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Art & Inspiration Inspiration: Someone's great idea that made it into your hot rod.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by -Brent-, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Thanks fella!!
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  2. topher5150
    Joined: Feb 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,074


    This got me thinking about something else that I saw. A guy in town has a 1940 Ford coupe but instead of painting or plating the window garnish on the inside he left it bare. I think a lite brush with this plating might look pretty cool to.
    loudbang likes this.
  3. I guess I didn't explain the purpose of the device very well. Yes, it is to make the headlights into the front turn signals. Your description above is correct. They flash whether the lights are on or off. the resistors need to be about the same resistance as the relay coil, 50 ohms goes with Bosch relays. When the light switch is off (daytime) turn signal power goes thru the coil thru the single resistor to ground. Coil activates with flasher power. Turn on the headlights and the coil activates with that power, turning on headlights, power going thru the coil and the two resistors to ground. turning the signal on, 12V is applied to the opposite side od that coil turning off that light.

    Works like a champ. Fun to have people ask, "Do you know your headlights flash?!" I even put this circuit on the Mysterion clone. I'm sure Ed would have done it if he knew about it.
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  4. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 847

    Hemi Joel
    from Minnesota

    That is genius! I'm glad we have smart people in this country who can design stuff like that.
    Hnstray and loudbang like this.
  5. Another one I got out of a rod mag several years ago. Ford 80s window riser motors mesh with the gear pitch on vintage window crank mechanisms. Makes it easy to convert pre-war rods to power windows without major surgery. Best of all, it only requires our beloved Pic-A-Part trip!

    Here is how I did my '53 Chevy pickup
    Cut out the crank bushing plate
    Window 1.jpg
    Window 2.jpg

    weld in a plate and drill a hole to center the motor's spur gear. Note the old and new gears meshing.
    Window 4.jpg Wildow riser back.JPG

    Had to weld on spacers so the motor screwed to the bracket properly.
    Window riser brace1.JPG Window riser brace2.JPG

    The factory used 3 nylon rods to couple a cam on the motor to one on the gear. Those rods are always disintegrated on the junkyard motors I have found. I found a supplier that sold replacements. Problem solved.
    Window riser gears.JPG Window riser rollers.JPG
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
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  6. Crocodile
    Joined: Jun 16, 2016
    Posts: 237


    More correctly, people who can not only design it, but are willing to share with us!
  7. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,905



    My brother knew of this place in downtown Long Beach to get some clear plastic seat covers for his 1951 Oldsmobile two door sedan. It was about three blocks from our high school. The seat covers we had seen on some older friend’s mom’s car, but they kept the seats clean. My brother was worried that with all of the “greasy Levis” we wore during our hot rod stage, something needed to be done to keep the seats clean. These clear plastic seat covers would keep the material clean and wipe off easily.

    At first, he was laughed at by his friends. But, he never had to tell his friends to wear clean Levis or brush off the Levis before sitting down in the seats. This went on for a couple of years until his new 1958 Impala rolled into the scene. Now, there was a definite amount of worry about getting the red interior dirty, when we did the weekend drag racing scene at Lions Dragstrip and home mechanics.

    "After the war they opened a West Coast plant in Long Beach, CA, and expanded into seat cushions, mother’s utility bags, and nationally famous “Baby Pals”. But they were most famous for their seat covers, which were, according to the 1950 Congressional Record and several trade journals, the number one seat cover on the market."

    "A west coast plant opened in 1945 at Long Beach, California…”

    "Upon the death of Howard Zink in 1957 Jack Zink became president and general manager of the corporation. With his physical condition a factor (Jack Zink suffered severe injuries to both legs in World War II), Jack Zink announced the sale of the company, with the exception of the Consolite Division, to Indian Head Mills January 1966."

    The Howard Zink Corp., Sure Fit Seat Covers, the world's largest manufacturer of auto tops and seat covers…

    By time I got to high school, one of the daughters of the Zink Corporation family was in several of my classes. She was a very down to earth and nice. We became great friends until we both graduated. Her older sister was a couple of years ahead of us and also very cool.


