Events Shows and rod runs from all over the world.
Technical How to do it, how it was done, and how it should be done, perhaps.
Feature stories Hot Rods, shot rods, rat rods, street machines and custom cars.
News Up to date details of things that may interest and affect you.
Links Links to sites, some of whom we know, others are of general interest
Cartoons Some old time 'toons.

17 November 2011. Yes, another article has been added to the Events section. While we are doing international rodding, no story would be complete without a clip from the crazy guys in Uddevalla, Sweden, at their infamous hill climb. Danger is exciting, so this must be really really exciting for the spectators, who are protected by a thin strip of plastic tape. Young people have the fortunate knack of believing in their own immortality, so references to safety issues are often decried as boring, but there are parents alive today who wish that their kid had been just a little bit immortal. Anyway, I'm sounding like a parent, so go ahead and enjoy the sound of the hemi powered T roadster. The highways look great too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KARGKCYmUvQ&feature=player_embedded

If you turn the speakers off all you will miss is the ad at the start of this really interesting silent clip that purports to have been made in '49 or '50 in LA. Better informed readers will say that the area looks more like San Francisco, and SF locals may recognise some of the buildings. Apart from that minor fault - check out the deuce hiboy at 1:48. It could be a cabriolet if you consider the broad windscreen frame, but it was probably a roadster. The appears to be very few early '30s and older cars. The scrap-metal drives during WWII probably has a lot to do with that, but take a peek into your grand-parent's past and see if you like it: http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/2011/09/post_303.php

Here is another international feature - this New Zealand rodder's obsession is extremely well photographed and produced and on top of that, it is very interesting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9mEInCWcqI

Peter Crain

15 November 2011.
We know that the Swedes have done a great amount of Hot Rodding, both at home and when they emigrate to somewhere warmer, but it isn't well known that they had such pioneers in rodding in their midst. This short and concise article shows the deuce coupe that Lennart Djurberg built, way back in 1956: https://punjapit.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/a-legendary-car/

Are you looking for a chassis for your next project? There are lots of people out there that do the work, and they usually do it really well. We have seen the quality of Classic Street Rod Manufacturing frames, and combined with their reasonable pricing, you should consider them. Based in Ontario CA, they do Model A frames, deuces and up.: http://www.classicstreetrodmfg.com/index.html

This short YouTube clip attempts to convey a message about how hot rodding is not dead. If we don't over examine that base assumption then the clip shows 'traditional' hot rods in all sorts of settings - the drag strip, a dirt oval track, and even the street (but don't for a moment call them street rods, heavens to Murgatroyd!). The points about the glam cars are well made and the reference to cars painted like Easter eggs is pithy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXU3N9wT3u0&feature=share

How would you like to drop a V12 into a little Model A coupe? Follow along on this 8 part journey into the realms of rod building - this time in Germany. Apparently the BMW V12s are available at a reasonable price in Deutschland, so why not. The link below is for the first episode, and you will find other links on the YouTube side bar - but we couldn't find episode 4 - the missing link. The others are all there, so grab a schnapps and sit back:

9 November 2011.
The reason for such a long time between drinks is that I have been working hard on my coupe in the time that I would normally devote to this web site. I also decided to get smart and write a programme that simplified the whole process of generating a caption-free gallery of event pictures. It took at least 6 hours to do the second edition of the Nationals story, and I reasoned that if I didn't have to slave over Microsoft Expression Web I could just parse the whole thing and write my own HTML. Top idea, but I am no web guru, so the finished product is a bit rough around the edges. The biggest problem is that my old version of Expression Web is almost as far removed from web standards as FrontPage was, and the HTML5 and CSS3 stuff just does not work in IE8, or even IE9. The HRF technology will get better, but enjoy the larger (slower) format photos in the Cooly Rocks article. The Valla story is almost ready, but I am going to Yamba for a holiday tomorrow!

If your browser doesn't properly display any part of this site, consider switching to Google Chrome. It is free and up to 80 times faster than Internet Explorer 8.

This is NOT funny. Set the graphics setting up to 720p, zoom out to full screen and turn the volume up, but be sure to put your beer down when the video runs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBYNbovODbE

Hell, there are anniversaries every week, but its not every day that the 1932 Ford turns 80. That day will happen in February next year, and planning is well in hand. Check out this web site for details of an event near you: http://www.deuceweek.org/

Nostalgia Drag Racing enthusiasts will enjoy this site, the story of the now defunct Aquasco Speedway in Maryland. There is link to a second page at the bottom of the first, and all the small images will zoom to a larger version. The cars photographed are those that we loved to read about in the sixties and seventies, including gassers and the nascent funny cars: http://www.atomicpinup.com/Aquasco_Speedway.html .

How would you approach this problem - you have a '34 Fordor body but you really really want a 3-window. Sell the multi-door and buy a new repro 3-window body. Find someone who would trade? Nah, that won't happen. So how about you cut the Fordor down to a 3-window? These Europeans did just that, and these pictures will show you how they did it. Your mileage may vary: http://www.thecheatersgang.com/xav34.htm

The RodTech web site has had a major overhaul, and is worth another good look:

George Poteet, he of incredible wealth, and whose various efforts involving his Camel Toe Racing team have made the pages herin, has done it again, albeit a while ago. The following videos are both in HD, so play them through a couple of times to try to capture the effect of going 430 mph on the salt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7tf6nGA1U4&feature=player_embedded and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxbYuoTQdFw&feature=youtu.be Read about their exploits here http://speeddemon.us/ , and at Camel Toe Racing: http://www.cameltoe.net/

22 August 2011.
On-line hot rod magazines continue to flourish, though many seem to bite the dust fairly quickly, and this one is a very neat production with embedded videos, page turning technology and some extremely nice photography. It is a New Zealand production, which will give the majority of our readership (in the US) an insight into hot rodding in the land of the long white cloud. http://www.vzine.co.nz/

While we talking hot rod books, how about a complete book, for free? This elaborate compilation tackles a topic that isn't going to result in a best seller, in that very few people contemplate a completely scratch built rod. However, to dismiss it on those grounds is to miss the point that there could be some interesting construction tips in there. The project is quite different - check out the massive Z in the frame - so be prepared for a couple of deviations from the norm. http://www.hotrodders.com/scratch-built/Cover

Most computers now run flat screen digital monitors (the screen thing) and are capable of displaying high definition videos. The highest level is 1080p, which is as close to being there as it is going to get, and a totally different experience to the base level, typically 360p.YouTube videos that are available in 1080p will take longer to download than a 360p version, but if you turn the sound off, do something healthy for a few minutes, then when the clip has finished, turn the sound back on, click on the little button that switches the display to full screen and click on Replay, you should see the whole clip in an uninterrupted stream. The following link is to just such a vid - follow the instructions and enjoy; http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fdOdCMdPWfI

That clip came from the NitroAmerica web site, a site that you should check back on from time to time. The current clips are from the Pepsi Night Fire Nostalgia meet, but of course, that will replaced with current topics as they come to hand; http://www.youtube.com/user/NitroAmerica

If this doesn't urge you to check your fire extinguisher (and your insurance cover) then you don't have a heart. This poor sod experienced one of the worst things that can happen to a street rodder; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5skXh0Bya9I

How would you like to build one of those zippy Factory Five '33 coupes? If you are contemplating it, and you would prefer the story from the perspective of an end user, follow along on this well documented series. This isn't a glossy production from the manufacturer's advertising agency, with perfect spelling and photography, which increases its value as a reference; https://sites.google.com/site/arrowheadshotrodsite/Home

9 June 2011.
Not a rod shop, says Jefferson Bryant, the owner of Red Dirt Rodz, but a place to read some of his talented works. Jefferson is into Buicks, and his twin turbo jobby is covered in some of the blogs. It appears to be just starting up, but check back in the future; http://reddirtrodz.com/

One man who has always had our respect and attention is Jay Leno, part time comedian and Tonight Show host, and full time car nut. In this clip from Jay's web site he is discussing the important topic of spay-on chrome. The spray-on stuff isn't as durable as chrome plate, but it also doesn't cause hydrogen embrittlement. Sit back and let Jay show you the light; http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/video/spray-on-chrome/1232328/

One thing that the recent Nats didn't have was any sort of gymkhana driving event. There were plenty of opportunities for the high horsepower cars to strut their stuff, but the gymkhana allows the lighter, less powerful cars to shine. This one is on a nicely laid out track, no dirt or grass here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfQ0qnQoKRs&feature=player_embedded

Cor blimey, them pommy geezers don't 'alf make some odd hot rods. Check out this eclectic bunch on the Scavenger's web site, where the Mk 1 Consuls mix it with some righteous Model A coupes and heavy '50's metal. The emphasis is on having fun, and the pin-up page supports that view; http://www.scavengersrodnkustoms.piczo.com/?cr=5

This is a pilot episode of a classy classic car show, and the Cars of Dreams story is pretty neat. The hero has saved dozens of classics from being collected by other collectors, and the commentator does a great job of the interview. When you have seen the professionally presented high definition full screen clip http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=WbN_BAn55a4&pop_ads=null, follow the links to http://tailfinsandchrome.com/ for some more info on the show.

29 April 2011.
The event we added in this edition is the High Altitude Run, held in Toowoomba. The organisers had to clean up their own homes and businesses , in a lot of cases, and still front up to run the event just 6 weeks later. These YouTube clips will convey just a little of the horror that some people encountered. This one is right in the middle of town, downstream from the site of the static display where we park on the Sunday. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYUpkPTcqPY This is James Street, which runs down the slope to the creek in the middle of town; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt-FT-skins In this clip, the commentator pans the camera around shows us the McDonalds that some of us visit for coffee and health food when the show is on; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Do0LvsdXIU

How about a cinema quality 1940 cartoon that shows us the workings of a Ford V8? The National Archives and Records Administration have maintained this little gem, and it makes an interesting diversion; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqlyWMXlL-g

There are quite a few manufacturers of both exact reproduction and phantom body styles for early Fords, ranging from the venerable Model T roadster, Model A roadsters and pickups, deuce 3-window and roadster, the '34 3-window and roadster, and the Forty coupe. Another model has been, or is being, added - the '32 5-window coupe. The body of choice for any self respecting American Graffiti aficionado, this one is being advertised as being available from UAC, who well known for making far less complex pieces to date.  Check out their web site, and click on the Steel 1932 Five window coupe hyperlink (the blue underlined text thingy), read the advert for the coupe, and then wipe your chin; http://www.uapac.com/ant/

We opened last time with a story on new production Ford 427 SOHC engines, and here is some late mail. Pops Performance from Kentucky have the damn things on E-Bay! Their version is different from others but you'll have to sort out which is better. Their site makes frequent reference to how their invisible friend keeps them in line, so they must be Ok. http://www.popsperformancecenter.com/index.htm

Would the producers of American Icon: The Hot Rod please send us a DVD set? Narrated by Chip Foose and featuring interviews and comments from such luminaries as Ed Iskendarian, the irrepressible Tommy Ivo, Alex Xydias, Art Chrisman, Pete Chapouris, Jimmy Shine, Phil Remington, Stu Hilborn, Bruce Meyer, Tony Thacker, The Herman family, Greg Sharp - the list goes on and on. Expertly crafted, using relevant backdrop videos for every subject, and frustratingly short, at half an hour per episode, it is a show that should be seen by everyone who reads these pages. It is by far and away the best of the Hot Rod genre that has been available to date. Discovery Channel carries it where I live, so check your local guides.

Do you need a part for your street machine project? Maybe you need a new project or sixties era beater. Then look no further, as Desert Valley Auto Parts in Phoenix Arizona will probably be able to help out. Their web site is a lot classier than most wrecking yards that we've seen, and the little infomercial can be run in full screen mode. Check them out, at: http://www.dvap.com/

Have you been reading Deadend Magazine? The pictures seem better, or maybe my graphics card is working properly. There are lots of late 40's early 50's Chevys, but thats where the editor, Jesus Espinosa, comes from. There are heaps of other intersting cars too, all well photographed and presented.; http://www.deadendmagazine.com/

This YouTube shortie is called Drag racing 1000 frames per second..., and it has some great sights and sounds. The caption says that we are watching a slow motion burnout, and while we drink in the atmosphere of the zoomies blowing smoke off the slicks we are diverted from the fact that at the end of the slo-mo section the rail continues on down the quarter mile, Picky, yes, but don't let that stop you from enjoying: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lgELwHxpWQ&feature=related

This YouTube show is a credit to the photographer, Bill Pitts, who filmed at Bakersfield and Fontana in the sixties, using an old 8mm camera. These were a bitch - no sound, and jerky motion, but Bill caught some great action and some famous race cars. We can see Tom McEwan wrecking the front end of Lou Baney's 427 Ford cammer dragster, Tommy Ivo's 4 engine dragster, the Yellow Fang, heaps of wheel stands, and volumes of smoke. The lack of sound is well compensated for, in that the eerie guitar sound track is extremely sympathetic to the era; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlqZuF-diqc

9/February/2011. Quite a while back we mentioned the possibility of new production Ford 427 SOHC engines, but we couldn't locate any reliable source to confirm the story. The cat has been out of the bag for some time now, but if you visit the Classic Car Restorations web site, and take a peek at the Unique Cars reprint, you will see that we had most of the rumoured mill correct. Droooool.

If you are shopping for rubber for your rod, or selecting a nice wheel to match the rubber, you should be aware of the terms used in the wheel industry. Who better to help out than the late Mickey Thompson's wheel and tyre emporium? The terms offset and backspace are often confused, so bookmark this page for the tech bulletin, and browse the whole site for some deals on wheels.

Talk about specialised - did you know there are people who are expert in restoring old M/T and Weiand (say "why-and") valve covers, along with a goodly array of aftermarket gauges? Vintage Ford Components do just that, and often have collectibles for sale, though I couldn't find any indication of prices. I wish I hadn't let the M/T valve covers go with the 327 I sold in the '70s!

We've pointed you to the Graffiti Publications web site in the past, but that was for their staple - Australian Street Rodding. Larry and the gang have had their Hot Rodding International for a while now - the current issue is #3 - and it really is a great read. The coffee table format, knowledgeable copy and consistently great pictures make it a must-have book for all our readers - and more than 70% of our readers are international.

Long before Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) brought us the dazzling effects that many modern flicks contain (think Avatar, or the 1998 Godzilla), there was essentially clay-mation (think of the 1954 Godzilla) and stop-motion animation. This YouTube version of a 1933 animation was made for or by Ford, and uses stop-motion animation to great effect - especially where the hero of the film assembles a sweet little 1933 Tudor; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6ABlsLoTgg

The grainy old film from which the low resolution YouTube video was made in the article above is in stark contrast (pardon the pun) to the high resolution digitally recorded images in this clip. Recorded at the Mooneyes 2010 Xmas Party, the racing and cacklefest should be displayed in full screen mode, with the sound cranked up.

