People, Places & Racing News

HRIA Pinewood Builder's Challenge Participants Art Morrison, Kerry Hopperstad Talk About Their Cars

The vehicles featured in the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) Builder's Challenge during July's SEMA Pinewood Drag Races will soon be made available for auction through eBay. Proceeds raised through the auction will benefit Childhelp and the Victory Junction Camp. But before these carefully crafted masters of the metal dragstrip find new homes, SEMA eNews talked to builders Keith Kaucher and Brent Vandervort to uncover their motivation for making these pinewood cars special.

All of the vehicles featured in the Builder's Challenge will be on display in the HRIA booth at the 2011 SEMA Show. New builders and their vehicles will be included each week in SEMA eNews. Featured this week are Art Morrison of Art Morrison Enterprises
and Kerry Hopperstad of Hopperstad Customs. 

Art Morrison Enterprises Pinewood

Art Morrison, Art Morrison Enterprises

SEMA eNews: Why did you decide to get involved and become a HRIA Pinewood Builder’s Challenge participant?

Art Morrison: Besides being somewhat competitive, I like working with my hands whether it’s on a full-size car or miniature. And it’s for a great cause.

SEMA eNews: Did you race Pinewood when you were younger?

Art Morrison: No. But when [my son] Craig was in Cub Scouts, we did one together. That was about 28 years ago.

SEMA eNews: What was the inspiration for your build?

Art Morrison: It's based on a roadster race car chassis that we built in the ’90s for running Super Gas at NHRA events.

SEMA eNews: What was the major challenge in completing the build?

Art Morrison: To make it as accurate as possible in a 1:18 scale. This keeps it within the size limits required.

SEMA eNews:
What are the details of the build that you would like potential bidders to know?

Art Morrison:
The seat is carved out of the only piece of pine used on the car, and the 9-in. rear is made out of .030 sheetmetal and filled with lead to add weight. The engine is an 18th scale blown SOHC, and it is also filled with lead. The front spindles and rear axles are all .060 in diameter, and the nuts that hold the wheels on are 0–80 in size. The final weight is 12¾ oz.; to make it heavier would have hurt the overall look, and aesthetics play a fairly big role in the finished car. 

Hopperstad Customs Pinewood

Kerry Hopperstad, Hopperstad Customs

SEMA eNews: Why did you decide to get involved and become a HRIA Pinewood Builder’s Challenge participant? 

Kerry Hopperstad: It was fun to build on a small scale. And it's for a great cause—Victory Junction Camp.

SEMA eNews: Did you race Pinewood when you were younger?

Kerry Hopperstad: No.

SEMA eNews: What was the inspiration for your build?

Kerry Hopperstad: A love for old dirt track cars of the ’30s.

SEMA eNews: What was the major challenge in completing the build?

Kerry Hopperstad: Making the rims for the wheels.

SEMA eNews: What are the details of the build that you would like potential bidders to know? 

Kerry Hopperstad: I did use the block that was supplied in the kit.

All of the HRIA Builder's Challenge vehicles will be on display in HRIA's council booth at the 2011 SEMA Show. More details on the auction will be available in upcoming issues of SEMA eNews. For more information, contact Zane Clark at zanec@sema.org.