Todd Ryden / El paso, TX
Todd's a longtime employee of MSD Ignition in El Paso, a dyed-in-the-wool gearhead, and an all-around cool guy. And he keeps us supplied with ignition stuff when we need it. Todd recently e-mailed us this peek into his stash of American iron. He keeps his fleet in a 1,200-square-foot storage unit near his house, where he labors away on his cars in his free time. The definition of long-term projects, some of these cars have been apart for more than a decade.
1. Retro Pump
Todd bought this vintage gas pump from a guy who works at a local body shop. It has a unique recoiling and swiveling hose. He intended to fully restore it but decided against it. It looks cooler the way it is now.
"Rad Rods by Troy built the Chicayne; I have the S**tcayne," Todd says. He bought this car from former editor and notorious car hoarder David Freiburger. "I was able to catch DF at a weak moment." Unlike the Chicayne, Todd's car still sports the original 235 I-6 and three-on-the-three manual. Sagging springs make it sit almost as low, though.
Here's a Shiner Bock poster. It's brewed in San Antonio, the cleanest city in Texas.
4. Poncho Wagon
The '65 Tempest may be the coolest car Todd owns. It's an original radio-delete 326/four-speed car, and there are more than 200,000 miles on it. He's driven it across the country on two Hot Rod Power Tours(r), once with the original engine, and once with a 455. Currently, he's preparing to drop in the 467-inch engine on the stand in front of his Chevelle. A Tremec five-speed, Global West and Hotchkis suspension bits, and Baer brakes round out the package.
5. Long-Term Nova
The '66 Nova is a real SS car. After a long search, Todd bought the car from its original owner. He stripped it completely and sent it out to be chemically dipped. Once back in his possession, he had it painted in the original Lemonwood Yellow, installed a Total Cost Involved front subframe, a carbureted LS1 engine, a Classic Chevy Tremec five-speed, and Baer brakes. He's been working on this car for 10 years.
Todd is a big Simpsons fan. He didn't have anywhere in his house to put the Homer Simpson cutout, so it hangs out in the shop.
7. Driver Chevelle
Purchased in 1994, this '64 Chevelle served as Todd's daily driver for two years and also did time on the third Power Tour(r). Its drivetrain is also stock-a thrifty 196-inch I-6 and Powerglide combo.
8. Poncho Mill
This is the engine destined to power the Tempest. A bored and stroked 428 adds up to 467 inches and belts out 500 hp and 550 lb-ft. It was built by A&A Machine in Davison, Michigan. Todd will be switching to a Tri-power induction setup before installing the engine.