Amazing DIY Color Sanding & Polishing … At Home
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In The Garage:
Building a
’31 Ford Highboy
Bombs Away:
The Scenes:

A Look At The
Metalwork Of The
’34 Chevy
& Steering
Column Install

On A ’57 Ford
In The Garage:
Building a ’31 Ford Highboy Phaeton
Bombs Away:
Assembling Bomber-Style Seats
The Scenes:

A Look At The Metalwork Of The AMBR-Winning ’34 Chevy
Firewall Modifications & Steering Column Install
On A ’57 Ford Wagon
The 69th Detroit Autorama … “We’re Back”
May 2022
Preview Issue
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Make It Yours. Make It Lokar. Modern Performance. Classic Style. Endless Options.
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Series Restored by Lokar
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Modern Rodding CONTENTS
May 2022 Table of Contents article snapshots
Brian Brennan
Industry News
New Products
Those Supporting Our Industry
Jamey Hyder’s ’68 Road Runner
By Brian Brennan, Photography by John Jackson
Steve Spang’s ’55 Chevy ‘Vert
By Brian Brennan, Photography by John Jackson
Bob Nicholls’ ’33 Chevy Coupe
By Brian Brennan, Photography by Wes Allison
Tim Garner’s ’31 Ford Sedan
By Brian Brennan, Photography by Don Kates
Brett Parker’s ’63 Ford Falcon Futura
By Chuck Vranas, Photography by the Author
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Part 3: Fabricating a Firewall and Installing a Flaming River Column
By Ron Ceridono, Photography by Tate and Colin Radford
Pro Tips for DIY Color Sanding & Polishing
By Barry Kluczyk, Photography by the Author
The Vintage Bomber Seat From Speedway Motors is a Great Way to Implement Tradition
By Brian Brennan
Part 2: Bringing Vintage Tin Back to Life
By Gerry Burger, Photography by Art Fortin
A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Some of the Metalwork Required for the AMBR-Winning ’34 Chevy Roadster
By Ron Covell
… And Ridler Competition
By Eric Geisert, Photography by the Author
On the Cover
Jamey Hyder of Tennessee took the family’s ’68 Plymouth Road Runner that was originally purchased by his dad and turned it into an amazing, modern-day hot rod. Built at Charlies Custom Creations, also of Tennessee, they incorporated amazing one-off craftsmanship and proven components to make this Road Runner truly one-of-a-kind. Photography by John Jackson/
Not Stock Photography.
Hot Rod Industry Alliance logo: 2021 Recipient of the HRIA Business of the Year Award
Modern Rodding May 2022 cover
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Modern Rodding ISSN 2692-2371 (print) ISSN 2692-238X (online) Issue 20 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) 2022 IN THE GARAGE MEDIA. Printed in the USA. The Modern Rodding trademark is a registered trademark of In The Garage Media.
Built for the street
Tubular Control Arms with Coil-Over
CPP’s New Premium Steering Columns
Stock-Type Control Arms
Complete Mustang II IFS Performance Systems
9" Rear Ends, Tilt Steering Columns
Proven on the track
Fuel-Injection Tanks & Systems, Hydraulic-Assist Systems
13" Front/12" Rear Rotors
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Classic Performance Products, Inc.
378 E. Orangethorpe Ave. Placentia, California 92870
*Prices subject to change without notice, please inquire. (* = estimated at prices due to current rapidly changing costs.) Also, please note that kits and prices may vary between certain applications.
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Printed in the USA.

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Modern Rodding STARTING OVER
A headshot picture of Brian Brennan grinning
What’s Wrong With Today’s Car Culture?
By Brian Brennan

or many of us there is nothing wrong with today’s car culture. While there is plenty to be thankful for and to enjoy, I’m speaking of something that is a bit more fundamental. Something that is at the very core of what’s going on.

Look around and you will see many different aspects to our car culture. There are street rods, street machines, customs, lowriders, and various cruisers. Next there are indoor and outdoor car shows and all sorts of performance aspects, such as drag racing and autocross. And our car culture has room for the young and old alike. (Some of us don’t consider ourselves old, but alas we just might be.)

While I’ve written predominately about cars, what about trucks? Holy cow, the classic truck side, whether it be two- or four-wheel drive, has exploded. It is in the rocket growth stage that street rods were in the late ’80s-’90s, and it’s not just here in the states but around the world. The car culture is alive and well.

