Just when you think classic cars are “old,” something changes your perspective. After all, the ’32 Ford—that stalwart staple of hot rodding—is something like 79 years ancient. Similarly, the ’55 Chevy has 56 trips around the sun under its belt, and the ’69 Camaro has a relatively scant 42 years on the clock. By some yardstick, you can make the argument that our favorite cars are genuinely old, but you’d be hard-pressed to say they’re over the hill. Please take that into consideration while you ponder that when the Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened in 1909, the ’32 Ford was 23 distant years in the future, and Oklahoma had only been a state for two years.

The Brickyard is the granddaddy of all things fast on four wheels, so when the Hulman family loosened its talon grip on the speedway for Goodguys we decided to make the pilgrimage. A tip of the hat is in order to the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association for dreaming it could be done, then making it happen. As you might imagine, this ain’t the easiest venue to book. Fortunately, it means that the fourth stop in our five-event PHR Street Challenge Autocross series could take place where Louis Chevrolet won some of his earliest races. (You get extra points if you knew he did it in a Buick.) OK, the autocross wasn’t on the track itself, but we did get to kick asphalt on a parking lot just behind a concession stand somewhere on the infield a stone’s throw away from Gasoline Alley. The Hulman family might be uptight, but they’re not stupid.

For 2011, we have sponsored five Goodguys Street Challenge Autocrosses, starting with Dallas, then moving to Nashville and Columbus. Indy was our fourth, which happened the weekend of September 16 - 18. (Our final PHR Autocross will go down at Del Mar, California, on Thanksgiving weekend.) So what’s the difference between your ordinary Goodguys Autocross and a PHR Street Challenge event? Outside of the fact that it’s a far more closely guarded secret, we actually give the fastest gunslinger a fancy custom embroidered winner’s jacket. (Our first three winners are still scratching their heads, mumbling, “I won what? Can I just have cash?”)

At least one other guy there knew about the PHR Autocross besides myself, and that was photographer Robert McGaffin, aka Bobby Mack, aka Rabahito Maganishi, aka Roberto Macafino. After finding out IMS officials wouldn’t let him take pix inside the track (too many aliases maybe?) McGaffin ditched his camera and decided to take it out on Project Olds. Mack really had those Nitto tires screaming around Indy—OK, behind the concession stand—and did damn well, considering he drove it all the way from Wisconsin. And it’s Olds powered. (Hey Rob, even if you had won, correctness dictates we can’t give you the jacket. Gotta give him props for trying though.)

When IMS yellow-shirts finally chased us off the property, Mark Rife of Carolina Beach, North Carolina, had won “the jacket” with his impeccably prepared homebuilt ’63 split-window Vette. This thing screams cool, with its flared wheelwells, huge tires (315s—on the front!), modern LS7 artillery, five-speed Tremec, and functional C4 suspension bits. And Rife is one hell of a driver too. McGaffin got all the shots for a feature we’ll have for you soon. Now it’s on to Del Mar!

Attack of the DSE Army

Kyle and Stacy Tucker of Detroit Speed & Engineering really love testing their products on track! They have not one, but four classic Chevy test cars in their stable: Kyle favors the ’70 Camaro (the top car here at Indy) while Stacy is partial to her ’69 Camaro. Both share duties on the ’63 Nova. With the trailer packed to the gills, the ’65 Chevelle stayed at home this trip.