H&H Flathead's Modernized Supercharged V-8
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Willys Power

Making Sure
Paint Goes
Where It’s
Supposed To!


Adding IFS To
Early Chryslers

Behind The Scenes

A Look At The AMBR
Winner’s Chassis


Making Sure Paint Goes Where It’s Supposed To!

Modern Suspension

Adding IFS To Early Chryslers

Behind The Scenes

A Look At The AMBR Winner’s Chassis

GNRS: America’s Most Beautiful Roadster
GNRS: America’s Most Beautiful Roadster
May 2023
Preview Issue
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Modern Rodding CONTENTS
May 2023 article snapshots
Brian Brennan
Industry News
New Products
Those Supporting Our Industry
Brian Brennan
Ron & Vicki Ernsberger’s ’36 Willys Sedan
By Brian Brennnan, Photography by John Jackson
Ron & Vicki Ernsberger’s ’36 Willys Pickup
By Brian Brennnan, Photography by John Jackson
David & Patti Bodenhamer’s ’57 Chevy Bel Air Hardtop
By Shawn Brereton, Photography by the Author
Gary Brown’s ’63 Ford Fairlane
By Brian Brennan, Photography by John Jackson
Joe Kugel’s ’32 Ford Roadster
By Brian Brennan, Photography by Wes Allison, Videography by Ryan Foss
An Inside Look at America’s Most Beautiful Roadster 2023
By Ron Ceridono, Photography by Jack Chisenhall & George Hagy
Brothers Custom Automotive Pressurizes an 8BA With H&H Flatheads’ Reborn S.Co.T. Supercharger
By Barry Kluczyk, Photography by the Author
How a Few Hours Spent in Prep Can Spare Thousands of Dollars Lost to Paint Corrections
By Chris Shelton, Photography by Brian Brennan, Glenn Sinon & Chadly Johnson
Less Weight, Modern R&P Steering, and Improved Braking in One Tidy Fatman Fabrications Package
By Gerry Burger, Photography by Kenneth Denney
The “Grand Daddy of Them All,” Pomona, California
By Brian Brennan, Photography by the Author, Videography by Ryan Foss
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On the Cover
It’s not often we see the ’36 Willys in both pickup and sedan form and built to such a high standard, but Ron and Vicki Ernsberger have an outstanding example of each. The builds of both Willys hot rods were spearheaded by Brian Limberg and his crew at The Tin Man’s Garage.
Photography by John Jackson
Modern Rodding May 2023 cover
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Modern Rodding ISSN 2692-2371 (print) ISSN 2692-238X (online) Issue 32 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 subscription@inthegaragemedia.com. 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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Modern Rodding STARTING OVER

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It’s the Little Things
By Brian Brennan Photography by The Author

ou “play around” with cars long enough and you develop personal favorites. You have your favorite hot rod, favorite weekend drive, favorite place to go eat, favorite place to hang out, favorite club activity, favorite buddy’s garage, favorite event, and, my favorite favorite “extra.” One of my all-time favorite events is the L.A. Roadsters Father’s Day Show & Swap Meet, having attended it since the mid ’70s.

There is a little something you receive and it’s my favorite “extra.” It is a pewter mug that the L.A. Roadsters (begun in 1957 by longtime and well-known hot rodder Dick Scritchfield) hand out to each rodder who brings his roadster—and sticks around until leaving time to pick it up.

Rodding Around

By Brian Brennan

red gear icon Father’s Day and the L.A. Roadsters

La Roadsters Fathers Day  show and swap poster
The Los Angeles Roadsters Club was formed in 1957 and has produced its well-known event 57 times coming this summer and will be the 41st time it has been held at the Fairplex in Pomona. Make sure to see about picking up one of the Darrell Mayabb penned posters (shown here) while at the show.

