Authentic Wood Grain Services at Honest Charley

Honest Charley Wood Graining Services
You may know Honest Charley as the world’s first mail order speed shop. But we also have a passion for servicing hot rods and restored classic cars, and we have a staff that can do just about anything. One of the many services offered by our shop is original style or custom wood grain. We do it with the same methods as Henry Ford, but we are proud to say that we take our time and handle each project as a full restoration. This certainly isn’t a production line operation, but you can expect a quick turn around, depending on the condition of the parts. We specialize in wood grain painting on dash and interior trim, including garnish moldings. Early Fords, specifically those from the (late) 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s featured burl and straight wood grain finishes, and we have authentic patterns for proper restorations. We handle it all in house, right here in the birthplace of Honest Charley–Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The NSRA Street Rod Nationals South Rides Again

We’ve been going to the NSRA Street Rod Nationals South for a long time. Not always as a vendor, but we always visit the show, since it’s just a couple hours north of us. The show is held at Chilhowee Park in Knoxville, Tennessee, and it’s always a great event with a couple thousand hot rods, customs, muscle cars and more. We took a field trip to Knoxville this weekend to check out the action, and of course browse the swap meet for deals. Unfortunately, we left empty handed, but we had a blast and came back with a camera full of our favorite stuff from the show. We also stopped by the new Lokar facility on Thursday afternoon to check out the open house kick off party at their new facility. Wow, what a place! Check out our favorites from the Lokar Open House and the 2016 NSRA Street Rod Nationals South in Knoxville, and be sure to check out for the full event schedule.

Chattanooga Cruise In Rocks Honest Charley in 2016

Chattanooga Cruise In 2016
We just love the month of April. Flowers are blooming, people are riding around with the windows down, and we’re getting ready for a busy month. On April 2nd, 2016, we had the largest turnout ever at the Chattanooga Cruise In, and boy was it fun! We worked hard all day long, and sold lots of good hot rod parts to folks who have projects in the garage. This event has continued to grow and we had 2,000 cars, trucks and motorcycles on hand, with an estimated 15,000 spectators roaming the streets of Chattanooga. We want to thank everyone who supported this event…enjoy the coverage and join us next time!

The Street Rodder Road Tour 1951 Ford Returns to Chattanooga

You might remember that a few years ago, we took on a major project that would involve countless hours of metal fabrication, body work, chassis work and much more. It was a 1951 Ford, built as the lead car for the 2013 Street Rodder Road Tour. That means it not only had to LOOK good, but it had to DRIVE for thousands of miles. Ford Racing provided an EcoBoost twin turbo V6, Fatman provided a full chassis, Coker Tire provided whitewall radials and Wheel Vintiques provided some killer Smoothie wheels, while many other sponsors participated in the intense build. Our shop guys thrashed on this thing night and day, and when it was all said and done, we were sad to see it go. Corky Coker was especially sad, since he didn’t get to enjoy the car before it went off on its 20,000 mile journey. Now that the car served its term on the highways of America, it came back “home” to Chattanooga after Corky struck a deal with the magazine company. This road proven custom is ready to hit the Tennessee back roads, and it looks right at home in Corky’s Museum.

Moon Discs–Giving Steel Wheels Personality Since the ’50s

Some of the things we know and love about hot rodding started as speed secrets for racers. Things like louvers, chopped tops and dropped axles started as modifications performed by racers to improve performance. Drag racing, stock car racing and salt flat racing contributed lots of tricks to the hot rod trade, but one of the most iconic and simple tricks was a slick hubcap to cover steel wheels. Moon wasn’t necessarily the first to fabricate a “disc” wheel cover, but it was the first to offer it to a massive audience. Racers had been toying with disc caps for many years prior to the introduction of what we now consider the “Moon Disc”. When Moon introduced these caps in the ’50s, you could give your hot rod or custom the go-fast look for much less money than buying a whole new set of wheels. They were originally screw-on caps, which attached with sheet metal screws. Later on, Moon came out with the snap on version of its iconic cap, which was a little easier to install. Honest Charley is a full line distributor for Moon products, and offers these Moon Disc hubcaps in both Screw-On (available in 14, 15 and 16 inch diameters) and Snap-On configurations (available in 14 and 15 inch diameters). Click here to see the variety!