You may notice in the cacklefest that one of the drivers has the name Floyd Lippencott Jr on his helmet. Well, it certainly isn't Floyd hisself, as no such dragster pilot ever existed. So where did the name come from? Read about it here, and share a secret that was closely kept for many years. It is on the following page, under the sub heading The Mystery Train (1963); http://www.faqs.org/periodicals/201002/1967143071.html

4/December/2010. We visited the Paul Horton Welder Series web site last year, but it is well worth revisiting. The first YouTube shorty shows a very impressive piece of laser cut flat stock that has been cleverly cut to allow a Mustang II front cross member to be fabricated with such low tech tools as a few clamps and adjustable wrenches, and a good welder. Maybe you don't need a Mustang II front end, that's not the point. The thought that has gone into providing such an easily fabricated system is the point. Check out the first video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cj4U1WAotI&feature=related then watch the earlier one, which has a very clever touch of comedic claymation animation about it; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YKLI78Yfhc&feature=related

Having all the bits pre-cut and ready for bending and welding is one thing, but what if you would prefer to do all the cutting and profiling as well as the welding? In that case you might need a good set of plans, which is where RodPlans.com comes in. They have plans for all manner of components and systems, including Model A frames, hairpin radius rods, Mustang II front ends for fat fendered cars, and many others, and the plans appear to be affordable - 10 bucks a plan is exceptionally affordable; http://rodplans.com/

How does a race meet consisting entirely of flathead V8s and bangers sound to you? It wasn't all low 10 second passes - there were some who were shaving a full 2 seconds off their times, getting down to a respectable 24 seconds. The event was even more interesting in that it was held in Merry Olde England, at Shakespeare County drag strip. The cars could have been right out of SoCal as you will see at: http://www.flatheadmeltdown.com/

Occasionally we come across a site that is dedicated to either hot rods or drag racing that developed in a particular region. The Southwest Virginia region is a very particular region, as opposed to say, the vastness of California, and a site dedicated to such a concise geographical area could afford to cover both hot rodding and drag racing. Full Throttle does that, and does it extremely well, with great photos and articles about early races and racers, street rods & rodders. Don't miss the gallery of photos on the Regional Drag Racing page;  http://www.vaautoracing.org/

Some nostalgia drag racing events will let just about anything run, as long is it out of warranty. The Western Sydney International Raceway has their own Day of the Drags group who not only run a great event, but also put it up on the web for all to see. They ran a Sidevalve Shootout this year, as well as regular eliminations. Check it out at: http://www.dayofthedrags.net/index.html

Deadend Magazine follows a familiar path, concentrating on traditional style rods & kustoms. The photography is first rate, and the subject matter is often cool enough to make you grin from ear to ear (the '55 Ford gasser, the 'bagged '40 Tudor), but there is very little else to comment on, as there is very little else. The familiar path is very short on captions & comment, resting on the laurels of their fine photography. Is that enough? You be the judge; http://www.deadendmagazine.com

Posies Rod & Custom get a lot of ink in some of the printed media, where they almost always presented the name in all upper case, for reasons that defy logic and all the rules of printed English. The Posies web site continues to use the all upper case name too, so maybe Posies is an acronym - but for what? Seriously, it is a well put together site, and each page has interesting MATERIAL; http://www.posiesrodsandcustoms.com/

We'll close with some good old YouTube action, though these two don't use any of the new fangled moving pictures, being a compilation of lots of drag racing action taking from printed magazines of the sixties & seventies; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sv4pRsnUcIA and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0NnL8xMU3Y&feature=related

Well, this is embarrassing. I can remember saying that I would always make time to add some pages here, no matter how busy I was in my day job. Things have been more than busy these last 9 months, hence the delay.

While not directly related to the amount of available time, the death of contributor Kerry Fehlberg also had an impact on my ability to focus on HotRodFeatures. Kerry was an Australian automotive painter and hot rodder living in San Francisco with his wife Carol. Kerry was very well respected, not just for his painting skills here and in California, but also for his work with the under-privileged in San Francisco. Kerry died of cancer related complications in Melbourne early this year, and he will be sorely missed.

Brian Sperling is a hot rod builder in Woodland Hills, CA, and has a pretty neat web site that contains a blog, and a list of projects that he has been working on. Brian's isn't a huge operation, which makes the effort that has been put into the web site all the more commendable. Check out the '28 Phaeton project in which he pays tribute to a 60's era Hot Rod Magazine cover car, a feature that started many a love affair with an A Tourer: http://sperlingbuilt.com/

Are you looking for a top flight interior design team for your project, or just some good ideas? Take a look at Recovery Room Hot Rod Interiors and you should be impressed by the level of workmanship on show. The site is very well built, and features a flyover view of a dozen or so of their more tasty projects: http://www.recoveryroomrodinteriors.com

Matt Wood is hoping to sell prints of the small shots on his electronic hot rod magazine site to gather funds to publish a folding type magazine. The tone of this site is decidedly 'traditional', but just when you think you have seen it all before, a hemi powered '72 Javelin rears its decidedly odd looking head into view. There are miles of Trumpies, which is how the oldies refer to Triumph motorcycles, and Sportsters, as well as some great feature cars - the blown Willys coupe is an example: http://piecrustmagazine.com

We are into automotive art, and fine photography, but these people probably express them selves better. Basically, they take photographs of other peoples cars at Juxtaposed Machines, or more accurately, John Mishler does. The Automotive page has a range of desirable machines, click on a thumbnail, and a single shot of each of the cars pops up. The settings and the lighting are exceptionally well done. Best viewed in Google Chrome, as Internet Explorer has some problems with: http://www.juxtaposedmachines.com/

Joes Speed Shop, "Screwing Up Perfectly Good Old Cars since 1956". It sounds like a line out of Mad Magazine, but take a look at the site, and that is on their masthead. Joe is a down to earth rodder, and they have some interesting stuff, particularly finned alloy bits for old cars; http://www.joesspeedshop.com

Isn't it great when you get to see a couple of your heroes together? In this case I am referring to one of my favourite comedians, Jay Leno, and one of my favourite drag race stars, Don Prudhomme. Jay is a little different from other wildly successful and fabulously wealthy Hollywood personalities, in that he still maintains his connections with his roots. Jay was a diesel mechanic before he cracked the big time, and now his garage contains one of the most interesting range of automobilia imaginable. Jay's self effacing style, and his genuine interest & understanding of the automotive craft makes his interviews all the more interesting. 'The Snake' will need no introduction to you. dear reader, but Jay will introduce him anyway: http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/at-the-garage/muscle-cars/don-prudhommes-ampquotthe-snakeampquot/

Continuing with the Hollywood theme, this following page is a very interesting story relating to the creation of the first, and the second, T-bucket. Both owners were at one time TV or movie stars, and both cars were widely featured in all the rodding magazines of the time. The excellent photos on this page are apparently lifted from an old Life magazine article. Additionally, if you scroll down below the T-bucket story, and you'll catch a shot of Sophia Loren being caught out, doing to Jane Mansfield exactly what I would have done too, given the chance: http://theselvedgeyard.wordpress.com/2009/05/24/the-great-1950s-t-bucket-rod-rivalry/

The 'Sultan of Michigan' might have Hollywood connections too, but if he doesn't his collection of cars would indeed make Jay Leno envious. Short on details, but long on mouth watering cars, this link is worth a look: http://www.spike.com/video/ultimate-muscle-car/3142104

How about a 12 second flathead powered roadster? Here is one in merry olde England, and it appears to be genuine. The location isn't old Poddington (renamed to Santa Pod), but the lesser known Shakespeare County track. Their web site has some interesting history and other details also; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reV55lpRZfs&feature=player_embedded

5/December/2009. We've found a few YouTube short movies that will keep you busy in between preparing for holiday season celebrations.

The first is hidden among various other clips on the Jacaranda Productions web site. Look for the Yamba Hot Rods Show link, with a blue roadster pickup, on the left of the screen. The link will take you to a clip that features the recent Yamba Rod Run, which is featured elsewhere; http://www.youtube.com/user/jacarandafilms#p/a/f/2/QuCJb83tTRQ

Hot Rod Fever is a well put together YouTube clip that features real street rods, on the street; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlwSSkB55jo&feature=related

Mainstream media most often fails to understand us - that is, they just don't get the fact that a '28 hiboy on deuce rails isn't the same as a restored Hupmobile. More specialised producers are more capable of understanding some of the distinction, and the people behind the UK's Fifth Gear TV show appear to get it; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNBmVNPSXV4&feature=related

While we are in the UK, in a manner of speaking, this clip shows a 1973 drag meet at Santa Pod. Slavishly renamed from the unmistakably British Poddington, to Santa Pod, the strip is still a central part of UK drag racing today. Check out this meeting of two cultures, separated by a common language, as drag racing is seen by a British commentator in 1973: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX7VXATXceY&feature=player_embedded

This one is a promotional clip for an up-coming movie; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMhYQy54YZY . Keep up with the rest of the story at http://www.deuceofspadesmovie.com/

We've found some more magazines this time, though all of these are the internet presence for printed magazines, as opposed to e-magazines. Most of these reflect the preferred 'traditional' look, easily identified by a preponderance of painted steel wheels with wide white walls, channeled rods, and some rat rods. Tattoos are big on some of them, along with various other body mutilations, so if that's your scene, follow some of these links.

Throttle Merchants has a very stylish mainly black & white layout, and the Gallery page shows some neat looking cars. The B & W treatment is very sympathetic to the subject matter - not at all out of place. The occasional colour shot reminds us that we are here now, not living in the '50's; http://www.throttlemerchantsmag.com/

Car Kulture Deluxe presents as a little confusing - you may have to temporarily allow pop-ups to get in to see the sample issue of their paper magazine. Once you are in though, it uses some nifty technology to display each page, and allows zooming, to a degree, so you could read the magazine on line. You might like the article on the drags, and the shots feature some lovely ladies too; http://www.hrdeluxe.com/

There isn't much to see, as far as articles go, on the Deadbeat Magazine site, but the layout is exceptional. You can order any of their 11 issues on line, but that's about it; http://www.deadbeatmag.com/

31/October/2009. The printed version of special interest magazines will probably be around for another decade or so, but like the daily newspaper, it will go the way of the dodo. As production numbers decrease the per unit cost of production will exceed the advertising revenue. The older generation will insist on the familiar hard copy, but the generation X & Y folk will want their information delivered to their laptops immediately. The premier computing magazine, PC Magazine, went from conventional paper copy, to a purely on-line presence a few years ago, and they had been circulating over 700,00 copies a month.

I can't see coffee table books, such as The Rodders Journal, ever succumbing to those pressures and going on line, but then my logic for that conclusion is framed in the technology of late 2009. If anything can be assured of change, it is computer technology, so maybe ultra thin screens, 3D viewing and other technologies will seal the fate of the paper based hot rod magazines.

It isn't surprising to see small, very narrow interest groups produce their own e-magazines, and we have a few of them on this small very narrow interest e-magazine. These aren't the transitional models that are an on-line store for their printed material, but true e-magazines. One example is Honolulu Streets, an internet only magazine that specializes in a narrow geographical area, but is still interesting to readers all over the world.; http://honolulustreetsmagazine.com/

Street Source isn't exclusively for Hot Rods, but it has an interesting, high resolution layout. They insist on having you sign up, so we haven't seen much of the site; http://www.hopupmag.com/

HotRodHotline is very well known and features acres of photos, with very little in the way on information about specific cars. It is extremely rich in terms of event news, classifieds and news, so you should have a bookmark to this one; http://www.hotrodhotline.com/

Larry Crain's Crusin' Style Magazine requires a free sign-up, but once you are in it has miles of interesting content; http://www.cruisinstyle.com/

This one, despite the name, is again not restricted to conventional hot rods, but the material is usually quite interesting; http://www.hotrodhomepage.com/

15/October/2009. Art - all art is interpreted initially by the artist, and then by the viewer. Given the myriad influences that make up every human, it is no wonder that some viewers just "don't get" art that another viewer appreciates, and that the artist has spent months anguishing over, in the creation process. Our hobby is an expression of our own interpretation of the subject matter, overlaid with influences from magazines and our tribal group - some rodders are smitten by the ratty rod look, others traditional, some are bling & billet freaks, and others have taste that insists on flashing lights, gaudy metalflake or raucous air horns. Sometimes all those elements arrive in the same package - those owners can often be seen cruising in their vehicles, grinning idiotically, occasionally with a thin line of drool foaming down over their chin. The point is that the artist is always pleased with the result, and as in other art forms, that is all that matters.

The following pieces are all forms of automotive art, but they should be capable of being appreciated by most of out readers;
even myself, as I wipe the spittle from my chin.

Crafty-B Hot Rods make complete cars, and many of the hard to get bits that the 'traditional' style insists upon. The friction shocks, gas caps and head lamps are all products of a craftsman who casts the alloy bits himself, and the parts come in a wide range of finishes. Could these mail order parts be the new 'billet', and be decried by  tomorrow's rodders, as has happened with 'billet' parts? I hope not, as the workmanship appears to be exceptional, and the styles are right on the money. Yes, this is art, and owner of Crafty B is an artist; http://www.crafty-b.com/index.php

Its amazing what you can find on the internet - this is a New York Times site that showcases the art of a talented blues musician & hot rodder. Ry Cooder explains the story behind this musical art, in a very entertaining slide show; http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/11/23/travel/23ry_cooder/index.html#

Wow, look at the pretty colours. This is the superficial reaction to a lot of Troy Pavia's web site, but please get into the stunning photos and dissect the subject before forming an opinion. The site is also rich in information about the production, and there is even a voluminous page on techniques; http://www.lostamerica.com/index.html
11/September/2009. This is an interesting yarn about a TV show that has been described as the second worst TV show - just ahead of the appallingly tasteless Jerry Springer. Hell, it can't be that bad, the TV was called My Mother The Car, in which a young man's Mother was reincarnated as a 1926 Porter tourer. An interesting premise to be sure, but what's a Porter, I hear you ask? Its a made-up name for a Norm Grabowski built '25 T Tourer, with SBC and other hot rod modifications, but generally stock bodied. Norm sold the T to Mr Kaye Trapp, who made the superficial changes to uglify the car into the fictitious Porter. The rest is shown in this YouTube clip about the hapless current owner; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHkEA35XEn0&feature=related

Norm Grabowski has had a fascinating life; probably the most notable from our perspective is that he is credited with starting the whole T-bucket genre. Norm's T-bucket was popularised internationally when Ed Brynes used the car in the seminal 77 Sunset Strip,a show  about cool detectives, and their pals. The T was then known as the Kookie T, a reference to Ed's character, Gerald Lloyd Kookson, a.k.a. Kookie. About the time the bucket appeared in the April 29, 1957 Life magazine (not on the cover, on page 137), another Hollywood actor, 'TV' Tommy Ivo copied the layout of Norm's bucket, and produced the second T-bucket - Buick powered of course. Of course, Norm is no one trick pony, having played parts in a multitude of movies and TV shows, all the while producing all manner of interesting rods and motor bikes. Much has been written about Norm, and people still love to be photographed with him at car shows; http://www.rumpsville.com/norm.asp

