Who: Brian Anton
What: '91 M931 A2
Where: Santa Maria, California
Why: We can think of few less effective ways to attract attention to your store than by parking a 12-foot-tall military transport vehicle in front of it. Brian Anton, owner of Tacti-Cool Guns and Gear, and whose Mustang appeared on our July '10 cover, bought this piece of military surplus and had it spiffed up a bit to serve as a way to grab people's attention while driving by on Highway 101. The Tacti-Truck is registered and street legal. It rumbles along with its 8.3L diesel and Allison automatic transmission.
It has air brakes, so it makes cool, commercial truck noises, and the on-board air compressor means the crowd-pleasing train horn installation is merely an easy air hose routing away. Check the truck out for yourself during normal business hours, and fire his rental AR 15 in the indoor range while you're at it.
Who: Todd Girnus
What: '67 Chevrolet Camaro
Where: Visalia, California
Why: Todd began building this Camaro in 2004 right after the death of his father. It has a 454 big-block, a TH400 trans with a 3,000-stall converter, a 12-bolt, and four-wheel disc brakes. He says building the car “has been the biggest help” in getting past the death of his father and dedicates it to his dad, Ron.
Sinister New Hemi
Who: John Grace
What: '06 Dodge Charger R/T
Where: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Why: Well, why not really? John's Charger looks pretty menacing with its blacked-out trim and lights. He didn't just stick with the cosmetic stuff, though. He had the cylinder heads ported, slipped in a FRI Sparrow cam, and dropped on an Eagle intake manifold. He also added bigger fuel injectors, JBA headers into Pypes exhaust, and a higher-stall Pro Torture torque converter.
Homebuilt and Awesome
Who: Brian McMillan
What: '84 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS
Where: Fort Mill, South Carolina
Why: All of us staffers here like a clean Monte Carlo SS, and Brian's is especially clean, but we tripped out over the interior pictures he sent. Three pedals—that's how GM should have sold these cars, in our opinion. Brian chucked the slushbox for a Tremec TKO five-speed and upgraded the rear axle to a Grand National 3.44:1 with limited slip. The surprises continue under the hood, where Brian used a mix of stock LS1 parts and stuff from EFI Connection to convert to LS-engine-style coil-on-plug ignition and sequential fuel injection. With AFR cylinder heads and 11.0:1 compression, Brian says his car is sending a stout 375 hp to the wheels—way more than the stock 305 did. Brian teaches the BMW training program at his local community college, so electronics are no big deal to him.
Cool Classic Hemi
Who: Bill Cole
What: '65 Dodge Coronet
Where: Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
Why: Bill says when he first bought his Coronet it was lacking a few things, namely a floor and brakes. It also had a broken 318 Poly under the hood. It took a couple years, but he fixed all those problems, plus he did the bodywork and painted the car. He dropped in an old-school 392 Hemi and backed it up with a 727 TorqueFlite transmission.
Likes Our Taste in Cars
Keep up the great features like Shaun Burgess' '66 Mustang (Oct. '13). His home-style engineering embodies the real spirit of car crafting. By all means, please return to the car. We need more details and more tech.
—Brian Williams, via email
We received a bunch of email about Shaun's Mustang, and all were positive. Thank you for your feedback. Since we visited, he finished building this '69 Fastback for his wife and continues to hammer on his coupe at track events in the Midwest.
I'd like to echo the thoughts of Frank Amodeo's letter (Nov. '13). I would like to see Car Craft focus a bit more on the craft side. I think how to install headliners and carpet are great article ideas. I would also like to see more on waterborne paints, plastic repair, and upholstery, in general. Everything wears out, and I don't know the first thing about replacing seat coverings and sewing. Home Economics was not something men of my generation took but should have.
I would also like to suggest a new feature called, "We really shouldn't have fixed it—but we did it anyway." Example: This crank rod took out a cast-iron block; we shouldn't have fixed it, but we did, and this was the process. The article would cover how the block is prepped, repaired with pinning/new metal/bronze, machined, measured, and so on, and put back into service.
Home CNC and 3-D printing are bringing a whole new world of possibilities to make and fix things I didn't think could be cost-effectively created or repaired: custom gaskets, castings, or sheetmetal at home? We're not there just yet, but it's coming.
—Barry Soben, Phoenix, Arizona
Pro Street legend and entrepreneur Matt Hay sent us this photo of the remote control box he just bought at the Dean Jeffries estate sale. It is the control box for Jeffries' Manta Ray custom as seen in the May '64 Hot Rod.
Here's another shot of the Jeffries remote control with the lid removed. This was car crafting 50 years ago, and it's pretty impressive.
Broken crank snouts and stretched timing chains make for great belt buckles.
—Quinton Parker, via email
Riding Mower Teeth
Here's what happens when you're retired and have tools. Every time I mowed past a certain bush, it would pull the grille off, so this is my fix. Grrr!
—Bob Funtjar, via email
Department of Corrections
In our article on the Wheelstand Championships (Sept. '13), we misidentified the driver of the '86 Mustang who won the Highest Wheelstand and runner-up Ford Wheelstand categories. His name is Jason King. How do we know this? His mom wrote in to correct us! Sorry, Mrs. King.
I bought an extra set of wheels and tires to have some fun in my '68 Plymouth Road Runner with a 383 and four-speed. It's been upgraded with a solid cam, headers, and intake and carb. I just press the line lock and let 'em burn!
—David Baures, Arlington, Texas
If we can do this, you can too. Send burnout!! Photos to the new address 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245 or email it to CarCraft@carcraft.com with a single photo size of at least 1 MB. Then you will live forever.
Blown-Up Parts of the Month
Continuing the theme from last month, we continue to clear our inbox of your broken-parts emails.
Fiber in Your Diet
I bought a 340 engine from a seller who said it had no oil pressure. I removed the intake and pan, and surprise!
—Dean Nishizaki, Honolulu, Hawaii
In case it's not clear, that's a shop rag hanging from the oil pump pick-up, parts of which made it to the lifter bores before the engine seized.
The owner of this BMW allowed an inexperienced person drive the car. After driving approximately 10 miles on Interstate 25 in First gear (yep, 65-mph speed limit), every dummy light lit up and the motor gave way. The oil cap has residue that resembles the head on a fresh glass of lager, and the drained oil looks like root beer–colored glitter nail polish. Nice!
—Pistonkid1971, via email