While Chad was announcing the Goodguys Autocross at Del Mar, California last weekend he got a front row seat to some great performances by Hotchkis equipped cars. In the Street Machine class, the famed E-Max Challenger took on all comers with Aaron Ogawa at the controls and came out on top. Even cooer than that, Ogawa laid down the second quickest lap of the entire event, putting the torsion bar and leaf sprung car in some really, really rare air. The machine still uses the factory style suspension which has been improved and updated with a Hochkis TVS (Total Vehicle System) suspension, sticky Falken tires, big Wilwood brakes, and really nice Hotchkis wheels. Also at the event were Dick Eytchison in his BangShift approved four door Chevelle, the car that started the LS swap craze which is known as the F71 Camaro, and a host of other really quick and fast Hotchkis equipped American iron. While there was rain on Friday and Saturday, Sunday was a non-stop cavalcade of action on the course and the H-team members were up to the challenge.
Read on to learn more about Hotchkis Sport Suspension’s big weekend at Del Mar!
The 2013 Good Guys Rod & Custom Car Show and Autocross season drew to a close this past weekend with the 3rd Annual Fall Del Mar Nationals. Hotchkis was on hand with our E-Max ’70 Challenger alongside H-Team members Dick Eytchison, Robert Pierik, Dan Weishaar, Mike Young, and Richard Trujillo to compete in the Autocross and show everyone how much fun these classic cars can be with the addition of well-engineered bolt on suspension components. Though the event started off with a rainout on Friday, in typical SoCal fashion the sun shone brightly the rest of the weekend, setting the stage for some epic battles on the autocross track.
Hotchkis Chief Engineer and autocross specialist Aaron Ogawa put on an amazing disply behind the wheel of our E-Max 1970 Challenger 340 Six-Pack. Using a complete Hotchkis TVS suspension with our SPS non-adjustable shocks, this mighty Mopar outran all but one other competitor, taking down big names like Mary Pozzi and Rob MacGregor and thier highly modified cars with big power and expensive chassis/suspension setups. Who says torsion bars and leaf springs can’t handle! When you combine properly engineered, matched suspension components with sticky tires (like our Falken Azenis RT-615Ks) and good brakes (like our Wilwood setup), you get a balanced, predictable car that is an absolute giant killer.
Besides our E-Max Challenger, many members of the Hotchkis H-Team came out to support this great event and have fun navigating the cones. Dick Eytchison drove out all the way from Colorado in his ’65 Chevelle sedan to lay down some lap times and see how much more speed he could find in this track. If you recall, at the Spring Del Mar show we upgraded Dick’s shocks to the new Hotchkis Tuned SPS shocks after the first day of the event and watched him drop 2 seconds off his lap time (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26uKmTbvgog) the very next day. Robert Pierik was also there with the F71 Camaro turning laps and turning heads. Though we built this car over a decade ago as the first classic muscle car to recieve an LS1 crate motor transplant, it still draws attention everywhere it goes.
Dan Weishaar also made the trek out from Arizona to meet up with fellow H-Team member Mike Young and his Mustang. Dan and Mike have been helping provide us with valuable feedback on our new 64 1/2-70 Mustang suspension by competing in the San Diego SCCA Autocross events where they have been absolutely dominating the SU (Street Unlimited) class. When Hotchkis hot-shoe Aaron Ogawa wasn’t setting the track on fire with E-Max, Dan was behind the wheel giving rides to eager enthusiasts to show them how much fun this sport is and how well these cars handle with bolt-on parts. One of our newest H-Team members, Richard Trujillo, also came out to the autocross. His ’69 Mustang Coupe has been our development platform for the ’67-70 version of our new 1st Gen Mustang suspension.
In addition to the H-Team members in attendance, there were a few other cool Hotchkis-equipped rides tearing up the track. Rob Phillips brought out his awesome ’69 C10 and Adam Johnson brought out his ’71 Charger. There was also wild Chevelle there belonging to Robbie Conklin that was a serious sleeper. At first glance this A-Body may not catch your eye thanks to its primered panels and plain looking wheels, but upon closer inspection you start to see that it means business. From its lowered stance, wide wheels, sticky tires, and Hotchkis sway bar you can tell that this car wasn’t built to mess around. But the real suprise comes when you pop the hood. Hidden away inside its cave of steel and primer is a fire-breathing LSX454 crate motor. Robbie’s was fast on the autocross course too, posting up a time just under 2 seconds behind Ogawa’s, earning him a Top 5 finish in Street Machine. Talk about a real sleeper!