Selecting & Installing Coilover Shocks
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Hot Rod Heaters With Vintage Looks & Today’s Performance
Upgrades For Early Chevelle Steering
Barret-Jackson Cup 2023
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We See Some Familiar Faces In The Winner’s Circle
April 2023
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Make It Yours. Make It Lokar. Modern Performance. Classic Style. Endless Options.
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Flaming River: One good turn deserves another
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Modern Rodding CONTENTS
April 2023 article snapshots
Brian Brennan
Industry News
New Products
Those Supporting Our Industry
Brian Brennan
Bob Owens’ ’32 Ford Roadster
By Chris Shelton, Photography by Wes Allison
Doyle Thomas’ ’49 Cadillac Series 62 Sedanette
By Brian Brennan, Photography by John Jackson
Paul White’s ’55 Chrysler C-300
By Chuck Vranas, Photography & Videography by the Author
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Michael Newman’s ’66 Ford Mustang Fastback
By Brian Brennan, Photography by Brian Woodwick
Casey Daniels’ ’55 Chevy
By Tommy Lee Byrd, Photography by the Author
Part 2: “Wild Bill” Carter Left a Paint Legacy and an Unfinished Larry Watson Tribute. Here’s How Marcus “Shaky” Sullivan & “PPG Paul” Stoll Honored the Deal.
By Chris Shelton, Photography by Marcus “Shaky” Sullivan & “PPG Paul” Stoll
Selecting and Installing Coilovers
By Ron Ceridono, Photography by Tate Radford
Part 3: The Ultimate ’35 Chevy Coupe
By Ron Covell, Photography by the Author & Rodger Lee, Videography by Rodger Lee
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There is no Need to be Cold on a Long or Short Drive
By Brian Brennan, Photography by the Author
Borgeson’s Quick Ratio Chevelle Steering Box Upgrade
By Todd Ryden, Photography by the Author
Known for Auctioning the Most Desirable Cars, They Now Recognize the Greatest Hot Rod Builds
By Brian Brennan, Photography by the Author
On the Cover
Current owner Bob Owens is the “caretaker” for a very famous ’32 Ford roadster. The Ian Cusey roadster once appeared on the cover of a Hot Rod magazine special, was rod tested in Rod & Custom, and was featured on the Astronauts album jacket cover (titled Competition Coupe, and who knows why they used roadsters) along with Tom McMullen’s famed ’32 Ford highboy roadster. Photography by Wes Allison
Modern Rodding April 2023 cover
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Modern Rodding ISSN 2692-2371 (print) ISSN 2692-238X (online) Issue 31 is published monthly by In the Garage Media, Inc., 370 E. Orangethorpe Avenue, Placentia, CA 92870-6502. Application to mail at Periodicals prices at Placentia, CA. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Modern Rodding, c/o In the Garage Media, Inc., 1350 E. Chapman Ave #6550, Fullerton, CA 92834-6550 or email ITGM, Inc. at Copyright (c) 2023 IN THE GARAGE MEDIA, INC. Printed in the USA. The Modern Rodding trademark is a registered trademark of In The Garage Media, Inc.
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Wes Allison, Rodney Bauman, Gerry Burger, Tommy Lee Byrd, Ron Ceridono, Michael Christensen, Ron Covell, Grant Cox, John Drummond, Eric Geisert, John Gilbert, Joe Greeves, Ken Gross, John Jackson, Chadly Johnson, Barry Kluczyk, Scotty Lachenauer, Don Lindfors, Ryan Manson, Josh Mishler, Dale Moreau, Don Prieto, Todd Ryden, Jason Scudellari, Chris Shelton, Tim Sutton, Chuck Vranas, John Winter — Writers and Photographers


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Modern Rodding STARTING OVER

Hot Rodding at a Crossroad

By Brian Brennan Photography by The Author

t started more than a decade ago with the economy taking a hit many of us hadn’t experienced in our lifetime. Then came the long “climb” back and we were most assuredly on the right track. Then three years ago we were smacked upside the head once again; dare I say none of us has experienced—a pandemic, inflation of staggering proportions, and a myriad of other social and political miscues.

Yet as I look around it appears to me that our industry is doing well … ask SEMA, look to Detroit, or better yet check in with your local rod shop. All are telling stories of skyrocketing business but dampened with stories of labor shortages and escalating prices. Yet the overall assumption is that for all the “issues” we are experiencing a positive outlook.

