Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Electric Hot Rods: Sacrilege, or a Glimpse of Our Future?

Posted November 15, 2021 8:53 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: electric vehicles muscle cars

You may have heard that General Motors displayed a ’57 Chevy that had been outfitted with an electric drivetrain at last week’s SEMA Convention. It certainly wasn’t the first classic in recent years to receive a plug-in powertrain, but it might be the most controversial to date, at least for hot rodding enthusiasts. The issue isn’t so much that a classic ’57 was electrified, but that it was this particular ’57: Project X.

If you’re not familiar, Project X is a widely recognized project car that got its start in automotive media back in 1965 in the pages of Popular Hot Rodding magazine. It began as an effort to create a “low-buck” street/strip car and continued to be used as a test bed or evaluating equipment and performing experiments. Years later, in 1980, it appeared in the movie The Hollywood Knights in iconic form, street racing in chrome yellow with fat meats just inside its radiused rear wheel arches and a 6-71 supercharged small-block on full display thanks to its lack of a hood.

Whether on the pages of a magazine or up on the silver screen, this car inspired many gearheads through the years, remaining in countless minds as the archetypal street machine. I'm one of them, and can clearly recall watching the wicked yellow shoebox on the screen, hearing it make all the right sounds. I didn't make the connection to the magazine project car until years later, and when I did it only made the car seem cooler. Even after Popular Hot Rodding folded up, Project X continued to build its legacy as it transferred to Hot Rod magazine. This car has had small-blocks, big-blocks, LS power, and all manner of speed bits over the years. But an electric motor?

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