There’s something for everyone in this issue, from Ardun and injected nailhead-powered hot rods to traditional taildraggers, ‘60s drag racing, and coverage of the 2nd Annual Rodder’s Journal Revival. We wanted to give you a peek inside the issue and remind you to click here to start or renew your subscription today.
The subscriber cover features George Poteet’s 425 Buick-powered ’34 Ford three-window. It’s the latest to roll out of Dave Lane’s FastLane Rod Shop in Donohue, Iowa. The coupe has been sliced, chopped, and tweaked from stem to stern to achieve the perfect proportions Dave’s become known for. And the polished mag-style wheels, Hugger Orange paint, and white-coated headers and exhaust give it a distinctly ’60s vibe. We asked Dave to weigh in and provide some firsthand perspective on the project, and we think you’ll find what he has to say pretty interesting.
Blaze of Glory
On the newsstand cover is the notorious “Magic Muffler” Fuel Altered originally campaigned by Jim Miles in the mid-’60s. Most remember the famous images of the Magic Muffler Fiat sacrificing its blown Hemi in a spectacular explosion at Lions Drag Strip. But that was just one moment in Jim Miles’ Fuel Altered racing career. Our story delves into his history and that of the purple Fiat. The original car is long gone, but it has been faithfully recreated by drag racing fanatic Bill Corbett. We photographed Corbett’s clone in our studio to showcase it alongside historic images of the original car.
New Panoramic Ford
In 1951, Sam Barris chopped the top and created the signature hardtop roofline of Buster Litton’s “Panoramic Ford.” Over 60 years later a Swedish machinist and customizer named Andreas Aberg has recreated that iconic custom profile in his ’50 Ford two-door sedan. Not quite a clone, Andreas’ shoebox pays tribute to Litton’s famous custom while incorporating a myriad of subtle design deviations. The result is an instantly identifiable yet undeniably unique traditional custom car.
The 2nd Annual Rodder’s Journal Revival
Last summer we hosted the 2nd Annual Rodder’s Journal Revival in Baltimore, Maryland. Hundreds of hot rods and customs cruised the streets of the picturesque waterfront city and Pimlico Race Course, where the show is held. Noted automotive journalist and Rodder’s Digest founder Gerry Burger was among the participants, so we asked him to put his thoughts about the event into words for our feature. Along with Gerry’s take on the show, we have a dozen pages of event photography capturing the cars of the Revival at Pimlico, on Baltimore’s waterfront streets, and rumbling down the rural back roads of Maryland.
Rod Run Special
Longtime hot rodder and Lokar Performance Products founder Skip Walls has been cruising in his slammed Deuce phaeton for 10 years. It’s an original steel car that started life in Argentina. Skip found it in Florida after it underwent an extensive restoration. And then he cut it up. The result is a resto-rod of the finest order. Our story takes a look at the history of foreign-built ’32 Fords, how this particular Deuce became the stunning hot rod it is today, and the equally circuitous path Skip took on his way to becoming a respected name in hot rodding.
We also take a look at the prolific and incredibly creative hot rod building career of Barrington, Illinois’ Cotton Werksman. Cotton is a talented machinist and fabricator, and over the years he has built more Ardun-powered hot rods than anyone we know. Penned by his good friend Spence Murray, our feature chronicles his history, from his early ‘32s to a series of T-buckets and the wild, mid-engine, space frame creations he began building in the 1970s.
Painting Metal Making Noise
We’ve long been fans of Tom Fritz’ paintings. Tom’s been particularly busy lately, and we wanted to check in with him and have a look at some of his more recent work. His focus on post-war hot rodding has expanded to include ’60s drag racing. And last year he was commissioned by the United States Postal Service to create a series of muscle car themed paintings that were used on 120 million stamps worldwide. We talked with Tom about what it was like to work with the post office, and about the inspiration for a selection of his new paintings.
Mike Ditty was an amateur photographer who spent many afternoons roaming the pits of Southern California’s drag strips in the mid- to late-‘60s. Unfortunately very little is known about Mike, but his photographs provided a candid look into some of the most exciting and innovative times in drag racing’s history. It was an era when Willys Gassers could be seen in the pits alongside state-of-the-art Funny Cars, and Fuel Altereds still wowed crowds with unpredictable, lightning-fast passes down the quarter mile.