So, what’s on the horizon with regard to new builds? Well, there will be plenty of what we know and enjoy but the nature of hot rodding is to explore and expand; there’s something electrifying happening right now. Over the past five years or more, electric-powered hot rods began showing up. My first experience with seeing one was about 25 years ago at the dry lakes here in SoCal. Driving around the pits, I believe it was an electric Model A roadster. You couldn’t hear it come up behind you, which proved to be the point. It was a novel idea but one rodders weren’t taking seriously … at that time.

Rodding Around

A white car with two blue streaks at an auction
A Purple car on display for an auction

red gear icon The Ultimate Hot Rod Supermarket … The Auction

By Brian Brennan Photography by Barrett-Jackson Auctions

ll of us wonder just how much our hot rod is worth. Experience has taught us that our hot rod is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Ideally multiple buyers who possess both the desire and the wallet to own your current ride is optimal. Fellow hot rodder and omnipresent Ron Ceridono tells me that I have failed to learn this process. He tells me my cunning ability to “buy high and sell low” is counterproductive … at least for me.

Recently I had the opportunity to spend several days at the Barrett-Jackson Auction held in Scottsdale, Arizona. This is the biggie for them and always lives up to the billing. Granted, there are some 1,600 vehicles up for sale and they do sell, but it is the accompanying show that is mind boggling. While I was looking for early hot rod buys, of which there were few, I did notice that there were plenty of Chevys, Fords, and Chryslers that were bringing in big dollars. I can easily say that the high-performance car aftermarket is alive and well. Corvettes are still king among the Bowtie crowd and the “correct” Camaro is highly thought of, while the Ford GT-series of cars are very strong and the Mustang remains popular, and Chrysler late-’60s/early-’70s-era muscle cars are still very strong, especially the Superbirds.

Now, investigate the coffee can you have “rat holed” in the deepest darkest recess of your garage and count your savings. Maybe you have what it takes to bring home one of these iconic hot rods.

Modern Rodding NEW PRODUCTS

By Brian Brennan

New Car Products Displayed
1. ’64-67 GTO Receives a Facial
Classic Instruments announces its new ’64-67 GTO direct-fit package is an all-electric cluster featuring a speedometer and tachometer with a set of two dual gauges reading fuel/oil and temp/volts. It has green LED turn signal indicator(s) and a blue high beam indicator in the dash housing. Mounting hardware and a wiring harness is included to install with the original bezel, diffuser, and lens and setup is a breeze with push-button speedometer calibration and built-in ECM signal filter switch. All other necessary sending units are included with a Classic Instruments GM sending unit kit (PN SNGMNF) no-fuel sending unit. Fuel gauge is calibrated to 0-90 ohm. Save space with Classic Instruments’ Zeus Speedometer Technology built-in, meaning the cluster requires no external control boxes and works directly with ECM or VSS signals. This package is available in seven different design series plus an OE style.

For more info, check out Classic Instruments by calling (800) 575-0461 or visit

Modern Rodding FEATURE
Wrecker's Finest Haul
Bringing Back a ’32 Ford Roadster to its Previous Glory
By Chris SheltonPhotography by Wes Allison

ebble Beach Concours d’Elegance winner probably isn’t the best way to introduce anybody in a rod magazine. But our pal Bob Owens isn’t just any ol’ body, either. Hell, sometimes he ain’t even Bob. More on his ’32 Ford roadster.

Modern Rodding TECH

"Finishing a Masterpiece"
Part 2: “Wild Bill” Carter Left a Paint Legacy … and an Unfinished Larry Watson tribute. Here’s how Marcus “Shaky” Sullivan and “PPG Paul” Stoll Honored the Deal.
By Chris Shelton Photography by Marcus “Shaky” Sullivan & “PPG Paul” Stoll

ecently, we introduced you to Marcus “Shaky” Sullivan and his legacy project, a Square Bird custom that painter Bill Carter started. For those of you who just joined us, Carter set out to build a tribute to his mentor, Larry Watson. He had some friends drop and shave a survivor car before he painted it. Only the car remained unfinished upon his death in 2019. So, Sullivan took it upon himself to sort out his hero’s unfinished business. He bought the car and set out to replicate the paint design that Carter’s longtime pal Steve Stanford rendered.

