Much like the Mexican food I devoured a few hours ago, the Hot Rod Power Tour is back, and bigger and badder than ever. Although, unlike the Mexican food I ate, the Power Tour is even better the second time around. This was the second time in as many years that the Power Tour returned to Arlington, TX having ended last year’s edition in this very city. And Mothers is back, ready to show you everything that goes down on the world’s wildest road trip party.
According to our resident walking Wiki-Super Salesman, Forrest Tosie, our Big Rig, Pete was manufactured in nearby Denton. It appears that Arlington is a bit of a homecoming for Pete. Maybe that’s why so many Power Tourers stopped by today during the Kick Off Party.
Or it could have been our free giveaways, product demos and Power Tour t-shirts.
Yes, our t-shirts are that cool. Look at how excited our events manager, Jonathan Stone is. These shirts made him show us his “O face.” Now that I’ve seen it, I’ll never be the same again.
Of course, our Mothers presence is nothing without our cool cars. We brought our ZR14MOM again this year.
Joining it for the first time is our ever-controversial, love-it-or-hate-it Mustang RTR Spec 3 (sans carbon fiber splitter to improve upon its Power Touring agility).
Our friend, champion drifter, Vaughn Gittin Jr. let us borrow one of his Mustang RTR Spec 2s again this year. Last year our own Shane Christman drove this for a couple days and it left quite the impression on him, much like the impressions he left on the seat.
With a pair of blue ovals we needed another bowtie to join our ZR1 and what better choice than another Corvette. This one is a very special Grand Sport built by Brian Thompson.
This Grand Sport makes 750hp to the wheels with absolutely no power adders.
Here’s our pair of Power Tour twins at rest.
Our own Jim Holloway is on Tour again and he always takes the time to talk to a fellow Power Tourer. As much as he likes to listen he looks like his mind is elsewhere here, perhaps he’s already dreaming about driving the Grand Sport. This will not end well.
To give Jim some company way, way, way up ahead on the road our dear friend Charlie Lillard is back on Tour. This year Charlie brought his ’67 Camaro that Mark Stielow built and drove to the overall win at last year’s Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational. Somewhere tucked perfectly under the skin of that ’67 is a complete ZR-1 powertrain!
This clean Chevelle SS joined us again as one of our Mothers Polish display vehicles.
Our support vehicles for this year are two rather executive looking and quite formidable Chevy SUVs. They can’t be formidable enough for my taste since I’ll be riding with Ken “Krashy” Holland.
If I gotta go, why not go in style? I suggested that if we must ride in a four-door GM product, why can’t it be something like this? If my life must flash before my eyes (as any road trip with Ken demands), this would make for a great projector. Total thug life gangster. Sadly, my request was denied.
My request to have Shane push me around in this Radio Flyer Higher was also denied. After which Ken and Shane strongly suggested that I go take some pictures…
Which I totally did! Check me out, I’m so artsy.
Our friend Rich Waitas from Magnaflow helped create the “Revolver” here. The individual mufflers actually revolve, like the chambers in a handgun. Insano! Don’t bogart whatever it was that you were on when you came up with this concept, Rich.
Tim “Skyskrape” Katz of Tap Out is on Tour this year and he brought his ’66 Nova wagon to display at the Magnaflow rig.
Skyskrape’s Nova is stuffed all full of LS3 that gets 850hp worth of grunt courtesy of a Turbonetics 76mm GT-K turbo. May I please tap out now?
I need to go to my happy place after seeing that scary Nova. Fortunately for me, Miss Magnaflow, Amanda Landry awaits me in my happy place. Every. Single. Night (that wasn’t creepy at all, was it?).
This Camaro is called “Showbread” and it’s owned by Keith Echols. Pratt & Miller Restorations and Specialty Vehicles (yes, the same crew that campaigns the infamous ALMS Corvettes and Cadillacs) built this ‘73 and it features a 630hp ZR1 engine mated to a 4L80E auto box. The wheels are Formula 43 customs and the rubber is BFG gForce KDW. Browny’s Customs did the bodywork and paint.
Our friend Murray Pfaff of Pfaff Designs brought his 1959 Chrysler Imperial Speedster, which looks unlike any Imperial I’ve ever seen. It took some 10,000 man-hours over three years for Murray to complete the radical transformation and the end result is positively stunning.
