Drive This 1957 Chevy Home... See How Inside! typography with yellow chevy car
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Is It A Truck, Is It A Car... Yes, They’re Both Hot Rods! typography
Aluminum For

Interior Panels
& Dash

Your Own
Installing &
A New
Working Aluminum For Interior Panels & Dash
Home Shop: Making Your Own Custom Trim
Installing & Insulating A New Floorboard
Improve Your IFS
With CPP Spindle & Brake Kit
CPP Spindle & Brake Kit article snapshot
August 2021
Preview Issue
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Modern Rodding CONTENTS
August 2021 Table of Contents article snapshots
Brian Brennan
New Products
Those Supporting Our Industry
Feature of the Month sponsored by Optima Batteries
George Lange’s 1970 Chevy El Camino
By Brian Brennan, Photography by John Jackson
Feature of the Month sponsored by Optima Batteries
Mike and Lynn Connor’s 1971 Ford Ranchero
By Brian Brennan, Photography by John Jackson
The American Tri-Five Association Giveaway Car: 1957 Chevy 150
By Brian Brennan, Photography by Gabrielle Sauerland
Vaughn and Kelly Veit’s 1933 Ford Station Wagon
By Chuck Vranas, Photography by the Author
Rob and Marilyn Morrison’s 1932 Ford Coupe
By Chuck Vranas, Photography by the Author
Enhance Your Braking With a CPP Modular Brake Kit and Spindles
By Brian Brennan
Aluminum Paneling & One Dashing Custom Dash
By Gerry Burger
Installing a New Radiator Core Support in Your 1966-1971 Ford Torino, Fairlane, or Ranchero
By Brian Brennan, Photography by Jason Chandler
How to Buy a Used Hot Rod and Then Begin to Bring it Back to Life
By John Gilbert, Photography by the Author
Clayton Machine Works Provides a Trim Solution
By Gerry Burger, Photography by the Author
Modern Rodding August 2021 cover
On the Cover
The debate goes on, and on: Is an El Camino or a Ranchero a car or a truck? Well, we like to think of them as excellent examples of hot rods. The Connors own this outstanding example of a 1971 Ford Ranchero (built by the Painthouse) while the Langes own the equally amazing 1970 Chevy El Camino (built by Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop).
Photography by John Jackson
Duralast official oe replacement parts of Modern Rodding
Modern Rodding ISSN 2692-2371 (print) ISSN 2692-238X (online) Issue 11 is published monthly by In The Garage Media, 370 E. Orangethorpe Avenue, Placentia, CA 92870-6502. Application to mail at Periodicals prices is pending at Placentia, CA. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Modern Rodding, c/o In The Garage Media, 1350 E. Chapman Ave #6550, Fullerton, CA 92834-6550 or email ITGM at Copyright (c) 2021 IN THE GARAGE MEDIA. Printed in the USA. The Modern Rodding trademark is a registered trademark of In The Garage Media.
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Wes Allison, Rodney Bauman, Gerry Burger, Tommy Lee Byrd, Ron Ceridono, Michael Christensen, Ron Covell, Grant Cox, Dominic Damato, John Drummond, Eric Geisert, John Gilbert, Joe Greeves, John Jackson, Chadly Johnson, Barry Kluczyk, Scotty Lachenauer, Ryan Manson, Josh Mishler, Dale Moreau, Todd Ryden, Jason Scudellari, Chris Shelton, Tim Sutton, Chuck Vranas, John Winter — Writers and Photographers


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Modern Rodding STARTING OVER
Craig Morrison portrait
A Moment in Time
By Brian Brennan with Randy Borcherding

‘ve always said the best reason to be a hot rodder comes from the true friends you garner. Make sure to hold them close because they are special and rare, and enjoy their company whether behind the wheel, under the hood, or at the dinner table. For me, to find myself sitting in a parking lot ingesting a pizza and a few cold ones after a hot day of tramping around blistering asphalt is a blessing come true. One such “special and rare” individual was Craig Morrison from Art Morrison Enterprises out of Washington. Craig was my friend and a friend to countless others. Having good friends to enjoy is hard enough to come by but losing one has proven to be very painful.

