Remembering Hot Rod Icon, Pete Chapouris

For hot rodders everywhere this is certainly a time to reflect upon one of the true legends of our hobby. Pete Chapouris, together with Jim “Jake” Jacobs, created some of the world’s first over-the-counter products available through Pete & Jakes Hot Rod Repair, established in 1974. Together they created some of the earliest independent front suspension and Jaguar rear end setups, while refining four-bar control arms and other pieces that enabled enthusiasts to get their set-ups right the first time.

Dynamat–A Hot Rodder’s Best Friend

Hot rods were never meant to be luxurious places to kick your feet up and relax, but there comes a point when hot rodders “grow up” and need to control the noise and the temperature inside their car. We can all remember a time when making it louder, lighter, faster, etc. was the goal, but for a guy who wants to enjoy the tight confines of a Deuce coupe, insulation certainly helps. Early cars were small, so if you have a peppy exhaust note, conversations are nearly impossible, even though your shoulder is basically touching your passenger. Sound damping has come a long way, and we’re 100 percent believers in Dynamat products. We’ve used it in dozens of projects and it always makes a huge difference as a sound barrier and a heat barrier. We’re currently installing it in Mike Wolfe’s 1933 Ford five-window coupe. Even though the car is a little rough around the edges, the Dynamat will make it feel like a Cadillac when the Flathead V8 is humming down the road. This stuff is easy to install, and we have a lot of happy customers who buy it for ALL of their project cars. Get some for your hot rod, custom or muscle car and you’ll be a believer too!

Mike Wolfe’s 1933 Ford Hot Rod

Mike Wolfe Hot Rod
If you watch the American Pickers TV show on the History Channel, then you know that Mike Wolfe loves old motorcycles, bicycles and memorabilia. Through the years, he has tested the waters with a few hot rod projects, including a very cool Ford panel truck, and the car pictured here–a crusty 1933 Ford five-window coupe. The car has been a hot rod for lots of years, as evidenced by the parts that are in place, but a few major changes were made after Mike purchased the car on American Pickers. First, he had the top chopped a few inches to give it a menacing look, and he also had some of the structural rust repaired. Mike wanted the car to be road-worthy but he didn’t want to disrupt the character of the car in the process.

Highlights from the 2016 SEMA Show!

We always love seeing the updates and posts from the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s the world’s largest automotive trade show, and you’ll see some crazy stuff walking the aisles. From over-the-top builds to traditional hot rods and customs, the SEMA Show offers a lot for hot rodders like us. We don’t set up as an exhibitor at the show, but a lot of our parts manufacturers have a presence at the show, and display new products for all types of custom vehicles. This year, our Chattanooga, Tennessee neighbors, Coker Tire Company debuted a new tire for the muscle car market–the Firestone Wide Oval Radial tire! Other industry icons, such as Edelbrock, Holley, Comp Cams and more displayed new products as well. Check out our highlights from the 2016 SEMA Show and pick your favorite!

A Cool Model A Coupe that’s Worth Writing Home About!

Honest Charley carries a wide range of hot rod parts and we greatly enjoy seeing our parts on the road and the passion of our customers! Take John Borek’s 1930 Model A for example. This Model A has had a ton of work done to it over the years by John and his 7 year old daughter. John bought this at an estate auction from a long-time car collector about six years ago for 500 bucks! This Model A had a ton of damage and most people would have kept looking but John decided to take on this great project. ” I started replacing all the damaged and rusted sections with lots of patch panels and a lot of fabricating” he said. Once he got the body somewhat solid, he braced it and removed the body off the frame.

New Faces at Honest Charley Speed Shop

When we announced that Mike Goodman was retiring last year, many of our customers knew that it was the end of an era. Mike was the type of guy who made the extra effort to make the sale, or to help out a fellow hot rodder. Carrying on that legacy isn’t something to take lightly, and we are confident that our staff is up to the task of upholding Mike Goodman’s excellent customer service and his knowledge of the hot rod market. Of course, we still have longtime Honest Charley employee Joe Lombardo, as well as hot rod veteran, Steve Anderson working the phones, but we wanted to introduce some new faces at Honest Charley. These guys are the future of hot rodding, and they’re eager to help you with expert advice and quality customer service, whether you’re buying a complete chassis or an air filter.

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.