Gauging Success
Auto Meter introduced a limited-edition short-sweep tachometer to celebrate the company's 50th anniversary in 2007. However, after production ceased, consumer response was so strong, and requests for the tachometer so numerous, that Auto Meter is now offering a restyled, non-limited-edition version, complete with a retro Auto Meter logo for a vintage look.

This 3-3/43/4-inch pedestal-mount tachometer is a faithful reproduction of the company's first tachometers from the late 1950s and early 1960s, featuring a chrome case and bezel, black face, and short-sweep layout to 8,000 rpm; but it's all business inside, featuring the same race-proven precision-air core movements that Auto Meter uses in all its racing tachometers. For more information, contact
Auto Meter at (866) 248-6356, or www.autometer.com.

Keeping It Real
The '32 Ford three-window coupe was introduced with several unique features, and one extremely hard-to-find piece is the ashtray, which fits in the glovebox door. If you're a stickler for originality, or indeed a smoker, Shadow Rods has designed and sells an exact replica of this extremely rare piece. The reproduction ashtray does differ from a stocker in one way, though, as it is crafted from polished stainless steel rather than nickel-plated metal. All ashtrays are packaged in a velvet bag to protect the finish and are available for immediate shipment. For more information, contact
Shadow Rods at (989) 754-1927, or www.shadowrods.com.

Rotate And Repeat
Here's one of those "why didn't I think of that?" tools. Unless you have a set of hex-keys that fits your ratchet like a socket does, you'll doubtlessly use either single hex-keys or one of those sets where they're all attached to a common handle. Professional Tool Manufacturing, the company that brought you the Drill Doctor and Work Sharp brands, took that handle a step further and made it ratchet. It's so simple yet ingenious at the same time!

With nine of the most commonly used hex-keys, both standard and metric, the ratcheting handle makes using a hex-key so much easier than having to remove it at every turn. For more information, contact
Professional Tool Manufacturing at (541) 552-1307, or www.ratchetinghexwrench.com.

Braking Out
Most Mustang II-based IFS conversions employ the small piston metric GM caliper commonly found on S-10 pickups, and increased stopping power would be welcome in many applications. With this in mind, Classic Performance Products has designed and manufactures a new big-bore caliper with a 20 percent increase in stopping power. This new caliper is universal and can be used on the left or right as the bleed screw, and the banjo fitting can be installed in either position. It also features a smooth casting with chrome, powdercoat, or paint in mind, is lighter than stock, and features extra internal ribs. CPP's calipers are supplied with D154 pads, clips, slide pins, banjo bolts, washers, and bleeder screws, and replace the D154-type GM metric calipers ('78-88 midsize and '83-02 S-10) used on most MII conversions, as well as any application that uses the D154 type. For more information, contact
Classic Performance Products at (714) 522-2000, or www.classicperform.com.

Radio Control
There are two things we always notice when we look at a car's interior-and we look at a lot of cars and interiors in this job-or at least we notice when they don't blend in with the style of the car, and they are A/C vents and radios or head units that are too modern. Custom Autosound may have just solved the second conundrum, though, with its 30th anniversary model USA-630. This radio has the cosmetics and features to blend in with many interiors and dashes, such as large pushbuttons and actual knobs. When did you last see those on a radio?

Though it may look old, this 240-watt radio features a built-in USB port, four-channel RCA pre-outs, Aux-in (two-channel RCA) for an iPod, CD changer control from the radio pushbuttons, and satellite capability. It can also be supplied with an optional 10-disc CD changer and iPod controller/charger. For more information, contact Custom Autosound at (800) 888-8637, or www.custom-autosound.com.

