Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Breaking the Rules

I started with a story on hot rods and I’m signing off with a story on hot rods. This article is about a car that breaks all the rules.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


When I went looking for answers to the following question, “If you had unlimited resources and money and could buy any car you could possibly want, what would it be? What would it look like and why?” I was surprised at the results. I discovered that my readers were dreamers or just someone who really did not care about what they drove. I know that I am a dreamer because I want a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. Some others were just as dreamy.
Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

Norma T. first said that she wanted a BMW 745 Li because she always thought they were beautiful cars. Except hers “would be white with completely blacked out windows,” however, when I was a kid it was a Ferrari Testarosa just because it was at the time the fastest car” out there. In addition, Marty Deiters of Anderson stated, “a 1976 Chevrolet Corvette, always wanted one since I was 10.” Marni S. said that she “loves Impalas” and that she wants “a bright purple one with chromed out everything, slammed to the ground (three tortillas off the ground) and a white convertible rag top.” 

1968 Opel Gt
Carl D. of Cincinnati would love to have a 1966 Studebaker Avanti ii because it was labeled as “fastest production car in America” as he described the car. In addition, Stephen B of Anderson, Ohio said, “I would love to have a 1968 Opel GT. If you look at it, it bears an uncanny similarity to the corvette, but it’s really the headlights that get me on this car.”

Since I come from a car loving family, I decided to ask some family members the same question. James K of Cincinnati is a true dreamer. He wants a 1967 Shelby or a 1969 Camaro in nut brown with a candy coat with black racing stripes going from hood to the deck in the back complete with custom racing tires and wheels. My brother, Jimmy, also wants a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport or a Ferrari F50.

However, some readers just did not care for a fancy pants car. In most cases, they were more concerned with the amount of rust or lack thereof and the ability of their car to get them from point a to point b without failure.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sunny Day Driving

India Ink always wondered why she usually saw older guys driving their "old school hot rods" on sunny days. Being older in construction like they are, do folks tend not tend to drive them all over creation? She asked because I say they are safe to drive, but she doesn't see them on highways with out of state plates. Again, awesome car.

India Ink, this is easy, first of all the cars are not older in construction. When some one rebuilds a car, they tend to use all new parts whenever possible. That way the car is in fine running condition and can drive for miles in any kind of weather. But, in most cases it takes beautiful weather for the owners to bring them out to show the rest of the world that he has one and they don't. 

Another reason that you might see many custom cars on the road might have to do with whether or not they have regular or historical plates (at least in Ohio) on their ride. Historical plates only allow that particular car to be driven during certain parts of the year. But, if they have regular plates, then they can drive it for the full 12 months. The best place to find custom cars with out of state plates are during custom car shows, such as the Good-Guys 19th Southeastern National to be held in October 26, 27 & 28, 2012, at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina or at any one the hundreds of car clubs like the Cincy Custom Street Machines out Cheviot, Ohio. There is also the Old Guys Car Club out of Columbus, Ohio.

Like I mentioned in the beginning, this is isn't a hobby. This is a lifestyle. It's something for the whole family to enjoy. The dads do the engine work, the chopping, the dropping and the paint jobs. The kids help with the polish work on the chrome and with the washes; and the moms pack the picnic lunches for the long days at the shows. And if you keep your eyes open you'll see hot rods, street rods and custom built rides anywhere you go.

In fact, I saw three hot rods-- one yellow, one blue with a candy coat and a rebuilt 1954 Mercury lead sled in the past week... just cruising around. Now, that's what I call awesome cars and a good day.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Feature: Engine Swaps 4/4

1932 Ford Roadster Hot Rod
Once customizing post-war cars caught on, many of the practices were extended to pre-war cars, which were also known as fendered rods. These fendered rods had more bodywork done on them. An alternate rule for the obvious had developed. For a hot rod to be classified as a hot rod, the engine must be located behind the front suspension. Whereas the customs had to have, the engine placed over the front suspension. The clearest example of this is Fords prior to 1949 had Henry Ford's old transverse front suspension, while the 1949 models had a more modern suspension with the engine moved forward. However, what could be the first true custom, 1932 Clobes can found in an American Museum

Feature: Engine Swaps 3/4

Swapping engines has been commonplace since the customization of pre-war cars. At one time “the flatty” or flathead, was the preferred choice, but that was overthrown by the early hemi that came the in the ‘50s and the ‘60s. By the ‘70s, the small-block Chevy became the most common choice since the ‘80s. By that point, the 350 cu in (5.71) Chevy engine were found practically everywhere.

