Kenny Edwards: Keepin It Simple

1966 Ford Mustang

Since its not uncommon for invitees to an event like this to drop out for some reason, our plan was always to keep our eyes peeled for worthy competitors at Goodguys Columbus—and what better locale than the autocross track? Thats where we first laid eyes on a little red 66 Mustang that was laying down blistering times around the course. By the time the dust settled at Goodguys, this cool little pony was the second fastest car in attendance, irrespective of cost. We liked the vintage race style of the car immediately, especially the subtly flared fenders and quarters, but it was the overall simplicity of the car itself that really won us over. Like David fighting Goliath, Ken Edwards was running against highly dialed-in cars with advanced suspension and chassis components with a Mustang that would be legal for vintage road racing. That means it was essentially stock underneath, with just stiff coil and leaf springs, thicker sway bars, and the Shelby control arm relocation mod. And yet Ken made it deep into the PHR Street Machine autocross finals before losing by a couple tenths of a second to a seasoned driver with a very fast car with mega-buck parts.

Was it all driver skill, or had Ken just nailed the right parts package? We didnt care; this thing kicked ass. Even better was the fact that Kens son was also competing alongside his dad with his 68 Camaro—both of which had been driven from Smithtown, New York, as part of a father/son muscle car road trip. We couldnt invent a better story than that. Invite offered.

At the MCOTY competition, Ken knew victory could be his, so he had his throttle foot set on kill right away in the days first event and turned out some impressively fast e.t.s in the quarter-mile. Unfortunately, running the engine near redline on the Goodguys autocross course followed by several flat-out runs on the dragstrip ended up being too much for the engine and Ken had to bow out with catastrophic failure. He did at least walk away with the second-fastest drag average of the day, losing out only to Kevin Kings twin-turbo TA.

By the Numbers

1966 Ford Mustang Ken Edwards; Smithtown, NY

Type: 364ci Ford Windsor
Rotating assembly: Scat crank and rods
Cylinder heads: ported Trick Flow Twisted Wedge
Camshaft: Isky custom solid roller
Valvetrain: COMP Cams roller rockers and lifters
Induction: Ford Racing single-plane intake, race-prepped Holley 700 cfm
Exhaust: unknown used headers with custom exhaust
Ignition: MSD Performance ignition
Output: untested
Built by: McBetts

Transmission: Tremec T3550 with Centerforce clutch and Hurst shifter
Rearend: Ford 9-inch with Eaton Truetrac diff and 3.89 gears

Front suspension: Maier Racing coil springs and sway bar, Koni shocks, Shelby mod to upper control arm
Rear suspension: Maier Racing leaf springs and sway bar, Koni shocks
Brakes: 13-inch rotors with Wilwood 4-piston calipers
Wheels & tires: 17x9 Vintage Wheel Works V45 with 255/40 and 275/40 Falken Azenis tires


Drag average:12.462 seconds (12.411 at 103.65 mph best)
Speed/stop average:DNS
Autocross average:DNS
Overall score:DNF

Woodys Hot Rodz: The Jega

1971 Chevy Vega

So who on earth builds a high-end Vega with a pro builder like Woodys Hot Rodz? Well, the whole thing started with a 99-cent Hot Wheels car that Chris Sondles of WHR found one day. Chris dad had campaigned a Vega drag car years back, and his good friend Mike Coughlin of Jegs had as well. The little Hot Wheels car was yellow and black like the livery the Jegs race cars wear, so Chris sent it to Mike as a joke. Shortly after that, Mike gives Chris a call and said: "This thing is too cool; we need to build it."

Chris assumed it was a joke at first, and replied that the hardest part would be finding the car. "Already found one," Mike said. Three days later, a 71 Vega showed up at WHR. Initially, the plan was just to drop a big honkin engine in it and go fast in a straight line, because, really, what else do you do with a Vega? But Mike already has drag cars and decided hed rather have something that he could have fun driving and get involved in autocross events with. Since nothing like that exists for Vegas, Chris worked with Art Morrison Enterprises to design one of their Max-G full chassis for it.

The build progressed fairly quickly, but in true last-minute-cram style, 21 days before our MCOTY competition it wasnt even painted yet. WHR made it happen, though, and the finished Jegs Vega (we call it the Jega. Dont you dare roll your eyes; you love that name) truly looks almost exactly like the Hot Wheels—right down to the paint scheme and five-spoke wheels.

At MCOTY, the Jega looked like a major contender with a good chassis and plenty of power on tap, but some transmission issues took them out of the running almost right away. The Coughlins are very competitive, though, so next time the Jega resurfaces you can be assured itll be fully sorted and competitive. The plan is to spend some time on Goodguys autocrosses in preparation for a re-debut at the 2013 LS Fest.