The California Hot Rod Reunion at Formosa Raceway has many extremely quick cars competing heads up, and they have to meet current regulations with regard to chassis construction. That is most obvious in the double hoop roll bars that are a notable difference from the single hoop that older cars used. So how do the old diggers and altereds compete in their natural state? They are limited to a display called a cackle fest, where they all idle their blown hemis in the middle of the track. It is nowhere as dull as it might appear - check out some of these old timey racers, who include Jerry Ruth, Don Garlits and Art Chrisman; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhNfSNHYENg , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5MTOon8qO0&feature=related , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWRrp4SDQOw&feature=related

When you go racing, be sure to check all the nuts & bolts, or you could rear-ended... by your own rear end; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwWIUeaSdx8&feature=related

4/August/09. We like having a sticky beak into the workshops and garages of fellow rodders, and we are sure that you do too. This one is a modest but very well presented site featuring the efforts of a young man and his custom. There are miles of pictures, so take a look right here; http://www.thewebczar.com/

High definition video is cool, and when the subject is a supercharged A sedan drifting around a wet track, then it has to be cooler. This YouTube clip also has a great sound track, not the least of which is from the blown big block; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3wJujKu8nc

The clip above was an out-take from the Austrian TV show Hot Rod Hangar, and in the clip at their site, you see, well, a hangar, and it is full of hot rods. I guess that makes sense, but the site is fairly short on details, save for the fact that the show is coming to Austrian TV soon. Hmm, I can speak a little Austrian, not as well as Governator Arnie mind you, but all I have to do is tune my telly to pick up Vienna and I'm in. In the meantime, check out the clip; http://www.hotrodhangar.com/ 

We've looked to this site before, but the goodies keep changing, so take another decko at what is available in Texas at the moment; http://www.nostalgiawarehouse.com/

This is another site that we have steered you towards before, and Don Cook dropped me a line to say g'day, so you be sure to drop in on Soup Up Magazine's very traditional magazine styled site. Another product of Texas, their material is always interesting, and unlike this site, always on time; http://www.soupupmagazine.com/

From One of the more memorable drag cars, for a hot rod enthusiast in the sixties, was the '28 Chevy of Hugh Tucker. It featured in various advertisements, and was campaigned over a considerable time. We were reminded of it when a silent movie was doing the rounds on YouTube; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXU5E9JlaxM shows not just the Tucker roadster, but dozens of well known cars running in the sixties. However, the film is the old silent type, and suffers a bit in quality. That led us to Tucker's own site, where the car, team and times were all very professionally laid out. Be sure to visit them, and look at all the pages;  http://www.venturamotors.com/test/ 

Here is an international site - the Scavengers are based in England, and have a mix of cars that reflect the conditions that dictate the rodding appears in that country. There are A hiboys with 1.3L 4 cylinders, alongside mega motored jobbies. Its all part of the Limey scene; http://scavengersrodnkustoms.piczo.com/?g=1&cr=5

We love The Rodders Journal, and rarely finish one before the next one turns up. Here is your chance to read one online, as this has been very well packaged by Netricks Media, and made available for your perusal. As usual, this edition is packed with information, including a story on our favourite cartoonist, Pete Millar; http://rodders.netricksmedia.com/

16/June/09. From the I would have done this if I had the skills & 10,000 hours spare time department comes this page on yet another miniature engine. The builder has entertained us in the past with his mini-flatmotor, and we saw some shots of his equally impressive Ardun. The Ardun has been running for a few months now, so check it, and the others, out; http://www.fordbarn.com/earlyv8/forum03/membersarticles/miniardun/

This page went around the net as an e-mail some time back, which gave it a limited readership. This page is the first we saw of the collection;  Needless to say, everyone would love to see this guy's collection of Chevmobiles (to be fair, there are other GM products too), and as of a few months ago, anyone can now do that, as Rick Treworgy's collection at Muscle Care City, Punta Gorda, FL is open to the public. See the details on their web site at; http://musclecarcity.net/

For those hobbyists who love to weld up their own chassis componentry, this web site should prove quite helpful. Paul Horton's Welder Series is a collection of hundreds of nicely profile cut (they could be water jet or laser cut) parts that will save you hours of drawing, cutting and grinding. Take a tour of their kits & components, and we are sure there will be something you like. Paul is in Canada, so you might benefit from recent movements in the exchange rate; http://www.welderseries.com/

Here is a rod shop for you to look in on when you are next in LA - Taylor Street Rods, and the proprietor is Dale Taylor. The web site is pretty comprehensive for a rod shop, so take the virtual tour first; http://www.taylorstreetrods.com/

10/June/09. We recently gave you some YouTube clips of Nostalgia cars- here is another, the awesome 15oz coupe, and while it isn't always running at full noise, they did manage to clip the wall, then drive out of it. That's an accomplishment in one of these monsters; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN4z7hzjWE8

The Model T Ford turned 100 last year, and this YouTube clip celebrates the fact. A modern commentary over the top of 80 year old film puts the achievement into a modern perspective. There are a couple of bloopers, but not enough to spoil a good clip; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4KrIMZpwCY 

This is an oldie that didn't get posted before, and is one person's view of the goings on at the Golden State Nats, in 2005. You might not agree with the comments of the person who made a comment about American Rods, but as far as broad generalisations go, it could be worse. The music is cool too; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vbr34LcN9UU

Here is a site that should keep you coming back again & again. The work of a dedicated gasser nutter, Byron's site has miles of interesting pages dealing with member's rides, visitor's rides, and a fascinating, long read of a collection of short anecdotes on the Tales from the street page; http://www.gassermadness.com/

Nostalgia drag racing is a great way to keep in touch with those formative years. Another way is via the internet, and the selfless efforts of lots of like minded individuals who devote hours to posting images that take us back to the day. This site might take a fair while to load, but it will also take you a fair while to scroll to the bottom, as each shot will invoke memories of the days gone by; http://www.davemilcarek.com/old.htm

We did it for love is the name of one of the largest web sites that caters for old timey photos of drag cars. The sixties and seventies are particularly well represented, and the photos are frequently from private collections. Ironically, the site doesn't run on love alone, as they have a members area that costs $4.95 a month, and lots of visitor's areas that are free. Check them out at; http://www.wediditforlove.com/

Part of the larger Thanks2frank web site, their Races page has links to miles of shots of the cars and events that were part of Frank Terry's beat, centered around his home base in Utah. Check out the Rex Marshall collection and the early Bonneville photos; http://www.thanks2frank.com/Races.html

This site is rich in entertainment too, with links to pages on the Ramchargers, "Jungle Jim" Liberman, LimeFire, and the Chi-Town Hustler. There are lots of links to movie clips and sound bites too  http://www.claresanders.com/index.html

Another Liberman tribute site, this one is connected, in that it is run by "Jungle Pam" Hardy, Jim's companion in the years leading up to his death in 1977 in an auto accident; http://www.junglepam.com/jj-photos.html

Nostalgia fans in Australia can take heart too, as this next site has a huge range of pictures of cars and events from the land of Oz. Most images are a classy montage of words and photos, and available for you to purchase. The slide shows are very professionally laid out, and there is mention of a DVD being available in the near future; http://www.dangerousantiques.com/

One of the premier cars that was racing in the '60s, and continues to run on the Nostalgia circuit, is the Mooneyham & Sharp fuel coupe, number 554. A 1934 Ford 5-window coupe, the blown hemi powered fueller ran a high gear only setup that was common to the tyre smokers of the days of yore. The design has been described as the fore-runner of both the Fuel Altered and the Funny Car - a very apt description of a ground breaking, and ground shaking, race car.

Gene Mooneyham was one of the partners, and his company has been making outstanding superchargers for the racing fraternity since the late '50s. Their web site isn't a high dollar production, but their products have always been highly regarded. Visit Mooneyham Blowers at; http://www.mooneyham-blowers.com/

There is some great artwork relating to the 554 car; Kenny Youngblood has a very clever rendition at; http://www.youngbloodart.com/mooney.htm

YouTube has some good footage of the coupe in action too, all filmed at verious stages of the race car's life. The first is way back in the sixties, and shows the smoky style of the team, and the almost unique sound made by the 8 full length exhaust pipes. Watch the coupe burn rubber right through the traps on the first run, even though it has been shut down by the dragster; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dz8MhmS8A20&feature=related

Pitted against a dragster again, this short clip appears to be about the same vintage, but there is a lot less tyre smoke than we have become accustomed to. It appears that the rail won, again; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PRDGRGrcZs

Its now 1989, and we are back to the tyre smoking demos of old, at what appears to be a Nostalgia meet in California. Additionally, we see one of the original Fuel Altereds, Pure Heaven, lay down some rubber; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBmEh-c12W0&feature=related
10/May/09. Most of us know a few people involved in producing or selling hot rods or hot rod parts. Some of these are people with whom we have been familiar for years, while others first come to your attention due to their reputation for good work. Such was the case with Peter Neale, of Pete's Rod & Resto Shop. Generally referred to as Kiwi Pete, he now plies his trade from a shop in rural Cottonvale, Queensland. If you are after parts, check out his web site first, then give them a call; http://www.brisbane-hot-rods.com.au/

Here is a teaser. This site has lots of mouth watering photos of decaying Dodges, fractured Fords, and disheveled Chevies, but no contact details. Dear me, you'll just have to drool over them. Or maybe you can track the owner down with some hard Googling? Start here; http://www.northwestcoin.ca/gvcars.html

We have posted a link to the H & H Flatheads web site before, but the alloy flathead is getting closer to production, so keep checking in on them from time to time. There is also a fair amount of new material on their site; http://www.flatheads-forever.com/home/

Would you like to check out a group of Rolling Bones cars on their way from urbane New York to salty old Bonneville? This short trailer should whet your appetite, but before you sign up to take your one owner deuce 3-window next year, read up on some of the horror stories that relate to lumps of salt falling out from under cars, months after they were 'cleaned' of the same salt; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lLRu-ae_bo&feature=related

The smooth, professional clip we saw last week, relating to George Poteet's new '34, is not apparent in this YouTube clip, taken in the Rolling Bones shop the night they fired up the flatty; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFbNz1lVWFg&feature=related
29/April/09. Continuing our fascinating journey into the world of hot rod related art and artists, we join Larry Grossman at his palatial spread in LA. Well, the palace doesn't exist, but once you've spent a bit of time on his web site, you will probably be able to anticipate the sort of palace that Larry would live in. The computer generated artwork in which Larry specialises follows the art-deco line; the geometric precision of computer generated art is particularly good at producing artwork of that genre. Be sure to visit all the pages on the site, as each is much more than interesting, even the '32 3-window on the main page, with moving flames; http://www.retrovisions.com/index.htm

Given our international audience, this blog is interesting from the perspective that it is not only devoted to 'traditional' appearing rides, but it is authored in Switzerland. Scroll down a little and you should love the video clip featuring John Mearns' '36 3-window, and follow that up with some of the other videos that are thumb-nailed, when the feature finishes. There are also stories of a rod run that takes in 4 countries, in an afternoon! Unheard of, to most of our dear readers;  http://lowtechblog.blogspot.com/

George Poteet, that man with the Camel Toe Racing team, is known for having the top rod shops in the US build his cars, and is also known for the aforesaid racing venture on the salt flats. His latest venture combines his many interests, in that he had the crew from Rolling Bones Rod Shop build him a '34 coupe, in their 'traditional', low-buck, red oxide primer style. The flatty powered highboy has all the do-dads that would have been found on a car that was built in the '50s, including a rusty catch can beside the motor. The video on YouTube is extremely well done, and the music is exceptionally smooth; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oDDORPXTgI&feature=related

This YouTube clip is more of the same car, though the resolution is of a far lesser quality. Devout flathead followers will probably say that they prefer the soundtrack to that in the clip above; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFbNz1lVWFg&feature=related

The 50th Fresno Autorama made it to the local news shows, and this one is quite illuminating, much more than the usual 10 second grab, and they even introduce the term "trailer queens" to the viewing public; http://www.clipsyndicate.com/publish/video/867913/50_years_of_car_shows

Some e-mails turned up with even more links to various cartoonists and artists, most of which we will publish in the next few weeks. This first one is flogging a $40 book, but they also have $5 T-shirts, so take a look at their web site; http://www.hotrodartbook.com/

This is another commercial site, but some of the work is extremely well executed. Take a look at the drag racing section, and the old time diggers will blow you away; http://speedimagesart.com/catalog/

Vince Crain has more than just an interesting name - he does some wacky, way out poster style images. The web site also has some interesting mouse-over effects too; http://www.vincecrain.com/

Good old YouTube does it again, this time publishing a truly revealing, scientific analysis of the effect of zoomie style headers on the apparel of young women. As an added feature, if you replay the clip five or six times and look closely, you might notice the '32 coupe that houses the hemi that has the zoomies that blow the skirt.... ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O310qCydgnU
19/March/09. As promised, this week we look into the work of an artist whose work was a vital part of the early development of many a young drag race fan. Not everyone could hang around at Lions or Bakersfield in the sixties and seventies, so clever, well drawn comics that reflected the artist's daily involvement with dragsters, fuel coupes and Super Stocks, was greedily sucked into the minds of these abandoneros, and will remain there for most of their days - or until they are shuffled off to a home for the bewildered. The late Pete Millar's work was technically spot on - he was an aircraft engineer whose job it was to illustrate complex situations, thereby helping others understand and appreciate the task at hand. That is exactly what the young drag race fans got too, with a heap of zany wit tossed in.

This is Pete Millar's web site, maintained by his wife and daughter, and you can still purchase a good deal of Pete's work at; http://www.laffyerasphalt.com/ . If you don't remember Pete Millar, or don't know what we mean by technical illustrator, take a look at Hot Swaps http://www.laffyerasphalt.com/hotswaps.html and the 'blown' hemi, at http://www.laffyerasphalt.com/cover47.html , and if you ever needed an illustration of a blown hemi engine, these could be references. And funny.

Pete was the original Arin Cee, an obvious pun if you know that Arin was also a cartoon character in Rod & Custom magazine, and Pete produced CARtoons for Peterson Publishing, in '59. In 1963 Arin was reborn when Pete was replaced by the publisher Tom Medley, who took over the creation of Arin Cee, hence the reborn reference. Tom also created Stroker McGurk, but we digress. When Pete left Peterson Publishing he started DRAGCartoons, which continued until '68. Along with Robert Williams, Pete was involved with Ed Roth, in that Millar Publications produced various Ed Roth works, including 4 issues of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth magazine. Other luminaries involved with Pete were Spence Murray & part time Australian resident, Leroi "Tex" Smith.

