The cars of the moonshiners

The moonshine era is pretty much over, but the stories remain. For any gearhead, the history of transporting illegally-produced alcohol is interesting indeed, and Hot Rod has chronicled some of it in an article on its website.

William Clay Call's favorite vehicle for running moonshine might surprise those used to the idea of hot-rodded '40s-era coupes. Sure, he has over a dozen pre-WWII Fords with flathead V8s, and even a Hemi-powered '66 Dodge Coronet. But his favorite was a '61 Chrysler New Yorker (pictured above). Clearly, Call was an early adapter of the Q-ship philosophy to going fast without being noticed.

As the automotive aftermarket exploded in the 60s, 'shiners were early adapters of the new parts, and eventually started manufacturing their own components. Moonshiners were big fans of boring and stroking those early V8s for additional displacement, and also claim to have dabbled with turbocharging and supercharging. As Junior Johnson says, "California didn't have as gooda stuff as we did." Federal agents, however, knew that the key wasn't the car, but rather the driver. Johnson, of course, would go on to become a renowned NASCAR driver, and eventually quit distributing illegal liquor - sometime after winning the Daytona 500 in 1960. Call admits to running 'shine into the 1980s before retiring from the business.

[Source: Hot Rod]

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