Sunday, January 30, 2011


A lot of nice cars made it to the Grand National Roadster show this weekend. Unfortunately, I did not. But  for grins, I took the liberty of matching some knobs from our inventory to my favorite car at the show. If nothing else, it gives you an idea of how a custom knob can integrate and/or compliment a car. Of course, if all one wanted was a maroon ball, we can easily accomodate that, too. Or a maroon sparkle or pearl. With or without shift pattern. Sheesh, you get the drift. 



If we can help you find the right knob for your car, you know where to find us.
Here's a link to our customer gallery.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Leave it to the gents at Speedway Motors to come out with a fiberglass body I'd actually be proud to be seen in. It popped up in the February 2011 issue of Street Rodder. This car, available in kit form, does a damn fine job of looking like a cool traditional ride, IMHO. Am I going to scrap my roadster in lieu of this car? Well, I won't go that far. But I've gotta give some serious props where I think they're well deserved. If you're intersted in reading the article, have at it. And if the article captures your attention, check out the kit on Speedway's website.  Now back to the metal dreaming.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


It's a small detail, really. A knob. That little doo-dad that resides at the very top of your shifter stalk. But for all the thinking the average gearhead puts into their ride, it's often the one thing that gets overlooked. That's what led Debbie and I to start a couple years ago.

Our goal was to offer the largest selection of shift knobs found anywhere, and we're certainly getting there. But when you have that many choices, what do you run on your personal ride? Well, my Dodge Magnum seemed to get a new knob every month or so until just recently.

I think I've found the perfect knob, thanks to my thoughtful wife. I now run a knob with sentimental value.

When my dad passed last year, we got a small box of his keepsakes. As my dad was a very practical person, it was mostly little functional trinkets. Paper clips and Chapstick and Tic Tacs and nail clippers and such. But in the midst of all those useful items was a little medal medallion. Was it a coin? A charm? Something he got a long time ago in Korea while on R&R? I have no idea and probably never will.
But knowing I quite liked that little trinket, Debbie embedded it in a marble red knob and it is one-of-a-kind and wonderful. I immediately screwed it onto the Magnum and now I think about my dad every time I drive.

It makes me happy, having a small piece of my dad's life, still part of mine. And that, as far as I'm concerned, is what makes for a perfect shift knob. Love you, dad. Hope you're watching the play-offs

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Back when I was in the planning stages of building our Houseospeed shop truck, I invested some cash where I never had before. Into my vision. I reached out to a talented artist and described what I had in my head and asked him to he capture it on paper. 
That talented artist was none other than Brian Stupski of Problem Child Kustoms, and the concept drawings above are what he sent me. To say I was blown away is an understatement. Simply put, Brian flat out gets it. The concept drawing Brian did of my Suburban actually propelled my dream forward. While commissioning it wasn't inexpensive, it was some of the best money I ever spent. In fact, I'd highly recommend it to anyone who wants to see their dream visualized before they spend untold thousands making it happen. I'm going to be reaching out to Brian to discuss my concept for the '29 roadster, and see if he's up for doing a little magic for me again.
I'll post an update. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I first met Sean Johnstun of Fat Lucky's seven years ago. He was an up-and-coming upholstery whiz, working out of his Austin home. From there, Sean co-founded Austin Speed Shop, where he continued to ply his formidable stitching chops for years, thus becoming a legendary upholsterer in his own right. Of course, he'd be embarrassed by that assessment, but anyone who knows him, and what he's accomplished over the past several years, would be hard-pressed to quibble. So here's the skinny on the "fat" thing. Years ago, Sean had a dog named "Lucky". Yep, a fat dog. Sean loved his dog. Hence Fat Lucky's was born. And that folks, explains why Sean isn't fat at all. Just humble and supremely talented. With a little luck, I may be able to convince Sean to do some work on the roadster's interior. Fella's allowed to dream, right? Below are some samples of Sean's work, including the interior of the shop truck, which Sean had a big part in.
Sean used original style barkcloth on the door panels.
White glitter vinyl is one of Sean's many fortes.
Sean even made seagrass mats for the interior.
Greg's Mercury truck. One of my favorite interiors ever.
Check out the headliner. Stitched like pin striping. Bada-bing.

The interior of Dr. Dan's epic 55 Chevy. Off. The. Hook.

Tasty and restrained. A period perfect look.

Ryan Cochran's gorgeous interior (owner and creator of the HAMB).

More of Sean's trademark stitching.


