The 2006 Year One Experience - Calling All Cars
The Year One Experience is a car show, road race, autocross, drag race and speed parts shopping spreee all in one. The question is can you handle it?
From the February, 2009 issue of Popular Hot Rodding
By Johnny Hunkins
We go to Year One's super fling every year. During the month or two leading up to it, we're pretending hardship in our publisher's office, begging for airfare back East. The conversation usually goes something like this: "We're dangerously low on car features, plus we can talk to a bunch of our advertisers at the same time." (Publishers love to hear this stuff from editors.) Keep in mind, we fly all over and see a ton of car shows and races all year long, so it takes a pretty cool event to get us jazzed. Next to SEMA, the Year One Experience is the shizzle.
This hardcore three-day car-gasm is held
simultaneously at the Road Atlanta road course and Atlanta Dragway (they're just miles apart), and it has everything. Drag racers, road racers, autocrossers and cruisers can all get their jones on in one place. To top it off, no fewer than six TV shows and their attendant celebrities were thick in the joint. Besides PHR, we saw guys from Mustang & Fords, Mopar Muscle, Chevy High Performance, Super Chevy, Car Craft, and scribes from unspeakable non-Primedia rags. Even Hot Rod Editor Rob Kinnan snuck out of his hotel to face the paparazzi. Trust us when we say this event is one Indian casino away from giving Brian France an Excedrin headache.
It's Sensory Overload
One minute, we're talking to a vendor about bolt-on late-model Mustang parts, the next we're shooting the breeze with a reader about project g/28. Then we're off chasing hotties in our golf cart, 'cause we know you want to see them too. When that gets old, we head over to the autocross and watch guys cut up tarmac. We see Lou Santiago from Spike TV's "Musclecar" show laying waste to his golf cart and stop to hang with him for a while (he's just as cool in person). It's all we can do to keep him from putting a plasma cutter to the thing. The car show is packed, and there we run into Chuck Hansen, formerly of "Horsepower TV." Dennis Gage of "My Classic Car" is doing an interview a few cars over when Joe Elmore whizzes by on his cart (which is in better shape than Santiago's), with camera crew in tow. TV stars and producers are everywhere, and editors are scooping each other in cold blood, just like a 1940s "B" movie. Dude, if you can't get your car on TV or in a mag at this place, your ride might actually suck.
And Then There Are The Nut Jobs...
There is a ton of better ways to make money than getting into the speed parts business, but then who wants to write divorce papers or prescribe penicillin for snotty-nosed kids all day long? Guys in the speed biz, however, aren't afraid to live life. Take Mike Jonas of Stainless Steel Brake Corporation. He brought his brand new LS2-powered Pontiac Solstice just so he could pound it on the road course. Another of our favorite crazies is Brett Voelkel of Air Ride Technologies. You gotta love a guy who takes a mint '70 Buick GSX, stuffs it full of road race parts (including his own air suspension) and beats the crap out of it on America's fastest road courses. But these guys pale in comparison with Bob Johnson, owner of the g-Force 'Cuda, which graced our April cover. Driving up in the g-Force fashionably late, Bob started the predictable riot. It's the kind of car that'll make a dog vomit two blocks away when you light the motor. On a saner note, we got enlightened when we spoke with Kyle and Stacy Tucker of Detroit Speed & Engineering. Did you know before DSE, they both worked at GM as engineers on some of our favorite cars, like the Fourth Generation Camaro and Firebird? We shot their '69 Camaro parts development mule--look for it in an upcoming issue.
Let's be clear, this is a family event. Got kids? Bring them along next year--there's even an hourly shuttle to the mall in case your wife doesn't share your sickness. I even brought my dad along, by his own admission the world's least horsepower-loving person (talk about over-compensation). He loved it. Lots more cool stuff happened, but there isn't room. Check out the pix and chicks, then go to yearone.com to get the 411 on next year. We've also got more online at popularhotrodding.com.
Think your car can carve up...
Think your car can carve up corners? Try autocrossing--it's low risk, yet high octane. The internationally acclaimed road course of Road Atlanta also houses wet and dry autocross courses. Here, David Reese of Hixson, Tenn., boots his '04 Mustang Cobra through the cones.
The Road Atlanta road course...
The Road Atlanta road course was available to all who wanted to make laps, and the guys at Unique Performance were no exception. Brian Gilby of Unique is seen here wringing out the test mule of the Foose special edition Camaro. The sister car to this one was featured on our January cover.
"Pro Confused." That's the...
