That’s Jason Scudellari piloting Craig Morrison’s ’50 Chevy pickup through the slalom gauntlet during a recent track test as I hang on for dear life. This shot was taken seconds after I nearly landed in Jason’s lap as we entered the course, prompting the laughter that is visible on our goofy faces and Jason sending the first coupla’ cones flying. I was caught up trying to shoot video and didn’t realize my lap belt wasn’t very tight, allowing me to slide across the cab of the truck when Jason yanked the wheel to the left after entering the course. The five-point harnesses Craig installed in his truck would once again play a role in our amusement as it held Jason safely in the cab as the driver’s door swung open during later slalom testing. Worry not however, as I was watching a safe distance away on the sidelines.

These shenanigans are what us magazine guys call the daily grind. Though it’s not too often we get to enjoy the great outdoors and beat on some nice trucks, every once in a while it sure is nice.

But aside from the enjoyment we get out of putting a truck through its paces, there is genuine information to be gleaned from it. Brake upgrade and suspension modification improvements can often be detected from typical seat-of-the-pants driving, but for hard numbers and proof, a standardized way of testing must be established. That method has been established by our Tech Center Manager Jason Scudellari and Camaro Performers’ Editor Nick Licata. Together, these guys have driven anything from a ’32 roadster to a brand new ZL1 Camaro at our testing facility and have the numbers to back it.

That makes it possible for us to take a truck like Craig’s and compare it to a Corvette honestly. A couple simple tests, such as the slalom and a 60-0 mph brake test gives us enough information to make fair comparisons. It also allows us to take a project truck out and get a set of baseline parameters to compare later on down the road after certain modifications are made. This gives us real world information, for better or for worse.

A case in point is my ’68 Chevy. We haven’t done much in terms of track testing as it hasn’t really yielded the necessity to, but with next month’s rear disc brake install on the schedule and the track set aside to test Craig’s truck, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to get a baseline 60-0 mph number to compare it to after the disc brakes are added. We’ll follow up with the same test after the install is complete and see if we improved the stopping distance. We’re hoping it will!

All in all, a day spent out at the track thrashing on old trucks is a blast, but if the information gathered doesn’t yield good editorial content, then the point is moot in terms of putting together an informative and entertaining magazine. Which begs the question, do you guys want more real world numbers when it comes to engine upgrades and suspension modifications or are the install stories enough on their own? Do you care about actual horsepower ratings or is a simple cam and heads install story enough to satiate your informative desire? Numbers never meant much to me when it came to these types of things so long as I could gather an impression one way or another and the upgrade, whatever it may have been, seemed to be an improvement. I don’t think anyone will argue that something like an upgrade from drum to disc brakes is a noticeable improvement, but how much of one? Does anybody really care?

If anything, I think that running our projects through the gauntlet might reveal areas of improvement that we may have been overlooking. And heck, who doesn’t like taking their truck out and putting a serious beatdown on it from time to time?!