Can’t-Miss Three-Motor Chevy Pickup Arrives at Charlotte AutoFair September 8-10
Jim Noble’s 1954 Chevrolet street rod and one-of-a-kind “W-18” powertrain will remind onlookers there’s no substitute for cubic inches when the certifiably insane pickup makes its debut in Caroline at Charlotte Motor Speedway September 8-10 Charlotte Auto Show.
“Dubya,” as Jim and his wife Cindy affectionately named their Torch Red and Pure White beast, sports three 6-cylinder Chevrolet engines behind its hand-built, super-large radiator. Each engine was bored out during the rebuild, giving the retired farm truck a staggering 718 cubic inches of displacement from its combined 18 cylinders! Owning such an unusual vehicle means Noble has to meet a plot questions every time he stops at an intersection or stops to fill up.
- Yes, he did all the work himself! The Michigander has been working on cars, motorcycles and snowmobiles since he was a teenager. A self-taught manufacturer, Noble at one time maintained a fleet of five tractor-trailers and was previously a heavy-duty equipment mechanic-welder. Every piece of Dubya, whether big or small, has been designed and built from the ground up.
- Yes, it took a long time! It took 15 years, to be precise. Running three 6-cylinder engines in harmony isn’t a problem that can be solved by watching a YouTube video. Noble admits there was a lot of trial and error; for example, it took five attempts to connect all three crankshafts so they could run through the single 700R4 automatic transmission.
- Yes, it will smoke the tires! The Dubya owner/builder estimates his W-18, which inhales through six carburetors, produces 500 to 600 horsepower and somewhere between 700 and 800 foot-pounds of torque. Floating the internet, a shaky video of the truck smokes its huge Michelin rear tires.
- Yes, he wins prizes! Noble turned the final bolt on Dubya just in time for the 2021 Detroit Autorama, only to hear it had been canceled due to the pandemic. His patience was rewarded a year later when he won Autorama’s ‘Spirit of Rodding’ and ‘Best Engineered’ trophies.
- No, it’s not for sale!
The Chevrolet W-18 will be on display in the Showcase Pavilion during the Charlotte AutoFair September 8-10 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Other highlights of the show include an assortment of movie-related vehicles, such as vintage cars from leather heads and the 1959 Corvette of animal housea trio of 9/11 tribute cars, half a dozen of Oldsmobile’s top performance machines and a range of gorgeous rides from the Xquisite Car, Truck and Jeep Club.
The Charlotte AutoFair features over 50 auto club exhibits and over 10,000 vendor spaces offering a range of auto parts and memorabilia. More than 1,500 collectible vehicles of all makes and models will be available for sale in the car corral that surrounds the 1.5-mile superspeedway throughout the three-day show. Charlotte Auto Show hours for September 8-10 are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday.
Single-day tickets are $10 on Thursdays and $15 on Fridays and Saturdays for adults. Admission is FREE for children 12 and under accompanied by an adult. To purchase tickets, AutoFair attendees can shop online at CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com, buy at the door or call 800-455-FANS (3267).
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