I’ve said this before when writing about the loss of a friend, “If you want all of the details you will have to look elsewhere because you probably won’t find them here.” For me, my reflections about 46-year-old Craig are more about the loss of a friend and what that means than the whys and wherefores. To me everything else is “stuff.” He was noticeably younger than I but it never stopped either one of us from talking “shop,” enjoying a good laugh, or mapping out where we wanted to end up and how we would get there. Aside from our hot rod world, we enjoyed the outdoors, especially the mountains, Jeeps, four-wheeling, and the friends we have across this country. Both of us would talk about our life’s plans; he was most assuredly working his.

Modern Rodding NEW PRODUCTS
1. Classic Instruments 1933–1934 Ford car electronic-operation gauges; 2. Flaming River's VDOG 90-degree steering gearbox; 3. Steele Rubber Products' Convertible Roof Rail Weatherstrips (PN 70-4102-65)
1. Classic Instruments 1933–1934 Ford car electronic-operation gauges
2. Flaming River's VDOG 90-degree steering gearbox
3. Steele Rubber Products' Convertible Roof Rail Weatherstrips (PN 70-4102-65)
1. Something New for 1933–1934 Ford Gauges
Classic Instruments has released 1933–1934 Ford car electronic-operation gauges. The cluster will include a speedometer, fuel level, temperature, oil pressure, and volt gauges, along with indicator lights. A matching 3-3/8-inch tachometer in a chrome mounting cup is also available. The fuel gauge is programmable for any ohm range with a selector switch on the back of the cluster, meaning the fuel gauge will work with the stock sending unit, any other factory sending units, or any Classic Instruments fuel sending unit. The package includes a machined, chrome-plated bezel and engine-turned aluminum faceplate. The standard sending unit kit included is Classic Instruments’ SNFD.
For more info, check out Classic Instruments by calling (800) 575-0461 or visit
2. An Old Dog With a New Trick
With the popularity of custom builds, engine swaps with tight engine compartments, steering column, steering shaft, headers, and the frame itself, clearance has become more of a problem. A SEMA Best New Street Rod Product and Best New Engineered Product—the VDOG 90-degree steering gearbox from Flaming River—may be the answer to your woes.

VDOG features a 35-degree variable angle, articulating ball output shaft, allowing for maximum adjustment of the steering angle to the steering gear and 3/4-inch-diameter, 36-spline input and output shafts for universal joint or coupler connection. The VDOG has no chains or sprockets providing instant steering response and can be mounted at multiple vertical and inverted positions within an engine compartment or behind dashboards or firewalls. It is made in the USA.

For more info, check out Flaming River by calling (800) 648-8022 or visit
3. Sealed Shut
Steele Rubber Products now offers a new part for the 1958 Chevrolet Impala convertible: Convertible Roof Rail Weatherstrips (PN 70-4102-65). This set replaces factory PN 4724608/09 (front), PN 4724159/60 (center), and PN 4724031 (rear). You can also request from Steele Rubber Products a vehicle-specific catalog just for your 1958 Chevy Impala.

This six-piece set, designed from original parts for proper fit and made from high-quality EPDM rubber, fits the folding roof of the 1958 Chevy Impala convertible to seal the side windows when fully raised. The rubber is molded over steel core inserts, again, ensuring durability and a proper fit.

For more info, contact Steele Rubber Products by calling (800) 230-8101 or visit
Modern Rodding FEATURE
The Best of Both Worlds typography
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The Best of Both Worlds typography
Two for the Price of One: The Chevy El Camino
By Brian BrennanPhotography by John Jackson

he Chevrolet El Camino for all of its popularity was late coming to market and suffered through fits and starts. It was as early as 1952 that GM’s own Harley Earl suggested a “coupe pickup.” Yet the El Camino didn’t enter the market segment until 1959, two years after the Ford Ranchero, and then initially it lasted for only two seasons in 1959 and 1960. The El Camino began with the 1959-1960 years, followed by the 1964-1967s, the 1968-1972s, 1973-1977s, and 1978-1987s. It should be noted that 1959-1960 was based on the B-body platform. From 1964-1977 the El Camino was based on the Chevelle platform, while 1978-1987 was based in the G-body platform.

