Page 1











36584 30992













Todd Ryden

Details can make — and break— you


etails are my nemesis in the garage these days. I enjoy seeing tidy routing of brake lines and fuel lines. Brackets that do more than one task, such as securing a headlamp plus housing the turn signal, can be works of art. Doors that shut with a crisp click of the locking assembly or engine mounts that actually look good. The problem is none of my cars have these kinds of attributes. It’s not really just the details, it’s also craftsmanship. The care of the design, the pride in the work and the execution of the project at hand. It’s overall quality. In writing that, I just flashed back to reading “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert M. Pirsig, where the narrator strove to define ‘quality’…which eventually drove the guy insane. I struggled through that tome many years ago and now here I am writing about my own definition of quality (and lack thereof). And it’s starting to drive me crazy! Now, that book has a much deeper, philosophical weight to the subject, but when it comes to details and quality on my own cars, I have to admit I’m still searching. When I shoot photos of cars, I generally ask the owner about shutting the door, and I never even think about closing the hood. Most of these owners just say “close it, slam it shut” because they know the door striker is aligned, the handle is secured and the assembly works exactly as it should. Half the time, they look at me a little sideways as if to say “why would you even ask?” I’ll tell you why I ask: My cars don’t open or shut that nice without a little push or pull. My cars have nuances, noises, and let’s say ‘quirks.’ (Makes them more personal, right?) I’m through with bolting things together that may not fit perfectly, but are good enough to get me on the road. I don’t want a dash with half the gauges lit up, or backup lights that don’t work, a rear window that only goes half way down. I’d like to get in my Tempest, back out of the garage, not see any oil leaks on the floor, roll all of the windows down, and drive away without so much as a hesitation, odd thump, or concern. Then, I wake up. You know what it takes to build a detailed, fully functional, street rod? Time. Commitment to doing the job right, whether it’s a bracket for a fuel pump relay or a vent window seal, it takes time. It takes time to try something and to start over if it’s not right. I think time and commitment may even outweigh talent. The ’67 Satellite featured in this issue took six years to build, with hundreds of handmade parts and modifications — all done in one garage. That’s commitment. In our interview with Troy Ladd of Hollywood Hot Rods, he talks about getting your hands dirty and learning by experience. Then, I gaze at the details on the coupe and sedan we feature this month and I just get dizzy looking at the sheer craftsmanship of the cars. I know something that would help me get on track with better details in my rod work; reduce the number of projects cars. (Surprisingly, I came up with that solution all on my own, not my wife.) Less projects would mean more time to focus on one. I’m not so sure that I’m ready to go that far just yet. So, I guess I’m not that crazy about quality…yet. At this point, I’m choosing quantity over quality. We’ll see how long that lasts.  SRL

Group Publisher

John Nichols

Editorial Director

Todd Ryden

Senior Tech Editor

Jeff Smith

Tech Editor

Richard Holdener

Contributors Tommy Lee Byrd Brandon Flannery Michael Harrington Barry Kluczyk Louis Kimery Manufacturers Advertising/Subscriptions Ivan Korda Jonathan Ertz For advertising inquiries call 901.260.5910.

Copy Editor

Cindy Bullion


Hailey Douglas


Jason Wommack

Street Rod Life is published quarterly to promote the growth of street rodding as well as recognize the parts and services from participating manufacturers. The magazine consists of dedicated information from partner companies with the mission of disseminating unfiltered editorial on companies, products and services directly to street rodders and fans. Editorial content and advertisements for each issue can originate from partner companies participating in the magazine. Street Rod Life is a hybrid of content that was originally published at and original content that was created for this quarterly print magazine. Magazine distribution occurs through direct distribution from parent company Xceleration Media, its partner companies, and marquee events throughout the year. Street Rod Life is a property of Xceleration Media. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written consent from Xceleration Media. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.


We’d like to thank the Millington Jetport for the use of their ’40s era hangar to provide a perfect backdrop for our dual ‘55 feature. Pic by Shawn Brereton.









36584 30992





VOL. 2, NO.

Todd Ryden

Staff Director of Operations Shawn Brereton






indd 1









9/25/16 5:59 PM




BLACK AND BLUES Double nickels times two





A ’31 coupe with blown Flattie Details and subtle touches 400+mph records and fun One ’55 leads to another

More mods than most kustoms Cruising the dream in Detroit Hollywood Hot Rods

Old school looks, modern control

A look that will go never out of style


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

Quality is killing me

What’s up in the rodding world Find cool tips, tech, and parts Favorite tweets and posts A line of Tri-Fives at rest Cool videos to check out

THE 14 INPASSENGER SEAT Hoarding is hereditary

93 PUT IT TO THE TEST OF 94 LIFER THE MONTH Making valve lash easy

Dealerships and street rods


Where you need to be and when to be there

96 BEHIND THE DOOR Three projects at a time

Even more features, videos, & event coverage

34 PLAYING ON THE SALT 400+mph records and fun

80 INLINE-SIX WITH EFI Inglese looks, FAST EFI control



28 409 POWERED ’32 SEDAN Detailed craftsmanship

The ins and outs of hydraulic clutches Building a 394c.i. Oldsmobile Giving our ’61 a boost

Classic cams get a new life Lock up your TCC

It’s more than just calipers and rotors ’60s accessories for an SBC

Drops, swivels, clamps, oh my

Parts Store ’40 Ford Straight Steering Column  ididit................................. 54 Hydroshox Suspension System  Mittler Bros.............................. 54 ’64–’73 Mustang Pro Driver Brake Kit  Master Power Brakes..... 55 Electric Reversible Fan Kits  TCI............................................... 55 Firestone Front Runners  Coker Tires........................................ 55 Classic Series Front Disc Brake Kits for ’55-’57 Ford Thunderbirds  Wilwood.................................... 56 Serpentine Belt Drive Systems  All American Billet................... 56 XR-i Points Conversion Replacement Module  FAST................. 56 Four-to Two-Door ’55/’57 Chevy Conversion  Real Deal Steel..... 57 40th Anniversary Metal Sign  COMP Cams............................... 58 Superlite Speaker Kit  Dynamat............................................... 58 Madditive  VP Racing Fuels....................................................... 58 Speed Clean  Driven Racing Oil................................................. 59 Gear Drives  Lunati.................................................................... 59

See more new products updated daily at

Coilovers combined with hydraulics Get your rod ready for winter






SEMA helping to save the salt We were lucky to see the SCTA present their Speed Week Nationals out at Bonneville after a two-year hiatus due to foul weather and poor surface conditions (check out our coverage starting on page 34), but we’re not out of the woods yet. The condition of the great Salt Flats continue to degrade, and the future is questionable. When SEMA was founded in 1963, it was known as the Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association. Founding members included ISKY Racing Cams, Edelbrock, B&M, JE Pistons, Hedman, and many others that were building great parts for land speed racers (and are still in

the show at SEMA today). SEMA eventually became the Specialty Equipment Market Association which covers nearly anything in the automotive aftermarket, including retailers and even marketers. SEMA is a partner in the Save the Salt Coalition which is helping to educate and spread the word of the declining conditions of the historic and unique racing location (which is also on the National Register of Historic Places). The Coalition is made up of businesses and organizations with a vested interest in Bonneville, and the Utah Alliance has also partnered with the group to guide them through the state government.

The Coalition has a restoration plan that would dramatically help bring the Flats back to their former racing glory, but they need help. Fortunately, the Governors of Utah and Nevada, as well as other US Senators

and Reps, are taking notice, but there is still a long way to go. To find out more, or to download a brochure from SEMA, go to: sema. org/bsf or call the Government Affairs Office at 202.783.6007.

HRIA Pinewood Challenge Winners The SEMA Hot Rod Industry Alliance held their annual Pinewood Challenge during the NSRA Louisville Nationals in August. The event is a race between builders and manufacturers who create some crazy cool, custom Pinewood racers. Billet, chrome, hand carved wood, and one-off molds are all part of the build process for these extreme rodders! Friday had the builders squaring off, with the win going to Blake Meaux of Mo’ Muscle Cars for 4 

STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

the second year in a row. Saturday morning saw the manufacturers strut their stuff, and it was the RideTech entry taking the win to set up a Grand Champion race between the two class winners, with Blake scoring another win. After the race, all of the race cars are auctioned off with the proceeds going to the SEMA Cares Charities. Last year, the HRIA raised over $8,000! Check out on how to get involved or bid.

These are just a few of the Pinewood racecars created by the manufacturers and builders.


RPM REPORT Four decades of coolness The hot rod and performance market is made up of car guys that had a better idea. Guys that thought, “Wow, I could build these parts to solve this issue and share them with my rodding buddies.” Sometimes, the parts work so well that a lot of people want them, and that’s the success story of many companies we know and love today. Vintage Air is a prime example of a hobby turned business, and this year marks the 40th anniversary for the San Antonio, Texas-based company. Jack Chisenhall founded Vintage Air in 1976 with the idea that owning and driving a hot rod shouldn’t mean suffering in the heat. And in the southern Texas region, that meant a lot of suffering! He set about designing the very first aftermarket air conditioning system that took into account the unique challenges and space constraints of street rods.

Jack Chisenhall, the founder of Vintage Air

“The real reason for Vintage Air’s success as a company has to be our amazing people,” Jack says. “We’ve been blessed to work with some of the smartest and most talented folks in the industry, and they keep us on the cutting edge of what is possible with vehi-

cle air conditioning. I feel fortunate to be able to work with these tremendous individuals, and the company wouldn’t be the same without them.” Congrats to Jack and the entire team at Vintage Air — keeping us cool for 40 years and counting!

Keep Your ’70s California Plates

Gibbons at Goodwood The street rod stars almost aligned this summer for street rod rockstar Billy Gibbons, as he and his bud Jimmy Shine shipped Billy’s ’34 Whiskey Runner Coupe over the pond to take part in the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England. One of the premier events during the festival is a 1.6-mile hill climb that Jimmy Shine was prepped to drive, but unfortunately travel glitches ended that plan. Regardless of the foul weather, Billy and Tony Thacker made a few passes up the historic hill and were able to share the coupe with a lot of enthusiasts and kids during the show.

Legislation (S.B. 1429) to expand the authorization of year-of-manufacture license plates to include owners of 1980 and older model-year vehicles was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. The previous law only authorized owners of vehicles that are of a 1969 or older model-year (or owners of a commercial vehicle or pickup truck older than 1973) to utilize California year-of-manufacture license plates. Now, all of the Trans Ams, Lagunas, Mustang IIs, and disco vans can cruise with their original year plates for a $45 fee.




DIGITAL DETOUR The web is all about information, some good, some great, and others just a waste of time. We’re here to steer you in the right direction with a few sites and forums with quality car-guy material. If you have a favorite website that can help your fellow readers out, send it our way!

Websites Classic specs

Looking for the wheelbase of a 1930 Graham Standard Sedan or how many 1940 Packard convertible coupes were made? The Classic Car Database has the info. We’re talking an extensive database of specs for American automobiles built from 1910 to 1975.

Smells like leather

If you’re getting going on your interior, you need to cruise over to Relicate Custom Leather. From custom color matched leathers to Alcantara suede and leather care products, this place will get your head spinning with ideas.

Engine history

The first four-stroke engine was said to be built and patented (365701) by Nicolaus August Otto and demonstrated in 1876. Unfortunately, the patent was revoked because another guy patented the design in 1862 — even though the guy never built it! Find out more cool history at

How-to work metal

Want to learn about bead rolling from the experts? The Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool website plays host to a number of how-to videos featuring Jamey Jordan, as well as tips on using a bench press, punch and flare kits, and tubing notchers.

Forums Truck stuff

Early Ford fun

As you can tell from the web domain, this site originated as a resource for ’67-’72 Chevy and GMC pickups. Ten years later, it’s still going strong and offers up forums and details about 1947 trucks through the new stuff! Helpful members and easy navigation make for a very useful forum.

No need to wade through a bunch of newer vehicle forums on this site! The Early Ford V8 forums focus only on 1932-1953 models and is actually the home base for the national club. History, engine know-how, events, and parts are all here.

Street rodding news at your fingertips Street Rod Life has made it as easy as possible for you to receive the information you are looking for in the format you feel most comfortable with. Whether you get your information on a laptop, tablet, or your phone,


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

we’ve got you covered so you can get the latest street rod information straight from the source. Our content is updated daily, so check often with Street Rod Life through any of the social media options on the right.

Hail the Chief!

In reality, the brand has been dead for nearly seven years, but you wouldn’t know that when you bump into a Pontiac owner at a cruise night. Forever Pontiac is packed with tips about performance, maintenance, and all things Pontiac.

Hit the road

As Otter and Boon declared in Animal House when things just weren’t going right, “Road trip!” This helpful forum has tips on trip gear, short trips, long trips, and trips that lead off the beaten path. Even if you don’t know where you want to go, this group can lead you to an adventure.



The asphalt jungle is a noisy place. Make sure you’re heard. The streets are full of commotion and it’s easy to get run over unless you make some noise. The hard-hitting Thumpr™ Series from COMP Cams® will give your hot rod or street machine an aggressive note that lets them know you mean business. More than all bark and no bite, they were specifically designed to create impressive horsepower gains and broad torque curves while maintaining streetability. From mild to wild, Thumpr™ offers three levels of thump to suit any engine: Thumpr™, Mutha Thumpr™, and the Big Mutha Thumpr™. Though nostalgic-sounding in note, the designs are compatible with the latest in valve train advances, including COMP® Beehive™ Valve Springs, Ultra Pro Magnum™ Roller Rockers, and Magnum Pushrods. EFI-compatible versions are also available. You choose the engine, Thumpr® will make it roar.

Spintron® and dyno tested Available for both carb and EFI Retro-fit hydraulic roller and hydraulic flat tappet versions GM - Ford - Chrysler - even Ford flathead and Buick nailhead


Choose one of four levels of component-matched kits, including the all-inclusive K-Kit for a complete, trouble-free installation. Complete K-Kits include a camshaft, lifters, springs, timing chain set, valve stem seals, retainers, locks and assembly lube.


CAM HELP ® 1.800.999.0853





Be Social! Find us on Instagram, and hashtag #StreetRodLife on all your favorite car show photos, racing shots, and just plain ol’ cool stuff that we all dig… or even give us a shoutout @StreetRodLife to share something and we might even repost it. #STREETRODLIFE AS SEEN ON FACEBOOK


Mesa Elementary in Clovis, New Mexico had a car show and musical performance by Johnny Rogers at their weekend music fest! Did your school ever have a car show!? #carshow #newmexico @cruzer1962 #streetrodlife








FOR THE FORD “Y-BLOCK” 1953 – 1962


Buick FOR THE BUICK “NAILHEAD” 1964 – 1966

# 9501


• 170 ft lbs torque • 3.7:1 gear reduction, up to 14:1 compression • Faster starts, fewer kickbacks • 12 volt systems • Machined billet adjustable mounting block – 3 positions

25% MORE CRANKING SPEED! • 200 ft lbs torque • 4.4:1 gear reduction, up to 18:1 compression • Faster starts, fewer kickbacks • 12 volt systems • Machined billet adjustable mounting block – 360° rotation

STARTERS & ALTERNATORS Call us at 630-957-4019 (where a helpful human being answers the phone)

All Lined Up

The opportunity to photograph this much vintage tin together at night doesn’t happen often. In the wee-hours of the morning, the host hotel for the Tri-Five Nationals in Bowling Green, Kentucky, provided a perfect chance to get a clean shot of a few Chevys getting their beauty rest! (To see our coverage, search Tri-Five Nats on


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4



To watch all the videos below, head to: The voice of SEMA

Dennis Pittsenbarger interviews Dave McClelland at the 2015 SEMA Show about his career in the industry.


Mike Markin’s ’38 Shark

Mike Markin has transformed a very rare 1938 Shark Nose Graham into a unique piece of automotive art that is a sight to behold. See how he took a side of the road yard car and transformed it into a thing of beauty.


XFI install: first impressions

We’ve completed the first project on “Project 1PDQ55.” Listen to Shawn’s impressions on the upgrade to FAST XFi and see how much better it performs. Special thanks for FAST, Aeromotive, Rick’s Tanks, and Powermaster Performance for help with parts to complete the install. To see more on this car, see page 44.

Chopped Rod and Custom Festival down under EXCLUSIVE CONTENT

Fixing your ride: Louisville Street Rod Nats

A trip to Louisville can be tough on your ride, but the men of the Michigan Hot Rod Association are on hand to help out. Watch them work their magic on some cool classics.

(Re)built Ford tough

Six days. More than 40,000 photos. One fully rebuilt Ford Flathead V8. All boiled down to an intense 6-minute video.


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

Hot Rods and rock music get back to their roots for the annual Chopped Rod & Custom a three-day festival where pre-1965 style custom cars and music fanatics from across Australia roll into Victoria.

Gilmore Car museum tour

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, is considered one of the top five car museums in the country and features over 250 extraordinary cars and motorcycles from every era. Open year round, exhibits range from cars of the 1890s to muscle cars of the ’60s and ’70s.







Every SRL print magazine Bonus T-shirt, decal pack, and discounts Exclusive Enthusiast Club member giveaways














36584 30990




2 36584 26525 $7.99




Shirt size (circle):



❑ Payment enclosed (check or money order only)















❑ 1 year membership (4 issues, T-shirt, decals & more): $29.95 ❑ 2 year membership (8 issues, T-shirt, decals & more): $54.95 XL





















VOL. 2, NO. 3

Get every issue of Street Rod Life delivered right to your door by joining our Enthusiast Club. As if you needed another reason, your annual membership also includes a free custom Street Rod Life T-shirt, decal pack, exclusive club giveaways, member discounts, and so much more. Become a member of the Street Rod Life Enthusiast Club at this special price before this offer hits the highway forever.







36584 26623



Vol. 1, No. 3












(please print)




Check #: To pay by credit card and for faster service, subscribe online:

Email Complete bottom, clip, and mail to Xceleration Media, P.O. Box 181332, Memphis, TN 38181 Questions? Call 901.260.5910

with TOMMY


Happy hoarding mostly complete cars in it, but you can see the direction I’m headed with this. I also have o you find yourself wishing you had a bigger shop? I’ll an attached gabe the first to tell you it isn’t the size of the building rage where one that matters the most. It’s the amount of junk you acdaily driver and cumulate. And when I say “junk” I don’t mean scrap iron that a collector vehidoesn’t serve a purpose — I’m talking about swap meet parts, cle are parked. I extra pieces, and the original stuff from your old car that you am out of space, just can’t throw away. and if I keep As car guys, we all operate under the notion that “I might bringing home need that someday,” and it makes us natural hoarders. Some junk from local people collect baseball cards — I collect car parts. swap meets, my I came by my hoarding tendencies through my dad. It’s shop will resemhereditary. He’s been hoarding away car parts for as long as ble my dad’s. I can remember. His shop is 30x60 and has room for a couI’m speaking ple cars, but most of the space is occupied by old car junk. from experience There is a path to get from one side of the shop to the other, when I say that and mounds of stuff piled all over the place. It would send a having too much Pictured here is a gravity-defying pile of vintage neat freak into shock when we start searching for something junk gets in the speed equipment. At the bottom is an old fourspeed transmission, with headers and mufflers in the midst of the mess. way of progress stacked in such a way that it creates a table for a My dad and I share an interest in old drag cars, so you’ll on project cars. rare Pete Jackson fuel injection unit to rest upon. find magnesium wheels, old fuel injection units, and plenty of Having room random stuff in his shop. It’s an addiction, and it prompted me to operate is also pretty important with a street rod project, to build a shop at my house with intentions of actually storing so having to move the lawn mower, your kid’s toys, and other and working on cars. items out of the way every time you intend to spend an evening Now, three years later, I’m feeling pretty cramped in my in the shop is not ideal. It certainly makes your to-do list lonnew place. Granted, my shop is 24x36 and currently has three ger, and your progress list shorter. So, what’s a man to do when he runs out of room? Building an additional shop, or adding onto the existing shop seems like the answer, but I’m not so sure that will accomplish anything in my case. Chances are likely I’ll fill that one just as quickly as I’ve filled my current garages. Building (or buying) a storage shed for the lawn equipment and non-car stuff would help in my situation, but may not be the answer for everyone. I think the real answer is to take a close look at my inventory of parts and start organizing it and selling what isn’t absolutely necessary. But wait, what if I sell something and it becomes extremely valuable 40 years from now? I don’t know if I could bear the thought of it — so, like many car guys, This angle is a great representation of my dad’s shop. Old bicycles hanging from the rafters, parts and I guess I’ll just deal with the mess and pieces scattered everywhere, and a killer old drag car resting quietly. Engines, parts, wheels, junk — he continue hoarding.  SRL has it all, but may not remember where he put it. Editor’s Note: Tommy Lee Byrd is an occasional contributor for SRL, as well as the author of several books including Street Sleepers and Lost Drag Strips. He’s also the go-to guy for vintage tire applications, and when he’s not in his shop or at the keyboard, you’ll find him covering races and events around the southeast.



STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

700+ Stores Nationwide

WOW SUPER COUPON Customer Rating


Tools and welding supplies sold separately.

SAVE $70 99




16999 $219.99 comp at



om or by calling our stores or HarborFreight.c t or coupon or prior LIMIT 3 - Good at used with other discoun 800-423-2567. Cannot be from original purchase with original receipt. days 30 Original coupon must be purchases after s last. Non-transferable. Offer good while supplie 2/21/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day. presented. Valid through

20% OFF


Limit 1 coupon per customer per day. Save 20% on any 1 item purchased. *Cannot be used with other discount, coupon or any of the following items or brands: Inside Track Club membership, Extended Service Plan, gift card, open box item, 3 day Parking Lot Sale item, automotive lifts, compressors, floor jacks, saw mills, storage cabinets, chests or carts, trailers, trenchers, welders, Admiral, Badland, Bremen, CoverPro, Daytona, Diablo, Doyle, Earthquake, Franklin, Grant’s, Hercules, Holt, Jupiter, Lynxx, Maddox, Portland, Predator, Quinn, Stik-Tek, StormCat, Union, Vanguard, Viking. Not valid on prior purchases. Nontransferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 2/21/17.



62434/62426 62433/62428 62432/62429


3 $ 99

$ 99

Item 62429 shown

5 $14.97

comp at

SAVE 73%

Customer Rating

LIMIT 7 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 2/21/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.



• 3-1/2 Pumps Lifts Most Vehicles • Weighs 34 lbs.



SAVE 59%


ITEM 60637/61615 95275 shown Customer Rating





99 59 $98.62

comp at

LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 2/21/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R 4-1/2" ANGLE GRINDER PE ON SU UP Customer Rating ITEM 60625 shown CO 95578/69645

SAVE 50%


$ 99 $

1499 $20.26

1 TON CAPACITY FOLDABLE SHOP CRANE ITEM 69512 61858/69445 shown • Includes Ram, Hook and Chain





SAVE $169

9999 comp at


LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 2/21/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.


7 FUNCTION DIGITAL MULTIMETER ITEM 90899 shown 98025/69096


1645 VALUE

LIMIT 1 - Cannot be used with other discount, coupon or prior purchase. Coupon good at our stores, or by calling 800-423-2567. Offer good while supplies last. Shipping & Handling charges may apply if not picked up in-store. Nontransferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 2/21/17. Limit one FREE GIFT coupon per customer per day.


SAVE $235

30", 5 DRAWER TOOL CART • 704 lb. capacity ITEM 69397/61427 63308/95272 shown


ITEM 42305/69044/63171


SAVE 70%

Best Mechanic’s Tool Cart Truckin’ Magazine

Customer Rating YOUR CHOICE


$ 99

99 59 $ 99



$ 99


comp at



ITEM 69252 68053/62160 62496/62516 60569 shown



ITEM 63282/69043/42304 shown


LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 2/21/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.



ITEM 93068 shown 69590/61910/62447

LIMIT 7 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 2/21/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.


ITEM 61256/61889 60813 shown Customer Rating


$1199 $1699 comp at



om or by calling our stores or HarborFreight.c t or coupon or prior LIMIT 5 - Good at used with other discoun 800-423-2567. Cannot be from original purchase with original receipt. be purchases after 30 dayss last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must Offer good while supplie 2/21/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day. presented. Valid through

4000 PEAK/

R SUPER QUIET 3200 RUNNING WATTS PE ON SU UP 6.5 HP (212 CC) GAS GENERATORS O C Customer Rating ITEM 69676/69729/63080/63079 shown ITEM 69675/69728/63090/63089 CALIFORNIA ONLY Wheel kit sold separately.

• 70 dB noise level






comp at


LIMIT 3 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 2/21/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

• 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed • Over 30 Million Satisfied Customers • No Hassle Return Policy

SAVE $453


LIMIT 4 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 2/21/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.


comp at


SAVE $79

• Pair of arbor plates included shown 4 /6060 ITEM 33497

99 $134


comp at


om or by calling our stores or HarborFreight.c t or coupon or prior LIMIT 5 - Good at used with other discoun 800-423-2567. Cannot be from original purchase with original receipt. be purchases after 30 dayss last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must Offer good while supplie 2/21/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day. presented. Valid through

• 700+ Stores Nationwide • Lifetime Warranty On All Hand Tools




Customer Rating

SAVE ITEM 69649 47% 61878/61837 46163 $ 99


99 299 99

LIMIT 5 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 2/21/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.



comp at


SAVE 60%

Customer Rating

16499 $

comp at


comp at

LIMIT 7 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 2/21/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.

R PE ON Customer Rating SU UP CO


Customer Rating

SAVE $60

Customer Rating

We have invested millions of dollars in our own state-of-the-art quality test labs and millions more in our factories, so our tools will go toe-to-toe with the top professional brands. And we can sell them for a fraction of the price because we cut out the middle man and pass the savings on to you. It’s just that simple! Come visit one of our 700+ Stores Nationwide. R PE ON SU UP O C




How Does Harbor Freight Sell GREAT QUALITY Tools at the LOWEST Prices?

• • 800-423-2567




comp at 99 $18.98

LIMIT 7 - Good at our stores or or by calling 800-423-2567. Cannot be used with other discount or coupon or prior purchases after 30 days from original purchase with original receipt. Offer good while supplies last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must be presented. Valid through 2/21/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day.


SAVE 41%

ITEM 60343/67338 shown

Customer Rating

• 1500 lb. capacity

$ $4999 59


comp at


om or by calling our stores or HarborFreight.c t or coupon or prior LIMIT 4 - Good at used with other discoun 800-423-2567. Cannot be from original purchase with original receipt. be purchases after 30 dayss last. Non-transferable. Original coupon must Offer good while supplie 2/21/17. Limit one coupon per customer per day. presented. Valid through

At Harbor Freight Tools, the "comp at" price means that the same item or a similar functioning item was advertised for sale at or above the "comp at" price by another retailer in the U.S. within the past 180 days. Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other meaning of "comp at" should be implied. For more information, go to or see store associate.



This blown Model A scores high on style and engineering


WORDS: Barry Kluczyk PHOTOS: Todd Ryden


ravis Whitney had two priorities for his hot rod project — it had to be a Model A, and it had to be powered by a blown Flathead. Spoiler alert: he nailed both of them. There’s more to the story for the Minneapolis-area AAMCO Transmission shop owner and sprint car racer. The ’31 Ford was a project intended to fill weekends after a planned retirement from racing, but like Brett Favre, the retirement didn’t stick. Fortunately, the Model A plans did. “I started looking for an A and found a ’31 sedan online,” Travis says. “As I dug into it, I discovered that hot rod builder Jason Graham had done the body work on it. I called his shop to ask him about the car, and one thing led to another and I had him build me the core of the car.” It was a five-window coupe, and Graham handled the body and chassis chores, giving it the neo-traditional look that’s in vogue right now for all the right reasons. It’s also a signature aesthetic for Graham, who’s As are generally distinguished by massively channeled bodies that translate into ground-scraping stances. The body is a real-steel Model A that was chopped five inches in addition to the serious channeling over a custom frame. The result is a waist-high profile that looks even more exaggerated with the towering Roots blower and carb package atop the Flathead. The firewall was smoothed, and the roof insert is fabric-covered steel that lends a more traditional appearance. And yes, that’s a ’32 grille shell up front. As for the paint, it’s a PPG satin bronze hue that Jason Graham handled. Like many rods today, the chassis and suspension systems deftly blend old and new, including a traditional single-leaf front suspension complemented by a contemporary rack-and-pinion steering system. The rear suspension is a coilover design locating a modern GM 8.5-inch rear axle fit with an Eaton limited-slip diff and 3.42 gears. The car rolls on 16inch steel wheels and Coker-produced Firestone tires. “I wanted the car to have a little more rear rake than Jason likes to build into his cars,” says Travis. “It has that stance, but since the photos were taken, I’ve added a RideTech air system to give the rear greater adjustability. It will now go right to the ground.” When it came to the engine, Travis reached out to Steve Farklay at Uncommon Engineering to build exactly what STREETRODLIFE.COM 


A vintage 8BA Flattie with a 4.00-inch Mercury crank is force-fed by a Stromberg-topped 4-71 blower. The engine block was painted to complement the body’s Satin Bronze color. Travis detailed with additional copper-tinted accents, including the velocity stacks for the triple 97s.

he envisioned; an 8BA Flathead. With a blower. And three Strombergs. Travis was very specific about the engine and the look. Farklay located the correct-vintage engine and got to work. The 8BA was the third of the Flathead family’s three production generation. It was introduced in trucks in 1948, before migrating to cars in 1949. The Mercury versions were known as 8CM engines and are distinguished by a larger 255c.i. displacement, thanks to a 4.000inch stroke rather than Ford’s 3.750inch stroke, which delivered a 239c.i. displacement. Both versions retained 3.1875-inch bores. At a glance, it’s easy to tell these later Flatheads from earlier versions, thanks


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

to a separate, bolt-on bellhousing rather than an integrally cast housing. Compared to the previous-generation Flathead, the 8BA still used 24 fasteners for the heads, but rather than studs and nuts, it used conventional bolts. The water outlet fittings were also relocated to the front corners of the heads, while a new, front-mounted, shaft-driven LoadA-Matic distributor was located perpendicular to the camshaft. The engine Farklay built uses a genuine Mercury 4.000-inch crankshaft, and it was bored to take the displacement to 286c.i. The block was then stuffed with an Isky camshaft, capped with Edelbrock 1116 heads, and topped with a 4-71 huffer. It draws the mixture from a

The clean cabin is remarkable for its simplicity. Custom-trimmed seats are complemented by a classic ’40 Ford steering wheel and Auto Meter gauges with custom-machined bezels. The custom shifter stirs a 5-speed manual transmission for effortless highway cruising.

Neo-traditional elements including large, 16-inch steel wheels, extreme channeling, and a suede bronze paint scheme give this ’31 A-bone a thoroughly contemporary hot rod aesthetic.

trio of Stromberg 97s into the combustion chambers. “It was an old, original blower case that I believe came off a boat engine and was pretty rough on the outside,” says Travis. “That was OK with me at first, because I wanted it to look more traditional, but after the rest of the car came out looking more ‘finished,’ we decided it would be better to polish the blower and some of the other engine parts. Problem was, the finish was so rough on the blower case, it took a lot of effort to shine it up.”


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

Regardless of the gleam, the pressurized Flattie sends about 300 hp to the rear axle via a TREMEC T5 fivespeed manual transmission. That may not sound like earth-shattering output in an age of 700-horsepower Hellcats, but for a car that weighs little more than an old steel Radio Flyer, it delivers an enviable and potent power-toweight ratio. “Oh yeah, it feels great,” says Travis. “It makes great power, and there’s more in it as I continue to work on the

A custom frame with large rear-axle “kick ups” allow the 5-inch-chopped coupe to be channeled dramatically, enabling the bold stance. The body was prepped and painted by renowned builder Jason Graham.

tune. It has been running a bit rich, and I’ve been experimenting with jetting to get the mid-range just right. It’s been getting faster and more responsive with each update, but it’s definitely a process.” In other words, it’s a project — just like Travis wanted. He also built the car

to drive, and that he did to the Street Machine Nationals in St. Paul, Minnesota. That’s where it stopped us in our tracks, and we couldn’t help but bestow our Editor’s Choice award on it. It also garnered a Best Engineered trophy. Not bad for a car intended to just soak up cruising time on the weekends.  SRL

MOVEMENT The ease and benefits of hydraulic clutches WORDS: Todd Ryden PHOTOS: Courtesy the manufacturer


t’s always fun to run through the gears on your hot rod, which is exactly how it should be. Dumping the clutch, grabbing a quick gear, or holding it in third around a long, sweeping corner to keep the engine in its sweet spot is all part of the experience of owning a rod. Sticks and clutches have been around long before an automatic trans was even considered, and for a long time was the only choice for drag racers and performance cars. Then, along comes technology in clutch packs, electronics, and improved hydraulic controls, and many people have opted to let the shifts happen automatically. Where’s the fun in that? We understand the simplicity and convenience that today’s automatics provide and have no problem cruising around with one, but a stick can be so much fun in a car you don’t drive every day. Plus, for awesome overdrive rpm, there are a lot of great gearboxes with five or six gears to check out these days. One of the key things that send a lot of people down the automatic route is the thought of having to install a clutch pedal and linkage assembly. This is especially true if you’re installing a later model engine into a muscle car, where there might not even be a ball stud location on the block. Then, what’re you supposed to do? 22 

STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

You look up American Powertrain online. American Powertrain makes it easy to run with a stick. Whether you’re building an AMX or Lincoln Zephyr, they offer the parts and pieces to make installing a manual trans easier with crossmembers, clutches, and flywheels for nearly anything. In short, they have their “shift” together. One area we’ve questioned when going to a stick is the clutch linkage. We’re planning to install an LS1 into a ’66 Nova soon and already have a Tremec TKO600 trans for it. The question though is what to do about clutch linkage. The engine will be in a different location, plus it doesn’t even have a provision for a ball stud in the block. The answer is quite simple: hydraulics. Hydraulically controlled clutches have been used for a number of years, but only in the last couple decades have they found a place in the performance aftermarket. The main reasons for their acceptance have to do with OEM usage and performance, the number of hybrid engine swaps taking place, and the simple fact there are companies such as American Powertrain making it easier to accomplish. Think about your mechanical linkage and all the pieces and points of force that take place with every shift. Then think about the years of wear and what happens when you add a stronger pressure plate. Also, take into consideration the movement of

No Z-bar, clutch fork, or shaky linkage — this is a hydraulic throwout bearing assembly from American Powertrain. When you push the clutch pedal, it forces hydraulic fluid into the slave cylinder (the blue housing), which pushes the bearing assembly out and into the clutch fingers. The line on the right is the bleeder line, though each assembly is supplied pre-bled.

the drivetrain when the engine is torqued over, and you have a lot of things working against you. There are many benefits of going hydraulic. First, as we discussed, is fewer components. No Z-bar, no ball studs, and no clutch fork. You’ll only have a hydraulic line going into a slave cylinder that makes up the hydraulic throw out bearing. There’s also a master cylinder and reservoir for the fluid mounted to the firewall. Another major benefit is not having to worry about headers interfering with any mechanical linkage! We learned that American Powertrain offers complete hydraulic clutch kits for pretty much any muscle car application, and if they don’t have what you need in kit form, chances are they have the parts to make a kit for you! The kit is called the Hydramax. The Hydramax is supplied with everything you need to make the swap to fluid control over the old-fashioned mechanical route. The key to these systems is an adjustable mount for the master cylinder. This stainless steel bracket allows you to install the master cylinder at the same angle of the original clutch rod to produce a smooth, modern pedal feel. With a master cylinder, as you surmised, the hydraulic action of the system works similar to your brake system. The kit is supplied with a hydraulic throwout bearing that includes an internal slave cylinder (think about a brake caliper). When the fluid is pressurized from the master cylinder, the slave cylin-

The hydraulic throwout bearing slides over the input shaft and stays in place with an anti-rotation stud, depending on the application. Spacers are supplied to achieve the proper position of the bearing-to-clutch distance.

The adjustable master cylinder bracket allows you to position the cylinder so you can retain the stock angle of the clutch push rod. Or, if you’re building a custom application, the versatility of the bracket can be extremely helpful.

American Powertrain offers several fixed position brackets, as well as the adjustable version. The billet bracket shown on the right is for early Mustangs.

der pushes the concentric surface against the clutch fingers or diaphragm to activate the clutch. When you think about it, the hydraulic action is instant, compared to a mechanical linkage where there are variables in the movement. Another advantage to fluid control! The Hydramax Kit is designed to work with OEM and many other aftermarket pedal assemblies for vintage This is an optional billet aluminum fluid resThe Hydramax Kit comes with a plastic 3- and 4-speeds, as well ervoir. version, but other reservoirs are available. as most Tremecs, Rich- Note the reservoir hose is under low presmonds, T56, and Mag- sure, so no expensive fittings are required. num transmissions. In fact, you can order a complete driveline assembly from the flywheel to the driveshaft all from American Powertrain. That really does help get your shift together!  SRL Source: American Powertrain,






Rebuilding a Rocket with new performance parts WORDS: Todd Ryden PHOTOS: Steve Brule


ho doesn’t like strolling through a cruise night and seeing a vintage engine under the hood of a street rod? It certainly makes you stop and look again when you come across a non-SBC or LS-something these days. Don’t get us wrong, it’s hard to beat the reliability and parts availability of a standard V8, especially when you’re running across state lines on a road trip. It makes perfect sense, and if you’re building it to drive it, it’s the right choice. You have to admit however that an old Hemi, Nailhead, or Y-block certainly stand outs in a sea of crate engines. One of the vintage engines that actually had a big name in early racing is the Oldsmobile V8. Olds introduced their overhead valve V8 power plant in 1949, the first with hydraulic lifters, and it quickly became a favorite choice of power in the fledgling NASCAR race series, also leaving its mark in the Carrera Panamericana events. In fact, Olds even offered a tri-power and a turbocharger long before a Pontiac or Corvette, not to mention a Grand National. With such a performance heritage, you would think we’d come across a few 24 

STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

There was more good news after we pulled the heads. On the deck surface, there are odd-sized freeze plugs under the head gasket, and they were still in place on the 394. Also, from the look of the carbon on the piston, it appears this was a running engine before it was pulled.

more early Olds-powered street rods. Then again, those were the days before the small-block Chevy really hit its stride, and Ford and Chrysler were poised for the track as well. We did happen across a very cool Oldsmobile project while loitering around the dyno cells at Westech Performance Group in Mira Loma, Califor-

nia, not long ago. They had 1961 vintage 394c.i. Oldsmobile on a stand getting a complete rebuild and blueprinted assembly. That was enough to get our attention and to follow along. The 394 was introduced in 1959, replacing the 371c.i. generation. The additional cubic inches came from a bigger 4.125-inch bore, and the engine was

Notice the two large bolts flanking the cam bore? Check out the small hole in the one on the left — it’s actually an oil passage to lube the timing chain.

Once the precision machine work was done, Steve set about deburring the internals of the block, with a lot of attention paid to the lifter galley. This simply ensures there’s no chance of thin casting edges and material breaking off and causing damage.

Upon initial inspection of the main bearings, the number one oil passage didn’t quite line up as well as it should. Steve broke out the dremel and modified the passage just a smidge to ensure proper lubricating.

Everything was measured for proper clearances before final assembly. Steve checked the main cap dimensions carefully and fit each bearing in place. When you’re working with a vintage Olds, you don’t have the luxury of a multitude of over and under bearings to use.

Once every dimension was checked and confirmed, Steve coated the internals of the block with Glyptal to seal and smooth the rough casting and improve the oil flow. The block was treated to the proper green Oldsmobile hue.

With everything cleaned, inspected, and measured to specs, final assembly started with the crank.

The factory rods were inspected, resized, and rebushed for the new JE Pistons and Total Seal rings. STREETRODLIFE.COM 


More Olds power

Note the small hole in the rod assembly near the bolt. This actually provides lubrication to the cam as the piston moves through its stroke.

rated between 250 to 345 hp with more than 400 lb-ft of torque, depending on the year and model. Our subject was found in a scrapyard many years ago and will soon be under the hood of a ’56 Olds. The search for parts was not easy, as there are enough variations of the engine series to really keep you guessing on parts. For guidance, Westech turned to Ross Racing Engines in Niles, Ohio, which specializes in vintage engines, especially when it comes to Oldsmobiles. After disassembly, it was noted the block was all original and seemed like it was a running engine that just got shut off and pulled from its 88 before being tossed aside. The block was sent to Dugan’s Race Engines for cleaning and inspection, and also received a .030-inch bore, bumping up its girth to 399.995c.i. Let’s call it 400. Luckily, the crank and rods were deemed usable, and the heads were also treated to a decking and complete freshening. When it came time to find pis-

The original cam was sent to Crane Cams for a regrind. They added 10 degrees of duration to the intake and exhaust.

