Hill back on track: champion on bikes, boats and cars

Hill back on track: champion on bikes, boats and cars

Written by Bertie Scott Brown, November 3, 2014 Wichita Falls, Texas: Eddie Hill is a driver and team owner with a 40-year involvement in motor sport. He won numerous drag racing championships on land and water. On land he was the first to run the quarter-mile in the four-second range (4.990 seconds), which earned him the nickname “Four Father of Drag Racing.”  He also won the NHRA Top Fuel national championship in 1993. On water he won championships with all major marine drag racing sanctioning bodies and set a lowest, wet elapsed-time record of 5.16-second, which, at that time, was lower than the land drag racing record of 5.39 seconds. Earlier, in 1966, he established a motorcycle dealership in Wichita Falls and switched to motorcycle racing, winning the Texas state road racing championship in 1972, at the ripe age of 36!  By 2008 his operation had become the oldest Honda and Kawasaki dealership in Texas. In 1987 Hill became the first person to hold both land and water speed records simultaneously. When he retired in 1999, he had captured 12 national season point championships on land or water, more than 100 trophies in motorcycle racing and 86 drag racing events between his land and water careers. Today at 78 years of age he is still active…in an Ariel Atom. “I was afraid I’d be terminally bored when my Top Fuel days were over,” says Hill, “but the Ariel Atoms saved me.” Last year in the February issue of Kit Car Builder magazine they described an event at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit near Tulsa, Oklahoma, thus: “Eddie Hill can win...

PRI Grand Opening Breakfast energized by Snake and Mongoose

By Titus Bloom, September 2014 Snake Prudomme and Mongoose McEwen, the two former, prominent drag racers around whom the Snake and Mongoose movie was based, are scheduled to appear at this year’s PRI Grand Opening Breakfast. The event takes place on Thursday, December 11, at 8am in the Sagamore Ballroom in the Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis. If you missed them at the SEMA Breakfast held two years ago, which attracted an early morning audience of 1800, you might like to catch them at the PRI show. Doors open at 7am.  Joining MAVTV’s Dave Despain they’ll share their colorful racing stories, kicking off what PRI cites as the world’s largest gathering of motorsports professionals. With 49 career victories, Prudhomme remains the sixth most successful competitor in NHRA history. Beginning his driving career in 1962, he was the first driver to win the NHRA series title on four consecutive occasions. McEwen is listed as number 16 of the 50 most significant drivers of NHRA’s first 50 years, winning five NHRA national events. But these statistics hardly tell the entire story for McEwen went on to win three AHRA world titles competing against the same NHRA competitors. He also missed a significant number of ‘association’ events while chasing the lucre of match racing. Match racing paid the bills and in this arena he excelled, winning the 1973 Super Nationals in a Funny Car at Ontario, California, claiming a purse of $20,000 and the PDA event in Tulsa, Oklahoma which paid $35,000. But carrying victory in the last race at the famed Lions track in Los Angeles in 1972 was probably his most...

Full throttle at SEMA 2014 and five top prize winners featured

By Martha Maglone, November 14, 2014 With over 2,300 exhibiting companies offering over 2,000 new products, the scale of SEMA’s success stretches things to the limit. Even the network of roads and Monorail that connect the Convention Center with the hotels are overrun as the exuberant desert oasis struggles to handle 150,000 visitors. Still, the mood inside the exhibition halls and outside on the display pavements in the mid-autumn warmth was vibrant, often in stark contrast to that in the Media Center, which could be deadly dull. The abiding problem with most press conference presenters is their appetite for blithering on in their self-congratulatory way about their skill sets and their achievements and their unmatched talents until your head aches. With nothing to say that is remotely memorable they grind on inexorably with presentations that weary all but their most avid supporters. These company heads and marketing chiefs should be taught that it is a sin to bore their fellow creatures. But in the exhibition halls there is plenty to marvel at not least the proportions of youth. Here in vast numbers they are easily identified by their flat-brimmed baseball hats—an image not always appreciated by the old guard. But who cares; the fact that the youth are arriving in such numbers is admirable and, assuredly, has helped build annual aftermarket parts sales to the staggering 13+ billion dollars now reported. The latest thinking from component manufacturers For the buyers the most conspicuous draw is new products, which had been submitted by dozens of manufacturers for judgment. Following the formal announcements, proclaimed at the SEMA Breakfast on Tuesday morning...

Know your tech: serpentine pulley systems

Compliments of Maximum Drive magazine, November 2014 Though the beguiling appearance of a pulley system brings a fresh new appearance to the engine bay, a system’s real potency lies in its operating excellence and ease of fitment. If you ask hot rodders of their greatest disappointment with aftermarket serpentine belt systems you will often find it lies not with the system’s appearance but with its fitting. Its beauty is often obscured by the fact it doesn’t fit very well. Concept One pioneered the first complete pulley system designs and in the latest issue of Maximum Drive magazine they discuss their formula. To view story click...

New hydraulic bearing kit for GM-Tremec TKO

As you probably know there are at least two distinct styles of hydraulic clutch release bearings. The aftermarket style is distinguished from the OEM style by its lack of constant contact—it functions only when the clutch pedal is depressed. But of greater significance, perhaps, has been Ram’s emphasis on developing a series of release bearings to adapt Tremec’s range of transmissions to all Muscle cars, which leads us to their current new product release. By Sam Logan, December 4, 2014 Columbia, SC: Ram Clutches has created a new hydraulic release bearing kit to accommodate the coupling of the Tremec TKO transmission with a dual-disc clutch-flywheel assembly to Chevrolet small- and big-blocks. In fact, it works startlingly well in most GM applications, including those with taller single-disc units. Previously, combining Tremec’s illustrious 5-speed with the more effective high-performance dual-disc clutch-flywheel assembly and adapting them for use with small- and big-block Chevrolet engines was not usually possible unless the release bearing guide collar was machined to reduce its depth. Equipped with a shallow base, Ram’s latest hydraulic release bearing kit accepts all single- and dual-disc clutch assemblies up to 0.150in taller than the original single-disc arrangement. Dual-disc clutches require a spacing of approximately 0.200in between clutch diaphragm fingers and release bearing, while single-disc units require 0.150in. To adjust the gap correctly, spacers of 0.100in and shims of 0.045in thick are provided. Ram also provides the installer with the measuring information to determine the exact position of the fully retracted release bearing in relationship to the diaphragm fingers. This latest kit, assigned part number 78131 and priced at $253, concludes a fruitful...