Rodding Around
By Brian Brennan
DEI Sponsors of One Lap of America

red gear icon DEI Sponsors of One Lap of America

Design Engineering Inc. (DEI) is supporting the 2022 Tire Rack One Lap of America with a unique weeklong drive-and-race event that covers 3,500 miles.

Piloting some of the world’s most advanced street cars, One Lap participants begin and end the event in South Bend, Indiana, following a circuitous route, including stops in South Carolina, Alabama, and Kansas. Over the seven days of competition, drivers will test their overall skills in a variety of challenges, including skidpad, autocross, dragstrip, racetrack, and highway transit. Teams are self-managed, have no support crews, and must start and finish on the same set of tires.

“We are excited to be a part of this annual historic event,” Will Farkas, social media and sponsorship coordinator at DEI, says. “It really is a true test of endurance and vehicle preparation, and we’ll be offering a discount on our products for all 2022 One Lap of America race teams.”

Modern Rodding NEW PRODUCTS
New Products
High Flying
Shift on the Go
One Stop to Rebuilding Your ’69 Camaro

By Brian Brennan

1. High Flying
Classic Performance Products’ (CPP) Pro Touring line of High-Clearance Adjustable Front Sway Bars features 1.25-inch-diameter hollow bars with a precision laser-cut windowed 3/8-inch leg, making it lightweight. They are contoured to hug the frame, allowing a tight fit to the chassis while providing significantly more clearance for wider front tires. CPP uses rod ends that eliminate the fixed position endlink bushings often found on a traditional front sway bar that limits the tire size. The fully adjustable Heim-joint endlink setup allows for multiple mounting positions and pre-load adjustments. The working portion of the bar is shorter to increase roll resistance.

CPP’s brand-new Pro-Touring Performance Front High-Clearance Adjustable Sway Bars come with standard billet PolyPlus bushings, PolyPlus fully adjustable Heim-joint endlink for street or track, and all necessary hardware.

For more info, check out Classic Performance Products by calling (833) 710-8791 or visit
2. Shift on the Go
Your Ford AODE automatic transmission with its FiTech Go Shift Electronic Transmission Controller is ready for your hot rod. It’s a standalone system that lets you set shift points, shift firmness, and torque converter clutch lockup using a handy touch-screen monitor. After setting up the transmission, you can disconnect the monitor or keep it plugged in to view transmission data.

The Go Shift’s compact control box can be tucked up out of the way, and the wiring harness with OEM-style sealed connectors makes installation a plug-and-play deal. The Go Shift Electronic Transmission Control is even compatible with paddle shifters.

For more info, check out Summit Racing Equipment by calling (800) 230-3030 or visit
3. One Stop to Rebuilding Your ’69 Camaro
Golden Star Classic Auto Parts literally has thousands of components to help you rebuild almost any restoration project you might have. One of the highly sought-after muscle cars is the ’69 Camaro.

Golden Star offers their ’69 Chevy Camaro Skeleton Kit that contains 45 major components to get you to your desired goal of being back on the road. The one-stop-shop approach to 45 major pieces is exactly what you need.

Each piece is delivered in a weld-through primer finish that is ready for prep and installation.

For more info, check out Golden Start Classic Auto Parts by calling (972) 315-3758 or visit
Modern Rodding

VOLUME 3 • ISSUE 20 • 2022

Modern Rodding FEATURE

This ’68 Road Runner is Truly a Family Heirloom

By Brian BrennanPhotography by John Jackson

his ’68 Plymouth Road Runner has been in the family since the day it rolled off the lot. Jamey Hyder of Tennessee is the proud heir apparent of the car his father brought home as brand new. He remembers as a kid the fun times throughout the years with his dad and this Road Runner. Yet two early memories are displayed in the build. To answer this question, look to the interior. Over the years Jamey and his dad played many a game of catch; Jamey was also a Star Wars fan. What does all this mean?

The interior features a Star Wars theme, more specifically the Millennium Falcon. (Come on man, every one of us thought the original Star Wars movie was way cool!) If you don’t believe me, pay special attention to the center console and the pattern used in the upholstery. Also, heed the material used. It’s what any of us would have remembered as the color of distressed leather found in a well-worn baseball glove. But more on this later.