Much more of Pete's life story is covered, as is the custom, in his obituary. This incisive, well written piece is also part of a fascinating, wordy web site that should see the avid fan lost in deep reflection for hours, even though some of it will go right over one's head; http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/resources/longbox/68/

This next page is also a tribute page, and also part of a a very interesting site that deals with contemporary drag racing; http://competitionplus.com/04_15_2004/pete_millar3.html

Lastly, Rumpsville is a name conjured up by Millar, and represented the idyllic fantasy location for poorly understood young hot rodders and their machines. The rodders on this site are far too rich in history to be called young, but the ideas are all young at heart. Read about Pete Millar, Norm Grabowski, Art Himsl, Kenny Howard (the name in front of the Von Dutch shirts), Ed Roth, Tom Kelly & George Barris; http://www.rumpsville.com/

We were swapping yarns about our favourite artwork, and the name Robert Williams came up. Robert was into the hot rod scene in California way back when he and Ed Newton were doing monster T-shirt designs for Ed "Big Daddy" Roth. Williams could draw a pen & ink rendition of a flathead, or an early rod, in such accurate detail, that his work was awe inspiring. Robert moved on, as successful artists do, though his later psychedelic work didn't have the same impact in the hot rod circles, but appealed to a wider audience. Robert was instrumental in the rat rod scene, though he now prefers to call them by another name. If you are interested in art, or hot rods, then you should know more about this man, as his contribution to both was pivotal. If you can get through his site in less than an hour, then you aren't really in to the subject matter; His own web site is here; http://www.robtwilliamsstudio.com/

One of the more popular Robert Williams illustrations was the Hot Rod Race, and while it is on the Williams web site, a larger image is available. Watch out, the lousy code on this site resizes your browser's window, so if you can, use the middle mouse button to open this link; http://www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/includes/ill.shtml?1010805

If you kept clicking through all the illustrations in the link above, you would have seen this one. If you didn't... during the Ed Roth T-shirt era, Williams produced many a fascinating advertisement. This is probably the best; http://www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/includes/ill.shtml?1010803

Read more about the Williams phenomenon, this time in an imaginative blog, with some of Robert's later work - from the psychedelic era - here; http://topshelfvinyl.blogspot.com/2008/09/robert-williams.html

Had enough about cartoons? Tough shit; next week we will be reviewing the work of the late, great Pete Millar.

uary/09. This a link to another movie, and the movie is about the Meteor III, and while the old time commentary appears a little over the top, the modern commentary is very interesting. Jay Leno adds a few bits, Essentially, the Meteor III, with Ab Jenkins at the wheel, broke heaps of endurance records, and then the car fell into disrepair. It has been restored, and filmed at the salt flats, where the records where set in the forties. Be sure to read the lot, as it is most interesting: http://pricemuseumofspeed.org/video.html

Jay Leno is a favourite of many TV viewers, and I love his frequently self deprecating style: my favourite of his downtown interviews had him showing a woman a picture of the Easter Island statues, and when she couldn't identify them, he suggested they might be statues of... him. I digress, so here is the link to an amazing piece of machinery that will be quite common in the future. It could even make Easter Island statuettes; http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/video/video_player.shtml?vid=944641

Here is a local rod shop - if you happen to be in the Cuba, MO area. The RJay's Speed Shop web site means that you don't have to go to MO to deal with them, as the parts are listed in a well designed and indexed collection of pages. I noticed the Pete & Jakes diff cover amongst the parts offered, as well as complete EFI kits; http://www.rjays.com/ 

Speaking of diff covers, do you any other hot rodders who manufacture a range of diff covers? We do - Steve Woodward. Steve's red A coupe is at Valla every year, and Steve runs a company called Independent Retro Castings, IRC, and they have advertised in Australian hot rod magazines for years. Now Steve has his own web site, so check it out; http://www.ircastings.com/

There are legendary brand names, and there are legendary products. Iskenderian, Holley, & Mickey Thompson are examples of famous brand names, whereas the subject of this blurb refers to a great product that doesn't have one of the legendary names. Real Rodders Wheels certainly conveys the company's intentions - to manufacture and supply top quality wheels, to a target market - we hot rodders. Take some time to read about the history of the company too; it is all very good reading; http://www.realrodderswheels.com/

Be there or be square! Blackie Gejeian Enterprises are bringing you the (invitation only) Fresno Autorama, March 13 to 15, 2009. If you don't get invited to be an entrant, try to get there as a spectator, as the show is the 50th anniversary of the Fresno Show. Read all about it here; http://www.vintage-ford.com/darolds%20new%20pages/fresnoautorama.htm

When we posted this link, the featured kit car was the Factory Five Racing Inc '33 coupe styled kit, so if they have changed the site, look for the '33 coupe. Their coupe is a kit that includes a body, chassis & suspension for just $20k. The coupe roof is removable too - instant roadster. Check the web for references to their Cobras and other replicas, and you should be impressed. They pay particular attention to handling, so prepare to be doubly impressed by the way the finished coupe addresses the business of being a street rod; Check out their web site, at http://www.factoryfive.com/hotrodhome.html  then take a peek at the unit, in this YouTube clip; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgqAe-Yewcw&feature=related

I have seen the future, and the future is here. Well, possibly. These racers have a difference - their cars are powered by their batteries. The National Electric Drag Racing Association has a pretty huge following, and their web site is more than passably interesting. As with the early days of drag racing in the US, a motorcycle is the quickest & fastest currently - read all about it here; http://www.nedra.com/

The opening theme is electric power this week, but this next link requires some explanation. The web pages provide some details of the car, which is an electrically powered '26\27 T roadster. Essentially, Lisa & Mike build the car & take it to the drags, where the 450 hp lightweight performs quite well, as you might expect. Learn some of the lingo associated with these lithium ion powered units, as these may be the future of racing, if not the planet; http://gallery.lisaandmike.org/27roadster?page=1

You may have missed the Wall Street Journal article, but Plasmaboy Racing are running an 11 second EV (Electric Vehicle) that blows the doors off hot Corvettes. Their container of choice for their battery pack is a dowdy '72 Datsun, which probably upsets the Corvette competition even more. Check it out; http://www.plasmaboyracing.com/

Back in the here & now, here is a components manufacturer who specialises in neat bits associated with fitting Corvette front & rear suspensions to just about anything, but especially street rods. Located in Orange Country, CA, they come with a reputation for good products and service; http://www.flatout-engineering.com/

Following the rules of 6 degrees of separation, this next link takes us on a lap of the Nurburgring, in a race ready, but otherwise stock, 2009 ZR1 Corvette. The 'ring, in Germany, covers an area that is larger than some countries that I have been in, so a lap takes more then 7 minutes. Hold on to to your hat, and your lunch if you display it in full screen mode, as we go on board, and lap faster than any other person has, in a stock automobile, at up to179 mph; http://vettetube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=89124e2ce92984e04fb4

Nostalgia drag racing is always popular, but it doesn't have the same photo opportunities that occur in regular racing. No Top Fuel cars going off like Roman candles, and less spectacular action. Until now. Check out this '34 coupe, and keep in mind that he raced later in the day.http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=paWhle-GOsc

This next clip is a bit old, and was filmed at the same strip. There is an element of American Graffiti here, in that the driver of the Mustang in the other lane was first on the scene. The A coupe driver said in an interview afterwards that he was going back to street rodding, as it is a lot safer. Anything would be better than this gut wrenching result; http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=v0-v4q25M_c

One of the more pleasurable elements of motor racing is the sound that various race cars emit. There is nothing sweeter than a V8 at full song - or is there? You may have been to an air show and heard Mustangs or Spitfires, with their magical Merlin V12, but how many have heard a full tilt, all out, double throw down, multi-cam V16? BRM made such a beast in the fifties. Listen; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLByHf0rzb4&feature=related 

This is right out of the 'I wish I knew where to look to get that information' department. Miller have put together a calculator to assist us in selecting the right consumables & amperage to use when TIG welding just about anything.; http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/calculators/tig_amperage_calculator.php

Here is a relatively new and growing Australian hot rod web site that you could find interesting. As with all new sites it has some empty space, but knock on some of the doors now and in the future, and there will be some interesting material; http://www.hotrodsonline.com.au/

Another hot rod magazine on the web is the Texas based Soup Up. They aim squarely at the 'traditional' style, but most of the cars in Soup Up are shiny and well detailed. Check out the chopped A coupe with the LS1. All the wide whitewalls in west Texas wont make that a 'traditional' car, but it has 'the look'. Keep coming back, as the site is often updated; http://www.soupupmagazine.com/

Most hot rodders won't mind jawing with a restorer for a while - we have a lot in common of course. There are also various mysteries to be solved when assembling a car that was made 78 years ago, and some of these restorers know a thing or two that we rodders may have overlooked. Spend some time at this site, and be prepared to learn a thing or two: http://www.abarnyard.com/

"Nun gives birth to alien", and "TV star fights for custody of wrong kids" scream the headlines of the tabloids. But hidden amongst the tripe that passes for news in some quarters, we saw this "Ed Roth's Orbitron Found in Mexico!". Unable to pass up this fleshy morsel, we looked it up, and it appears to be the real, though typically sordid, deal; http://jalopnik.com/cars/ed-roth/ed-roths-orbitron-found-in-mexico-295010.php

Museums are usually characterised as a place to spend a rainy Sunday, but the specialised type of Museum, or car collection, is quite a different matter. "Speedy" Bill Smith, the man who gave us Speedway Motors, has a great collection that is constantly being added to. Here is a great example of someone who has made a life of supplying auto parts giving something back to the auto minded community. Side valve Ford fans should check out some of the old conversion that the collection houses - they are fabulous; http://www.museumofamericanspeed.com/

Did you know that they made stainless steel Fords? 'They' did, but not very many. One collection, the Allegheny Ludlum collection, has the full set - '36 Tudor, '60 T-bird & a '67 Lincoln Continental convertible. That's as it should be, as the cars were built for Allegheny Ludlum; in fact they put 200,000 miles on the '36s, as company cars. Others have tried to use stainless steel - the De Lorean is an example - but they were not a success. I guess if they had a flux capacitor...

An old woodie is good woodie, they say. The owners of this web site obviously agree, as thats the name of the site, and a rich source of woodie related articles ensures that fans of the genre will keep coming back. The Classified section has more parts wanted than for sale, but thats ok, its indicative of the limited availability of some of these models. Check them out; http://www.oldwoodies.com/

An article has been added to the Features section.
Some photographers are a cut above the average; some are miles in front. David Perry is in the league of the latter group, and some of his hot rod\pinup work is available for you to browse. The link takes you straight to that section, though his work consists of much more than that narrow sociological segment. Look at the other areas, after you've perused his pinups; http://www.davidperrystudio.com/hrp2/index.htm

At the time of posting, this news article was quite fresh. The story shows that even if your rod is parked 'safely' in the garage, it may not be safe at all. This article has a happy ending, but for another local rodder a few days later, the story went to the other extreme, with his Model A smacking into a kerb, as thieves tried to escape after stealing his rod; http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2008/09/23/16624_gold-coast-news.html

If you haven't seen the video clip of Jimmy White's open-headered hemi powered, 4 speed equipped '30 coupe prowling Orange County, then you haven't lived. Jimmy now has a very well presented web site that showcases many of the cars that he and his group have built and are working on. Some of the pages are still under construction, but the rest of the Circle City Hot Rods site is Ok; http://www.circlecityhotrods.com/

You haven't seen the Jimmy White video? The original was of reasonable quality - this YouTube version is of lesser video quality, but the sound is really all you should be interested in; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rn-Uz1tZoP8 There are other videos from the Mad Fabricators on YouTube - look them up, most are fun.

I've been saying for a while that e-magazines will eventually replace the printed variety, but I wouldn't presume that Hot Rod Features will put anyone out of business in the near future, ...apart from me. But this new Benchrace magazine looks like the goods. The layout and content appears very inviting & interesting; Jim "Jake" Jacobs has a spot, in which he expresses himself eloquently, and his non-competitive philosophy will strike a chord with most readers. Bookmark this one, I hope it lasts: http://www.benchrace.com/

As an aside, there are links in this issue's feature story to Walden's Speed Shop. In connection with the Benchrace magazine above, don't neglect to click on the Jitney page, which contains details of the range of parts that Jake Jacobs fabricated with his own hands. Also, ensure that you read the Cars page, and scroll down to each of the articles. It isn't immediately obvious, but by passing your mouse cursor over each illustration a larger image pops up. The Sedan roof installation series might blow you away, if you appreciate the intricacies of working with sheet metal.

When Boyd Coddington died a void was created in modern hot rod culture; the Sons Of Boyd web site will attempt to provide a connection to some of Boyd's accomplishments, and to educate those of us who don't know as much about the legend that was Boyd. Created by his sons, it is still being developed, but there is some interesting reading already; http://www.sonsofboyd.com/ 

In the 'too much time on their hands' department, these two feature incredibly detailed miniature V8s - one the ubiquitous Chevy small block, and the other the desirable Ardun. The Ardun will run miniature Hilborn style injection and a scaled down Isky 400 cam! The Chevy is not only more developed, but you can purchase spare parts for your own 1/16th scale SBC! Un-be-lievable!

Check out our new Blogs area. You might feel strongly about an aspect of street rodding\hot rodding and you've wanted to get that point of view across to others. You might just want to record some noteworthy rodding milestone - it doesn't have to be political. If you want to be published, drop me a line.

Do you admire collectors? I do, usually. They spend the dollars necessary to keep a lot of cars from falling into disrepair, cars that are sometimes traded with those of without collections, thus assisting the overall movement. This collector focuses not only on a single brand of vehicles, but also a particular year. I think I know this person's name, but as it isn't published on the site, we'll respect his privacy. Check out a very fine collection of 1935 Fords here; http://www.users.bigpond.com/bikeandcar/index.htm

We are all about restored cars, so far, as this yarn is about the journey of a '31 Model A Fordor that was driven for 5 days across America. In fact, one of the more interesting points about this story is that the car is largely un-restored, in that the body has never been off the frame. These people are not at all hostile towards rodders, although you may feel that you can detect a little hostility towards the rat-rodder who has hacked up some old tin for very little aesthetic reward, as I did. Rodders might also be amused at how very few miles they travelled in those 5 days, but hey, the thing is an original 79 year old, give it a break; http://idisk.mac.com/forever4/Public/pages/sleepingbeauty.htm

How about a slide show made up of cars and people from 1938? There is scant information in this YouTube clip, but it is an interesting way to spend 2 minutes & 38 seconds; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fujo5fHSCzk

Rod Hadfield is probably the best known Aussie rodder, both within Australia, and overseas, but this YouTube clip might help you understand the man, and one his more radical machines, a bit better. The Merlin '55 Chevy was built some years back, and is still generating interest all over the 'net. See the professional quality video of the '55 here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIj2GVfua84&feature=related

If a V12 sounds interesting, how about a V16? That should be at least 50% more interesting. When the V16 is installed in a '34 Ford roadster, with the same sort of professionalism as Hadfield's, then we should sit up & take notice. Take a tour of the project on YouTube; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrCOupYZfww&feature=related
There is also some info regarding V16's in general on Wikipedia, here and Marmons here.

