Author Archives: John Gunnell

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...

A young boy in his Soap Box Derby car. When we were kids, derby (or Chevy) representatives would come to our school to talk the race up to us kids.

Chevy generated goodwill thru Soap Box Derby

  Chevrolet’s involvement in the Soap Box Derby was another of its early passages into American culture. Myron E. “Scottie” Scott (who later named the Corvette) served as an artist, photographer and art director at the Dayton Daily News. In June 1933, he photographed six boys racing wooden contraptions down Big Hill Road in...

Grumpy Jenkin’s Toy 10 Vega was a vintage racer at the 2013 PRI Show.

Performance & Racing Industry show is a winner

  Make no mistake, there will be plenty of old-car enthusiasts at the 27th Annual Performance Racing Industry (www.performanceeacing.com) Trade Show in Indianapolis, Ind., on Dec. 11-13. This is one of the few “car shows” scheduled for the last month of the year. Officially it’s for members of the racing trade, but lots of...

The college teams lined up with their cars on the Bonneville Salt Flats for a group photo.

Higher Education

  The idea is to build a car that will reach a higher speed than anything else in its class. There are a lot of classes to race in on the Bonneville Salt Flats and each of the college teams that competed at the Utah Salt Flats Racing Assoc.’s “World of Speed” event in...

Some automobile wiring harnesses can seem downright scary when you start trying to figure out how to connect all those wires.

Wacky wiring

  Back in 2006 we decided to drive an old truck to Florence, Ore., to purchase and pick up some parts for an MG Magnette we were working on. The front tires on the truck were a bit marginal, so we stopped at a big box store in Minnesota to buy two front tires...

Cadillac lovers believe their favorite cars can knock down walls, drive on hot coals and take all kinds of awards for their style and beauty. They also make eye-catching advertising vehicles.

Why people collect Cadillacs

    Recently we asked a car collector why he collected Cadillacs “Because people say they’re the best and I want the best,” he answered. He believed that Cadillacs could knock down walls, drive on hot coals and take all kinds of awards for their style and beauty. When we were young, Mom always...

Back in 1943 this mechanic in Washington, D.C. was tinkering with a car that didn’t want to be fixed.

Think there are cars that don’t want to be fixed?

  Sometimes it seems like there are cars that don’t want to be fixed. We’ve been working on one lately that’s driving us nuts. We had the engine rebuilt by a reputable shop and we had the distributor redone by a specialist. When the car went back together, it should have run like a...

When this model posed for a 1954 Buick Roadmaster promotional photo, she had no idea she was sitting on a future gold mine.

Hot Seats

  Tonight we were bopping around the Internet looking for a black vinyl driver’s seat for a 1974 Triumph Spitfire. Our search carried us to eBay, where there was a nice pair of tan hounds-tooth seats for a Spitfire. The opening bid price was $400. We thought that price was pretty steep—or at least...

This license plate shaped promotional sign that originally hung in the Scott Motors dealership in Quincy, Ill., promoted the ’56 Chevy.

Chevrolet’s Got It For ‘56

  The Tri-Five Chevys—the 1955 thru 1957 models—have been popular since way before we started driving in 1965. We owned a ’55 210 post coupe back then. It was our first car and we loved it, but we still didn’t think it was as pretty as the ’56 Crocus Yellow and Onyx Black Bel...