SEMA 2014 Coverage

Every year, just about the time when the car show and drag racing season is winding down, it’s time to go to Las Vegas for the SEMA Show. It’s the world’s largest automotive trade show, and it’s the place where everyone wants to debut new products, new cars and new ideas. We typically tag along with our neighbors at Coker Tire, and this year, we even had our Honest Charley rat rod truck on display in the Wheel Vintiques booth. They whipped up a new set of Gennie wheels for it that looked pretty cool! We had a blast at the SEMA Show and we hope you enjoy our recap!

A Blast from the Past!

A large percentage of the what/why/how of today’s hot rodders is for the sake of nostalgia. Going back to a simpler time can be as easy as sliding behind the wheel of a ___________ (fill in the blank with your favorite hot rod) and going for a drive. With such deep roots in hot rod history, Honest Charley Speed Shop is privileged with a revolving door of enthusiastic hot rodders who want to show off any old pictures, or in this case video, of the good old days. Of course, we LOVE it, and recently uncovered some old 8mm film footage that really rocked our world! We think you’ll enjoy it too, so tune in and reminisce with us.

Hershey in the Rear View Mirror

Every fall, we make the drive to Hershey, Pennsylvania for what has to be the biggest swap meet in the world. It’s an AACA-sanctioned event, and it’s held within smelling-distance of the Hershey chocolate factory. We always carry LOTS of parts and merchandise when we go to Hershey, because that also involves a pitstop at the Fall Carlisle swap meet, which is pretty big, too. Without question, it’s a busy two weeks on the road, but we love it and it gives us a great chance to hang out with our Northeastern customers and friends.

A Hot Rodder’s Guide to Wheel Bolt Pattern

Have you ever bought a project car or even a completed car that was the brainchild of another hot rodder? Sometimes, you never know what type of suspension or brakes are used in a project car, but it’s pretty common to have mis-matched bolt patterns. For instance, it’s common to use a Camaro or Nova subframe and front suspension, which features a small five lug GM pattern, measuring 4-3/4 inches. And let’s say they robbed a Ford 9-inch out of an old F-100 pickup, and it still had the stock five lug bolt pattern, which measures 5-1/2 inches. If you’re unsure about your bolt pattern and you’re on the hunt for a new set of wheels, be sure to measure before you start scouring the swap meet or the Coker Tire catalog for new rollers. Keep reading to find out more.

Fall Fun at the Chattanooga Cruise In

It always seems like fall comes and goes quickly. We’re so busy around here during September and October, the months typically fly by, leaving us in the dead of winter. One event that always gets our attention is the Chattanooga Cruise In, as it’s held right here at our facility. We invite everyone we know to come hang out with us, and it’s always a fun time with hundreds of hot rods and thousands of people overtaking the streets of Chattanooga. This year was no different, as the fall 2014 Chattanooga Cruise In offered a lot of fun with a great turnout. Check out our favorite pictures from the event, and stay tuned for future cruise in dates!

William Watson’s Caddy-Powered ’41 Packard

We see LOTS of street rods and customs, and we see fenderless ’32 Fords on a regular basis. What we don’t normally see is a Packard, and this one has custom touches that required a few bits and pieces from Honest Charley. William Watson is the proud owner, and his creation involves at 1941 Packard OneTwenty sedan body, combined with a 472ci Cadillac V8, equipped with air conditioning. William is a regular customer at Honest Charley, and we’re glad he stopped by to show off his project. It’s nearly 10 years in the making, so he’s happy to get behind the wheel and put some miles on it.

Friends from Georgia and Germany Stop by the Shop!

We usually see an increase in hot rodders visiting our shop when nearby car shows, such as the Shades of the Past, are going on. Last week, a couple of very cool hot rods paid us a visit as they headed to Pigeon Forge for the weekend. Motivating north from Lithonia, Georgia, Tom Lawson piloted the ’33 Ford pickup, which has a low and lean profile, thanks to a chopped top and a great stance. The pickup is powered by a ZZ4 crate engine and 700R-4 transmission. Behind the wheel of the slick ’32 Ford roadster is Tom’s great friend Armin Grutschus from Munchhausen, Germany. The Deuce roadster features a 408ci Ford engine, backed by a five-speed manual transmission. The tires and wheels came from our neighbors at Coker Tire. Great hot rods, cool owners, and a very enjoyable road trip. Check ’em out!

Electric Fuel Pump Safety

It’s pretty common to utilize an electric fuel pump these days, even in a traditional hot rod, like Clay Miller’s Flathead-powered ’32 Ford (pictured). Whether you run an in-tank pump, or an inline (external) pump, you want it to be installed in the most efficient and safe manner possible. Most electric pumps are wired to be active when the ignition switch is in the “on” position. The potential hazard is if the engine dies, the pump will continue to run until the switch is turned off. What’s the solution? A pressure switch that reads oil pressure, and shuts off power to the fuel pump when oil pressure drops below 5 psi. It’s money well spent, and it’s absolutely the safest way to wire up your electric pump. We sell the switch, as well as a variety of fuel pumps and accessories for your fuel system.

Big Fun at the NSRA Street Rod Nationals

Another year, and another trip to Louisville for the NSRA Street Rod Nationals. If you haven’t heard of the Street Rod Nationals, you’re really missing out on a heck of a show, with thousands of hot rods, hundreds of parts vendors (we’re one of ’em!) and a bunch of good stuff in the swap meet. We had ALL HANDS on deck at the show, but it was mostly our FEET that were tired after a few days of standing, walking, etc. at the Nationals. While most of the team stayed near the booth to help customers, our favorite undercover photographer snooped around and took a bunch of pictures. We picked through them and found our favorites…take a look!
Click HERE for the NSRA Nationals coverage!

1957 Chevy–A Crown Jewel for Any Collection

Our great friend, Mark Chitwood came by the shop in his shiny new ’57 Chevy. He recently purchased the car and plans to put lots of miles on it in the coming months. Mark is the owner of Southern Gold, a jewelry sales and repair business right here in Chattanooga. The ’57 Chevy is a 210 model, which means it has a few less trim pieces than the Bel Air models. Less trim means more room for the super slick black paint job to be displayed…and it is SLICK!