Construction Worker Shows Off Slick Hammer Tricks

01/04/2016

Adding a bit of spice to his day of hard labor, Justin Fiddler decided it was time for a quick intermission. It was a perfect time to show off his killer hand-eye coordination, make a quick video and impress the internet with his skills. 

Hammer time! 

We can't teach you how to do hammer tricks, but we can teach you how the Catherham 7 is built.

Four Underrated Non-V8 Chevy Engines

01/02/2016

Editor's Note: When Velocity's own Sam Wackerle isn't here at work, you can catch him chasing another record, building another project or crawling through the junkyard. Certifiably a car nut, Sam wanted to share his unique vehicular view with a weekly list, The Velocity Stack. 

We all know that the Chevy Small Block V8 has permanently etched its name into the history of hot rodding since it’s introduction in 1955.  The equally revered Big Block and LS series V8s followed in its footsteps, but believe it or not, Chevy made, and continues to make, engines in configurations other than a V8 that are pretty good.  The Gen IV and Gen V LS engines are leading the pack for restomodding and all around engine swapping, but let’s take a moment to see the other options Chevrolet can provide.

Vortec 4200 Straight Six

2006 LL8 (Vortec 4200) engine in 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer

The 4.2-liter, straight six pushes out between 270 and 291 horsepower depending on the year and starts making very usable torque all the way down at 1600 RPM.  For what it’s worth, it was in Ward’s Ten Best Engines from 2002 to 2005.  Right off the bat Chevrolet’s modern straight six sounds pretty good to me, but there’s a secret hiding in these motors.  With the majority of the engine being aluminum, with dual overhead cams and 7 main bearings, there’s horsepower waiting to be tapped from these motors.  There hasn’t been an influx of support from the aftermarket for these engines, but there are a few pioneers pushing them to their limits.  Wouldn’t it be perfect to replace your Stovebolt?

4.3L V6

1988chevtruck

The 4.3 Chevy is a potent power plant and revered in the rock crawling world.  It has simple to understand fuel injection, it’s reliable and it can be squeezed into the smallest of engine compartments.  Don’t be surprised to find them in Datsuns, Miatas, MGs and other compact 2 seaters.  Plus there’s a ton of them available in junkyards and old trucks.  The 1992 to 1995 CPI (Central Port Injection) years are the most desirable for their simplicity and power.  Most of those years are pushing out just under 200 ponies and 260 lb feet of torque.  That may not sound like much in a hot rod, but in a geared down Jeep CJ, or a tiny two-seat convertible, it’s a tough and tight package.  Best place to find them is in 4th generation c/k1500 trucks like the one pictured.

Ecotec 4 Cylinder

2006 Saturn Ion Red Line engine

With a little research and some massive boost, the Ecotec 4 banger can produce ridiculous amounts of power and live to tell the tale.  We’re talking 1400+ horsepower from a tiny 2.0L engine.  You’d expect such a small engine to only be embraced by the JDM fans who are used to pushing small displacement engines to their limits, but the Chevy Ecotec has been setting records by the most scrappy American iron enthusiast at the Salt Flats and other racing events since it’s potential was first realized.  The next time a person pulls up next to you at a red light with a Saturn Ion or Chevy Cobalt, don’t be so sure that your tried and true V8 will smoke them.  It’s a new, exciting and boosted world out there.

292 and 250 Straight Six

Straight Six Camaro

This is a bit out of left field, but that’s the appeal.  An LS can be a good looking engine if you hide a few wires and paint a few bits here and there, but the 292 is a unique piece right out of the box.  There are a lot of myths out there about getting horsepower from the straight six stump-puller.  They can make power, but it requires forethought.  You can’t buy a bunch of go fast pieces from the local auto parts store.  A Chevy 292 needs to be caressed.  Maybe you take it out to dinner first and get to know it.  Put in the time and you’ll have a unique and surprisingly fast piece.  Not to mention, it’s hard for haters to hate when they have a mouth full of your dust.

