Another Awesome Year at the NSRA Street Rod Nationals

Every year, we look forward to our trip to Louisville, Kentucky for the NSRA Street Rod Nationals. It’s like a family reunion, with long time hot rod buddies, and of course, we always end up making new friends every year. This year, we got some additional booth space, and that really helped us make our setup more inviting. We had folks in and out of the booth all weekend, buying hot rod parts and having a good ol’ time. We sure missed having Mike Goodman up there, but we had a great crew to help people get their projects rolling with high quality parts from all of our favorite manufacturers. While we weren’t slinging parts in the booth, we checked out the awesome turnout of hot rods, customs, muscle cars and more at the NSRA Street Rod Nationals, and also spent some time at one of the most fun cruise nights we’ve ever seen! Check out our favorite stuff from the 2016 Nationals, and be sure to check us at an upcoming event near you!

Ford Flatheads on the Great Race

Since our parent company also owns the Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty, we get an inside view of the race, and more than 100 pre-1972 cars that participate. While there is certainly a wide variety of vehicles (fire trucks, vintage race cars, etc.) the most popular platform is vintage Ford…1928 to 1948. In the mix are a number of stock Model A’s with four-cylinder Flatties, but there is not shortage of Ford Flathead V8 horsepower. We spotted a bunch of great engines this year, and all of them were sporting period correct speed parts. Some engines had one carburetor, some had multiple–some had stock cylinder heads, while many others had aftermarket aluminum heads–we even spotted a killer Flathead with a vintage supercharger on it. Some of the parts may have been swap meet scores, while others are available right here at Honest Charley. From aftermarket intake manifolds with multiple carburetors, to aluminum cylinder heads and updated ignition systems, we have everything it takes to make your Flathead sing! Check out these Ford Flatheads that made the 2,400-mile trip from San Rafael, California to Moline, Illinois look easy!

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!