1969 El Camino * Jerry Bliffen * Whittier, CAJerry Bliffen was big into running, but this interest had to be put aside because of an unfortunate medical issue that left him with only one lung. Jerry would need something with a powerful motor to move him around now. He had a '69 El Camino with a limp-wristed 350 in it that would need to be replaced. Jerry swapped it for a 11:1 327ci small-block Chevy, which was a blast until the day Jerry's wife came home and asked him to keep the car from making loud noises and pouring oil everywhere. The El Camino has been through three engines, three transmissions, and a couple of axles over the years, but Jerry keeps fixing it and flogging it down the dragstrip.
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air * Bob Wagenhals * Lakewood, COBob Wagenhals started tinkering with cars at age 15, and was lucky enough to be chosen to compete in the first ever Popular Hot Rodding Engine Masters Challenge. "Going all the way to the finals as an amateur engine builder was a dream," writes Bob. These days, Bob spends his time with fellow gearhead, Dana Frew, who he shares a shop with. Called the "Car Club," Bob and Dana's shop is just a low-pressure place where the two can get together to work on cars, and wind down after a hard day of work. (Dana's ride is a 55 Series 3600 Chevrolet pickup.) Bob's '55 Bel Air (shown here) is fresh from the dragstrip, and is slowly being converted back to a street car. "I've still got a long list of things to do before it hits the street, but building it is the most fun."