& Clack Talk Cars
By Tom & Ray Magliozzi
Dear Tom and Ray:
My hubby is getting a 69
Dodge Coronet 440 restored, and the fellow who is
doing the work has routed the new gas line
through the wheel well. Is this a safety hazard?
The car caught fire twice already (both were
electrical fires), and the gas line is on my side
of the car (passenger). I do keep a fire
extinguisher next to me at all times when I ride
with him, but I just want to know if I need to
buy another extinguisher to put out gas fires,
too. - Linda
RAY: Should you carry another
fire extinguisher with you? Yes - maybe two or
three. A flame retardant suit and a football
helmet wouldnt be bad ideas, either.
TOM: Not so much because of the
fuel line, but because the car has already tried
to fry you twice. Thats not exactly a vote
of confidence in the guy doing the restoration.
RAY: I dont think the
fuel line is terribly unsafe in the wheel well.
The line is made of steel, and its usually
routed underneath the car, where its
subject to road debris and tall armadillos. So
its pretty tough.
TOM: On the other hand, in the
wheel well it would be subject to debris being
hurled at it from a spinning tire. And if
youre going 75 miles an hour, some of the
stuff coming off the tires could be going 150
mph. Or in a blowout, a piece of the tire itself
could even strike the fuel line. And that may be
more than the line is designated to take.
RAY: So Id have him move
it back to its normal position. Why not? In fact,
its probably easier to route it under the
TOM: I dont know why he
put it there, Linda. But have him put it back in
its traditional place. Its easy to do, and
itll mean one less fire youll have to
put out over the coming weeks.
By Greg Zyla
Sponsored by Curry Automotive
"Fabulous Hudson Hornet"
Q: I just watched
the "Cars" animated movie, and was
impressed with the Paul Newman-personality Hudson
Hornet, which is a true-to-life take-off on the
early days of NASCAR and the championship Hudson
Hornet. Exactly how many races did Hudson win in
these early years? -- Calvin H., Washington
A: Calvin, the
"Fabulous Hudson Hornet," as depicted
in "Cars" as "Doc Hudson,"
won more than 100 races from 1951 through 1955 in
several sanctioning bodies. The usual drivers
were Marshall Teague, Herb Thomas, Dick Rathmann,
Fonty Flock and Tim Flock.
Hudson race cars
accounted for 13 wins in 1951, 49 in 1952 and 46
in 1953. In 1952, Hornets driven by Teague (who
was responsible for arranging the Hudson Motor
Company sponsorship), Thomas and Tim Flock won 27
NASCAR races. Over in the AAA series that year,
Teague scored another 14 wins, bringing
Hornets season record in the two respected
series to 41 wins in 48 events for a winning
percentage of better than 80 percent.
This was at the
time an extraordinary feat, as six-cylinder
engines powered the Hudsons versus V8-powered
competitors. As for NASCAR alone, Hudson won
three NASCAR manufacturer championships from 1951
through 1953 and 80 Cup races from 1951 through