Thrown For a Loop

Hotchkis Takes Us For a Ride

Larry Jewett - April 07, 2014 07:11 AM


The E-max Challenger getting "ready"

Kahn Media/Hotchkis

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 With the strains of the rock song “Won’t Get Fooled Again” from The Who playing in the background, it’s time to admit something to Hotchkis Performance and it comes in the title of another classic song, this one by the Kinks.
 “You Really Got Me.”
 It started innocently enough. It was among the first e-mails seen in the “in” box Tuesday morning. John Hotchkis Jr. was going to show the world how well the Adjustable Performance Series (APS) shocks and Total Performance suspension systems work. That’s not that unusual because John believes in his products and his customers do as well.
 The idea was to take his 1970 Challenger T/A, equipped with the Hotchkis parts, and become the first muscle car to perform a vertical loop. “I have complete confidence that our E-Max Challenger will make it through the loop,” said Hotchkis.  “Muscle cars have a reputation for being big heavy brutes only good for straight line drag racing. We’ve already proven that we can make them world beaters around corners in countless autocross and road course competitions, so since we’ve already beaten all of our competitors in two dimensions there was only one way left to go – straight up. This vertical loop will prove once again that Hotchkis stands alone.”
 At this point, we’re imagining John conjuring up the ghost of Evel Knievel, decked all in red, white and blue finery. It was going to take place at 3 p.m. Pacific that day and we knew it was going to be epic.
 And then we looked at the calendar…April 1. Doubt began to set in. Was it real or wasn’t it? Do we call Kahn Media (the agency for Hotchkis) to ask or just wait and see…after all, it’s just a few hours. Throughout the day, the question kept nagging until it was past 3 p.m. Pacific and the video was posted.
 The end has been spoiled, but the video is still a must see. Nearly 7,000 people have already watched it. Check it out at
 On top of the video views, so many people logged onto the Hotchkis website  ( that the website actually crashed for a few minutes. There was a 3,000 percent increase in traffic on the Hotchkis Facebook page.
 All in good fun. No Challenger T/As were hurt in the stunt and no one has performed a vertical loop with a muscle car. A word of advice:  If John Hotchkis didn’t do it, you shouldn’t try it either and that’s no joke.