Over the course of researching guys who could make shift arms to display our knobs at shows, I came across "Crafty-B".

Crafty-B fabricates some of the tastiest hot rod parts you'll fine anywhere. When the time comes for me to get the instrument bezel for my roadster, Crafty's handiwork will definitely be in my consideration set.

Don't miss looking at his gas caps, they're about as badass as they come. His shifter arms are also awesome, to say nothing of his headlight and taillight bezels. As you can see, Crafty-B builds some damn fine rides, too. Check it out

Monday, January 17, 2011


Scored this aluminum timing chain cover from a fellow HAMBER. It's a Glenwood marine unit. My parts budget for February is now almost spent. Not a good sign seeing as it's only mid-January.  Nonetheless, I've been looking for one of these suckers for ages. One less part on the 327's bucket list. We going to let the fact that it wasn't on my prior parts list go this time.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Reproduction headlights with built-in blinkers. Nice.
It'll probably be a good while before I need eyes for the '29. In fact, I have an old pair of headlights that are pretty nice. But they don't have built-in turn signals. And while that might not matter to a lot of people, I'd sure as hell like to be able to tell folks in my direct path where the hell I'm going. Maybe it has to do with having a pretty nasty crash in my roadster that pre-empted the whole teardown to begin with. But I digress. A really cool solution is the reproduction headlights made by OTB. They may not be the 100% purist route, but I've never been very good at sticking to the rules anyways. They've also got some other neat goodies on their site. Worth a look.


Two Words: Sellers Equipped. I put an e-mail out to ace metalsmith, Steve Sellers, who owns a company called Sellers Equipped and among other things, casts windshields in the Hallock-style. Steve's workSteve's work has graced the pages of all the traditional rodding books and his handiwork has appeared on more than a few high quality cars, including Nick Garfia's roadster, from its Rod & Custom feature. While copying another man's build is not my style, my car's overall direction will be inspired in part by Nick's beautiful car. Thanks, Nick.

Another Model A windshield that recently caught my attention is on a car owned by a friend of a gentleman named Tano, who I'm Facebook friends with. The car appears to have a very chopped model A windshield. I like this set-up very much, and am trying to get more details on the car. More on this set-up as additional info come in.


After more thought, here's what the next half a dozen part purchases will be:

A used vertex magneto with tach drive or HEI "faux" magneto
A windshield
A dash panel/gauges
A cloth-wrapped wiring kit
The carbs on the 6X2 need to rebuilt or replaced, then synced and linked

I'll let the market dictate which items I acquire first, while allocating a monthly budget towards the list.
It's my hope to have all parts necessary by mid-summer.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Just read an article in the new issue of Street Rodder regarding old school cloth-covered wiring. It looks vintage but boasts all the advantages of brand new modern wires.
Complete kits are available through Sacramento Vintage Ford (916) 853-2244/
P.N. 17500 hot rod wiring kit list at $295.00


My son Drew, along with my wife Debbie and I were out antiquing and scouring thrift stores for embed-able items for shift knobs and vintage snap shirts when low and behold, we came across a pretty interesting pair of bar stools. I was immediately reminded of the lowback buckets found in early sixties Austin Healys
Thirteen bucks later, I had a pair of seats for the '29. Will these be the final seats? We shall see. 
But they're definitely compact, they'll definitely fit and will work beautifully for mock up. I wonder what my upholsterer buddy Carlos @ sick strings could do with these bad boys. 

If you're not familiar with Carlos' work, check out the Lucha Libre shift knobs he's making for our site. Of course, that's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his stitching talents.


Monday, January 10, 2011


Polished 6X2 Intake Manifold with Edelbrock Valve Covers
Got home this evening and look what was waiting for me. After a quick unbolting and inspection of the carbs, it looks like some rebuilding is in order. The air cleaners are in good shape and despite a couple nicks and scratches, it looks like the intake will clean up nicely.
I'll get to cleaning it up a bit and determining whether the carbs are all salvageable.
The intake has no markings on the top surface. I couldn't resist breaking out my Offenhauser valve covers for a little tease of what the top end of the  327 will look like. 

The Offy valve covers will look nice against the unmarked intake.

I'm going to start hunting for a vertex magneto or an HEI magneto next and I suppose I should also start thinking about whether I want to run all six carbs, or just the two centers, and plan my linkage accordingly.  
On that note, the guy I'll most likely have rebuild the carbs and plumb all the lines calls himself Dickster27 on the HAMB (aka Dick's Hot Rod Place) and he comes highly recommended.