The BEST Episodes of Roadkill
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Jan 7, 2020
Ride along with HOT ROD's David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan as they continue their love/hate relationship with hot rods, street machines and other highly strung performance vehicles. In Roadkill, Freiburger and Finnegan hit the road in everything from a 1968 Ford Ranchero to a 1500 horsepower Camaro called the F-Bomb. Just getting to their destination is an adventure.
#1 - Roadkill vs. Mighty Car Mods!
Season 5 - Episode 14 - Aired Dec 25, 2016
This is the episode fans of Roadkill and Mighty Car Mods have been demanding for two years! It’s also a bonus episode of Roadkill powered by Dodge—the 13th installment of the 2016 season! David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan finally got together with Marty and Moog of Mighty Car Mods, Australia’s most popular YouTube show for gearheads. The four guys came to an agreement: RK would build the most American car possible for the MCM blokes, and then Marty and Moog would assemble an absurd icon of Mighty Modding for the Roadkill boys. Both teams gave all: Roadkill jammed together a 1969 Chevy Impala stuffed with the supercharged, 489ci big-block Chevy that was formerly in the Crusher Camaro; and Mighty Car Mods hacked the Subarute out of a hapless turbo WRX. There’s no way to imagine the fun that explodes across the language barrier when these four get together for some killer burnouts and mad skids!
#2 - El Paso To LA: The Hard Way!
Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Feb 17, 2012
On the premiere episode of Roadkill, HOT ROD's David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan head to El Paso, TX with money and a mission - to find a car they can buy, fix up, and drive back to Los Angeles. The catch? They only have $1500 bucks to do it, and they need to sell it on eBayMotors.com before they get home! ep001
#3 - Viva Ranchero! Alaska or Bust!
Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Mar 16, 2012
David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan build a clone of the 1968 Ford Ranchero that the magazine ran in the very first Baja 1000, then head north for Alaska. But sometimes when you hit the road, the road hits back, and their ambitious journey quickly transforms into the road trip from hell. Undaunted by sleepless nights, multiple breakdowns, derailed plans, 0-degree weather and the lack of a passenger-side window, the guys create an adventurous win from a comedy of errors. It's American road tripping at its best... and worst. ep002
#4 - Cheap Truck Challenge!
Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Apr 13, 2012
David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan join Fred Williams and Rick Péwé of Peterson's 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine to compete in the infamous Cheap Truck Challenge. Riding into battle with a modded 1979 Bronco, they face-off against a rock-ready 1980 Toyota Pickup and a beastly 1987 Chevy Suburban in a cash-strapped quest for ultimate off-road glory. ep003
#5 - Extreme Elco Engine Swap!
Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired May 11, 2012
David Freiburger, Mike Finnegan and a carsick dog drive a '69 El Camino 500 miles from home (on seven cylinders) to change an engine in the parking lot of Summit Racing. ep004
#6 - Rat Rod vs Lamborghini Aventador!
Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Jun 9, 2012
David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan spend 24 crazy hours with a 1930 Model A Rat Rod and a 2012 Lamborghini Aventador to find out which wildly impractical, larger-than-life car attracts the most attention. ep005
#7 - Thrash Battle! Van vs Wagon
Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Jul 6, 2012
David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan go head-to head in an epic driving competition that's really just an excuse for some hilarious, needless car bashing. The victims are two parts cars for HOT ROD magazine projects: a '90-something Dodge conversion van that will give up its 360 V8 in the name of hot rodding and an '87 Buick wagon that was intended as a chassis donor... but after this, maybe not. Let the battle begin! ep006
#8 - Release The Draguar! Building a Blown Jaguar Rat Rod
Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired Aug 3, 2012
Freiburger and Finnegan do unspeakable things to a '74 Jaguar XJ12, one of about 4,700 made. Namely, they cut a giant hole in the hood and install a Weiand 6-71 supercharger and twin Holley carburetors on the 350ci Chevy V8 that was already installed in the car when it was purchased for $1,000. But things can never be easy, so the supercharger installation is staged in the parking lot of Gotelli Speed Shop in South San Francisco. Then the duo hits the road, making their way to Sacramento Raceway, where they can finally unleash "The Draguar" at the strip. ep007
#9 - 426 Hemi in a '55 Chevy!
Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Sep 7, 2012
David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan hit the road on a quest to build a car they've both dreamed of for years: a '55 Chevy Bel Air sedan set up like a '60s Gasser and powered by a Mopar 426 Hemi. The guys drag out a '73 GMC Suburban that they'd never driven more than around the block (did you expect anything else?), then use it to pick up a bare '55 Chevy body in California before heading north for the 1,000-mile trip to Lincoln City, Oregon. That's the home of Jim Meyer Racing, the chassis builder that helps the guys turn the '55 into a wicked looking hot rod in a single day. There's no fail in this episode of Roadkill! Well, at least nothing terminal. ep008
#10 - Surviving HOT ROD Drag Week!
Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 2, 2012
David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan hit the road with 500 of their friends for Drag Week. It's the most brutal test anywhere of real drag-racing, street-driven cars, as the competitors hit the road for 1,400 miles to race five times at four different drag strips in five days in a battle to post the lowest average elapsed time at the end of the week. The winner is crowned the HOT ROD Fastest Street Car in America. ep009
#11 - 727 Cubic Inches and Australian Tire Smoke!
Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired Nov 30, 2012
There's endless burnouts and powerskids as David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan of HOT ROD magazine are on the loose in Australia with 727ci of Sonny Leonard hemi-headed madness. The massive big-block makes 1,275 horsepower between the fenders of a 2006 Holden HSV VE Clubsport R8. In American, that's like a Pontiac G8. This display of overkill is the product of "Gup," the promoter of the Powercruise series of events in Australia, New Zealand, and Minnesota (USA) where tire smoke is the rule. On the show, you'll see tire fire from Gup's infamous "Elvis" '74 Holden HQ, from his 727ci Clubbie, from a 1,500ci diesel semi truck, and from Downunder's most throttle-happy petrolheads on both coasts. The miracle is that Freiburger and Finnegan aren't still in an Aussie jail. Of course, that might have been less punishing than the 30-hour flight home. ep010
#12 - Leaf-Blower Supercharging a 1978 Chevrolet Monza Spyder!
Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired May 31, 2013
It's fun with Leaf Blowers. Experts on the Internet said it would never work. That's never stopped Freiburger and Finnegan, and this time on Roadkill the guys put the theory to the test: can hardware-store leaf blowers supercharge an engine and make power? Step one was buying a '78 Monza Spyder with a 305 V8 and a four-speed stick. Step two was to take it to the shop of HOT ROD Drag Week racer Jeff Lutz to tune it up, swap the engine to a 350, dyno test it with five leaf blowers, and do a whole bunch of needless burnouts. Step three was to drive the Monza to Willmington, Ohio, for the East Coast Timing Association's Ohio Mile event, a standing-mile race where they'd find out if leaf-blower power adds up to more speed in the real world. The outcome? Who really cares? Because on Roadkill, it's always about the adventure. And more burnouts. ep016
#13 - Tank Smashes Prius!
Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired Jun 28, 2013
A tank squashes a Prius to smithereens! It runs over that junk without even noticing. That's all you really need to know about this episode of Roadkill, but if you jump straight to the tank carnage you'll miss a bunch of cool stuff. Like when Freiburger and Finnegan attempt a shootout between a Toyota Prius hybrid and a '75 AMC Gremlin, trying to prove that the Gremmie is more of a greenie. It was all fun and games until the Prius engine let go on the race track in a ball of flame. Because Roadkill. After that, you've gotta see the guys once again embrace their own Kryptonite: flat-towing. Yup, as it turns out, dragging a dead Prius with a lighter, smaller Gremlin ends real badly. But in the end, the Prius is wafer thin and the Gremlin's still on the road. Still want to jump right to the tank smash? Don't be that guy. ep017
#14 - Nitrous Muscle Truck and Mini Bikes!
Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired Jul 26, 2013
A Vette-powered stepside truck. Nitrous oxide. Honda Trail 70s. Drag racing, and lots and lots of burnouts. Those are the basic plot points on this episode of Roadkill, as Freiburger and Finnegan have big fun with retro trail motorcycles on their way to revitalizing a long-neglected HOT ROD magazine project vehicle and road-tripping it to the eighth-mile drags. The vehicle is the Muscle Truck, a '74 Chevy shortbed stepside beater powered by an all-aluminum Corvette LS6. It also has a Turbo 400 transmission, a Gear Vendors under/overdrive, a Ford 9-inch with 5.13 gears, and the most wicked sounding exhaust ever. The goal is to get thrown out of the dragstrip for going too fast without a rollbar, then race the minibikes instead. How much nitrous can the Muscle Truck take? ep018
#15 - '67 Crusher Camaro vs '70 Super Bee 1,500-Mile Burnout-Fest!
