40 YEARS AGO

Hot Rod - - Roddin’@ Random -

Au­gust 1978 (116 pages, $1.25): Ig­nor­ing ner­vous fac­tory ex­ec­u­tives, our lead­footed staff showed no mercy to a trio of pre­pro­duc­tion 1979 Fox-bod­ies in ex­clu­sive early test­ing at Ford’s Michi­gan prov­ing grounds. The en­gi­neers were re­warded this month with glow­ing re­views of the TRX-equipped Mus­tang and Capri hatch­backs. Be­lated apolo­gies for mis­lead­ing readers with a Car­roll Shelby in­set; nei­ther an in­ter­view nor a turbo-four-banger Cobra ap­peared in­side, though staffer Bruce Cald­well did re­cap the man’s ca­reer in a dis­ap­point­ing Hot Rod Her­itage Se­ries in­stall­ment con­tain­ing zero di­rect quotes. Four suc­cess­ful bracket rac­ers shar­ing driv­ing se­crets in­cluded 18-year-old Chad Lang­don. Much later, the kid would pass along his win­ning genes to son Shawn, NHRA’s 2013 Top Fuel cham­pion.

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