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Previous Episodes
June 21


Twelve teams will make custom rides from ordinary vehicles for a shot at $100,000

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN

Hosts/Judges Lou Santiago & Andrew "ACP" Comrie-Picard
Judge Chip Foose
Announcer Rick Pasqualone
Creator Tod Mesirow
EP Arthur Smith
Kent Weed
Frank Sinton
Tod Mesirow
Chris Rantamaki
Packager A. Smith & Co. Productions for Discovery Communications
Web discovery.com
Airs 9p Mon, NBC

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Hill-Climbing Hearse
June 28

Last time, Hollywood Hot Rods and Pure Vision turned two minivans into supercars, but the Hollywood Hot Rod was hot enough to put their team in the next round to take on the winner of tonight's contest for the Los Angeles crown.

The teams this week also come from the Los Angeles bracket...

Speed Unlimited
Ruben Arzate, owner
class one racers
ES Motorsports
Eric Stewart, owner
class one racers

This week, Speed is transforming an Olds hearse, while ES will take to a Caddy. Both heaps were headed to the grave, but we're going to head them up a hill to be raced at Glen Helen Raceway. Supervising the insanity are mechanic Lou Santiago and muscle car champ ACP, Andrew Comrie-Picard... and acting as judge, jury, and executioner... Chip Foose, designer extraordinaire.

You have four days, $6000 cash, and a credit at Summit Racing to turn a $3000 hearse into something far-more deadly... a hill-climber. Scoring will be based 33% on visual design (it has to look the part) and 67% on performance and handling (it has to act the part). Performance will be based on a single run up a hill. Whoever gets to the top fastest gets the most points.

Winner moves on to the next round. You have 40 hours to build, and 24 hours to paint... FROM NOW!

Speed Unlimited is planning on building from the inside out.

- Strip the dead weight
- Upgrade the suspension
- Bigger dirt tires for traction
- 4WD drivetrain
- Roll cage for safety
- And a little nitrous oxide for power

ES Motorsports' build plan is to attack the problem... starting with the motor. Because hearses are not 4WD vehicles, he's going to swap bodies with a 4x4 truck. But if the truck breaks down, they could lose time AND money.

- Buy used 4WD truck
- Install hearse body
- Add dirt tires
- Beef up suspension
- Install roll cage
- Nitrous oxide

Speed Unlimited starts by stripping the dead weight. ES Motorsports is going across town to buy a used truck. It only cost them $2000. And the engine stops. And starts again. We may need a new battery for this. Or a new engine. Or a miracle.

Or maybe you just need to NOT put water in the gas tank. Luckily for ES Motorsports, the truck has TWO gas tanks, and the second is full of actual gas. Now the team is back on track. Speed Unltd's new old axles have arrived as day 1 ends with the separation complete on ES.


Speed Unlimited is working on an adapter plan for the axles, which arrives. John measures that their adapter... doesn't fit. Now they have to fabricate from scratch. Their race takes a detour to the back dumpster, as they search for the car's stream box, which it needs to run. Over at ES Motorsports, the body swap starts. At ES, the axle on the old suspension is too unstable, so they switch back to the truck's suspension.


ES has lost almost 10 hours on suspension mods, while Speed Unlimited bought a fabricator that doesn't fit. With too many things to do and not enough time to do them, an already complicated build has become that much harder. At Speed, they finish their adapter, but will it hold? At ES, the day starts slowly after the suspension disaster. To make up for lost time, they have to marry the hearse body with the truck chassis.

Over at Speed, only 12 hours remain, as they have a long way to go. Underneath the car, the transfer case adapter is finally in place.

ES can't turn over the truck engine.


Both shops are stressed. ES Motorsports is crippled by an engine that simply will not start. Ron uses the rest of their budget to call in an expert. Meanwhile, Speed Unlimited is ready for inspection. They find a problem with the roll cage. The main hoop is not one continuous piece of tubing. They have five hours to fix it, or else they don't play. They're allowed one little fab, and they are clear.

At ES, they're getting an expert to look at their engine. The motor... is sorted out. They're back in the game.

From here on out, it's a sprint to the finish...

... and TIME! Let's paint it. Handling the honors are Maaco for Speed, and RADesigns for ES.

Time to take on the Glen Helen Raceway. Remember, it's 10 points for design, and 30 for the climbing. Most points wins. Simple.

The scores are...

Speed Unlimited   ES Motorsports
as judged by Chip Foose
16.7s after the starter smokes. Plan B's pull start work.
45 degree hill climb. A sandrail can do it in 7 seconds. The benchmark is 14. Points deducted for each second.

28-25 in favor of ES MOTORSPORTS. They'll move on to the LA final against Hollywood Hot Rods! See who will take the first slot in the nationals next week!

Who'll they face? The answer to that... NEXT WEEK...

For more information on the teams and the tournament, go to discovery.com.