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Pre-Muscle DIY!

Published in blog.hemmings.com

Ah, muscle cars…we all love them, but let’s face it–factory go-fast wasn’t a sudden, overnight thing, right? We’re talking about The Big Three here, folks: Nothing happens as quickly as we want it to, but they do finally get there, don’t they?

So, what came before Cobra Jets and Roadrunners and Super Birds and elephants and rats? Who are the forefathers of factory fast? Well, that would be the hot-rodders, brother. A homemade hot rod built by a kid with not much more support than a few other kids trying to figure it all out by the literal seats of their pants, too. Imagine being 22-years old and starting your own speed parts business so you and your friends have the equipment you think you might need, and you think might actually work on a dragstrip or a dry lake bed or a certain salty moonscape in Utah? And then imagine watching Detroit embrace everything you dedicated your youth to, some 20 years later? What an amazing period of time in the history of American speed that must’ve been to be under 30.

Anyway, we’re just waxing nostalgic here. But here’s the thing: You could recreate your own version of this great, old photo yourself, right now, 20 years into the new millennium. Cut and drop your own axle. Rebuild the rear brakes in the street. Paint your race car in front of your house (well, maybe do that in front of someone else’s house). Flat-tow it to the track. Have a blast. Point is, there’s some version of this you can recreate on your own, that’s for sure.

Or, you could just plunk down a deposit and make payments on a 707 hp factory monster backed-up by a full warranty and choice of bluetooth-connected stereo. There’s always that option, too…