The timing chain and gears are available through Ross Racing, who know a thing or two about vintage Olds and other classic engines. Note the factory-equipped cam stop to keep the cam from walking!


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

Thanks to advanced ring and skirt technology, there’s no reason for the tall, long piston. The new JE Pistons version has the same compression distance but much less length and mass. Note the wrist pin offset and the “F” on the factory piston denoting that side point towards the front of the engine.

Since the JE pistons aren’t marked with an “F” like the factory, Steve made sure to carefully position and mark the piston direction before installation. Note the use of Total Seal’s adjustable tapered seat ring compressor — no chance of snagging a ring!

tons and rings, JE Pistons located a similar forging and finished it to fit the Olds parameters, complete with the offset pin and compression distance, but also a much lighter piece with a substantially shorter skirt. As for the cam, the original unit was sent to Crane Cams in Daytona, Florida, where they performed a mild regrind.

From the get go, the rebuild of this classis Olds power plant was always intended to be a cruiser, and we’re extremely happy with the power and bulk of the torque curve. However, it would be easy to make a lot more power thanks to the experts at Ross Racing Engines. The team at Ross have been building race engines for years and offer a number of speed parts for vintage Olds and other engines. We’re talking roller rocker assemblies, aluminum cylinder heads, H-beam rods and more. These guys even run a nostalgia front engine dragster, so they know what it takes to go fast with vintage style!

Fast forward to the engine firing up on the dyno, where the cam and lifters were broken in, along with the rings seating in the fresh bores. After an inspection, the water brake was turned on and the Olds pulled a serious amount of torque across the rpm range, peaking at 413 lb-ft at 3,400 rpm with 321 ponies at 5,000 rpm.  SRL Sources: Crane Cams,; Fel-Pro,; Holley,; JE Pistons,; Ross Racing Engines,; Total Seal,; Westech Performance Group,

Fel-Pro offers gaskets for the 394 Olds, which were positioned prior to placing the heads. Dugans Racing Engine performed a valve job on the factory heads and updated the valves with Ross Racing components and springs from Seal Power.

The Olds was originally fit with solid push rods, but when Steve pre-lubed the engine with them, he was just not content with the amount of oil getting to the rocker arm. After a little research, it was suggested to try a set of hollow rods. Once in place, he tested the oil pressure again, and it ran solid at 55 psi with improved oiling.

There’s not much available in the way of aftermarket distributors for 394c.i. Oldsmobiles, but Ross Racing morphs the lower housing of the factory piece with the top of an MSD Pro-Billet model. This way, you get an accurate, reliable trigger signal and an easy-to-tune centrifugal advance.

The Olds was bolted to Westech’s engine dyno and fueled by a 670 Holley Street Avenger. At about 3,400 rpm, the Olds offered 413 lb-ft with 321 hp coming in at 5,000 rpm. Check out those curves though — that’s a lot of useful torque and power!

Optimum Performance. Improved Reliability. And Great Looks.

Paul Gilliam’s 1953 Studebaker

That’s Why The Nation’s Premiere Builders Rely On ARP Fasteners!

builder: Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop

ARP fasteners allow you to reach the true performance potential of any engine while maintaining an extra margin of safety. And, as legions of builders who have won rodding’s most prestigious awards can attest, ARP’s polished stainless steel bolts and studs will enhance any vehicle. And while ARP has dedicated fastener kits for a wide variety of engines and individual applications, many builders employ polished stainless steel or black oxide finished chrome moly bolts for chassis, suspension and a myriad other uses. Both are rated at 180,000 psi and significantly stronger than Grade 8 hardware. Sold in handy 5-packs, they’re as large as ½" diameter by 6" length and as small as 10-32 x ½". Choose between hex or 12-point heads and SAE coarse, fine or Metric thread. Check out the latest ARP catalog online or request a free printed copy. Of course, all fasteners are proudly manufactured in-house to assure optimum quality.

Mothers Wax 1959 Chevy Biscayne builder: Rad Rides by Troy

Get a FREE copy of the new 2016 catalog online


w w w. A R P - b o l t s . c o m

Centennial ’32 THE

Keep looking, there’s more to this ’32 than you think

WORDS & PHOTOS: Todd Ryden



ow do you build a ’32 Ford that is both subtle and truly unique at the same time? That is what Sergio Garibay wanted in a street rod. It had to have a unique, vintage flavor mixed with automotive history, yet be understated in its overall presentation. Somehow, he pulled it off. Sergio has always had an appreciation for antiques and has collected furniture, clocks, vintage radios, art, and other classic items for years. He doesn’t zero in on any one particular artifact; the piece needs to speak to him. “I’ve always liked older items that were built by an artist or craftsman, such as furniture,” he says. “There seems to be more details in the piece. More pride in the work.” In fact, he was gathering parts for the ’32 even before he owned the body. If he came across a vintage component that fit the street rod in his head, he would pick it up. The Chrysler AirFlow taillamps, for example, are something he bought online — from Sweden — because their styling just struck him. He scooped up a set of Electroline headlamps years ago as well. He knew he’d have a rod for them one day. That one day came when he got a call from pal Eddie Enriquez about the shell of a ’32 sedan coming up for sale in El Paso, Texas. Sergio already knew of the car, but the owner had steadfastly been refusing to sell it for years. Finally, the time came, so Sergio high tailed it over to talk to the owner about the frame, body, and fenders of the sedan. The reluctant seller gave him the rules: He didn’t want to sell it, but he had to. If you barter, the deal is off. If you question him on anything, the deal is off. And you need to be back with the cash by 4 o’clock or no deal. Sergio wasted no time and was back before noon to tow his new project home…where it was promptly covered up and stashed in the backyard until the time was right. A few years went by and finally it was Alex, Sergio’s wife, who decided the time was right by proclaiming, “I want to see this car on the road.” That was all it took; she even persuaded him to get a loan to make it happen, and again, Sergio wasted no time and was approved the following day. Want to know the icing on the cake? It was Alex that paid the loan off! Now that is a wonderful lady! After consulting with the Aguilar brothers and other hot rodding pals around town, Sergio met with Jesse Gonzalez of Street Toyz just across the

Originally, Sergio had planned to go with a 331c.i. Hemi (which would have worked well with the Facel Vega wheels), but he was struck by the thought of a 409c.i. Chevy. This is a 1962 vintage block topped with an Edelbrock intake and six Holley 94s.

Sergio opted to paint his Electrolines, which really helped to pull out their art-deco styling.

border in Juarez, Mexico. Jesse and his team have been knocking out some incredible builds and restorations, and he understood the vision Sergio had in mind. It’s important to note that this was several years ago when Juarez was making headlines as the most dangerous place on earth, but that was no deterrent to Sergio. He had a vision and worked closely with Jesse over a two-year period to see it to completion. He continued finding pieces and parts that fit his plan and would work with Jesse on the details of the project. And there are a lot of details. The chassis was boxed, straightened and smoothed, and treated to

Taillamp assemblies are from a 1935 Chrysler Airflow, but look right at home on the Ford. STREETRODLIFE.COM 


The Sedan sits just right on its original frame, which has been boxed and fit with a Chassis Engineering front cross member and X-member. A 4-inch drop axle was installed, along with ’32 Ford split wishbones.

a 4-inch axle that received a serious amount of time on the drill press. The wishbones were also split and treated to a drilling (as were the shock/headlight mounts, bumpers, and spreader bars). A set of ’59 Ford drum brakes were installed out back, along with a set of ’55 Buick-styled discs from So Cal up front. The body received a 3-inch chop and the roof was filled, but the majority of the OEM metal remained as is. Sergio didn’t care for fenders on the sedan, so they were put to the side before the sedan was painted 1936 Texas blue. No, this isn’t a color from a ’36 Ford, it was the color of the 1936 Texas license plate. Also note the cream color of the firewall; it’s the shade used from the letters of the same 1936 license plate. (History buffs, and most Texans, will note that 1936 marks the centennial of Texas’ independence.) Once Jesse got done with the custom Texas plate colors, the fun really started with the details. The headlights are original Electroline 2200 American LaFrance models, and even cooler are the rear lamps from a ’35 Chrysler AirFlow. And you have to admit, they look right at home on the back of this sedan. On each corner of the sedan you’ll also find a unique wheel assembly. These are extremely rare Borrani wheels from a 1959 Facel Vega and true knock-off wheels! Have you ever seen these wheels on a ’32 sedan? 30 

STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

Those are Borrani knock-offs from a 1959 Facel Vega. Sergio designed the pattern and had it etched into the spinner.

Custom made bumpers received drilling, as did the 4-inch drop axle, the chassis, and the headlight/ shock stanchions.

The interior sports original ’32 seats covered in leather by Cuatro Hermanos in Juarez, Mexico. The dash is a narrowed ’33 Caddy with custom machine turned panels highlighted with woodgrain by Bob Kennedy.

That’s a Turner 330 microphone from the 1940s atop a Lokar shifter. Another one of those cool artifacts that Sergio came across that works ever so well on his sedan.

The steering wheel is from a 1941 Lincoln Zephr and was reduced in diameter by the team at Street Toyz. Gauges are classic Stewart Warners.

• •

• •


Twenty-five louvered hood is another rare item and was said to help cooling or may have been for cars going to warmer states. Living in the high desert, those are the right hood panels to have.

The color, Cocoa Pearl from House of Kolor, and the custom spinners are surrounded by Coker Firestone tread and produce a knockout visual on the car. Let’s not forget what’s under the hood. It’s not a well-dressed Flathead, not a vintage Hemi, nor a small block. We’re talking about a 1962-born 409 Chevy packed between the hood sides. The Offenhauser finned valve covers correspond with the cast air cleaners on each of the six Holley 94 carbs, and the cream-colored firewall provides a nice contrast. Open the door and you’re treated to simplified luxury with light How do you think the Buick designers would feel about seeing their ’27 ornament on a ’32 Ford?


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

brown leather covering original front seats and a custom built rear seat. The leather work was produced by Cuatro Hermanos at Street Toyz, while the surrounding woodgrain work was completed by Bob Kennedy. The dash is a custom fit Cadillac piece, and the center piece for the drive is a custom size ’41 Zephyr steering wheel. Machine turned pieces are added for shine, and a ’40s era microphone is perfect for a shift knob. Did the finished product realize Sergio’s vision? We’d say so! He and Alex are enjoying the car around town with the Early Times Car Club of El Paso and even made it out to the LA Roadster Show. The car was designed with an artistic blend of components by its owners and built by a team of craftsman with the end result looking, feeling, and sounding just as it should.  SRL Sergio wanted to give his wife Alex a special thank you for her patience and support with the project. It wouldn’t have gotten done without her! Also, to Antonio and Sergio Aguilar and Michael Lightbourn for their advice and help finding parts. And, of course, to Jesse Gonzalez and the team at Street Toys for following his vision without question, and building such a great car.

Custom made rear bumper mirrors the front. The original steel body received a 3-inch chop by Jesse Gonzalez and his team at Street Toyz in Cd. Juarez, Mexico. The color is a custom blend deemed “1936 Texas blue,” sourced from a 1936 Texas license plate.



When you find yourself in a tight spot, it takes torque to get your car moving with a quickness. The aggressive Bootlegger Series Camshafts from Lunati® deliver the increased low- to mid-range power needed to help you make a hasty exit.

Like you, these cams push the limits with even faster opening rates, a controlled closing and more area under the lift curve. A 108º lobe separation angle and a 104º intake centerline add up to one of Lunati’s most powerful camshafts and gains of up to 40 HP. Call your experienced Lunati technician to let a Bootlegger help you with your next Getaway.

Hydraulic Roller & Flat Tappet

Also Available As A Kit

Retro-Fit Hydraulic Roller

Gains Of Up To 40 HP

LS, Small & Big Block Chevys & Ford Windsor Engines. Call For Chrysler & Other Ford Applications.




WORDS & PHOTOS: Michael Harrington


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4


and speed racers are a special breed. A patient breed to say the least, but after two years of unsafe racing conditions cancelled consecutive Speed Weeks, that patience was waning. Due to the diminishing condition of the racing surface, racers were questioning if they’d even be back out on the Salt Flats again. Well, the SCTA pulled it off in August with a record number of entries for Speed Week 2016! The track conditions weren’t ideal for the extremely fast, but Danny Thompson finished his father’s work by setting a record at more than 400 mph, while 10 other drivers made it into the 200 Club as well. In fact, nearly 70 vehicle records were made during the week — with another 81 new records on motorcycles. George Poteet and his Speed Demon claimed the fastest pass of the week again, at 416+ mph. All told, everyone was just happy to be back on the Bonneville Salt Flats, and let’s hope things continue to improve during the years ahead to keep this wonderful tradition and historic racing site going.  SRL Source:


The world’s fastest roadster, the Cummins-Beck-Davidson-Thornsberry 911 Roadster, has crested more than 304 mph at previous Bonneville meets. Running in the C/AIR class this year, Dave Davidson piloted the roadster to a new record of 284.988 mph.

After a two-year hiatus, the SCTA saw a record number of entrants in 2016. Here’s the mandatory drivers meeting.

The Renck, Hull, Bottini & Roberts Roadster set a blistering speed of 236.162 mph in the C/GR class.

Bonneville can be just as frustrating as it is fulfilling. The Thomas & Augusta Racing 711 roadster, running in the AA/BSTR class, made one run before technical issues arose, putting an end to their 2016 week.

Shug and Irene Hanchard of the So-What Speed crew have raced a variety of vehicles through the years and have set a number of records in their respective classes. At last count, the Hanchards have at least 28 different records. This year, they set a benchmark record of 142.446 mph in the AB/ GRMR, but their 454 Chevy had some oiling issues, so they have a target for 2017.


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

Challenger 2 One of the biggest stories at Bonneville was Danny Thompson running the twin engine Challenger II. The racecar started life in 1968 with dual Ford SOHC engines installed by Danny’s father, Mickey Thompson, before being parked for 40 years. In 2008, Danny unearthed the Challenger to finish what his dad started. The entire racecar was reworked from stem to stern, with two 500c.i. Hemi engines installed. On his first run, Danny qualified the Challenger 2 with a top speed of 416. Before dawn the following morning, the team was prepping to back up the run and pulled it off to set a record in the AA/FS Class and join the exclusive 400 Chapter with an average of 406.769 mph!


Drawing upon roots deeply entwined in Weber-carbed Cobras, nothing says exotic, distinctive power like an eight-pack of injector stacks. Inglese™ seamlessly blends the timeless visual appeal of these legendary induction systems with modern self-learning FAST® EFI for an unbeatable combination of looks and performance. The Eight Stack System uses EZ-EFI 2.0® Fuel + Ignition, which allows a wider camshaft selection and supports up to 1000 HP. Self-tuning EFI with built-in diagnostics offers better performance, cold starting and drivability.

EZ-EFI SIDEDRAFT INDUCTION SYSTEMS Sidedraft Induction version easily bolts right on 4150-flange four barrel intakes for an exortic new look and flawless FAST® performance. Available with EZ-EFI® Fuel and EZEFI 2.0® Fuel + Ignition.

INGLESE.COM 1.866.450.8089



Speed Demon After a harrowing 370-mph crash during Mike Cook’s 2014 Bonneville Shootout, George Poteet was back on the Salt with his Speed Demon streamliner set to break records. Though the racing surface was far from ideal for the really fast cars, George managed to set a new record of 416.511 in the B/BFS class and take home the honor of being the fastest vehicle during Speed Week (again!).

No strangers to land speed racing, the BMR Ferguson Racing team and their ’32 Coupe set a benchmark record in XXF/BFALT , at 202.067, with Neil McAlister at the wheel.

One of the most interesting and uniquely designed LSR cars is the Carbinite Streamliner. With each succeeding run, they managed to up their time until they made their fastest run at 369.621 mph. Relatively new to the salt, it will be exciting to see the speeds this team eventually achieves.

Throttlers car club members from Northern Utah bring out some of the best examples of era correct hot rods every year. From left to right, Conway’s ’33/’34 Ford, Tim Elmer’s ’29 roadster, Larry Elmer’s ’31 roadster, Kris Elmer’s ’31 roadster, and Kip Winward’s Customized ’36 Ford with a LeSalle grill.

This rare 1934 Desoto Airflow Coupe is campaigned by H&F Racing in the XXO/BVGC class (a blown 349c.i. Chrysler flathead straight eight). Owner Mike Hegarty informs us that only nine 1934 Airflow coupes are known to exist and his is the only dedicated Bonneville racer car. The team experienced some engine difficulties but will be back in 2017.


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

The Mooneyes Roadster is a fixture at Speed Week. Their top speed for the event was 193.744 mph.

Chick and Tony Huntimer campaign their ’28 roadster the “Salt Circus” in the C/AIR class. Fellow Rod Riders club member John Kuchta wheeled the coupe this year and earned his D license on his rookie pass. Unfortunately, the engine gave up the ghost, with the crank and rods exiting the pan.

SAFE BRAKES Upgrading to power assist and a dual reservoir on a vintage Vette

WORDS: Todd Ryden PHOTOS: Justin Oney


ar guys know how to drive old cars. At least, we like to think we can. But when it comes time to letting your kids or wife drive your hot rod, you start to think about a lot of little things that should be fixed or improved. Things like an annoying part throttle hesitation or rough idle, the way the passenger tire rubs when you pull into a driveway off-kilt, or how the drum brakes tend to need an extra pump or pull to one side or the other. Our friend found himself in this exact dilemma when he brought a ’61 Corvette home for his wife to enjoy. One trip around the neighborhood was enough to bring up a big red flag regarding the consistency of the factory drum brakes, and even worse was the single reservoir master cylinder. For safety sake, they had to go. After installing a disc brake conversion kit from Master

Power Brakes at the front wheels, we did some research on what to do with the single reservoir master cylinder. What we found was a newly re-designed power booster conversion kit that would make for an even better pedal feel, along with improved performance and safety. The Master Power Brakes assembly features a sturdy, well-designed bracket that bolts in place of the factory master cylinder. To correct the pedal ratio, the bracket assembly uses a bellcrank assembly in-line with the pedal push rod. This eliminates the need to relocate the push rod attachment point on the pedal, for a much simpler installation. With this design and attention to the little things, when the pedal is pressed and effort is given, the proper “feel� is returned to the driver. For brake assist, a 7-inch dual diaphragm booster is in line with an 1 1/8-inch bore master cylinder. (MPB also of-

There’s just no reason to be driving around with a single reservoir master cylinder these days. Especially when there are complete bolt-in kits, including power assist, for most applications. This kit is designed for a ’61 Corvette.

Before sliding the assembly into place, we had to bend a couple small lines to connect to the metering/combination valve. It is important to note which is the front and rear port, as this valve helps distribute the brake pressure to the rear drums and front discs, to produce an even braking action without excessive dipping or locking up of the rear drums first.

The MPB bracket assembly fit to the firewall exactly as designed and was secured with the supplied hardware. From under the dash, the push rod assembly lined up just right with the brake pedal.

We did have to move the coolant overflow container forward just a little bit to clear the new master/booster assembly. There’s not a lot of room under these old Corvette hoods!

A little reworking of the brake lines is required. We disconnected the factory rear line from the distribution block and carefully made a 180-degree turn to connect it to its new line from the master cylinder. A plug was installed in the block.

