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1985 Pontiac J-2000 - RADical
iHOT ROD Magazine's 1986 Hot Rod of the Year    






1985 Pontiac J-2000


1.625" Polished 304 Stainless Steel Frame and Roll Cage.


1.25” Polished 304 Stainless Tubing


Chevrolet 350 All-Aluminum Bowtie Block

Brodix aluminum heads.


One Holley 1050 CFM Carburetor

Twin - Roto Master Turbochargers

Twin - Magna-charger Superchargers

8-Port NOS Nitrous System

Water-Alcohol Injection


​​The only polished aluminum Lenco 4-speed in the world.

Other Lencos are made from magnesium and unpolished. 


The world’s narrowest Dana 60 axle - only 20.5” hub to hub.



20” wide rear wheels (with a 15” outside dish) with 24” wide tires.

The wheel / tire / rear axle combination yields only 8.25” between the rear tires.

3.5” wide front wheels, with Moroso front runner tires.


6-disc brakes (2 on the front and 4 in the rear) with 2 separate braking systems.



An interior featuring 12 instruments, 4 shifters and 5-way safety harnesses.



5-way safety harnesses, fire extinguisher, blower straps and a parachute

Cool graphics: 14 candy and pearl colors applied by Chip Whittington


A pneumatically tilting body – yet it still remains a door-slammer.

The underside is finished off with an all-aluminum, louvered belly pan.

Cool graphics: 14 candy and pearl colors applied by Chip Whittington.

That ‘take no prisoners’ stance - right on the ground.



I began the project by listing everything that made a Pro-Streeter a Pro-Streeter:


  • A massive engine with a radical induction system: something high-tech, never before attempted.

  • (The worse the MPG, the better…) How about a 350 Chevy with a big carb, 2 turbos and 2 superchargers?

  • A racing transmission - A Lenco 4-speed cast in one-off aluminum and polished.

  • A narrowed rear axle - A Dana 60 so short that both axles could fit inside a shoebox.

  • Massive rear wheels and tires – tucked way inside the body - with as much outside 'dish' as possible.

  • Narrow front wheels and tires – also tucked way inside the body.

  • A high-tech braking system, with a spare pair of calipers in the rear on a separate system.

  • A full tubular frame and roll cage made completely from Stainless Steel - then polished!

  • A high-tech, race style interior and instrumentation.

  • A low, race car style stance – right on the ground.

  • All the race-inspired safety stuff I could get my hands on.

  • Cool graphics with lots of colors from one end to the other.


I then decided to shoehorn all of this into the smallest, narrowest car that I could find,

to exaggerate it even more.


The short list came down to several years of Anglias, a Chevy Cavalier, a Chevette or a Pontiac J-2000: The Winner, obviously – a 1985 Pontiac J-2000.


  • The J-2000 was constructed over a three-year period, from July 1983 until May 1986,

     logging in over 5,000 man-hours.


  • The J-2000 debuted on the cover of the August 1986 Car Craft Magazine and went on to be featured

     in over 300 magazines worldwide, including nearly 100 covers.


  • In 1986, the J-2000 was the first car in history to receive the prestigious “Hot Rod of the Year” award from

     Hot Rod Magazine.


In 1986, the J-2000 became the first car in history to win all four

major magazine-sponsored shows:








In 1987, the J-2000 became a very successful 1/25 scale REVELL model.



CAR CRAFT MAGAZINE – Editorial – August 1986

“Whether you appreciate radical Pro Street cars for their ‘take no prisoners’ attitude, or consider them merely a playground for subscribers to the conspicuous consumption theory of life, you owe it to yourself to look closely at our cover car this month, Rick Dobbertin’s wild Pontiac J-2000.


CAR CRAFT MAGAZINE – One Step Beyond – Part 1 – August 1986

“Miracles, according to H. G. Wells, a master storyteller who’s managed to concoct a few of his own on occasion, are nothing if not improbable. They happen by the sheer power of a man’s will. If you can believe what your eyes are telling you, that’s a pretty fair description of Rick Dobbertin’s twice blown, twice turbocharged unearthly Pontiac J-2000. The awesome Indian is, in fact, a “Miracle” of American Ingenuity. The Pontiac is pure poetry in motion. It’s a work of art, plain and simple.”


CAR CRAFT MAGAZINE – One Step Beyond – Part 1 – August 1986

“Neil Armstrong’s first contact with the surface of the moon represented, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” In his own way, Rick Dobbertin has successfully accomplished much the same for high-performance.”


CAR CRAFT MAGAZINE – One Step Beyond – Part 2 – September 1986

“It’s been said that reality is for people with no imagination. Dobbertin’s Radical Pontiac J-2000 has indeed served to bridge the chasm between fantasy and reality. This is the car every person who has ever picked up a wrench would like to build, if he only could. It’s Walter Mitty’s daily driver.”


HOT ROD MAGAZINE – Out-Radical-Rageous – October 1986

“Out-Radical-Rageous… but is Rick Dobbertin’s J-2000 really a space shuttle on four wheels? In my opinion, Rick Dobbertin – the guy who built that supercharged, turbocharged, nitrous-injected Street machine of the Year ’65 Nova – has gone out and done it again. Only Rick’s latest effort, a virtually faultless and flawless J-2000 ‘Pro’ Pontiac, has no equal when it comes to lighting up the eyes and shaking up the gearheads.”



“There is always one individual who will sacrifice everything for the glory of owning the world’s finest car. One look at Rick Dobbertin’s J-2000, and you have to agree that he has created the ultimate Pro Street machine. It transcends the normal boundaries of car building and becomes a rolling artistic masterpiece.”


