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NOT a streetable hotrod?

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NOT a streetable hotrod?

Post by Reb Stew on January 23rd 2013, 7:36 am

I have heard people for years talk about how some cars are not true street cars. They are too radical and can't be driven daily. While that may hold true for some cars I think that some peoples use of the term is not what die hard gear heads use.

While having a built late model Camaro or Mustang is nice it's not what some traditionalist are into. Beside having a 2011 Mustang that runs 10 is nice but having over $90K in it to make it happen just seems crazy to me. I'm not knocking those guys. It's just not for me and my pockets are not that deep.

What I'm talking about is grass root hot rodding. Like a big block with a 4 speed and a gear or a 327 that is made to sing at high RPM's. Why is it people say these cars are not streetable? I have driven some pretty crazy stuff. Most guys would get around the cars or even drive it and flip out. How can you drive this thing??? I guess now a days with traction control, fuel injection and everything else it has made the modern day hot rodder a little soft.

The cars most of us drove was rough. When you drove them with a hot engine you had to know what you were doing. We learned from getting the crap scared out of ourselves on the weekends. I remember having cars that I put big cams in and no stall. Stand on the go pedal when you take off and have to shove your foot through the brake pedal to get it to stop. All while having to toss it in to neutral so the cam would not stall it out and having to grip the steering wheel to keep the not so well bled brakes from whipping you into another lane.

Remember when traction control was easing into the gas pedal or letting out of it if the tires went up in smoke. It was an art form. You could take a so so fast car and outrun a fast car if he got excited and stomped the gas pedal enough to roast the tires through 3 gears. While it may look cool you are not going very fast.

Look at Joe's 10 second Nova. While he laughs it off when I say it, it's one of the fastest street cars if not the fastest in town. While there are a couple that runs a little faster in the quarter how many of those have you seen do a long haul with us? NONE. Joe has. To me that is a true street driven 10 second car.

I got to thinking about this when I put the Fire Chicken back up. I drug it out of winter storage for a couple days. It wasn't warm but nicer than it had been. A little snow had fell. Not enough to do anything other than in the grass and corners. I thought to myself if I should start it or leave its sitting on the street. It's made to drive! I went out and hit the 140 GPH fuel pump. It primed the 2 carbs as soon as I hit it. Cranked the key and it fired for just a second and stopped. I pumped the pedal and hit the key. The big block roared to life. Blowing a dusting of snow up onto the windshield that had fell down through the hole in the hood. I eased into the gas pedal and run the RPM up to 2200 and held it there for a minute. Reved it up a couple times and dropped it in gear. The 4000 stall dragging it down the street. I have to say I was having fun. What started out as a trip back out to put it away ending up being a cruise around town with the header opened up just for fun.

While the old Bird is not as much as a handful as it use to be it's still pretty fast. 30 over 454 with a tunnel ram and big stall. Was it streetable?

YES!

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Re: NOT a streetable hotrod?

Post by Reb Stew on January 23rd 2013, 7:38 am

So what do you think? Are some of the hot rodders now a day spoiled? Are they driving their cars or is the car doing most of the work for them? It just leaves me wondering if they are getting the full effect of what a wicked car can do and how it can make them feel..

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Re: NOT a streetable hotrod?

Post by Nanook on January 23rd 2013, 4:06 pm

Ah well, here's my 2 cents...

Many hot rodders/musclecar types are into their 50s, 60s and 70, have a bit more disposable income and are tired of 'fighting' with how things were back in the day. Coupled with the awesome advances in drivetrains and fuel injection and it becomes easier and easier for many guys and gals to go 'plug and play' and tailor out all of the nuances of owning something that does not behave all that easily (or comfortably) on the street.

It's not a bad thing necessarily, really. But it does take a bit of the uniqueness out of the hobby at times...I mean, most folks, if they know your ride is a bit of a handful, are always impressed a smidge more simply because they realize that it's not just a 'hop in and drive' kind of ride. afro

If you can avoid building a rod that is a real handful then I say go for it...make it a bit easier to manage every time you twist the key. But in doing so you certainly lose a bit of that 'big for its' britches' allure that only an over-cammed, over geared and over powered ride can give you! Twisted Evil

Later,

Lee
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Re: NOT a streetable hotrod?

Post by dieseldr on January 24th 2013, 4:09 am

I can appreciate the time and effort somebody puts into a project that is "marginal" from a streetable standpoint- the tuning, parts replacement, headaches, $$$, all add up to more than most (most) people want to bear financially. But to see what that kind of effort and money can produce in the right hands is truly awesome, BUT- to have one of those cars is fine, honestly it comes down to (for me anyway) enjoying what you built, being able to drive it to an event an hour or two away without hesitation or a mortgage, and taking someone else's input with a smile. You guys keep building that ungodly HP stuff, someday I might do the same, but probably after I sell all my other stuff to be able to afford it. I'll take the fun times, and the easy cruisin' anytime.

I spent many years as a crisis management specialist for a paving contractor. Saw many times when the stress was SO great- "you know there are 27 trucks with hot asphalt waiting, each one has 21 ton on it, and the days wages of close to 300 people are depending on you making that thing run. No pressure here." Under those circumstances you can get real creative on how to make things work again. I don't need that kind of agenda anymore, either at my own hands or anyone elses. All my projects are to drive with reliability and fun in mind.

I have a close friend who has built alcohol chevy II's, 200 inch rails, 800 horse short box pickup's, he does an awesome job building HP, and overall just wonderful work on the entire vehicle. But I don't have to worry about my 15 gallon fuel cell running out of alcohol on a 12 mile trip to town and back. His stuff is to die for, but I can take my stuff about anywhere anyone would want to go- is my stuff better? Fat chance.... is his stuff better? in someone's eyes.... but he likes coming around my place regularly to see what I'm putting together next as much as I like watching the progress on his stuff. He prefers chevies, I lean toward the blue oval- but we both like all brands that show somebody truly cared what they were trying to do. Can't deal with "hot rod snobs". All for the sake of having fun. Our generation is about the tail end of that, it has been legislated (at least in NY) out of the reach of most young people today, and it is a shame..... sure we were hell on wheels with our old junk, but if we didn't hurt anybody, what was the difference. Compare it now to what the youth of today can get into-- it would be a little more acceptable (to me) if they could go back to when we grew up tearing up cars and "painting the road black".
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