It’s the end of the year here at Roadkill and, like every other site, we’re going to do a little of looking back on 2016. We won’t spend a whole lot of our time on it, but we’ll just give you a quick look at our most popular and least popular—this is Roadkill, after all—stories from 2016. Why were these stories the least popular? Who knows? Maybe they posted on the same day as the Super Bowl, or maybe they were terrible. At Roadkill we’re all about second chances, plus we liked many of these stories that got few views so maybe you’ll find them worth revisiting. Scroll on down to find stories about saying goodbye to a legend, shredding tires with a borrowed Hellcat, two entertaining 24 Hours of LeMons cars, a whole gallery of weird AMC cars, and more. Click the article titles under the photos to read the whole story, and let us know in the comments if you think these sucked.
Freiburger wrote this brief explanation about one of the first homes of drag racing and land-speed racing, the El Mirage dry lakebed in Southern California. This one photo from the Petersen Publishing Archives (aka Roadkill’s grandparents) sums it up perfectly: Few boundaries and lots of ingenuity with old jalopies in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s.
Ford’s been busy releasing Mustang race cars at the end of the year and at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show, they unveiled the track-ready Shelby FP350S. It’s a step down from the Mustang GT4 they announced in November but should be a potent track toy or a very competent racer in Trans-Am Series and in club racing. We got the FP350S details from the Ford engineers at PRI in this story.
One of LeMons’ hallmarks is the team that makes their race car unnecessarily complicated. The F.A.C.E. Racing team from Ohio decided to take a knocked-around early Porsche 924 and give it some healthy, same-era American power from a 4.3-liter GM V6. Most teams would ditch the Porsche rear transaxle for a front-transmission and rear differential setup, but F.A.C.E. kept the transaxle. The finishing results haven’t been great, but that it runs it all makes it a great LeMons car.
While the Roadkill crew were in Michigan for the Woodward Dream Cruise, Elana borrowed a Challenger Hellcat from Dodge to run with the Modern Street Hemi Shootout. It was a bit hot so our loaner wasn’t quite the 10-second hammer it usually is, but we got some great Mopar photos in the gallery at the bottom of the story.
We lost a lot of great people in 2016, but the loss of pioneer drag racer and land-speed racer Art Chrisman might be one of the most conspicuous absences in the racing world. Not only was Art one of Bonneville’s pioneers as one of the five inaugural 200 MPH Club members, he also set the template for dragsters with his early Hustler I. Racing would likely be different today without Chrisman’s pioneering efforts.
This was something of a concept-story that this author wrote and it might require a bit of explaining. The Nigerian Prince Racing team turned their Honda Prelude into a 419 email scam (hence the car #419). This small feature was written in the style of a fitting Nigerian royalty with broken English and poor grammar. Yeah, maybe not our best work.
Photographer Povi Pullinen drove through Baja Mexico in a Polaris RZR in NovemSber, which included some time to watching Baja 1000 competitors rip past. This third part of Povi’s series probably is low on list because it was just posted this week, but we’re pretty sure those numbers will kick up a bit when people realize there are lots of photos of a Husqvarna and an RZR rockin’ around an abandoned pool like mid-’70s skateboarders. Yeah, you’re gonna want to click on the link above.
We might have gotten carried away when visiting the American Motors Owners Convention earlier this year with a plethora of galleries (and one story we still haven’t written yet). Given AMC’s legacy for producing automotive curiosities, we find it strange that the “AMC Oddballs” gallery didn’t get more play, but if you’re feeling like seeing the weird, you can check out 195 photos of Gremlins, Pacers, Matadors, and more in this story.
This story was actually from December 2015, but since it’s topical again, we thought we’d include it. Get your Star Wars puns, quotes, references, and occasional trolling from LeMons here, even though a few more Star Wars cars have turned up in the year since this was published.
Here’s hoping you find some hidden gems among this; you can read about our most popular stories in just a few days’ time. We’ll be bringing you plenty of great stuff in 2017, but we’re always happy to ask: What kinds of things do you want to see us writing for the site and the magazine next year?