HOT ROD MAGAZINE – Hot Rod of the Year – December 1986

There is absolutely no doubt that hot rodding is hotter today than it ever was.  And the best part is that we're all here, now, enjoying it.  Selecting the Top Ten vehicles of '86 drove the point home for us.  Usually the staff gathers in the editor's office, mutually thumbs through the last year's issues and quickly comes to agreement on the ten most impressive feature cars.  But not this year.  There was Immedient on one "Hot Rod of the Year" (A new title decided to initiate), but it was all uphill from there.  Each editor turned in a list of his 10 choices.  From six voters we got 35 different nominees.  The only car that got six votes was Dobbertin's.  The 10 we chose are truly significant in several ways.  Individually, several will wind up on future "Top Ten of All Time" lists and Dobbertin's J2000 will likely never be equalled.  

HOT ROD MAGAZINE – Hot Rod of the Year – December 1986

“It would be nearly impossible to pick the most significant hot rod of 1986 if Rick Dobbertin hadn’t stepped up with his beyond-belief J-2000. But he did, and the rest of the street-type hot rodding movement had to step back to catch its collective breath. We can’t divine what direction the Pro-Street syndrome will take; still, we cannot help but think that Rick’s righteous Poncho act will be leading the pack.”


POPULAR HOT RODDING MAGAZINE – The Top 10 Pro Streeters of All Time – November 1989

“The most outrageous of the bunch is the Pontiac Sunbird of (who else?) Rick Dobbertin. One of the key innovators of the Pro Street movement, Rick was the first to bring on multiple blower systems (both turbocharged supercharged). There’s so much chrome and polish on this car that sunglasses are required within 50 feet!”


HOT ROD MAGAZINE – Top Ten Cars of the Decade – December 1989

“The only person to have two Top Ten cars in the same decade, (1980s) Rick Dobbertin is a free-spirited car builder who has a real knack for making excess look just right. His Pro Street Pontiac J-2000 incorporated virtually every known piece of speed equipment, and managed to do it tastefully enough to collect top honors almost everywhere the car appeared. Rick’s work of automotive art graced the covers of virtually all the performance automotive magazines, as his Pontiac broke new ground, setting construction and quality standards almost impossible to match, much less surpass. In the great Hot Rod Hall of Fame, Rick Dobbertin’s J-2000 is one of the masterpieces.”


CAR CRAFT MAGAZINE – Gears Gone By – July 1990

“Rick Dobbertin’s edge-of-the-planet Pro Street J-2000 took the small block to just about as far as a “street” engine can go. Underneath a custom-built 20-port nitrous setup and enough chrome to plate an average four-bedroom tract home lurks an aluminum block 350. With Brodix heads, twin-turbos, twin superchargers, and a single carburetor, Dobbertin's J-2000 was the most extreme example of the eighty's radical inductions trend. Sooner or later, someone will build a more extreme small-block induction system than Dobbertin’s but clearing it with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will be tough.”


CAR CRAFT MAGAZINE – The Wish Machine Contest – July 1990

“Our Wish Machine contest is simple: you just send us a rendering of the car if you had Donald Trump’s money, the engineering resources of General Motors, the attention to detail of Rick Dobbertin, and lived in a world without limits.”


CAR CRAFT MAGAZINE – Milestone Street Machines – December 1991

“The Pro Street movement surely reached its climax in 1986 with Rick Dobbertin’s twin-turboed, twin-blown small-block Pontiac J-2000, which raised the trend to nearly mystical heights. In 5,000 hours of work, Dobbertin established a line of automotive detail and excess that no one will ever cross and live.”


HOT ROD MAGAZINE – The 10 Best Street Machines of All Time – August 1995

“The J-2000 must be recognized for the work of art it truly is, and what it did to the entire world of hot rodding. It’s a work of art just as breathtaking as the Mona Lisa. No one will ever top it, or even equal it, and no one would want to. It combines the radicalness of an idea and fanatical attention to detail with quality workmanship.”

HOT ROD MAGAZINE – 50th Anniversary Issue – January 1998

To commemorate Hot Rod Magazine’s 50th Anniversary, the senior editorial staff searched through 600 previous issues and over 7,500 feature vehicles to select and honor 50 cars that they felt helped define Hot Rod Magazine.

Rick Dobbertin’s 1985 Pontiac J-2000 was one of the chosen.

HOT ROD MAGAZINE – 50th Anniversary Issue – January 1998

“Then we resurrected an old idea: The Hot Rod of the Year. (By combining the former Street Machine of the Year and Street Rod of the Year awards.) The first of the chosen was Dobbertin’s amazing, flip-top, double-throwdown Pontiac J-2000 in 1986. Anything short of a flagrant disregard for conventional wisdom would have been wimping out.”

The Editorial Staff - HOT ROD MAGAZINE – AUGUST 1998

Special Edition – Fifty Fabulous Features – The Cars That Helped Define HOT ROD Magazine

“What we have here is nothing less than the ultimate evolution of Pro Street. That it came so early in the genre’s reign speaks volumes about Rick Dobbertin’s foresight and abilities as a dreamer and a builder. That no other pro streeter in a dozen years since its arrival has managed to top it speaks just as loudly.”  Dobbertin’s Pontiac J-2000 was so significant that Revell even offered a model kit of the car.”


CAR CRAFT MAGAZINE’ – 50th Anniversary Issue – May 2003

“Back in August of 1986, we called Rick Dobbertin’s J-2000 “One Step Beyond,” but in retrospect we might say 200 Steps Beyond.”


CAR CRAFT MAGAZINE – Pro Street is Back! – July 2003

“The high point of the Pro Street movement culminated in this Rick Dobbertin creation, featured in the August 1986 Car Craft. The Pontiac J-2000 was fitted with two turbochargers and two blowers, outrageous craftsmanship, and a headache-inducing paint scheme.”


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