The flatheads and early hemis have not exclusively disappeared, but they are becoming more readily available, with the ease of maintenance and the low cost of replacement parts; the SB Chevy has become the frequent choice when swapping when swapping engines.

Now that you know the basics. How do you view your car? Is it just something that gets you to and from a place or is it more that that? Have you named your car. I did...her name is Sephyr, because she is black like a dragon. I also view my Sephyr as a work of art not just a car. So, please tell me about your car.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Features: Paint (2/4)

When building a custom ride, whether it be a street or rat rod, hot rod, lowrider or lowrod or simply a custom car for cruisin’ on the weekends—the paint was always an important concern. Generally, once the bodywork was completed, the cars were sometimes painted in unusual colors.

Transparent, but wildly colored candy apple paint with aluminum glitter within the paint is applied on top of a metallic undercoat, first appeared in the 1960s. But, there was a problem with this method; it took too many coats to produce a brilliant effect, which in the hotter climates would eventually begin to flake. Car customizer Joe “Candy Apple Joe” Bailon, form northern California invented this method, process and style of paint job.

Soon, customizers began to add decorative paint to the car after the main coats was finished of any flames extending rearward from the front wheels, scallop flame and hand painted pin striping of a contrasting color. The base color, which is most often, is a single coat of a simpler paint. At some point in the customization process, flame jobs were introduced into this customization world. Applied later on in the process, the flames eventually spread to the hood, enclosing the entire front end. The flames begin at the bottom of the front fenders and follow the wind patterns up, over the hood, and down the side of the car. And since then have progressed from traditional fire/flame colors of reds, oranges and yellows through to the blues, greens and body-color "ghost" flames [insert pic of ghost flames]. One particular style of flames, called "crab claw flames,” which is still prevalent today, is attributed to Dean Jeffries.

Because custom painting has become such an important component of the custom car scene, many shows and competitions are awarding trophies for custom paint and paint design.

Customization: Style Part 1/4

Over the years, customizers have been determined to design or redesign (in many cases) their rides to resemble cars in stock or factory condition. In fact, many customizers have gone so far as to take both the visual components and the performance characteristics of various modification styles and combining them as they saw fit.

By now, there are five different custom themes, including the following. First there is the rat rods, which imitates (or exaggerates) the “unfinished” or amateurish built appearance of the hot rods from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Next come the street rods, which are American cars with large-displaced, modified engines; for example, the 1962 Chevy Impala with an up-to-date Corvette or Cadillac engine under the hood. These often consist of largely period and/or spec vehicles and their components that imitate and surpass the visual characteristics of hot rods from the ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s.

There are some great overlaps between the street and hot rods on the road today. The third style is the modern styles of contemporary cars are also out there. Most often, they are built (or rebuilt) using contemporary parts and by using custom colors and paint finishes on these cars. The fourth and fifth styles come out Southern California and they are the lowrider and lowrod. The lowrider sits inches off the ground. It’s designed for crusin' the streets—top down, slow n low that’s how they roll in southern California. The latest thing in the chopped and dropped world is the lowrod. The lowrod has a bigger, more powerful engine designed for speed, and a stock suspension both are installed without any modifications. The lowrod is a combination of the “low of the lowrider and the engine of a hot rod” all riding on 20 or 22 inch wheels.

So, if you had unlimited resources and money and could buy any car you could possibly want, what would be? What would it look like and why?

Mine,  I'd want a Bugatti... so when I drive it on the Autobahn I could feel my face flatten and feel the gravity pull my body back into the seat. But, my dream car, is a 64 Impala lowrider that has been royal blue with a custom paint job with grey details.