Season 2 - Episode 9 - Aired Aug 23, 2013
It's Freiburger in the Super Bee versus Finnegan in the '67 Camaro as the guys make the trip from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City and back to go race at the Midnight Drags at Rocky Mountain Raceways in hopes of running the Bee on nitrous for the first time since the Hemi was installed. Which car will work best over 1,500 miles of mayem in three days? ep019
#16 - Chasing a Landspeed Record at Bonneville with a 1100hp Camaro!
Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired Sep 20, 2013
Finnegan builds an 1,100-horsepower big-block and Freiburger brings a Camaro that he's run 261 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Put 'em together and it's a recipe for win, right? If you think so, you're probably not a Roadkill regular. It turns into an entire adventure just getting there, and gets more interesting from there. ep020
#17 - Rat Rod Custom 1950 Mercury Rescue!
Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired Oct 18, 2013
It's always a good idea to buy a car off the Internet sight-unseen, right? That's what a friend-of-a-friend of Roadkill did with the kustom Merc—and maybe he made an even worse decision when he allowed Freiburger and Finnegan to wrench on the thing and deliver it to him. This deal was set up by a Roadkill fan, Jim Norman of Norman Vinyards in Paso Robles, California. The road trip involves the '69 El Camino from Episode 4, The Dog from Episodes 4 and 17, lots of burnouts with the guys from Hot Rod Ranch and plenty of fun with Alex Gambino of Gambino Kustoms
#18 - 24 Hours of Lemons in a 1973 Plymouth Fury!
Season 2 - Episode 12 - Aired Nov 15, 2013
Freiburger and Finnegan attack the low-buck endurance race called 24 Hours of Lemons. Not content do do this ridiculous race in a reasonable car like a little handling-oriented import, the race car of choice is a one-owner '73 Plymouth Fury that Freiburger bought for $200 before setting it on fire a few times and then gutting it into a race car. The truth behind the scenes of this episode is that much of it was shot almost a year ago, and back then the guys didn't want to air it. You'll have to watch to see why. But now, in 2013, the story came full circle in a way that it only can on Roadkill, and so here we finally present the whole story. ep022
#19 - Dirt Cheap Rat Rod! 1968 Charger Buildup and Thrash
Season 2 - Episode 13 - Aired Dec 21, 2013
Freiburger and Finnegan think this is the best episode so far! It's the longest, too. This show has it all: a Mad-Max-vibe 1968 Dodge Charger built with motorhome parts, sideways Dukes-style action, lots of low-buck wrenching, hilarious snafus, and cameo appearances by the Macho Grande from episode 8, the '66 Buick Special convertible from a pre-Roadkill episode, the ramp truck from episode 20, and the Fury from episode 22. Enjoy the last Roadkill of 2013! ep023
#20 - 700 Horsepower & 2,400 Miles! Crusher Camaro Engine Swap Aftermath
Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired Jan 24, 2014
More than any other episode, this Roadkill reveals what it's really like to work at HOT ROD Magazine. Follow along to get the behind-the-scenes dirt on how we pulled off the Roadkill Live engine swap in the Crusher Camaro at the 2013 Performance Racing Industry trade show, then watch the 2,400-mile trip home from Indy to LA in the Crusher Camaro--including visits with Funny Car Racer Tony Pedregon, Steve Schmidt Racing Engines, and Finnegan's dad! It all ends with a session at the drag strip where the Crusher went quicker than it ever has. ep024
#21 - Project Car Shootout! Watch Every Roadkill Car Ever Battle it Out
Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Feb 21, 2014
We celebrate with a 44-minute special that includes details on what's become of every Roadkill project car since the start, plus a big-action showdown of 9 of the popular survivors. As a bonus, we invited Motor Trend hosts and editors Jonny Lieberman and Carlos Lago to come make fun of us. Make sure to hang to the end for the big nine-car drag race and some hellacious tire smoke! ep025
#22 - Junkyard Turbo Swap! Chevy-Powered 1971 Datsun 240Z Autocross Thrash
Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired Mar 21, 2014
What do you get when you cross a rusted 1971 Datsun 240Z with a Chevy 4.3L V6 and a turbo from a Ford Power Stroke Diesel? The Rotsun! During Roadkill Episode 25, Freiburger and Finnegan revived the Rotsun expecting it to dominate in the 9-car autocross showdown of previous Roadkill project cars. It also needed to beat a 2014 Kia Rio 5, but failed to do so with the Rotsun shamefully breaking down before completing a decent lap. So in this episode: revenge. After swapping in the mismatched turbo and making nearly 400 rear-wheel horsepower, the guys head to the autocross at the Goodguys 5th Spring Nationals in Scottsdale, Arizona and mingle with fans on their way to a rematch with that dastardly Kia. ep026
#23 - Corvette Sinkhole Adventure in a 1975 Stingray!
Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Apr 18, 2014
Chevy runs deep! This time Freiburger and Finnegan find out just how deep as they visit the infamous sinkhole that opened up inside the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. To do it Roadkill style, the guys find the worst Corvette they can buy, get it running after sitting for six years, break auto parts, experience gators firsthand, and visit the Corvette assembly plant. Finally, they try and convince the Corvette Museum to let them leave their '75 Stingray behind......inside the sinkhole. ep027
#24 - Muscle Truck vs. Baja Bug! 1974 Chevy C10 Battles Fred's Volkswagen Baja Bug
Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired May 16, 2014
Remember the drag racing '74 Chevy Muscle Truck from Roadkill Episode 18? It's back, but with a twist: it's gonna become a true dual-sport ride for surf and turf, shedding its drag slicks for Super Swamper Boggers and hitting the sand dunes...hard! And to prove that a lowered, two-wheel-drive pickup can dominate the dunes, Freiburger and Finnegan set up a shootout with Fred Williams from the Dirt Every Day series on the Motor Trend channel. Fred brought out his '69 VW Baja Bug from DED Episode 23 and went head to head with the Muscle Truck on the beach at Pismo, California. The Roadkill/HOT ROD Magazine Muscle Truck is a '74 Chevy C10 shortbed, stepside, with a GM LS6 crate engine (like the all-aluminum V8 found in a C6 ZO6 Corvette). It's stock other than a small crane cam, midlength headers, and a new addition for this episode: MSD's Atomic EFI (the truck used to run a carburetor). The Atomic setup is atop a BBK intake manifold, and uses a stock LS1 throttle body. That legendary exhaust sound comes from 3-inch pipe with 4-inch Dynomax Bullet race mufflers. The truck's transmission is a JW Turbo 400 backed by a Gear Vendors over/underdrive unit. And it really needs overdrive because the Ford 9-inch rear carries 5.13 gears and a spool. The suspension features dropped spindles and Ridetech Strong Arms and air bags up front. In the rear, two leaves were removed from the stock spring packs, they were flipped under the axle, and traction is delivered by Caltrac's bars. ep028
#25 - Hemi Buildup on a '55 Chevy Bel Air!
Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired Jun 13, 2014
In Episode 8 of Roadkill we introduced you to the greatest engine swap project ever—a Hemi into a 1955 Chevy Bel Air. Nearly two years later, we finally get Mike Finnegan's Mopar-powered Tri-Five on the road, but not without a few problems along the way. Blown head gaskets, frayed wires, and severe sleep-deprivation are all overcome as Finnegan, Freiburger, and friends push to get this polarizing project car running again in time for an epic road trip. The BlaspHEMI '55 Chevy rides on a Jim Meyer Racing Gasser tube chassis with Viking coilover dampers and Firestone Cheater slicks out back. Up front the car has a tubular straight axle, parallel leaf springs and tires small enough to fit on a VW Bug. The rear axle is a John's Industries 9-inch with 5.43:1 gears. The Hemi began life as a 528ci Mopar crate engine, which Finnegan rebuilt with a 0.030-inch overbore, ported aluminum heads, and a Comp Cams solid roller cam. The mill is topped off with a Hilborn stack injection system with EFI controlled by a FAST EFI ECU. An Aeromotive Stealth fuel tank and pump provides the fuel while MSD provides the spark. The engine is backed by a Tremec Magnum six-speed manual gearbox with an American Powertrain installation kit and a twin-disc clutch. The car was wired with a Speedwires kit and the guys built their own fenderwell headers using parts from Hedman. To save weight, the original steel front clip was swapped out for a lightweight fiberglass tilt front end from Unlimited Products and the windows were replaced with lexan parts from ProGlass. The rollcage is a 10-point arrangement built from chrome-moly steel and TIG welded to the floor and frame. To save a ton of time, High Tech Auto Wraps covered the car in flat black vinyl instead of paint while the last of the parts were installed onto the car. ep029