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Theme Tuesdays: Recently Viewed – January 2018


Better late than never with the first “Recently Viewed” Theme Tuesday of 2018. I’ve been watching an eclectic mix of old and new videos this month, many from the usual suspects.

If there’s any channels that you think I absolutely must follow for 2018 be sure to add them to the comments below.

The Beauty In The Struggle Of Building Cars


Despite often being depicted as such building a car isn’t easy. This is a reality that I have become intimately familiar with as I fumble through of my own build, Project Why Wait.

No matter how you slice it building a car is a form of skilled labor, and there’s a learning curve to every new task. How-to articles and YouTube videos have made these learning curves smoother, but the road from idea to execution is by no means straight.

It’s full of switchbacks, hair pins, forks, cliffs, dead ends and everything in between. Say nothing about the number of roadside distractions (life, other projects, etc) that appear along the way.

The challenges one encounters during a build are virtually endless and frustratingly, not all of the challenges are fun. Some are even downright stupid –s10 motor mount engineer I’m looking at you– but each offers a teaching moment.

Be it how to do a specific task, or just another lesson in being proper planning and patience.

In moments of frustration it is important to remember that every project hits peaks and valleys. From the best of the best, to the weeknight, or weekend warrior. Everyone finds more rust than they expected, more damage than they thought possible, and more fitment issues than they care to admit.

All these unexpected ‘gotchas’ come with building a car because, well, that’s just what comes with building a car. The saying “if it were easy everyone would do it” might be cliché, but it’s true.

As an amateur builder I spend lots of time drooling over the fabrication talents of those with skills that far surpass my own. Mike O’Brien, Rob Ida, Nigel Petrie, Keith Charvonia  and Gene Winfield, are just a few of the people who make up a long list of builders I admire.

At face value it might look like they each have some sort of superior deity given talent, but, while it’s true there is such a thing as mechanical inclination, they’ve each hit the limitations of their skill at some point.

The key is they’ve pushed through.

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They too also all look up to builders they admire. Everyone strives to be better, and often the best way to learn is to observe those who are better.

Creating anything, from a car, to a business involves overcoming a series of challenges and struggles and there’s beauty in that struggle.

Each bloody knuckle, burned through panel, or outright failed approach offers a lesson. Some of these lessons come at the most inopportune times (as I’m sure anyone who’s had a failure at the track can attest) but persevering through them is where the magic happens.

Through the darkness of blown deadlines, depleted budgets, and late nights of limited productivity there is a light.

So next time you toss a piece on your scrap pile in frustration. Or find yourself stumped, remember in the end you’ll know more than you had at the beginning. Not one person who knows what they are doing today knew what they were doing when they started.

When you are done and it’s just you and your creation doing what you built it to do it will all be worth it.

That is of course until you tear it all apart to start again.

WTF Friday: 28 Cars In One


Any Simpsons fans reading this likely remembers . A vehicle Homer Simpson designed using styling cues and features from other existing vehicles. The car was shockingly unique, but didn’t have much visual cohesion.

The same description could be used for this car. Made up of 28 different vehicle components in total, the car looks about as good as you’d expect a vehicle made up of 28 different vehicles to look.

A full list of the cars and components that brought this vehicle together is at the end of this post, but here’s a quick rundown.

The hood, fenders and grill come from a 1939 Chevy. Though they might not look it, the doors are from a ’71 Pinto. Despite the reworked openings they retain functioning factory glass.

All opened up the car resembles some sort of bird of prey more than a car. The interior borrows from a ’64 Thunderbird, and ’84 Firebird.

If building a unique car was the goal then this car delivers in spades.

Power comes from a small block Chevy, with matching transmission. The rear axle is from a ’72 Pontiac, and there’s no mention of whether or not it is a posi unit.

Cadillac suspension and brakes are used all around The rear end is make up of Cadillac components as well, fins from a ’61 and a trunk lid from an ’85.

Shockingly straight –considering the combination of parts used– this car is still not going to be everyone’s cup of beer. That said there’s no denying it took some sort of evil genius to pull it all together into a functioning vehicle.

The , and the car hasn’t been driven any length for some time. According to the seller it needs some shocks and a thorough once over before it’s truly ready to hit the roads.

Everything that went into creating this unique number is below:

  1. ’85 GMC 350 Truck Motor
  2. Chevy Caprice Electric Windows
  3. ’72 Pontiac Rear Axle
  4. ’64 Thunderbird Slide Away Steering Wheel
  5. ’72 Pinto Doors
  6. ’39 Chevy Hood
  7. ’39 Chevy Grill
  8. ’39 Chevy Fenders
  9. ’64 Thunderbird Interior
  10. ’72 Pinto Fuel Tank
  11. ’84 Firebird Seats
  12. ’82 Chevy Transmission
  13. ’82 Cadillac Front Brakes
  14. ’82 Cadillac Suspension
  15. ’61 Cadillac Rear Fins
  16. ’85 Cadillac Seville Trunk Lid
  17. ’73 Ford Sunroof
  18. ’85 Olds 98 Electrical System
  19. ’85 Olds Electric Dash
  20. Ltd. Headlights
  21. Ltd. Front Turn Signal
  22. Ltd. Rear Brake Light on Roof
  23. ’72 Javelin Tail Lights
  24. ’58 Buick Front Bumper
  25. ’58 Buick Rear Back Up Lights
  26. ’32 Chevy Rear Bumper
  27. ’92 Chevy Electric Cooling Fan
  28. Keyless Entry between the seats

The car is however street legal and comes with a ’39 Chevy title. I highly suspect that the builder either owned, or had access to, a fairly large domestic Junkyard.

