Short? How About Just The Tip?

If you want short, you’ve got it!  I still own a Corvette, so I know a thing or two about stuff being short…  Anyways, what can a guy say about exhaust tips?  They’re made of legit stainless, so they’re not magnetic and won’t peel before turning all orange and brown.  They’re well-polished, and have the “Pypes” logo laser-etched into the top of them like a modern socket set.  The box and wrapping did a good job of keeping them minty, and I picked the pair up on a Black Friday deal for $36.00 U.S.  Part number EVT-49, if you’re into that.  Oh, they’re going to be fed nothing but hostile, ignorant noise by a pair of Pypes M80 mufflers, and a Comp XR288 cam.  Should be a good time.

Quite Possibly My New Instrument Supplier

New Vintage USA.  Ever heard of them?  Neither had I, at least not until I was browsing various gauges on Summit Racing and their name appeared.  They looked good in the pictures, and they were priced competitively.  Made in the USA even?  Really?  Next thing you know, they had a Black Friday deal, so I ordered a tach, part number 37141-01.  It only set me back $125.96 US, so I’ve done worse.

I have about six tachometers in stock…  All of them are used, all of them work, and most of them look pretty cool right where they are, on display like little mechanical pieces of art.  This tach is different, as I promised myself that it’s going directly into the Money Shot Pontiac.  Is it worthy?  You bet!  First up: the packaging.  It comes in a clear clamshell that’s quite a bit bigger than the gauge itself, fairly sturdy, and taped shut for safety.  All sides are visible, and not only does it say “New Vintage USA Detroit” at the top, but it also says “Made in the USA” at the bottom.  Could it be real?  Not China, not Mexico, but rather the USA?

Since I have personal experience with both Classic Instruments and Autometer, I have a solid basis for comparison.  My set of Autometer gauges have domed plastic lenses, a fairly narrow chromed bezel that’s metal of some sort, and around-the-dial lighting via incandescent bulb.  My set of Classic gauges have flat glass lenses, a fairly narrow chromed bezel that’s metal of some sort, and around-the-dial lighting via incandescent bulb.  This gauge had a domed glass lens, a thick chromed bezel that’s thin wrapped metal of some sort, and around-the-dial lighting via incandescent bulb.  They all have a similar feel, but I can’t help but think that the Autometer falls short of the other two in appearance.  That set was also cheaper, to be fair…

It comes with more nuts and washers than anyone could ever need, which is good, as they’re brass, so when you drop them you’re not fishing them out with a magnet…  They’re gone.  It also comes with instructions, and I have no comment on them, as it’s a tachometer.  If you’re reading this, you probably don’t need instructions, either.

In conclusion, I still need fuel/temp/volt/oil gauges, and I do believe I’m going to go for it.  They’ll adapt nicely into the stock openings, the color and font is almost factory, and the price is right.  They also make a matching boost/vacuum gauge, and I don’t necessarily need to run a hood…

Product Review: A Tin Can

Why would a guy even buy such a thing?  It’s nothing but an expensive tin can that’s sealed everywhere except the three holes in the top.  Yep.  That being said, it looks good, it’s well built, and it won’t melt from the excessive heat that iron heads and fenderwell headers will create.  Oh, and it’s not a greasy, rejected piece of a smog system like some people use.

The part number is SUM-G1464B, and I bet it’s not made in North America…  It comes wrapped in plastic inside a plain, white cardboard box.  Included are a zinc-plated bracket, rubber grommet, plastic check valve, brass elbow, and steel pipe plug.  The instructions are solid if you need them, and the slightly-textured, semi-gloss powdercoat is nice.  It’s heavy, but that’s good, as I don’t think it will dent easily. In reality, it feels a lot like those green propane tanks that people take camping, so if you want to save a few bucks, you could modify one of those.

Overall, I’m happy with it.  My power brakes should work properly, I now have a place to hook up a boost/vac gauge,  and I don’t have to clean it up and paint it myself.

Mail Call!

My Summit Racing order arrived on Monday, but I had shit to do, so I unboxed and inspected it all last night.  I literally didn’t need any of this stuff right now, but there was a Black Friday deal on, so I got about $1000 worth of parts I’ll eventually need, for under $700 shipped.  Not bad!  This random little box contained parts from Quick Fuel, Pypes, New Vintage USA, and even some knock-off Summit-branded junk.  That being said, I haven’t been doing anything aside from working on the car lately, so I’ve had nothing to write about.  Stay tuned, as I’m going to review some of these parts.  Tonight’s review?  Summit packing.  Check out this length of pillow-packing.  It’s as long as the Money Shot!

Keeping The Scene Alive

but it must be pretty cool to be you, with your brothers at your back, protecting you”

-Milo Aukerman, Descendents

I’ve loved punk rock ever since the Offspring released their Smash album in 1994, back when I wasn’t old enough to hear language like that.  “Bad Habit”, a deadly road rage tune with an offensive a cappella piece in the middle of it.  “Come Out and Play”, a song highlighting youth gang and gun violence.  My personal favourite?  “Self Esteem”, a catchy song about a lack thereof.  What do the Descendents have to do with this?  Nothing.  I’ve been a fan almost as long as I have the Offspring, and the lyric is relevant to what this whole thing is about.

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“Things were better back in the day”, said every irrelevant old person ever, but they’re not far off.  A while ago, I read something about how much better hot rodding was in the early-to-mid-nineties.  The cars were built more affordably, with more used parts, and more soul.  Not only did the cars have soul, but so did the people.  There weren’t posers, as the scene was just coming back, so there wasn’t an established identity to assume.  There also weren’t critics, as there was nothing to criticize.  Street Rods were popular, while hot rodding had died long ago.  Brushed aluminum sixteen-inch wheels, pastel paint jobs, and miles of tweed were in all of the magazines.  What young person would criticize a budget build of one of their peers when THAT was the alternative, at ten times the price, no less?

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Nowadays, I hear and see it all.  It’s become all about the “right”  wheels and tires, “correct” gauges, and “period correct” engine and transmission.  Barf…  No offense, period correct is cool, but people are so scared to try something new, that everything is starting to look the same.  Are the days of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth gone?  Can meth and marijuana not do what LSD used to?  Has the internet replaced newspaper to the point that “spit wadding” is no longer an acceptable way to fabricate a car body?  Are my ripped-up jeans a joke because they aren’t cuffed?  Is a tall Mohawk really less traditional than a tall pompadour?  Was I dreaming, or did I do a disc brake swap this past summer and then bolt a radial tire right back on top of it?

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Luckily, I’m not alone in thinking this way.  When hot rodding made a comeback in the early nineties, like-minded people managed to find each other.  Over the years, the scene became attractive, and the wrong people jumped on the bandwagon as a fashion statement.  It’s not like the movie They Live, you don’t need special sunglasses to see them, they stand out pretty clearly.  They’re the ones who make a point of being outcasts with their fashion and their attitudes, yet make a scene when they succeed, and are turned away at certain venues.  They’re the ones who criticize based on envy, or knock someone who does it on their own, when they’ve never dared try themselves.

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I’ve had six empty cabinet doors in my shop for years, and now I’ve decided to use them to support those that support the scene.  Small businesses, like-minded clubs, or just friends.  I’ve started three doors, and finished one.  Is one of your stickers on there?  Cool!  Glad to hear it.  Do you want to be on there?  Maybe you want a “Secondaries Wide Open” or “Northside Street Rods” sticker for your own support cabinet?  Hit me up, I can make it all happen.  Nothing brings me more joy than walking down the street, or into a public washroom, and seeing a support sticker from someone I know.  “Cool, they’re into vandalism, and they piss here too.”