Internet piracy, whether or not it is intentional, is something to be very careful about, as lawyers are trolling the 'net continually, looking for people to sue over copyright infringement. YouTube is rightly paranoid over the issue, as they have miles of material uploaded every second, some of which the uploader does not have the right to post. The following is clip of a man flipping through his (??!) copy of The Rodders Journal, and reading a quick synopsis of some of the articles. I don't think that this form of piracy will cost TRJ any sales; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NuinY9cph8

Nostalgia drag racing fans can fill up with some very old nitro-laced stories about the Schultz & Glenn team. Nitro was about $10 a gallon then, and front engined fuellers were nearing the end of their time, with some of the chassis manufacturers offering both configurations. Its a great read; http://www.dragsters.net/schultz&Glenn/shlz&gle.html
15/July/08. Some club web sites are a little dry, but that is not the case at the Wheelers club, as their site has some interesting people and yarns. Unlike some of the recycled clubs, this is an internet based club, so even the old geezers are internet savvy, in the same way you are, dear reader. Visit their club "rooms" at; http://home.comcast.net/~cuznbrucie/WHEELERS.htm

There are miles of speed shops, so some specialise in a niche market, and do well in a limited area. The Silva Speed Shop has miles of product that is great for all projects, but there is also a strong traditional influence. Take a look at the Chassis page, and check out the original style cross-members, for an example of the point; Their site is at: http://www.silvaspeedshop.com/

Did you know that GM made a Chevy V8 with the distributor at the front? Before you collapse in a state of shock, be aware that the only place that you are likely to see the engine is at US NASCAR races, as the R07 is designed with that market in mind. It looks not unlike an LS1 - LS7, but that front mounted dizzy will throw most Chevy spotters. It has been out for over a year now, so read about it by clicking here .

6/July/08. Some of the articles we have published have taken weeks to put together, as names and facts have to be collected, where possible. I have had some material for more than thirty years - a collection of a few of the cartoons that I drew for the Rods Inc. Newsletter, one of the more popular and informative such rag-lets that were published in Australia, in the '70's. Rods Inc, still one of the premier clubs, was started in 1964, and by the '70's the club, though not necessarily all the members, had matured to the point where a newsletter was within the capabilities of the committee. I'll try to find some more cartoons from the olden days, and may even add some new renditions. To see them, click here.

The cartoons page replaces the time consuming Classifieds page.

Being a frustrated metalworker, I love looking at cars & chassis that illustrate the talents of those who really know both their trade and their craft. The following link is to a project being undertaken by a Gold Coast company - a Nissan powered '28 Model A. The YouTube page contains two videos; be sure to watch both videos here, then go to the web site of Racecraft Custom Fabrication & Machining, and do not miss out on the link to the "Cusso build" - fantastic workmanship by a very talented crew.

Frustrated metalwokers in the Pleasanton area can relieve the symptoms by learning the art from a pro, or if you are a shy retiring type, or live too far from their Pleasanton location to attend classes, they have video courses available for sale. Visit their site first, at http://www.lazze.us/, then decide if their skills are adequate. The all-alloy Willys coupe should convince you that they know much of which they speak.

Are you considering a pickup for a project? If so, you owe it to yourself to check out the repro bodies and components at Classic '36 pickup. Their 'glass repro bodies come in 3 sizes, kinda like fractional fitting for the larger man about the farm; regular, biggie and big boy. Check them out at; http://www.classic36pickup.com/

A couple of interesting nostalgia racing clips came our way recently. Neither are of very great quality - one appears to be have recorded via a camera in front of a telly - but the subject matter is dear to our hearts. The Vintage Drags clip is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzfFusEj4eM&NR=1, and the legendary, and hair raising, 15oz '34 coupe is available at http://youtube.com/watch?v=mN4z7hzjWE8

June/08. The Rodders Journal is probably the greatest idea that any rodder ever had - a coffee table  quality book that is created by very knowledgeable people, and just keeps coming out. The last issue that I have has the Mondello & Matsubara fuel altered on the cover (or the back cover). Even before the edition came out, there were stories going around the net about the $500 worth of fuel the team burned up, while the photographers got the shot right. There was also the fact that some cops turned up to see what the noise was, and stayed to enjoy it. You can listen too, as YouTube has quite a few clips of this legend; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugmq-nPtxqk & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYiXAFXQCzs should do the trick.

It was at the Goulburn Nats, and 10 of us were exiting a services club after lunch. Dressed 'normally' in jeans & jackets, we were waiting for a mini-bus, when Johnny Z stopped outside in his black roadster pickup. Johnny, as is his custom, looked frightful - the body piercings, ghostly contact lenses and garish pointy punk hair was designed to have that effect, and his female companion looked almost as startling. Mouths agape, we stood in silence, then Johnny whipped out a camera, popped the flash, bellowed "We're just taking some shots of all the weirdos!", then roared off. If nothing else, his sense of humour is priceless. See more of Johnny here; http://www.johnnyz.com.au/

Another individual who is at all the big events, is Michael Dascoli, a highly accomplished Victorian rodder who had the foresight to start his own public broadcasting style TV show, named Rodders Life. Visit the Rodders Life web site & catch up with some of the news about his team here; http://www.rodderslife.com.au

Hunting for Vintage Tin is always exciting, though rarely as fruitful as it once was. There are still huge caches of abandoned cars in lost junk yards all over the world, despite the best efforts of the Chinese and Indian steel mills to gobble up all the scrap they can devour. Check out these two yards on YouTube, before they go to the big scrap smelter in the sky; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a67O0fL2Dc&NR=1 & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbvbCt8Qmwc&NR=1

19/June/08. If you would like to see your car on HRF, just send me an e-mail, and I'll let you know what do. You don't have to pay anything, and it might not be as difficult as you think.

Traditional rods are those that attempt to recreate the style of hot rod that existed during a period at some time in the past, generally pre-1960, though some more exclusive styles insist on only pre-war accoutrement. The style is almost always diluted, or even bastardised, by the owner's use of generator cases that house alternators, late model safety glass, late brakes and in some cases (shudder!) radial tyres. The purists positively reject all late model trappings, and in most cases, these unique vehicles come in just the one shade - flat black. Still, that doesn't mean they aren't unique, nor interesting, so we have covered a few web sites here...

The name Suhr keeps coming up in these 3 sites, as Zach Suhr runs the workshop known as Suhr Speed & Custom, in Piketown PA, that we kick off with, and is also President of The Flyers Roadster Club. Zach, a talented web site producer as well as traditional hot rod builder, is also an honorary member of The Hot Irons. Visit with Zach, and read about his family's long hot rod connection here, and be sure to look at all the cars in the gallery named The Cars; http://www.suhrsc.com/

The Hot Iron club is a recycled club, in that they have the name and some of the history of a pre-war club, and are determined to honour those original members, through the recreation of cars (and possibly clothing) styles from the period. The site is both well laid out and interesting, and the smooth tones of Cab Calloway help get you into the period; http://www.hotironclub.com

Another recycled club, the Flyers Roadster Club also honours its former members, and sets the standard in one of the main pages, where it says that "Period correct Pre 1955 style only" cars are allowed. Aahh, that takes me back. I can remember when the standard for a car being a Hot Rod was that it be pre-1949, and of American origin. What's that, that argument is still going? Anyhoo, have a look at the pages of the Flyers, and enjoy the pictures, without any of the controversy that might be generated when such a narrow range of artistic expression is allowed; http://www.flyerscc.com/

15/June/08. I apologise. Not to take anything away from the major apologies that have been in the news, but because it was my fault that I didn't have a backup, and when I lost a hard drive on my computer, it took me months to recover. Now I am quite sensitive to the issue of backups, Raid mirroring etc, so it probably won't happen again. There are two new articles to view tonight, and the Wintersun story is almost ready to go.

How about an Australian hot rod shop that has a great web site, to kick off with? I always go straight to the gallery pages to see the type of cars they have been building, and this site is quite interesting. Have a look at http://www.hotrodhi-way.com.au/ and make up your own mind.

Are you interested in old-timey drag racing vehicles? The Vintage Fuel web site is chock-a-block full of details of racers & meets, both contemporary and events that happened before some of us were born. http://vintagefuel.com/index.html has it all, and you could spend hours on this fascinating web site.

When I bought my first Model A parts from the US in the mid '70s, the Australian dollar bought $1.17 in greenbacks, and the supplier was Antique Auto Supply, in Texas. Now the dollars are closer to that rate than at any time since 1977, and Antique Auto are still peddling parts for old cars. Now someone has made a movie about Stacey Brown and his collection of NOS (new, old stock) parts; check it out on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VadAcb94GZE

YouTube continues to grow, with some fabulous, but mostly junk, short movies of all manner of topics. We found this gem, which features the legendary Golden Sahara II, a George Barris built contraption that had almost every futuristic do-dad that was remotely conceivable in 1962. Thats not to say that remote controlled and voice activated cars weren't possible in '62, but they certainly weren't in every home; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hh79rjltJJI

12/Dec/07. We are always interested in interesting rod shops, and this one is a doozy. Tim Divers has a shop named after him, in Startup, WA (it sounds like Bill Gates had a hand in the naming of the town), and they do top flight work for lucky locals. Their web site is tasteful, well laid out, and informative. There is even a cars for sale page. But the real reason to visit has to be the Ferrambo - a 1960 Rambler wagon, with a mid-mounted Ferrari motor. Yes, straight from the Why Would You Bother Department, this project is headed for the Detroit Autorama; Check it all out, at: http://diversstreetrods.com/

The NZ Beach Hop people have put together a Give away car - a period correct '59 Pontiac Catalina. Just $5 a ticket, they should do nicely as this run is supported by thousands of entrants. The raffle details are on their main page; http://www.beachhop.co.nz/

Mike Siewert has an evolving site that focuses on the action in and around his native Calgary, Canada. The Foothills Street Rod Association, and the North of Bonneville salt lake racers are a large part of Mike's life, and figure prominently in his University of Calgary hosted site; http://www.ucalgary.ca/~mdsiewer/

5/Dec/07. Your garage might be a wonderful place that stores miles of memorabilia, truckloads of tools and a vast collection of tin. I bet that it isn't as good, or as unusual as this Australian collector's home away from home - his underground railway of collectibles; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpch7qt6NFI

This YouTube clip is a compilation - the Shirley Muldowney and Don Garlits interviews are from the seventies, but there is a swag of late '50s and '60s era material. There are wild Willys coupes and sedans, roadsters of all description, and one body-less '34 jobby powered by an Ardun. Did the Orange Crate ever run an Ardun? Maybe not, but it is a very classy ride: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOxJtEgMgtE

The Department or Revisiting old stories has something to contribute to this issue - do you remember the roadster that we covered in October '06. No, I didn't either, but there has been some progress in the rebuild of one man's dream - a channeled survivor that he built in 1957; http://www.airbum.com/NeatShtpix/Roadster.html

Are you planning a trip to California? This site promises to have all the info on upcoming events, which might be really helpful when you are debating which trips to take. The current Events page lists dozens of events right up to December this year, plus there are pictures from recent events in the state; http://www.socalcarculture.com/

28/Nov/07. The current fashion amongst the low-buck dragster fraternity involves the production of cookie cutter machines that all look much the same. That's ok, consider early speedway cars, where the paint and racing number were all that distinguished one look alike from the other, but it isn't necessary within modern drag racing. The legendary Tommy Ivo twin Buick powered rail from '59 couldn't be confused with any other, and this site has enough detailed photographs to allow anyone to reproduce a close copy. Just don't make 10 of them; http://www.standard1320.com/Ivo/Buicks/TwinBuick/TwinBuick.html

Bangers, not the type that English people serve with mashed potato, are typically early ford side valve fours, usually from a Model T motor up to a '34 flat head four. They have been more noticeable in recent years, though the supply of original motors is dwindling. Most banger enthusiasts are keen to avoid the belly button syndrome of the typical small block V8 power plant that is installed into rods, racers and resto's. Along those lines, this next page, though a little dated, has some excellent info on the art of running a banger; http://www.hotforhotfours.com/history_101.htm

R.T. Street Rods is another special interest vehicle vendor, located in Pennsylvania. They have quite a few cars in stock, and their pages are updated fairly often. If you are in the area, look them up; http://www.rtstreetrods.com/index.html

Here is another shop, Lockit Sockets, though these people manufacture interesting tools, and are connected with Pyramid Street Rods, so be sure to click on the Street Rods in the works button at the top of the page. If someone wants to send me a sample of their sockets, we could road test them; http://www.lockitsocket.com/

28/Nov/07. The holidays are nearly here - enjoy some of these short clips, and be sure to look at the associated clips in the YouTube side bar.

Lions Drag Strip only ran for a bit over a decade, but the various magazines ensured that some of the pictures in this montage would be indelibly etched in our minds, for as long as we have minds. The background music is period perfect as well; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn7S_CTvcA0

Advertising has changed quite a lot over the years. Contemporary TV ads are direct & to the point, in the main, sometimes to the extent of the presenter having to scream at the hapless housewife consumer before she commits to a purchase. Ads in the olden days were less brutal - this Ford ad for a '65 Mustang appears to be selling picnics - the product isn't even mentioned! Ok, it is seen in almost every frame, but the effect is almost subliminal - oblique at best; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyUjr8HdEqQ&mode=related&search=

This one doesn't need any explanation. Just make sure the cat is out, crank the sound waaaay, up, then click on this link; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Px7yT2CvtC8

So this is Christmas. It must be, as there are streams of cars cruising past my house at night, most packed with children gaping at the lights on the house across the road, and others up & down the street. The annual Christmas lights tours are gaining in popularity, whether or not the cruisers subscribe to those particular superstitious beliefs. I was being taken to task by an avid house illuminator over the matter of the amount of fuel we rodders consume in our 'gas guzzlers', and how that consumption was ruining the ecology. I pointed out that the mid evening suburban traffic jams across the nation would be responsible for far more gas consumption than a typical rod run, not to mention the electricity consumption. Before anyone can say "Bah! Humbug!", lets finish with 'Wizards in Winter' by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and a light show; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orZg8F2Nfa0&mode=related&search=

21/Nov/07. Cruizin', the West Australian based half hour public TV show is quite popular amongst the relatively small base of viewers within the the broadcast range of the Channel 31 network. Many potential viewers simply cannot pick up the signal, and viewers outside Australia are missing out on an opportunity to hear Hot Rod spoken in strine. Most, if not all, of the presenters are knowledgeable rodders, and though the productions are low dollar, the effort is appreciated by regular viewers. To see the show in the small screen on the net, go to the Channel 31 site, click on the Click here to watch TV on your computer button, select Cruizin' if the icon is available, or select c from the alphabet then Cruizin. Enjoy.

While the Bonneville story was being prepared we heard that long time salt racer Art Arfons had passed away. NHRA news has the story, and the internet has miles of interesting pages about this colourful character, and his Green Monster series of jet cars that Art & his half brother Walt raced. Some articles can be found here, here, and here.