Six Reasons to Stop Hating JDM Cars

12/28/2015

Editor's Note: When Velocity's own Sam Wackerle isn't here at work, you can catch him chasing another record, building another project or crawling through the junkyard. Certifiably a car nut, Sam wanted to share his unique vehicular view with a weekly list, The Velocity Stack. 

Nissan GTR

Nissan GTR Nismo 01

The Nissan GTR has earned it's nick name of "Godzilla" right from launch.  By launch I mean the factory 0-60mph of 2.7 secs time for the 2015 NISMO version. The GTR is taking down super cars for a fraction of the price, comparatively that is. Is the factory all wheel drive horsepower not enough?  Just add one of the many aftermarket turbo kits and push the beast to over 2000hp and dominate the Texas Mile. 

Mazda Miata

Laguna Seca - Corkscrew - Miata Spec Race

There's an entire racing series dedicated to these convertible two seaters.  They're affordable, handle well and are just plain fun.  If you want to get into the amateur racing scene there is nothing easier to start with.  There's tons of them around still and the huge Miata community is incredibly helpful and friendly.  It's as close as you'll get to turn key racing without breaking the bank.

MKIV Supra

Kamil's Supra

2JZ-GTE, it may sound like a 2 with a mess of letters after it, but it's the "T" that's important.  The "T" stands for turbo, two to be precise.  The legendary 3L twin turbo MKIV Supra has a racing pedigree that isn't limited to Fast and Furious movies.  This car has proven itself over and over again on the street and on the track, laughing in the face of much bigger V8s.  Plus, JDM or American car lover, you can't argue that the MKIV Supra has curves in all the right places.

Datsun 510

Datsun 510 at Barber 2010 01

It's rugged, simple and Paul Newman raced one.  If you don't immediately have respect for this car that launched the career of many a racer then obviously, "What we've got here is, failure to communicate."

Subaru WRX STI

Subaru WRX STI rally car

From the 22B coupe to the current 4th gen with 310hp and Subaru's ridiculously well sorted AWD from the factory, any generation of this rally legend will suffice. My personal favorite is the "bug eye" years.  Let's forget about its history of domination off the road for a bit.  A rally spec  STI will still get to 60mph in a tick over 2 secs flat on asphalt.  While a rally spec version of the STI may not be a streetable or realistic goal for most, there are hard core STI fans that daily drive 800hp monsters, still using the factory AWD system.

Acura NSX

Honda NSX Type R

Ayrton Senna personally assisted in the development of the most well rounded sports car of the early nineties.  It was something completely different from the long established reputation Honda had for mundane passenger vehicles.  The NSX was introduced with a 270hp aluminum V6 and was touted as perfectly balanced for performance and reliability, the latter Honda had in spades.  The prices of these JDM gems have dramatically increased in the last few years as they are finally getting the recognition they deserve.

 

Officer Launches Himself into Semi to Save Driver

12/19/2015

Figuring out how to stop an out-of-control 18-wheeler is no easy feat. However, that is exactly what had to be done in Nebraska as shown by incredible dash-cam footage of one officer risking his life to bring the semi to a stop. 

On December 2, 911 Dispatchers in Madison County, Nebraska answered a call regarding a big rig driving unsafely on Highway 81. As police approached the vehicle, sirens blaring and lights flashing, the semi neglected to pull over to the side of the road. According to local news sources, one of the dispatched officers pulled alongside the truck and realized the driver was not evading police intentionally. He was unresponsive behind the wheel. 

"Deputy Kruid said he got up beside, just to look at the driver, and see if he could get his attention better, and said he [the truck driver] just had the blank stare on his face. Something wasn't right," Deputy Todd Volk stated in an interview with a KTIV reporter.

Taking into account that the big rig was quickly approaching a more populated section of the highway, Volk took it upon himself to bring the rig to a stop before one of the area's most trafficked intersections.
    
