John Lingenfelter:1945-2003With our deepest sadness we regret to report on the passing of performance pioneer John Lingefelter, who passed away in December after a lengthy coma, following his 2002 crash in an NHRA Sport Compact race at Pomona, Calif., in 2002.
Lingenfelter, as leader of Lingenfelter Performance Engineering and friend to the industry, led our business into all new levels of engine development, electronic fuel injection, and turbocharging. His success in NHRA's Competition Eliminator category reaches back decades with 13 National Event victories and as the first in the class to run in the 6-second zone.
Lingenfelter is survived by his wife, Cynthia Lingenfelter, and two daughters, Kerri Ann Page of Frisco, Texas, and Kelly Jo Kline of Decatur, Indiana.For more information, log onto Lingenfelter.com.
"Sema Model" Licenses Under ReviewMassachusetts State Representative Viriato "Vinny" deMacedo (R-Plymouth) has agreed to introduce SEMA's model street rod/custom vehicle bill in the Massachusetts Legislature. Citing the expense to the state of offering additional specialty license plates, Missouri's governor vetoed the SEMA model in the last session. The Missouri Legislature overwhelmingly had passed this bill. Unfortunately, the SEMA model was attached to other bills, unrelated to the street rod/custom sections, that created a slate of new special license plate options. This year, Representative Green has committed to keeping the SEMA model as a stand-alone bill. The SEMA-model bill is still pending in New York (S.B.615, A.B. 5224) and Rhode Island (H.B. 5487). It was enacted in Illinois in 2002 (Public Act 92-0668).
The Sema model bill provides for special license plates, and it exempts rods and customs from a state's periodic inspections and emissions tests. It also allows for the use of non-original materials and creates a titling criterion that assigns these vehicles the same model-year designation as the production vehicle it most closely resembles.
Under the provisions of the bill, use of these vehicles is limited to occasional transportation, exhibits, club activities, parades, tours, and similar uses. Vehicles registered under this bill may not be used for general daily transportation. As part of the bill, hobbyists will also be allowed to use blue-dot taillights for rear stop lamps or turn indicator lights. Vehicles registered under these designations would be charged a one-time-only registration fee.
"We are extremely pleased that Massachusetts is poised to join the parade of states that have embraced our street rod/custom vehicle registration legislation. This bill recognizes the immeasurable amount of time, money, and thought that automotive hobbyists invest in their cars," said SEMA Senior Director of Government Affairs Steve McDonald. "For many vehicle enthusiasts in Massachusetts and Missouri and throughout America, building, maintaining and enjoying their vehicles is a favorite pastime. This legislation represents an opportunity to acknowledge their commitment to the hobby and to protect it for future generations.
"As in Illinois and the other states, the Massachusetts and Missouri bills, if enacted, will offer the added benefit of also including qualifying replica cars and kit cars in these specialty vehicle titling and registration classifications," McDonald added.
Johnny Lightning Celebrates 10th AnniversaryThose of you into collecting little cars (rather than the ones in your driveway that haven't run in years) will be quite excited to see that Playing Mantis is going all-out to promote the anniversary of its hottest line, Johnny Lightning. JL Founder Tom Low has picked his two favorite vehicles from each of Johnny Lightning's ten years of die cast production for very limited runs. With 37 new castings in six months, it'll be huge. Check out www.playingmantis.com for more info on the JL Club and how to get these exclusive cars.
MagnaFlow Lets You In!Want to meet Mario Andretti? Want to ask him how he was able to create such incredible stunts with such little feet? Well, don't ask that, but if you can get to Southern California on Saturday, April 24th, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., get his autograph at the annual MagnaFlow Exhaust Open House.
There you'll also get tech help from one of the fastest growing exhaust manufacturers in the world, check out monster trucks, join the car show, see installation demonstrations, dyno runs, manufacturer vendor booths, music, food, and more. MagnaFlow's new, revamped "club style" tech center will be in use for the installs and dyno runs, and will provide a more relaxed and comfortable atmosphere for those observing. Attendees will include their warehouse distributors, muffler shops, local Orange County enthusiasts, etc. Contact: Magnaflow Performance Exhaust, 22961 Arroyo Vista, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688, (949) 858-5900, www.magnaflow.com.
Goodguys Finalizes Award SitesThanks in part to a major effort by this magazine in particular as part of its Street Machine of the Year multi-year partnership with the Goodguys Rod and Custom Association, enthusiasts are heading to Goodguys shows in droves to enter their vehicles in the "Of The Year" categories. The press, prestige, and fun that goes with these awards-whether you end up winning or not-has brought a new level of fun and honor to the hobby and Goodguys recently firmed up the various shows and categories involved.
Many of the venues and awards have become new traditions already, like the Goodguys Nationals in Columbus, Ohio (July 9-11) and the connection to Street Rod of the Year and Street Machine of the Year. Another show with that kind of expectation is the Heartland Nationals, in Des Moines, Iowa (July 2-4), where they present Custom Rod of the Year. Both of these shows have helped to set standards for the types of cars that appear, or better yet, the level of the cars that debut.