Sometimes a vertical interest site, such as Hot Rod Features, is forgiven a few bugs and the fact that they don't have the very latest whiz-bang pop-ups, menus and banners; hell it could be a raw text page, and if it has good info about our hobby we don't mind. This MoPar site has it coming & going, packed with swoopy programming & chock-a-block full of info on interesting MoPar products. Did you know that you could buy a new crate engine variant of the Hemi, called the 392? It is recommended reading; http://www.mo-pod.com/

To finish up, we have another item from the Why Would You Bother department: this company makes a 3/4 scale deuce roadster. As if deuce hiboys weren't small enough, Chupps Hot Rods have put the original dimensions on a diet, just when everyone else is making bodies with longer doors and passenger compartments. to accommodate the ever enlarging girth of the typical rodder. Mind you, if you were vertically challenged, and the only luggage you needed for a good weekend was a credit card and a condom, then maybe this car would be big enough. We are sure there are other uses, so have a look; it would look good under a x-mas tree; http://www.chuppshotrods.com

14/Nov/07. Here is an interesting way to advertise your hard copy (printed) publication - Google Book Search published important parts of it; not the whole book, but just enough to whet your appetite. The example we found is Hot Rodders Bible, by The Rodders Journal's Gerry Burger & Steve Hendrickson. Check it out by clicking here.

Having worked as a sheet metal worker for a short time, I have the utmost respect for people who can fabricate intricate parts out of a flat sheet of material. Chris Davenport takes some very flat aluminium and turns it into a '41 Willys coupe body! Not with the aid of expensive dies and 50 ton presses, but through the old fashioned method of a wheeling machine, and years of practice. His web site is not all that informative, but go to the Gallery page and have a look at the progression of the '41 Willys, from flat sheet to fully formed, with opening & closing doors, deck lid & front clip; http://www.aluminumstreetrods.com/index.php?base=willys

Oddly enough, the Metalshapers site has more details, and something dear to our heart - informative captions. This another of those sites that could turn a wet weekend into a great experience, with miles of articles and photos of various projects; http://www.allshops.org/cgi-bin/community/communityalbums.cgi?action=openalbum&albumid=9980231374607

Not a hot rod, more along the the line of 'why the hell would you bother?' really, but presented for your amazement and edification - the amazing one third scale Ferrari 312PB. The video is professionally made, and provides some insight into why; http://www.shoutfile.com/v/P8NtRgag/Stunning_Fully_Functional_13_Scale_Ferrari_312PB

7/Nov/07. Bonneville is still big news, even if it has been and gone for this season. Most of the printed media have covered it, but we are just getting into the stories and great photos sent by Kerry Fehlberg. I hope we can do justice to the photos, as Kerry went to a great deal of effort to take the shots. Contact HRF if you would like large size prints of any of Kerry's shots, printed in superb high definition, full gloss detail.

This site has miles of reasonable quality videos from recent Bonneville events, though at the time of our last visit, the site seemed as slow as molasses in winter. Doug hisself has lots of 'toys', which is how some people describe their rods, and they can be seen by clicking here.

BonnevilleRacing.com is a URL that says it all - you could spend all day looking at the interesting things that make up our fascination with going flat out in a salt shaker. The movies page has miles of footage - make the most of it.

Have you ever wanted to know or been asked about a dimension on a stock Model A? This site is more of a research resource than a site that promotes any particular person or product, so check it out, and be sure to follow the instructions at the top of the page.; http://home.cogeco.ca/~deuceguy/Model_A_Scans_Main.htm

1/Nov/07. There is no particular theme this week, so we'll kick off with one of the more unusual hot rods we have ever seen. The car is a '29 Model A Tudor, located in far away Finland, and built by Makela Auto Tuning. Powered by a ballsy 2 litre BDA Cosworth engine that makes 250 hp at 9500 rpm, the restoration photos are among the best we have see. Pay particular attention to the "wooden" wheels. Ok, we all know that Model A's didn't have wooden wheels - but they might have in Finland, the home of the Fir tree. See the build gallery; http://www.mat.fi/project1929fordmodel-a.htm

Ok, after viewing the build photos, now take a look at the car on the road. Most die hard rodders will make rude noises about the exhaust note of the non-V8 Cosworth, but to some it will be a refreshing change from the V8 rumble. Well, not all V8s rumble, and if they just purr, then maybe they would be better off with a more fuel efficient system. This BDA wouldn't consume any less juice than most V8s, when it is being flogged in the manner shown in the video; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFSGSL3Nrmc

Back to more conventional rods, this is a rod shop in Yucuipa, California, so expect some "traditional" cars to come out of this shop. They appear to lean more to the ratty style of rod, though not as outlandish as some; http://www.vintagehammergarage.com/

21/July/07. YouTube again - this time we'll open with a pair of nostalgia classics, the first of which is about the Winged Express, an AA\FA T bucket driven by 'Wild' Willy Borsch. Willy was a heavy smoker and died of throat cancer at an early age. His racing team partner, Al Marcellus, still runs the team, and they run the Winged Express at 6 or 8 nostalgia meets a year. Curiously, Willy tours with them, as Al always has on hand the urn that contains Willy's ashes! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_QrDmeEFTs

This is an odd video, in that it shows the progress of a nostalgia dragster at Famoso Raceway, Bakersfield CA, and the camera is on top of the roll bar. It is also noteworthy in that the 'chute failed to open, but the rail rolls to a stop safely, turning off on the last exit, before shutting the blown hemi down; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcepSv2jtJQ The strip has their own web site too; http://www.famosoraceway.com/

Staying with nostalgia, but getting away from the videos, you could spend hours looking at the huge volume of photos of race cars, stockers, gassers, pro-stocks and altereds, that raced in the 60's and 70's, in and around Winnipeg, Canada. The mind boggles at what some of these Super Stock cars would be worth now, as most of them were very limited production runs; http://www.mts.net/~57ford/reunion11.html

14/July/07. YouTube has some mildly interesting material on it, and some real gems. These are all gems, and for different reasons. The first is Part One of Hot Rods & Customs, though the origin of this well produced documentary is a mystery, at the moment. In this segment, Gene Winfield cuts up a ratty '49 Merc, and creates yet another of his custom made masterpieces; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTlYD-i8070 

In Part Two, we hear from such luminaries as Pat Ganahl, from The Rodders Journal, Vic Edelbrock Jr, the pom Tony Thacker and Pete Chapouris, both from So-Cal, and many others. The series appears to be incomplete, so we'll keep an eye out for Part Three. In the meantime, take a trip back in time to the dry lakes, and even a glimpse of an early rod run; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjegWFT6r0Y

Sticking with the YouTube theme, we now look at an indulgent collage of clips of rods at various events. There is no special message, nor is there any info on the cars displayed, so just sit back and enjoy; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlwSSkB55jo

Have you ever been involved with a bulletin board? They can be a lot of fun, and a great source of information. Here is your chance to get onto one at the ground level - the Deuces Limited club, in Texas, has just started up a bulletin board, so, get on board, as it were; http://deuceslimited.activeboard.com/

7/July/07. Hands up all those who have never wanted a woodie. Just as I thought, everyone has wanted a woodie at some stage of their life. To some, having a woodie is central to their  very existence - without a woodie they are no-one. I can vaguely recall having a woodie myself some years back... but I digress.

Some web sites have really poor music that plays as soon as you enter the site, some are like Hot Rod Features - nothing. No music. Silence. That is probably because, as with things automotive, one person's favourite tune may sound awful to another. This next site, belonging to the National Woody Club, has music in the intro page, and it is really cool guitar work - but then it stops in mid-riff! Alas, they can't play a whole album in the intro, so we appreciate the little that we get. The rest of their web site is really great also, and very topical, given our emphasis on woodies; http://www.nationalwoodieclub.com/

California Woodies has a neat site also, and yes, they have some neat music that plays on entry, but it is so predictable that it sounds kitschy. Great stuff though, and be sure to check out the rest of their site. They have a tiny for sale page that only has a couple of entries, but these things often change; http://www.californiawoodies.com

The Southern California Woodie Club also has their own web site, and it is mute, where you might think they would be a certainty for a Jan & Dean number at least. There is a great story on the Gallery page, and the Calendar has plenty of info on the dates to put a (tree) ring around; http://www.socalwoodies.com

The Woodie Works - that name alone is going to attract some attention; it could be either a declarative statement, or a place where woodies are made. The site is chock full of details on all manner of woodies, not just the one belonging to the talented owner of the site. The current projects page is fascinating, and the concept art page is a great way to make a point; http://www.woodieworks.net/wwindex.html

Doug Car builds woodies for people, so his business is known as the Wood N' Carr, which is a nice play on words. They also make kits, so that people can assemble their own station wagon or Sportsman body, and have all the fun of making the wooden bits fit together; http://www.woodncarr.net/

30/June/07. A new article has been added to Events.
There are quite a lot of automotive manufacturers in the world today - there is a company in China that makes hundreds of thousands of cars a year, and I don't know their name, and nor do most people outside China. Oldsmobile is a name that most of us would be familiar with, but did you know that they were the first to use chrome on a car? According to this video, Oldsmobile pioneered many of the devices and features that we take for granted today. That said, it is an advertisement, and it may look at the world through Olds coloured glasses; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhA7mkJwkLQ

This is another international link; this time to the British NSRA site that relates the story of how two New Yorkers drove their deuce coupes to Bonneville, last year. The story is quite pertinent, as the New Yorkers, collectively known as the Rolling Bones team, did it again this year, and Kerry Fehlberg was at Bonneville to capture the dizzying array of rods and racers that attended the greatest collection of flat out racers anywhere on earth. Kerry's fabulous photos will appear here in a few weeks, but in the meantime, take a trip to Bonneville with the Rolling Bones; http://www.nsra.org.uk/images/rb/index.htm

This link is to a new and very professional Australian web site, and they specialize in tools and workshop gear that some readers will be looking for. The Rods & Relics Classifieds are just kicking off, so they are a bit sparse, but as with all new web sites, keep coming back. Check out the Gallery page, and if you are in need of panel beating equipment, call them; http://www.rodsandrelics.com.au/site/index.php

In the spirit of American Hot Rod, another Southern California rod shop has its own TV show, and a new range of real life characters who are bound to alienate or attract members of the viewing public. The show is called Hard Shine, a reference to the main character and owner of the shop, Jimmy Shine. We remember the name from the Thacker & Shine Bonneville roadster of a few years ago, but the roadster has been sold and is now being campaigned by someone else. Jimmy is a former employee of the famed So-Cal shop, and former boss Pete Chapouris gives Jimmy a big wrap in the Bio page. Have a look at the site and see if you can tell us why James Dennis Falschlehner is referred to as Jimmy Shine. If you know the answer, send us a stamped, un-addressed envelope, and the explanation, and the neatest correct entry may win the prize of our choice, at a date in the future; http://www.jimmyshine.com

13/June/07. YouTube, that great stalwart for e-magazines that are short on content, does it again. The topic is The Hot Rod Story, which has been posted on YouTube in 3 parts. The first film has, in the opening 3 minutes, a fabulous shot of the old C-T Strokers fueller running at Lions Drag Strip, then we see an early rod run, in which the Dick Scritchfield and Dick Flint roadsters are seen on one of the 'reliability runs'. Not just the cars and owners are noteworthy, the film was produced in 1963 by Dean Moon, and narrated by Alex Xydias of So-Cal fame. The three films run for nearly 30 minutes; see the first one at; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gf2_gDygn9A 

The second & third films concentrate on Bonneville, which is quite topical, as it looks as though racing will be limited to a single lane at this year's event, due to flooding, just as is depicted in the film. Back to the flick, click on the link to see the second; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sarx0JCLRU . Alex Xydias' commentary is inspirational - in the 3rd film, he displays the remains of a lunched motor and says that "the bearings lost interest in what they were supposed to do". Don't let me spoil it all for you, click here to finish; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-e5X-V5h_o

Last week we covered a very small part of the world's hot rod shops. One of the most well known is the one that Alex Xydias started in the 50s, So-Cal. Their web site has loads of information, in particular about Alex Xydias and Pete Chapouris, who resurrected the business name some years back. Drop in, at: http://www.so-calspeedshop.com/

Not a hot rod shop in the strict sense of the expression, but a hot rod shop provider, Currie Enterprises manufacture, and re-manufacture all forms of rod related rears. Their 9" diffs are popular in all forms of motor sport, be it roundy racing, drag racing, or street rodding. Check out their wares at; http://www.currieenterprises.com/

6/June/07. Shops. Hot Rod shops in particular, will be the theme for this issue, and what better shop to open with than the legendary Pete & Jakes. They, Pete Chapouris & Jim 'Jake' Jacobs, have been in partnership since 1973. They acquired the Super Bell business some years ago, and remain a reliable source of parts and excellent workmanship. The P & J blog page is a great read, rich in references (name dropping) to many well known rodders. Get all the details at their site; http://www.peteandjakes.com/

Not as well known, but Johnson's Garage has an interesting web presence all the same, particularly if you are into the wide white-walled, excessively channelled look. Be sure to check out their rat rod influenced projects, many of which are completed, and possibly being driven. See it at; http://www.johnsonsgarage.com/

We had heard that 'Squeak' Bell had sold his business, Kiwi Konnection, but the web site doesn't reflect that fact yet, if it is true. Located in a hot bed of rodding, Bakersfield CA, the transplanted Kiwi's name crops up in features of some very well known hot rods. They supply components to the many rod shops in the region, and overseas; http://www.kiwikonnection.com/

The A & M Deluxe Customs Inc. were voted builder of the year in one poll, and their web site is fabulous - the Gallery page is packed with interesting projects, and the 360 tour page is mind blowing! Only broadband users should bother, but the 18 different views that have been canned are really interesting. One rodder spent 6 hours following the various cameras as they slowly & intently panned around the various workshops. See it at; http://www.aandmdeluxecustoms.com/

Less high tech than most, the Kikin Street Rods site has a good Cars For Sale page that admittedly needs updating, but is a great place to find bits that may not get gobbled up on e-Bay; http://www.kikinstreetrods.com/

30/May/07. Every year is the anniversary of some auspicious occasion, even if it is simply your own birthday. Those birthdays are usually celebrated especially hard if that anniversary is a "milestone", that is, your turning 40, 50, 60 etc. Well, the deuce is 75 this year, and it would have been difficult for anyone to fail to notice it, in our little community. Larry O'Toole did a great story on the vote that they conducted at Australian Street Rodding, and The Rodders Journal had a special edition.

Even Ford Motor Company, with all their present problems, have noted the event with a great press release that lists the 75 best 1932 street rods ever built (in the USA), and there are some great cars among them. Dick Scritchfield's '32 Phaeton was a clunker pulled out of an Australian paddock in the 60's, and there may be other Australian connections in the list. Read the Ford story here: http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=23304

There was even a special organisation that was created to celebrate this anniversary, and it also has some great names on the masthead, Henry Ford III, and Keith Crain among them. The main event is 9th of August, in Dearborn, so if you are in downtown Dearborn then, drop in, it should be memorable. See their site at: http://www.deuce75.com

Edmunds.com is a general interest auto magazine, but that hasn't stopped them noting the event, and they have gone a step further than the other sites above, and had hot publishing luminaries Pat Ganahl & Greg Sharp put together a great internet resource. Their page that includes YouTube clips of connected articles, and a slide show of all 75 of the cars that made the (US) list. Be sure to scroll right down to the list, and click on the Click here link, to see the slide show; http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Features/articleId=119310#1

We must include a video, so this one was taken at the Grand National Roadster Show, back in January, and Henry Ford III illustrates how to lose 12.7 billion dollars in the morning and still turn up for a bunch of rodders who are celebrating the achievements of his grandfather; http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-980961871895862675

23/May/07. Trying to start a carburetted vehicle in the dead of what passes for winter around here is a pain in the arse. Sure, both cars start up Ok, and idle, after a while, but then when we hit the street and put the pedal down, gingerly, we might get a mis-fire. If we go out in someone else's late model EFI thingy, they have no idea what sort of commotion they are missing. Many rodders are making the switch from carbs to EFI, of one sort or another, and leaving the world of mis-firing, poor fuel economy and extended warmups behind them.