The ’68 Plymouth Road Runner is a one-year-only model and as such Jamey wanted to retain many of its original components, albeit “massaged” to keep up with the times. It wasn’t long before Jamey and Charlie Swanson and the crew of Charlies Custom Creations (CCC) of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, joined forces to see what could be done. Jamey has a company that manufactures robotic and automation equipment, so lots of the custom one-off pieces were made at his facilities. The four-year effort between the two has yielded a unique ’68 Plymouth Road Runner.

Modern Rodding Tech
Using 18-gauge sheetmetal, Tate Radford  fashioned the upper portion of a replacement  firewall for Colin and Sue Radford’s ’57 Ford wagon.

1. Using 18-gauge sheetmetal, Tate Radford fashioned the upper portion of a replacement firewall for Colin and Sue Radford’s ’57 Ford wagon.

Ranch Wagon Redo
Part III: Fabricating a Firewall and Installing a Flaming River Column
By Ron Ceridono Photography by Tate Radford & Colin Radford

e’ve been following along as Colin and Sue Radford’s ’57 Ford Del Rio Ranch Wagon has been undergoing the transformation from a Leave It To Beaver–era grocery-getter to a contemporary hot rod. With the capable, helping hands of grandsons Tate and Caden, the original front suspension was tossed out and replaced with an Art Morrison Enterprises (AME) Bikini Clip. The Y-block was set aside to make room for a Ford Performance Coyote V-8, which brings us to where we are now: making a little bit more room for the replacement powerplant with a new firewall and installing the Flaming River steering components.

Modern Rodding FEATURE
Leap of Faith title
Leap of Faith title
Buying This ’55 Chevy ’Vert Sight Unseen was a Bold Move
By Brian Brennan Photography by John Jackson

t takes a brave soul to purchase a hot rod sight unseen. Yet when it’s from a friend you trust you willingly take the leap. Steve Spang of Minnesota had been looking for a ’55 or ’56 Chevy Bel Air convertible for some time when he found a ’66 Nova and couldn’t pass it up. Fast-forward a few years when a church friend told him of a stalled project that had been in the works for 15 years and it looked like it wouldn’t get finished. It was a ’55 Chevy Bel Air convertible that had been in storage and showed 54,000 miles on the odometer. It was almost too good to be true. Steve tells us, “One thing led to another and a week later Kevin Bowman of Bowman Real Hot Rods was picking it up.”

As it turns out it was true with one itsy-bitsy hiccup. The ’55 Chevy at one time was hit hard in the rear. The trunk, decklid, and rear quarters sustained a great deal of damage. Steve solved this problem by taking the Bel Air to Bowman Real Hot Rods in South Dakota. From here the sheetmetal was either replaced with Danchuk panels or straightened. In the end, the quarters, tail pan, decklid, and trunk floor were replaced or refurbished. New mini-tubs from Real Deal Steel were added to accommodate the oversized wheel and rubber combo. In the meantime, the freshly addressed body was dropped onto a Precision Hot Rods chassis.

Modern Rodding Tech

1. Autumn Riggle of Brothers Custom Automotive is seen here color sanding Bill Jagenow’s ’56 Lincoln.

A Mile Deep Title Typography
1. Autumn Riggle of Brothers Custom Automotive is seen here color sanding Bill Jagenow’s ’56 Lincoln.
Pro Tips for DIY Color Sanding and Polishing Success

By Barry Kluczyk Photography by THE AUTHOR


flat, deep, mirror-like finish in a fresh paintjob draws respect like few other attributes in a build, but it doesn’t come from the spray gun. Color sanding and polishing are the key.

The surface must be cut and polished to flatten the inevitable “orange peel” texture on the painted surface. Several factors, from the ambient temperature, air pressure for the gun, the paint materials, even the number of coats, will affect the degree of orange peel, but the bottom line is color sanding and polishing are mandatory for a truly flat finish.

Speaking of the bottom line, it’s also true the process is very time-consuming, requiring perhaps days of work to get it right. The paint shop or resto shop will do the work, but it could add dozens of labor hours to the tab. At least.