"Initially, the plan was just to drop a big honkin engine in it and go fast in a straight line, because, really, what else do you ...

By the Numbers

1971 Chevy Vega Mike Coughlin Jr., Delaware, OH

Type: cast-iron 454ci LSX
Rotating assembly: Chevrolet Performance nodular iron crank, powdered metal rods, 9:1 forged pistons
Cylinder heads: LS3 rectangle port
Camshaft: Chevrolet Performance .551/.522-inch lift, 204/211 degrees at .050
Valvetrain: 1.7 ratio roller rockers
Induction: FAST LSXR intake with FAST 102mm throttle intake
Exhaust: custom headers and exhaust by Woodys
Engine management/ignition: FAST XFI
Output: 620 hp, 590 lb-ft of torque
Built by: Chevrolet Performance

Transmission: Hughes 4L60E, 3,500-stall converter
Rearend: Art Morrison 9-inch with Strange 3.70 gears

Front suspension: custom Art Morrison Max-g chassis with Penske double-adjustable coilovers
Rear suspension: custom Art Morrison Max-g chassis with four-link, Watts link, and Penske double-adjustable coilovers
Brakes: 13-inch rotors with Wilwood 6-piston calipers, front and rear
Wheels & tires: Weld Racing RTS with BFGoodrich g-Force


Drag average:DNF
Speed/stop average:DNS
Autocross average:DNS
Overall score:DNF

The Big Surprise

The Roadster Shops 1970 Chevy C10

First things first: we know a C10 pickup is not a muscle car and violates the rules of entry to the MCOTY competition, but it has good reason for being there. Phil and Jeremy Gerber of The Roadster Shop were originally planning to attend with a 69 Camaro they completed for a customer and entered in the running for Street Machine of the Year (SMOTY) at the Goodguys Columbus show. The Camaro was a stunner and made it into the semifinal round of judging, but didnt progress into the finals. No big deal; Phil and Jeremy had run the autocross course as part of the SMOTY qualifications and were prepared to really showcase what a Fast Track chassis could do under a 69 Camaro.

The owner of the car, unfortunately, got a case of cold feet when he realized how much more aggressive our MCOTY event was going to be and pulled the plug. Phil and Jeremy were bummed as they didnt have anything else to throw into the ring, except Phils daily driver, a 70 C10. Originally a very beat pickup that they got as a development mule for the Fast Track C10 chassis, the truck had recently undergone a factory-style restoration and came along to Columbus for promotion of the chassis.

After witnessing how quick the C10 had lapped the Goodguys course, we offered to let the boys bring it to the MCOTY competition as exhibition only, knowing that they would put on a good show. Phil and Jeremy jumped at the chance, since they were just ready to go thrash on the truck for fun and further R&D, and also because they knew they had a surprise in store for all the muscle cars in attendance.

Call it big sticky tires, plenty of power, or just good driving and chassis tuning, but The Roadster Shop C10 proceeded to kick some serious sheetmetal in every event at MCOTY. As a matter of fact, if it had been running as a timed competitor, it wouldve taken First Place. In a truck. No kidding. Consider our minds blown.

"Call it big sticky tires, plenty of power, or just good driving and chassis tuning, but The Roadster Shop C10 proceeded to kick some serious sheetmetal

By the Numbers

1970 Chevy C10 pickup truck
The Roadster Shop; Mundelein, IL

Type: 510ci RHS LSX
Rotating assembly: forged crank, rods, and pistons
Cylinder heads: RHS
Camshaft: custom grind
Valvetrain: COMP Cams roller rockers and lifters
Induction: LS7 intake
Exhaust: custom headers and exhaust by The Roadster Shop
Engine management/ignition: Holley HP EFI
Output: 730 hp and 690 lb-ft of torque
Built by: Turnkey Engine Supply

Drivetrain Transmission: Bowler Performance Tremec T56 Magnum, Zoom twin-disc clutch
Rearend: Strange 9-inch, Wavetrac diff, 4.10 gears

Chassis Front Suspension: The Roadster Shop Fast Track chassis and suspension, Afco double-adjustable coilovers with 500-lb/in springs, Woodward rack-and-pinion, C6 Corvette spindles, splined sway bar
Rear Suspension: Roadster Shop Fast Track chassis and suspension, Afco double-adjustable coilovers with 350-lb/in springs
Brakes: 14- and 13-inch rotors with Wilwood 6-piston calipers
Wheels & tires: 19x12 and 20x12 Forgeline with 345/35 Michelin Pilot Sport (220 treadwear)


Drag average:12.307 seconds (12.254 at 121.17 mph best)
Speed/stop average:9.322 seconds (9.293 best)
Autocross average:51.357 seconds (51.178 best)
Overall score:72.987