Roadkill Nights Event: The Guts and Glory of it All!

 

Written by Matthew McMurray on October 6, 2016

Richard Hutchins’ Chevy rebellion VW exhibition wheel stander made full use of the sticky Woodward Avenue launch pad. On any other day, he’d be hauled off to jail for a stunt like this!

On August 19th, there was plenty to see on Woodward Road in Pontiac, Michigan. Killer cars, nice women and one hell of a crowd. The event would’ve been quite the lousy turn out if it weren’t for Hot Rod’s two well known legends and they have the job that any car lover or gear head could dream of. Hot Rod editor David Freiberger and Car Enthusiast (very well employed) Mike Finnegan hosted a special event up in Pontiac, Michigan allowing the fans to race what they brought, making for an epic turn out at the Woodward Roadkill Nights Event of around 50,000 people!

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The Roadkill show has a sweet collection of cars built from bottom up, and typically look like they were dug out of the bottom of the junkyard. Which literally makes them that much more awesome. As you can see in the photo above, the General Mayhem, which is a 1968 Dodge Charger that was dug out of the remains of a small storage lot and was traded for a pair of cylinder heads. The car was quickly evolving, taking the remains of the Roadkill Plymouth Fury, which was used in 24 hours of Lemons, until the motor gave in. Later on, they took it upon themselves to challenge Gas Monkey Garage, and created a intimidating beast. The car was jam-packed with a brand new Hellcat driveline, ready to compete at the event hosted later in the year.

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The races in Woodward were strictly there for the fun of thrashing cars and enjoying burgers and beers with your friends and fellow car lovers. One of the Major car enthusiasts  and bloggers who brought his Dodge Charger Daytona and all his fame, was Mike Musto (YouTube channel: /DRIVE). He was well known and his appearance was well appreciated among the crowd of people at the event. Mike Musto’s Charger Daytona was also excited to see the tarmac hot and sticky, and with General Mayhem that appeared to be a disgraced disappointment  but had the strength of 707 horses to compete against, the challenge was excepted.

For an upcoming episode of Roadkill, show hosts David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan bought this Dodge Challenger project car a week earlier at the Mopar Nationals in Columbus, OH. Using nothing but parts scored at the Nationals swap meet, they cobbled it together enough to be driven to Roadkill’s Pontiac, MI destination. The tunnel rammed small block and spool-equipped 8-3/4 rear end delivered lots of tire smoke.

Another car that made an scene at the Woodward Dream Cruise/Roadkill Nights Event, was the newest car to Hot Rod’s collection in August was their 1970 Dodge Challenger. This was project of the month for Finnegan and Freiburger with a motor built straight out of the Mopar NATS swap meet. In Episode 54, you see these two turn the car from nothing to a sort of street legal, tire roasting machine with a new rear end, and an old, used 318 dragged out of an old dodge truck. When they visit the NATS in Episode 56, they get all new headers, wheels & tires, and a tunnel ram with disassembled carbs, to slap the rest of the mint Mopar into shape for their drive to Michigan.

Legendary Dodge factory drag team The Ramchargers, maintained a clubhouse and race garage on Woodward in the sixties. This altered wheelbase ’65 Coronet tribute wouldn’t exist today if the Rams hadn’t come up with the AWB trick. Blown Money featured a GMC huffed 426 style Hemi.

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During all the action of Roadkill Nights, The Woodward Dream Cruise was also in progress and happened to be in the same area on the same night of the Roadkill Nights event. All the photos of these cars are participants of the Dream Cruise. All photos were fans or racers that were in for the thrill of the illegal/ legal racing happening on the straight away that they always wanted to speed on and they can get their 1/4 mile time. It’s a win-win!

Amazingly, by Saturday morning, all signs of the impromptu Roadkill Nights drag strip were removed and normal traffic returned to Woodward Avenue. Plans for 2017 are unknown. It is possible this was a once in a lifetime event. We’re glad to have witnessed it!

After a hardcore night done this road, normal traffic was able to return the next day like nothing ever happened. Only burnout marks and the faint smell of tire smoke in the air was all that lingered afterward.

Source: hotrod.com, carcraft.com, gasmonkeygarage.com, google images, motortrend.com

 

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