Even something as simple as a wheel is re-envisioned by Murray.
Sydney Weaver’s 1950 Chevy is named “Boost” and it is another Murray Pfaff vision. This one features a roadster profile, one-off speedster-style windshield, modified grille, splitter-style front pan, custom rear-end treatment, quarter ducts and more. A supercharged 383 powers the Chevy while an Airlift Performance Suspension controls the ride height.
Pratt & Miller also built Tim DeFoor’s ’69 Camaro. The supercharged LSA makes 630hp and our friends at HRE supplied the wheels.
Albeit a very clean example, this BMW E30 M3 looked somewhat out of place on the Power Tour…
Until you got a glimpse of the LS3 that replaced the high-revving, two-liter S14.
Fram brought what looked like a relatively innocuous ’71 Dart...
That becomes so much more scandalous when you see the turbocharged 2JZ-GTE inline six from a Supra. It’s blasphemy! Sweet, sexy blasphemy.
This ’73 Trans Am is pumped up with Year One flares and coated in Brewster Green paint. The 18-inch Year One wheels are mounted with BFGoodrich KDW tires. The fancy footwork is rounded out with the addition of a DSE suspension with Koni coilovers and Eibach springs and Baer 6S six-piston calipers and 14-rotors.
The Trans Am also received a Chevrolet Performance LS7 crate engine stuffed with 8.5:1 Mahle pistons, which are all the better to handle the custom-fabricated Turbonetics twin-turbo system designed by Year One and Ghostworks Garage. Our friends at Bowler Performance provided the 4L80E transmission that helps this TA put down 780hp to the wheels!
Year One always features the cleanest cars and this ’69 Mustang was another fine example. The exterior was treated to Year One custom front and rear valance panels and Year One custom aluminum front and rear bumpers. Flush mounted side scoops, extended rocker panels, shaved drip rails, modified quarter panel extensions and a ’67 Mustang tail panel. The custom hood scoop covers the Ford Racing 5.4L supercharged SVT crate engine that makes 550hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. The stainless steel headers are Year One custom jobbers with two-inch primaries and three-inch collectors that lead to a custom 2.5-inch Magnaflow exhaust. The transmission is a Promotion Powertrain Tremec TR-600. The Griggs Racing GR350 Track Suspension features Koni coilovers and Billet spindles with a torque arm, panhard bar and subframe connectors The Baer six-piston brakes bite down on 14-inch rotors and the Forgeline DE3P wheels are wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport rubber.
Lots of Lingenfelter love on display with our friends from Bowler Performance.
Our friends at Bowler are also holding a drawing to award a custom Mothers/Bowler collabo detail bag.
Holley brought this silver stunner on Tour.
Complete with one of their finest Holley carbs on top. Just like the lemon to the lime and the cherry on a sundae.
I don’t think it gets any better than American Racing’s classic Torq Thrust II.
I stand corrected. It doesn’t get any better than American Racing’s classic Torq Thrust II delivered by this young lady. With a beer and a tuna fish sandwich. Hey, this is my fantasy. Don’t judge me.
George Toscano Jr. and his wife Karen brought out this blue ’41 Plymouth Sedan. The tribute to the King, Richard Petty is evident by the color and the door number, but purists may decry his choice of powerplant.
It’s a Ford 502 with a Tremec TKO five-speed. George said he didn’t want to fuss with the funky fuel pump on the ’41 and he adds that King Richard drove a Ford in addition to his Mopar. Whatever helps you sleep at night, George.
Speaking of the King Richard Petty, he brought out this Challenger convertible coated in his signature blue.
While I’m on the subject of NASCAR royalty, check this one out. The GM Design Center built this ’70 Chevelle for Dale Earnhardt Jr. It was the first of it’s kind to use a reproduction body (which means it looks original only with less rust and wrinkles). Wheels are Camaro Track Pack numbers, wrapped with Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires, and the re-skinned front buckets also came from the Camaro.
Junior’s Chevrolet Performance LSA 6.2L mill makes 556hp and 551lb-ft of torque and it even comes with a Chevy part number (19211708 if you care to know).