Though it’s a long assembly, the upgraded dual reservoir master cylinder and 7-inch brake booster fit nicely tucked in right along the driver side fender.

fers a 1-inch bore for 4-wheel disc setups.) The dual diaphragm booster technology gives the same amount of assist that is produced by a large, single diaphragm, which is necessary so the entire assembly tucks nicely under the fender in a rather tight area. This keeps things under the hood looking neat. Aside from the cramped working conditions under the hood of a Corvette, the entire assembly slid right in place. We did have to modify the brake lines, of course, by routing a new rear line from the supplied combination valve to the factory line on the frame. A new front line was bent and flared to

connect to the original distribution block. Bending a couple new lines to go from the master cylinder to the combination valve proved a bit of a challenge to us, but we got everything installed, routed a vacuum line to the manifold, and bled the system again to get fresh DOT 4 fluid pumped through the whole system. With disc brakes up front, power assist and a dual reservoir, we’re feeling much better about our Vette’s brakes and the safety for whoever’s driving it!  SRL Source: Master Power Brakes;




Duntov 30/30

WORDS: Brandon Flannery


echnology brings advancement, and what is hot will soon become not. In time, today’s fastest engines will become pedestrian. Our grocery-getters now make the same horsepower as some legendary muscle cars — with less cylinders. However, there is a portion of hot rodding that strives to keep things “period correct.” They admire the dawn of the horsepower wars, when manufacturers were just beginning to test the outer limits of their new-fangled overhead valve engines. Before the battle of cubic inches began, cam technology, in particular, was found to be instrumental in wringing astronomical numbers from small engines. Engineers discovered that higher RPM would create usable horsepower. Torque got a car moving off the line, but as that challenge was overcome, it was high rpm that spun the rear tires to victory. Redlines climbed to dizzying heights in the pursuit of speed and performance. Factory participation increased with the rise of auto racing after “Winning on Sunday” proved to sell on Monday. Gearheads fortunate enough to find themselves working in R&D were basi42 

STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

cally getting paid to play with the best financial backing on the planet. Got an idea for a cylinder head design? It could be cast and tested. One of the earliest and most popular engines of the day was Chevrolet’s 327. This buzzy small block was built “tank-tough” and pushed beyond anyone’s estimations. With a new Rochester fuel injection system, the L-84 Corvette squeezed 375 horses from a mere 327 cubic inches. Right behind that was the carbureted L-76 version with 365 hp. In 1964 and ’65, this was big news. Hot rodders and racers quickly wanted this technology for their own cars. The heart of these mighty engines was the Duntov 30/30 camshaft. It would go on to become one of the most legendary cams, finding its way into more Chevy small blocks than any other cam. The name is derived from Zora Arkus-Duntov, the cam’s designer and the valve lash setting of .030-inch when hot. Mechanical valve trains and their maintenance were a sign of power. The metallic clatter from under the valve covers spoke to high performance enthusiasts. In the absence of today’s technology, they were doing a lot with a little.

Part of the 30/30’s success were long clearance ramps that “gently” lifted the valves off their seats. Spring technology was in its infancy, and engineers found long ramps to be the secret in reducing excessive wear and avoiding valve float at high rpms with as little as 85 pounds of spring pressure on the seat. The duration above .050-inches of lift was around 250 degrees, with several more degrees on the ramp leading up to that standard measuring point. They found that the longer the duration, the higher up the rpm scale the peak power would occur. These long ramps also made an idle with a lot of lope, and they sacrificed low-end power. This means the engine didn’t “come alive” until the fourgrand mark on the tach and it was a dog at anything below that. Increasing overlap, or the time when both the intake and the exhaust valves are open, means the piston gets to the bottom and starts back up with the intake valve still open. At low speeds, combusted mixture can

actually blow back into the intake tract. Additionally, an open exhaust valve can allow exhaust to suck back into the cylinder on the intake stroke, diluting the intake charge. Naturally, these engines required higher compression, usually around at least 11:1, to create enough velocity and overcome this back-fuming. As engine speed increases, the intake mixture’s inertia pushes it into the cylinder, exceeding or overpowering the “push” from the rising piston. Longer intake runners allow the mixture to build more inertia at high rpm, effectively “ramming” the charge into the cylinder. Since they were “happier” at higher rpm, cars with these engine packages also came with at least 3.70 gears in the rear axles, with steeper ones usually preferred for all-out competition. With a low vacuum signal hindering brakes, poor idle quality, and stunted low rpm performance, drivability wasn’t desirable, but this was justified as a small price to pay to go fast. While the Duntov 30/30 was widely known, there were actually three versions. The first version is the original, OE# 3849346. This was used in the legendary 365 hp and 375 hp 327s, and then again in the 290 hp 302 with the advent of Trans Am racing the Z/28s. It featured matching intake and exhaust durations of 254 @ .050 and intake and exhaust lifts of .485-inch. The lobe separation angle was 114 degrees. The Z/28 302 also had an additional “off-road” cam designed specifically for racing: OE #3927140. It had a very tight lobe separation angle of 112 degrees, and non-matching lift and durations with intake duration at 257 @ .050, but the exhaust lingered a little longer at 270. Intake lift was .493, while the exhaust was a cylinder-clearing .512. The third “30/30” cam was used in the 370 hp 350 of the LT-1-powered Corvettes and Z/28s of the early 1970s. The larger displacement and different heads utilized a new set of specs, again pulling from the non-matching train of thought that time and testing had brought about. This time, the lobe separation angle was a much wider 116 degrees. Intake duration @ .050 was trimmed back to 242, with the exhaust remaining the same as the original at 254. Intake lift was the tightest of the three at .459, and the exhaust also matched the original version at .485. Generally, spreading the lobe separation reduces low-end torque but broad-

Photo Courtesy: GM Media

ens the power range and increases both top-end power and vacuum. It also reduces overlap in most cases. For the absolute purist, these numbers are the only options. Having a car sound like it did when new, with the mechanical song of the lifters, the choppy idle, and the boggy low-speed driveability that can only be cured with higher revs, is a goal for many adhering to the technology of the day. However, time and technology have progressed. Just as the original 30/30 went from matching intake and exhaust numbers to those that differed, research has allowed engineers to move those figures around to fine-tune their effects. Today, they are able to adjust them and get desired results only dreamed of in the 1960s. The proverbial cake can be had and eaten too. Good vacuum, a little broader power range, and refined low-end torque and power can still be had with a choppy idle that would signal otherwise. Additionally, increased rpm at the top end can also be added to the win list. COMP Cams spent some time looking at the factory cams of yesterday and developed their Factory Muscle line. These are as close to the originals as one can get without being in an NOS box. However, they also decided to take them a step further and improve upon the original designs with things they have learned over the years. The Nostalgia Plus series tightens up the ramps a little and uses a 112 lobe separation to allow modern tight lash settings with great power and the exhaust note of the

30/30. Their Mechanical Flat Tappet cam keeps the original exhaust duration of 254 @ .050, but tightens the intake to 247. Again, with a narrow 112 lobe separation, they increase lift (when used with a 1.6 ratio rocker) to .504 for the intake and .498 on the exhaust. Those who wish to run hydraulic flat tappets can do so with their Factory Muscle part #12-105-3, or the revised Nostalgia Plus 12-672-4. The Factory Muscle has longer, more factory-style ramps with 195 and 202 on the duration @ .050, and modest lift (with a 1.5-ratio rocker) at .390 and .410, intake and exhaust respectively. The Nostalgia Plus has a little more lift (with the 1.5 ratio rocker) at .483 and .477 intake and exhaust, and shorter ramps and duration @ .050 of 239 and 246, respectively. This will give that famous 30/30 choppy idle, yet create decent vacuum and a broader power range. In short, it’ll quack like a duck but fly like a goose. You get the best of both worlds, and it’ll work with a more realistic and street-friendly compression ratio, too. If you are a stickler for accuracy or a staunch Duntov 30/30 traditionalist, there are cams out there to help with your project. If you want your old-school cake and eat it, too… well you can rest easy knowing that you are covered. With a Nostalgia Plus you can have the character and charm while enjoying a little more performance and a whole lot better drivability. With age and experience comes wisdom. Cam wisely.  SRL Source: COMP Cams,




A of


chevys WORDS & PHOTOS: Shawn Brereton

Tri-Five inspiration leads to lasting friendship


hether they are 100 percent restored, resto-modded, or built as a nose-high gasser, part of the allure of the Tri-Five Chevy is that you can build the car to your liking. We’re talking about a three-year span of models with a million different ways to personalize them. The Tri-Five fraternity loves to share their builds, experiences, and passion, so we will probably never run out of cars to showcase. But, behind every car is a story, and this feature is the tale of two 1955 Chevrolets — one bought 30 years ago by a 16 year-old and built up through the de44 

STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

cades, while the other was purchased 25 years later by a mini-truck enthusiast who built it up in three years. The solid-colored 150 series is your author’s car, and the two-tone 210 is owned by my good friend Robert (Bobby) VanWart. You can’t tell by looking at them, but I’m proud to say my car inspired Bobby to build his and, in the process, built a friendship.

The Inspiration I built my car to look, drive, and sound exactly like I wanted. I never thought my car would inspire someone to build their

own, but I’m happy that Bobby and I have become great friends throughout our journey. Thinking back on it now though, I did have an inspiration for my car — my dad — who made my first baby rattle out of a piston from a weed trimmer. I grew up in the ’80s, when you could still buy a great old car — that ran — for next to nothing! Working on cars was still a rite of passage for many young men, as their fathers would teach them how engines worked and how to wrench on cars. When I was 15, my father made a deal that if I made good grades and got a job, he would purchase a car. I would


pay for maintenance and could keep it as long as I maintained my end of the bargain. In 1986, we found this oxidized, baby blue 150 for $1,500 in the Auto Trader (that was before the internet). It had a straight body, bench seat, 6-cylinder, three-on-the-tree, and a big hole in the floorboard. We knew it wasn’t perfect, but it would be a great starting point. My dad drove the car home because I had never driven a three-on-the-tree before. When we arrived, my mom left for the drug store and returned with the dice that will never leave the rearview mirror.

I cruised the six and 3-speed combo until I went to the first Super Chevy Show at Memphis Motorsports Park. In the swap meet, I scored a 12bolt with 4.56:1 gears and an M-22 Muncie, which soon led to the demise of the 6-banger. The next upgrade included a couple more cylinders with a Magnum 350 crate engine from Racing Head Service. Black paint with a blue pearl followed, along with a full interior upgrade. Somewhere around 1988, I started attending the Street Machine Nationals in Du Quoin, Illinois. I lusted after the

cars built by Saboury, Sullivan, Hay, and Trepanier. The Pro Street movement was in full-tilt, and I wanted in! My father talked me out of back-halving the car saying “if you go there, you can never go back. Don’t just chase a trend.” I listened, but I still wanted those big meats and a blower. In 1992, an unfortunate moving incident took the paint off the hood, roof, and trunk. My father saw it as an opportunity to step up to that blower motor (if we cut a hole in the hood, we wouldn’t need to paint that part), so we rang up RHS again to build a 355 with a 6-71 BDS superSTREETRODLIFE.COM 


For more on this ’55 search “Growth

of a car guy” at

Intro Wheels Magnums (275/35R20x10 rear, 245/40R19x8.5 front) mounted on Continental Extreme DW tires saw 6,000 miles last year!

charger. Twenty-four years later, that engine is still going strong. A few years later, neither of us would heed dad’s advice about trends and painted the car yellow, teal, and purple. In 2007, we stripped the car down for a frame-off build, with the bulk of the work being handled by my now semi-retired father and Troy Master’s Auto Body in Anderson, South Carolina. The chassis was treated to a Ridetech 4-link, FatMan Stage III front-clip with tubular A-arms, power rack-and-pinion, QA1 coil-overs, and Wilwood Dynalite disc brakes. The entire frame was shot a light gray before all the parts were installed. For paint, I wasn’t going to make the same mistake I made in the ’90s and decided to go back to what I knew worked — black with blue pearl — shot in PPG Deltron paint. Depending on the lighting, the car appears either black or midnight blue, which causes a lot of confusion at car shows as to what color it actually is. On March 8, 2009, the car breathed back to life again, and shortly thereafter, I met this mini-trucker asking a bunch of questions about my car.

On, you can see my recent upgrade to EFI, including a FAST Sportsman Blower Dual Quad setup, stainless tank from Rick’s Tanks, Aeromotive fuel delivery, and PowerMaster alternator which all helped lay down 516 hp to the wheels while improving both drivability and cooling.

The Inspired “I built a 2001 S-10 Xtreme and wanted to try my hand at a classic,” Bobby explains. “I was at our local Thursday night cruise-in when Shawn pulled in with his blown ’55. I can’t fully explain it, but that car just spoke to me — the stance, the blower, the color — it all just worked. I knew I wanted to build one, but put my stamp on it.” 46 

STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

Hopefully this view will change soon with the addition of mini-tubs, a 9-inch rear, and triangulated 4-link.

The car has certainly changed a lot through the years, but that ’90s paint job was the most regrettable.

The interior includes an ididit column, Backwoods Fab dash inserts, Lokar pedals, Classic Instruments and Autometer gauges, and American Powertrain White Lightning shifter on the T56. The dice are sentimental - purchased on the day we brought it home by mom who passed away in 1998.


POWDER COATING & CUSTOMS rick s p owder coat i ng. com

AU TO M OT IV E - OR NAME NTA L IRO N - IN DU STRIAL - M OTO RCYCL E 3487 Democr at Rd. | Memphis, TN 38118 | 901-367-2771

For more on this ’55 search “Bobby

VanWart” at

Bobby was going to go with a blue/white combo, but changed his mind at the last minute to blue/black.

I had never seen one done with the dark color on the back and I wanted to try something different. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but now I couldn’t imagine it any other way. It took him two years to find what he thought was a nice driver-quality Chevy he could work on while he enjoyed it. On his way home from making the purchase though, a rocking driver’s seat would introduce him to the “pleasures” of owning a classic. “Once we got home, I pulled the carpet back to see what was going on and that is when I found out the floorboard was rotten,” Bobby sighs. “It was thin as paper!” So it began. With the help of his friend Terry Fraley, everything from the firewall to the bumper was replaced, including some of the outside sheet metal. Soon though, the car went in “shop purgatory” for the next 2 1/2 years as it bounced from shop to shop. To speed up the process, he brought the California frame to his own garage and went to work installing a cantilevered 12-bolt rear end with a custom-made Panhard bar. This combination ensured smooth transitions when laying the car low with an AccuAir E-level system. He installed a set of 2 1/2-inch drop spindles between a set of custom-built upper and lower control arms and added rack-andpinion steering. For power, he chose to 48 

STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

Bobby and Terry Fraley rebuilt the LS1 in his garage, adding a March Performance Pro Track accessory drive, Truman shorty chrome headers, 2 1/2-inch polished stainless pipes, and Magnaflow mufflers. It is backed by a 4L60E and 12-bolt rear end.

Bilstein shocks were added all the way around to cushion the ride with 4-wheel CPP discs for stopping duties. Bobby added some big rollers with Coy’s C5 wheels and Nexen rubber (265/30R22x9 rear, 225/35R20x7 front).

Kayla’s Interiors of Olive Branch, Mississippi, created the gray/charcoal interior. DJ’s Monogramming stitched the Chevrolet script into the headrests. (Left) A custom console houses a Pioneer head unit and 2400 watt amp driving the 2 JL Audio 12-inch subs in a custom-built speaker box by Eric Blair.

Robert Hodges shaved the door handles and emblems, while Jeremy Treece relocated the gas cap behind a motorized tail light from Rocky Hinge.

A Higher Level Of Transmission Quality & Performance Street Rodder Transmission Packages™ Lots of companies offer transmission packages, but none utilize the same standards for quality, performance and durability as TCI®. With over 45 years experience, TCI® includes a group of skilled craftsmen who build the industry’s best transmissions using superior internal components, the latest engineering advancements and modern, computerized testing equipment. features customized shift characteristics designed for street rods

• TCI® performance transmission packages include torque converter, trans cooler, dipstick & three gallons of Max Shift™ ATF

• Each TCI® component is Triple Tested for quality control assurance & backed by the best drivetrain tech support in the industry

Have A Unique Application?

Give us a call. TCI® will custom design & build the exact drivetrain package for your vehicle & usage.

Part #

Popular Transmission Applications

GM 311038P1

TH350 Street Rodder™ Package


700R4 Street Rodder™ Package


4L60E Street Rodder™ Package For LS Engines


6x Six Speed™ Transmission Package For GM Engines

Ford 511638P1

C4 Pan Fill Street Rodder™ Package

TRANS HELP™ 1.888.776.9824 • TCIAUTO.COM


• Conventional & electronic transmissions available; each package

keep everything tucked under the hood and rebuilt an LS1 backed by a 4L60E trans assembled by Burch’s Automotive. Bobby finally got the body into the right hands with Robert Hodges. The underside of the body was worked just as hard as the top, as Hodges slicked everything for paint. When the time came, he stayed up 48 hours straight expertly laying down pass after pass of the unique shades. Which leads us to the most asked question about his Chevy: What color is it? The electric blue pearl on the front is striking, but it’s not as unique as you might think; it’s actually a factory Nissan 350Z color. Somehow it doesn’t look that vibrant on the Z-car; however, combining it with the GM Onyx Black with blue and violet metallics on the rear of the car just makes the PPG color pop. The multiple layers of clear laid down by


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

Hodges also give it that “wet-wet” look, as he coined it. Once the body and frame were one again, Phillip Vickery got to work on the Painless Performance wiring and Vin-

tage Air before sending the car to Kayla’s Interiors to complete the gray/charcoal suede and vinyl interior. The car was completed in 2013. Bobby, his wife Vanessa, and their two kids go out in the car often and really enjoy meeting people. Not only is he happy with his final vision, but he has received many awards, including a Top 25 at the 2016 Tri-Five Nationals, proving that with inspiration and determination, anything is possible. Bobby and I are members of Relaxed Atmosphere car club and enjoy cruising with friends to shows. It is a great way to show off the versatility of a Tri-Five. We have fun fielding questions and joking about the color of the other’s car. We often get in friendly “arguments” about the difference in setup because of the difference in our age (he is 12 years younger), but at the end of the day, I get the last laugh, because if it weren’t for my ’55, he might not even have one!  SRL

CRUISE MORE. WORK LESS. FAST® products are made for easy installation & reliability, giving you more time at the wheel & less time wrenching under the hood!






EZ-EFI® has advanced self-learning technology to keep

your rod running smooth no matter where you’re cruising.

• Multiple sparks produce a smooth idle and quick starts

• Install it and start it - all in your garage

• Ideal for carbs or EFI systems on nearly any engine

• Quick starts, smooth idle and efficient highway cruising

• High voltage sparks from cranking to redline RPM • Features rugged, American-made construction

WWW.FUELAIRSPARK.COM 1.877.334.8355 •

• Easy to program with a touch-screen monitor

• American made with a limited life-time warranty


The new E6 Ignition will make sure there’s a fire in the cylinder to improve your engine’s performance!






Fixing the engagement of your GM Torque Converter Clutch


verdrive is the way to go, and there’s a multitude of transmission options available. Two of the favorite options for street rodders are the 700-R4 Hydra-Matic or its sibling 200-4R. These trans are compact, similar in size to a TH400 or TH350, and not completely controlled by electronics. That is, their shift points and firmness are still controlled through hydraulic pressure and mechanical devices, compared to their modern-day counterparts such as the 4L60E and 4L80E. That’s not to say there were no electronics involved in these transmissions. In fact, the 700-R4 was in use in the early ’80s before throttle body fuel injection came into the GM brands. There were still electronics involved, but we’re talking some real basic stuff, primarily the controls to activate the Torque Converter Clutch (TCC). The Torque Converter Clutch is an important part of the function of an automatic transmission. Without getting too involved in the magic of torque multiplication that occurs within a torque converter, there is always an efficiency loss that occurs 52 

STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

in the converter until the TCC engages and effectively locks the impeller and turbine of the assembly to a 1:1 ratio. No slippage and no loss, but certain engine parameters must be met to be able to use this lock-up feature. Back in those days, the TCC was still activated by the ECM of the vehicle, but it was only based off a couple parameters, such as TPS and MPH. Before electronics, TCC engagement was simply based off line pressures within the trans. The trouble is that in many cases, the TCC rapidly turns on and off, creating what would almost be described as an engine miss. This primarily occurs on a mild incline, load under light throttle, or while cruising. It’s just a perfect point where the early electronics fell short of deciphering what was going on. We have the drivetrain from an ’88 Chevy truck in an old Suburban, and on our drive home up a slight hill every day, we can feel this in-out-in-out action. It’s annoying and not healthy for the trans. This is actually a common issue on these early overdrive automatics and can easily be remedied. At a recent rod event, we chatted with a tech at TCI Automotive who recommended a

The worst part is over; dropping the pan. Once the filter is removed and the fluid stops dripping down on you (it never stops), you can identify the main components of the TCC. On the bottom left is the TCC solenoid, and on the right side, you’ll see the 4th gear pressure switch.

