SEMA 2015: 1965 Dodge Dart SL by Big Oak Garage

1965-dart-sl-profileHot Rodding may have begun in southern California, but the guys at Big Oak Garage in Hokes Bluff, Alabama have certainly perfected the craft. They have given the “Big Oak” treatment to this 1965 Dodge Dart, which I saw on display at the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

The car’s bright green and chrome look caught my attention right away! The color is actually a stock Mopar color called “Green With Envy,” which I thought was very cool. You don’t see too many of these cars around, especially at a show like SEMA which is dominated by pro-touring Camaro and Mustang builds. The Dart stands out, and in a good way. Continue reading

1959 Plymouth Belvedere w/Dodge Viper V10 Engine Swap

plymouth-belvedere-viper-engineOff the top of your head, what were some of the top supercars of the 1990s? The ones that come to my mind are: Jaguar XJ220, Lamborghini Diablo, Dodge Viper, and the McLaren F1. While all of them were iconic in their own right, only one of them has fallen into the sub-$40,000 range today: the Dodge Viper.

This depreciation has made the Viper’s V10 engine an attractive option for people looking to do an unusual engine swap. People like the owner of this 1959 Belvedere, for example.

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SEMA 2014: Radial Engine Swapped Chevy Truck

radial-engine-pickup-sema-2014-frontThe idea of putting an airplane engine into a car is certainly not new. The guys from Blastolene have done it, and there was an episode of Top Gear where Jeremy Clarkson recreated the Battle of Britain with two larger-than-life airplane-powered vehicles (a 27-liter Spitfire-engined Bentley and “Brutus,” 46-liter BMW aircraft-engined custom build).

However, this enterprising hot rodder has put a completely new spin on the idea of an aircraft-engine swap into an automobile. What we have here is a 1967 Chevrolet C10 pickup with a radial engine which looks completely wild!
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SEMA 2014: 1967 Volvo Amazon ‘Swedish Ops’

1967-volvo-amazon-profileThe Ultimate Street Car Invitational is an annual shootout put together by Optima Batteries, where drivers can put their street-legal cars to the test. It’s no surprise that many of the contestants are performance cars such as Mustangs, Camaros, and Corvettes. These cars are widely supported with many aftermarket and performance parts available. In this way, Robert Jackson’s 1967 Volvo Amazon truly stands out from the crowd!

With a car like this, there is next to no aftermarket support in terms of performance. If you want to change suspension parts or build up the motor, you will find yourself making a lot of custom brackets and adapters, drilling and modifying parts to fit, and other issues that most people would rather not deal with. Continue reading

SEMA 2014: Car Fix 1971 Chevrolet Camaro

1971-camaro-stabil-rearBuilding a custom car is an exciting project because it gives the owner a chance to personalize it with their own style. The choice of color, wheels, and any performance modifications will reflect the personality of the owner – and no two owners seem to share the same tastes. That’s why I found it odd that STA-BIL 360 had this custom 1971 Chevrolet Camaro as a grand prize in their booth at SEMA 2014.

The car was built by Jared Zimmerman and Lou Santiago from the TV show Car Fix on the Velocity Network. Working 12 hours a day for almost five months, these guys transformed a 1971 Camaro into a powerful custom street machine. The value of the car has been appraised at $98,000 dollars. Continue reading

SEMA 2014: Wilwood Brakes 1966 Ford Mustang

wilwood-mustang-frontI caught a glimpse of this red hot 1966 Ford Mustang on display at the Wilwood Brakes booth at SEMA 2014. As you can tell, this pony car is healthy as a horse!

This car has been completely transformed from a regular passenger car to a street machine. It was a contestant in the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational, which took place alongside SEMA 2014 in Las Vegas.

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PPE 1970 Chevelle Duramax 6.6L Swap with Twin Turbos

ppe-1970-chevelle-duramax-swap-profileWhen it comes to muscle cars, swapping out the engine is a great way to get more power. But you won’t find a 350, 383, or even a 454 cubic inch engine under the hood of this 1970 Chevelle. That’s because it’s powered by a 6.6L (403 cid) Chevrolet Duramax engine. That’s right, a diesel-powered muscle car!

As if that weren’t wild enough, the car also sports a custom twin turbo setup with two Garrett T-38R turbos pushing 30lbs of boost into the motor. Altogether, this little Chevelle makes 950 HP and 1,800 lb-ft of torque!

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1988 Chrysler Conquest TSI with Chevy LS1 V8 Swap

1988-chrysler-conquest-tsi-ls1-v8-sideWhen you take an ordinary car and do an engine swap, it transforms the car into something cool. When you take a car that’s already cool and do an engine swap, that makes it badass!

At SEMA 2014, I saw this Chrysler Conquest TSI lined up for the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational. It belongs to John Lazorack of Lazorack Motorsports. As you can tell, this is no ordinary Conquest – this one is powered by an LS1 engine from a 2002 Corvette!

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