Ethan Lawrence of Albuquerque, New Mexico, took top honors in this year's True Street Chal
What is the definition of a true street car? If you ask the local police in the town where this author grew up, they'll tell you about a '64 Dodge with a stout 440, 5.13 gears, wheeltubs, cheater slicks, and a gutted interior that was regularly driven, and regularly pulled over, on the streets of Greenfield, Indiana. While this car did meet the minimum requirements of a street vehicle-lights, turn signals, mufflers, and DOT-approved tires-it lacked the refinement of what we would consider a street car in today's world. These days, a stout, head-turning street car must have plenty of power, and good looks don't hurt either, but today's street cars must also demonstrate road manners worthy of a rush-hour commute, and must suffer through long periods of idling in hot traffic while running on low-octane pump fuel.
The rules of the True Street Challenge are simple. Points are awarded for interior and exterior appearance, and the fit and function of the car's equipment is checked. We then fill the cars with pump gas and make them drive more than 20 miles through the desert heat on a combination of interstates and highways, then through the stop-and-go traffic of Las Vegas Boulevard, before returning to the Strip at Las Vegas for some quarter-mile passes. During the driving portion of the contest, each car is awarded points for road manners, ride quality, and noise level; at the strip, points are awarded based on quarter-mile elapsed times.
The cars in this year's True Street Challenge, held at the annual Mopars at the Strip show and race in Las Vegas, Nevada, are quite likely similar to the cars you own. These are real cars, built by real people, and they are driven and raced regularly. This year's entries impressed us with their appearance, road manners, and especially their quarter-mile times.
While the competition was close, the overall winner of this year's True Street Challenge was Ethan Lawrence with his Viper red '67 Satellite. This car combined good looks, power, and excellent road manners to best a tough stable of Mopars in the challenge.
Follow along as we give you the details about all the cars in the challenge, which combinations worked well, and which came up a little short.
A-, B-, and E-bodies, as well as small-blocks, big-blocks, and Hemis were all represented
All the competitors were required to fill their tanks or fuel cells with pump gas before t
The times these street cars turned were certainly impressive, with a couple of the entries