4th gear pressure switch

TCI supplies a new wiring harness to control the normally open pressure switch. When the proper pressure is recognized, the switch closes to complete the circuit and allow for TCC engagement — but only when the engine vacuum conditions are met.

universal lock-up kit. The kit is supplied with a new pressure switch for 4th gear and a vacuum-operated switch that controls the lock-up of the TCC. Sounded easy! Actually, it was easy. Dropping the transmission pan is never any fun, but once the pan and filter were down, we removed the OE wiring harness and installed the TCI-supplied wiring. A new normally open 4th gear pressure switch was installed and connected, then we spliced into the wires of the TCC solenoid. On the outside of the trans, we mounted the supplied vacuum switch and connected the TCI harness. A vacuum hose was installed to a manifold source on the intake manifold. Be sure to connect the line to manifold vacuum, which is more of a consistent source of vacuum located beneath the throttle plates. Once installed, we headed towards the test hill on the trip home and were happy to see (and feel) the engine remain at a steady rpm with no shifty business from the TCC. The vacuum switch supplied with the TCI kit is normally open and closes at about 8-10 inches Hg. Better yet, the switch is adjustable via a small potentiometer, so you can easily dial in the engagement of the TCC to suit your application. Another feature we plan to wire in is a manual toggle switch to completely turn off the TCC. When we’re cruising around the city, or pulling a trailer, there’s just no reason to have the TCC coming on. A simple switch in the 12 volt source wire will do the trick. If you’re unhappy with the in-out-on-off feel of your 200-4R or 700-R4, TCI has the answer.  SRL Source: TCI,

We had to remove the 1-2 shift accumulator to gain access to the 4th gear pressure switch. Note that our OEM switch had only one terminal. The new TCI piece has two because it is a Normally Open.

TCC Solenoid

Two wires are routed from the TCI harness to the TCC solenoid. We used heat shrinking, butt splices for a firm connection.

We made a little bracket for the vacuum switch and mounted it to the case right above the connector. We connected the red wire to a switched 12-volt source, and the two black wires connect to the switch. Note the ground wire fixed to the housing and that the green wire is not used and will be sealed.

You can actually adjust the TCC engagement based on vacuum by using the supplied Allen wrench to adjust the switch. The switch closes at 8-10 inches of Hg, and you can increase the vacuum required to engage the TCC by turning the screw clockwise (and lower it by turning CCW). STREETRODLIFE.COM 




Sponsored by

At Street Rod Life, we’re always on the look-out for new parts that will make your rod a little quicker, smoother, or simply cooler. This installment of Parts Store brings you a variety of great new products to hit the market. If you would like more information, follow the website or give them a call — be sure to tell them Street Rod Life sent you!

Fit for a ’40 ididit, ’40 Ford Straight Steering Column Those of you building a ’40 Ford will be very excited to see what ididit has up their sleeve with this all new straight steering column made exclusively for the classic. How cool is it? Well, it did pick up a best new product during the Street Rod Nationals in August! Vintage style and modern convenience are paired seamlessly in ididit’s ’40 Ford straight steering column. Amid all the cool styling cues — brass shift indicator and knobs adorning the brushed stainless steel finish — are modern touches, such as self-canceling turn signals, 4-way flashers, wiring for the horn, and a locking detent for safety (locks into park and neutral positions). The ’40 column accepts most aftermarket steering wheels with an ’69-’94 GM adaptor and the wiring exits under the dash with a common 3 7/8-inch GM-based connector. Two overall lengths are offered: 30” (part 1400300015) or 33” (part 1400330015). 517.424.0577

Fluid-controlled coilovers Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool, Hydroshox Suspension System Known for heavy duty shop tools and products to build and fabricate street rods, Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool also offers components for circle track racing. So, it wasn’t a complete surprise to learn of their new Hydroshox suspension system. The Hydroshox is an advanced coilover combined with the ability to raise and lower the vehicle through hydraulics. This combination provides the ride quality of a coilover with the adjustability that many street rodders crave. The CNC-machined Hydroshox bodies are nickel plated to resist corrosion and feature a 2 7/8-inch diameter upper tube that allows installation in applications with limited space. Hydroshox are available with four or five inches of hydraulic travel, as well as three inches of shock travel. Spring rates are available from 350 to 2,000 pounds. The system, developed in conjunction with MRC Fabrication, includes four Hydroshox, an efficient and compact hydraulic pump, remote fluid reservoir, billet hydraulic manifold with flow controls and solenoids, braided stainless steel hydraulic lines, a switch panel and wiring harness, along with all the hardware needed to complete the installation. 800.467.2464


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

Sponsored by

Whoa! for Mustangs Master Power Brakes, ’64 –’73 Mustang Pro Driver Brake Kit The first generation of Mustangs are not known for their braking performance and finesse, especially by today’s standards. Lucky for Mustang owners, Master Power Brakes just announced their new 4-piston/13-inch rotor kit for Mustangs from 1964-73. The new Pro-Driver Series brake system is based on a four-piston billet aluminum caliper that is CNC machined in the U.S. and supplied with a set of high-grade street brake pads. This combination slides over new 13-inch rotors that are slotted and drilled and feature a ZINC plating to prevent corrosion. All of this stopping power fits behind most 17-inch wheels. The kit is supplied with pre-greased inner and outer wheel bearings, stainless steel flexible brake hoses, and all of the mounting

hardware you’ll need for a bolt-on installation. Master Power Brakes offers this front wheel kit as both a complete power or manual brake kit. 888.249.9332

Get skinny for cheap Coker Tire, Firestone Front Runners

Cool down TCI, Electric Reversible Fan Kits Running too hot is a major concern for street rodders. That’s where TCI comes in, offering Electric Reversible Fan Kits that can push or pull air by simply reversing the blades. The fans are constructed from lightweight nylon 6/6 high-temperature plastic with a low-profile design. When space is a premium, TCI 10inch and 12-inch units are both under 3 inches at the thickest part. Each fan comes complete with all necessary hardware and a quick-mount connector kit for easy installation. 888.776.9824

Who really knows when the bigand-little look of hot rod tires and stance came about, but it’s always going to be part of the hot rod fabric. One of the most popular tires used on the “little” part of the equation are the Firestone F560 tire, even though they were first intended for compact VWs or MGs. Coker Tire recently introduced several new sizes of the F560 radial ranging from 145R13 up through 165R15, with six sizes in between. Better yet, the tires are truly affordable, starting at under $70! The narrow tread profile and tall sidewall offer the right aspect ratio for front-runner applications, and the clean sidewall and tread design looks right at home on an old car. Radial construction provides great handling and performance, and these tires are DOTand ECE-approved. Whether you’re building a straight-axle gasser, a street/strip muscle car, or a racing-inspired hot rod, these tires are a great choice. 800-251-6336 STREETRODLIFE.COM 



PARTS STORE Stopping a T-Bird Wilwood, Classic Series Front Disc Brake Kits for ’55-’57 Ford Thunderbirds Wilwood Classic Series front disc brake kits for 1955-57 T-Birds provide an affordable way to update from Original Equipment (OE) drums on cars with 14- or 15-inch wheels. Dynalite Classic kits use 11.28-inch diameter one-piece rotor assemblies built specifically for the OE drum brake spindles. Dynalite forged aluminum 4-piston calipers, BP-10 compound SmartPads, mounting brackets, steel braided DOT-approved flex lines, and all the necessary hardware for a complete changeover are included in these “Made in the USA” kits. MSRP starts at $783.99 805.388.1188

Pointed in the right direction FAST, XR-i Points Conversion Replacement Module

Serpentine driven All American Billet, Serpentine Belt Drive Systems There are many advantages in going to a serpentine belt drive system on your rod; one belt to contend with, quiet and reliable, not to mention great looks. All American Billet out of Phoenix offers a number of serpentine belt drive systems designed for a tidy, compact installation. Their small-block Chevy kit starts with a short-style “SuperCool” reverse rotation water pump. From there, the kit is easy to install with the CNC-machined billet aluminum brackets and six rib pulleys, producing a secure, reliable drive system. The kits are available in a number of finishes from satin to polish to their signature Silverline Series, which is anodized black with machined accents to add just a touch of contrast and detail to the front of your engine. A 140 amp alternator is supplied with each kit, as well as stainless steel hardware for a complete installation. Systems are available with or without power steering or a polished air compressor. 623.580.7214


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

Setting your points is tedious, and sometimes you hit one at a higher rpm that makes them seem to float. Don’t rob yourself of power and performance any longer. You can pull out those ancient contacts and benefit from modern-day, digital technology with the FAST XR-i Replacement Module. The compact XR-i bolts directly in place of the breaker point assembly. It triggers from the factory cam lobe, making for a simple installation with only two wires to connect. The microcontroller manages the signal and dwell time in the coil to produce a much higher output spark that will improve the performance and drivability of your classic. A built-in rev limiter protects your engine in the event of a driveline failure or a missed shift. Classic Ford and GM applications are available. 877.334.8355

Even more new products

Sponsored by

No more 4-door Real Deal Steel, Four-to Two-Door ’55/’57 Chevy Conversion As the numbers of buildable Tri-Fives continues to decline, many enthusiasts have turned to 4-door sedans to build, even though they crave a 2-door. Real Deal Steel now offers a complete kit that provides all of the new metal and parts required to convert a moredoor to a 2-door sedan! The kit, available for the ’55 or ’57 Chevy, includes all brand new sheet metal components, stamped to exacting standards, and

includes the doors, rocker panels, inner and outer quarters, inner lock pillars, and upper B pillars. The conversion requires extensive cutting and welding, but the process maintains the original frame, top structure, rear glass and deck area. No mods are required on the original trunk floor, trunk lid, or original rear inner trunk walls. 407.585.1957

For almost 30 years we’ve been developing some of the coolest parts in the rodding world. With 4 national awards in the last 3 years we haven’t slowed down a bit. FUZZ BUDS Hands-free Bluetooth Fuzzy Dice 2016 Peoples Choice Award


Call or go online for a FREE catalog and see all our cool products

MICRO 3RD BRAKE LIGHT Winner 2015 Best New Safety Product

LED HEADLIGHTS Winner 2014 Best New Safety Product


PARTS STORE Sign of the times COMP Cams, 40th Anniversary Metal Sign This year, COMP Cams celebrates 40 years as the valvetrain leader. To commemorate this historic anniversary, COMP recently released a special metal sign that will look perfect in shops and living rooms. The design is based on the previously released 40th anniversary decal. It features the phrase “Celebrating Performance” and the dates “1976-2016” in a wreath surrounding the words “40 Years,” the brand’s logo, and a camshaft. The embossed aluminum sign measures 23x17.5 inches and is die-cut to shape. It features four holes punched for hanging. 800.999.0853

Thin and trim Dynamat, Superlite Speaker Kit Adding a good-sounding stereo system is always the right choice, but even the best speakers and receiver can’t overcome a noisy old hot rod. Chances are your car creates a lot of noise and vibration, which takes away from the music and even conversations. Dynamat can help soften those vibrations to make everything a bit more clear. Dynamat offers their well-known butyl rubber layer material in a thinner version, called Superlite. This material is bonded to a 2-mil thick aluminum alloy, making it much lighter and easier to handle. The SuperLite Tri-Pak is just the right amount to install around the speaker areas whether it’s on the package tray, in the doors, kick panels or even the under the dash. The kit comes with three 18x32-inch panels for a total coverage of 12 sq. ft. 513.860.5094

Mad about additives VP Racing Fuels, Madditives VP Racing Fuels has unique fuels that answer the needs of virtually every form of motorsports, but there’s a lot more to VP than race fuels. They also have a line “Madditives” to help your street rod and even your daily driver to run smooth and clean, plus protect against today’s ethanol-blended street gas. The Madditives product family is now available at AutoZone stores throughout the U.S., marketed as “Race Fuel Technology for Your Daily Driver.” What kind of Madditives are available for your rod you ask? Octanium is an octane concentrate that will increase the octane rating of your fuel up to eight numbers (for a night of drag strip fun), Fuel System Cleaner will keep your fuel system running clean for up to 5,000 miles, and there’s also a 7-in-1 Fuel System Treatment that is designed to restore an engine’s power and enhance combustion. Head over to your local AutoZone store to pick up your own Madditives. 210.635.7744


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

Sponsored by

Clean up faster Driven Racing Oil, Speed Clean A clean car is a happy car. Speed Clean from Driven is a special foaming-action spray developed to remove grease, rubber, and grime without leaving behind any oily residue or harming painted surfaces or vinyl graphics. It cuts through tough contaminants with ease, allowing for virtually unlimited household, shop, or show uses. Originally designed to clean rubber and track grime off of race cars, it is also great for under-hood cleaning, road grime, and bug removal. It can be used as a general automotive cleaner, to clean dirt and debris from shop equipment, and even to eliminate carpet stains. Available in 18 oz. spray cans, Driven Speed Clean is a must for enthusiasts. 866.611.1820

Gear up Lunati, Gear Drives Timing movement through the rpm range can cause serious performance and safety issues. Lunati Gear Drives have a distinct design that greatly reduces these concerns. Each gear drive is meticulously machined from billet steel for timing accuracy, while four-degree advance/retard can be achieved through either cam gear dowel pin inserts or three-keyway crank gears. A heat treatment is applied for durability, and the kit includes dowel pin advance/retard inserts, a rollerized cam button for use with a roller cam, and a lock plate with bolts. These gear drives are a great choice for street performance applications looking for a killer blower sound. They are available for use with Ford and GM vehicles. 662.892.1500


Pays OFF (and hard work)

WORDS & PHOTOS: Todd Ryden


A garage-built Hemi-powered custom Satellite six years in the making


eanne Doerr is a very patient woman. Her husband Larry has always been a car guy, so she knew what she was getting into 43 years ago. In fact, they actually met in 1971 while he was cruising a ’66 GTO on the Loop in Norfolk, Nebraska! As far as project cars, she’s seen a few come and go through the years. (Larry mentioned there’s probably been 4050 different ones.) But this ’67 Satellite probably had her a bit concerned if it would ever really make it out of the garage once her husband started cutting, grinding, welding, and mixing Dodge and Plymouth parts together. The convertible came to their South Sioux City, Nebraska, driveway back in 1988. It was a running, cruising car that Jeanne enjoyed driving around for a couple summers, and their son even got seat time in the Mopar. It was parked due to some mechanical issue and put in line for a mild restoration. As you may have guessed, the line was long and included building several soapbox racers, a ’66 Charger, a ’56 Merc, ’70 ’Cuda, and a couple others. One of those projects was a ’55 Mercury (Canadian Ford) panel truck that Larry built for the ISCA show circuit.

The 6.1L Hemi pumps out 425 hp and is controlled by an ’05 Ram ECU with a harness from HotWire Auto. Hard to tell this engine compartment has seen 34,000 miles in the last four summers. STREETRODLIFE.COM 


Shaved of all trim, emblems, and handles is just the start of the custom touches on the ’67 Plymouth. Note the gas filler door. Note the pulled in bumpers, the extended rockers, the rear wheel well position, the mirrors…

Those are Dodge Charger fenders that Larry modified then added 3 inches to the Plymouth hood to match. The grille, also from a Charger, was modified then lengthened on each side.

Larry replaced the dash pad with a custom steel design and made the gauge cones that house gauges from Dakota Digital and Classic Instruments. The column was shortened and a custom console created by Darren Carlson at Boonies Upholstery, who also worked the leather.


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

Where’d Larry get that sano power steering pump reservoir? He made it.

Modifying the Shaker scoop to feed the factory intake setup was no easy task, but it was well worth the work.

The interesting thing to note is the Doerrs don’t own a trailer. They drove their blown big-block Merc to nine different ISCA shows one season. Remember, the ISCA schedule occurs during the winter months! He drove this blown big block through -10°F temps and snow, including trips through Colorado and North Dakota! Back to the Satellite. Several years passed and Larry’s son, now on a trip

home from college, wanted to get his dad started on the convertible, so they pulled it in the garage and started stripping the paint for its “simple restoration.” Soon, things were being sliced, lengthened, smoothed, and chopped away. Larry blames the fact the car needed taillight bezels and the trunk panel, which at the time were some pricey and sought after components. Instead, he cut out the factory stuff, filled the deck lid,


If you c a n d r e a m I t. W e c a n b u I l d I t. If you’ve got a vision we can help make it a reality. ididit maintains a vast inventory of parts just waiting to be built into your one-of-a-kind custom column. Whatever you need, our talented builders can do it. No one else does custom better than ididit, period. Give us a call to see what we can build for you today! Proudly Made in




1 9 8 6

Much more than meets the eye As you can see by the pictures and captions, there’s a lot of mods on Larry and Jeanne’s Satellite. We touch on several through the story, but we asked Larry to give us a rundown of a few of the alterations and one-off parts. Take a look:

Body mods

• Modified the front edge of fend-

ers, removed moldings, and welded on a hand-built lip • The front roll pan is hand built • Cut and built the shaker hood, molding and modified the center hood peak • Added a modified Charger grille and lengthened it on both sides • Built the outer panels of the rear inner wheel wells Added 3 1/4-inch of length to the • lower quarters (inside and outside) • Recessed the fuel filler neck and made a pop-open fuel door • Hand-built the 2-inch rear spoiler and the quarter panel extensions • Custom taillamp housings, trim moldings, the lenses and the backings • Incorporated Dodge Charger front fenders that were shortened 1 1/2 inch • Modified the Plymouth hood to match said Dodge fenders • Modified both bumpers and, of course, the bumper brackets • Modified the rocker panels and bottom of the doors • Installed a set of customized sport mirrors from a ’73 Valient • Moved the front edge of the rear wheel openings back 1 1/4 inch Shaved the door handles and locks • • Added to the door, hood, and trunk areas for uniform gaps • Filled a recessed area in the center of the deck lid Added 3 1/4 inches to back side • of the lower front fenders • Added 2 inches to bottom of the doors • Removed and filled all (130) emblem, side moldings and trim holes And this doesn’t even touch on the engine or interior!


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

After Larry and his son sanded down the Satellite to get started on a mild restoration, they needed to replace the trunk panel. The pieces were both hard to find and expensive, so Larry started modifying the Plymouth sheet metal and it spiraled out of control from there.

and made quarter extensions, new taillight inserts, and added a spoiler. That was in 2008. Six years later, the Satellite rolled out of the garage with every panel and piece nipped, tucked, smoothed, and modified somehow by Larry. It wasn’t just the body being nipped and tucked. Larry got underneath the Satellite and added a custom set of subframe connectors. The extra stiffness in the uni-body was going to be needed to secure the 6.1L Hemi and 518A transmission he was planning to install. As for the suspension, a Control Freaks front system was installed, along with a triangulated 4-bar setup from RideTech and a set of their adjustable ShockWaves. Larry went with Wilwood

brakes and added a rack and pinion from an ’86 Thunderbird and a set of Mustang II spindles. Out back, you’ll find an 8 3/4-inch rearend with 3.50 gears. Fast forward six years and the custom Satellite is finally rolled out of the garage after its “minor restoration,” which tallies up to more than 100 custom mods, 100 one-off parts, and an estimated 220 feet of welded seams for these parts and body work. All done in the Doerr’s garage. Larry and Jeanne have driven the ’67 more than 34,000 miles covering 27 states and a trip into Canada. Talk about making up for lost time? Watch for them at an event near you, and ask Larry how his Henry J project is coming.  SRL

You take care of the hot rod, and leave the lawn to us. TruGreen® combines 40 years of local expertise, PhD agronomic science and dedicated customer service to give you a lush, thriving lawn you’ll love, guaranteed.

Your tailored TruGreen Lawn Plan includes: Fertilization at key intervals Aggressive weed control and maintenance PhD certified specialists Healthy Lawn Analysis®F Year-round tailored care The TruGreen Healthy Lawn Guarantee®u

More homeowners choose TruGreen. Here’s why: Our TruExpertSM certified specialists go through training developed by our PhD agronomists and provide science-based solutions for your lawn. Our Healthy Lawn Analysis determines what your lawn needs by checking climate, grass type, soil condition and how you use your yard. Our service plans are tailored to fit the needs of your lawn at key stages throughout the year.

Start your tailored TruGreen plan today.



Purchase of full lawn plan required for Healthy Lawn Analysis, which is performed at the first visit. u Guarantee applies to full plan customers only. © 2015 TruGreen Limited Partnership. All rights reserved.