    My brother was responsible for getting the first set on his Impala. I was the person that got the “dirtiest Levi’s in town” label. I was “over, under and actually, sideways down,” when I was under the car and doing gear axle replacements. Since I had to move the Impala after I was finished doing the hard work, it was good that the clear plastic seat covers were on the pristine red interior.

    His good idea led to me getting another purchase of clear plastic seat covers from Sure Fit, for my new 1965 El Camino. The El Camino was going to get the full treatment for heavy usage in the desert motorcycle racing, backyard mechanics and at the beach scenes. The seat covers saved the new seat upholstery for both cars until they were sold. The new buyers in 1964 for the Impala and in 1976 for the El Camino were amazed that those seats were just like they rolled off of the showroom floor, when I had taken off the covers for the sales.

    Great early idea led to pristine upholstery for tons of heavy usage and fun on our road trips.



    Back in 1958-65, we were connected to this unusual business located about a mile away from our old high school in Long Beach. The Long Beach branch of the Howard Zink Corporation, Sure Fit Seat Cover dealership was located here. We went to school with the daughters of the owners and that was really fun.

    For our new, 1958 Impala, it had red plaid, stock seat inserts and needed to stay clean during our drag racing days at Lions Dragstrip. So, my brother wanted something to protect the seats from the ever dirty Levis when working on and entering the seating areas. We found these clear covers at the Sure Fit Dealer and they were very flexible and the clarity was outstanding. It did not feel like sitting on some crackling hard plastic. There was plenty of give and take. Of course, there was no smoking in the car for fear of any melting plastic.
    By the fall of 1964, I was planning on selling the 58 Impala to buy a new 65 red El Camino for college transportation. When a friend said that he would buy my 58 as is, for whatever cost, I was amazed. We made a deal and he said as neat as the clear plastic seat covers were, they had to come off. When we gently unhooked the metal clips and slipped off those clear covers, my friend was totally amazed. He now had a brand new, “6 years of use,” red interior without any scratches or fading.

    He said that I obviously took care of my car and remembers the times when we both cruised around in it. Now, it was his new car with a new-old-stock (NOS) interior and a fast 58 Impala, C&O hydro, 4:56 gears, and all. He was very happy. But, where is it now?


    As soon as I made the Impala deal, the next week, my 65 rolled into the local Chevy dealer, with red seats on the red El Camino. I immediately drove to the Sure Fit dealer for another installation of clear plastic seat covers. When the dealer/installer remembered our 58 Impala, he gave us a deal on the new covers for the El Camino. We now needed it for keeping the seats clean during our desert/motocross/racing days and those long days at the local surf spots.

    8 years later when I sold the 65 El Camino, the new buyer was also amazed that he had a NOS red interior that still smelled like a brand new upholstery from the factory. The clear plastic was softer and more flexible, but lasted through those long drives, desert climates, dirt, wind, mud, and sandy beaches to stay perfectly clean.

    Yes, the clear plastic seat covers were a little warm during the summer months. But, we used those wire/air flow/seat back cushions, wind wings and lower vents open. That was free, built in A/C without any horsepower loss from the multiple length belts.

    “SureFit "41st Anniversary Celebration" give-away was announced jointly by J. D. Zink, president of the Howard Zink Corp. Zink, national manager of the Sure- Fit Division, Long Beach. In a drawing held at the home office of the Howard Zink Corp.”

    Long Beach Press Telegram Newspaper.

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  8. BoogittyShoe
    Joined: Feb 18, 2020
    Posts: 330


    1/2 Marble-size LED bulbs. Stuck on flattened curtain rod bracket. (Hey, it's a jalopy.) IMG_20200301_072154.jpg IMG_20200301_072310.jpg
    loudbang likes this.
  9. I saw this idea on a roadster at the LARS years ago. I think it finishes off the hood shelves the way Henry should have.
  10. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 5,760


    @Kiwi Kev 's Nasty Habit and then my couple's column drop.