Modern Rodding TECH
Enhance Your Braking With a CPP Modular Brake Kit and Spindles
Powerful Typography
Stoppers Typography
By Brian Brennan

here’s an old expression that states: “You shouldn’t drive faster than you can stop.” Notice we wrote, “shouldn’t,” given the fact many rodders don’t always do what they should do when they should do it! But the smart ones realize getting out in front of a problem is the best way to avoid a problem. Something all of us should always closely watch is our hot rod’s braking capacity. Knowing this we thought it a good idea to take a look at what’s offered from Classic Performance Products (CPP) in the way of stopping power for one of the most popular brake systems used in our world.

One of if not the most popular swap in our hobby is the Mustang II front crossmember with IFS. It has shown up under every kind of hot rod imaginable and for good reason—it works. But you can always improve on a good thing if you know what to look for and how to accomplish the swap. That brings us to the CPP Mustang II Modular Spindle Wheel Brake Kit (PN M2SWBK-MOD-S) for stock height spindles that will fit the popular Mustang II IFS. CPP also offers a 2-inch drop one-piece forged spindle for this same kit (PN M2SWBK-MOD-D) that will work in the same applications. Should you go for the 2-inch drop spindle you will want to make sure that you have the proper wheel and tire clearance within the front wheelwell area for both suspension travel, turning, and ground clearance for the undercarriage.

To show off the CPP Mustang II Modular Spindle Wheel Brake Kit we used this 1941 Ford. The front suspension is the ever-popular Mustang II IFS that rolls on Coker Classic Firestone rubber mounted to Wheel Vintiques steelies.

Modern Rodding FEATURE
El Ranchero
By Brian BrennanPhotography by John Jackson
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El Ranchero
FoMoCo Never Had This in Mind When They Were Designing the 1971 Ford Ranchero
By Brian BrennanPhotography by John Jackson

ow often have any, or maybe all, of us started in one direction only to make an unsuspecting turn midway through our journey. Such was the case for Mike and Lynn Connor of Tennessee and their 1971 Ford Ranchero.

It was back in 2013 that the Connors were alerted a friend was selling his 1971 Ranchero, piquing Mike’s interest. It seemed like a cool project, so a deal was struck and to its new home went the Ranchero. What was to be a mild-mannered rebuild turned into something more—but that wasn’t the end of the story.

Modern Rodding Tech
It took some world-class fabricators, but with time and effort the old hot rod became a metal masterpiece. Now it was time to bring the interior up to that same level.
By Gerry Burger
Department of the Interior
Department of the Interior
Aluminum Paneling & One Dashing Custom Dash

e have been following along with the construction of the Bill Sather 1934 Ford five-window coupe at BBT Fabrications for the past year. With the exterior of the car flawlessly metal-finished it was time to take a look inside. With a traditional hot rod profile on the exterior, the interior consists of current-day metal shaping while maintaining the hot rod flavor. Actually, that has been the theme throughout the build, forming a traditional hot rod but with the fit and finish of a show-worthy, modern-day hot rod. Even the powerplant is a blend of both worlds, with a big GMC 6-71 blower pumping wind into a modern LS motor that lies below.

The interior design draws heavily on the original 1934 Ford five-window coupe shapes but it’s also cleaner, better fitting, and will make for a very sanitary interior. The “bellypan” under the dashboard is an example of that concept. This removable panel will hide everything from the Vintage Air components to the wiring while providing a panel to mount the A/C ducts. The hood release mechanism also protrudes through the panel for more of that sanitized look.

The headliner, door panels, and all interior are hand-formed aluminum, the craftsmanship is so nice one may be tempted to leave the interior in bare metal. The final plan is to cover them in leather, and so, like many things on a good hot rod, much of this work will be covered. The same goes for the floorpan. The beautiful metalwork will be covered with sound-deadening material, but all is not lost as the metalwork is easily seen when viewing the underside of the car.