This is truly life imitating art. Forty-four years after Hot Wheels produced it’s first “Custom Camaro” Chevrolet Performance created this full-sized version. While the Spectraflame-inspired Kinetic Blue paint and custom 18-inch wheels with redline accents might recall the classic Camaro Hot Wheeler, the powerplant is a different beast altogether.
The all-new, emissions-compliant LS3 E-Rod Connect and Cruise crate powertrain system is cutting edge with its 430hp LS engine and 4L65 four-speed automatic.
Also appearing in the Chevy Performance area were the legendary Miss Linda Vaughn and TV personality (and supreme hottie) Courtney Hansen.
The Lucas Oil dyno rollers were spinning all day long.
The Edelbrock rig was packed all day.
Probably because the aftermarket powerhouse is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.
And also because the man himself, Vic Edelbrock Jr. was in the house.
This year’s MSD Power Tour entry is a bit on the minimalistic side.
Casey Currie brought his short course off road race truck to this year’s Power Tour. Yes, the air cleaner is on the dash. Mid engine much?
Currie Enterprises has some of the sweetest rear ends this side of Ken Holland’s firm apple of a hiney.
The Chevy Performance Motor Medics were busy before the Tour even started!
Today I met my new heroes from the Budapest Speed Shop in Houston, TX of all places. They imported this Trabant 601 S from Budapest, Hungary in order to do what they call the “Low Power Tour.” The little East German that could was built up for rally racing with a modified engine, suspension and full roll cage.
According to the BSS website (unsaferacing.com) the Trabant has an “air cooled, two cylinder, two stroke engine with a 650cc displacement and makes 26hp. The six-gallon tank is under the hood, and it's gravity fed. No fuel pump, no water pump, no camshaft, no radiator, no timing belt, or timing chain. Has two coils, and you need to mix the gas when refueling.” Seems legit.
This is the previous owner, Barna Kovary. Apparently he’s like the Rutledge Wood of Hungary. At the Trabant’s final rally, the Monte Carlo Historique race Barna was running well and passing all manner of exotic hardware when the tiny carb froze in the chilly temps. Barna manned up and urinated on the carb to thaw it out and get it working again. I want to party with these guys on the Power Tour.
This 1955 Morris Minor Series II Traveller is owned and built by Zach and Libby Merrill of Greenville, SC. The car was wrecked and stored in a Missouri barn in 1968 until they saved it in 1999.
The Morris woodie still retains its original engine. All 803cc of it.
It just so happens that Zach Merrill works in Michelin’s Tweel Technology department. Tweels are currently only made for skid steer loaders but Michelin will make them available for other applications in the very near future and he obtained special permission to adapt them to his little British woodie for the Power Tour long haul. Yes, Zach and Libby are going all the way on these Tweels!
Bob and Linda Corbitt’s 1940 Chevy two-passenger business coupe with a 235ci engine and three-speed transmission.
Two hundred and thirty five cubic inches of Chevy awesomeness.
With a sled and a surfboard this one looks ready for any sort of weather the Tour will throw at us this year. I think Child Protective Services might take issue with the hood prop though.
This blown ’67 Nova can be yours for the buy-it-now price of $64,500.
This ’68 is what could best be described as a bitchin’ Camaro.
Unless something like this is more your speed. I had a Patrick Nagel print in my dorm room that looked something like this. Again, don’t judge me.
Robert Wilder built this gold 1957 Chevy 210 Delray coupe in a car port in Palmetto, FL. The 427 makes 675hp helped by a blower, methyl alcohol injection, nitrous and roller thumper cam and a TCI transmission.
One of the best things about Power Tour are the tailgate parties at every stop.
This guy took it to another level with a Hot Rod Power Tour acronym license tag.
But my favorite tailgater is this homeboy with a working V8 grill in the back of Chevy stepside.
Is there anything that says America more than this?
Okay, maybe this.
Scratch that. Here it is. ‘Murica, eff yeah!
A study of contrasting Chevys over the years.
And the contrasting colors of Chevys across the generations.
Here’s a stark contrast.
And another Chevy compare and contrast.
What about this? To rust or not to rust, that is the question.
Ford vs. Chevy. New vs. old. Classic vs. contemporary.
Here are some wings and things.
I want to interrupt my Power Tour coverage to bring you this picture of Miss Painless Performance, Veronica Jensen. Just because. Hi, Veronica. Hi.