The L.A. Roadsters Father’s Day Show & Swap Meet is a two-day show commencing on Friday, June 16, and runs through Saturday, June 17. Sunday, Father’s Day, is set aside for all hot rodders to spend time with their families. Show hours are 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day. The coveted pewter mug will be given out to roadster participants who are present with their roadster late Saturday afternoon. Move-in will begin on Thursday for swap and vendor spaces and end Saturday morning.

Modern Rodding NEW PRODUCTS

By Brian Brennan

A picture of mechanical parts
1. Wider is Better
Auto Metal Direct (AMD) recently released their new 3-inch-wider inner wheelhouses (PN 760-1570-1L driver side, PN 760-1570-1R passenger side) for ’70-74 Dodge Challengers and Plymouth Barracudas.

The 3-inch-wider inner wheelhouse is constructed from high-quality stamped steel and is an exact reproduction of the original equipment with additional room. It is designed to fit seamlessly with the factory outer wheelhouses, ensuring a perfect fit and a straightforward installation. The product is also finished in a durable black E-coat for maximum protection against rust and corrosion prior to installation.

Modern Rodding FEATURE
Thinking Outside the Box title
Thinking Outside the Box title
This ’36 Willys Sedan is Rolling “Imagineering”
By Brian BrennanPhotography by John Jackson

tare long enough at this ’36 Willys sedan and you begin to see where a creative idea crosses over into practical form. In other words, “Imagineering” (a registered trademark of Disney Enterprises) is a hallmark within our hobby. It’s the very nature of hot rodding to “think outside of the box” and imagine a great idea and then pull it off. Such is the case of our ’36 Willys sedan pictured here that belongs to Ron and Vicki Ernsberger of Ohio. No strangers to hot rods, especially the Willys (see accompanying feature on pages 20-23), they teamed up with Brian Limberg of The Tin Man’s Garage (TMG) to yield an imaginative and trendsetting effort with their ’36 Willys four-door sedan.

The “other” ’36 in Ron and Vicki’s garage is the performance designed and built Willys pickup, while this four-door sedan is a combination of elegance and performance. There is no getting around the four-door Willys has a distinct hint of performance with the magnesium wheels and cheater slicks and, of course, the tube front axle gives the car a very gasser-style appearance. Couple this with the four doors, a stylish and colorful (note headliner) interior, and the overall room not associated with a cramped hot rod, and you have a very driveable hot rod.

Modern Rodding FEATURE
Revisiting an Old Friend title
Ron Ernsberger’s Slonaker-Winning ’36 Willys Pickup Seems Like a Familiar Face
By Brian BrennanPhotography by John Jackson

y now most of you have seen this ’36 Willys pickup—a Model 77 to be specific. It has taken home major awards, with a significant one in particular, the Al Slonaker Memorial Award from the 2020 Grand National Roadster Show. The Willys is powered by a rare Arias V-6 pumping out 800 hp. Only one of six of these V-6 motors are known to exist.

The pickup is a stablemate to another ’36 Willys, a ’36 Willys four-door sedan (pages 14-18 in this issue); both are owned by Ron and Vicki Ernsberger of Ohio. The two Willys have something else in common. Brian Limberg and his team at The Tin Man’s Garage (TMG) out of Illinois are the talented metalmen/fabricators/builder in charge of both projects.

Modern Rodding TECH


1. Jack Chisenhall’s Champ Deuce is groundbreaking in many respects. It combines the visual appeal of a traditional ’32 Ford roadster with the mechanical spirit of an Indianapolis “roadster” of the ’50s and ’60s.
The Champ Deuce typographic title
An Inside Look at America’s Most Beautiful Roadster 2023
By Ron Ceridono Photography by Jack Chisenhall & George Hagy

ack Chisenhall is probably best known as the founder of Vintage Air, but he is also a hands-on hot rodder who drives the wheels off the cars he creates. His ’39 Ford sedan has racked up close to 200,000 miles and he’s gone 240 mph at Bonneville in his ’53 Studebaker with the air conditioning on. Chisenhall’s automotive interests are best described as varied, his collection has included everything from vintage race cars to a French Facel Vega sports coupe. But it’s safe to say that the inspiration for his latest creation, and the winner of the 2023 Grand National Roadster Show’s America’s Most Beautiful Roadster trophy, came from Chisenhall’s fascination with the Indianapolis 500.

