In 1958, Ford introduced the FE V8 engine series, named for its intended use in Ford and Edsel passenger cars. Vic Edelbrock Sr., who built his namesake speed equipment business engineering parts for Ford’s Flathead V8, “took an immediate interest in the new Ford engine,” said Hot Rod’s Ray Brock. So did Edelbrock’s customers, who asked about the engine’s power potential and modifications needed to get there. Edelbrock bought an Edsel version of the FE, measuring 361 ci and rated at 303 hp and 405 lb.-ft. of peak torque, and embarked on a series of tests to see just what the engine was capable of. He invited Brock to cover the tests, which resulted in a two-part series, “Full House for ’58 Fords,” in the August and September 1958 issues.
Living Legend: Ed Iskenderian laurap Thu, 06/01/2023 - 15:27
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As Ed Iskenderian recalls it, he wasn’t at the meeting in 1963 in which industry members gathered to name officers for their new trade organization. So they decided to appoint him president of the (then) Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association.Jeffries’ Turning Point chads Mon, 05/01/2023 - 19:45
Throughout much of the ’50s and into the early ’60s, Dean Jeffries earned a reputation as a premier pinstriper, painter and airbrush artist, applying his craft to media as varied as sweatshirts, Indianapolis race cars and James Dean’s infamous “Little Bastard” Porsche. His ambitions went beyond artwork, though. By 1963, he wanted to create an entire custom car, something that would push his career in a whole new direction. Inspiration came from watching sea life on a trip to Seattle, where a manta ray caught his eye.Moving On chads Sat, 04/01/2023 - 13:47
2023 marks the 100th anniversary of Carroll Shelby’s birth. The milestone will be celebrated in a number of ways, from a Centennial-Edition Mustang by Shelby American to a tribute to his life and cars at the Goodwood Revival in England this fall.Ford-A-Dome chads Wed, 02/01/2023 - 08:39
“Packed with husky new overheads, the typical street rods of today are high-tailed and handsome.” That’s how Hot Rod editors began a story in the November 1956 issue called “Now and Then,” contrasting rod-building trends of the past and present. This car, Dick Phillips’ ’49 Ford, was chosen to represent the “now” side of the coin.The Tales Your Tire Treads Tell jasonc Tue, 01/31/2023 - 10:42
“The study of tread wear is as important to a mechanic as the study of fingerprints to a detective.” So wrote SAE engineer Ed Packer to open a February 1959 Hot Rod technical article about interpreting tire tread wear. By “watching your treads,” Packer stated, “you can keep your roadster or family sedan safer and more comfortable. As a bonus, you will cut operating costs.”The Birth of Hot Rod Magazine chads Sun, 01/01/2023 - 19:17
The young man on the floor, Speed Graphic camera in hand, is Robert E. Petersen, circa 1946–1947. Barely in his 20s, Petersen had returned to Los Angeles after serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He wanted to get his job back at MGM Studios, where he had worked in the publicity department. But with so many veterans looking to do the same, MGM couldn’t employ them all, and Petersen was caught up in a round of layoffs. He and another vet in the same situation, Robert Lindsay, decided to form their own PR agency, the Hollywood Publicity Associates. Among their first clients was the Southern California Timing Association.Show-Go Machine chads Thu, 12/01/2022 - 11:29
Hot Rod magazine’s October 1959 cover car, a 1923 Model T called Grasshopper, “was one car that shouldn’t ever have to wear a body,” said Eric Rickman, who shot the feature in March 1959. “It covers the best part!” This unpublished outtake shows off why Rickman felt that way—in addition to capturing builders John Geraghty and John Crawford as they prep the car for the camera.Behind the Scenes at the First SEMA Show chads Tue, 11/01/2022 - 14:18
Fifty-five years ago, during a cold and blustery week in early January 1967, 120 members of the performance aftermarket manned 98 booths on the Stadium Club level of Dodger Stadium for what was billed as the First Annual High Performance and Custom Trade Show. More than 3,000 people attended the show and took part in numerous activities set up to complement the event, from an exhibitor’s banquet held at the famous Coconut Grove nightclub inside the Ambassador Hotel to guided tours of the area’s many performance parts manufacturers.The Spirit of the 1956 Championship Drags chads Sat, 10/01/2022 - 17:01
Over Labor Day weekend in 1956, the NHRA held its second-ever National Championship Drags, drawing 352 entrants “representing most of the 48 states and some prime winners who came from British Columbia and Hawaii” to a year-old dragstrip in Kansas City, Missouri. “Cars of every type and description gathered in the huge, expanded pit area at KC; each crew intent on taking home top honors in its class,” reported Hot Rod in its November 1956 issue.