Understanding brake pad materials and goals WORDS & PHOTOS: Todd Ryden


e all like the feeling of acceleration, the sound of the engine and squeal from the tires, but even more important is the stopping ability. As rodders, we tend to forget about the stopping part, but there’s just as much science and technology in the act of stopping as there is in getting going. Just think about the brake system for a moment. The hydraulic network alone is amazing in what it allows the driver to accomplish. Just by pressing a small pedal, with moderate pressure, you’re activating a system that grips each spinning wheel (through the rotor or drum) to bring a couple tons of girth to a stop. In the world of physics, you’re actually converting kinetic energy (motion) into thermal energy. The calipers are moving through hydraulic force, but it’s the brake pads that are doing the physical work of converting the energy and dealing with the excessive amount of heat being created from the force upon the rotors. So, when it comes to brake pads, there’s quite a bit of science involved. The material and compounds that make up the pad and friction material are numerous and can get confusing. We’re talking 66 

STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

If you’re looking for a better pad for your OEM caliper, Wilwood offers their ProMatrix pads. The compound is a dual-sport blend that is quiet and street friendly with a low wear rate, yet can handle aggressive driving on the track with factory calipers. They have more than 4,600 OEM applications covered!

This two-piece rotor and 6-piston front brake setup is obviously being built for performance, but will also see street duty. Wilwood’s SmartPad line of pads are designed for many dual-purpose applications.

The temperature range that a brake system and pad will be working in is the best way to select a brake compound. Temps over 1,000°F are normal for asphalt and road racing, while street use will be on an average of 500°1000°F. This is a rule of thumb, and other things such as cooling efficiency, rotor material, and weight all need to be considered.

about sintered iron, graphites, silicons, Kevlar, ceramics, and even titanium. Manufacturers and brake companies with their own offerings like to keep their compound recipes close to their chest and will help guide you with any recommendations. In your search for brake pads, there are three main categories that will come up: Non-Asbestos Organic (NAO), Semi-Metallic and Metaillic (sintered). Most of the world’s OEM manufacturers specify NAO due to minimized noise and dust and good wear characteristics. Higher friction levels can be achieved with semi-metallics, which are more resistant to fade though require more hydraulic force. Sintered materials are more popular in extreme applications but can be noisy and not as effective at lower operating temps. There are several characteristics that a friction material compound must be able to achieve. These include the ability to resist fading, recovery from increased temperatures and repeated application, the resistance to water, and one more for you to consider is the pad’s service life. Factory and OEM replacement pads are designed to perform just like the rest of the car, adequately. Well enough to stop the vehicle reliably thousands of times. Formulated to be quiet as to not disturb the driver and their passengers, and maybe to not create a lot of dust. If you want adequate performance, there are plenty of options. But who wants their street rod to be adequate? Our cars are built to be fun to drive, and that may mean a little spirted back road driving, mountain road trips, and even some autocross fun. We contacted Wilwood to learn more about their brake pad offerings and technology. Wilwood knows brakes and offers a number of pad compounds ranging from OEM upgrades to more aggressive for-

mulas that require higher temperatures for optimum braking. Wilwood offer three main groups of pads, including their dual-sport ProMatrix compound for OEM calipers, their SmartPad line for dual-purpose hot rods and muscle cars, and the PolyMatrix line that features pad compounds designed for racing. If those pad series don’t do the trick, they have a few more specialty compounds for specific racing needs as well. The most important thing when considering a brake pad for your vehicle is to determine your goal. Is your rod going to be a good handling street car with spirited driving or will it see laps on an autocross track every couple weeks? Do you plan to tow a trailer or carry heavy loads often? The simple fact is there is not going to be one pad compound to satisfy every application. The ProMatrix series of pads are designed to cover the needs of most rods, muscle cars, and even late model applications. The pad compound is a specially designed blend of different materials that work together to deliver improved friction properties through an extended reach of temperatures. The ProMatrix line is available for many popular OEM calipers and applications. When it comes to helping you find the best pads for your application, Wilwood has a complete brake pad catalog! There’s all sorts of useful information throughout, including pages of drawings with measurements and data, so you can ensure to get the right pad to fit your caliper.  SRL Source: Wilwood,

Wilwood offers a number of different pad compounds from their SmartPad series to PolyMatrix line, each with blends of different formulas to cover nearly any range of temperatures. STREETRODLIFE.COM 


Dressing our three-deuce 327 in ’60s trim


t all started on a whim. A friend gave us a Rochester 2-barrel carb after we found a Rochester 3x2 manifold in the latest Edelbrock catalog. This pushed us to look for two more carbs to do a three-deuce setup for a 327c.i. Chevy. By the time we completed the intake setup up, we decided the engine would look best in pure ’60s dress. This was purely a back-burner project until a friend texted a photo of a three-two package at a swap meet in Iowa for sale at $225. We couldn’t pass it up. Not only were the three carbs all there, but it also included a complete fuel line kit, as well as a simple progressive linkage setup. In our last issue, we covered the rehabilitation of the Rochester 2GC carburetors with help from JET Performance and Johnnie Valdez. With the carbs looking near-new, it was decided to produce a nostalgic presentation to bring it all around. We already had the Edelbrock 3x2 intake and polished ribbed valve covers, but we needed some additional flash to make this presentation really come together. While headers might be the first place you’d go, we decid68 

STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

WORDS & PHOTOS: Jeff Smith

ed on a more traditional hot rod look with a pair of ram’s horn, center-dump Corvette exhaust manifolds that a ’60s hot rodder might have bought from a Corvette guy who was upgrading to headers. Speedway Motors made the search easy with a pair of reproduction manifolds with true 2 1/2-inch manifolds that are exceptional castings. All we did was remove the original passenger side generator mount. The driver side mount for early ’Vettes was intended for a coolant surge tank, and we used it for the alternator. We wanted a little sparkle, so we added Edelbrock’s chrome oil fill tube and breather cap. This also posed an issue. There’s no place for a PCV valve on these valve covers, but we didn’t want the engine venting oil fumes out of the breather cap either. In the early days before positive crankcase ventilation (PCV), the back of these early blocks had an opening for a road draft tube. Inside the lifter valley on these engines is a can that looks a little like a stamped tin version of R2D2 mounted horizontally. It’s possible to make a small aluminum adapter that would

With the engine completed, it looked a little drab, so we added some color with a Speedway red fuel line kit from the fuel pump to all three carbs, along with a Speedway aluminum fuel block and some chrome fittings.

We rounded up an old Chevrolet points distributor so we could install FAST’s new electronic points conversion. This is the easiest way to upgrade to a much stronger spark and improved reliability.

With a stock replacement distributor cap and rotor, we finished off the ignition with a set of retro-looking 7mm Packard spark plug wires from Summit Racing that really look the part and offer much lower resistance than the old original factory wires.

We located these very cool, reproduction 2 1/2-inch ram’s horn-style Corvette exhaust manifolds from Speedway Motors. These manifolds came as direct replacements for early ’Vettes with generator and surge tank mounts for both sides. We used a Sawzall and die grinder to trim off the mount for the passenger side. We then painted the manifolds with cast iron paint from Eastwood.

This is what the vapor separator looks like in the lifter valley of an early small block. That small welsh plug can be removed and a PCV valve positioned there. Of course, this will only work on older small-block Chevy blocks with the road draft tube outlet in the back of the block.

During our research, we ran across a company called AutoTrend that offers what look like Rochester 2GC carbs that are really throttle bodies with internal fuel injectors. Check ’em out at

Of course, our approach doesn’t have to be the only way to go. This smallblock uses Stromberg 97s. It’s difficult to see, but this guy is also pulling his PCV hose connection from the back of the block.

mount a PCV valve in the back of the block, use this vapor separator, and then plumb the vacuum line into the rear wall of the intake manifold down near its base, where there’s clearance around the distributor. Other items we went with to complete the ’60s look were the chrome pulleys and some classic red fuel line. We also opted for a cast aluminum points distributor with a hidden XR-i Points conversion kit from FAST. A black cap and black wires hides it all.

This is just our approach to a nostalgic small block. Given the creativity of our readers, there’s easily a couple of dozen variations on this 3x2 theme just by swapping valve covers and air cleaners! So, let your nostalgic spirit of adventure cut loose and come up with your own version of these three deuces.  SRL Source: Automotive Racing Products (ARP),; Edelbrock, edelbrock. com; Fuel Air Spark Technology (FAST),; Jet Performance Products,; Spectre Performance,; Speedway Motors,; Trans Dapt,





WORDS & PHOTOS: Barry Kluczyk


alling the Woodward Dream Cruise huge is like calling Mardi Gras a block party. It just doesn’t quite cover it, because the scope of it is unlike just about anything you’ve encountered. From the literally thousands of cars and hundreds of thousands of spectators to the magnitude of the roughly 16-mile stretch of the famous boulevard cutting through the Motor City’s northern suburbs, the scale of it all just doesn’t compare with other automotive events. The Dream Cruise started more than 20 years ago as a youth soccer field fundraiser and quickly mushroomed into an event that has come to be known locally as “Woodward Week.” Rather than a single, defined event with a centralized show field, cruisers, spectators, municipalities, and other participants use the week to hold special shows and cruises within the cruise. The only thing officially official about the Woodward Dream Cruise is the date: the third Saturday in August. Simultaneously amazing and frustrating is the fact you just can’t see it all. Amazing cars are often parked innocuously in lots along the cruise route, while others roll past on the massive route, perhaps only to be seen once. Adding to the mix for the latest Dream Cruise was the opening of the M1 Concourse in Pontiac. 70 

STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

Pete Gentile’s ’55 Chevy Gasser is a real throw-back and was a regular racer at the long-gone Detroit Dragway. He originally bought and built the car in the mid-1960s, using a fuel-injected 301-inch small-block. It currently runs a blown 383.

Formerly the site of a GM truck plant, the 87-acre facility is being built into an automotive resort of sorts, complete with premium “car condos” for vehicle storage and a new 1.5-mile road course snaking through the center of the property. M1 served as the staging area for a number of Cruise-related events, including “Roadkill Nights” — an event that literally turned a section of Woodward Avenue into an eighth-mile drag strip. No kidding. For those planning to attend their first Woodward Dream Cruise, consider this piece of advice: Come early. It’s

the evenings leading up to Saturday’s official Dream Cruise that are the best for viewing cars on the move. The day of the Dream Cruise is a spectacle like no other, attracting upwards of a million spectators, and the congestion that one would expect. Come in on Tuesday or Wednesday and check out the Henry Ford Museum or other auto-themed points of interest around the Motor City. Even with advanced planning and schedules, you’ll never see everything the Woodward Dream Cruise serves up — but you can sure have fun trying!  SRL

This first-gen Bronco’s off-roading days are over, but it looks terrific as prostreet cruiser. We never saw this one parked long enough to get more info — it was always rolling.

Dennis Pillsbury has owned this ’57 roadster since 1975, and he’s had a blower on it for 36 years. He also added his own EFI system on the street cruising Corvette.

Duggan’s Irish Pub has been a favorite haunt of the Woodward Dream Cruise attracting cars of every caliber — including this wild T from Las Vegas that sported a pair of Ford Modular engines force-fed by a quartet of blowers.

The Woodward Dream Cruise is one of the few events where an authentically replicated Batmobile simply blends in with the other thousands of cruisers on the 16-mile route.

The first Camaro off the line — N100001 has been restored. It was an auspicious undertaking, as the car, like so many other first-gen Camaros, had been turned into a drag car, complete with a narrowed axle and fiberglass nose.



Len Jaynes built this ’50 Chevy Fleetline after buying it in pieces 10 years ago. It’s powered by a 1955-vintage 236 six that’s backed by a five-speed transmission out of an S-10.

At the new M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Dodge was giving free “thrill rides” in Hellcat Chargers and Challengers, as well as Vipers. For those who didn’t bring their own hot rod to Woodward, it was a great way to experience a little tire-smoking fun.

Despite owning this ’69 Nova for 13 years, Austin Fodell finished the build just in time for Woodward this year. It’s an original big-block car and currently runs a 502 with aluminum heads backed by a Richmond six-speed trans.

Spotted in the Chevrolet Performance display along Woodward was the 1971 Corvette built with collaboration from NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson. The car incorporates C7 cues, including the hood vent. The transmission is a TREMEC Magnum T56, and the suspension has been updated with coil-overs and C6 Z06 brakes. John Fisher’s pro-street ’65 Corvette is a great reminder that not every classic Vette needs to be concours-restored. He bought the car after the chassis work was already completed and finished off the car with a 502 big-block that’s backed by a prepped Turbo 400.


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4


This ’41 Willys coupe, had the nostalgia drag look down perfectly, with the blown 392 Hemi spitting out through classic white fenderwell headers. We don’t know the car’s history, but the “586” area code on the door didn’t exist until 2001.

Josh Link has been coming to Woodward from Pittsburgh for 13 years, cruising this ’51 Ford, which was originally built in the 1970s. It’s powered by a Ford 289/4-speed combo.

Win Dolphin — honestly, that’s the owner’s name — has owned this Ermine White ’63 coupe for about 15 years and has resisted the urge to repaint it. It’s an L75-code car (300-hp 327 engine) with a 4-speed and factory air conditioning. The car’s original owner was a monsignor in the Flint, Michigan, diocese, which obviously made him a true holy roller.

Remember when Old Navy had old Chevy trucks in their stores? This was one of them. It now belongs to Ross Bartolone, who drove from Cleveland to attend the big cruise. It’s a ’52 Chevy riding on an S-10 chassis and driven by a classic 350 small-block. The rims are 18-inchers by Detroit Steel Wheels.

Sherwin Kiesshauer’s A/FX Dodge Coronet is a wonderful throwback to the altered wheelbase racecars that pre-dated the funny car movement. This one has a 600+hp blown 426 Hemi topped with four Weber carbs. STREETRODLIFE.COM 



WORDS & PHOTOS: Brandon Flannery

Powder coating offers great looks with the durability to match


s soon as man began making things out of metal, there was a need to protect it from corrosion. In the days of primitive hand tools and armored suits, they used oils and waxes. This was followed by the development of plating with sacrificial metals and then enamels, lacquers, and composite epoxies. One of the newer steps in this evolution is powder coating. When properly applied, powder coating can be superior to paint in durability and appearance, for a very reasonable price. Powder coating is a dry powder that is melted and cooled into a protective film on metal. It is applied with a special electrostatic gun that imparts an electrical charge on the powder as it’s sprayed out of the nozzle with compressed air. It becomes electromagnetically attracted to the waiting part that has been grounded, and settles uniformly on the surface. This electric charge also pulls the powder particles into nooks and crannies that might otherwise be missed by spraying a liquid. The part is then baked in an oven until the powder melts and flows together, enveloping the part in a sealed film of polymer with a network-like structure as it cools. Unlike paint, there isn’t a “gas out” or “curing” time. Once it’s cooled, it’s ready to go. In addition to a lack of gas-out time, powder coating is easy on the earth with little to no VOCs and cleanup is usually done with compressed air versus the thinners and solvents of painting. When done in a production-style spray booth, the “overspray” can be recycled after falling through grates in the floor. Powder coating attaches itself more evenly than sprayed liquid and maintains more consistency between flat and horizontal surfaces, without pooling, running, or sagging. Bugs, trash, and fisheyes are also non-issues. Like painting, multiple colors can be applied with special masking, and some areas can be 74 

STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

The polymer composition is durable, yet flexible enough for coil springs.

left bare. Threads and gasket surfaces, in particular, are usually masked off. There are several different options in surface finishes, such as hammertone, wrinkling, and veining. Depending on the granule size, very thin layers may have an orange peel effect if there is not enough material to flow out evenly and bond together. These powders are created by blending polymer granules with hardening pigments and other ingredients and then heating them in extrusions that are rolled flat into sheets. These sheets are then broken into chips after cooling and milled and sieved into a powder.

Powder coated items like this buggy cage can be “repaired” and re-coated. Removal of existing powdercoating is difficult thanks to its durability, but not impossible.

As long as it fits in the oven and the spray booth, there is no size limit for jobs.

Incoming items are sandblasted in a designated area and stripped of all paint, grease, and corrosion. Hand-prepping in the cracks and crevices ensures a complete strip for proper adhesion.

There are outdoor grade powders that withstand UV rays and extreme temperatures on both sides of the thermometer, and less robust “indoor powders” that still resist chipping and scratching. All coatings fail eventually. Because powder coating encapsulates a part, any breach of the surface, like a large chip, can eventually lead to corrosion underneath. Proper surface prep and adhesion are key to longevity. Powder coating is also resistant to organic solvents like gasoline and thinners, but can be removed with acetone or benzyl alcohol, blasting, or baking off with very high temperatures for several hours. We stopped by Rick’s Powder Coating in Memphis for a closer look at the process and to ask a few questions. Owner Rick Taylor currently has the “largest batch oven in the Mid-South” and does a lot of production work on things like wrought iron fencing, metal doors, and industrial railings. However, he’s also very well known in the automotive world, and the other half of his shop stays busy year-round with car parts, various kinds of racing chassis, crafts, furniture, and anything else that needs a durable coating. He says he got his start during the restoration of a Volkswagen his father was working on. “We got some axle tubes, brake backing plates and a few other small things powder

coated,” he says. “When we got the bill for $350, my dad looked at me and said ‘we have to figure this stuff out.’ Fifteen years later, I know he was right. We do pretty good, though the prices have come down with technology. It’s definitely a great alternative to paint.” Rick says the most important thing customers can do is let him strip the paint off. “You won’t save any money sandblasting or stripping things yourself, because of the moisture in the air. Regardless of how it comes in, we prep it to our standards anyways. It’s part of the process.” He also utilizes a variety of blasting materials to suit the job. Sandblasting works well on heavy things like car frames, while glass beading may be used on more delicate things like lamps. There is even a “dustless media” for stripping cars; it is suspended in water, of all things. “It’s real effective on car bodies,” says Rick. “it doesn’t heat-warp the metal or leave a residue like soda does.” Stop by his website for more examples of what can be done with powder coating and give him a call if you have any questions. If you are building something, consider powder coating as an alternative to paint. It’s easier than you think and very affordable to boot.  SRL Source: Rick’s Powder Coating & Customs,



with Troy


First and foremost, Troy Ladd, the founder of Hollywood Hot Rods is an artist. Or, maybe it should be car guy. Then again, maybe he’s more of a curator of hot rod history and style. Actually, just roll all of those things together and you get a guy who is devoted to hot rodding, in the present and the past. “Respect Tradition” is not just a slogan around his Burbank, California, shop. Troy and his crew all pay close attention to the details and history of hot rodding, and are known for their traditional inspired taste and finish of the rods and customs they build. Though they appear heavy on the past, they also are able to blend in the new, when desired, with late model drivetrains brilliantly disguised to look the part. Troy is a self-taught man when it comes to his trade, which is a trait learned from his grandfather. Hot rodding became an obsession once he had his license, and he continued to build cars as a hobby until he finally decided it was time to quit his business management position and go into hot rodding full time. Was he worried? No sir; he had a business plan all written up!

You opened HHR 14 years ago — what were you doing prior to going full time as a builder? I was a project manager in the construction industry, we built hospitals and laboratories. I did that for about 10 years, but cars were my hobby and obsession. In fact, I rented a small shop so right after work, I’d head right over there to work on cars. I was learning on the fly the whole time and took a welding class, then a metal working 76 

STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

We were lucky to get some time with Troy while he was showing one of their latest builds, the Long Beach Legend ’36 Ford, during the NSRA Nationals. The guy takes his craft and cars seriously, and it shows in every build that rolls out of his shop.

class, and even a weekend paint study. I wanted to learn how to do it all from top to bottom.

ness experience and schooling helped me plan and launch the business.

Has your degree in business been helpful in running the shop?

How much did the process of opening the shop stick to the business plan?

Most people learn the craft first, then kind of just roll into the business side of things. I had a business plan long before opening Hollywood Hot Rods. I had the name, the logo, and the brand all before I had a location. So, yes, I’d say the busi-

Not much! You can do your best putting everything on paper and planning, but in the real world, dealing with unexpected bills, changing customers, it won’t be what you plan. However, it did help in the long run, and to be honest, we’ve

ist, you need to open up to other styles, forms, and designs, and in looking at some of the early race cars across the Atlantic, I’ve found a lot of new inspiration and design cues that simply work and can blend into American hot rods. There’s a lot more out there than just cool retro hot rod history.

Another European inspiration is the glory days of coach built ‘super cars’ of the art deco time. Your Mulholland Speedster is a classic example of the golden age of coach built vehicles. What brought that along and are there plans in the future for any others?