Interestingly, the name “Champ Deuce” was bestowed on Chisenhall’s ’32 long before winning the AMBR trophy. The origin of the name is from what many consider the heyday of the Indy 500, the front engine roadster era from 1952 to 1966. The term “champ car” came from the United States Auto Club (USAC) sanctioned open wheel events in its Championship racing division, which included everything from dirt ovals to the bricks of the Indianapolis 500. (Two-time Indy winner, Bill Vukovich, came up with the term “roadster” to describe a front engine race car with solid axles on both ends, and it stuck). Chisenhall combined history, his passion for Indy, and love of hot rods, and the result was named the Champ Deuce.

Modern Rodding EVENT


award recipients stand together behind a black '32 Ford roadster while a tall trophy stands near by
George and Angela Eliacostas stand among two trophies and multiple plaques in front of their olive green ’60 Buick

America’s Most Beautiful Roadster and the Al Slonaker Memorial Award are the key points of the Grand National Roadster Show, this year taken home by a Deuce roadster and a ’60 Buick.

By Brian Brennan Photography by THE AUTHOR Videography by RYAN FOSS
73rd Annual Grand National Roadster Show typography
“The Grand Daddy of Them All” Continues to Grow

he 73rd Annual O’Reilly Grand National Roadster Show (GNRS) held at the Pomona Fairplex in Southern California is still “The Grand Daddy of Them All!” of indoor car shows. While it’s true that it is the kickoff of the indoor car show season, with some 600-plus cars and trucks (competition, display only, and the Suede Palace) under roof, there were another 900 or so cars and trucks that partook in the outdoor show. Yep, the GNRS is two shows in one, each bringing plenty of excitement and entertainment to those who attend. It is well located in SoCal, making it an easy drive for thousands of rodders to attend.

The outdoor show is in its 16th year and is referred to as the “Annual Grand Daddy Drive-in” held all three days. They are parked around all the show buildings as well as filling an adjacent parking lot. It should also be noted that this year the area between Building 7 and 9 was reserved for custom trucks that were part of the Keep on Truckin’ exhibit that took over Building 9 and included over 100 trucks with provenance from years past. This exhibit was sponsored by LMC Truck and Modern Rodding’s sister publication Classic Truck Performance.

Modern Rodding TECH


1. Bill Jagenow, at Brothers Custom Automotive in the Detroit area, took us on our trip through the exploits of making an early Ford Flathead look and perform the part.
Force-Feeding Title
1. Bill Jagenow, at Brothers Custom Automotive in the Detroit area, took us on our trip through the exploits of making an early Ford Flathead look and perform the part.
Force-Feeding Title
The Flathead Red Text
Brothers Custom Automotive Pressurizes an 8BA With H&H Flatheads’ Reborn S.Co.T. Supercharger
By Barry Kluczyk Photography by The Author

n the early days of forced induction, almost all the blowers adapted by rodders were ingeniously based on compressors not designed for pumping more power out of the Ford Flathead. In fact, not even the famous “Jimmy” Roots-type blowers were designed to increase output of the diesel engines on which they were originally fitted.

The GMC 71-series blowers were developed as air compressors to pull in fresh air and push out exhaust gases on Detroit Diesel two-stroke diesel engines. A 6-71 blower was a compressor on a six-cylinder engine, while a 4-71 was a four-cylinder application. Hot rodders adapted the GMC blowers to their four-stroke engines. It should be noted that the number “71” represents the number of cubic inches per cylinder.

