"SR71"

1971 Olds Cutlass S

Builder: V8TV
Trend: Bucking the LS swap bandwagon

The GM LS family of engines is a great platform for horsepower and reliability, without a doubt. But a lot of folks are worn out from seeing LS engines swapped into everything, especially when there are perfectly good options with a lot more personality. Kevin Oeste from V8TV agrees, which is why the SR71 runs a very unique Olds powerplant. The SR71 began life as a '71 Olds Cutlass S that the original owner specially ordered with 4-4-2 options until he ran out of money. Unfortunately, he ended up without the 455, so it had a 350ci 4-bbl, four-speed, bucket seats, disc brakes, fiberglass air induction hood, sway bars, and a 3.42:1 posi rear. Oeste set out to build a badass version of the original, and felt it was important to keep it Olds motivated, but with a load of new technology and power.

Beginning with a 350ci Olds diesel block for increased strength, Oeste built a stout long-block ready for ample amounts of boost. With a small cam, the SR71 is smooth, quiet, and pulls 20 inches of vacuum at idle, however, if you lean on it, it builds boost quickly and it'll haze the tires at will. Oeste says he has datalogged 16 psi at 5,700 rpm and volumetric efficiency reaching 223 percent. At that level, the engine thinks it's over 941 ci, and it will break the tires loose at 70 mph! Um, yeah, LS what?

By The Numbers

Engine: 422ci Olds diesel DX block with offset ground '66 425ci Olds crank, Eagle BBC H-beam rods, custom JE Pistons, Edelbrock heads and Victor intake, COMP Cams roller cam and valvetrain, MSD ignition, 75mm Bullseye Power turbo from Outlaw Turbo Motorsports, and FAST XFI 2.0 ECU (est. 800 hp)
Trans: Tremec TKO 600
Rearend: Currie 9+, 3.55:1 gears
Suspension/Chassis: Global West negative roll tubular control arms up front, Global West adjustable tubular control arms in the rear
Brakes: 4-piston Baer calipers on 13-inch rotors
Wheels & Tires: 17x8 and 18x9 Weld S71 wheels with 235/45R17 and 275/40R18 Toyo Proxes 4 Plus tires
Contact: V8TV; 314-783-8325; V8TVShow.com

"Punishment"

1970 Dodge Charger

Builder: Salvaggio Auto Design
Trend: More Mopars!

it looks like things are starting to turn a corner because we're beginning to see more well-built Mopars show up.

Mopar guys love horsepower, and they love speed, but for some reason they've been mysteriously thin in ranks at every autocross and road course, or even general automotive performance events that we've attended. Since many of our feature cars tend to come from those sources, we even had a dearth of Chrysler products in PHR for a while. Trust us, we heard about it from the faithful, and Editor Hunkins even wrote an editorial about the issue. Well, it looks like things are starting to turn a corner because we're beginning to see more well-built Mopars show up. Kris Duggan's '70 Charger known as "Punishment" built by the team at Salvaggio Auto Design is a perfect example of where we hope the trend is moving. While understated in charcoal gray with black Forgeline wheels on the outside, beyond that is a great deal of custom-built suspension and chassis work to bring the big B-Body up to modern standards. One of our very favorite parts of Punishment actually exemplifies another trend we're noticing: elegantly integrated interiors. The interior is entirely custom, but looks completely at home in the Charger. In fact, it's so natural that for a moment you forget that it doesn't look anything like the stock cockpit. Now that's doing custom correctly.

By The Numbers

Engine: 6.1L Gen III Hemi stroked to 426ci with FAST XFI EFI
Trans: Tremec T56
Rearend: Dana 60
Suspension/Chassis: custom-built chassis by Salvaggio using C6 Corvette control arms and spindles (front) with F1 dynamic shocks; custom four-link with Panhard bar based on parts from Detroit Speed & Engineering (rear)
Brakes: 6-piston Wilwood calipers on 14-inch rotors
Wheels & Tires: 18- and 19-inch Forgeline wheels with 245/40R18 and 335/30R19 Michelin tires
Contact: Salvaggio Auto Design; 262-284-8988; SalvaggioAutoDesign.com

"Great White"

1967 Ford Fairlane

Builder: Alloway's Hot Rod Shop
Trend: Stock, but not

The real key to the look is to use stock-style parts, but make them oh so much better than they ever were.

