Saturday, February 25, 2012

2012 Detroit Autorama - Coverage and Photos

This year marked the 60th Anniversary of the Detroit Autorama. The Detroit Autorama has long been considered the largest/best indoor classic car show in the country. 60 years of history, combined with a region where everybody knows somebody working in the industry, and it's no wonder why the show is home of the Riddler award. This year was as good as any, and the crowds seemed much larger than years past.

In addition to a great show, the vendors were also out in full force. I took notice that there are a growing number of aftermarket companies found right here in Metro Detroit, and will be able to purchase our fair share of parts for my dad's Challenger here locally. One company in particular expressed great interest in working with us to design a new set of gauges that would bolt in for a factory look, with a modern twist.

I will be adding some new companies to the site, both parts companies as well as automotive art/clothing companies. The crowds were heavy, some many shots were hard to get, and some cars got a little cut off, but I did my best. This is also just a sampling of the 400+ pictures available via the link at the bottom. So, let's get down to the good stuff, the cars!


The skull on the fender had light up led's for eyes. COOL!

I believe this was the only 1970 Challenger at the show, so we weren't able to gather too many ideas for my dad's Challenger.




Just look at that reflection...smooth as glass!

The clear coat version of the car below that was in matte paint.

Willy's...arguably THE KING of all street rods.

I can't say I've been a big fan of these two tone/loud paint jobs that are all too much like a flashback to the 1980's. Thankfully, I think they are subsiding, and hopefully will be going away all together in another few years.

The Judge...nuff said.


I'm not sure there was a piece on this Charger that wasn't modified. Muscle car refinement to the extreme, and the end product is truly over the top.

This 1934 Hupmobile was said to be the only one left in existance. I was amongst my favorites of the show. This car was simply cool, and very unique.

Strap me in and give me the keys please!


One of the nicest C3 Vettes I've seen.


Think they were from the same gene pool? Sure, it's bigger, heavier, and I can understand the gripes...but I would still park a new one next to my 1969 in a heartbeat!

Rad Rides by Troy does it again! The baddest Ford Torino ever.

Another 40-41 Ford, this one a panel van. I didn't even realize they made a panel back then.


The aftermarket continues to blow my mind. They have taken a Camaro and turned it into a GTO. The finished product is so nice that you'd swear it rolled off a Pontiac assembly line. The Firebird parked next to it was equally as nice.

Early 50's Buick. One awesome sled!



While a relatively traditional looking street rod on the outside, tucked between the fenders was a massive roots style blower. I must admit, it caught me by surprise, and while lacking overly massive meats out back, I'm sure it catches many others by surprise on the road.

Awesome Vette! Speaking of which, Downs Industries, long time builder of composite body street rods, has come out with C1 and C2 Vettes. With the C2 arguably the best looking Vette ever built, I expect to see a growing number of these Vettes at car shows. While I always had a secret ambition to some day build a Cobra kit car, I can say without a doubt, this new Vette kit car erases and replaces that desire. While still very costly, one could much more easily build such a car over time as opposed to finding an affordable original to restore. I WANT ONE!

Glad we stopped and checked this car out. We were lucky enough to talk to one of the builders, Kevin Tully, from Hot Rod Chassis and Cycle out of Addison, IL. He helped me prevent some possible issues I would have ran into with my soon to be new fuel system. The down to earth people into cars is yet another reason I love Autorama.

This was a very nice car to begin with, the wood simply pushed it over the top.

Another wicked ass front engine dragster!


This car was used in many photos by an artist at the show. His photography work is simply amazing, and truly deserving of whatever price he demands.


I think this is a 40-41 Ford, though my I'm a bit rusty when it comes to spotting street rods these days.

Someday, I'd love to build and pilot a front engine dragster. I can only imagine the thrill of blasting down a 1/4 mile in this thing.


I really liked that matte orange Chevy. A nice new take on a tried and true color scheme.



Starting to see more 3rd Generation Firebirds/Camaros at shows.


Monday, February 20, 2012

1970 Dodge Challenger Drop Spindles & Brakes

Just mapped out our plan for dad's Challenger regarding getting the front lower and bringing the car to a halt. I contacted Magnum Force regarding their 2 inch drop spindles, and it sounds like they are the solution to getting the front end down without losing suspension travel. With the rear dropped about 2 inches, these spindles should get us right where we need to be. Aside from their lower ball joints, there aren't any special parts that would lead to issues bolting on any other suspension or braking components.

Also available on their website are braking systems by Wilwood. We will start off with with just a setup for the front for now. Wilwood offers a 12.19 rotor that is cross drilled with 4 piston calipers. Add their 1 in bore master cylinder and we are good to go. Hopefully my dad will order up these parts in the near future, so we can mark them off the list.

I'm still trying to find the time to make it down to my parents' house to try and get a little more tear down accomplished, as well as stripping of the underbody in preparation of painting it with por-15.

I'm excited about the 2012 Detroit Autorama this weekend, and hope to get a few more ideas for the Challenger, and maybe a couple for my Camaro too! We should make some significant progress on the Challenger this year, while still shooting for the car seeing the road in 2013.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Edelbrock BBC #2927 Super Victor

I received my first order of parts from Jeg's yesterday. This batch consists of my Edelbrock BBC Super Victor Intake, exhaust gaskets, distributor gaskets, MSD cap/rotor, and and tube of RTV. I feel like a kid on Christmas!

The Collection.

The Big Dawg. Capable of making power from 3,500-8,500! A 1050 Holley Dominator will look nicely upon it's top.

