The Year One Experience - One Size Fits All
No Matter Your Interest, If It's Related To Musclecars, You'll Find It At The Year One Experience.
From the October, 2008 issue of Popular Hot Rodding
By Johnny Hunkins
Photography by Johnny Hunkins
Susan Adams (40), a school...
Susan Adams (40), a school teacher from Grayson, GA, examines a fine Buick GSX at the Year One Experience this past May 16-18.
Every year, the musclecar parts giant, Year One, puts on an epic event near their Braselton, Georgia, headquarters, which is located about half an hour north of Atlanta on Interstate 85. We don't know if it's a coincidence, but that's also in the same neck of the woods as Road Atlanta-one of the country's premier road courses-and Atlanta Dragway, ditto as one of America's top dragstrips. Put these three giants together, and you have the ingredients for a very exciting event that encompasses every niche of the hobby you can imagine. As a point of reference, the Hot Rod Power Tour needs thousands of miles and venues in several states to create something resembling the same experience, only with the Year One Experience, you don't have to take two weeks off to enjoy it, and that's exactly what several thousand fans chose to do the weekend of May 16-18.
To say that there were only three ingredients to create the Experience isn't quite true. It actually takes the cooperation of dozens of key vendors, all of whom are major suppliers to the Year One product line. And while these vendors are discouraged from selling wares at the Experience (other than for dire circumstances, it's bad form), it allows them to focus on every fan's true love: the cars. For example, Stainless Steel Brake Corporation makes and sells a huge assortment of brake systems for musclecars, which are in turn sold by Year One. At the Experience, SSBC set up a 0-60-0 timed course in the paddock area of Road America. This provided musclecar fans the perfect opportunity to test the acceleration and braking performance of their classics under precise test conditions, and against competing makes and models.
Detroit Speed & Engineering is another example of a company that has merged a strong engineering ethic with face-to-face customer interaction; they also use the Year One Experience to bring that to the next level. Project cars you've seen in magazines and on the Internet are on hand for customer demonstrations-as well as actual product tests-on the high-speed 2.54-mile road course at Road Atlanta, and on the autocross.
While we run the risk of flogging a dead horse here, Air Ride Technologies can always be counted on to use and abuse their equipment (actually, a substantial brace of project cars) at any event that will let them, and they were in fine form at the Experience, with a full-tilt autocross course. This is a great way for all enthusiasts-with and without Air Ride systems-to get their feet wet in hardcore handling situations, with little risk of damage (other than perhaps to pride).
No Year One event would be complete without a car show, and the one at the Experience is always a fun and diverse group of cars. From the 1950s on up to late-model fuel-injected rides, there's everything you want, and it's conveniently located next to the manufacturers' midway. Park your wheels in the show, then loop through the vendor booths to discuss your next big purchase with the folks who build it. There's even a shuttle bus to the Mall Of Georgia for those family members who get bored with the high-octane environment.
The other half of the Year...
The other half of the Year One Experience is held at nearby Atlanta Dragway, in Commerce GA, where ORSCA holds the second event of its 10-race series in conjunction with primary sponsor Year One. LeBron "The Man" Hill (24) is a diesel repair shop foreman from Sharpsburg, GA, who runs this '68 Camaro in ORSCA's 6.0 Outlaw 6.0 index class. It packs a 540-inch 15:1 BBC, and a PTC 'Glide; a best eighth-mile run of 5.75/121 makes it perfect for ORSCA's 6-second heads-up index.
Those of the drag racing bent may already know that Year One is the primary sponsor for the Outlaw Racing Street Car Association (ORSCA), which runs a solid, 10-event schedule that's largely restricted to the southeast part of the country. ORSCA's focus is heads-up, eighth-mile drag racing, where the first one to the finish line wins. It's a good fit with Year One, who rolled out a hardcore Speed Shop parts catalog earlier this year. Yes, Margaret, Year One does horsepower, and you need look no further than ORSCA to see that. In support of Year One, ORSCA runs its second event in their yearly schedule in conjunction with the Experience, and all participants are granted free entry for the entire weekend.
We ran ourselves ragged checking out every corner of the Year One Experience. In our experience, the only thing that could make it any better is adding a few days to it so we can enjoy it to the fullest extent. Want to know more about the 2009 Year One Experience? Log onto www.yearone.com!
Domesticated GoddessWe leave you this month with 30-year-old Lisa Rosendahl, a homemaker from Monroe, GA, and her soon-to-be '69 Chevy Nova. The car currently belongs to her husband, Kris, who races it in ORSCA (see inset photo). The GM X-body relies on a 427-inch small-block with 13:1 compression, and a handy 150hp NOS plate. A set of Dart Pro 1 heads, Herbert solid roller cam, and Holley 1000 HP carb was assembled by Rob Fincher of Walnut Grove, GA, and has been good for a best quarter-mile e.t. of 10.53/125 on motor. A ladder-bar rear suspension with QA1 coilovers helps plant the Moser 12-bolt rear with a spool and 4.11 gears. Power gets funneled through a built Turbo 400 with a JW 'brake. When Kris, a building contractor by trade, started talking about building another hot rod, Lisa gave it the OK, on one condition: "You've got to give me the Nova as part of the deal!" Way to go, Lisa! We hope to see you racing it at next year's Year One Experience.
The Road Atlanta road course,...
