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Modern Rodding

Modern Rodding Volume 2, Issue 1 January 2021

Modern Rodding is dedicated to early and late hot rodes - from Model Ts to GTOs and everything in-between. It features the latest in custom builds, technical articles, new products, and special features.

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United States
In The Garage Media
12 Issues

in this issue

8 min
in the garage: the dave simard story

A true renaissance man amongst hot rodders, Dave Simard of Leominster, Massachusetts, has pretty much seen and done it all over the past five decades. From uncovering some of our hobby’s most sought-after vintage race cars and historical hot rods to restoring them to newfound glory through his business, East Coast Custom, he’s even competed on the salt at Bonneville. We’re barely scratching the surface here, so let’s take a look back at how and where it all got started. It’s a path that evolved through a fascination for early Fords, seeing that his dad was always working on them in the family driveway. By the time he was 12, he was given his very first car, an original-running 1931 Ford Tudor sedan. Not long after, surrounded by a stack of…

9 min
how to select the right hot rod alternator

At one time the demands on an automobile’s electrical system were simple—the engine’s ignition and starting circuits, rudimentary lighting, maybe a heater, and that was about it. But how things have changed. Today the electrical equipment on cars often includes a long list of electron-gobbling devices, such as high-intensity lighting, climate-control systems, engine-cooling fans, fuel pumps, power windows and seats, air suspension compressors, elaborate stereo systems, and more—and we’re not just talking about cars on showroom floors but many contemporary hot rods, too. With the increased number of electronic items being added to hot rods, selecting the proper alternator is critical. To do that, there are some common definitions and terms you should know: In simple terms, electricity is the flow of electrons from one atom to another through a conductor. A…

2 min
the next chapter editorial

Unlike the “olden” days when you looked at the date on a “fresh” magazine cover that read three months in advance (I won’t go into the logistics of that practice), when you glance at the exterior spine of the latest issues of Modern Rodding, Classic Truck Performance, and/or All Chevy Performance, it’ll say the same thing your calendar does (assuming your physical calendar is current!). There’s no timeline tomfoolery here at In The Garage Media! Furthermore, beginning with this very issue you’re holding in your hands—be it paper or via your smartphone/tablet/computer—you can expect to get your fix on a monthly basis … with all three brands! Speaking of brands, that brings me to this month’s update on the sister publication that I’m responsible for producing month in, month out: Classic…

9 min
fitting an ame fully independent gt sport chassis

We are going to wrap up where we left off last month on how the Art Morrison Enterprises (AME) GT Sport chassis fits beneath a 1959-1964 Chevy B-body. Our project continues while at Scott Bonowski’s Hot Rods & Hobbies (HR&H) shop located in Signal Hill, California. We will hit some of the high points but the reality is nothing replaces reading the full instruction booklet from AME … so don’t cheat! Doesn’t really matter what postwar-era hot rod you have, the chassis houses old-time performance, whether it be ride, handling, or engine performance. The old cars are neat to look at but not much for staying up with modern driving demands. Let’s face it, once hot rodders began installing air conditioning systems it wouldn’t be long before all of the other…

4 min
1961 chevy impala

It’s always an interesting story to find out why someone builds what they build. Does it remind them of their past? Is it so cool they just can’t pass it up? Or does it satisfy the urge, whatever that may be! There are as many great reasons to build a particular hot rod as there are hot rodders. Knowing this, we were ready to hear the backstory from Dave and Janice Barnett and their 1961 Chevy Impala. Dave is no stranger to hot rods, having built and owned a 1959 Pro Touring Corvette, 1934 Ford coupe, 1966 Pro Touring Nova, and too-many-to-mention Top Sportsman and Pro Mod drag cars. But that brings us right back to where we started: “Why this 1961 Chevy Impala bubbletop?” Turns out back in the day—those high…

9 min
building a 1956 ford ranch wagon

Be it a Chevy, Ford, or Mopar, wagons are on the growing list of popular build material. The “Ford in a Ford” guys are really excited about a hot rod that more easily accepts a Coyote motor, making the wagon a good choice. On an earlier trip to Phoenix we stopped by to see Dean Livermore of Hot Rods by Dean (HRBD) to check in on various projects but specifically one we’ve had our eye on. It’s a 1956 Ford Ranch Wagon that’s getting the full build (chassis, modern powertrain, and loads of creature comforts) while maintaining its true mid-’50s appearance. The East Coast owner found the car in Long Island, New York, where it was originally purchased and coincidentally it was in the same hometown where Livermore was born. This…