I thought for sure that this was a Texas truck when it rolled into the University of Texas campus parking lot.
Louisiana? I stand corrected, my good sir.
This is classic Power Tour. A laid back roadster with flames on Halibrand style wheels.
And here comes the Pro Touring invasion. First gen Camaro with Baer brakes, forged alloy wheels and Michelin tires.
Our boys from Illinois are back! And I still owe them some beer after betting against them making it all the way two years ago. These guys rule.
One of my favorite long hauler commemorations.
Some prefer to show their love with a flag.
Or a decal.
While some decals are more commemorative than others. Happy birthday, Braxton!
Jim Fleischman drove his 1948 Desoto Custom all the way from Buffalo, NY. By the looks of it he hasn’t washed it since ’48.
Doyle Tunison’s blue 1950 Ford Coupe with a 302.
Paul and Renee Hollis from Albuquerque, NM brought this 1986 Chevy Caprice four-door Super Stepside with a 350 crate engine, 700R transmission and GMC Pewter and Chocolate Metallic paint by Jerry Vigil. While I can admire the craftsmanship that went into this build it looks somewhat awkward from the front. Perhaps the rear looks more appealing.
Okay, maybe not.
Jerry and Margaret Hickey’s red 1971 Chevelle wagon earns its SS badges with a 2009 5.3L engine and a 4L65E transmission.
Another classic wagon, this one a Ford Country Squire.
Very OG surf stickers on this wagon.
These wagon owners matched their classic wagon with classic luggage. Though I’ll need to deduct points for using a blue ABS ice bucket instead of a metal cooler. For shame!
Look at this hood ornament. What a jackass.
Scott Muse’s1970 Chevy C-10.
The 350 is augmented with a 6-71 Weiand blower and a TKO-600 transmission.
Brian Kilgore’s beautiful 1962 Impala is fitted with an LS-2 swap.
That is a fine ’59 Impala indeed.
I’ll give this guy credit for caring for his ride on the Power Tour although I’d like him a lot more if he used a Mothers Polish Microfiber Ultra-Soft Polishing Cloth. Haha, Just kidding. But seriously, next time I see you, you had better be using one of our cloths or else I’ll make you ride shotgun with Ken for one leg.
The “Goin’ Postal US Male Sirvice Truck” was a crowd favorite.
Complete with T4 turbocharged LS motor.
MG complete with flames and…
A few more cylinders.
Power Tour Long Haulers like to boast about the comfort and ease-of-use that their cars display on these long treks.
I doubt this guy will be able to make such a claim with his roof-free interior. Look, license plate floorboards! Just cheesin’ indeed.
Something was amiss with this clean Ford.
Although is it really so wrong to put a Chevy mill in a Ford chassis anymore?
1951 Hudson Hornet is fabulous.
The Twin H-Power unit was a dealer option and featured two one-barrel carbs and cast-iron intake and exhaust manifolds.
Gives new meaning to the term “ordering to go.”
Saw these four eyes last year at Arlington. Twin BDS blowers wedged into a C-10 truck.
Buffed bare metal vs. matte black.
Here’s the back of the bare metal Thriftmaster van.
This one looks like it will make for an exhilarating long haul.
Because fenders are overrated.
The window graphics on Darrell Passer’s Chevy could best be described as whimsical. I would be tempted to add more whimsy in the form of puppies and free candy. What? Too much?
Continental is beginning to support the Power Tour and the tire giant is looking into adding more sizes for the hot rod market. I vote for something along the lines of these Mickey Thompson meats on this Camaro.
No wonder the tires are so phat. Look at that motor. I especially love the “Prosweet” valve cover.
El Diablo es muy caliente.
Actually this is more my style.
By midday a quick storm rolled through drenching everything.
But the sun reappeared in time for our own Forrest Tosie to take the stage with a weather report and some Mothers giveaways.
Forrest and Joe talked.
And the audience was on the edge of their seats.
Then Forrest gave away some great Mothers goodies.
And then he talked some more.
The Power Tour will officially kick off tomorrow where we’ll travel from Arlington to Texarkana, AR.
If I make it back alive after a day with Krashy Holland then there will be more daily blog posts to come!
Remember you can’t wax off without waxing on first.
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