Modern Rodding EVENT

blue-green ’69 Firebird
Barret-Jackson Cup 2023
Known for Auctioning the Most Desirable Cars, They Now Recognize the Greatest Hot Rod Builds

By Brian Brennan Photography by THE AUTHOR


he Barrett-Jackson auctions are well known for their automotive venues. In an attempt to become more inclusive of all parts of the automotive world, they initiated the Barrett-Jackson Cup a few years back. Initiated to recognize more than cars that are just auctioned, the Barrett-Jackson Cup brought out 50 of some of the finest hot rod builds in the country to compete for one significant award and a cash prize. Initially it was the late Pete Chapouris, of SO-CAL Speed Shop fame; Bobby Alloway, of Alloway’s Hot Rods; and Bob Millard, a lifelong indoor car show judge, who were the three-person team who determined the overall “Cup” winner.

Modern Rodding FEATURE
The Penalty of Leadership typography
“That Which is Good or Great Makes Itself Known …”
By Brian Brennan Photography by John Jackson

ver a hundred years ago there was a print ad for Cadillac that appeared only once. It turned up in the January 2, 1915 issue of the Saturday Evening Post. The title of the ad was “The Penalty of Leadership.” It didn’t show a picture of a Cadillac or mention the brand by name, but this ad became legendary. Which brings us to our ’49 Cadillac Series 62 Sedanette currently owned by Texas hot rodder Doyle Thomas. It was brought to its existing level of accomplishment by Mark Bowler of Bowler Performance Transmissions (yes, the transmission people).

three quarter driver's side front view of the pale blue ’49 Cadillac Series 62 Sedanette parked in front of a red brick building

Modern Rodding TECH

Test fitting new coilovers on chassis
1. Colin Radford does a test-fit of a pair of Strange Engineering (SE) coilovers on the Art Morrison Enterprises (AME) Bikini Clip on the front of his ’57 Ford Del Rio Ranch Wagon.
"Shock Therapy"
Selecting and Installing Coilovers
By Ron Ceridono Photography by Tate Radford

oilover shocks have been around for a long time. It’s been so long that several unnamed Modern Rodding editors had a full head of hair when they first began to find favor with chassis builders. Initially, coilovers were only found on race cars, but it was our good friend, the late LeRoi “Tex” Smith, who has been credited with first installing them on a street rod. He hung a pair on the rear of his America’s Most Beautiful Roadster trophy–winning XR-6 in 1962 and coilovers have been with us ever since.

While coilovers have been popular on sports cars and smaller, prewar hot rods, they have also become popular for use on larger, heavier postwar cars, like Colin and Sue Radford’s ’57 Ford station wagon shown here. And why shouldn’t they be? It’s simply a matter of selecting the correct combination of shock absorber and spring to make them work as they should, and with help from Strange Engineering (SE) that’s what we did.

Modern Rodding FEATURE
Hellcat 300
By Chuck Vranas Photography and Videography by The Author

hen it comes time to fusing elegance and performance together in a well-planned package nothing gets you to the head of the class faster than imagining the union of a classic ’50s-era cruiser with all the technological benefits of a new-generation muscle car. The alluring ’55 Chrysler C-300 showcased across our pages belonging to Paul White Sr. of Portland, Maine, stays true to its marque with the blending of an ’18 Dodge Challenger Hellcat to its vintage heritage. Far more involved than your standard platform change, it required the build team to up the ante with reengineering the Hellcat platform to mate to the C-300 as well as integrate all its driveline, electronics, and interior components into the car.

Modern Rodding TECH

1. The finished look is getting closer to reality. Thanks to Eric Black of e. Black Design we have a good idea of what our finished goal will look like.

The Devil is in the Detail title
Part 3: The Ultimate ’35 Chevy Coupe

By Ron Covell
Photography By Ron Covell & Rodger Lee
Videography By Rodger Lee
Artwork By e.Black Design


s work nears completion on Greg Heinrich’s cutting-edge ’35 Chevrolet coupe, we wanted to show how some of the outstanding details were handled. (In previous months, Modern Rodding has brought you chassis and sheetmetal work.) Ironworks Speed & Kustom has made a commitment to use the latest technology to design and build these parts. In most cases, the portion of the car where the parts will fit is scanned, so when the parts are designed in CAD they will fit precisely. Once the CAD model is completed, a plastic part is printed and then this part is checked for fit and appearance before machining the final part from billet aluminum. Opportunities for improvement often become apparent after the printed part is made, and frequently parts go through several revisions before the design is finalized.