Modern Rodding FEATURE
Memories Hot Rods Make
By Brian Brennan Photography by Wes Allison
Remembering the Days of Ascot & Lions, Bob Nicholls Ends Up with His Chevy Coupe

ob Nicholls of SoCal remembers the fun days while growing up when he would go to the local racetracks. It was these dreams that would eventually shape his future into reality. The “bigger” kids would fill him in with stories of a hot rodder who ran an early Chevy coupe with a GMC inline-six that would kick everybody’s butts. It was those days that led to Bob building his own ’33 Chevy coupe powered by a GMC that is now punched out to 320 ci.

Modern Rodding TECH

upholstered bomber seats
1. Not all bomber seats have to be exposed metal—although that’s a cool look. Here’s an example, seen elsewhere in this issue, of what can be done with a little upholstery.
By Brian Brennan Photography Courtesy of Speedway Motors
Tradition Meets Your Backside typography
The Speedway Motors Vintage Bomber Seat is a Great Way to Implement Tradition

uilding a hot rod with a traditional flare usually means the seating will be comprised of a pair of formfitting aluminum buckets; something from the vintage-era bomber seat. For the aficionado it would be the seats characteristically found in a World War II–era Fairchild PT-19 trainer. That’s great, but today it would be a lot easier, quicker, and more cost effective to begin with a Speedway Motors (SM) Lightened Aluminum Hot Rod Bomber Seat DIY Kit (PN 91070199). It comes disassembled but well within the capabilities of the average hot rodder to construct. (This kit also comes without the “lightening holes,” if so desired.)

There are well over a 100 rivets used in the SM single-bomber seat. As you can imagine, there is a military spec on how rivets are to be used. In the SM application, authentic aviation rivets are placed to replicate the bomber seat appearance. In their use, SM opted for the “Lightened Aluminum” seats, which means there are 2-inch dimple die holes added to the seat bottom, back, and side brackets. There is also a pair of slots (3-7/8 inch) provided to allow the use of what should be mandatory: seatbelts. This is a DIY kit and is intended that you assemble the provided panels. Anytime “DIY” is used this means tools will be required. The implements needed are common and most rodders should have most, if not all. Check your toolbox to see what you have and if you don’t, or are missing something, you can check in with SM. Their catalog offers the following: an air hammer (PN 72819750) with control pressure regulator, a 3/16-inch rivet set (PN 91010012), a bucking bar (PN 9101500), 3/16-inch Clecos and Cleco tool kit (PN 9108575), which contains 10 fasteners, and 3/16-inch rivets included with the seat kit. (A note on a bucking bar: They’re made from heat-treated cast iron, any sharp edges are removed, and working surfaces are polished.) Should you find a “gap” in your toolbox SM will come to the rescue. You can order the required tools directly from SM.

Modern Rodding FEATURE
Life’s Many Roads
This ’31 Ford Sedan Started Out as a Restoration but Ventured Off That Path
By Brian Brennan Photography by Don Kates

he consensus is: Know what you want to build before starting. It will save you time, effort, and a great deal of money! Tim Garner of Wyoming was looking for a Deuce for his dad when he stumbled across this ’31 Ford Tudor sedan online. It was a stocker at the time and the intent of the original owner was to build a restoration. Tim had other plans. Before rolling it off the trailer Tim was ready to begin the 5-inch top chop. It was then just a matter of time before this ’31 Ford sedan was turned into a chopped-and-channeled hot rod.

It should be noted that the Model A Tudor sedan was in such great shape that all the sheetmetal, grille shell, and headlights are original. Being a bodyman and painter by trade Tim knows a great deal of what it takes to chop and channel any hot rod. Beginning with a ’31 Ford Tudor sedan body, Tim now removed 5 inches from the top and, in turn, channeled it 4 inches. The channeling took place over a Boling Brothers 4-10 frame (4-inch drop in front and 10 inches in back) that’s designed for building a channeled car that’s to be low but functional. The frame is a “stretched” stock Model A wheelbase going from 103 to 107 inches.

’31 Ford Sedan

Modern Rodding TECH

1. What began as an empty tub was finally assembled on a Deuce frame. The result is a very traditional hot rod Tudor tub.

By Gerry Burger Photography by Art Fortin

Tale of a Tub typography
Part 2: Bringing Vintage Tin Back to Life

hen Art Fortin decided he had “one last build” he knew he wanted something traditional yet different, so he settled on a Model A DeLuxe phaeton. The DeLuxe phaeton is the Tudor model, while the standard phaetons are all Fordor models. Now, we all know deciding on the body you want and locating that body can be challenging. The ’30-31 DeLuxe phaeton is relatively rare by Ford standards, so much so Fortin had resigned himself to using an old Gibbons glass body he bought at a swap meet with plans to possibly use it as a template for new steel panels. When a steel body presented itself the fiberglass body was sold.