I have my 69 Camaro gas tank enroute from Glenn's Performance, and will be sure to pass along my own person inspection of it. The tank is not a stock tank, but a tank that has internal baffles, sump, and fittings welded to the back for attaching your lines. The tank seems to be great quality and an equally great price, considering the amount of work done to the tank. Not to mention, Glenn who I talked to on the phone really seemed to know his shit.

After a few more deliveries, I'll have to find the time to get out there and install all these parts. I have my work cut out for me, considering a full rewiring of the car is also on my list. Nothing a few solid days of work can't knock out, but a few solid days are hard to come by.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

First batch of parts on the way.

Just placed a couple of parts orders today. First order was through Jeg's, which amounted to some gaskets, spark plugs, cap/rotor, Edelbrock Super Victor intake, and a tonneau cover for our Ram 1500.

The second order, the one I'm a bit more excited about, was through Glenn's Performance. I ordered up a 1969 Camaro gas tank. The tank will bolt into the stock location, but has internal baffles, sump, and AN fittings already welded to the sump. The tank looks like a thing of beauty on their website, and I'm really anxious to get it. I will be sure to take plenty of pictures when I receive it, and expect a full blown review of the tank's fit and finish.

Next up will be my fuel system. I've decided, at the last minute, that I'm going to go with an electrical pump by Aeromotive. In addition, a before and after filter, regulator, and a Holley Dominator to top things off. I will likely hold off a few weeks on the second order...or at least until I soak in the Detroit Autorama, upon which time I'll probably come running home and place my order. Stay tuned, as I'm going to have to dig in neck deep here soon in order to have my ride ready for the road by May/June 2012.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Tell them to go to Green Hell!

I'm really liking this Cadillac ATS and can't wait to see a 2 door version!

Mustang Shelby GT500 to go Topless

Not letting the ZL1 convertible get all the time in the spotlight, Ford will unveil the Shelby GT500 today at the Chicago Auto Show. Powered by a supercharged 5.8 liter making 650 hp, it will be amongst the most beastliest convertibles ever built.

Ford to unveil new Mustang Shelby GT500 convertible

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A Holley Dominator? Really?

Tax returns are here, and it's time to do a little bit of parts shopping in preparation of the upcoming cruise season. My fuel system is at the top of my list, from tank to carb, and I took a minute today to see what parts I would need. I have known since this engine took it's place between my Camaro's fenders that my 750 Demon was inadequate for this engine, but I made due for two summers, and found myself constantly tuning it, while gaining little in regards to drivability with each tune and rebuild.

In addition to my carb, my intake was also of concern, due to suspected vacuum leaks. Again, I knew before I even installed it that I was rolling the dice. Air Flow Research stated on their site "Do not gasket match this intake, as it will cause sealing issues with the heads." Well, what was done was done 10+ years prior, and I didn't have the money at the time to buy a new one at $250. So, I went with what I had, and suspected my intake was as responsible for my headaches as my carb was. I also wondered whether I needed a regulator, even though my mechanical pump was preset. I wondered just how accurate the pre-set psi was.

I started with the intake, and luckily discovered that AFR recommended the Super Victor intake, as opposed to the Victor Jr I had planned on buying. Designed to make use of big cube or high air flow engines, it was more up to the task of flowing 400 cfm into the engine. Intake - Check.

While it seems Demon Carbs are back, as a subsidy of Holley I hear, I decided to go with a Holley carb this round. I went to Holley's website and found a "Carb Selector" program. I filled out all the info they asked, and the results were all for Dominator Carbs. I went back to the page where I selected "street" and "race" and unchecked the race box, since my car will predominately be street driven. Still, the results were the same, Dominators starting at 1050 cfm.

Ok, still thinking this can't be right, I called Holley to talk to a tech specialist. Result? Yep, the Holley Dominator was the best fit. I was told what I basically already knew, that while the best fit, with an engine like mine, you still may have to "clean out the carb" at a stop light to keep it from loading up. Yeah, been there, done that. Holley recommended their 2 circuit carb, stating it would be best for street use, and the 1150 Dominator 3 circuit if it was mostly a race car with a trans brake. So, the 1050 Dominator w/2 circuits it is. Carburetor - Check.

While I had them on the phone, I figured I may as well get their opinion on mechanical fuel pumps, and whether I could stick with a mechanical even after adding nitrous later on down the road. They have a new Ultra HP mechanical pump that is good for around 1,000+ hp on gas, even with a 250 hp shot of nitrous. This baby is capable of 200 gallons per minute! Fuel Pump - Check.

Lastly, I inquired about a regulator, and was recommended the Billet adjustable model, as it will work with my mechanical pump and doesn't require a return line. Regulator - Check.

I haven't placed the order yet, but have it all in my cart on Jeg's. It's hard to pull the trigger on such a hefty purchase. I may have to break it up into a couple orders, to put my mind at ease. That being said, it'll be like Christmas around here when my fuel system arrives! Not only should this solve my headaches, this will be a much better fit for the engine, and likely unleash some more power.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Chrysler: It's Halftime in America

Chrysler followed up their 2011 Super Bowl smash hit with Clint Eastwood in the Driver's seat. While not quite the knockout of last year's, it's no slouch by any means, and another very Patriotic commercial. I just can't get passed how much their pushing their patriotic message, while now being a foreign owned company, or are they now qualified as a "global" company?. Hey, I ain't mad at them though, we love our 2011 Dodge Ram.

"This country can't be knocked out with one punch, we get right back up again and when we do the world is gonna hear the roar of our engines. Yeah. It's halftime America...and our second half is about to begin." - Clint Eastwood

2012 Super Bowl: Chevy Silverado Commercial

"Dave didn't drive the longest lasting, most dependable truck on the road. Dave drove a Ford."