Hot Rods and Hot Boats
Words and pictures by Shaun Saunders and Jeff Rainbird

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Shaun Saunders writes: Westworld Fairgrounds in Scottsdale, Arizona hosted the annual Goodguys Hot Rod Show in December 2009. It was a very well-attended event with a great selection of cars ranging from daily drivers to $200,000 pro-built show cars, the latter arriving in enclosed trailers from around the country - many drivers travel vast distances to receive an award for their efforts.

A perfect 80 degree weekend added to the charm of the show. I would estimate that a thousand cars were present, including Tri Chevys, Camaros and Caddys along with '32 and '34 rods, my favourites being a blown BBC '34 driven on open zoomies and a beautiful blown orange candy '68 Camaro. I also spotted a few Pops and a BBC-powered '32 roadster with a chrome Jag rear end, glad to see a British influence at such an event.

Jeff Rainbird writes: The engine and hull carnage at Saturday's first round of qualfying for this year's IHBA Finals at Firebird left the Top Fuel Hydro second round down to two, and a few other teams with major bills if they are to compete next year.

Watching the Toxic Rocket go 263 mph in 4.6 seconds is a memory never to be forgotten. Hot Licks mixed them up with valve bounce as the props unloaded on the launch filling the blower which then exploded tearing the whole top half of the engine apart. The second Alcohol Hydro runs had one boat dig in the left pickle on the gear shift at the 350' mark, the boat then proceeded to stand on its nose go into a total self destruct. The sunken wreckage was towed to the side clear of the track and the driver was OK as he was thrown clear in the safety capsule. This was backed up by the Pro Mod Hydros running to a 7.00 index and they do, our index racers should have a look ! Then there are all the Sportsman guys and the Alcohol Flats (the Fuel Altereds).

Is Drag Boat racing better? Here are some facts. If the track's wet, they race. If there is an oildown, they race. 1320 feet and they don't need an army to get fired or a burnout, just a track clear of wreckage.

Having raced Offshore Power Boats and won, gone over backwards at 90+ mph, got the K7 badge for 100+ mph in an Offshore Power Boat on Windermere, and stepped off a racing water ski at around 87 mph, stopping unintentionally at speed on water hurts and tears boats to pieces. These guys have my full admiration; this sport is lethal, on the edge and will not discriminate. I'm hooked.

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