in their lives. In the case of this interview with Mike Benzon, a race champion with SCCA (Sports Car Club of America), it has always been about going fast. Anyone talking to Benzon quickly understands how his love of “speed” has made him a winning Performance Driver and how this passion has also made him a great teacher.
America's love for all things from the 1950s
The 1950s were an era of their own. From Elvis to poodle skirts to Ed Sullivan, times were changing for the American family - especially for teenagers. Teens in the 1950s desired to be different. New and exciting things were being revealed each year: new cars (hot rods as we call them today), new movies, new television shows, new music, new clothing styles, new employment opportunities for women and don't forget, new hairstyles. All these changes are what make the 1950s such a lovable time. Nostalgia for that era can be found in the hearts of millions of Americans today.
Nitro-spitting speed freaks: History of drag racing
After World War II, the sport of drag racing was born in the dry lake beds of the Mojave Desert in California. Hot rodders had been coming to the lake beds for more than 20 years to test speed and performance for their vehicles. It's believed that early hot rodders pushed car speeds over the 100 mph mark for the first time here also.