The Triumph Spitfire is adorable. It’s perky. It’s sweet. And that’s exactly why it needs a screaming, searing, sky-splitting, pavement-melting turbine engine from a helicopter. The appropriately named StanceWorks forums member godzillus is installing a 320-horsepower Allison T63C18 turbine into a rusty Spitfire as you read this post. Oh, and it’s a senior design project for engineering school. Who said school isn’t any fun?
Getting the stance right in a custom vehicle can either make it or break it from a visual perspective. Set it too high and it looks like a 4×4, set it too low and you’re dragging oil pans. Diedelson’s Customs in Holland has opted for the latter on their 1951 Chevy Truck and in doing so has created a vehicle that looks like it came out of some B-rated horror flick. It’s old and rusty, but thanks to a front airbag suspension it actually runs pretty good when pushed hard. Is it for everyone? Well no. However if you’re diggin’ on the rusty ole’ airbag look, then this slammed old Chevy may just be the one for you.
The American hot-rod is an icon. It was crafted out of rebellion, ingenuity and the will to be different. They were meant to go fast, get looks and at days end, announce to the world that you had arrived in style. The truth is though, in the last 60 years not a whole lot has changed. Sure technology has advanced, but deep down the basic DNA has always remained the same. Levi’s recently launched a great ad that not only transports us back to a time when life was a little simpler, but reminds us why cars, of any vintage are all masterpieces just waiting to be turned into hot-rods.
Attention to detail and vision – that’s what makes a custom car great. Mitch Allread is a custom builder and fabricator who just happens to have built a one-off creation that would make Max Rockatansky proud. What started life as a 1949 Ford F-5 truck has now been transformed into the mother of all post-apocalyptic vehicles. It’s presence is raw, its look and feel is nothing but sinister, and at days end the builder should be proud that he created something so original.
I’ve seen it done in an MG Midget, a 1968 Dodge Dart and hell, even in a Morgan Plus 4. I speak of course about shoehorning a GM LS-based small block into just about anything with four wheels. The GM small block is without a doubt one of the greatest creations in all of motoring. It’s lightweight, compact, cheap and with a few minor tweaks can make serious power. It’s no doubt then why every hot-rodder and their brother go with a small block when it comes time to power their vehicle. Obviously some swaps are easier then others. For instance, in the aforementioned Dodge Dart the procedure didn’t take much more then a few new motor mounts and some reconstructive surgery to make the transmission fit. However there are those who go in a more unconventional route. Take for instance this late 1980′s Porsche 911. I mean sure the engine is a tight fit, but one turn of the key will tell you that it seems right at home sitting at the wrong end of the car. Cool stuff right?
Every now and then we get a story submitted to us by a faithful reader and member of the automotive community. Scott Vandekerckhove is such a person as he’s not only a rabid car enthusiast, but the man responsible for putting together last years über successful HEMI Highway Tour for Chrysler and a lead contributor to “Modern Mopar Magazine”. So when I read his latest story on how Huntington Beach, California resident John Fortuno had influenced the development of the new 2011 Chrysler 300 sedan I just had to post it. Click through for the entire article.
What can you say about the Extreme Zone automotive custom shop in India. By the looks of it they’re a cross between Pimp My Ride and West Coast Customs all rolled into one great big ball of outsourced fun. Taking queues from such automotive shows as Overhaulin’, the boys from Extreme Zone have been given the task of transforming an unsuspecting Suzuki four-door into something that oozes with power, performance and custom touches. Unfortunately they fail miserably on all counts. Here in the United States we’re used to custom shops that possess the skills and talent to outfit a car properly, in India though… not so much. Click play and watch as this little four-door is transformed into something that is neither fast nor furious.
The great thing about toys like Hot Wheels cars is that they have the ability to stimulate the imagination at a very young age. Cars like the Deora, the Sizzler series from the 1970′s and the original Twin Mill from 1969 have helped generations of car enthusiasts get their wings. Some of the cars, like the aforementioned Twin Mill are so cool that I suppose it was only a matter of time before they were actually built. What you are seeing here is the real life version of the original design that debuted in 1969. It comes complete with a pair of blown 502 cu inch big block Chevy’s that produce a total of 1,400 horsepower. It’s low slung, raw and the fantasy of every 11 year old kid out there. Obviously the Twin Mill wouldn’t make the best daily driver, but for a weekend cruiser, hell why not. Click through for the video.
Recently, I attended the Carlisle Import and Kit Nationals show at the Carlisle Fairgrounds in Pennsylvania. Held every May, this show features a vast array of meticulously maintained classic British, European and Japanese cars, exemplary examples of their more modern kin, as well as a beautiful collection of kit cars. As far as sheer variety in makes, models and years, hands down, this show can’t be beat.
This has become something of an annual treat for me as I can think of few better ways to spend a weekend than by gazing at a gleaming sea of jaw-droppingly stunning automobiles, many of which I guarantee you won’t find at other shows. Plus, participation is open to anyone with an import or a kit car – all you have to do is register, make your car pretty and show up. It’s a great opportunity to display your cherished ride and meet other aficionados of your favorite marques.
I used to come down to show my Saab and hang out with the Saab contingent that makes it out every year. But even though I have a Subaru now, it’s just so much fun that I continue to make the trip to Carlisle (my WRX was parked over by the lone DeLorean, if you happened to be there). Volvo, BMW and Audi clubs also traditionally have a large showing so the weekend is packed with the cars you love, cars you haven’t seen before, your friends from the forums, barbeques – it’s a good time for everyone. So, if you’re not too far out from Pennsylvania, I definitely recommend heading out there next May to check out the Carlisle Import and Kit Nationals. To tide you over, provided for your viewing pleasure are some of my favorite cars of the weekend. Enjoy!
Apparently everything is bigger in the great state of Texas. This Nissan Titan’s got stick on chrome, two spoilers, window flares and 16 – count them – 16 exhaust ports. Nothing like going WAY over the top ehh…