The Mulholland Roadster, a completely coach built affair from Hollywood Hot Rods, was shown in process and polish during the Grand National Roadster Show in 2015. It should debut in 2017.

gone on to become bigger and better at our craft than I ever planned.

How many build projects are in the works at any given time? And how do you manage it all? We have dozens in various stages, and managing it all can get tricky. We all like to work on the high-end, awesome cars, but there’s a lot of smaller, partial projects in the works, such as chopping a top, channeling a body, and other smaller items. Each one has a deadline, and it’s a balancing act. You have to make sure not to get greedy and have too many things going on or it will fall out of balance.

system where we hid all of the EFI components in the plenum. One of the best late model add-ons for any street rod is an overdrive, 5- or 6-speed trans. Plus, they don’t really blow your cover!

You seem to enjoy combining elements of early European and British race cars. There was a ’32 Brooklands Special roadster, and now you’re knee-deep into a coupe that has blends of Bugatti inspiration. What can you tell us about that styling and the key elements you work into the American Deuce. I like tradition, and respect it. As an art-

I was at an event showing the ’35 Ford Ruby Deluxe coupe and started talking to the owner of (what would be) the Speedster. It developed from there with more conversations about styles, the build, the plan. We eventually got automotive designer Eric Black involved, and it went back and forth about six months on the design concept alone. The car debuted at the 2015 LA Roadster show in polished steel, and it is now in paint and moving. We hope to have it at the 2017 Roadster show. Every single piece on the car is an individual piece of art that must work together as one for the greater good of the car.

You built a 2014 Mustang for Ford to debut at the SEMA show a couple years ago. How did you like the challenge of working with a new car compared to a vintage rod? I like a challenge, and working on some-

Most HHR builds show respect to the history of hot rodding and the past, but what kind of modern touches or technology do you like to bring to your builds? It really depends on the build and the balance of how much new we can add to the old. Every project has a different goal, so it varies. We were one of the first shops to put a Coyote engine in a rod, a ’32 Roadster pickup for Raybestos back in 2010. The important thing was to take advantage of all that modern technology but dress it in vintage trim to hide it. We stripped the 5.0L of all of its plastic and created custom valve covers that looked like old SOHC covers. We also created a custom EFI system with Hilborn and used FAST EFI electronics on it. That’s a great way to go. I even have a 392 Hemi with a Hilborn stack

It takes a vision and true craftsmanship to fabricate a complete fender and running board. Note the tire for stance and guidance. STREETRODLIFE.COM 


Troy and the other Hollywood Hot Rod artists: Chris, Geoff, Dave, and Kyle (left to right).

thing new like that was definitely a new challenge, and it was fun. We probably went a bit overboard as we cut the back apart and rebuilt it all out of metal. We also cut the roof off and created more of a fastback look with a lift-off hardtop. We also replaced all of the plastic

rockers and rear panels with custom made metal work. I mean, that’s what we do, we shape metal, we coach build. We wanted to show our skills and have something besides wheels and paint. The cool thing is we’ve run that car through its paces. It’s been on Power

Tour. I got to drive it at Laguna Seca! It handles, it races, it’s fast. I guess this modern stuff does have some advantages over our old hot rods (laughing)!

Speaking of muscle cars, we see a lot of classic rods and designs coming out of HHR, but what about a classic muscle car? Any plans, designs or desire to build a true muscle car? We’ll build one if someone sends one! We’ve actually done a few Mustangs;

You can tell that the cars that roll out of HHR truly do “respect tradition”. This ’36 Ford, called the Long Beach Legend, the car is a tribute to the styling and performance of pre-war Fords.


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

“The engine must fit the project,” Troy says. This V12 Flathead certainly works in the Long Beach Legend. You’ll likely find very different, very detailed engines in Troy’s cars.

we’re currently working on a ’65 Fastback that’s getting a Coyote. We also did my girlfriend’s ’63 Comet, which she drove in high school, with a Coyote. I’d like to do a muscle car to move some metal around and customize with really subtle modifications.

Oh, as far as personal projects, yes there are a few; a ’40 Ford coupe, a ’27 Model TT pickup, an all-stock ’34 Chevy coupe.

We also don’t see much in the way of the venerable small-block Chevy or the current craze of LS engines. What’s up with that?

Good question, and I wish I knew. I’d like to believe that the recent exposure from the different forms of social media are helping as guys starting out share their work online to get feedback and to show what they’re doing and capable of. It does seem like there has been a bit of a resurgence in metal working and automotive art with social media. Let’s hope it continues. What we do is a skill, a trade. And it’s an art. Everyone in our shop is an artist. We create, we design, engineer, and plan. You need people to see your art and skills.

The engine has to fit the project, and we respect the performance of the LS, but it would need to be dressed appropriately. Remember, the components are the art and must work as one. We try not to put an SBC in a Ford, and we just haven’t done a Chevy lately. Maybe a C10 with an LS…

Your first car was a ’66 Mustang — did you hot rod it? And do you have a personal hot rod or project today? That Mustang got me into this whole thing. I didn’t really even realize that it was a pretty cool car to have at first; it was just a car. And when it broke, I had to fix it, which was encouraged by my grandpa. I started to enjoy that and eventually got into organized

Any ideas on how to get younger kids involved in our industry or working in the shop?

Troy always has time to talk about projects.

street racing and then into fixing the car up more to go fast and to look cool. That car exposed me to the hot rodding world. My second car was a ’36 5-window Ford. It was an old dirt track racer, and the guy I bought it from offered me a Flathead or a 283 small block…I took the 283 because I knew I could fix one. I learned to paint on that car and did everything. I had it at a show and it ended up coming out in Street Rodder magazine in a small picture and a caption. Pretty cool stuff for a young guy just starting out!

How about any words of experience to share with the next generation of designers and builders? Practice, and just do it. You’ll figure out how to do it if you just dig in. There’s no replacement for getting your hands dirty. Shape metal, paint it, and if you screw it up, try it again. Be driven.  SRL




SEEM WORDS: Brandon Flannery

More than one look is needed for this stepside


hese days, the sight of a tattered old truck from the 1960s rolling down the road is enough to turn heads. Those interested enough to take a closer look at Harry Henke’s 1965 Chevy usually have to look two or three more times before they realize what is really going on. Things are not what they seem. The stepside truck has had quite an interesting life. Hershal White, or “Boots” as he was known, bought it new in Lampasas, Texas, on March 14, 1965, and it was one of the earlier vehicles sold by Hoffpauir Chevrolet. Hershal brought his new truck back home to Evant, where he used it to herd cows and do chores on his 265-acre farm. He also installed a ladder rack and used it to pull a tandem-axle trailer as his construction business grew. With him building houses and doing renovations, the truck was a familiar sight around town, the 292 inline-six chugging faithfully along through the decades. When he passed in 1995, the truck was left to his granddaughter Kathy’s husband and current custodian, Harry. The bequeathed truck was in Texas, and the couple lived in Ontario, Canada. Naturally, Harry figured he’d just drive it home. Surprisingly to everyone but Harry, it made the trip without a hitch. The 292 puttered right along with the 3-on-the-tree spinning right behind it. He drove the truck for several years, doing little more than washing it. He did have to remove the ladder rack after finding out the hard way that it “almost fit” in his garage. When the original single-barrel carb began acting up, Harry upgraded to a two-barrel that mounted sideways. Eventually, the decision was made to make the truck a little more road-trip friendly. Harry wanted to keep the truck’s six-cylinder heritage intact, but the original engine didn’t pass the rebuilding process. A friend who builds NASCAR engines crafted a new 292 us80 

STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

The truck’s original dealership bumper was sold extra. The pair of utility taillights have been replaced with four 1963 Impala units to gain reverse lights.

ing a beefier marine head and short-skirt pistons. The carb bases were milled off of an Offenhauser intake, and a set of Weber manifold runners were grafted in. Harry says the Weber carbs proved to be a bit fiddly, running great one day and sputtering and backfiring the next. Tired of the unpredictable reliability, he knew there had to be a better way. His sons, Jordan and Jesse, had started a shop, JH Restorations, and were adding FAST EFI to a Chevy small block. Harry wondered why he couldn’t adapt half of an Inglese system to his six cylinder and use a FAST EFI system to run it. A second Offenhauser intake was modified to accept the Inglese sensors and throttle bodies, and a horseshoe-shaped throttle linkage bellcrank was fabricated to work with a Nova gas pedal. With the help and advice of FAST technician David Page, Harry and his sons were able to create a one-off setup that

A single fuel rail loops back to the tank.

works using a FAST XFI Sportsman controller. David was instrumental in dialing in the system for optimum results. The original three-speed transmission was replaced with a 4L65E from a ’96 Camaro. An EZ-TCU from TCI was wired in because it works seamlessly with the FAST EFI. A set of 3.73 gears out back has this truck comfortably cruising at speeds the factory setup could only have dreamed about. When people hear it’s powered by a “fuel-injected six-cylinder,” they might expect to see a V6 before raising the hood. They also might expect to see a tattered interior when they open the door. So much effort has gone into retaining as much of the original character on the outside that the interior literally requires a double-take. It’s stunning. The factory dash has been painted charcoal and silver and fitted with a Dakota Digital gauge cluster in Kilometers. A Grant steering wheel tops an ididit tilt-column, and a Cadillac Escalade center console is flanked by a pair of 2012 Mustang seats. Their two-tone Katzkin leather upholstery complements the dash and gray carpeting. Lastly, Vintage Air vents supply conditioned air from under the dash for cool-cruising comfort. While the inside is fully detailed, the exterior has had little more than some washing. The dealer-installed rear bumper engraved with “Hoffpauir Chevy” on one side and “Lampasas, TX” on the other was retained, though it now sports a second set of taillights. Harry says the addition of the automatic transmission offered the option of having reverse lights, so they upgraded the utility lights with a full set from a ’63 Impala. The shop’s JH Restorations logos were added to the doors, along with little Mr. Horsepower and Mooneyes logos. A “Fuel Injection” badge adorns each side of the hood, offering a subtle clue to what’s inside. The EFI conversion took a little trial and error, but was worth it in the long run. The truck was able to retain its six-cylinder heritage while upgrading to modern performance levels. Harry says the truck cruises well and “doesn’t know if it’s on flat ground or the hills of Kentucky - it drives the same.” It runs well enough that he not only did the three-day Ontario Hot Rod Tour, but recently embarked upon a 4,000-mile trip back to Texas to visit family. “I drove the truck long distances every single day for two and a half weeks,” Harry says. “Other than a minor power steering issue, it didn’t miss a beat.” The highlight of the trip was bringing the truck back to Hoffpauir Chevrolet, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014, so the staff could check it out. Knowing he was on his way, the dealership arranged for former parts manager Wayland Lesley and Charley Champion to be there. Both men worked for the dealership when the truck was sold, and still serve in a part-time capacity. They remembered carrying the rear bumper

A Grant steering wheel and an Ididit column accent the painted dash well. Mustang seats and an Escalade console offer long-distance comfort.

The 292 was built with a marine head and short-skirt pistons. Inglese injection is controlled with a FAST XFI Sportsman engine management system.

(which was sold separately) out to the truck when it was new, and later seeing the truck around town. They even remembered Hershal White’s last name. After photos and admiration, and a few days visit with family, trip co-pilot Tony Thoman flew home. Harry and his new co-pilot, wife (and Boots’ granddaughter) Kathy, headed back to Canada, stopping in Branson, Missouri, and Moline, Illinois, along the way. Modern performance, a bit of hot rod innovation, and one cool old truck that rewards those who take a closer look? That’s how Harry Henke rolls!  SRL Sources: FAST,; Inglese,


The right way to mount a steering column


ositioning and installation of the steering column is one of the most important things you need to get right on your rod. For starters, there’s the safety side of things, which should be obvious. Second, is the comfort and ergonomic feel of the position from the driver’s seat. If it’s so important, why do so many people wait till near the end of their build to set things up? Actually, that’s kind of an easy question to handle. You can’t optimally figure out the column position until you have (most of) the front suspension in place. Also, it’s a best practice to have the drivetrain mocked up, especially the driver side exhaust manifold or header. Also, ducking back inside, it’s best to 82 

STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

WORDS: Todd Ryden PHOTOS: The manufacturer

have your seat in position so you can get a good idea of where and how the column and steering wheel will be positioned. All of these are legitimate excuses — and all the more reason for ididit to offer a number of different mounting solutions for your steering column. The best thing about installing a column is there’s really no one ideal installation angle, since there are so many different applications. Better yet, there are just as many universal mounts, U-joints, and adaptors available to help you in your mounting process. As we prepared to install a column with a friend in his ’36, we asked many of these same questions. Who has the answers? ididit.

Clear Steering

Securing the lower part of the column into the firewall or cowling is a must. There are several mounts available from ididit, from straight mounts to swivel mounts that give you more options during the installation. Diameters are available in 1 3/4 inch, 2 inches and, 2 1/4 inches.

Ididit explained several of the important things to watch for when installing a column. They even suggested to go so far as using a wooden dowel, and even a pie tin, to get a feeling from the driver’s seat. An important point was to have the column going in a straight line from the dash mount to the point on the floor or firewall where it will exit. Another important tip is to have When it comes to getting your steering shaft between the column and gearbox, the column centered connected U-joints are your friend. These handy devices between your body will help you get around headers and frame components safely. Be mindful during your inand arms. stallation not to exceed angles of 35 degrees, If you were to or there may be premature wear and hard mount the column to spots in your steering. the left or right, it’s going to result in a very uncomfortable driving experience as one arm will be bent more while the other is outstretched. That is why it comes back to the importance of trying to mock up as much as possible with the car.

If you do have to use two U-joints in the steering linkage, it is a recommended to add a shaft support at some point. It is best to install the support as close to the center joint as possible, or to the longer shaft.

When there is just no hope of installing the steering column straight and comfortably, or to connect the shaft safely to the steering box, ididit offers a solution: the Wizard Steer Clear. This unique offset steering coupler allows you to raise, drop, move sideways, and position the steering column nearly anywhere, and still create a safe connection from wheel to gearbox. The Steer Clear offset steering coupler is a made up of a ¾-inch, 36-spline input and output shaft that is welded to a small sprocket inside the compact housing. The sprockets are supported with radial ball bearings and connected together through a single-strand, continuous roller chain which is held at a specific tension through four preset guides. In short, it’s built to last and even comes with a lifetime warranty. Best of all, the Steer Clear provides more leg room under the dash and is the solution many rodders need to clear the exhaust and drivetrain to safely connect the steering.

This setup is specifically for applications using a special, “shorty” column. This bracket assembly attaches to the firewall and the dash with provisions for the two different drop mounts required to secure their 12- to 18inch shorty column.

The angle of the transition from the steering column to the steering shaft also needs to be considered. U-joints are a wonderful solution for changing geometry, but they do have their limits! Actually, about 35 degrees is the max for most U-joints; any more than that could result in an unsafe steering system. Once you measure, move, and finally locate the best position of the column, you need to ensure it is mounted correctly. Two mounts should always be used: a top dash mount and a lower mount that is secured to the toe board or firewall. For lower mounts, ididit offers several different assemblies that range from a budget-friendly, yet effective mount and clamp to a CNC-machined swivel unit that allows for a little final adjustment. They also offer a special mount made to work in concert with their collapsible columns. Up top, depending on your application, there are a number of application-specific mounts, as well as a variety of drop mounts to lower the position in relation to the dash. These are available in lengths from 2 1/2- to 7 1/2-inch drops. For those of you wondering, most are available in brushed or polished aluminum. Like the lower mounts, there is also a mount specific to their collapsible columns as well.  SRL Source: ididit,




Wrap a classic rod in black with flames and it’ll never go out of style

WORDS & PHOTOS: Louis Kimery


he 1939 and 1940 Fords hold a special significance for many street rodders. They represent a major styling change from Ford that was well received when new, and they ended up being a kind of last hurrah for the American public to buy a new car before the onset of WWII put domestic automobile production on hold. By the 1950s, these “old” cars were being repurposed as first cars for teenagers from coast to coast. Since they were all equipped with one of two versions of Ford’s venerable Flathead V8, along with a new hydraulic brake system, they were particularly well suited for some hopping up. Then there are those bulbous fenders, just the right size and shape for an imaginative painter to set on fire with multiple warm hues, applied with a skilled hand and a spray gun. Bob McCoy did it to his ’40 Ford sedan in 1955 and unwittingly started a trend. Years later, Barry Lobeck gave those hot licks a reboot in 1974 with his well-received Flathead-powered coupe. In short, flamed paint and 1940 Fords go together like ham and eggs. Allen McDaniel of Tupelo, Mississippi, owns the fiery example you see here. Allen is a hot rodder from way back and has owned more street rods, Corvettes, muscle cars, and tri-five Chevys than we can recount here. In fact, he served a six-year stint as the curator of the Tupelo Automobile Museum, and even built a clone of the Two-Lane Blacktop ’55 Chevy a few years back. So, needless to say, McDaniel knows a thing or two about hot rods and car culture. As it turns out, the rod you see on these pages was actually built as a promotional giveaway car for Car Quest Auto Parts Stores in 2003. The origi-

There’s a lot of room for flames on the plump front end of a ’40 Ford. The team at Heinzman’s Street Rods in Phillips, Nebraska, did a fantastic job adding fire over the jet black base.

As a giveaway car, the whole plan was to make the rod a reliable driver, so a 350c.i. Chevy crate engine was bolted under the hood. An Edelbrock induction system meters the fuel and air, while an HEI provides the spark. A road-proven package.



The ’40 was built as a giveaway car for Car Quest Auto Parts back in 2003. The winner of the car owned it for 11 years but didn’t accumulate many miles, so the car looks as good today as it did when it was just built!

nal winner of the car held on to it for 11 years before Allen picked it up. Heinzman Street Rods in Phillips, Nebraska, completed the actual construction of the all-steel car back in 2003. The “look” was achieved with a close adherence to standards set decades before this car ever rolled down the highway as a street rod. The chassis was built around an original 1940 Ford frame, using a Mustang II front crossmember and custom tubular A-arms, and a Flaming River rack and pinion steering up front. Power-assisted disc brakes were used up front, with Ford drums out back to keep things reliable, simple, and safe. Following suit for power, a 350c.i. Chevy crate engine and TH-350 trans were called into action to keep things reliable for years to come. The motor was treated to aftermarket goodies from Edelbrock, HPC coated headers, a Walker heavy-duty radiator, and a set of Alan Grove brackets to secure all the accessories in place. The interior was also assembled to look and feel good for cruising. Creature comforts include air conditioning, stereo, and tilt, along with a Glide bench seat. Everything is finished in a comfortAnother reason Allen enjoys putting miles on the ’40 is the comfort of the Glide Engineering bench, tilt column, and of the cool settings of the Vintage Air system.


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

A set of parallel leaf springs from Chassis Engineering and 8-inch Ford rear end were installed on the original ’40 frame, along with a rear sway bar to keep things level around the bends on the back Mississippi roads.

able light gray, while a brace of Classic Instruments gauges are fitted into the stock Ford dash. Allen brought the car to his Tupelo home, and it promptly became his go-to driver after a few minor updates were performed for drivability’s sake. He considered giving it a few visual changes to make it “his,” but ultimately chose to keep the appearance “as is” when he became aware of the car’s lineage as a contest prize, and when he realized that thousands of 1/64th, and 1/25th scale die-cast replicas of the car exist to commemorate the car’s construction. To date, Allen has put more than 6,000 miles on the coupe in just over a year — a testament to the car’s reliable drivetrain and quality construction. That’s no small number when you consider he has a garage full of other desirable cars to keep him occupied.  SRL

Even with a garage full of rods, this flamed ’40 has proven to be a great road trippin’ rod for Allen McDaniel.




DEVELOPMENT Hydraulically controlled ride height coilovers from Mittler Bros.

