Armed & Not Dangerous
As much as many of us like the look of '50s cars, their handling quality leaves more than a little to be desired by modern standards, which probably goes a long way in explaining the burgeoning aftermarket these cars currently enjoy. Classic Performance Products' 1958-64 Chevy Tubular Control Arm set provides the 5 degrees of caster required when running a modern power steering box; they can also run with as little as 11/2 degrees for manual steering. The arms come fully assembled with new billet cross-shafts and new OEM-type ball joints. CPP's unique pivot assemblies will never squeak, never need grease, and will last longer than any other bushing. They also have the added safety of interlocking pivot sleeves, unlike the originals, so these bolts will never come loose. The cold-formed spring pockets feature a helical stamped shape that securely locates the coil spring.
The arms are designed to work with all stock or dropped coil springs, and can even be used with coil or 'bag-over shocks. They're a simple bolt-in installation with no cutting, bending, tweaking, or grinding required. For more information, contact Classic Performance Products at (714) 522-2000, or www.classicperform.com.
We've just mentioned how fins and holes are synonymous with hot rods, but what about louvers? Heck, they're even used as standard equipment on Ford hoods! Steve Frisbie of Steve's Auto Restorations is such a fan of louvers that he keeps coming up with new looks for 'em.
His latest is this new Deco Louver, a 3-inch peaked-style reminiscent of the art deco period. This new louver can be ordered as an option on any '32-34 decklid from Steve's Auto Restorations, as can Rootlieb Dry Lakes round-top or Hot Rod flat-top louvers. For more information, contact Steve's Auto Restorations at (503) 665-2222, or www.realsteel.com.
With their unique sound and straight-through design, Cherry Bomb mufflers have always been distinctive, but it's a name that seemed to drop from favor over recent years, even though the company didn't fold or disappear. Far from it, in fact, this year sees something of a renaissance for the company, with many new products released, still painted red, and still carrying that well-known name. Previously available in either 31/2- or 4-inch bodies, Cherry Bomb has introduced the glasspack in a 5-inch body and a new header muffler design in four sizes, for a total of 11 new designs.
With an even more aggressive sound than previous Cherry Bombs, all the header mufflers bolt directly to the header and are available in lengths of 20 and 26 inches with 3-inch-diameter flanges; 271/2 inches with a 33/8-inch flange; and a side-pipe design 36 inches long with a 3-inch flange. There are also seven new short-case designs, four with 31/2-inch bodies (12 inches long with a choice of 2-inch inlet and outlet, 21/4-inch inlet and outlet, or 21/2-inch inlet and outlet); two 4-inch-diameter bodies (12 inches long with 3-inch inlet and outlet, or 16 inches long with 3-inch inlet and outlet); as well as two super high-flow 5-inch bodies (12 inches long with either 31/2- or 4-inch inlets and outlets). For more information, contact Cherry Bomb at (866) 869-9704, or www.cherrybomb.com.
Shock absorbers are often a last-minute addition when building a car, or once fitted are never considered (or even replaced) again, yet they play an important part in any car's handling. Adjustable shocks are even neater, as they enable you to fine-tune your ride quality, and that's just what Edelbrock has released, with a range of front and rear shocks that feature fully adjustable rebound and damping. Employing billet aluminum mono-tube construction, and with 5/8-inch internal diameter mounts, they are available in coilover and regular telescopic versions, and all are polished. The interior of the shock tubes are hard-anodized and Teflon-coated for durability, while coilover applications are available with numerous spring rates to accommodate a variety of chassis weights.
The shocks are available in 36 mm for front applications, either with or without dust boots, as well as a separate version for Mustang II suspensions, while 46mm rear versions can be obtained in long- or short-threaded bodies for coilover applications, or a smooth body for parallel leaf suspensions. For more information, contact Edelbrock Corp. at (310) 781-2222, or www.edelbrock.com.
With the introduction of Flaming River's new Classic Series tilt columns with GM ignition in the familiar key-at-three position, it seems aftermarket steering columns have come full circle, from smooth, uncluttered designs to almost stock-looking in appearance. However, the Classic Series will appeal to owners of mid-'50s to early '70s cars and trucks. The ignition key housing is not an add-on and uses a new standard GM switch and key, which does not require a relay, accepting the OE plug on the wiring harness.
The Classic Series columns are available in floor- and column-shift configurations and in 28-, 30-, 32-, 33-, and 35-inch lengths (with the exception of a 32-inch column shift), and can be ordered with a 1-inch, 48-spline output shaft for replacement applications. For more information, contact Flaming River at (800) 648-8022, or www.flamingriver.com.