It was during a bench racing session at the 2010 Goodguys Pleasanton event that a fellow rodder mentioned he knew of a genuine steel body, but it was located in New York. Phone calls were made and there was an agreed price, but now the challenge was how to get the body home from the East Coast. The owner said the body could be brought to the huge Hershey Swap Meet for delivery. As fate would have it, Fortin is friends with Bill Perry, owner of All Ford Parts and they go to Hershey every year hunting for great vintage parts. They rent a huge van and several people rent space on the van to get their parts home. Bill was looking for a driver, and Fortin and his pal Ben Barnhart jumped at the opportunity to drive coast to coast, take in a great swap meet, and pick up the ’31 Model A tub in the process.

Modern Rodding FEATURE
Brett Parker’s Road Race–Style ’63 Ford Falcon Futura
By Chuck Vranas Photography by THE AUTHOR

he stunning ’63 Ford Falcon Futura laid out across these pages is owned by Brett Parker of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, and blends a perfect combination of performance and vintage road race style, making it a standout in any crowd. When launched to the public, the Falcon was basic cheap transportation for up to six adults, showcasing eight models available in various trim packages to suit your individual needs. Top-of-the-line luxury was the fashionable Futura package while the performance Sprint option packed a 260ci V-8 power from the Fairlane as the first generation evolved. Its light weight made it a perfect base to hop up for competition on both road race circuits and dragstrips.

’63 Ford Falcon Futura

Modern Rodding Tech

1. This is the profile that designer Eric Black sketched out for the Lucille roadster. The Chevrolet styling cues were left intact, but many areas were “nipped and tucked” for a more graceful look.

Before Paint Comes Metalwork Title
1. This is the profile that designer Eric Black sketched out for the Lucille roadster. The Chevrolet styling cues were left intact, but many areas were “nipped and tucked” for a more graceful look.
A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Some of the Metalwork Required for the AMBR-Winning ’34 Chevy Roadster.
By Ron Covell

ne of the highest honors in the indoor car show circuit is being named America’s Most Beautiful Roadster at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona. In the show’s 72-year history this is only the second time this prestigious award has been given to a Chevy (non-Ford), but once you see the details of this spectacular car you’ll understand why it is very deserving of the honor.

Jeff Breault commissioned Devlin Rod and Customs to build his ’34 Chevy roadster “Lucille,” which was a multi-year project. While the allover appearance is of understated elegance, Tim Devlin and his dedicated crew put an inordinate amount of time into refining every detail and bringing them together into a tightly orchestrated final product. Designer Eric Black was brought on early in the process, and his drawings set the tone for the entire build.

Chevrolet made very few roadsters in 1934, so finding a good car to start with was the first obstacle. With patient dedication, Breault found a donor car in decent condition. One of the first major decisions was to have Roadster Shop custom build a chassis; they did a spectacular job. Knowing the car would be fenderless and channeled, they built framerails to match the curvature of the body while kicking up enough in the rear to accommodate full suspension travel at the desired ride height.

Modern Rodding Event
By Eric Geisert Photography by THE AUTHOR
The 69th Annual Detroit Autorama title
… And Ridler Competition
The crowds came back to the Detroit Autorama; everyone was very happy to have their show back.

hough the Detroit Autorama (sponsored by Meguiar’s and presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts) started in 1954, it wasn’t until 1963 that it was held inside Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit, a location it would continue to use for the next six decades. So, it makes sense that history and tradition are two major facets in the success of the Detroit show, which bills itself as “America’s Greatest Hot Rod Show.”

The three-day show is split into two parts: The downstairs (called the Autorama Extreme) and the upstairs, and each has their own schedule of celebrity autograph sessions, special car displays, and entertainment. Most of the downstairs vehicles are more “hot rod” than show car, with an emphasis on vintage engines and old-school chopped profiles. Upstairs are the glossy high-end cars with everything expertly put in the right place.

The upstairs is also home to the BASF Great 8—the qualifying group of vehicles that compete for one of hot rodding’s highest awards: the Don Ridler Memorial Award.

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Thanks for reading our May 2022 preview issue!