All posts by ClassicCars.com

Eastwood introduces new surface-conditioning tool

For nearly 40 years, Eastwood has provided restoration and repair products. Its new patent-pending surface-conditioning tool – the Contour SCT — removes paint, rust and conditions metal with 4-inch drums, high torque and a ball bearing-supported motor.

The tool has been designed for extended service and features a drum guard enclosure with a rigidly mounted “D” handle for enhanced safety.

Speed is controlled with a 6-position rotary knob and on/off trigger control.

For more information visit the Eastwood website.

Gennie offers Double Bend Swan shifter

Gennie shifter
Gennie shifter

Designed for muscle cars, 1950s-era customs and lakes-inspired roadsters, the Double Bend Swan shifter stick is part of the Commander Series from Gennie Shifter.

The stick is based on an I-beam design and has a polished outer beam and blasted finish in the webbing, with holes to lighten its weight.

It mounts on the Gennie Shifter Lo-Stick, with applicable transmission bracket kit.
Gennie Shifter is based in Denver, Colorado.
For more information, visit the Gennie Shifter website.

www.gennieshifter.com

Jay Leno drives Vanderhall Venice

Jay Leno recently hosted a three-wheeled auto-cycle, the Vanderhall Venice, and the vehicle’s creator, Steve Hall, on an episode of “Jay Leno’s Garage.” Jay has a number of three-wheeled vehicles, including a classic Morgan, in his own collection.

During the show, Jay quizzed Steve on camera about the process of bringing an auto-cycle to market. Steve explained that as a three-wheeled vehicle, the Venice can be licensed as a motorcycle. It complies with EPA and CARB emissions regulations, carries a 17-digit VIN and is listed with NADA and Kelly Blue Book, allowing dealers to obtain bank financing for Venice buyers.

Leno quizzed Steve about the wheel and drive configuration. The company’s first prototype was rear-wheel drive, Steve replied, and used a motorcycle engine. This setup was very unstable, however, not unlike the infamous three-wheeled Reliant Robin of Great Britain.

But one of Steve’s primary goals was to capture a vintage-roadster feel in a more-reliable package. Eleven major redesigns by Vanderhall ultimately yielded two front wheels/front-wheel drive and 70/30 weight distribution to replicate the handling characteristics of a mid-engine sports car.

The Venice’s GM 1.4L turbocharged four-cylinder engine was chosen for its packaging, reliability, American sourcing and power; it delivers 180 horsepower in the featherlight, 1,350-pound Venice.

Following the in-garage walk-around, Hall joined Leno for an in-the-wind drive in the Venice (Helmet laws vary by state. California has a helmet exception for enclosed three-wheelers). The pair took off together inside the Venice, which Steve designed to provide ample legroom for people his size (Hall is 6-foot-6-inches tall).

“It’s built by Americans using American parts, which is always a big selling point in the United States,” Leno noted. “It feels incredibly stable, and it’s a lot of fun to drive, with just enough horsepower that you can get yourself in trouble.”

To view the show, check out “Jay Leno’s Garage” on YouTube. For more information on the Vanderhall Venice, call (949) 420-9007 or visit www.vanderhallusa.com.

Wireless tech levels hydraulic suspensions

Level Ride Air Suspension has introduced a new way to control popular pneumatic and hydraulic suspension systems. An Android-based wireless control unit works with a vehicle’s existing adjustable suspension to change ride height by touch or voice.

The new system also stores data in a secure cloud-based server allowing access to diagnostics for troubleshooting from anywhere where a reliable WiFi connection is available.

“The Level Ride Air Suspension system is the culmination of 18 years of industry experience designing, manufacturing and distributing suspension products,” founder/product engineer James Cloke said in a news release.

For the controller, Level Ride Air Suspension uses a stand-alone, Bluetooth-enabled, 5.5-inch touchscreen unit instead of a mobile phone app, allowing for a higher level of control and reliability. For failsafe operation, the system senses vehicle battery voltage and automatically goes into sleep mode as required to prevent vehicle and control-unit discharge.