"Pro Confused." That's the self-proclaimed moniker given to this '67 Ford Fairlane by owner Tony Evans (Powder Springs, Ga.). The BDS-blown 429 garnered stares from Ford and GM lovers alike.
You gotta love a guy who practices...
You gotta love a guy who practices what he preaches--that's Air Ride Technology's Brett Voelkel. Brett has been proving for years that air suspensions are equally adept on the road course, the drag strip and the cruise scene, but on this day, Brett's Buick GSX had some powertrain trouble. We've personally thrashed Brett's Buick on the road course and can vouch for its track cred.
A line mechanic at Hardy Ford...
A line mechanic at Hardy Ford in Dallas, Ga., Miss Andrea Strommen told PHR: "I don't own a Ford." She does, however, own a 6-foot tall purple Matco toolbox and she isn't afraid to use it. Her boyfriend, Jim Grayson, says he loves the fringe benefit of having someone who can both serve him Budweiser and Doritos on the couch and work on his '69 Camaro.
GM's giant semi truck was...
GM's giant semi truck was stuffed full with all kinds of good junk like LS2, LS7 and 572 crate engines, but the best part was talking to Pro Stock champ Warren Johnson.
We found college student Katie...
We found college student Katie Pelsmaeker (Lilburn, Ga.) in Road Atlanta's paddock area with her boyfriend. Katie really wanted a ride in one of the Panoz Racing School cars, but her financially challenged boyfriend couldn't scrape up the 50 bucks. Dude, are you nuts?
At Atlanta Dragway in nearby...
At Atlanta Dragway in nearby Commerce, Ga., you could get your quarter-mile fix. This '70 Olds Cutlass 442 is owned by Alan Hause of Grayson, Ga. It runs a punched-out 455 in front of a turbo 400 and cranks out 10.90s on motor all day long. Hause, 37, runs out of the Atlanta Speed Shop.
There are always a few jokers...
There are always a few jokers in every crowd who ruin it for everyone. In this case, it's those nuts from Pro-Touring.com. Ringleader and March PHR cover star Bill Howell shows it's possible to do a wheelie with just about anything, including a golf cart.
If this looks familiar, it's...
If this looks familiar, it's because Michael Cooper's blue '70 Nova was on our August 2005 cover. You'll remember that he built it himself for the unheard of sum of $10K, car included. Michael's dad (also Michael) poses with his '71 Chevelle. Thanks for the ACID cigars, guys!
We didn't think it was possible...
We didn't think it was possible for Year One to add anything else to its extensive plate, but Year One's Kevin King says they are moving ahead with plans to offer a line of custom bikes. Here's their first one, which is similar to those that will go out the door for around $35K.
You could get a ride-along...
You could get a ride-along in one of the Panoz Driving School cars on a first-come, first-serve basis. I had a hard time convincing my dad, Arthur Hunkins, to take his first-ever E-ticket ride, but he finally gave in. ("Don't worry dad, he's gonna go slow...") That's payback for making me ride on the back of your Honda Trail 90 all those years--with my friends watching.Take a deep breath, and meet Emily Hoyle (31, left) and Deanna Owens (19). Emily crews for husband Darrin, who was 2005 ORSCA Limited Street Champ in this sweet '69 Camaro. ["That's a Camaro?!"--David Wardrop] Deanna helps (uh, distracts?) her boyfriend Terry Woodson, who drives an '81 Camaro.
You can pretend to read the...
You can pretend to read the results all you want, but what you really want to know is that this is 16-year-old Courtney Heinselman of Marietta, Ga. We spotted her across the car show, and made her pose in this position for five long minutes. Now wasn't that worth it, Courtney?
"This will make one sweet...
"This will make one sweet hot rod for somebody," says David Echols of his '74 Mercury Cougar. With all the buzz over affordable alternative muscle, we agree. Echols' Merc was little-old-lady mint and his asking price was just $6,000. Interested? Call him at 770-867-6192.