Modern Rodding FEATURE
Plenty of Giddyap
This ’66 Ford Mustang Fastback Has the Ponies to Back Up its Performance



lot has already been written about the Ford Mustang, especially the first generation (’64 73), American-made hot rod. However, plenty more can be said for what individual hot rodders like Michael Newman teaming up with Tim Divers of Divers Street Rods (DSR) of Sultan, Washington, can accomplish. This ’66 Ford Mustang Fastback has the right elements to give it staggering performance all the while keeping those classic fastback lines.

Modern Rodding TECH

1. Geoff Jones of Hot Rods by Dean is reading the installation instructions of the Vintage Air Streamline Heater (PN 660066) in a Model A on Deuce ’rails. If you can fit it under the dash of a Model A body then you can fit it just about anywhere.
There is no Need to be Cold on a Long or Short Drive

By Brian Brennan Photography by THE AUTHOR


n our world of hot rods, especially early cars, the lack of a heater and/or A/C used to be the norm. Nowadays there’s a simple solution to solving heating and A/C needs. Well, it’s much easier for the closed cars, but for open roadsters (and the like) the use of A/C, while occurring more frequently, the real need is for heat. A small heater only is more affordable than an entire A/C system, and sometimes more practical. So, with this in mind, we came up with the Vintage Air (VA) Streamline Heater (PN 660066) ideally suited for open hot rods. It is designed to sit separately below the dash.

Next stop was at Hot Rods by Dean in Phoenix to check out the installation of one of the VA Streamline Heaters in (what else?) an open Model A roadster. While this is the starting point for our story, the fact is you can use this in any hot rod project where you have a front-area-only to maintain warmth.

Modern Rodding FEATURE
By Tommy Lee Byrd Photography by the Author
Family Tradition typography
A Young Rodder Builds an Old-School ’55 Chevy

rowing up around old cars can have lifelong effects. For some, it takes many decades to reach a financial position to invest in a car that takes them back in time. Casey Daniels, a young car guy from Taylorsville, North Carolina, took the accelerated route and bought this ’55 Chevy 210 Delray when he was 25 years old. His dad, Rick, bought a ’55 while Casey was still in diapers, and those childhood memories of that car keep their passion for old cars alive.

Casey found this ’55 Chevy Delray for sale online. He was out of town for an extended amount of time and didn’t want it to slip away, so he had his dad give it a once-over. Rick said it was a great car and that he should buy it, so he made the deal without seeing the car in person. Casey said that the previous owner didn’t want to sell it to him because he was so young, but Rick assured him that he’d take good care of it and be responsible. It was a long three months before Casey made it back to town, but the ideas were already brewing. The car was a driver but didn’t check all the boxes for him just yet.

three quarter driver's side view of the red and cream colored ’55 Chevy Delray

Modern Rodding TECH

1. The Borgeson Quick Ratio Chevelle steering box is all new, from the cast housing to the worm gear, bearings, and other internals. Borgeson also offers new rag joint adapters to help finish the upgrade properly.
The Art of Sectioning
Borgeson’s Quick Ratio Chevelle Steering Box Upgrade
By Todd Ryden Photography by The Author

any hot rodders tend to prioritize performance and cool looks before ever thinking about things like steering improvements. Making the move from manual steering to power assists is obviously a night and day difference, but you may be surprised to learn that even updating a stock power steering box with a modern unit can make a huge difference in the way your old classic drives.

Our case in point is a ’64 Chevelle that still sports the factory power steering. The turning action was easy, almost too easy, and felt unbalanced at highway driving speeds. We recently heard about Borgeson Universal’s all-new quick ratio steering box that bolts in place of the factory Saginaw 800 series box used in most ’64 and up GM classics.


Larry Wood at his personal shop where he builds his hot rods and is very proud of his Hot Wheels collection that spans 50 years.
Larry Wood, Designer of Hot Wheels Cars, Hot Rodder, and Now Inductee to the Automotive Hall of Fame
By BRIAN BRENNAN Photography Courtesy of Larry R. Wood

t will be this summer on July 20th when longtime hot rodder and well-known designer of Hot Wheels for Mattel Larry R. Wood will be inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame (AHF). The AHF itself is in Dearborn, Michigan, and is open to the public.

To those of us who have spent our lives building, driving, and thoroughly enjoying hot rods, Wood is one of us. He is a member of the Early Times Street Rod Club and is a constant sight in the Long Beach, California, area. His builds have graced the cover of many car magazines over the years. I’m also willing to bet there isn’t a hot rodder alive who hasn’t picked up a Hot Wheels car at one time or another.

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Thanks for reading our April 2023 issue!