In addition to the touch-screen controller, the kit includes an ECU, height and pressure sensors, a Valet/Override switch and all required mounting hardware and wiring harnesses and related components.

The kit is compatible with many aftermarket air-suspension systems.

For more information visit www.LevelRideAirSuspension.com.

 

ProFit transmission kit for Ford F100

F-100-5-Speed-524x524

American Powertrain has launched a turn-key ProFit transmission system for 1967-79 Ford F100 pickup trucks, vehicles that have become popular for restro-modification and for pro-touring builds.

The kit features a Tremec TKO 5-speed gearbox with Revolution shifter that allows adjustment for bench- or bucket-seat architecture as well as an X-Factor lightweight aluminum crossmember and poly mount, speedometer solution, DOM steel driveshaft assembly, reverse light wiring, engine specific pilot bearing and a 5-speed shift knob.

As with all of American Powertrain’s ProFit transmission installation systems, each component has been developed specifically for F100 pickups and is covered by a warranty and their customer-first tech support.

Systems retail starting at $3,395 including the transmission.

For details, visit the American Powertrain website.

www.americanpowertrain.com

Proform offers Slant-Edge air cleaner

PR-Insert-Collage-524x524Proform, which specializes in developing genuine Ford Performance parts, has introduced its new aluminum 13-inch Slant-Edge air cleaner kit, which features a patented design with no center nut required to secure the lid.

The latest Slant-Edge is designed to complete the dress-up look. It is available in six styles, including raised and recessed emblems, and to match similar finish valve covers.

The air cleaner lid attaches to a short stud that is screwed into the center of the carburetor. The lid has a threaded boss on the underside, and is easily spun into place by the installer, according to Proform.

Each kit is supplied with the necessary mounting hardware.

For information, visit the Proform website.

www.proformparts.com

The Thermal Club: Leave your golf clubs at home

Outside of Palm Springs, amid the country’s legendary golf courses, exists a private facility for well-heeled petrol heads. Situated on 344 acres, the Thermal Club provides its members everything they need to live a car enthusiast’s dream.

Combining on-track thrills with the grandeur of a country club, Thermal Club features a luxurious clubhouse, a Motorsports Village plaza, an athletic facility, spa, pools and tennis courts. Buildings showcase contemporary Spanish architecture.

The Thermal Club has three race tracks | Photo courtesy of Thermal Club

Becoming a member affords access to amenities and racetracks, and qualifies you to purchase a home site within the club’s grounds where you can build your dream home built to your own desires and preferences.

Villas are not only luxurious vacation homes, but car galleries— where you can display 15 or more vehicles in a garage and still find room to park an RV. Ranging between 6,000 to 15,000 square feet, most villas have three to five bedrooms and offer views of the track. The design of a villa can mimic the Spanish mission architecture of the club, although custom homes can also be commissioned. Most villas are located around one of the club’s three racing circuits, with a selection providing direct access to a track.

Each racing circuit is distinguished by unique features and can be combined to create a 5.1-mile loop. The tracks incorporate state-of-the-art safety measures. Each circuit designed by acclaimed track designer Alan Wilson.

While racing is the keystone of the community, the experience goes well beyond. The Member’s Club houses a European-inspired spa, café and bar. Large family and kids rooms are available. Two outdoor pools offer an escape from the desert climate. The facility also features basketball, tennis and pickleball courts.

At the center of the club is Motorsports Village, a collection of buildings that support the racing operation. The Village’s main garage has a professional shop with lifts, tools, diagnostic computers and skilled mechanics. The shop not only prepares a member’s racing car, but services and details personal vehicles as well.

Directly across from the shop is a climate-controlled, secure garage where members store cars and the club’s racing crew prepares for on-track action. When track time ends, the crew will perform a systems check, make repairs or adjustments, and then give the vehicle a wash and detailing.