Other events on the schedule, like the upcoming All American Get Together in Pleasanton, California (March 27-28) and its Custom d' Elegance Award bring out unique cars for unique scenarios. In the fall, Pleasanton's West Coast Nationals (August 27-29) also hosts America's Most Beautiful Street Rod, an aptly scheduled event that's just far enough behind the Ridler Award and Grand National Roadster Show activities to give the rods that weren't ready for early debuts a chance at the pomp and circumstance. The growing show down the road in Del Mar (April 2-4) gives the Street Rod d 'Elegance Award to the pre-'49 crowd and provides the chance to turn up the fit and finish. Speaking of such details, it's the Great Lakes Nationals in Waukesba, Wisconsin (August 20-22), where fittingly the Muscle Car of the Year Award for resto types is given away.
Thanks to the effort of Classic Trucks magazine among others, the truck crowd has new-found attention for its best buildups. Goodguys now recently began presenting honors for both early (through 1952) and late (1953-'72) divisions of its Truck of the Year Award. Hit the Lonestar Nationals at Fort Worth's Texas Motor Speedway (October 1-3) if you think your hauler has what it takes.
As usual, you can check our Weekend Planner section for a full calendar of events or log onto www.good-guys.com for rules, regulations, and hazing activities.
New Trosley PrintIs this depiction a little too familiar? When we saw the latest print from famed cartoonist George Trosley, it looked a bit like the four times a year we seem to get stuck in the same predicament. Get a reminder of the joyous occasion for your wall!
Want one? Know that there's also a custom rod version, too. Contact: George Trosley, P.O. Box 37, Dept. PHR, Woodlyn, PA 19094, www.georgetrosley.com.
Finally, 4.6L Book!Those of us (the majority...) with far more experience with traditional overhead valve engines and less time spent on overhead cam examples will be thankful for the effort put forth by Sean Hyland and CarTech, Inc.-there's finally a book that can steer you through the nuances of Ford's OHC motors.
How to Build Max-Performance 4.6-Liter Ford Engines gives readers a comprehensive guide to building and modifying Ford's 2-valve and 4-valve 4.6 and 5.4L engines, detailing everything from block selection and crankshaft prep to cylinder head and intake manifold modification. Hyland also outlines eight recommended power packages and provides a step-by-step buildup of a naturally aspirated, 405hp Cobra engine.
Hyland is well known in Ford circles as a pioneer in OHC hop-ups, both in normally-aspirated and blown circles. Wait? He's a drag racer. So they're not circles, but you get the point.
How to Build Max-Performance 4.6-Liter Ford Engines is 128 pages and contains 320 black and white photos. This softbound book will retail at $18.95 ($4.85 s/h) and can be ordered by calling CarTech (800-551-4754) or by logging onto www.cartechbooks.com.
Convert Your Fridge, Now!Do you have an eyesore of a refrigerator filled with recreational beverages in the garage? Is it covered with stickers from companies that don't exist anymore and whose parts broke? Mine, too.
Too Cool Refrigerator kits figures that they have a solution for your eyesore. Imagine installing a refrigerator conversion kit, a do-it-yourself treatment that transforms your fridge or freezer in about three hours. The kit includes everything you need to go from a Joe Regular garage to a Monster House wannabe, like a paint roller and tray, brush, adhesive, and even sandpaper. But, wait! You have one of those mini-fridges, right? They have the kits for those, too.
A Cool Tool toolbox design is one of the options, as are a Cool Flames version and a Cool Fuel pump replica design as well. The kits are a creation of Portland, Oregon-based Red Ball Product Development, which specializes in this kind of stuff for both automotive enthusiasts and home improvement fiends. Contact: Red Ball Product Development, 11135 SW Matzen Dr., Dept. PHR, Wilsonville, OR 97070, wwwtoocoolkits.com, (800) 456-3171.
Speed Bump Special?What do you get when you combine a 1983 four-wheel-drive Chevy S-10 truck chassis and bed, a Jeep CJ-7 fiberglass body, 1996 Corvette LT-1 power plant, and a 5-speed manual transmission? Well, you get, this.
Thanks to racer and builder Warren Mosler for this one. That is, "Thanks! We think...."
California's Exhaust-Noise Testing Program: Success?The California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) is reporting that 83 percent of vehicles which have undergone the state's new exhaust-noise test have been certified to be in compliance with California law. The BAR began operation of the motor-vehicle exhaust-noise testing program late this past summer. The program, the product of a SEMA-sponsored law, allows California hobbyists to prove they comply with state noise standards.
"This information validates our long-held contention that a vast majority of citations written for violation of California's exhaust-noise laws are, in fact, erroneous," said Steve McDonald, SEMA Senior Director of Government Affairs. "For years, the enforcement policy used by police officers has deemed nearly all exhaust system modifications illegal, even where the noise levels met state standards. Motorists who modify their vehicles for durability, appearance, and performance prefer aftermarket exhaust systems. By establishing this evenhanded testing process, this program is proving to benefit consumers who favor these state-of-the-art products, the aftermarket industry that markets them and even police officers who are charged with enforcing the law."
The law also allows courts to dismiss citations for exhaust systems that have been tested and for which a certificate of compliance has been issued. Under the program, the 40 Smog Check stations statewide that provide referee functions are performing the test. These referee stations are issuing certificates of compliance for vehicles when tests of their exhaust systems demonstrate that they emit no more than 95-decibels, under Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) test procedure J1169. However, only those vehicles that have received a citation for an exhaust-noise violation are permitted to submit their vehicle for the test.