|Year One Show Class Winners:|
|'66-74 Mopar B- and E-Body:||Bob Johnson, Gainesville, GA; '71 Cuda|
|'66-74 Mopar A- and C-Body:||Chuck Causey, Cartersville, GA; '70 Plymouth Duster|
|'64-72 Buick Skylark/GS/Special:||Mark Reeves, Woodstock, GA; '70 Buick GSX|
|'64-72 Olds Cutlass/442/F-85:||Buddy Jones, Mobile, AL; '70 Cutlass W31|
|'67-81 Firebird/Formula/Trans Am:||Randy Haney, Cornelia, GA; '68 Pontiac Firebird|
|'64-72 Pontiac LeMans, GTO, Tempest:||Bill Howell, Maryville, TN; '65 GTO|
|'62-74 Chevy II/Nova:||Raymond May, Sherrills Ford, NC; '66 Chevy II|
|'67-81 Camaro:||Bobby Johnson, Dallas, GA; '69 Camaro Z28|
|'58-72 Chevrolet Impala, Caprice:||Brent Casteel, King, NC; '65 Bel Air|
|'64-72 Chevelle, El Camino, Monte Carlo:||Jack Jenkins, Anderson, NC; '67 Chevelle|
|'64-73 Mustang/Shelby:||Wayne Julian, Woodridge, IL; '65 Mustang|
|'78-88 GM A- and G-Body:||Greg and Cara Cragg, St. Peters, MO; '79 El Camino|
|'67-87 Chevy/GMC Trucks:||Brian Kidd, Gillsville, GA; '72 C-10 Pick-up|
|'79-Present Mustang:||Joe Steinmetz, Gainesville, GA; '85 Mustang|
|'82-02 Camaro/Firebird:||Dan Williams, Covington, GA; '93 Trans Am|
|'91-96 GM B-Body:||Mike Lozano, Jonesboro, GA; '95 Impala SS|
|2001-Present PT Cruiser:||Eddie King, Lawrenceville, GA; 2001 PT Cruiser|
|Open Class for all other cars:||Mike Bowen, Dalonegha, GA; 1937 Ford|
|Open class for all others trucks:||John Maffucci, Dawsonville, GA; 1955 Ford F100|
|Year One Cup Winner||Jack Jenkins, Anderson, SC; '67 Chevelle|
|Finalists:||Wayne Julian, Woodridge, IL; '65 Mustang|
|Mike McArdle, Semmes, AL; '67 Chevy II|
|Air Ride Autocross winners:|
|First place:||Greg James, Gainesville, GA; '06 Subaru WRX Si; 25.94sec|
|Second place:||Bill Farmer, Rome, GA; Original 1967 Shelby AC Cobra; 26.44 sec|
|Third place:||Paul Whittle, Alpharetta, GA; '05 Brunton Super Stalker; 26.78 sec|
|Stainless Steel Brakes Corp 0-60-0 Challenge|
|First place:||Clayton Parker, 2005 Corvette; 113.78ft|
|Second place:||Ryan Wilson, 2004 ZO6 Corvette; 117.6ft|
|Third place:||Michael Hulett, 2006 Corvette; 118.4ft|
|First place:||Steve Schlinger, 2003 Marauder; 3.86 sec|
|Second place:||Paul White, Brunton Super Stalker; 4.07sec|
|Third place:||Michael Hulett, 2006 Corvette; 4.43sec|
|Drag Race Finals|
|Winner: ||John Fears, '02 Mustang|
|Runner-up: ||Chad Kennedy, unk.|
|Winner: ||Peter Rogowski, unk.|
|Runner-up: ||Todd Baker, '95 Mustang|
|Winner: ||Tom Moran, '72 Dodge|
|Runner-up: ||Andrew Rogers, '82 Chevy|
|Winner: ||Kevin Polchan, '98 Firebird|
|Runner-up: ||Keith May, '84 S10|
|Winner: ||Jon Phillips, '74 Datsun|
|Runner-up: ||Nick Yarber, '95 Ford|
|Winner: ||Ed Bondall, Town Creek, AL; unk.|
|Runner-up: ||Ricky Millard, Chickamauga, GA; '87 Camaro|
|Winner: ||Jeff Paulk, Social Circle, GA; '85 Chevy|
|Runner-up: ||Micky Meyers, Loganville, GA; '67 Chevy|
|Winner: ||C.G. Knight, Eatonton, GA; '68 Ford|
|Runner-up: ||Kenny Acree, Newnan, GA; '94 Lumina|
|Winner: ||Dave Cox, Conway, SC; unk.|
|Runner-up: ||Tommy Brewer, Spanish Fort, AL; unk.|
|Winner: ||Keith Szabo, Gainesville, GA; '93 Ford|
|Runner-up: ||Jeff Cooner, Townley, AL; '01 Mustang|
|Winner: ||Steve Kirk, Monroe, GA; 2000 Camaro|
|Runner-up: ||C. Miller, Savannah, GA; '82 Camaro|