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Photography by Studio Martone
“Man, I’m a farmer!” proclaims Denny Tonn. “What the heck am I doing with a car like this?” His restored and customized 1938 Chevrolet business coupe looks like a million bucks, but only because he spent five years and several industrial-sized cans of elbow grease to make it look that way.
Photography by Studio Martone
Don Barr is a Porsche guy. His 1983 Porsche won a National Preservation Award at the 1998 National Porsche Parade in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He used to race 944s on the weekends. And his good friend and former race crew chief Lenny Darr happens to be a Porsche mechanic.
As a child of the 1960s and early ’70s, Dean Michaels was raised around Detroit steel. For him, cars were as much a part of life as breathing. “Back then, everyone was into cars,” Dean told us. “Every year, my dad would take me to the dealerships and we’d look at the latest cars. They were always coming out with new, fast cars.”
For most gearheads, wintertime offers little more than bench racing and dreams of spring. But in the world of monster trucks—where racing happens almost year-round—the off-season lasts only from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. And if you’re part of Team BIGFOOT, that off-season is one of the busiest times of the year.
Steve Hallas’ friends thought he’d finally gone crazy when he dragged a 1959 Chevy Bel Air home a couple years ago. Compared to the other cars he had built (a 1957 Chevy, a 1969 Camaro Z28, and a 1967 Nova SS), the Bel Air was—well, different. “They asked me what I was doing. They said it was ugly and I had lost my mind,” says Steve.
Photography by Marc Braun
Marco Abruzzi’s drag racing career has changed a lot since he cut his first light at age 16. He’s gone from the basics—a driver’s license, a 1973 Camaro (which he still has), and raw talent—to a 1,250 horsepower 1968 Camaro, a wife and family, and his second IHRA eMax Top Sportsman World Championship in four seasons.
Photos by Studio Martone
Consider Ford’s venerable F-100 pickup. It’s been around for over 50 years. It’s been customized by vast legions of Blue Oval fans, most of them born long after it came out. According to our calculations, that means at about seven kajillion customizing ideas have been tried out on the Effie since 1953. The question is, what could anyone possibly do to the truck that’s fresh and original?
The 1949-52 Oldsmobile 88 is an American automotive icon. The car’s 303 cubic inch “Rocket” engine was one of GM’s first overhead valve, high-compression V8s (Cadillac had one in ’49 as well), making the Olds one of the fastest cars of the day. The Olds was also the subject of what many consider to be the first rock-and-roll song, “Rocket 88,” recorded by Jackie Brenston in 1951. Small wonder everyone wanted to “Make a Date with a Rocket 88" as the Oldsmobile ads of the day proclaimed.
Photography by Maguire Photographics
Have you ever had that uncanny feeling of someone’s—or something’s—presence? You can almost see it lurking around out of the corner of your eye, but when you turn to confront it, it’s gone.
It’s hard to get attention in the custom car racket these days. So many guys are building (or are having built) so many high-profile rides that you can hardly see the hot rod forest for the chrome and metal-flake trees.