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Free Horsepower Tips

If you’re in the planning stages of building your Chevrolet, or even if you have finished and are driving it, there are lots of free or inexpensive things you can do to make your Bow Tie faster and/or more efficient. This month, TheAutoBuilder gives you 25 of those ideas. Most of these free tips simply involve putting your car on a diet. Every 100 pounds of weight removed from your car equals dropping 1/10th of a second at the strip. Even though you may not be racing, the same theory applies to the street, and also to the extra weight you must lug around.

Zen and the Art of Building Headers

Dive into the world of header fabrication as we demystify the process and equip you with the knowledge and skills to create custom headers for your vehicle. Follow along step-by-step as we break down the intimidating task into manageable steps, offering valuable insights and practical advice along the way.

Significant Parts At The NATS

Delve into the world of street rodding with a glimpse into the NSRA Street Rod Nationals, where cutting-edge products steal the spotlight. From Lokar’s award-winning lighting solutions to Speedway Motors’ stainless steel exhaust manifolds, find out which new releases are revolutionizing the street rod scene.

CLASSIC HOT ROD CRUISER

The pictured F-100 is a 1954 model, and it was purchased by Carl and Marianne Lewis from Milwaukie, Oregon, in 1992. The truck had seen better days, as it had been sitting out in the elements under an awning next to a storage shed. In primer, and with a transplanted 289 small block, the truck was partially disassembled as it sat on four flat tires. It had not been moved for some 10 years. Mel Nichols was hired for the much needed makeover, which took 3-1/2 years to complete.

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F-THIS!

Embark on the extraordinary journey of the “F-This” F-100, a groundbreaking collaboration between Chip Foose and Super Rides by Jordan. This radical pickup, born from a 12-year project, captured attention with its rapid 12-month transformation. Uncover the intricacies of the custom-fabricated chassis, boasting elaborate plumbing systems for air suspension, fuel delivery, hydraulics, and brakes. Experience the thunderous power of the 850hp 540ci ZZ 502 GM big block and the innovative design elements, including a tilting front end and reversed suicide doors. Explore the meticulous body modifications, the eye-catching House of Kolor Spanish Gold paint, and the handcrafted interior adorned with leather and snakeskin. Immerse yourself in the accolades earned, including “Best Radical Pickup” at the ’05 Autorama, as “F-This” emerges as a triumph of automotive artistry and innovation.

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HOT & HAMMERED

The Modtiques of Eastern Pennsylvania have been producing a quality rod run for the past several years. It’s the quintessential “small rod run” produced by a local club that draws quality cars to comfortable venues. The quality of cars and people is high, and many of rodders who attend the event do so annually, making it a long-standing tradition in the process. Author Photography by Walt Winklespecht The Rodder’s Cup is the top award for the event, and some 30 or so years ago, we entered into an interesting partnership with the Modtiques, whereby we agreed to feature the street rod that captured the award. It has made for an interesting selection of hot rods, and this year is no exception. The club members chose the car, and it seems—for the most part—the cars chosen have a common thread or two. First, it seems the Modtiques have a thirst for real hot rods, as most of its selections tend to have “very healthy” powerplants. Second, chopped tops and often non-Fords come to the forefront, making the Rodder’s Cup an award that has been bestowed upon a diverse selection of cars. This year was no exception, and Bob Naudascher’s bright red ’41 Chevrolet sedan encompasses all of the things one has come to expect of a Rodder’s Cup winner. The sedan cuts a wicked profile with a chopped top, no bumpers and bright red paint—all adding to the look. Under the hood, a hot tunnel ram fed small block is found, and making all this even better, the car is a homebuilt hot rod. When Bob Naudascher hauled home his self-described rust bucket, it was far from show quality. The typical oxidation process had taken its toll on the car with the floors and lower extremities of the body requiring replacement. After repairing the considerable rust and getting the body structurally sound with all panel gaps fitting perfectly, Naudascher had Jack Consonza and Carl Chuppa drop the top on the sedan two inches. In the process, the front vent windows were eliminated. While the sheetmetal was being moved, front fenders were molded, the headlights frenched and the hood was filled and shaved of all trim. The stock grille remains but has been relieved of all stainless steel in favor of a monochromatic approach. Moving toward the rear of the car, all side trim was removed, and the door handles were shaved. Lower rocker moldings were given the deep six and the rear decklid is now devoid of any hardware. The stock taillights remain, but have been lowered on the body, and the rear pan was rolled after eliminating the rear bumper. When the body was finally smoothed, straightened and fit the Viper Red DuPont paint was applied by Jack Consonza and Carl Chuppa. “Scotty the Striper” from York, Pennsylvania added the pinstriping and small graphic to the sides of the sedan. Under the bright red Chevrolet is a state-of-the-art street rod chassis. Front suspension comes from Heidt’s Hot Rod Shop, and the fully independent suspension provides handling, ride and good braking all in one package. Out back, a kit from Chassis Engineering locates the 9-inch Ford rear via parallel leaf springs and tube shocks. Power for the sedan comes in the form of a ’78 vintage 355 cubic inch small-block Chevrolet. The over-bored 0.030 engine runs stock heads and a 350hp cam. MSD provides the hot spark, and between the heads, a tunnel ram intake mounts a pair of Holley carbs. A neat homebuilt aluminum air breather houses K&N filter elements and polished no-name valve covers keep things simple. A Walker radiator cools the small block and noise suppression comes from a set of stainless steel mufflers. Behind the small block, a rebuilt Turbo-400 transmission handles the shifting chores. After the body and chassis were completed, the sedan was taken to W.N.J. Upholstery in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, to upholster the stock seats in a horizontal pleated design. The smoothed and filled dashboard now carries a full set of Stewart-Warner gauges and a controller for the Vintage Air heat and AC system. Power windows from Juliano’s drop the glass and Big Al’s door handles add a bit of billet to the interior. An owner-installed American Autowire harness and panel control the entire electrical system. A LeCarra wheel in matching gray leather tops the steering column while the column shifter selects the gear. It took Bob Naudascher four years to bring his sedan back to life, but in the end, the effort was well worthwhile. The Viper red sedan is a great example of Chevrolet’s last year of full production, prior to WWII and beyond. It is a classic example of fat-fendered hot rodding. The chopped top, the tunnel ram motor and everything in between simply make the winner of the Rodder’s Cup for 2003 hot and hammered.   ARTICLE SOURCES

Observations From the Field

Call ’em tech tips, building tips, details or whatever you like, but this is the stuff we see at events and shows while shooting features or doing shop tours, not to mention things we’ve discovered while working in our own shops. It’s like when you’re foot-cruising an event with the boys and pointing things out to each other, or when you have a stroke of genius while working on your own project.

MOONEYES

The showroom is what every auto parts store dreams of being: diced in checkerboard black and yellow tile with a heap of pegboard. Up front, the sales counter is the hub of business, fueled by eager customers that keep the phone ringing off the hook. Bob, Sam and Robin deal one-on-one with customers, keeping all 50 states Moon-equipped.

Lost & Found

There are many reasons why the icon cars have achieved the lofty status they now enjoy, but one of the more obvious reasons is the simple fact that they were finished. Their existence and subsequent high-level exposure have inspired many a young lad to undertake similar projects, and for every famous car built in the early years, probably two others were started in an attempt to either copy or outdo it, but they never saw the light of day.

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