Gunner’s Garage

Gunners Garage
With the hood closed the Packard has a stock appearance.

Packard Hot Rod Coupe

  Jim Gunderson’s business—Classics, Customs and Rods, Inc.—was started in 2002 “At that time, I decided that there was a need for a shop that could help people who had street rods,” he says. Gunderson built up his whole business around repairing vintage cars and street rods. CCR is not an all-in-one restoration shop....

One thing leads to another.

A “Whole ‘Nother Story!”

  Don’t you think it’s absolutely crazy how things go when you start tearing down an old car? You tell yourself, “This time we’re just going to do the brakes” or “This car doesn’t need much more than a tranny overhaul.” But things never stop there, do they? That’s how it’s going with the...

Electrical ties allow color-coded wiring connections. Old wires were color coded, but colors fade or get covered by grease.

What Goes Where?

  Every restorer has his or her own way of keeping track of parts taken off a car. We have marveled at mechanics that take things apart without a single note, tag or photo and then re-assemble the parts into a working machine. Some of them won’t even use a shop manual 90 percent...

The Coffee Clutchers enjoy visiting each others’ collections as well as stopping at hobby-related businesses.

“Coffee Clutching” is catching on

  The Coffee Clutchers are a group of car enthusiasts from Central Wisconsin who get together on an irregular basis for breakfast or to visit private car collections, auto museums and restoration businesses. The Coffee Clutchers have no rules, no dues and no newsletter. Their gatherings are just-for-fun get-togethers that everyone involved seems to...

Will the MG TD ever be finished?

New Year’s Resolution

  As we start a new year, thoughts turn to making the next 12 months more productive and rewarding than the last 12 months. One way to do this is to make New Year’s resolutions and then work to make them come true. Resolving to do something is one thing and actually getting it...

The old-car hobby will officially mark its eighth decade of existence in the fall of 2015. In the beginning, “antique” cars looked like this one.

Old-car hobby officially turns 80 in 2015

  We know that people were collecting old cars by 1925, which was the year that the American automobile industry recognized (incorrectly) as its 25th anniversary. Most early car collectors were automobile dealers who took in old cars on trade and realized that they had historical significance. However, there was no formal “old-car hobby”...

The bronze Bonneville Special turned up in a Detroit art show.

Dream Museum

  A day after we did a blog on Chrysler dream cars we received a call from dream car collector Joe Bortz of Chicago. Joe had just called to chat about this and that, but we wanted to ask him a question. In a certain antique auto parts catalog there is a side-bar story...

This 1959 Ford Skyliner retractable hardtop sits in a barn in north central Wisconsin along with a four-door parts car. If you were to buy it, would you know the best way to handle fixing it up?

What do you do with a barn find?

  What do you do with a barn find after it’s been found? That’s the question many restorers ask when they bring a car out of lengthy storage and start working on it. Do you tear into it and fix everything all at once or do you gently give it just what it needs?...

We have two blasting cabinets in our shop, a larger Eastwood unit and a smaller one from Metal Finishing Supply.

Having a Blast

  Today we were blasting a bellhousing for my son’s 1949 Studebaker Commander Starlight coupe. It was a greasy piece of iron and it took most of the day to remove all the caked on grease and get it looking good. Before we had a media blasting cabinet, we thought that blasting parts would...

This 1968 Triumph TR250 has a low production number. The car has been sitting for 30 years awaiting a fix up.

Barn find rarity from England

  The latest British-built car to come into Gunner’s Great Garage (www.gunnersgreatgarage.com) is a 1968 Triumph TR250 roadster. As you can tell, this is a car that was “driven hard and put away wet.” It was last licensed in Illinois in the 1980s. The owner kept the car all those years, pushing it from...