Theme Tuesdays: Jeep Rods


Building a hot rod –and arguably any car for that matter– should be about creating exactly what you want. If you’ve got the tools and skill to build the car that won’t stop running laps in your mind then by all means do it.

And if that car is a Jeep crossed with a hot rod then more power to you. Just don’t expect everyone to like it.

Jeep Rods , like the Volksrods (and like the smaller Porscherod segment) typically cause a knee jerk reaction.

The reaction is usually love,  or hate, with little in-between. Because of this, if you’re a Jeep,  Willys, or Powerwagon purist this post likely isn’t for you.

But,  if you’re the type that loves a bit of everything and believes there are no rules to hot rod building then this post is for you.

This ’48 Jeep was the subject of a previous WTF Friday titled Pleasantly Surprised, and it’s a great way to kick things off
The hardest part of a ‘Jeep Rod’ seems to be getting the proportions sorted. Some vehicles take pushing the axle in front of the grill quite well. Others look varying degrees of exaggerated,  like this ’52 M37 Dodge Power Wagon – via
The extremely stretched wheel base on this build probably produces interesting handling characteristics. The military theme throughout is pretty rad though – Via
This chassis, while still stretched, comes off much more naturally when compared to the two above
This particular vehicle was built by an off-road enthusiast using parts he didn’t use for his off-road builds, including the ‘off fire’ v6 – Via
Not over the top, with a splash of deep purple accenting, this Jeep Rod is quite solid.
Given that this car is probably lower than the door handles of most other cars (at ride height no less) the plate is probably fairly valid
I really dig this one low slung, classic color palate, and nothing looks exaggerated
This 1970s Willys boasts a 420HP small block – Via:
This Japanese build might be the odd man out in this post, but it’s too cool to leave out.
It’s cool to see an SR under the hood too
It looks like this might be a little out-of-place at the event it was pictured – Via:
Fuel Tank has a ton of wicked features, like this Willys hot rod build  from Thialand – Via: 
The ‘Iron Rat’ is a great looking 1UZ powered Jeep Hot Rod A full rundown of features can be found on  – Via:

Twin Turbo 454 YJ, well alright then!


@rustanddust at h2o

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He clearly has some great taste!

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A little (or a lot) of Hemi power never hurt anyone…

Motor Monday: Plot Twist


Don’t judge a book by its cover is a slightly cliché term that is often easier said than done. Assuming that a 4.3 Vortec v6 was under the hood of this Chevrolet S10 Extreme was easy.

Bagged on chrome 20s, with heavy flaked clear over a custom blue, at best I expected a mildly cleaned up bay.

At worse I expected an excessive use of plastic blue wire loom.

Poking a head under the the hood revealed how wrong my assumptions were. The factory 4.3 was history, replaced by a small block 350.

Better still, that small block has been done up traditional hot rod style for an interesting contrast.

A red block, and finned valve covers starts the story, and a six carb trio with Offenauser speed equipment parts finishes it.

Unfortunately I’ve never seen this truck again, but if I do I’ll be sure to grab the owner’s ear for a minute.

With a unique swap like this, I know there’s more story to be told.

Store Update: Scraping is Half The Battle


The first of several 2018 product releases has dropped in the !

Printed on quality Gildan cotton , pays homage to a certain Sunday morning cartoon. Laser fire free the shirt is  Canadian.

In addition to the new shirt release there is a new bundle in the store called

A Mystery Box includes from the along with two stickers. One from myself, and one from a site sponsor. Priced at $32 it’s currently the best deal in the entire store and available in limited quantities.

Check out all of the products, and like always, thanks for the continued support!

WTF Friday: What The F Body?


When it comes to really nailing a replica vehicle chassis selection is important. The closer your donor is to the vehicle you are emulating the better the result.

The Fiero, despite its factory faults, is a great base for mid engine replicas. Heck even the seventh generation Toyota Celica can be made to look like a Ferrari with enough effort.

Third generation F bodies though? Well… if the car below tells the tale, maybe those should just remain the humble Camaros of Firebirds they left the factory as.

Known as the “Fire Arrow” this car is currently for sale on . Listed as a replica the car takes styling cues from Ferrari and perhaps a door stopper.

The F body donor car shines through via the front end and wheels. Overall the car looks a fair bit shorter than an f body ought to be, thanks to the 1.5″ square tubing chassis it rides on.

The positive camber all around is indicative of some shenanigans but the rear camber is especially curious.

