Author Archives: John Gunnell

This cut-down side of a simple staple puller made a great tool for removal of dashboard knobs.

Making Our Own Tools

  If you work on old cars there’s a good chance you have made a tool or two in your lifetime. We recently ran into the need for a tool to remove the chrome collar from a heater control knob on a 1948 Mopar model. The chrome knob was affixed to the D-shaped stem...

Bolting the new fuel tank into the car seemed like it was impossible until we thought about why the bolts weren’t grabbing.

Fuel For Thought

  It was frustrating. A day earlier we had the brand new Triumph Spitfire gas tank all bolted on place, when we realized that there wasn’t enough room to install the “plumbing.” So, we had to remove the tank again, install the plumbing and then get the tank back into position. Easier said than...

A 1966 Pontiac 2+2 without fender skirts has wheel well moldings.

Skirting the issue

  It’s always fun to delve into the little variation that you find in collector cars. Years ago we enjoyed reading articles that got into the difference between, say, a 1937 and a 1938 Ford or maybe a 1950 and 1951 Mercury. It’s even more fun to explore the differences that could be found...

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JW Rod Garage’s ready-to-roll chassis and glass bodies

  There’s a lot to be said for building a hot rod on a ready-to-roll chassis designed to accept specific drive trains and to accommodate high-quality fiberglass bodies. You wind up with an engineered machine that fits together good, works well, eliminates drivability issues and goes together a lot faster than a scratch built...

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Non-abrasive Soda Blasting Removes Paint

  Though old car fans think of soda blasting as something brand new, it was actually developed by Union Carbide to restore the Statue of Liberty in 1984-1986. Many of us remember Lee Iacocca of Mustang fame getting behind this patriotic project. Soda blasting is non-abrasive and doesn’t warp or damage any surface because...

This is a replica of the streamlined bike Munro raced at Bonneville.

World’s Fastest Indian Perfect for Bus Trip

Today my son Jesse and I went on a bus trip with 54 other car enthusiasts to see a fantastic hot rod collection in Madison, Wis. One of the riders was Dave Sarna — a hot rod builder — who brought along “The World’s Fastest Indian” video for us to watch on the bus....

Although it is billed as a “muscle car museum,” the collection also includes vintage motorcycles and all sorts of car and bike memorabilia.

Doc’s Harley-Davidson and Muscle Car Museum

  Steve “Doc” Hopkins. Doc is the owner of Doc’s Harley-Davidson® in Bonduel, Wis. This Harley dealership is like others you’ve seen, but different. It has a bike showroom, an accessories and apparel store and a repair shop. But, how many Harley dealers have a zoo, a muscle car museum and a pirate ship?...

A rusty old “bathtub” Nash stood as a silent sentinel outside the original Antique Archeology location in LeClaire, Iowa..

American Pickers

  We are not big TV watchers, but while recuperating from a medical problem a few weeks ago, we started watching “American Pickers” (www.history.com/shows/american-pickers) and Pawn Stars (www.gspawn.com ) on the History Channel. We’ve never been to Rick’s pawn shop during any of our Las Vegas trips, but we have made several attempts to...

Yellow arrows point to the locations where Studebaker stopped drilling holes for exhaust manifold studs in the Studebaker Big Six. When rebuilding these motors it is wise to have the manifold “planed” so it’s flat and seals well.

Studying Stude Studs

Isn’t it amazing how one thing leads to another in the old car hobby? Take my recent, unintended study of the number of exhaust manifold studs used on the engine of my son Jesse’s ’49 Studebaker Commander Regal Deluxe Starlight Coupe. For the record, the car has the 245.6-cid Studebaker “Big Six.” We had...