Steer 'N' Gear
Sometimes, the simple ideas are the best, and with Gennie Shifter's huge assortment of shifter knobs available, it was a logical addition to the product line to add a brodie knob clamp that enables the user to match the brodie knob to the shifter knob. Of course, they don't have to match, and with a possible 40,000 combinations from the Gennie Shifter range, why have two the same? The brodie knob clamp itself is a good-looking piece, with a ribbed design that seems to coil around the steering wheel rim, and it allows the knob itself to be changed out with ease, attaching in exactly the same way the shifter knob attaches. For more information, contact Gennie Shifter at (877) 7-GENNIE, or www.gennieshifter.com.

Mirror Finish
Hot rods and customs probably have more chrome than most vehicles out there, so Meguiar's new Hot Rims Chrome Polish will find itself getting used for more than just wheels, we're sure. Its unique formula removes brake dust and tarnish without harming the chrome's surface or micro-scratching, and will provide a crystal-clear finish, whether on wheels as recommended, or bumpers, headers, valve covers, or whatever else you've had dipped in the vat of shiny stuff. For more information, contact Meguiar's at www.meguiars.com.

Amp It Up
Dressing out a vintage engine with modern accessories can be a problem at times, with the alternator, power steering, and A/C compressor visually distracting from the cool intake, valve covers, and other engine components. For builders using the Buick Nailhead engine, Centerville Auto Repair has come up with a compact way to package and mount a small modern alternator.

The alternator comes with a CNC-machined mounting bracket, an adjuster bar, and instructions. The alternator may be small, but it pours out the amps even at idle, where it's often needed. The design keeps the fan belt close to the engine, allowing the use of an engine-driven fan without fan spacers. The alternator is available plain or polished, and the bracket can be polished as well as drilled for the "lightening holes" look. For more information, contact Centerville Auto Repair at (530) 272-1564, or www.nailheadbuick.com.

Flakin' Paint
There can be little doubt that metalflake has returned big time, with a number of companies offering 'flake products. PPG is a well-known brand in the automotive refinishing trade, and it's the latest to offer a 'flake, going under the Ditzler Big Flake name. PPG traded under the Ditzler name until 1986, and many customers are nostalgic about the name, so the company felt it an appropriate moniker for this retro product.

Part of the Vibrance Collection, Ditzler Big Flake is available in silver and gold, as well as four color-shifting options. It can be added to the basecoat or color blenders, or used as a ground coat for PPG's Radiance II mid-coats for varying effects. For more information, visit your local PPG distributor, or contact PPG at www.ppgrefinish.com.

Locked In
If you use spiral locks or wire locks when you install piston wrist pins, you'll be interested in the Lock-In-Tool, as it simplifies installation, reduces labor time, and helps avoid damage to pistons. Available for spiral or wire locks and in a variety of standard and metric sizes, the Lock-In-Tool is available in 4140 hardened steel for repeated professional use, or plastic for the do-it-yourself engine builder. With the steel version in use in many NASCAR shops, the performance and convenience of the Lock-In-Tool is proven. For more information, contact Lock-In-Tool at (704) 843-5477, or www.lockintool.com.

Tattle Tale
We've had third brake lights for a while now, and while far superior to just the regular two brake lights, drivers are used to them. Watson's StreetWorks has introduced something that might grab following drivers' attention. Dubbed the Tattle Tale, it uses an inertia switch to detect panic stops and reroute the brake light signal through an electronic pulsator, meaning the lights pulsate when hard braking occurs, though they work normally under regular braking conditions. The device is a great addition to third brake lights or for any system up to 60 watts. For more information, contact
Watson's StreetWorks at (860) 859-0513, or www.watsons-streetworks.com.

Learn French the easy way!
Frenched headlights have been around as long as people have been customizing cars, and though it's not hard to do using the original components and a little work, in this age of things made simple, it should come as no surprise that there are kits for just this purpose.

AutoLoc should be familiar to R&C readers for its shaved door handle and power-window kits, among other products, and now the company offers a Frenched Headlight Kit, an ideal companion to Autoloc headlights. It can be used with or without the optional chrome trim ring. For more information, contact AutoLoc at (866) 470-7541, or www.autoloc.com.