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!

Fuel and Fire–Performance Tips for your Vintage Engine

The internal combustion engine needs a few things to operate, and the two main ingredients are fuel and fire. The mixture of fuel and air, and the way the engine ignites it are very important aspects of getting every ounce of performance out of an engine. Modern engines can be tweaked with a computer, but old school engines, like the Ford Flathead, small block Chevy or Buick Nailhead respond to mechanical changes.

Tom Hunt Speaks of Honest Charley Speed Shop’s Earliest Days

We are often greeted by someone who remembers buying speed parts from Honest Charley Speed Shop in the “good ol’ days”. However, it’s not often that we run across someone who was there from the beginning. Chattanooga, Tennessee resident, Tom Hunt is one of those poeple–in fact, he knew Charley Card before the Speed Shop existed. We were fortunate enough to sit down with Mr. Hunt and discuss the old days of hot rodding, from the restaurant where “Honest Charley” earned his nickname to the start of the Speed Shop and so on. Mr. Hunt has some great stories from those early days, and he shared several pictures of his V8 powered hot rod that he built at a very young age. This video is a bit lengthy, but grab a cup of coffee and a snack and enjoy some unheard stories from the earliest days of hot rodding and the Honest Charley Speed Shop.

NSRA Street Rod Nationals 2015–A Great Year in Louisville

It’s easy to be discouraged by the gradual decline in participation in the street rodding world. Organizations like NSRA have made great effort to bring more folks to its events, and it appears to be working. This year, the NSRA Street Rod Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky had 10,200 cars, which is actually a slight increase over the attendance numbers from last year. We’re pleased to see an upward swing in attendance, and we can truthfully say that there was a little more enthusiasm at this year’s show, compared to years past. People are building hot rods, buying parts and simply having a good time with old cars. We spoke to a number of hot rodders throughout the weekend, and hopefully they can get their projects on the road by using some genuine Honest Charley speed parts. While we were at the Nationals, we snapped a few pictures of our favorite cars from the event, as well as bit of action from a cool cruise night just outside of the fairgrounds on Friday night. It was a fun night with a little bit of gear head mischief, which included tire smoke and a rockin’ good time. Check it out!

70 Years — The History of Honest Charley Speed Shop

Honest Charley Datona Car copy
Here at Honest Charley Speed Shop, we’re proud of our heritage, as the world’s first mail order speed shop. A lot of people have heard of our shop, but may not know the story behind it, and what makes it so special. The shop isn’t special because of what we’re doing TODAY–it’s special because of what Charley Card did more than 70 years ago to hand-form the mail-order speed shop industry as we know it. Many businessmen and hot rodders followed after Charley’s concept, and it created a huge network of speed shops and retail centers, which gave hot rodders and racers a place to get speed parts. Some may have viewed those other speed shops as competition, but it was truly a blossoming industry and the competition was healthy for the growth of each company. Today, Honest Charley Speed Shop is still kickin’ with a new breed of hardcore car guys, after long time employees Mike Goodman and Joe Lombardo retired. It has returned to its roots as a small-town speed shop, and this Chattanooga, Tennessee icon is still serving hot rodders to this day.

A Record Turnout at the 2015 Chattanooga Cruise In

When the idea came about to host an open house and cruise in at Coker Tire and Honest Charley Speed Shop, we had no idea it would grow to this magnitude. On Saturday, April 11th, we welcomed more than 2,000 cars and approximately 15,000 people to the Chattanooga Cruise In–it was a record breaking day for our event, and we’re glad so many people went out of their way to join us for a day of gear head fun! We always enjoy these events because of the variety of cars, and this year was no different. There were gassers, rat rods, restored classics, sports cars, classic trucks, muscle cars and so much more! It was an outstanding day in the Scenic City–we’re proud to call Chattanooga home, and proud to have so many friends and supporters of this event! Check out our favorite photos from the 2015 Chattanooga Cruise In!