In our never ending quest for more horsepower and more importantly, affordable horsepower, gearheads have tried every known trick in the book. Back in the day, taking your air filter off and adding octane boost were the go-to moves before a street race. Simple weight reduction tricks like removing the rear seat, spare tire, jack and anything else that made a home in the trunk helped the power to weight ratio, giving you an immediate advantage over someone who did not pay attention to these “secrets.”
Removing your air filter certainly helped to introduce more air into your carburetor, but it also introduced any dirt and flying debris that happened to be within a vacuum pull away. We quickly found out that not all air is created equal. Non-filtered air brought a host of problems into the engine. Hot air from high under hood temperatures brought little to no value to the “increased air” philosophy. Then came the introduction of the factory ram air and cowl induction. This not only brought cooler, fresh air into the carburetor, it was filtered and it also increased the velocity of it. This primitive form of boost made a significant difference and was a very cool upgrade to the muscle cars of the 60s and 70s.
Functioning ram air and cowl induction systems required serious engineering along with a host of custom hood and body modifications making it not viable for the backyard mechanic to fabricate in their driveway. So because necessity is the mother of all invention, the introduction of bolt-on cold air kits became the craze. It was a simple concept carried forward from old school experimentation with modern day engineering.
Read the entire feature…Click the magazine below>>>