As we may have sounded critical of Holley in the opening paragraph, we should give them the right of reply. They have been churning out injectors for years, and some are not only sweet performers, but look the part as well. Have a look at their range, and you will probably find something that fits;  http://www.holley.com/91703201.asp

These people appear to know what they are on about, offering advice and experience on conversions using Throttle Body, Multi-Port and Tuned Port installations. The harnesses that are available from the better harness manufacturers will all have the capacity to hook up to the various sensors that an EFI system will use - this crowd lists most of the options, with prices; http://www.affordable-fuel-injection.com./

If you use an original GM TPI system (if you have one you will know that TLA means Tuned Port Injection. FIY, TLA stands for Three Letter Acronym. FIY, FIY means For Your Information) you will appreciate the depth of knowledge offered by this site, which includes some history on the development of EFI; http://www.chevythunder.com/

One of our contributors knows so much about EFI that you would swear he could write a book about it. Make that another book about it, as Choco Munday has a few book credits to his name, and all are well written, by a very clever rodder, for rodders and other concerned souls. We have mentioned Choco's books before, but we do so again to assist those who have had enough of smelly, spitting carbs; http://www.hotrodhandbooks.com.au

23/May/07. If you watch a lot of television, or have spent some time in the US, you may be familiar with Barry Meguiar, the co-owner of the car finish products empire of the same name, and the host of Car Crazy, a TV show wherein Barry and his crew skilfully interview attendees and interviewees at all forms of motoring events - including major street rod events. Barry comes across as a glib, articulate speaker, in the manner of some of the smoother tele-evangelists. That isn't far from the mark, as Barry is given to thanking supernatural elements for all manner of things. That aside, the interview with Jeff Beck (on http://www.carcrazycentral.com/cc_tv.aspx?contentid=198) is both revealing and informative, and Jeff confesses his first connection with rodding, and discusses his current collection, including the Graffiti coupe clone that Jeff built in the '80s. Check out the half hour Car Crazy shows, and lots more; http://www.carcrazycentral.com/ You will need broadband, and you may spend half a day there, so get comfortable.

Nostalgia drag racers will be familiar with the concept of the cackle-fest, which is where a lot of old fuellers and gassers line up on the track, with engines idling, and they blow the ear drums of anyone in close proximity. But what a way to go. At the recent NHRA reunion there was an unfortunate incident which saw 'Big Daddy' Don Garlits' car rear-ended by another entrant; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vejbVUVMgF8

The same nostalgia racers and fans should love the following site - it has lots of video, including a clip of a Ramchargers vs Hawaiian match race in '72. Be sure to listen to some of the audio clips too, as the strategies for the first 2-car teams were developed, and other milestone events; http://www.claresanders.com/

16/May/07. This has to be the best single-make web site on the web. It covers the venerable Harley Earl designed '55 Buick, and the author isn't too proud to acknowledge the limitations of the original, as it compares with vehicles from the modern era. Be sure to click on the Projects link, then follow the construction of the author's LS1 powered, custom framed, '55 Buick Riviera. http://www.55buick.com/

Many stateside rod runs aren't organised by NSRA or Goodguys - they are single event promoters who have grown into mature organisations that don't need outside promoters. Some are one shot wonders, where a small office and a web site is their only visible presence for most of the year. Then, as the time of the run draws near, they spring into life. One such outfit is The Daytona Turkey Run, which has sprung into life every year for the last 34 years; http://www.turkeyrun.com/

The crew from the Lone Star Roundup organise a run\show in Austin, Texas, for pre-64 vehicles, in early April. Which year is the run? Every year! Check out the details of the last couple, at;  http://www.lonestarroundup.com/

Cruisin' the Coast is a great example of the single event promotion company, and they have been doing this for 10 years so far. They are located in Gulfport, Alabama, which is between Mobile AL, and New Orleans, LA. Hurricane Katrina failed to wreck the organisation, though the few bridges and roads that are still affected should be fixed by the  September 30, 2007 deadline for the next cruise. Local operators should note the massive amount of cash the cruisers bring to the community, in the form of meals, accommodation and fuel. See it at; http://www.cruisinthecoast.com/

Cruisin' Ocean City is another, held in Ocean City, Maryland, in May. They also organise an indoor car show, and an auction, all in Ocean City, in the nice part of the year. Read all about it at http://www.specialeventpro.com/cruisin.php 

9/May/07. E-bay has allowed many vehicle owners without market-place skills to list their vehicles, and it has been argued that as a result, more cars have hit the market, and prices of special interest vehicles have dropped. Conversely, the internet has also allowed many dealers with slow moving special interest stock to publish their lists, and that is where some of today's links are coming from. Keep in mind that full time dealers have to return a profit well above that which a private seller might find acceptable, as some of these prices would indicate; http://www.desertclassics.com/

A '61 bubble-top, clean & straight for $12,500? Clearly, not all dealers are rip-off merchants, otherwise we wouldn't have such a roaring market in special interest vehicles. This dealer comes with the personal recommendation of some Aussie buyers who have dealt with them, and their web pages are updated regularly; http://www.gotexasexports.com/

This site has entry level, or basket case, projects as well as some runners. Dealing at this level is Ok, as it allows a person to get into a project without a huge cash outlay. Some of the stock here would suit an importer who had, say, a complete 4 door sedan, and would like to build a two door sedan or coupe version; http://www.classicautoprojects.com/

Waaaay up at the other end of the spectrum is a dealer whose stock is mainly high dollar and probably worth every penny - to someone who is cashed up. The cars are mostly highly desirable, and almost universally very expensive; http://www.jjrods.com/

2/May/07. YouTube allows the least experienced amateur producer a few minutes of exposure. We've seen plenty of shaky cameras, and operators forgetting to turn off the camera while they point it at the ground, but in this link the video quality is better then most. Its a pity about the snarling, guttural soundtrack by the Hot Rod Lunatics, as it doesn't suit the image that is presented of a cool, smooth, laid back weekend of cruising and other hot rod activity in Uraidla, in the Adelaide hills; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6eJF6v5EAU

We presented some links to various reproduction vehicles\components a few weeks back, but that only barely scratched the surface of the huge and very diverse reproduction and kit car industry. One web site attempts to collect all the kit cars, which is where we got some of the links that we used; http://www.kitcarlist.com/

Lindsay Houston has been well known as a superb custom painter in his part of the world, which is presently at Pomona - the Pomona in Queensland, Australia. His work has been seen by a much larger audience though, as his cars and the paint he lays on customer's cars, are usually quite dramatic. Take a look, at; http://www.ldikustoms.com.au

Vintage drag racing has had some stellar moments, but this one ranks up there with productions such as Alien vs Predator, in terms of the matching of two very famous individuals. We are referring to Sox & Martin vs The Little Red Wagon, which most readers would prefer over the ugly monsters; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NdEpMUv_pc

25/Apr/07. Aren't computers clever? These next couple of YouTube videos show the engineering world from a geeks perspective. GM has made the first, using a 3D CAD drawing, or collection of drawings, of an LS2 motor, and added all the components in the same sequence that they would be assembled, at the factory; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2ZQQRDmlJc

Rather than just drawings, this one shows a Matsuura 5 axis MAM72-63V CNC machine whittling a Ferrari V8 block out of a solid alloy billet. With mass production techniques such as this being used in Modena, we could ask why a 500 hp Ferrari is 3 times the cost of a 500 hp LS7 Corvette; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsmiIeAkE-o

Having built the alloy motor, we can now see its components, in a drawing programme that is not as detailed as the LS2 drawing; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGf4XBrBGAI

Getting back to hot rods, Blower Drive Service has been supplying superchargers to drag race & street rod applications for decades. Rather than simply rebuilding worn out GMC blowers that seen service on trucks and earthmovers, BDS manufacture their own blowers from scratch. They also adapt fuel injection, from Enderle  and other manufacturers, to electronic operation, making a system that is both efficient and aesthetically pleasing; http://www.blowerdriveservice.com

Bob Drake Reproductions have been in the news, with their reproduction '40 Ford Deluxe coupe body tipped for completion later this year. There is no news about this hush-hush project on their web site, but theirs is a site that bears revisiting. Watch a '35 5-window coupe take shape in the following link, as the crew uses as many Bob Drake Reproductions inventory parts as possible; http://www.bobdrake.com/project.html

18/Apr/07. Continuing our article on the reproduction body industry, we have some links that are of interest. Lars Lundstrom, the Swedish steel repro deuce roadster manufacturer, has re-tooled his range, and offers a new fit and finish, presumably an improvement over the earlier versions. Read about it here: http://www.roadsters.com/reprosteel/

The Speedway Motors deuce roadster is different from most others, in that it comes completely assembled, trimmed and painted, except for a motor. The car is set up for a small block Chevy, and we know they will be fast, as they are all painted Posies Red. See the brochure at;

The ASRF Goulburn Nats weren't over before people started posting short video footage on YouTube, which may give you 'the vibe' of the event, though the necessarily low resolution of the images won't put the event's CD sellers out of business. See the first YouTube video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9PA8UkEfXs, and the second at; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCkkyRn7gbs

While the Nats were on, many rodders drove right past Goulburn to Narrandera, where an alternative, low key, event was held. See the videos at; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5eMacyEETw and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgODXSiqLIg

11/Apr/07. The reproduction industry is pumping out all manner of delicious non-vintage tin, and modern manufacturing techniques mean that these new products are straighter and better finished than the rough repros of the early days. Brookville Roadster started making Model A roadster bodies 20 years ago, then added the '32 roadster line about 10 years ago. Now they make a stock height '32 3-window Deluxe coupe; at least 3 are headed over here, as early as this year. Check them out at http://www.brookville-roadster.com/

Hot Rods & Horsepower also make a range of steel '32 facsimiles, though the Dearborn Deuce is a yuppified 'convertible' with a fold away roof, as opposed to a regular roadster. The convertible is stamped and assembled in the USA, and appears to be of high quality. Interestingly, the chopped '32 3-window prototype steel coupe that they were trumpeting loudly has disappeared off their web site, though there is at least one reference to it in a side bar; http://www.hotrodsandhorsepower.com/

Steve's Auto Restorations produces a '34 roadster, and assembles Brookville bodies for clients. The '34 is unlike the Brookville bodies in that the floor and door interior panels are not exact reproductions of Henry's originals, but enhanced with stronger supports. Even restorers could use the bodies though; http://www.realsteel.com/

In terms of the number of dies and the amount of welding involved, early Ford bodies are less complex than say, a '69 Camaro convertible, or even a '67 Mustang fastback. This next site should take you breath away, as the range of repros is staggering, and growing. Dynacorn Classic Bodies Inc. make those bodies, and a '67 Camaro coupe and a '69 Camaro coupe and some '50s truck bodies. Make sure you click on the links in the About Us page, as there is some fascinating reading; http://www.dynacornclassicbodies.com

Cars Inc. is another reproducer of delectable delights, in this context they make a repop '57 Chevy convertible body. That's not all they make, as they probably produce more individual bits than all the others combined, but at this stage the '57 convertible is their only repro body - well, almost, as they use an original cowl from a '57 convertible, possible New Old Stock (NOS); http://www.1957chevybody.com/

4/Apr/07. New articles have been added to both Features and News
You may have heard it by now, but Robert E Petersen, the man behind Hot Rod magazine has passed away. "Pete" Petersen started Hot Rod magazine in 1948, then added other titles to what became a huge publishing empire, with many titles that were central to our interest in modified cars. Many of you have visited the Petersen Museum, so it is fitting that this link is to the notice on that site; http://www.petersen.org/default.cfm?DocID=502&ArticleID=200

On a lighter note, have you ever wondered what would have happened if a particular model of car had been continued in another market? Take the Falcon for instance, the Yanks find it amusing that our Falcon evolved from the US style when they stopped making Falcons, but Ford Australia persisted. Our Falcon is now 100% Australian, with nothing in common with any US models. This link shows how a very similar evolutionary process was applied to the Falcon in Argentina; http://www.cocheargentino.com.ar/f/ford_falcon.htm

Imagine one of the exceptionally straight and lovingly pampered all steel stock bodied '32 3-windows that are in your area. Got the picture? Now imagine it with a killer small block and 10½" slicks, but still wearing that superior smirk that accompanies such iconic models. Could you also imagine it popping an almost unbelievable wheel stand. Can't imagine it? Take a look here at Dennis Wile's '32 at Irwindale Raceway. You may have to watch it a few times to appreciate the rich irony of a street rod that has it all, power and enviable good looks; http://videos.streetfire.net/video/59426411-b89d-44d1-bec1-98fe017a7f41.htm

On a similar note, this is an older video of a '28 coupe that allegedly makes 1,200 HP at the rear wheels. The restraining rope snaps and its almost 'Good Night Irene' for our hapless hero; http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1813587561618839405&q=dyno

This link is to an advertisement for the Hot Rod Dreamer book & video, so it has some interesting shots that relate to the early days at the drags, and the salt; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElC3TY19fMg and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgMZLkDwLoY are the two shorts that they have released. The main web site is at http://www.dreamsoflegends.com/ and they appear to have the 2 hour video out now. Magoo's in Auckland have the distribution rights for Australia - nice deal for them, but I doubt that it will help the producers reach the much larger Australian market.

28/Mar/07. George Poteet must be fabulously wealthy, as a visit to his web site will show that he has, and has owned, dozens of righteous street rods and racers. He has commissioned many of the top shops to build his cars, and a common theme appears to be that the shops shouldn't skimp on the production costs. Even the name of his racing shop, Camel Toe Racing, makes me proud to be in the same hobby, as he is obviously interested in the same things as most of us. Go to his site, and weep; http://www.cameltoe.net/

This George Poteet tribute wouldn't be complete without more details of the builders of his cars. Fastlane Rod Shop, in Donohue, Iowa have built many of George's cars, in fact, when they list the owners of some of their projects, they refer to him as just "George" - the rest is redundant. Take a look at some the work they do at;  http://www.fastlanerodshop.com/

Roy Brizio is another of the shops to build George a car; in this case the legendary '32 roadster pickup. This page is slow to load, as it has many small images, but it is worth the wait; http://www.roybriziostreetrods.com/progress/poteet/index.htm

Troy Trepanier has also built a George car, though they don't seem as keen to tell us about that fact on their web site. Both of the cars that Troy's team has built for George are outstanding; the Intruder is a '57 Ford Ranch Wagon, and the Sniper is a left field '54 Plymouth Savoy coupe with a Viper V-10  that you may have seen on the "Rides" TV show. Check out Troy's shop at; http://www.radrides.com/

This next one is a low dollar site, but these lads have toured George's (I feel as though we would be on first name terms) collection, and have been impressed enough to put their slides up on a special page; http://www.ms-sra.org/msra/gpoteet.htm

21/Mar/07. Many novice computer users are being sucked into the nefarious scams that flourish on the internet, and hot rodders aren't exempt. We troll through eBay looking at some of the choice pieces for sale, and some just don't add up. How about a mint Model A sedan with IFS & IRS, fuellie motor and o'drive, with a buy-it-now of $7,900? The same vendor was selling a rare Camaro, a rarer Hemi-cuda, and a rarer still Cobra, all with a buy-it-now price of $7,900. The other constant through all his ads was the fact that he wouldn't let you bid until you had sent him an e-mail. It might not be obvious to novices that this scam will result in his getting your e-mail address, which will then be deluged with spam, Trojans and viruses. Be wary, they are out to get you.