If you've tackled automotive paintwork, you've probably heard of Sata, DeVilbiss, and the like. Well, there's a new name on the block that can compete with them in terms of performance and reliability. Razor gravity spray guns are new products from Sharpe, whose parent company, Graco, provides finishing equipment for OEMs, such as Ford, GM, and Toyota. The new Razor guns offer precision performance and are favorably priced, featuring ultra-long-life needle packing and a range of fluid tips from 1.0 to 2.5 mm.
The silver- and nickel-plated guns have stainless steel fluid needles, nozzles, and passages, a polished 23-ounce aluminum cup, and 3M PPS adapter. Probably best of all, they come with a three-year warranty. For more information, contact Sharpe at (800) 742-7731, or www.sharpe1.com.
Lakes-style side pipes have been popular accessories for custom cars ever since the fabulous 1950s. There's only one problem: When you combine chrome pipes with a low-riding custom, road debris will have them chipped and rusting in no time. Leave it to "Speedy" Bill Smith to find a solution to this age-old custom conundrum-stainless steel. Yep, Speedway Motors now offers nostalgia-style lakes pipes in durable stainless steel. Made from heavy-gauge 2-inch-diameter tubing, these stainless side pipes are available in 60-, 70- or 80-inch lengths. All pipes come with smooth stainless end caps that, just like the pipes, will never rust. Stainless mounting brackets are also available. For more information, contact Speedway Motors at (800) 979-0122, or www.speedwaymotors.com.
Stainless 'n' Painless
Grandpa's Hot Rod Co. has been casting finned aluminum accessories-brake scoops, dashes, and column drops-for a while now but has just stepped up to produce stainless steel parts, too. Still traditional in flavor, the theme with the stainless parts is not fins, but holes. Lightening holes have always been a part of hot rodding-think Swiss-cheese'd chassis, I-beams, and wishbones-and these parts are no exception.
The combination headlight bracket/shock mounts are fabricated from #304 stainless, designed to fit the shape of Ford chassis, and are fully polished, as are the bolt-on Flathead V-8 engine mounts. The steering arms are investment cast from 17-4 stainless, and Grandpa has done his homework, as they have a tensile strength of 145,000 psi and a 38 Rockwell hardness rating, should you be wary of their strength when used as such a vital component. Designed to fit '28-48 Ford spindles, this is about the neatest way to achieve traditional push/pull steering that we've seen. For more information, contact Grandpa's Hot Rod Co. at (626) 966-2529, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
You're limited in your choice of valve covers if you're running a late GM small-block with the center-bolt fixing, but PML just added one more option to your arsenal. Available with vintage Chevrolet or Corvette script and fins, the design has removed the PCV and oil fill holes from the top surface, as well as two of the boltholes. The sand-cast-aluminum construction is so much stiffer than stock that you do not need four bolts to apply pressure evenly to the gasket. Holes can be cut into the intake side of the valve cover if they are needed for oil fill or PCV; baffles are cast into the underside in two locations opposite where the holes would go. The covers are slightly taller than stock to allow roller tip rockers; they're designed to use the stock gaskets; and they're available in as-cast, black, or Chevrolet Orange, powdercoated with brushed fins and script, and polished finishes.
PML also has valve covers for the Gen3 Small Block LS series. Featuring internal cast baffles, PCV/breather holes on the inlet side, and two recessed mounting boltholes, the top surface is finned. Supplied with custom gaskets and mounting hardware, and available in as-cast, powdercoated, or polished finishes, these are a great way to improve the looks of an LS motor. For more information, contact PML Inc. at (310) 671-4345, or www.yourcovers.com.
Dunno 'bout you, but if I'm not tripping over my floor jack, I can't seem to find the thing-so that's why I have two, but I digress-which makes T&J Manufacturing's new Jack Rack one of those blindingly obvious "why-didn't-I-think-of-that?" ideas. The Jack Rack was designed to offer convenient storage for aluminum and aluminum/steel floor jacks by mounting them on a wall for easy access.
Made in the USA with a powdercoated finish, the mounting holes are 16 inches on center for easy mounting on almost any wall surface, including stud walls and concrete walls. A cradle holds the jack, while a tapered hook secures the jack handle, and all mounting hardware for stud mounting is included. For more information, contact T&J Manufacturing at (727) 462-9968, or www.thejackrack.net.
While we know they're in the minority, there is still a bunch of cars out there running six-volt electrical systems, which means they're also running very dim brake lights. This isn't good, especially when your average driver is used to bright, modern bulbs. If this is you, check out this neat converter from Watson's StreetWorks. It changes six-volt DC input to 12-volt DC output, thus allowing the use of a bright 12-volt LED third brake light in a six-volt vehicle.
It's not designed for use with any type of motor or fan, and can't be used for any electrical system drawing more than half an amp, but it will work with StreetWorks' LED third brake lights or any similar light. For more information, contact Watson's StreetWorks at (860) 859-0513 or www.watsons-streetworks.com.