The Road Atlanta road course, where part of the Year One Experience is held, is a large and beautiful venue. Here, Lorraine (45) and Rich (46) Barbara of Oakland, NJ, enjoy the sights and sounds of the open lapping session as cars exit Turn 8 and come down Atlanta's long, winding back stretch.
Nineteen-year-old Lee Summers...
Nineteen-year-old Lee Summers could not have picked a more seductive-looking musclecar to become his first hot rod! Lee works at his family's shop-Summer's Show & Go Restoration-in Blowing Rock, NC, and had just finished the paintwork a mere two weeks before the Year One event. This was Lee's first time autocrossing the '68 Cutlass S, which was still undergoing the finishing touches of its restoration. It's got a youth-friendly Olds 350, and an M20 Muncie four-speed. Lee did all the work on the Olds himself.
Last year, we showed you a...
Last year, we showed you a picture of Savannah Stanley (Lilburn, GA) posing with her '66 Mustang. A lot has changed since then with both of them. Savannah, now 20, is no longer a criminal justice major at Gwinnett Tech, and is now a patient care coordinator. The Mustang, which she built with help from Bowen's Collision, has also been upgraded with American Racing Torq-Thrust wheels.
OK, we might be just a tad...
OK, we might be just a tad partial to Oldsmobiles, so when we saw Andy Schaefer's '72 Olds Cutlass Supreme come to the burnout box, the camera came to attention. Andy hails from Flowery Branch, GA, where he wrenches on Nissans by day. When he gets sick of that junk, he wheels out the Olds, which struts a 12.5:1 Olds 455 with Edelbrock heads and intake, a Herbert solid roller cam, a Dana 60 with 4.10 gears, and a 150hp plate of NOS. Andy runs the Outlaw 7.0 index class; the Olds has a best e.t. of 6.60/103 (eighth) under its belt.
"I'm a Chevy girl," proclaimed...
"I'm a Chevy girl," proclaimed Amy Gunter, a 24-year-old Navy Second-Class Petty Officer from Buffalo, NY. She was digging the Bill Mitchell small-block in this '67 Chevy II when we found her. Amy works on Navy C-9s, the military equivalent to the MD-80, and has big designs on a project she plans to start soon. Amy tells us she's partial to Novas and Chevelles.
Ever wonder how photographer...
Ever wonder how photographer Robert McGaffin takes those wonderful action blur shots? Here he is preparing a shot for Adrienne Janic's lightweight '68 Firebird, which is on our cover this month. The rig attaches under the car with super-strong magnets, the camera clamps to the articulated pole, and Robert grabs a long exposure with the car rolling slowly downhill. He then takes the pole out of the shot with photoshop. If you're really lucky, we'll do this to your car some day, too.
The Year One car show was...
The Year One car show was chock-a-block full of cool cars, like Tommy Parker's '73 Camaro. "I'm gonna try some track days this year," says the 43-year-old newspaper publisher from Dallas, Georgia. "I went to the Run Through The Hills last year, and did some hot laps, and now I'm ready to step up."
The autocross portion of the...
The autocross portion of the Year One Experience was sponsored by Air Ride Technologies, the same people who built the blue '70 Chevelle on our July cover. Air Ride also built this cool '71 Camaro RS with a 383 small-block, Bowler Transmissions 4L60E, and Air Ride Street Challenge suspension package with an Air Pod unit. Here, PHR publisher John Gallagher wheels the RS through the autocross cones for a 29.54-second lap time.
Jim Daugherty (59) is a retired...
Jim Daugherty (59) is a retired postal worker with a jones for heads-up racing. "Forget that bracket stuff. No buy-backs. If you don't win, get on the trailer and go home," says big Jim. "I've been trying to sell the bracket racers on heads-up for a long time now." Daugherty lives in Friendsville, TN, and runs his 632-inch big-block '72 Chevelle in ORSCA's Outlaw 6.0 index.
ORSCA's Outlaw class is a...
ORSCA's Outlaw class is a heads-up index for street-appearing cars with a steel body, full interior, and a 3,000-pound minimum weight. Rather than saddle racers with tweaky cubic-inch weight breaks, there are two eighth-mile indices: a 6-second class, and a 7-second class. Here, Michael Wright (23) of Acworth, GA, wheels Chris Harper's diminutive '67 Chevy II. Harper's mini-'box shoehorns a 434-inch small-block with a solid roller, ZEX 250-shot plate, AFR heads, Pro Products Hurricane intake, and a Holley 950. Best e.t. on the lightweight hauler has been a 5.90/18 (eighth-mile).
Bill and Emily Farmer (Rome,...
Bill and Emily Farmer (Rome, GA, left) are typical of many Powerjection fuel-injection customers: They're looking for a reliable, powerful, and more fuel-efficient alternative to a carburetor. The couple has an '88 Monte Carlo that they've decided to equip with the Powerjection unit. Here, they're speaking with Professional Products rep Ken Farrell as he explains the benefits, which include classic carburetor looks, ease of installation, and simple self-learning electronics.
Everything Dale Earnhardt...
Everything Dale Earnhardt Jr. touches turns to gold, which is exactly why the folks at Sam's Club had Detroit Speed & Engineering build him a '69 Camaro for the Hot Rod Power Tour. The Camaro will also hit plenty of Sam's Clubs for display. The spec sheet lists a DSE Quadralink, DSE hydroformed front subframe, DSE dash panel with Classic instruments, Baer brakes, TCI Turbo 400, BFG tires, Budnik wheels, and a GMPP 383 crate motor. In short, everything you won't find in Dale's Cup car.