Sounds Improbable, Works Good
What It Is: A pair of foam car ramps.
Why You Care: Metal ramps have been around since the beginning of time. They're heavy, they screech when you drag them across the floor, they gouge the concrete and dig holes in asphalt driveways, and they rust the first time they see moisture. Brute Industries has come up with a better mousetrap in the form of Race Ramps-a pair of high-density foam ramps that support 3,000 pounds but weigh only 10 pounds each. They are available in 56- and 67-inch lengths to fit under lowered cars, and raise the car either 8 or 10 inches off the ground.
How Much: $199 for the 56-inch ramps, $299 for the 67-inchers.
Learn More: Brute Industries Inc.; Gladstone, MI; 866/464-2788; raceramps.com
Subframe to Full-Frame Conversion
What It Is: A bolt-in perimeter frame for first-gen F-cars.
Why You Care: If you're the kind of guy who likes to build a car from the ground up from a pile of parts, check out this frame for '67-'69 Camaros and Firebirds. Swapping a full frame in place of the original subframes will significantly increase chassis stiffness and therefore improve handling. The front suspension is designed with a better camber curve design, and the rear suspension shelves the ancient leaf springs in favor of a triangulated four-link design and Winters 9-inch housing that will swallow up giant 345mm rear tires. Universal motor mounts allow your choice of small-block, big-block, or LS-series engines.
How Much: The bare steel chassis starts at $3,495. A fully equipped roller complete with brakes costs $14,600.
We Say: Would look good under a Trans Am replica racer.
Learn More: Schwartz Extreme Performance; Crystal Lake, IL; 815/455-2230; schwartzperformance.com
Overdrive Five-Speed From Richmond
What It Is: Richmond Gear's heavy-duty five-speed overdrive transmission for Chevy, Ford, and Mopar applications.
Why You Care: Interested in an overdrive trans that will handle 600 lb-ft of torque without breaking a sweat? Check out this five-speed from Richmond. The company took one of its six-speed cases and filled it with only five gears. This allowed the face width of the gears to be wider and therefore stronger in order to handle that much torque. You can choose either a 3.33:1 or 2.89:1 First gear; top gear is an overdriven 0.77:1, and the shifter is included.
How Much: Pricing is to be announced, but Richmond's nonoverdrive five-speed road/race box sells for about $2,500 from Summit Racing.
We Say: Manual transmissions rule.
Learn More: Richmond Gear; Liberty, SC; 864/843-9231; richmondgear.com
Big Radiators in Brass, Not Aluminum
What It Is: Stock-appearing radiators.
Why You Care: Want a bigger radiator? Impala Bob's offers stock-replacement, copper/brass radiators for a variety of Chevys. You can choose standard-duty two-row cores, heavy-duty three-row cores, or the Desert Cooler four-row radiators. These radiators are designed to fit the stock mounting brackets.
How Much: Prices range from $165 to just over $400 depending on size and application.
We Say: Copper transfers heat better than aluminum.
Learn More: Impala Bob's Inc.; Mesa, AZ; 480/981-1600; impalas.com