Modern Rodding FEATURE
Bowtie Delight
The American Tri-Five Association Will Give This 1957 Chevy 150 Away at Their 6th Annual Tri-Five Nationals
By Brian Brennan Photography by Gabrielle Sauerland

omeone is going home this summer with this 1957 Chevy 150 built by Woody’s Hot Rodz (WHR) as it will be given away at the 6th Annual Danchuk Tri-Five Nationals, held August 12-14. One might imagine driving home two cars could be a real “pain” but we are also thinking this hard luck tale is one all of us would gladly endure.

It’s summer, which means hot rods, sun, and fun with cars. It’s been a year where the majority of us were locked up, confined, shut down, shuttered, boarded up, or in some form or fashion put on “ice” and we are now ready to get out and have some fun. Each year the American Tri-Five Association holds their Danchuk Tri-Five Nationals in Bowling Green, Kentucky, at the iconic and most assuredly historic track Beech Bend Raceway. Steeped in tradition, the facility represents what’s good with having a weekend of fun at an event.

Modern Rodding Tech
Core Strength
Installing a New Radiator Core Support in Your 1966-1971 Ford Torino, Fairlane, or Ranchero
By Brian Brennan Photography by Jason Chandler

hink back a few months (May ’21 issue) to our 1969 Ford Torino Cobra Jet 428 4V Q-code project. We’re back! The last time we replaced the passenger side quarter-panel. Yep, our Torino was in dire straights and needed lots of attention. Knowing this, we rounded up a fresh radiator core support (PN 350-8469) from Auto Metal Direct (AMD) and visited Craig Hopkins at The Installation Center where he quickly showed us how to replace a tired, worn, and/or rusted radiator core support.

While it truly fits our Torino Cobra Jet, this radiator core support will also work on 1966-1969 Torinos, Fairlanes, and Rancheros. There is a second core support for the same vehicles for 1970-1971. While you are at it, you might want to also consider replacing both upper and lower radiator support mount brackets (upper, PN 351-8467-3 replaces factory PN C7OZ-8A193-A; and lower PN 351-8467-2 replaces factory PN C7OZ-8052-A).

A little more on fit. The reproduction radiator core support will work on all engine sizes except the six-cylinder model. According to AMD, “It’s stamped from a high-quality OE 20-gauge steel on new tooling and each radiator core support features the correct original shapes, size, bends, tabs, and holes as the original.” It comes bathed in an EPD coating to protect it against corrosion. (EPD is “electrophoretic deposition” or more commonly called “electro coating.” It’s an immersion wet paint process that uses electrical current to help the paint product bond to the metal surface.)

Modern Rodding FEATURE
Root Beer ’n’ Maple title
Vaughn and Kelly Veit’s 1933 Ford Station Wagon Redefines Cool
By Chuck Vranas Photography by THE AUTHOR

ith an amazing fusion of wood and steel, the Ford Motor Company designed and developed a station wagon (woodie) that could not only accommodate your family but also send you down the road in grand style. It’s easily seen from every angle when looking at the 1933 Ford wagon owned by Vaughn and Kelly Veit of Buffalo, Minnesota, laid out across our pages. Incorporating the flowing elegance of the newly designed front sheetmetal with that of a woodie body, the designers created a low production vehicle that would become even rarer to see in existence well over 80 years later—making this wagon even more unique.

It’s easy to see that the 1933 Ford wagon, or woodie as we like to call them today, was geared toward a more affluent client, where the car would find itself quite at home on a rolling estate for runs with the family through the countryside. Ford production in 1933 totaled 334,969 units, with only 1,654 woodies being built, retailing for $640. As a comparison, their Standard Tudor sedans were the most produced model with 106,387 rolling off the production line to illustrate how few wagons were built. With cars starting at $475 for the standard roadster, the cost of a wagon made it the most expensive vehicle in the lineup. When looking at the average household income of $1,550 and home price of $5,750 with gas at 10 cents per gallon, it all becomes clear how much the difference in price would have affected the average buyers.

Modern Rodding Tech
If you are wondering who is in charge with this project take a closer look at the left front tire … Boss Cat!
East Coast Graffiti

How to Buy a Used Hot Rod & Then Begin to Bring it Back to Life

By John Gilbert Photography by the Author

his story started out as a simple tech about installing Dynamat into a hot rod and then a more thorough examination of the car changed everything. This 1931 Model A Ford is the best example of the worst job building a hot rod that I’ve ever seen. The first time I saw the East Coast–style coupe it was too late to advise my son-in-law how to buy a used hot rod. Ramon had already bought the car and spent big bucks for questionable repairs before pulling it out of a dodgy shop. 

