As editor of LSX Magazine, I love having the opportunity to cover feature cars and bring the builds and the stories behind the cars to all of you. The beauty is that no two are ever the same, but all of them resonate with us on some level because we are all enthusiasts. A feature car can be so many different things. It can be a top-notch show car from a well-known shop to something built in a home garage by a single individual. We saw and shot hundreds of cars and trucks this past year that we did not get feature stories done on, but they were definitely feature-worthy. So without further ado, the following are the LSX Magazine Top 5 feature cars from 2022 in no particular order.
Ed. Note: Clicking the heading will take you to the full feature article for each vehicle.
The Dirty Datsun
Anthony Palladino rolled into the first LS Fest Texas event this year with his 1969 Datsun Sport 2000 and instantly had people talking. The twin-turbocharged LS-swapped Datsun also featured a C5 front and rear suspension. Listening to Palladino enthusiastically tell the story of building the car entirely in his home garage was as entertaining as shooting photos at sunset inside of Texas Motor Speedway.
The Dirty Datsun embodies the spirit of the “LS swap the world” mentality, in my opinion. For instance, Palladino owned a perfectly good C5 Corvette before cutting it up to use the underpinning to build this Datsun. When asked why he would do such a thing, Palladino laughed and told us it was because he wanted to avoid blending in with all the other Corvettes at every autocross event. The execution of the build is really well done for being performed in a garage. Granted, the Dirty Datsun is no show car, but it checks all the boxes for a race car. It’s light, agile, and powerful. Over the winter of 2022-23, Palladino is making some changes to the car for the upcoming racing season. I can’t wait to see the Dirty Datsun in action again in 2023.
King Of The Street And Strip
Don Hoover’s 1955 Chevy draws a crowd wherever he takes it. He originally wanted to have his ’55 Chevy built as a fast street car that had all the safety requirements for the drag strip. So, Hoover took the car to US 12 Speed And Custom, and what he received was a high-end show car with a complete tube chassis and SFI 25.5 cage. From there, he installed a twin-turbo 427 cubic-inch LS and a Jeffco four-speed transmission with a Gear Vendors overdrive unit.
The thing I love about this ’55 Chevy is that it has everything one would want in a high-end race car wrapped up into a gorgeous show car. Best of all, the vehicle is tagged, insured, and cruises on the street. Hoover doesn’t race the car much, but rather, he enjoys just driving the ’55 Chevy to events with his wife, Kathy, who drives her first-gen Camaro, which has also been a feature car in LSX Magazine.
Jerry Richardson’s “Pro Street” ’57 Chevy
Another Tri-Five is on the list, and deservedly so. Jerry Richardson’s ’57 Chevy appeared in LSXMag.com in February, and we saw it again in November at SEMA 2022 in the EATON booth sporting the all-new TVS3100 supercharger from Magnuson Superchargers. The gorgeous ’57 is still powered by the Don Hardy Race Cars built 427 cubic-inch LS engine that was in the car when we first saw it.
No expense was spared in the build, utilizing the best-of-the-best in every aspect, from the SFI 25.3 spec chassis to the Rossler Pro-Mod Turbo 400 trans and Gear Vendors Overdrive unit. Every part used on this creation is top-of-the-line. Combined with the immaculate bodywork and paint, it’s no surprise Richardson’s ’57 has numerous awards from car shows and could hold its own on a drag strip. I say “could” because he didn’t build this car to race.
When Richardson decided on this build, he had his dream car in mind and knew what he wanted. The Pro Street cars from his youth stuck with him into adulthood, and that low, aggressive, big-tire, race car look is precisely what Richardson pictured in his head for his ’57. The result speaks for itself. From every angle, this Pro Street ’57 embodies the look Richardson was after from the start.
The Texaco Camaro
Built by Dusold Designs of Lewisville, Texas, and owned and driven by Jason Bottenfield, the Texaco Camaro represents many things that we, as enthusiasts, love about the car culture. To start, this 1969 Camaro is Bottenfield’s first car. Found and bought with the help of his father, Bottenfield has held onto the Camaro since he was sixteen.
Originally the car was a bit of a basket case in need of a lot of TLC. After being driven throughout high school, as stories like these generally go, the Camaro was stored while Bottenfield went off to college. It was in 2017 that he enlisted the help of Mike Dusold, owner of Dusold Designs, to help with the imagining. Dusold is both a top-tier painter and a car-building extraordinaire.
Dusold took Bottenfield’s family history of owning a Texaco station and turned the Camaro into a patina-covered ’60s Trans Am era race car. Only now, the first-gen Camaro sports a supercharged LT5 crate motor, a SADEV sequential transmission, and a laundry list of high-tech modifications meant to make the car a championship winner in the Optima Search For The Ultimate Street Car series. To that end, Bottenfield has hit a home run as he has piloted the Texaco Camaro to win back-to-back championships in the GTV class in 2021 and 2022.
Not Just Another LS-Swapped Fox Body
What would a top-5 LSX feature list be without a stereotypical LS-swapped Fox Body Mustang? Only Tyler Baber’s Fox is anything but stereotypical. Sure, it’s been LS-swapped and has a turbocharger, but the level the 269 Motorsports owner has taken this Mustang to puts it in rare air among the competition.
I’m a sucker for a clean Fox Body Mustang, and they don’t come much better than this one. I also love a good story behind a car, and this Mustang happens to be Baber’s first car. The ’89 Fox was found on Craigslist and purchased by Baber at the age of 16, and he says he’s never selling it. First purchased sans transmission, the Mustang has gone through multiple iterations, with the current version taking five years to complete.
Baber’s Mustang has paid its dues as a daily driver and now serves as a rolling 7-second billboard for 269 Motorsports. The Notch, as the Fox has come to be known, even holds the distinction of making the first 7-second pass with a stock block during LS Fest. It has everything there is to love about an LS-swapped Fox body. Small tires, no bars, stock-style suspension, and big horsepower being pumped out by the 6.0L LS and 85 mm turbocharger.
Big Things On The Horizon
This past year was a great one for LSX Magazine. The cars and trucks we had the opportunity to cover in 2022 were outstanding. From record-setting race cars to award-winning show cars, there were far more vehicles worthy of features than we can cover.
I look forward to 2023 and getting more of these incredible machines in front of you. LSXMagazine.com also has a few projects of our own that you will be seeing progress on this year. I am very excited about them as they cover the spectrum from mild to wild, so stay tuned!