"At that point in time, the truck was traveling about 20 mph, I jumped back in my patrol vehicle, punched it and got up in front and jumped out and jumped up and grabbed the hand railing and the mirror on the side of the truck and hit the brakes," Volk told reporters.

Check out the raw dash cam footage below: 

The police later found out that the driver, who was unaware of his health condition, was having a diabetic episode. 

Please consider taking the Velocity Drive Smart pledge to make roads safer for everyone.

Five and a Half (Cheap for Now) Collectable Trucks

12/17/2015

Editor's Note: When Velocity's own Sam Wackerle isn't here at work, you can catch him chasing another record, building another project or crawling through the junkyard. Certifiably a car nut, Sam wanted to share his unique vehicular view with a weekly list, The Velocity Stack. 

First Gen Dodge Ram Cummins 

1993 Dodge Ram W250 Club Cab 4x4 Cummins td

This unassuming truck set the standard for diesel trucks years before Ford and Chevy fully embraced the diesel market.  It had a direct injection, turbo charged, straight six, while the other two of the big three where still indirectly injected and naturally aspirated v8s.  Fewer cylinders may seem less desirable, but a straight six delivers the power where you need it, very low in the RPM range.  The 1989 to 1994 Dodge Ram with the 5.9 Cummins may not be the rarest truck on the list, but  it’s cult following may be the strongest. 

Solid Front Axle Toyota Pickup

Toyota truck

In the states it was simply the Toyota Pickup, to the world it was the Hilux.  If you aren’t familiar with the pre 1985 solid front axle Toyota trucks, you need to go back to school.  They have a reputation of unsurpassed reliability, driven by the heroic 22R.  It’s not uncommon to see ads for this generation of Toy truck stating, “300,000 miles, frame is cracked, floors and bed rusted, but runs like a top, daily driver.”

Jeep CJ 8

1983 Jeep Scrambler

Take an already well-sorted Jeep, extend the bed 2 feet and you get The Scrambler.  The 10 inch longer wheel base smoothed out the ride on the pavement and the reliable AMC 6 banger was ready to push the factory 4 wheel drive Jeep truck through any off road terrain it faced.  All generations of Jeeps are popular and the CJ8 has become extremely sought after.  27,792 CJ8s were produced, and most have been neglected beyond recognition, if you see a prime example you better snatch it up while you can.

Jeep FC series

Jeep FC-150

The Jeep FC series of trucks were strange but practical.  The FC stands for Forward Control, meaning the driver’s compartment was very far forward on the chassis, like a miniature cab over.  It was a workhorse with a short wheelbase and you could order a plethora of beds from Jeep approved dealers.  The FC series had incredible variety available and was hopelessly utilitarian at its heart.  It is a quirky piece of AMC history. 

GMC Typhoon

1993 GMC Typhoon (2546584861)

The GMC Syclone has taken most of the spotlight in recent years, but the Syclone and the Typhoon have the same turbo charged 4.3 V6 engine and 4-wheel drive system that made them unlike anything else GM had at the time.  The Typhoon may be .4 secs slower than the Syclone from 0-60mph, but at 5.7 secs it was just as fast as the Corvette in 1992.  Plus you could fit a whole keg in the back of the Typhoon.  Good luck with that in a Corvette.

 

The half: The Suzuki Samurai

Dirty Suzuki Samurai

With an anemic 1.3 liter engine, leaf springs front and rear, and a fondness for rolling over at sub normal driving speeds, it doesn’t sound like a recipe for success, but the Samurai has gained an extremely devoted following.  With their lightweight and simple drivetrain, including solid axles front and rear, it was a rugged recipe for success.  If you head to the woods with your Jeep friends for a weekend, there will inevitably be a Samurai there.  To the dismay of your 35-inch tires, Rubicon Dana 44s and 4 to 1 transfer case, that damn Samurai on 31s will slowly putter right past you.

 


Visit daily for posts about the shows and spirit of Velocity, an upscale male lifestyle network, featuring the best of the automotive, sports, adventure and travel genres.

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