Gone is the factory straight axle rear end replaced with the trans axle from a Chevrolet Corvair.

Under the engine cover is an aluminum Buick V8. These motors are known more for their light weight than power, making roughly 145 horse power brand new.

Weighing in at 2500lbs this car isn’t a speed demon, but it does boast a 50/50 weight ratio.

Inside the interior is a rather jarring combination of hold out Camaro bits and hand formed riveted together sheet metal.

A show winner this car may not be but, it could make a pretty cool Chump Car. The so it might be hard to scoop up for the limit but there’s no harm in trying!


Theme Tuesdays: The Dodge D50


Do you remember the Dodge D50? No? Well, honestly, I don’t really remember it either. Released in the height of the minitruckin’ era they are very similar in size and shape to the Mazda B2200 or Nissan hard body.

Being so similar to those imports, one would assume they have an equal following, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. In fact I’d say they have little following at all (sorry D50 fans)

I’d never really thought about doing a Theme Tuesday dedicated to the D50 but that all changed when hot rod artist Chris Pisctielli sent me the truck below.

Wearing vintage Enkei wheels and classic 80s livery the truck is 100% period correct
It’s really shame this segment of truck no longer exists

This truck quickly sent me hunting for more like it and, unfortunately, they are not the easiest vehicle to find modified examples of.

Especially today after Photobucket nuked so many photos from aging forums.

This mid 90s style truck comes way of its been sold and is presumably no longer with us
This retro styled D50 was shot by , looks like a rider owned truck too
Drag spec D50 via the surprisingly still up
OG minitruckin at its finest – Via:
This is actually a Plymouth Arrow, one of several different names this truck went under

This is probably one of the most famous D50s, it has a 4G63 under the hood, aka a first generation eagle Talon motor – Photo:
It was used for Drifting, but I don’t think it is around any longer –  Photo:

“Street Smart” is a fairly well-known D50, perhaps the only one featured in

Enter the Mighty Max

When I uncovered that the D50 was actually a re-badged Mitsubishi the search for cooler examples became a bit easier.

This Mighty Max isn’t uncommon to see crusin’ around Ontario, it’s owned by Norther Showdown’s own Will Salazar
With phantom grills these trucks look really, really, similar to Mazda B2200s
has the feature on this beauty truck
And finally, perhaps the most famous D50 ever, the Six Shooter
If I remember correctly this truck is now in a museum


Winter Wednesday: Ol’ Half Ton


The F-100 that I posted recently in the ‘Five cars I want to shoot in 2018‘ looks great anywhere you park it. Even in the snow.

Obviously this truck isn’t winter driven. But, it’s seen a bit of snow now, which makes it a great pick for the often neglected Winter Wednesday series.

If you have some pictures of your car in the snow, send it through to , tag me on , or post them in the comments below!

Theme Tuesdays: Small Diameter Wheel Appreciation


Wheels have grown, quite steadily, in both diameter and width since this site’s inception. To be honest, it’s pretty hard to deny the appeal of large diameter wheels. Their physical size makes them hard to ignore, and done right there’s no question they look great.

A drift car with 18 x large wheels hucked sideways dragging kit through a corner looks phenomenal. As does a minitruck skating by on 22s.

But small diameter wheels have their place too. When paired with a restrained exterior, smaller diameter wheels help complete a “clean” aesthetic for lack of a better term.

I’ve never done a small diameter wheel Theme Tuesday before, but 2018 seems like the year to start.

Santi went from big wheels and a large kit, to small wheels, and honestly I think it was a good switch up
It doesn’t look like he’s going back anytime soon, now owning two sets of smaller diameter wheels
The Work Equip 40 wheel is a great new, small diameter wheel

Elvis of Stance Nation recently used them to great success here

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These wats might be bordering on standard size, but I think with the chunky sidewall I’ll slide them in here, also because 2+2
Ditto can be said for this set, on a work in progress Datsun in the parking lot of Fitted a few years ago
This Fiat looked pretty god on these BBS RS wheels, they were a little too wide, but from a profile view they looked great, these wheels were later switched out for much taller Rockstar wheels
Has anyone seen this car within the past two years or so? – Photo: The
Originally built for a Ferrari I’m not sure where these 15″ Campagnolo wheels ended up
9 times out of ten the ae86 looks best on 15s or smaller
Case in point
This post is incomplete without some Miata love

Hard to do wrong with classic Japanese tin and small wheels

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But let us not forget how awesome these Dodge vans look on tiny wats!

At 13×12 these wheels are almost as wide as they are tall!

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These wheels were actually legitimately golf kart wheels
These mini wheels, while still small in diameter, are actual car wheels
is perhaps the small wheel content king on Instagram


Don’t worry truck guys, I didn’t forget you guys with this one! Big wheels are totally in style now, but don’t forget the little guys.

The small billets on the Mazda on the left has always been fitting
It suits the look of the truck overall very well
I’ve never seen this hardbody again, but it was oh so right at Imporfest in 2012
Wires on a clean s truck is another great retro look
A bit more modern, the Black Anvil Garage truck combines several stylistic elements to make a killer looking truck