Toppers Tuesday

I tried the pulled pork sandwich today and it was outstanding.  I don’t need anything else to eat today.  The turnout was light and the talk was about the use of crate engines versus building your own from a used core.  In my dealership days, I sold hundreds of crate motors and had the first GM Pro Shop in the country.  I had already figured out that most hot rodders owned a pickup truck and by advertising in the automotive magazines I could attract them as customers for new customized trucks.  I then entered the very competitive world of aftermarket part sales and needed a niche market that I could dominate.  It turned out to be selling hot rodders and builders crate motors.  I soon learned how to buy in quantity and take advantage of big discounts for doing so.  I sent my best parts guys out to the shops with a hot rod truck and a catalog that told them what we had to offer and pricing that would beat most dealers in the US.  The program was a hugh success and I was soon selling over a million dollars a month in total truck parts with about 30%  to hot rodder’s and builders.  That was a long time ago and now crate motors are very expensive for the average car guy.  Builders such as Brizio still install a lot of crate motors and in fact, I would credit Roy and Angelo with putting Ford crate motors on the map.  I am sure Ford was grateful to Roy for pushing the Ford in a Ford concept.  Chevrolet is still the most predominate brand engine in street rods and are readily available from most dealerships.  You must admit they save a lot of time and come with a warranty which you rarely receive with a local engine builder.

I have always preferred to build my own engines simply because a used SBC is available in hugh quantities  and are inexpensive to purchase.  If you are careful and locate a standard bore you may be able to save it by honing.  We have a local machine shop that produces a nice clean short block with new pistons, rings and bearings for about $900.  The heads you choose will make the difference in performance and also in the price.  I was never a fan of aluminum heads so I stick to the Vortec heads or the old 461 or 187 heads.  The total investment usually is under $2000 complete.  I have even installed a nice used motor as purchased and never had a problem for under a $1000.  When you consider the cost of a new turnkey crate motor of close to $5000 this makes good economical sense.  Now consider you don’t drive over 3000 miles a year, how bad can a used motor be that it would not last you another 10 years.  Sure, a ZZ4, HO 350 or 290 sound grate and are good selling points they are no better than a nice rebuilt 327/350.  You may not agree but a SBC is a SBC.  The new generation of LS motors is a story for another day.

I have listed several 1940 Ford coupes for sale recently and there seems to be a lot of interest in these cars.  I am not surprised as they make a great road car and are always in style.  Maybe Bob Drake is right “Everybody wants a 40 coupe.”

Stay Tooned!


This is why I love Forty Ford Day at LaPalma Park.  Where else could see so many 1940 Fords in one location?  If you have your hood up it means you want to be judged…  novel idea… My wife never misses this show.

This ZZ4 has it all, front runner system aluminum and chrome everything and the owner is really proud of his engine compartment and rightly so.  Lots of money spent on this look.

Lower end crate motor but equally impressive is this red and chrome engine compartment.  Very clean in appearance.

This was advertised as a new cheap 215 hp crate motor.  The owner lost interest and was selling the project which was stored in a body shop jail.

I have seen a few 409s show up lately which are available brand new from certain sources.  I only like them in red 62 Chevy converts….right Chip!

Ruby has a 292 SBC that is perfect for the big woody and it never overheats.  Detail is second to none thanks to Jim and Walt.

The master of the OEM look is Orville.  This looks like it came from the factory with the SBC installed.

Here is another one in his coupe and his builds are squeaky clean and bring top dollar in the market place.

The LS series has a totally different look but is liked by many people.  Performance is super if you have the computer dialed in.

Today’s sedan… style….dreaming!

I admire this sedan every year and compliment the owner on his good taste in sedans.  The blown flathead is a must see in this perfect 40 sedan.  All wiring corners are at 90 degrees without exception.  Try to do that on your ride.  Note the exhaust exit for saturday night action on Whittier Boulevard.

Comments 3

  1. Just found the picture of my 32 chassis with the W motor as I am going thru your old blogs. Thanks Gary at Cornhusker

  2. Lynn,

    The blown flathead coupe is owned by Morie Hively from Huntington Beach. Mo is the curret president of the Outriders. I like to get all of that exposure when you use this picture. That is me standing up in the backing talking to Mo.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.