There's an old truism that states, "Less is more." Essentially, when done correctly you can make a bigger impact with well-done simplicity and purity of design than with a multitude of custom body mods and wild paint. That's a stylistic trademark approach we've noticed from Bobby Alloway of Alloway's Hot Rod Shop. Alloway is known for his beautiful custom craftsmanship, so why would he choose to leave a project so close to factory aesthetics? Beginning with a couple of black Corvettes, a first-gen and a midyear, that were basically perfectly restored cars with flawless paint and stock-style interiors covered with better materials, Alloway created quite a buzz. He says those Vettes garnered as much, or maybe even more, attention than some of his custom cars. The real key to the look is to use stock-style parts, but make them oh so much better than they ever were. It's nostalgia-it's the past with rose-tinted glasses. For example, that phenomenal red interior by Steve Holcomb, it's totally just '67 Mustang, right? Well sorta, if '67 Mustangs used only the finest stitched red leather seats and tuck 'n' roll door panels, Daytona weave carpet, and elegant watch-like gauges. Which they didn't. That's also just a stock R-code Fairlane hood, right? Nope, it's Alloway's perfected version of one that makes you think that's what they should have looked like. Touches like that result in a car that is timelessly cool. Alloway is leading the pack in perfecting the past, and it's one of our favorite trends.

By The Numbers

Engine: Boss 429 by Keasler Racing with dual Holley carbs and Billet Specialties Tru Trac accessory drive, 636 hp
Trans: Keisler TKO five-speed
Rearend: Strange 9-inch with 4.56 gears and 31-spline axles
Suspension/Chassis: custom Art Morrison Max G chassis with Art Morrison's own front and rear suspension with Morrison Air Spring+Plus
Brakes: 6-piston Wilwood calipers on 12.4-inch rotors
Wheels & Tires: 17x7 and 20x10 Billet Specialties wheels with 215/50R17 and 275/55R20 BFGoodrich tires
Contact: Alloway's Hot Rod Shop; AllowaysRodShop.com

"Novacation"

1971 Chevy Nova

Builder: Auto Metal Direct
Trend: What year is it?

The part of AMD's Nova that really got us though was the subtle parts swapping between generations of Novas

We'd be lying if we didn't say that it was the extremely eye-catching combination of PPG Blue Haven paint with a red leather interior that first brought us over to Auto Metal Direct's (AMD) '71 Nova. The idea seems odd at first, but the execution is awesome. It's still rare, but we love it when guys step out of the box with their color palettes. We'd love for that to become more of a trend. The part of AMD's Nova that really got us though was the subtle parts swapping between generations of Novas that at first had us unsure of what year the car actually was. It's one of the most timeless trends in hot rodding, but it's also still one of the best. The most obvious swap here is the '69 SS grille, chosen for the cleaner centersection, but paired with a '70 bumper for clear turn signals rather than amber. AMD also shaved the side marker lights, something all '68-74 Novas had, and swapped on a '69 taillight panel for the smaller taillights. The interior holds our very favorite generational swap though: a '67 Nova dash and instrument cluster with a deleted dashpad. Amazingly, the swap actually looks more appropriate with the stock '71 interior than the original dash.

By The Numbers

Engine: 6.0L LS by Twister Racing, 600 hp
Trans: Keisler SS700 five-speed
Rearend: Legend Gear TSD 500 with 3.54 gears
Suspension/Chassis: Hotchkis Performance tubular control arms, spring, shocks, and sway bar up front. Detroit Speed & Engineering leaf spring kit in the rear
Brakes: 6-piston Wilwood calipers on 14-inch rotors
Wheels & Tires: 18x8 and 18x11 Schott wheels with 255/40R18 and 295/35R18 tires
Contact: Auto Metal Direct; 706-348-6653; AMDInstallation.com