Dick Scritchfield, at the time Car Craft’s associate editor, made a swing through the upper Midwest in late 1966 and banked quite a few stories for Car Craft issues to come. One of his many stops was at the Nickey Chevrolet dealership in Chicago, where he documented one of the earliest 427 engine conversions into the then-brand-new ’67 Camaro.
The 500-acre motorsports complex that is Daytona International Speedway opened 60 years ago, with NASCAR’s first Daytona 500 taking place on February 22, 1959. But the history of racing at Daytona Beach goes back much further, to the beginnings of the 20th century, when automotive and racing pioneers (including Ransom E. Olds and Henry Ford) used the hard-packed sand between the Ormand and Daytona beaches to look for the extreme limits of performance. Land-speed records were set in Florida as a record-run venue in the ’30s, long before the discovery of the Bonneville Salt Flats.
In January, George Poteet’s 1936 Ford, nicknamed the 3-Penny Roadster, was voted America’s Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) at the 70th annual Grand National Roadster Show. Its subtle styling changes and impeccable workmanship by the crew at Pinkee’s Rod Shop in Windsor, Colorado, were accented by a subdued, warm-gray paint job meant to evoke chocolate milk. The color was the inspiration for the hot rod’s name, as that’s what the creamy treat cost when Poteet was growing up.
The December 2018 RM Sotheby’s auction at the Petersen Automotive Museum made headlines for the $22 million paid for a ’56 Ferrari 290 MM—a race car with provenance that included such notable pilots as Juan Manual Fangio, Phil Hill and Stirling Moss. Parked just a few feet away from that historic prancing horse during the auction’s preview was another ’50s icon: a ’32 Ford known as the Lloyd Bakan coupe.
While he’s best known for the camshafts and valvetrain products bearing his name, Bruce Crower has applied his innovative thinking to address performance issues of all kinds.
In this rare color photograph from the Petersen Publishing Company photo archive, Connie Swingle pulls the front wheels in Ed Pink’s Old Master Top Fuel dragster at the 1966 NHRA Winternationals.
Ask anyone about the history of the dune buggy and the first name most likely to come up will be Bruce Meyers and his famous Volkswagen-powered Meyers Manx. Yet there’s another branch of the Manx family tree with yet another famous off-roader’s name attached to it.
After its humble beginnings in Dodger Stadium, the High Performance and Custom Trade Show changed venues for its second edition, moving to the spacious Anaheim Convention Center in January 1968. The exhibitor count grew from 100 or so the year before to nearly 150, their 200-plus tables taking up half of the convention center’s 100,000-sq.-ft. floor space.
This month’s headline was a cover blurb on the January 1960 issue of Car Craft magazine. Then, as now, performance enthusiasts wanted to keep their cars from running afoul of local law enforcement agencies and their sometimes-vague excessive noise guidelines.
It was such an outrageous sum to pay for a customized car in 1955 that Motor Trend used the $25,000 price tag as the main blurb for its May issue. Inside, a story called “Gold in the Streets” featured comments from “a group of people” who were shown photos of the custom car and asked for their opinions. About half the group “admired the car in general while the other half varied down the line toward outright dislike,” said the story’s author, Al Kidd. “Must have been built for Ava Gardner,” said one admirer, while a less generous soul said the car was built “for show and blow rather than utility.”