Muscle Car Review - - Contents - Drew Hardin [email protected]­global.net

Seventy years ago, two icons were born in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. In 1948, Robert E. Petersen pub­lished the very first is­sue of Hot Rod mag­a­zine out of his apart­ment near Hol­ly­wood. Vol­ume 1, Num­ber 1 was 24 pages long and cost 25 cents. Feel like rolling the dice and in­vest­ing in a year­long sub­scrip­tion to the brand new mag­a­zine? That would set you back $3.

In Oc­to­ber of that year, in Bald­win Park (about 25 miles east of Hol­ly­wood), Harry and Es­ther Sny­der opened the first driv­ethrough ham­burger stand in Cal­i­for­nia, a 10-foot-square struc­ture aptly named In-N-Out Burger. A ham­burger cost 25 cents, a cheese­burger 30, fries were 15 cents, and a soda cost a dime.

These two sep­tu­a­ge­nar­i­ans, still very much alive and kick­ing, cel­e­brated their com­mon birthdays in Novem­ber at an event called Burg­ers and Burnouts. Held at the Auto Club Drag­way in Pomona (it­self an icon of SoCal car cul­ture), the day in­cluded a mas­sive car show, drag rac­ing, live mu­sic, and a dis­play of sig­nif­i­cant and his­toric cars that had ap­peared on the cov­ers and pages of Hot Rod.

Wouldn’t you know it? B and B was held on the same week­end as the Mus­cle Car and Corvette Na­tion­als. There was no way I was go­ing to miss the 10th an­nual MCACN show. At the same time, as Hot Rod’s mid-1990s edi­tor, I wanted to be a part of that cel­e­bra­tion, too. The solution? Do both events, and en­list help from our deep bench of MCR con­trib­u­tors to flesh out the cov­er­age.


MCACN out­did it­self. We have run out of fresh su­perla­tives to de­scribe this event, and Bob Ash­ton and his MCACN crew raised the bar even higher for the show’s 10th birth­day. By burn­ing the mid­night oil like it was nitro­meth­ane, Arvid Svend­sen wrote up MCACN’s very spe­cial Scat Pack and Rapid Tran­sit Sys­tem dis­play for this Mopar-themed is­sue scant hours af­ter the show closed. Next month Arvid will bring you his re­port on the show over­all. Matt Avery’s cov­er­age of the Vin­tage Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion area (for orig­i­nal, un­re­stored cars) will ap­pear in the April is­sue, fol­lowed by Ge­off Stunkard’s story about the Barn Finds and Hid­den Gems dis­play in May.

We also used the tar­get-rich en­vi­ron­ment of MCACN as sub­ject mat­ter for a new se­ries of mus­cle car–re­lated video sto­ries by Ken­dra Som­mer, who you may al­ready know for her Cruisin’ With Ken­dra web videos. Our plan is to post a video on “Mus­cle Mon­day” ev­ery other week at the MCR web­page on hotrod.com.

Burg­ers and Burnouts

Af­ter fil­ing a MCACN pre­view story for the web­site be­fore the show even of­fi­cially opened, I left snowy Chicago for a sunny Satur­day in Pomona. A lit­tle bleary-eyed, I was grate­ful that MCR and Hot Rod Deluxe con­trib­u­tor Stephan Szan­tai was there to lend a big hand with the event cov­er­age. I talked to a few peo­ple, lined up some fu­ture fea­tures, en­joyed a fresh In-NOut Dou­ble Dou­ble, and stayed co­her­ent long enough to join sev­eral other past and present Hot Rod staffers on stage for an in­for­mal dis­cus­sion about the mag­a­zine’s his­tory, led by for­mer Hot Rod edi­tor and now Road­kill TV star David Freiburger. (How pop­u­lar is Road­kill? David said he signed au­to­graphs for four hours be­fore some­one pulled the plug and let the guy take a break. And I knew him when . . .)

Here are a few of Stephan’s and my pho­tos from B and B to give you a taste of the event. More cov­er­age is on­line, and I’m sure Hot Rod will run its own mag­a­zine sto­ries, too.


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