The Clubhouse

The crown jewel of Motorsports Village is the clubhouse, which offers meeting spaces and a large dining room with racing-inspired paintings on every wall. A viewing tower offers a visual vantage of the tracks, as well as the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains.

Further details and information about membership can be obtained at www.TheThermalClub.com

Chevy C10 suspension salvation – Two brothers show us how

Chevy pickups from the 1960s, ‘70s and ’80s are becoming more popular than ever as enthusiasts are picking up these timeless trucks and turning them into high-performance street and track machines.

How can you get an old ranch truck to handle better than a new Corvette? The Harmola brothers from Aldan American Suspension in Los Angeles, California, set out to answer that question.

The Harmola brothers at work

Starting with a 1971 C10 Super Cheyenne bought off eBay, the brothers used this truck as their canvas for developing a streetable, track-ready pickup truck.

“My brother and I have always been into trucks and decided to build our first race truck as a platform to test and develop new coilover, shock and suspension products for Aldan American,” said Garrett Harmola, president and owner of Aldan American.

There are several ways to improve a vehicle’s suspension. One method is to run an adjustable coilover shock setup. Coilover shocks allow greater adjustment of a vehicles ride-height, along with fine tune shock damping adjustments (the speed at which the shock operates) allowing for better handling and control. Aldan American coilovers are fully adjustable and allow the ability to interchange coilspring rates for different track types and road conditions.

For the Harmola Brothers’ C10, one primary goal was to remove the stock suspension and convert to a coilover suspension with disc brakes and drop spindles for a lowered stance and drastically better handling. Using the highest quality, U.S. made parts and components on the suspension was a must for these California-born brothers.

Scotts Hot Rods C10 Aldan

Updating the stock C10 suspension to use Aldan coilovers, the Harmolas chose a Scott’s Hot Rods independent front suspension (IFS) for the front of their C10’s suspension. The Scott’s kit is designed to run coilover shocks, drop spindles and offers stiffer sway bars and tubular control arms – delivering greater performance gains over a stock IFS.

For the rear suspension on the C10, a custom trailing arm setup was developed using parts from Performance Online.

“We used POL’s custom trailing arms and adjustable crossmember to help us achieve the rear ride-height we were looking for. I fabricated brackets to run the Aldan coilovers on the outside of the frame allowing greater clearance and traction by getting the shocks as close to the rear tires as possible,” said Spencer Harmola.

C10 rear end coilover

To dial in the perfect ride height, and to keep their ultra wide tires planted at speed and under heavy cornering, the brothers’ set up the front and rear suspension with Aldan’s Regulator Series, single adjustable coilover shocks. Made in Los Angeles, Aldan’s Regulator Series coilovers offer 11 positions of rebound adjustment, which allows fine-tuning of the shock speed.

Controlling the shock damping helps the shocks keep the tires planted on the ground for better traction and improved ride quality. Aldan’s high travel, cold wound coilsprings were fitted on the coilover shocks. Coil spring rates were selected for a comfortable street ride and will be swapped out for heavier spring rates for autocross and road course events in the future.

Regulator Series coilover
Regulator Series Coilover

A Watts-link setup was installed on their built 12-bolt rear end to help keep the rearend centered under heavy cornering. With the suspension install completed, next up was installing the WilWood disc brakes and performing an LS motor swap with a T-56 6-speed manual transmission out of a late-model Chevrolet Camaro. Wheels and tires were mounted and the truck was sent off to paint and final assembly.

For more info on coilover shocks, suspension and updates on this custom C10 build, check out www.aldanamerican.com

Petersen, ClassicCars.com to showcase lowriders at Monterey

Lowrider on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum | Petersen photos
Lowrider on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum | Petersen photos

ClassicCars.com and the Petersen Automotive Museum launch a strategic partnership during Monterey Car Week, where they will stage a special exhibit of lowriders at McCall’s Motorworks Revival and at The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering. Continue reading