The automatic transmission has reigned supreme in rods and customs since rodding shifted from "hot" to "street." But, as of late, there seems to be a return to using three pedals. Whether it's the rise in popularity of traditional rods, or simply a backlash against the increasingly reduced feedback a driver gets from even more automatic and electronic systems on daily drivers, we're not sure, but we're seeing a bunch of stick shifts lately. And, if your latest project has that third pedal, it follows that you'll need a clutch!
McLeod has been at the forefront of racing and street clutch technology for more than 30 years. One of the company's most widely used and time-testedassemblies is the Soft-Lok system, a unit that meets the demands of powerful engines while offering superb holding power and adjustability.
The secret behind the Soft-Lok is low static pressure, resulting in light pedal effort and soft clutch engagement.
For more information, contact McLeod Industries at (714) 630-2764; www.mcleodind.com.
Cap It All
If you're an early-Ford fan, you won't deny that the hubcaps used in the '30s were great-looking wheel ornamentation, but they only fit wire wheels. There wasn't a lot of choice when it came to 'caps if you wanted to run the later '40-48 Ford or Mercury steel wheels on your traditional '30s Ford, which limited you to the '40-48 versions. The same goes for '49-57 wheels. At least there wasn't much choice until now.
EJ Whitney Co. has released a new cap that fits the later steel wheels, yet has a center that accepts the earlier wire-wheel hubcaps. Now you're spoilt for choice, with six hubcap options.
For more information, contact EJ Whitney Co. at (714) 773-1611.
Cruisin' for a Bruisin'
Hot rodding often gets a bad rap when it comes to the cost of building cars, but it seems Bruiser Enterprises is setting out to change that, with its "finish-it-yourself" fiberglass '28-29 Model A Tudor sedan bodies. The basic stock-height body is supplied with inner and outer doorskins, a '32-style smooth dash, and a recessed firewall at $2,999. The customer assembles and installs the doors and firewall, as well as fabricating an inner structure and floor.
For those not so DIY inclined, there's also a 5-inch chopped version with a filled, ribbed roof; recessed firewall; doors fully assembled and reinforced with power windows and door glass installed, hung and latched with stock-type hinges, latches, and handles; full floor; '32 style dash; smooth visor; rear- and side-window frames; and complete steel tube inner structure installed.
There are various options, and chassis packages too, right up to rolling versions.
For more information, contact Bruiser Enterprises at (928) 855-5616; www.bruiserbodies.com.
We met Scott Gordon at last year's L.A. Roadsters Show, where he was displaying his new carbon-fiber roadster Pop Tops, and now he has a new use for the material-battery boxes for Odyssey dry cell batteries. Switching to dry-cell technology means you can lose your unsightly conventional battery, as the dry-cell versions can be mounted in any position except upside down, and are smaller, making it possible to hide them under the dash, behind trunk panels, or anywhere else you can come up with.
Odyssey's PC680 battery provides 680 cranking amps and more than enough juice to power lighting, ignition, and a radio. The Outt'a Sight box holds the 16lb battery in a three-ply carbon fiber shell that can be bolted anywhere, and features a kill switch for improved car security. For cars with A/C, high-amp sound systems, and a number of electrical systems such as power windows and seats, there's a larger box for the Odyssey 925.
Both the Outt'a Sight 680 and 925 boxes are supplied with their respective batteries, the former with a two-year warranty and the 925 with a three-year warranty.
For more information, contact Pop Tops at (760) 947-0054.
There are some things you only do once, and installing cheap header bolts is one of them. Once you've had a set work loose, and the headers start to leak, you'll want to invest in a set that'll stay torqued down!
The folks at Totally Stainless could have your answer, having combined vibration-proof, heat-resistant stainless wedge lock washers with high-strength stainless ARP bolts, resulting in what they're calling Total-Loc header bolts. The two-piece 3/16-inch wedge lock washers are installed on the bolts prior to thread rolling, meaning they won't come off, and they're available with either six- or 12-point heads.
For more information, contact Totally Stainless at (800) 767-4781; www.totallystainless.net.
If you're going to use reproduction parts on your car, it makes sense to use the best available. TrimParts Inc. manufactures GM-licensed restoration parts and uses the original GM tooling under license from GM when available. These 1956 Chevy Hood Bar Extensions are the company's latest offering, and look fantastic with 11-step chrome plating. Supplied with the necessary hardware to fit them, the Hood Bar Extensions are the trim pieces that fit under the headlights, tying the trim across the front of the hood to the fender trim pieces that wrap around to the wheelhousing.
For more information, contact TrimParts at (513) 934-0815; www.trimparts.com.
How often have you peeked under the tail end of a neat car, only to see cheap exhaust hangers supporting a nice system? It happens, and it's not that hard to put right, especially with Bitchin Products' new billet aluminum Tail Pipe Hangers. Available in either 2 1/4- or 2 1/2-inch diameters, they swivel 360 degrees and can be cut to any length, which is also the perfect way to mount a pair of pipes at exactly the same height.
For more information, contact Bitchin Products at (928) 771-2590.
Back in the '30s, most automakers offered some form of what is now known as artillery wheels, and they make popular hot rod wheels in some quarters with some Mopar wheels fitting Ford bolt patterns. They are so popular, in fact, that Wheel Vintiques has tooled up to manufacture them in billet aluminum, negating the need to trawl eBay or swap meets for a set. Initially available in 16-inch diameters with a 5 1/2-inch rim, the new 96 Series Artillery wheel is offered in 5-on-4-1/2-, 5-on-4-3/4-, 5-on-5-, and 5-on-5-1/2-inch bolt patterns. Because these wheels are custom made to order, there may be some flexibility from standard backspacing, according to the manufacturer. OEM-type lug nuts will work with the new wheel, which features an optional "V8" 'cap.
For more information, contact Wheel Vintiques at (559) 251-6957; www.wheelvintiques.com.
There are a few things you might take for granted if you run a modern steering column in your ride-such as a tilt facility, or maybe a shifter-but one thing you will have is a turn-signal switch, something that simply doesn't exist on traditional steering columns. Sure, you could hit the swap meet and procure a crusty old aftermarket version, or you could call Ron Francis for one of these new clamp-on switches. It clamps onto any column and looks just like those old '50s versions.
With a chrome-plated housing complete with green turn-signal indicators and a four-way red emergency flasher light, the unit comes with short wires to connect to the signal lights and an assembled plug-in connector. Best of all, it'll work within both six- and 12-volt applications.
For more information, contact Ron Francis at (800) 292-1940; www.ronfrancis.com.