Chattanooga Cruise In 2016 is Coming Soon!

Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s already time to start talking about the upcoming car show and cruise in season…and with that, we’re kicking off the local season with the Chattanooga Cruise In on Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 10am to 4pm. This is our fifth year doing the Chattanooga Cruise In, in conjunction with our neighbors at Coker Tire, and boy has it grown! Last spring, we estimated that nearly 2,000 cars invaded the Southside of Chattanooga for one of the biggest cruise in events of all time! We’re expecting an even bigger turnout this time, so let’s just hope for great weather!

Swap Meet Stuff–Used Parts vs. New Parts

Alright, we all love a good swap meet…you get up early in the morning and try to find a treasure within a sea of junk. It’s a thrill that hot rodders experience quite often, but some guys do all of their parts shopping at swap meets. Some swap meets are very big, and include new parts vendors….like us! But some swap meets focus strictly on used parts. So, if you’re building a hot rod, muscle car or just a cruiser, is it worth the risk to buy used parts at a swap meet? The answer is subjective, but it’s all about the type of part that you’re hunting. If it’s vintage speed parts, such as intake manifolds, wheels, and other types of wall hangers, memorabilia or cool vintage stuff…then swap meet finds are perfect! But if you’re looking for reliable parts to bolt onto your hot rod, used equipment has its drawbacks.

The Malibeater Visits Honest Charley Speed Shop

We’ve been trying our best to keep our lips sealed about the visit from Arvid Svensen and the “Malibeater” ’67 Chevelle project car. We absolutely love this car, and we’re glad Arvid took the time to stop by the shop, while he did a very cool tire and wheel swap article next door at Coker Tire. He also saw it fitting to photograph the car in it’s ’70s street machine guise, in front of the shop. This thing is so killer–even though it looks like a beater that was recently dragged out of a shed, every piece of the chassis and drive train is brand new, including a wicked big block under the hood. The rat motor is dressed as a “patina’d” L88, when it’s actually a brand new Chevrolet Performance crate engine. We enjoyed eyeballing the car, and snapped a few shots of it, while it was here. The article came out on last week (CLICK HERE to check it out!) and will later appear in an issue of Muscle Car Review magazine. Check it out!

Honest Mike Goodman Retires

If there is anyone who embodies the lifestyle, character and legacy of Honest Charley Card, it is Mike Goodman. This man has been a hot rodder all his life, and he makes friends with everyone he meets. It’s astonishing to see him at a show, and realize that he knows almost everyone that walks up. And the new folks that walk up are instantly Mike’s best friend. Mike always answers his phone, and he’s always willing to help with product support or with personal experience. He is the epitome of customer service. Through the years, Mike Goodman has worked his way up through the ranks at Honest Charley Speed Shop, and he eventually partnered with Corky Coker to buy the assets of the company around 15 years ago. From there, Mike has spent his time traveling to shows, answering the phone and greeting customers as they walk in the Chattanooga, Tennessee speed shop. After all these years, Mike is ready to retire and spend some time with his wife Connie, and also spend some time wrenching on his own projects. He has quite the collection of old Fords and parts, so he has plenty to keep him busy. We wish Mike well, and hope he stops by the shop to buy parts for his projects. We think we can figure out a way to get him a discount. Check out the pictures from Mike’s retirement party, held at the Coker Tire Museum.

SEMA Ignited Offers A Whole New Level of Fun for Hot Rodders!

Our parent company, the Coker Group, is very involved with the SEMA organization, and attends the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is a trade only show, so it is not open to the public. However, SEMA has created a cool new event that allows the public to enjoy the atmosphere of the event, and get a taste of what our industry is all about. The public event is called SEMA Ignited and it’s held on Friday night, after the SEMA Show is over. All of the cars from the show parade out of the convention center in what’s known as the SEMA Cruise, and then continue the caravan across the street to what has become a HUGE gathering of hot rods, big trucks, muscle cars, imports and more. We were on hand to check it out and just wanted to pass along our recap of the SEMA Show and the 2nd annual SEMA Ignited event to you fine folks. Check it out!