This link takes you to a video that was e-mailed all around the world years ago. It is just as funny now, but be warned - you might not think it is funny at all. No animals were harmed in this 100% digital assassination; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_BZWjCQv4A

Eager to make amends, the pommy creators of the video above made a follow-up video of the Ka's evil twin, without hurting any digital cats; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGbjVqLoz3I

Another name that looms large in contemporary hot rodding circles is that of Dick Spadaro, from New York. His company has an extensive on-line catalogue (though they spell it funny) and some great bits that traditional west coast suppliers might not have. Check out their range at; http://www.dickspadaro.com/

Sanderson headers have been in business for decades, making headers for race cars and street rods. I wasn't aware they they claimed to produce a range that doesn't need gaskets - quite a claim, if it is true. Their range, and these amazing claims, can be seen here; http://www.centuryperformance.com/sanderson/index.asp

7/Mar/07. Record numbers of people are joining the internet community, so it stands to reason that some sites will be less attractive than others. This one has a bit of a down home on the farm feel to it, but the content is interesting. Check out the '32 chassis in the For Sale section. http://www.woodardracingandhotrods.com/

Nostalgia Drag Racing fans may find the following interesting. Al Eckstrand was part of the YouTube Ford Racing story brought to you last week, so this American Auto Club International article follows on; http://www.aacint.com/lawman.asp

There are plenty of hot rod\special interest vehicle For Sale sites, but not all of them have such banal background music as this one. You can turn the sound off while you cruise their used car lot, which has lots of reasonably priced project vehicles. The East Coast USA site is right up there, but we know nothing about the people or business practices that are part of; http://www.affordablestreetrodprojects.com

The SCTA is quoted and referred to constantly in contemporary magazines, often in the past tense. They are still alive and kicking, and have a web site with heaps of interesting material to prove it; http://scta-bni.org/ 

If you are into rockabilly, red painted steel wheels with wide whitewalls, satin paint and greasy hair, you may want to consider upgrading your red steelies to Radir wheels, which are quite acceptable to the narrowly defined fashion standards that characterise that group of hobbyists. Check 'em out at; http://www.radirwheels.com/

28/Feb/07. Another new article has been added to Features.
The Lake Gairdner DLRA event was washed out, which is disappointing for the competitors and spectators, but I am sure the cockies down that way would disagree. The following link may help some of those frustrated parties fill in the time productively - it is a piece by piece build up of a US lakester, and it should take hours to read all of it. The construction techniques, if not the components themselves, could also be helpful for Street Rodders, as well as builders of racers of all forms; http://purplesagetradingpost.com/sumner/bvillecar/bvillecarindexpage.html

More international rodding can be seen at this Canadian site, which has a lot of the things that we try to provide for Aussies. They have a Forum, which has a For Sale section accessible to non-members, so am surprised the CN$10,500 '33 Tudor is still for sale. That will get some of you clicking; http://www.canadianrodder.com/

Getting some good content is always a problem for any hot rod related web site, and this one has only been going since March '06. It is still a bit light on (I know the feeling), but it may develop as time goes by;  http://www.tristaterodders.com/

We did a story in the News section about South Australian built repro Ford SOHC 427 c.i., and 429 c.i. Shotgun engines, so these YouTube links are topical, or would have been then. This series is a very informative article on the Ford motors, and their racing programme. Notables such as Bud Moore, Lee Holman and Al "Lawman" Eckstrand provide commentary. Part one is at; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBJ8ge86ulA , part 2; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifwch3ZmU2E  & part 3; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFUlgNjCco8 and finally, part 4 is at; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhdVAlI5TGk

21/Feb/07. We get heaps of links to videos and sites, and some of them aren't always strictly hot rod related. An example would be the Spitfire video we showed you a couple of months ago. Well, it must be comedy week here at HRF, because a couple of these are hot rod related, though only just.

This one just shows that some people have far too much time on their hands; http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=1825622556

When a joke is being told it will fall flat if no-one laughs, obviously. Sometimes, and it doesn't happen very often, the way that one of the people in the audience laughs will cause of all the others to crack up, and the attention falls on the person with the funny laugh. If I haven't explained myself very well, take a look at this and you'll get the picture; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4Y4keqTV6w

This isn't a joke, but the fact that this feature is on a VW related web site might raise a few eyebrows. The site is actually the VW Judson site, and this pickup uses a Judson blower, so thats the connection. Ok, the pickup uses a supercharged Volvo engine (and the owner probably wears a white bowls club hat) but it is interesting all the same; http://vwjudsonregister.tripod.com/lew_schimkes_page.htm

The Willowbank round of the Cruzin Magazine Nostalgia Drags are almost on us, so this link will help get you in the mood; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-o76vJLVtlU

Vern Tardel's name keeps popping up as one of California's premier hot rod builders. His site even has details of his 'Fantasy Ranch' concept, where a builder would build his car at Vern's place, while some of the best known tradespeople look over his shoulder, and assist where they can. Vern's parts pages are also expertly laid out, and a pleasure to read. Check out Vern's delightfully arty web site at; http://www.verntardel.com/

14/Feb/07. Some users don't have broadband, and it takes ages to watch a simple video on YouTube. If they spend ages waiting to watch a 'new' video, and it turns out to be about how some knucklehead has channelled a Model A to within a millimetre of the deck, and his pals are all standing around giggling about how cool it is, then the dial-up user would be annoyed. The following 3 clips are worth the wait, as the subject is an old timey good old boy in his '35 5 window, which has just 18,263 miles on it. The first video is interesting, despite the fact the cameraman leaves the camera going when he thinks he has turned it off, for a short time;  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlgpC_MOvYI . The sequel is better, with regard to camera control; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkhycbjrLrs and again, where he shows the cameraman around the treasure trove of early Ford parts, and the mint A Tudor, in his yard; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pemWT11XP74

Dial-up users may wish to forego this one; others may find it amusing, and stand around giggling; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6fEqE5CKXQ

This is a slide show, rather than a moving picture, and as such gives reasonable quality pictures. A small problem is that the person who put it together only gives you a second to absorb each picture. Maybe the author has had too much red cordial perhaps; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbpY_pd8poU

This is great -  the design & development of the 1949 Ford (known here as the single spinner), starting in 1946. Check out Henry Ford II's high tech intercom that he uses to speak with an executive. It probably only weighed half a ton, and took an hour to warm up; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCYr3MvnjpQ

7/Feb/07. I couldn't get to the CRAKK run in Canberra - my son refused to put his 21st off until it was convenient, so I asked some of those who did attend to contribute some material. Matt Sherwood provided the pictures - and Matt's photography is second to none, while EFI expert and long time rodder Choco Munday provided the words. Both have internet sites that are well worth visiting, so take a gander at Matt's site; http://www.hotrodmattimages.com and Choco's; http://www.hotrodhandbooks.com.au

This event marks a first for HRF - an interstate run that was covered entirely by contributors. If you feel you could also help with material, please drop me a line.

I have heard the question asked "Are T-buckets traditional hot rods?" They sure are, though they may not have arrived on the scene until Norm Grabowski invented the genre in the mid '50's. Shortly after Norm got his bucket on the road, "TV" Tommy Ivo met Norm, and with Norm's permission, copied Norm's layout for his own spectacular bucket. The pair of them popularised the art form through the media - both Tommy and Norm were actors. If you are you interested in building your own bucket, read about out the free plans (the only thing missing on the page is the plans - they are still coming, but the rest of the advice is helpful) available from; http://crankshaftcoalition.com/wiki/The_FREE_T_Bucket_plans

Speaking of Norm, have you ever seen him in a movie? You almost certainly have, because he has played so many parts that it is unlikely that you could have missed them all. One of the many sites that lists actor's credits has him down for 46 roles, plus 4 movies where he played himself; http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0333288/ . There is more on Norm at Wikipedia; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norm_Grabowski . There is also a page on Tommy Ivo, which lists his 65 plus roles, at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0412443/

Mooneys Japan has an interesting side line - converting cars to woodies! Their English is a damned sight better than my Japanese, but I was looking for some interesting 'Jinglish', because 'Woody' is a subject that is open to all sorts of misinterpretations - particularly from English to Japanese, then back again.  The worst that I could find was a page heading for 'Woddy'; hell, that's a typo that anyone could make. So, forgetting the voyeurism, enjoy their site: http://www.mooneyes.co.jp/english/shop/koubou/about/

31/Jan/07. Lets begin with a laugh. This link is to a spoof site, that is, it is all a big joke, and intends to take the piss out of of the turbo-charged, neon illuminated, imported sports coupe with the doof-doof sound system, and the overly large muffler. Even if that type of car is your bag then you will probably still find this funny. Some of the stuff looks quite useful though - I wouldn't mind a set of cross-drilled brake hoses, 'cause I read somewhere that cross-drilled was good; http://kalecoauto.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1&zenid=5598e4b17db6939bc7da673f5e40a02f 

Would you like a brand new '57 Plymouth Belvedere? It looks very similar to Col Chapman's Coronet in this week's Events feature. The town fathers of Tulsa buried the Plymouth, along with a case of Schlitz, in a "time capsule" in 1957. The capsule will be opened up this year, and I expect the new owner will drive off, swigging on a vintage Schlitz. Now there is a product grouping that has become unfashionable in the last 50 years, cars and beer. See it at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6fQZhua6d0

This English hot rod site has footage of the sensational crash of Top Gear's Richard Hammond, in a jet car. The site even has a very elaborate computer simulation of the event, which begs the question as whether anyone would have even noticed if Richard had broken the UK land speed record without crashing: http://www.v8hotrod.com/

Flathead freaks have another new champion of their cause; a completely new casting of the venerable 24 stud steam engine. This one has a 4 bolt main bearing (that might sound funny, but flattys only have 3 main bearings) and a host of modern manufacturing methods employed in the production: http://www.motorcityspeedequipment.com/

Don't you wish you knew more about old Henry Ford? The internet is a great learning resource, so there must be loads of information on old Henry. We refer to our cars as "Henry's finest", but most of our Fords were designed by his son Edsel - starting with the Model A. Read more at: http://www.thehenryford.org/exhibits/hf/

18 years after Mickey Thompson was murdered, the man who organised his killing has been put away. Mickey Thompson was legendary within hot rodding circles, having held the world land speed record at one time, and having built up a huge speed equipment business that made accessories for all forms of racers and rodders. The LA Times covered the story: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-ex-thompson4jan5,0,4480679.story?page=1&coll=la-home-headlines

After that heavy article, how about some light entertainment, from the old favourite, YouTube. This story deals with a high stepping gasser clone that would be welcome at any drag meet; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-VISGZ5oxk 

This has nothing to do with hot rods, in fact it is about an aeroplane, but we thought you might enjoy the article anyway. We promise not to digress like this in future, but we know there are quite a few other Spitfire enthusiasts out there in hot rod land. The clip is R-rated; http://www.alexisparkinn.com/oh_my_god.htm

Neat eh? So are the products available from Rod Bods, in beautiful downtown Nabiac. We saw a few of their products at Valla Park, and their list of bodies seems to expand continually; http://www.rodbods.com.au/rodbodshomepage.html

Someone told me that Dan Fink had sold his business to a Kiwi who has been activley involved in the business for some time. In case you are not aware Dan Fink produced the most exquisite '32 Ford grille bars, amongst many other items. Check out the range that Dan Fink (or is that Den Funk now?) produces at; http://www.hotrodproducts.com/

We've provided links to local businesses that provide painting materials before, but this product purports to be able to powder coat a chrome plate finish. Given the complexities and expense of chrome plating, and the safety implications relating to hydrogen embrittlement, this might be a lower cost alternative, with less safety concerns: http://www.chromefx.com.au/homepg/homepg.htm

We love hot rod related art; the better the quality the harder we salivate. This bloke is a Pom who has worked in the US, and has been commissioned by many of the large US speed equipment manufacturers to do his thing to their products\promotions. His almost photo realistic sketches, on the "Commissions 2" page are particularly awe inspiring http://www.atomichighboy.com/ . He even has a caricature of Dave Winter's hiboy, or is it? http://www.atomichighboy.com/pages/Wild.htm

Given that this is the 75th anniversary of the '32, the following might assist if you are thinking of building a deuce. We have seen this crowd's ads for thier stamped '32 frame rails on e-Bay, and they start at $650, so you might get them cheaper there, than the $695 buy-it-now: http://www.jimweimerrodgarage.com/

Nostalgia drag racing is fun, so these links should be hoot, as they combine period footage with a period soundtrack: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnhruLK2468 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuHxs6uG6iY will keep you glued to the YouTube for 10 minutes.

Most of these links have been trawled from various newsgroups, in particular Ozrodders, so if you are a regular there you might not get much out of this lot. The first is the site of that quite likeable Tonight Show host Jay Leno. Leno was a diesel mechanic who worked on big rigs before he began work as a stand up comic. He has described himself as someone with way too much money, a large percentage of which is spent on the cars in his garage. Do the garage tour online at;http://jaylenosgarage.com/

Given that 2007 is the 75th anniversary of the '32 Ford, we thought you might like to see some sales promotional material from that year. The usual thoughts of "where are they all now" will haunt you, but it is still a pleasant experience; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNAele2PHZc

This is a brand new production, and quite well done. The narrator has some memorable lines, such as his description of contemporary US pro drag cars as "...rolling billboards owned by corporations, driven by wind up dolls repeating mantras of sponsors names...". Well said; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXU3N9wT3u0

This isn't a hot rod in the strict sense, but a mega buck '70 Hemi 'Cuda is interesting nonetheless. Follow the progress of the Rocket Industries project as this street machine is transformed, in the capable hands of the crew of Hi Class Hot Rods in Melbourne; http://www.rocketindustries.com.au/cuda/index.php

Another feast for flathead enthusiasts, the Uncommon Engineering folk from Indianapolis are experts in all aspects of the flatmotor, be they bent eights or straight eight Hudsons. The site is a little light, but the historical information has a fair bit of good reading and interesting details; http://www.uncommonengineering.com/

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