Author Archives: John Gunnell

OC Blog 136 Photo 01

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...

OCBlog135 Photo 01

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...

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...