With the flip of a switch, this ’49 pickup will stand up off the ground and drive away with the same ride quality, whether it’s an inch off the ground or five!


hat do you get when you combine a street rod/race car builder with a manufacturer that manufactures lifetime-lasting tools and race parts? Innovation. When you stop and think about it, our industry is built on problem solving. How to go faster, how to look cooler, and how to make something work better. Nearly every company in the street rod industry was born from someone who had a better idea while working in their shop or garage. And that’s exactly where this begins. Jimmy Bullard has been building street rods and race cars for decades out of his Walnut Cove, North Carolina, shop. Just under two years ago, he was working on a customer’s rod, which was equipped with a mega-powered engine, and the owner wanted to have a complete air suspension system, which Jimmy just wasn’t sold on. “With the kind of horsepower the guy had on tap, I just didn’t want to see an airbag suspension on his truck,” Jimmy told us. “When the air pressure in the bags is lowered, it changes the entire ride quality and handling of the vehicle, and I was worried about that with so much power.” To that end, he started looking at hydraulics. Hydraulics have been used for years to alter ride height in customs and low riders, but in most cases, with compromises to the ride quality and handling. But then he wondered why you couldn’t combine a coilover with adjustable hydraulics. 88 

STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

Jimmy continued with the thought process and started looking closely into coilovers and shocks. The benefit would be retaining a consistent spring rate and shock travel to retain the ride and handling characteristics, yet the The kit includes a compact manifold for ability control that is easy to mount and connect. to alter the ride height for different driving situations and for dropping the rod on the ground for shows. As a builder and racer, Jimmy had used a number of products from Mittler Bros. Machine & Tool and knew the president, Mike. Lest you’re unaware, Mittler also offers a number of high-end track-specific components ranging from custom fabbed rear end housings, to shocks, and quarter midget springs. One day, he mentioned the idea to Mike and the conversation launched from there. Mike brought in one of their shock and spring rate experts

These images show the amount of travel available with the Hydroshox. The image on the left is at the lowest, while the right shot shows the suspension at its highest. Cylinder in lowered position

Adjustable ride height

Another nice thing about hydraulics is that the raising of the vehicle is instant. Hydraulics are on or off, no waiting for a compressor to catch up.

from the racing side, Brian Springmeier, (great name for a suspension expert) to work with Jimmy on the project. “My first thought was why hadn’t someone else come up with this yet?” Brian said. The three went to work on the project, and all of the development was in-house in Mittler’s Wright City, Missouri, facility. All of the valving was determined and created in-house. They worked hard to reduce the size of the pump and remote reservoir, understanding that street rods don’t have a lot of room for bulky components. In short order, the team had a set of prototype units and continued their refinement of what they deemed the HydroShox. The coilover side of the unit provides three inches of shock travel and are offered with a number of spring rates ranging from 350 to 2,000 pounds, so you can dial-in the system for your vehicle’s weight and driving plans. As for the hydraulic side, the upper housings are CNC ma-

Cylinder in raised position

Tuned shock for ride control

Coil springs

chined to a narrow 2 7/8-inch diameter tube and the entire shock is nickel plated for corrosion protection (and great looks). The rides height can be adjusted up to five inches through a supplied switch panel assembly and efficient pump. Mittler also developed a billet manifold that allows independent operation of the front and rear. The HydroShox are available in a complete kit for ease of installation, and when Mittler says complete, they mean it. We’re talking the wiring panel and harness, braided hose and fittings, the pump, reservoir, manifold with controls and valves, even hydraulic oil. In the end, the HydroShox were developed by a company with experience and understanding of the dynamics of suspension systems, along with a racer/builder that had an idea for an alternative to air or old school hydraulics. That’s the way it’s supposed to work, and we can’t wait to see more of the HydroShox in action.  SRL Source: Mittler Bros. Machine and Tool,



HIBERNATION Preparing your rod for a winter slumber

WORDS & PHOTOS: Todd Ryden


or most hot rodders, the fall months are a precursor to the end of the cruising season. This also means it’s time to start thinking about prepping your street rod for storage. You need to think about the steps necessary to protect the driveline, interior, and, of course, the paint, so when spring finally rolls around, your rod will be nearly ready to hit the streets again. We talked with several experts on hibernation (none with the name Yogi) to learn more about the best practices and what will really help protect your pride and joy during its inactive months. Surprisingly, there was a little more to it than we thought!

Fuel up Unless you plan on updating your fuel system during the winter months, it is recommended to cruise down to your local gas station for one last fill up for the year. A topped off tank means less area for air to allow moisture to attract and separate within the tank. But, thanks to today’s fuel blends with additives and biofuels, you need to be a little more vigilant with the fuel system. Ethanol, which is added to most of our fuels, attracts moisture. Not a good combination when an engine isn’t in use! Ethanol is extremely corrosive to common carburetor components made from zinc and aluminum, and the issue is multiplied during long periods of storage. Add to the fact that it is also harmful to rubber hose, gaskets, floats, and many other fuel system materials and you can surmise how your spring start up may go without protection. 90 

STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

Filling up the tank will leave less room for corrosion to set in, and an even better deterrent is to add a bottle of Driven’s Carb Defender — the foe to ethanol.

What’s the best way to ward off the negatives of ethanol blended fuels? The experts at Driven Racing Oil have developed an additive called Carb Defender that was created to specifically prevent corrosion from ethanol. It’s a formulated blend of corrosion inhibitors that fight against the hygroscopic (moisture-attracting) characteristics of ethanol. The blend includes cleaning and fuel preservative substances that will keep the fuel from oxidizing during periods of dormancy, which is when most of the damaging gums and varnishing occurs.

When you fill up your rod, add a bottle of Carb Defender. After a short cruise, you’ll have it mixed throughout the fuel system, lines, hoses, and in the carb, where it will protect all of the materials from moisture and corrosion.

Tires Tires are not cheap, and you want to make sure yours are going to last as long as possible, which means taking the right steps for long-term storage. We spoke to the experts at Coker Tire about best storage practices and they recommended to keep the weight of the car off the tires for the best protecyou can’t take off your tires for the winter, tion. This is even Ifthese FlatStopper ramps could help keep your more important for tires healthy by distributing the weight over more bias-ply tires, but tire surface. they pointed out that even radials are subject to flat spotting and should be raised off the ground during a winter hibernation. Ideally, pulling the wheels off the car and stacking them horizontally, or standing on a shelf, in the shop is best. Plus, this leaves you with the opportunity to inspect the brakes, bearings, and suspension components. If you’re running white letters or white walls, be sure to put cardboard or some material in between because the black rubber will stain the white or red colors. If you prefer to leave the wheels on your rod, you may want to consider the concave, lightweight ramps called FlatStoppers.

The concave area creates a larger contact area for the tire to help prevent flat spotting.

Change the oil Usually, most of us think about changing the oil as part of the traditional spring time steps when preparing for another summer of cruising. But, think about it; you’ve been running the engine all summer long, which means the oil has picked up minute combustion properties. Wouldn’t it be best to cover the internals of your engine with fresh oil through the winter months? Better yet is to use an oil designed to protect traditional engines. Driven’s Hot Rod Oil is engineered with a number of pro-

Changing the oil before your car goes into hibernation is important. Having clean oil, and even better, an oil made with protection additives to prevent rust and corrosion from occurring, such as Driven’s Hot Rod Oil, is ideal. Driven offers both a conventional oil and a synthetic blend.

Upgrade your GM LS-Series Crate Engine Direct Fit and StreetMax™ Cams

Designed for LS Engines, our PowerMaxLS™ Cams optimize potential torque and horsepower, while maintaining driveability for the street/strip performance enthusiast. Upgrading your LS Crate engine is easy with a Direct Fit Cam bolted right into your motor. More aggressive profiles are available with Crane’s StreetMax™ Series. To upgrade to this high performance level, a Crane Valve Spring Kit is required for additional spring travel and tension (Part #144317-1). These springs are an easy installation with our “on engine” replacement spring tools (Part #99472-1 and #99473-1). Scan for More Info

—Significant horsepower and Torque Gains —Dyno Dyno Proven to Optimize RPM Potential

Sales and Technical Support 866.388.5120 | 0133a

Winter means work Tucking your car away for the winter months doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end of your hot rodding season. It’s actually more of a break from the action and the best opportunity for some preventative maintenance. The winter months also give us the best excuse to tear into our cars. We’re not just talking about a little adjustment or weekend tune-up. You’re afforded several months to get going on those major projects you talked about all summer long. Here’s a list of several do-it-yourself updates (some with the help of buddies) that you can work on during the cold months. • Camshaft or head swap to bring a little more pep in the spring • Upgrade to fuel injection with time to do the fuel pump and lines right the first time • Step up to an overdrive transmission to keep those rpm down on long cruises • Upgrade the brake system or add a vacuum booster • Install a set of heavy-duty sway bars or better shocks for a better ride • Though it’s cold out, this is a perfect time to add air conditioning • Update the wiring harness to get those pesky electrical issues over with for good

tection additives to fight against moisture and rust. One of its key benefits is the oil’s cold-start protection, which is important for vehicles that aren’t driven often. The oil is also built with zinc dithiophosphate (ZDDP) to add protection to the valvetrain.

Cooling system In the summer we refer to it as coolant, but come winter, it’s anti-freeze. Same fluid, different name, and completely different goal! Anti-freeze plays an important role all year long, lubricating the water pump and helping remove heat from the block. However, you need to ensure the system, radiator, and coolant tracks stay clean for maximum flow. For hot rods, with new or old engines, Peak recommends their Long Life Antifreeze and coolant. The fluid comes pre-diluted and formulated to extend flushes to up to five years and

A high quality anti-freeze is imperative to ensure your engine has the best protection it needs through the winter months. Come summer, you’ll be set to beat the heat as well.


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

handle many more miles on the road. It is designed to handle extreme heat, as well as frosty cold temperatures, so you’ll be protected year-round from one extreme to the other.

Selecting a cover for your rod’s long break is good practice to keep the paint, chrome, and glass clean and debris-free.

Body and rust protection Once you have the drivetrain prepped for a long sleep, what do you do to protect your car from dust, dirt, fingerprints, and even moisture causing rust? California Car Cover has you “covered” with their Anti-Rust Storage Bag, as well as other covers for different environments and applications. The Anti-Rust Storage Bag sheathes your entire car for the ultimate protection. You actually drive the car in and onto a bottom panel, which entirely encloses your rod. The impressive part is that the material used throughout this giant drive-in shelter is made up of an exclusive Zerust technology. The fabric and material carry moisture-inhibiting compounds to ward off any chances of corrosion. Zip it up, and you have an air-tight seal over your rod. Taking a few precautions and steps to winterize your rod will ensure it’s ready to roll when you open the garage door in the spring for another season on the road.  SRL Sources: California Car Cover,; Coker,; Driven Racing Oil,; Optima,; PEAK,

It’s best to keep your battery in a cool, dry place and use a maintaining tool to ensure a full charge over the long winter.

SPONSORED BY LSM Racing has the perfect way to adjust valve lash without fear of over-tightened or cracked rocker arm jam nuts. Their Valve Lash Torque Wrenches have built-in 3/8-inch hex drives to allow the use of standard sockets on all “shaft” style rocker systems. The torque wrench is certified and preset to 22 ft/lb. And the kit comes complete with 3/16-, 5/32-, and 1/8-inch T-handle Allen wrenches to make adjusting valves a breeze. The LSM TQ-100-3 Lash adjusting tool is proudly made in the USA by Logan Smith Machine.



FEATURES Fits all “shaft” and “stud” style rocker systems Pre-set at 22 ft/lb 1/8-, 3/16-, and 5/32-inch Allen wrenches Anodized handle Accepts standard 3/8-inch drive sockets Sold as a kit Proudly made in the USA



Three T-handles are included, and they fit most valve adjusters. Each comes with its own aluminum barrel adapter that threads into the torque wrench head.

The tool accepts any standard 3/8-inch drive socket. The Allen wrench passes through it to turn the adjusters while the jamb nut is held in place.

Once proper lash has been set, the T-handle is held in place and the anodized red handle is rotated to the right until it “breaks” like a traditional torque wrench. The pre-set 22 ft/lb is consistent and hassle free. BUY ONE (PRICE $175-$185)

LSM Racing Products Jegs Gauges & Gadgets COMP Cams Speedway Motors Summit Racing


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4


ADDITIONAL: To see other product tests, search “Put it to the Test”

If you find yourself adjusting valve lash more than once, this will be a great value. Go in with a friend, if you want, but this takes the guesswork and inaccuracies out of lash adjustments and makes life easier. The handle “breaks” at 22 ft/lb like a regular torque wrench, while the T-handle holds the adjuster rock steady. LSM can even customize the torque setting up to 26 ft/lb if needed. It’s also proudly made in the USA. Brandon Flannery is a globe-trottin’ automotive photojournalist, content developer, and certified shop rat now living in Hernando, Mississippi, with a herd of projects and a daily-driven ’73 Satellite Sebring known as The Blue Goose.

WES RYDELL You probably recognize the name Wes Rydell from the information sign sitting in front of some of the coolest and amazing rods from the last decade or so. We’re talking about the ’40 Oldsmobile that won the Goodguys 2016 Street Rod of the Year, the 2002 Ridler-winning ’35 Chevy Master sedan, and the only Chevy to ever win the Americas Most Beautiful Roadster award, a ’35 Chevrolet Phaeton. How can one guy have this many amazing street rods? Hard work, smart decisions, and a passion for street rods and the auto industry in general has been in Wes’ blood since he was a kid in North Dakota. Today, Wes is the dealer principal at a dealership in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and oversees the Rydell Auto Group of dealers. This is the same dealership that his father Leonard bought in 1954 and which Wes purchased 22 years later. This dealership is the epicenter that has led to more than 70 different dealers in more than 15 states! The growth and success was all spurred by Wes’ belief in employee satisfaction and the simple value of treating customers right to gain their trust and enthusiasm. Enthusiasm for hot rods is something Wes has never lacked. After graduating from the University of North Dakota, Wes teamed up with Ralph Hope and Wayne Lang to run a ’49 Ford Anglia called Mr. Crude. The engine was a 6-cylinder Chevy with two V8 heads (each with a cylinder cut off) that Wes designed. The team went throughout 1969 setting records with the special configuration at Indy, Dallas, and the Winter Nationals. Wes put his love of racing and hot rods on hold to focus on his young family, work, and growing a group of dealerships for more than 30 years. When he decided the time was right to finally enjoy hot rods and performance again, he did it with the same vigor and passion he used to grow his business. The first project was a ’50 Chevy Fleetline that was designed by Chip Foose and built by Hot Rods by Boyd. The car was appropriately named Genuin. After that experience, the street rods have continued. Not only has he designed and built some of the top rods in the country, he also helped spur the career of Chip Foose while working with other up and coming builders at the turn of the century, including Troy Trepanier, Boyds, and Pinkees, to name a few. The great thing is how Wes’ enthusiasm for his work, and his hobby of street rodding, continues to flourish, and how he shares it with so many. He splits his time between the family’s dealerships with the Toy Shop, a street rod company that has built and designed several of his own cars and others for customers. What he has accomplished in life with his family, business, and within the street rod industry is nothing short of phenomenal. Thank you Wes, a well-deserved Street Rod Lifer.  SRL


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4


HIT THE ROAD The show and race season is winding down, but there are still plenty of cool things for rodders to join in! Two of the biggest trade shows of the year, SEMA and PRI, happen in November and December, the indoor show season is kicking off, and the fair weather states never slow down. If you have a show you want to share with us for 2017, send the details over to!

Performance Racing Industry Tradeshow Sure this is a “trade-only” event, meaning you need to work or be involved in the performance industry somehow, but there are also a lot of seminars and end-of-the-year banquets that take place during the three-day event that takes over all of downtown Indianapolis.

December 8–10 Indianapolis, Indiana

The Goodguys Finale This is Goodguys’ bookend to the 2016 season, the 19th Southwest Nationals. The show hosts a killer swap meet and loads of vendors, and the cream of the crop will be on display, including their Street Rod, Street Machine, Custom, and other Rods of the Year. Plus, they have their Duel in the Desert race on the autocross track. If you can’t make the fall show, they’ll be back in March of 2017 to kick off the new year.

November 18–20 Scottsdale, Arizona

Advanced Engineering Technology Conference If you are an engine technology geek, this is the conference for you. We’re talking two full days of seminars from some of the biggest engineering brains of internal combustion engine technology. From engine lubrication to piston ring sealing, coolant flow rates and advanced metallurgy, it’s all covered — and it is all pretty amazing stuff. This year marks the 27th event and precedes the PRI show. December 6–7 Indianapolis, Indiana

Emerald Coast Cruizin

The indoor car show season kicks off as the outdoor weather turns south. The 57th Houston AutoRama is one of the biggies and brings in the finest rods and customs from around the south. Check out their full schedule and pick a few shows in your region.

Warm weather and white sandy beaches are two reasons to head to Panama City Beach in Florida for several days of cruising up and down the emerald green coastline. A car corral, giant swap meet, music, and special events with thousands of other rodders should make this an easy decision.

November 24–27 Houston, Texas

43rd TURKEY RUN Spend your Thanksgiving weekend with thousands of other like-minded rodders in the infield of one of the most historic racetracks of all time, Daytona International Speedway! We’re talking about 2,500 swap meet spaces, more than 6,000 hot rods, great food, and fun. A four decade-old tradition for thousands at Thanksgiving! November 24–27 Daytona, Florida

AutoRama in Houston November 7–12 Panama City Beach, Florida

Pomona Swap Meet Ready to find a new project for the off-season, or need to sell one first? Is there any better place than the Pomona Swap Meet, held on the historic grounds around the Pomona Fairplex. Fly in, get up before dawn, and find a project to road trip home, or score that rare set of wheels or intake manifold to finish your rod. On the way out, grab an In-andOut burger and shake. December 4 Pomona, California

Not able to attend a show? Want to see which cars were at what events? Not a problem. Head over to and check out the Events tab for coverage, pics, and more. STREETRODLIFE.COM 





If you’ve loved cars all your life, you have to have a soft spot for a ’51 Merc. This one isn’t chopped but has been shaved, frenched, and smoothed. To be continued on this one.

Another incredible find is this finely patina’d ’55 Chevy Handyman. It’s getting a clean-up with straightened trim and chrome, a fresh small-block and Torque Thrusts. The plan is to cruise it to the Lonestar Round Up next spring.

You’re looking at a long-term project with this ’49 Ford Woodie. Ruben has all the wood, inside and out, as well as the stainless and chrome already polished and done. A FatMan front clip will secure a 302/C4 combination.

This ’36 Ford 3-window is a favorite of Ruben’s and something he’s wanted for years. The frame’s already been boxed, has a drop axle up front, and check out the suicide doors. It’ll be powered by a ’65 Corvette 327 with a Muncie and 9-inch Ford.

Whenever we’re cruising through the southwest region near the Texas/New Mexico border, we always like to stop in to see what our pal Ruben Montelongo has going on. Ruben, a lifelong street rodder, has had a long, long line of classics come through his garage. We’re talking extensive. When asked about how many cars he’s had, Ruben simply chuckled and brought up, “At least 25…tri-five Chevys.” When we cruised by a couple weeks ago, there was a ’51 Ford sedan he just found. It was someone’s custom project years ago, but never finished. Several months prior, there was a sweet and sound ’67 Chevy II, then a ’57 Chevy, and before that, a ’68 C10. He’s a pro at finding unrestored or unfinished projects, fixing and fiddling with them, and then moving on to the next. Check out these current projects.


STREET ROD LIFE  Vol. 2, No. 4

Winter Storage Kills Hot Rods.

Don’t let yours be next with the help of Driven Hot Rod Oil and Carb Defender™ Fuel Additive – proven protection against winter and storage-induced damage. Summer was fun, and the memories were priceless. As the weather changes and it’s time to retire the hot rod to the garage for the winter, make sure it’s protected from corrosive wear and rust, and ready to fire up when the warm days return.


In addition to high levels of ZDDP to protect your engine, Driven Hot Rod Oil uses military-spec rust and corrosion inhibitors and meet the latest SAE J300 Cold Cranking requirements. Independent testing showed surfaces treated with Driven Hot Rod Oil showed no rust or corrosion after a 1,000-hour severe-storage simulation test.

STEP 2 Driven Carb Defender™ Fuel Additive

Driven Carb Defender Fuel Additive works tirelessly to preserve fuel and prevent Ethanol corrosion and induction deposits. Ethanol absorbs moisture and corrodes aluminum and Zinc by nature. Special corrosion inhibitors work to control combustion-chamber residue and clean and protect surfaces of the fuel system and intake tract. ™

Tips For Winterizing Check out our Training Center at for more winterizing tips.

1.866.611.1820 • DRIVENRACINGOIL.COM Join Us:



Trust Driven to help you keep your hot rod protected through the winter and ready for miles of smiles when spring arrives.

Street Rod Life Winter 2016  
Street Rod Life Winter 2016  

Just in time for off-season reading, the final 2016 issue of Street Rod Life is now available. Checkout all the exclusive content such as th...