    Column Drop Nasty Habit & My Coupe.jpg

    His Willys had a big influence on my A coupe build... just a bunch of smart design in that car.
  11. Dirk35
    Joined: Mar 8, 2001
    Posts: 2,032


    Wheel Barrow for a firewall recess. Don't remember where I got the Idea, it was either here or the Rodding Round Table.

    1949 Ford PU Firewall 2.JPG 1949 Ford PU Floorboards.JPG
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  12. brakes.....
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  13. Mike
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,505


    If I were to come across you using your headlight turn signal, it would not register with me as a turn signal, it would register with me (and I suspect with most drivers) as a malfunctioning headlight.

    Doesn't seem like a great idea to me.
  14. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 5,760


    Not to derail this thread but the headlight as a blinker is close to the FMVSS 108 standard to where I'd say people are used to OT vehicles with DRLs turning off and a nearby blinker indicating on.

    I believe most people would "get it", certainly now. And, if you sat across from the vehicle at a 4-way stop, I think you'd pick up on that it's not a malfunction pretty quickly. Actually, I cannot think of a time where I saw a headlight blink as a malfunction.
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  15. Fitnessguy
    Joined: Sep 28, 2015
    Posts: 1,430


    Bass's Wade coupe gas filler treatment gave me the idea for mine. I did mine square to follow the trunk body lines instead of curved like he did, but otherwise same idea.
    IMG_4807.JPG IMG_4810.JPG IMG_4808.JPG IMG_7067.JPG
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  16. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 5,760


    @Bass is an innovator, for sure.
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  17. Almostdone
    Joined: Dec 19, 2019
    Posts: 318


    This isn’t a real brainstorm of an idea, but I flipped my ‘31 A’s firewall instead of using a modern recessed version. The latter would’ve worked fine (and I almost had it welded in), but using the original was so much better. I flipped the firewall to gain engine clearance, then flipped the lower center section again to better follow the bell housing and fab’d the lower sections to fit. Nothing new, but a fun project for me as a new builder. Thanks to all who’ve gone before.

    6D2867C6-F262-456A-A08C-94014C32EA0B.jpeg A98BCF27-59CA-420B-A3E4-9BEC8E3FA513.jpeg 919E105A-5146-44F9-9A52-3519AA12300E.jpeg C0424B7B-2931-4F50-A0BB-73B5B4725859.jpeg

    Attached Files:

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  18. woodsnwater
    Joined: Apr 4, 2016
    Posts: 405

    from North Al.

    Hamb member 1927graham made his own dead perch because the store bought ones were at the wrong angle. I used this idea on mine as well.

    dead perch.JPG
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  19. Tickety Boo
    Joined: Feb 2, 2015
    Posts: 1,156

    Tickety Boo
    from Wisconsin

    Changed the brake pedal light switch from the original 1964 Chevelle switch to one from a 1986 Chevy pick up with cruise. Wired in the cruse part of the switch in converter circuit to cut power when the brake pedal is pressed same as cruise is shut off. Switch clicked in the brake pedal assembly so it might do the same in your Pontiac:rolleyes:
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  20. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,234


    Inspiration: Someone's great idea that didn't quite make it into my hot rod. Earlier, I showed the instrument cluster in my car. Before this, I tried an instrument cluster from a rwd '79 to '86 Cutlass. I saw this in an old American Rodder magazine article on Russ Aves' '32 three window. In the picture, it looked real good but my plastic gluing skills were not up to the task. Now where am I going with this? I did end up using all the Cutlass gauges except for the speedo and tach. I just picked up another '40 Ford Standard instrument cluster at the swap meet. I could keep the existing 4 gauges where they are and fabricate a new box in the center for the Cutlass speedo and tach. The first go around with the Mopar speedo, I couldn't find the gold painted surround for the gauges, so I simply painted it in place on the backside of the clear plastic face. I could do this again but have round openings instead of the rectangular ones. The down side to all this is, the Mopar unit looks really good there and I have $130.39 invested in a custom speedo cable with a Mopar end and a Ford end on the other and I really don't need a tach anyhow and they are common place items now. All my daily drivers have them. I'm sure that I am not the only one who struggles with stupidity like this.
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  21. Daddys autobody dragster and Tommy Ivo got me going on Nailheads.
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  22. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,905