Modern Rodding FEATURE


Ole Blue Eyes in cursive
David & Patti Bodenhamer’s ’57 Chevy Bel Air Hardtop
By Shawn Brereton Photography by The Author

very car has a story. David Bodenhamer, of Gulf Shore, Alabama, has a good one for his two-door ’57 Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtop: He didn’t even buy it!

David got the ’57 in the summer of 1969 when he was home from college at Troy State University. Earlier in the year he had traded for a ’56 Chevy and spent the whole summer “running the hell out of that car,” drag racing in a remote area of town. As the new semester approached, the car started to pump oil and David had no time or money to fix it. Instead, he traded the ’56 and a hopped-up Corvette engine to the same guy for the ’57 Bel Air, which he had just bought used from Hill-Kelly Dodge in Pensacola, Florida. David still has the bill of sale for $615!

'57 bel air in dark blue with green trees behind

Modern Rodding TECH


1. Standing in the background is Ken Hill and in the foreground is Ken “Spike” Ackman, both of Hot Rods by Dean, prepping a ’65 Chevelle before it receives its PPG-based black paint.


How a Few Hours Spent in Prep Can Spare Thousands of Dollars Lost to Paint Corrections

By Chris Shelton Photography by Brian Brennan, Glenn Sinon, & Chadly Johnson


f you’re like me, you learned that masking keeps color from going places where it wasn’t supposed to go. If that’s the case, we have great news: You’re right.

But if that’s all you thought masking was good for, you’re only half right. Masking also protects the surfaces that you’re painting. If you’ve ever blown dust into a freshly painted surface while spraying rockers or ’jambs, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

“So, masking has two folds to it,” collision-tech instructor and former PPG rep Glenn Sinon says. “One is that you do not want the paint that you are spraying to go where it shouldn’t go. You’re trying to mask everything off so that none of it gets on any other surface. But masking also prevents the sprayed paint from dislodging dust and debris that settles in a vehicle during construction,” he adds. “I don’t care how much cleaning and scrubbing and blowing out that you do, you never get it all. Whatever you don’t get ends up in the paint you just sprayed.”

We reached out to a few shops renowned for their finish quality to show us just how they employ masking to protect painted surfaces. They include the Hot Rods By Dean crew (Ken Hill and Ken “Spike” Ackman) who prepped the ’65 Chevelle, Tony Curiel at MetalWorks Classics and Restoration in Eugene, Oregon, who prepped the ’55 Chevy, and Sinon who showed us how he masked his ’72 Maverick for graphics.

“By doing a lot of very effective masking and taping you can minimize the amount of debris that ends up in your paint,” he maintains. “The less debris that lands in your paint, the better the job will turn out and the less work you’ll have to do.”

Modern Rodding FEATURE


Boss Fairlane
Built With a Boss 429 the Way Ford Should Have

he Fairlane has a long history at Ford. Beginning back in 1955, by its fourth generation (1962-65) it had begun to settle into its calling. It was Ford’s new intermediate-size passenger car. But there were more exciting times on the horizon. It was also ideally placed to compete against GM’s A-body and the Plymouth Belvedere. And when we say compete, we mean “compete” at the dragstrip where “win on Sunday and sell on Monday” was taken to heart. Displayed before you is Gary Brown’s ’63 Ford Fairlane built at Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop (AHRS). It may not be what one would have found at the dragstrip, then or now, but it most assuredly will hold its own against anything on four rubber tires in these days.

It was late in 1963 that Ford introduced its “revolutionary” 271hp small-block Ford V-8 at 289 ci. It wouldn’t be until 1969 that the Fairlane received the ultimate bump in cubic inches and horsepower in the form of a 428ci V-8 Cobra Jet of a Super Cobra Jet.

