10 Cool Bow Tie Tips

These tips are performance-oriented in nature because no matter how good-looking a matching-numbers Chevy might be, getting there and back is vital, as is prepping the car properly and inexpensively with little trouble. While six-figure projects and high-tech billet products flood the market, finding a good deal at the local salvage yard or a worthwhile part left over from a project can be just as exciting and much easier on the wallet.


Fluids are the lifeblood of the vehicle. We need to contain those fluids yet still be able to monitor the fluid levels. Our older readers can remember the days before aftermarket flexible dipsticks or silicone caulk were available. The only option in those days was to use an OEM dipstick and dipstick tube. If you needed to shorten the tube, a hacksaw was the tool of choice. If you cut 4 inches off the tube, you then cut 4 inches off the dipstick and ground a couple of notches in the side of the dipstick to note “full” and “add.” Gaskets could be sealed with Permatex, but they had to be used as there was no such option of placing a bead of silicone caulk on the mating surface and assembling the parts.


There’s a lot to like about vintage engines. Just the sheer fact that it isn’t a small-block Chevy is enough to inspire many hot rodders. Now, don’t get us wrong; the small-block Chevrolet is nothing less than awesome, but it is also the default engine of most hot rodders. Often, there is no thought involved as many rodders simply want the 350/350 treatment. That’s probably fine for most hot rodders, but there has been a real resurgence in putting vintage motors in vintage hot rods, and we love the concept. The Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Buick Nailhead and Hemi are all great candidates for powering a vintage hot rod. Parts are still available for most of these engines, some being tougher to find than others. A surprising amount of speed equipment survives for these engines, too, and companies like Offenhauser still produce a lot of vintage speed equipment.

Right Rod

If you attend car events in California, such as NHRA’s California Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield, the West Coast Kustoms show in Paso Robles or the L.A. Roadster Show in Pomona, you will notice that rat rods are a growing segment of the hot rod hobby. Years ago, when they started becoming a common sight at many of the shows, the mechanical aspects of most of the cars were scary at best. You could see cars with no springs, some without floorboards, and many constructed with less-than-­desirable stick welding. It is this type of construction that created the name “rat rod.” Fortunately, over the past few years there has been an attempt to upgrade the construction of rat rods, even though the enthusiasts want to use as many original parts as ­possible.

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