We know that every one of our readers is an above-average driver. Unfortunately, everybody else on the road is a reckless maniac, hurrying to get someplace, chatting on a cell phone, and oblivious to the presence of hot rods. If you're going to mix it up with that kind of traffic, you need to make sure your rod is equipped with up-to-date brakes. Four-wheel discs are a good start, but if those discs function off of the old manual braking system, you're not getting the benefit of ultimate stopping power.

We found out about the Electric High-Power Master Cylinder Kit from ABS Power Brake at the Hot Rod & Restoration trade show, where it won the Best New Product award. Unlike other brake boost systems that run off of engine vacuum, the ABS unit runs off the car's 12-volt electrical power.

As luck would have it, ABS is only a couple exits down the freeway from the R&C offices (what isn't?), so we dropped in to learn a little more. The day we were there, they were installing a kit on a '35 Chevy sedan that had manual front and rear discs. The owner was tired of the poor stopping performance, and wanted to do something about it.

Shop manager Pedro Gomez explained that when the customer gets his car back, the first thing he'll notice is improved pedal feel that won't require as much pressure to engage the brakes. He'll also notice an impressive reduction in stopping distance and time-and ultimately, a lot more peace of mind in the middle of traffic.