My first opportunity to see the Model A in person was while our family gathered for Thanksgiving and it was a flashback to the ’80s. It was typical ’80s looking. Inside the coupe’s interior it was obvious the car had been built by an inept DIY guy using junkyard parts who owned a cutting torch but not a body grinder. 

I asked Ramon how he intended to use the coupe and he said he wanted to cruise it to the local weekend car shows like the doughnut shop, but no long road trips. The next question was which shop would finish it up? Ramon said he was happy with the customizing work 714 Motorsports in Westminster, California, did on his new Ford Super Duty, so he’d probably take it there. 

Modern Rodding FEATURE
Resplendent in Red Title
Rob and Marilyn Morrison’s Traditional 1932 Ford Coupe
By Chuck VranasPhotography by THE AUTHOR

here’s nothing better than being able to trace back the roots of a traditional hot rod to the day when it was first built. What was the inspiration for the project and how did it come about? Maybe it was a teenager looking to impress everyone at school, or was it possibly the thrill of building the car while hanging out with buddies in your driveway? Maybe it’s a 1932 Ford five-window coupe complete with channeled body and a vintage Flathead? Many times, if you’re lucky enough, you can find a basket case thanks to a private lead and then discover its lineage. Dig a bit deeper and just maybe you’ll get your hands on a few photos depicting its original glory and quite possibly the missing bits to bring it back to its original brilliance.

Rob and Marilyn Morrison’s Traditional 1932 Ford Coupe Before and After
Modern Rodding Tech
Mechanic trims a strip of aluminum
We found a solution for transitioning from the body panel to the interior header from Clayton Machine Works (a Lokar Company). The aluminum trim proved to be the perfect solution.
Transitions typography
Clayton Machine Works Provides a Trim Solution
By Gerry Burger Photography by THE AUTHOR

uilding a hot rod is simply, or not-so simply, a series of challenges. While it definitely pays to plan ahead, sometimes you do things with the thought of “we’ll worry about that when ….” This is the tale of just such a postponement. Early on in our 1936 Ford phaeton build we decided the original top just had to go; we would be running topless in our tub (Author’s note: That didn’t come out just right.—BB … “It never seems to!”—GB) with plans of either a tonneau cover for the back seats or possibly a Carson-style top.

So, the top was removed and sold, leaving an unsightly seam where the original steel body panel was unceremoniously nailed to a wood header. Ah yes, they just don’t build ’em like they used to. At one time the top was also nailed to this header. While creating a reasonable transition from steel to wood was obviously a problem, we put the project off and now the time had come to address a solution.

We considered a type of upholstery trim or even aftermarket vinyl door protector but decided while that would be easy it would also look like an inexpensive aftermarket door trim. And so we continued our search, which led us to the Lokar website to check out their Clayton Machine Works offerings. The offerings are varied and all very cool, from door handles to shifter handles or pedals, they all have a great sense of style. But we were looking for trim; sure enough, there it was, Aluminum Exterior Trim. A mill-finished 6063-T0 aluminum trim that could be mounted with 3M double-sided high-strength adhesive, it can be drilled and tapped for “blind fastener” installation or it can be drilled and screwed in place. The simple look of the trim was perfect for our hot rod, just two pleasant curves give the trim shape and even more important it would provide the perfect transition from body panel to the wood header. We contemplated using 3M adhesive to mount the trim but due to the uneven mounting surface we decided to screw the trim in place. We also felt some countersunk stainless screws would look more period correct on our vintage-style hot rod. If we were using this same material for side trim on a car we would definitely use the adhesive. A quick call to Lokar and we placed the order for two pieces 4 feet long (also available in 6- and 8-foot lengths). Several days later a heavy cardboard tube was delivered to our door.

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Missing an issue? Please contact one of our resellers listed below. Want to sell one of our titles in your store or shop? Contact us at
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Thanks for reading our August 2021 preview issue!