    We saw several of the top drag racers use extra weight to jump from B/Gas to C/Gas class in the street legal coupes and sedan classes. Some of the top racers just bolted in the steel plates for extra weight. At first, the tech committee allowed ballast to be added, but then it had to be part of the gas coupe structure. So, those added barbell weights that were once allowed were no longer allowed and the permanent “welded in” extra weight had to be part of the body/frame structure. The explanation that was given to us was, it is OK to have sheets of metal plates in the trunk, only if they were welded into place.

    We figured out that the 1940 Willys Coupe could use some added plates welded in over the rear axle without taking up much room in the trunk. The thick sheets of metal plate could also be welded in to give the sheet metal floor added support and structure. I was the primary gas welder and neatly cut and spaced the metal plates over the rear axle. So now, the added thick steel plates were part of the frame and body structure and were allowed for racing. We also added water to the original Willys gas tank for more weight. The scales made us drop from B/Gas to C/Gas legally, using the larger, 292 SBC 671 supercharged motor.


    The added weight made up for the larger motor we had built, up from 283 c.i. Now, the more powerful 671 SBC motor was pushing the 1940 Willys into a competitive position. The times in C/Gas were very respectable and the more races we had, the faster we were going. At one time in the August elimination runs at Lions, we dropped down to 12.60 E.T. just a few clicks off of the then, national record for C/Gas. We were close and it made a great feeling leading into the final rounds at night. That was something for us, as it was the goal to get that national record, at Lions or at the Nationals in Detroit in 1960.

    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
    Stogy likes this.
  23. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 16,899


    The Hotrod I have was entirely the inspiration of another Hamber...

    I am a caretaker...there was a 2nd Owner/caretaker before me that did some minor changes...

    Jerry the Original Builder is very well connected to Vintage Hotrod and has put out a number stunning Hotrods since building this Sport Coupe not so long ago and has held the Traditional Bar very high doing it...

    It's had near 30,000 miles since it's completion and continues to deliver a raw period experience that I appreciate...


    Great Thread @-Brent- ...;)

    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
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  24. Dusty roads
    Joined: Nov 29, 2016
    Posts: 142

    Dusty roads

    I didn't like how little space I had when the hood was opened. My best solution was to reverse how it opened.

    front latch and hood prop.JPG
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  25. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,373


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  26. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 2,888

    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    At this stage of the evolution of the "Hot Rod" in the traditional form, it is extremely rare to have an original idea, something someone, somewhere hasn't already done.
    Most all of us have utilized ideas from previous builders known and unknown, early magazines, shows, passed down from the people who were actually there, etc..
    As a fan of the "traditional builds", and keeping true to that style, all of our Hot Rods are mimicking the style/builds of the past, and in some cases are survivors of the past.
    As a true builder of traditional cars, we are all guilty of incorporating someone "elses great idea".
    Now, on a forum of say Street Rodders, Tuners, 4 wheelers, etc., there I'm sure are a lot of one off, innovative, never seen before mods in place.
    As with anything there are always exceptions.
  27. sliceddeuce
    Joined: Aug 15, 2017
    Posts: 2,982


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  28. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 5,760


    Thanks! There've been many others I've seen but Mark nailed it on that dash. And for the other examples, they always stuck out for their individuality.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
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  29. rusty rocket
    Joined: Oct 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,981

    rusty rocket

    Onekoolcat built a kool ass single seater from an old roadster cowl and a pair of 46-8 ford rear fenders image.jpg I thought it was so kool I stole his idea and am building a single seater from a 22 dodge cowl and front 46-8 ford fenders. image.jpg
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  30. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 5,760


    That's actually the point of this thread! No guilt needed.

    Hell, there's no shame in using or expanding on a good idea. Got an example, post it up!
    loudbang and Stogy like this.

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