Gary Brown's '63 Ford Fairlane

Modern Rodding TECH


’34 Chrysler Fordor Sedan
1. Terry Thompson’s ’34 Chrysler sedan had been updated with disc brakes, tube shocks, and a steering box change sometime in the past. These were typical modifications in the past century but they had served their time; out with the old and in with the new.
Independent Thinking
Less Weight, Modern R&P Steering, and Improved Braking in One Tidy Fatman Fabrications Package
By Gerry Burger Photography by Kenneth Denney

here is no doubt that complete chassis swaps have become commonplace in the world of street rods, but oftentimes that doesn’t fit budget or driving requirements. The basic concept of street rodding is to improve the power, handling, and braking of a vintage car. To that end this old ’34 Chrysler had already seen plenty of road miles with the original suspension upgraded to a late-model steering box, tube shocks, and disc brakes. (In an upcoming issue we will show you how to repair the frame damage on this Chrysler. We followed along as Ken Denney and the team at Hot Rod Specialties repaired some frame damage on Terry Thompson’s ’34 Chrysler Fordor Sedan. This repair was in preparation for a complete front suspension swap.)

Thompson wanted an improved stance and more modern suspension for his Chrysler, which included power rack-and-pinion steering, tubular control arms, and a better spring rate. Denney and his team at Hot Rod Specialties (HRS) decided a Fatman Fabrications stub would be just what the doctor ordered. A straightforward front frame clip that would effectively do away with the old and in with the new and result in better handling, better stance, and an overall safer hot rod. As an added bonus there was a substantial weight savings.

Modern Rodding FEATURE
'32 My Way typography

Joe Kugel Built His Deuce Ford Roadster to Suit His AMBR-Contending Wishes

a digital rendering of the gray ’32 Ford roadster's drivers side, passenger side rear and cabin seating
three quarter passenger side view of the gray ’32 Ford roadster
By Brian Brennan Photography by Wes Allison Videography by Ryan Foss

outhern California’s own Joe Kugel has literally grown up in a “car” family and is well versed in what it takes to build or race a hot rod. He has fabricated and ultimately been involved in a number of hot rods of all makes, models, and years for customers of the family business. His personal tastes lean toward the Deuce, such as the ’32 Ford roadster pictured here.

He has raced at the Bonneville Salt Flats in the family’s highly successful and well-known Model A roadster on Deuce ’rails (#265) followed by the ’92 Pontiac Firebird that Joe surpassed the 300-mph mark, setting a record in the process. (Joe reached 307 mph but his record run was 300.787 mph set in 1999 in the Pontiac. As for the roadster he has a top speed of 242 mph, but his record is 236.036 mph set in 1996. He gained entrance to the 200 MPH Club in 1990 with a 219.205-mph run in the roadster and the 300 MPH Club in 1999.)

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It was the first of 53 (and more to come) of the National Street Rod Association’s Street Rod Nationals with #1 held in Peoria, Illinois. As best as we can remember, at the microphone was then head honcho of Rod & Custom magazine the late-Tom Medley; far right (in a suit of all things) is Neal East, longtime rodding journalist, L.A. Roadsters member, and owner of the Doane Spencer Deuce for many decades. We think that is Jim “Jake” Jacobs during his magazine days at R&C before moving onto fame as cofounder of Pete & Jake’s Hot Rod Repair as well as longtime member of the Early Times Car Club. Unfortunately, we do not recall who is handing out the award nor who is receiving it. I’m sure someone out there knows, so let us know.
A Long Look Back typographic title

his month I thought it would be fun to look back at a few “keeper” shots from bygone National Street Rod Association Nationals, back in the days when each summer we traveled to a different city, traveled familiar highways, and met up with our summer friends.

One thing that this trip down memory lane has proved … yes, we are getting older, but we still appreciate hot rods; they always look cool and the friends we made early will always be our friends whether they are here or not.

Take a drive down memory lane and see if these photos bring back any early memories of where and when our hobby really began to “take off.”

Modern Rodding logo with dropshadow
Thanks for reading our May 2023 preview issue!