Just Drive It!
My daily driver is a boring Home Depot truck. It’s that mid-2000s, white, 5.3L Silverado with the extra-cab half-door and a longbed that you see everywhere. Go to Home Depot this weekend if you want to see 50 of them parked in a row.
The reason I am telling you this is because my other two vehicles are something you might be interested in and represent a shift in car culture. First is a 1971 Dodge Demon. It’s what used to be called Pro Street or a door car, but now it would be described as a nice—but slow—version of a big-tire no-prep or grudge car. It’s on 31/13.0s with a four-link and has an EFI twinturbo 6.4L Hemi that makes 1,000 hp.
The Demon is square in the center of the shift from high-dollar paint jobs applied by a celebrity artist, which it has, to simple monochrome or even a regression to primer for big- and small-tire cars we’re seeing on No Mercy and Cash Days vids on YouTube. The Demon is glossy and fast, and plunders the awards and attention at the local car show, but is too much of a beauty queen to get any street cred after midnight at the End of the World or Central Valley races. You’ll see its new powerplant on the October cover if you haven’t already seen it on your Facebook feed or Instagram.
The second vehicle is a 1975 Bronco that was assembled using spare parts from hundreds of tech stories I’ve written for Car Craft and now HOT ROD. Somewhere around 2014, we put together a Ford Racing 351 using a BOSS short-block and a set of RHS heads. It makes about 600 hp on pump gas with a big, rowdy roller cam, short Flowmasters, and a carburetor. We stripped off (or they fell off) all of the spray-can painted panels and had them shot with some free paint given to us by Axalta, so none of the colors match. I’ve found over the years that on the street, the Bronco gets more attention and is more fun than almost any other car I’ve driven, including the ’71 and halo cars from the factory. It has rust everywhere and three colors of paint, so what gives?
The Bronco connects to the generation that is seeing more fast beaters on the internet than high-dollar cars. Young guys are pulling trucks out of the weeds like the Gen X guys did with muscle cars in the 1980s and 1990s and swapping in new technology for what they call no prep (street racing) and car meets (cruising). It’s the same rear-wheel-drive ethos, but with a lot of different jargon and creative uses of C10s and Volvos bringing the whole thing full circle. Rust is in, so go ahead, drive what makes you happy.
[ This is a crate engine from Mopar. Add 16 pounds for 1,000 hp.