Tag: Dan Stoner

That Great Old Tire Look – Dan Stoner @Hemmings

That Great Old Tire Look – Dan Stoner @Hemmings

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Remember those great old Firestone gold-line Indy tires? Those real wide ones that look great on GT40s and Shelbys and just about any track car, pre-1975? There’s something about the shape and style of those bias-ply tires that looked so much better than the radials that came after them, and these Indys are right up there with a piecrust slick and a pizza-cutter front runner. It’s as if a Great Being in the sky looked down upon us gearheads and said, “Look, you’ve foolishly squandered your life’s savings on these damn things, so your punishment is that you can either have tires that perform well or tires that look really great. But you can’t have both.”

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Tasty: slots and bias-plys! – Dan Stoner @Hemmings

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Here’s one of your author’s biggest pet peeves: the wrong tire choice on an otherwise bitchin’ car. Do you know that pain? You feelin’ that? Does it even matter to you? The Great Bracket Racer In The Sky as our witness, a new rounded-corner, sensible radial on a period-perfect, pre-’75 muscle car causes a rash that takes weeks to disappear.

Now, one of the cures for a rash like that is to start scouring social media for vintage snapshots of cars done right, just because everything was new at that moment and all the parts and goodies and custom touches were nothing more than the stuff available in stores. And, really, isn’t that the whole point? Aren’t we building and driving and loving and hating and buying and selling these cars because we’ve got a love for nostalgia and truly believe car design was better at some point in the past? That’s a lot to unpack, but it’s right…right?

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WATCH THIS: A zen moment with a Deuce – Dan Stoner @Hemmings

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Sometimes, we just want to lay our eyes and rest our tormented souls on a simple car walk-around video. Just fire it up, lift the hood, let ‘er idle and walk the camera around it and let us enjoy. We’ll turn off the ringer, put the email dinger on mute and turn up the volume, just to keep ourselves centered and force us to remember what’s important in life.

If the car up for review is a drag car, that’s awesome. If that drag car is an unexpected jewel, even better. And if that jewel is a rare model of a car that’s oft-times forgotten or maligned, well, now you’re pulling at our blackest, thinnest, hardest-to-find heart strings.

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WATCH THIS: when NASCAR was awesome – Dan Stoner @Hemmings

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If you get our weekly Hemmings Muscle Machines newsletter, you’d see that we’re currently geeking on a certain 1940 Ford coupe hot rod, built and owned by one David Pearson. Yes, that David Pearson – the legendary stock car driver. Not only did Pearson drive one of our favorite race cars, but he drove during our favorite period of NASCAR: the late Sixties.

So, it’s fair to say that we want that ’40 coupe, but we also want to now build a fastback Torino cut to look like David Pearson’s famous Holman Moody #17 car. Ugh. Too many ideas, not enough cash on hand. But look, what kind of car nuts would we be if we didn’t have a fairly insane wishlist of cars we need to build? Tell you this much, though: we’d build a Pearson car and drive it every day for a year. Welded-up doors, cage and all. Sure, turn signals and head/taillights, but also shorty headers and even shorter pipes. The fun part would be figuring out how to run it as a commuter car without getting pulled over every 3.5 miles and kicked out of the neighborhood for firing it up before 8 a.m. every weekday.

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WATCH THIS: the epic tradition of loading a trailer – Dan Stoner @Hemmings

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Ah, yes: the trailer.

Much like the trucks we pull them with, you can’t live this life without a trailer. And there are two types of gearheads: those who own trailers and those who borrow/rent/beg/need a trailer. Now, if you’ve been getting the Muscle Machines newsletter in your inbox every Thursday, you know we’re huge fans of the best hot rod shop in the greater Boyertown, PA area, Iron Trap Garage. These guys seem to always be extracting, hosing off, pushing, pulling, lifting, building and driving some of our favorite revival hot rods.

Now, this particular Iron Trap video is really about a ’34 Ford Tudor and a Deuce 5-window that he’d been working the deal on for quite some time. This crowning moment in any hot-rodder’s life was recorded for posterity and, y’know, we couldn’t be more enthralled by the whole thing. This is what dreams are made of, after all: dragging a car into the daylight for the first time in decades so you can see what you just bought, for better or worse. But it’s all fun, no matter the outcome

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WATCH THIS: A Galaxie far, far away – Dan Stoner @Hemmings

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Red Dawn!

The muscle car world is in a real state of change right now. Can you feel it? We know we can: there’s so much great stuff going on and so many amazing new go-fast goodies being designed and unleashed on our poor, overheated credit cards that we can barely stand it. If you hear anyone say that this ain’t the Glory Days of muscle cars, tell them to come see us and we’ll get ’em some religion.

And what does all that literal tonnage of new speed parts make us want to do? Go find a killer, old carrying case to bolt it all into, of course! So, when we see a kid pull something like this ’64 Ford Galaxie out of a backyard, get a buddy to drag it onto a trailer, get another known accomplice to help, all the while fully-geeked that he actually owns the thing, well, friends…it just warms our little black hearts.

Whoever said that the kids don’t care about old cars is either not hanging out with the right kids or just isn’t paying close attention. In the words of Ricky in American Beauty, “…it’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world.”

A golden GT40 at the Golden Arches – Dan Stoner @Hemmings

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A golden GT40 at the Golden Arches

Meet your heroes

Oh, wow. How often do you stumble across a snapshot that so perfectly wraps up everything amazing about America in the early ’80s? Pulling one of the greatest race cars ever built, on a flatbed trailer, through a McDonald’s drive-thru behind a Japanese Mustang II, under the slow breeze of a giant American flag flapping in the background? We ask you, does it get ANY. BETTER. than this? We’ll go ahead and answer that rhetorical question: no. No, it does not.

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Related – Ford built five GT40 roadsters, but only one raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans

VIDEO: Sifting for precious metals in them hills – Dan Stoner @Hemmings

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 Rusty gold discovered

What’s the one thing that unites all gearheads? The one pilgrimage that we all dream about? That one singular experience that separates us from mere mortals…or, at least, the smarter guy on the block? The fabled junkyard run, of course!

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Related – This muscle car dealer is selling a dream barn find collection

VIDEO: Build a hemi in less than 10 minutes! – Dan Stoner @Hemmings

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WATCH THIS: Hemify your life

There are few things as satisfying as watching an old motor undergoing a fresh rebuild, amiright? There’s just something about a vintage cast-iron block and all those imperfections being perfected that warms an otherwise blackened gearhead heart. The aroma of assembly lube and fresh hi-temp paint, gasket sealer and metal polish…those are pleasures that mere mortals will die before ever experiencing.

And especially with an old mill like a ’51 – ’53 Chrysler 331-cu.in. V8: these early Hemi blocks were cast with their bellhousings, which makes them just a skosh more readily available, these days, than their later, bigger 392 cousins. Which also means there’s a better chance of you finding one and experiencing the sheer joy of owning, rebuilding and running your very own early Hemi. That’s just bucket-list stuff, right there.

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