2009 Hot Rod & Restoration Trade Show
Make Your Ford Standout With These Cool Finds From The 2009 Hotrod & Restoration Trade Show
From the July, 2009 issue of Modified Mustangs & Fords
By Mark Houlahan
Photography by Mark Houlahan
It's been several years since...
It's been several years since Ford Racing Performance Parts has displayed at the Hot Rod & Restoration show, but with its new line of Control Pack wiring harnesses, it's easier than ever to drop a modular Ford engine into your street rod, kit car, replica, or muscle car. With several hot-rod type parts on display and an FFR '33 Hot Rod kit front and center (not to mention a CDC Flashback and a '10 Shelby GT500), the booth was pure candy shop for the Ford fans at the show.
It's no secret that street rodders are a diverse and individualistic bunch. The last thing they want is for their ride to look like any other ride on the road.
From custom body modifications to fiberglass interior panels and more, they're always trying something new and going for a look no one else has. This individualism keeps the hobby strong, so aftermarket companies that cater to the street-rod crowd are constantly looking for new product ideas.
Sadly, most Mustang owners don't realize that a little effort and customization can really make their Mustang stand out from the rest of the Shelby and Eleanor clones at the cruise night or car show. Today people want to buy a front fascia or center console out of a catalog instead of making something from scratch, or at least modifying another design to be uniquely theirs.
Air Ride Technologies Shockwave...
Air Ride Technologies
Shockwave ISWhen it comes to air adjustable suspension, Air Ride Technologies [www.ridetech.com; (812) 481-4787] is the expert, and the company never rest when it comes to new suspension products. Its new Shockwave IS shock uses an internal infrared sensor to adjust the vehicle's ride height. It constantly measures the distance from the top of the shock to the sensor, allowing quick and easy automatic ride-height adjustments without the bulk of an external sensor having to be mounted. Prices start at $1,300.
The good news is that over the last few years, we've seen the typical street-rod owner move up into the '60s and '70s-era cars, meaning that our Mustangs are now showing up at events like Goodguys, NSRA, and so forth. When "our" cars show up at events like this, street-rod parts suppliers see a new product avenue, and we all benefit. Companies like Roddoors (makers of custom Mustang door panels), Lokar (who makes great billet pedal sets for Mustang/Falcon), and Painless Performance (full car wiring kits for '65-'70 Mustangs), to just name a few, have stepped up into the muscle-car market place.
One place to see all the latest goodies from these companies and more is the annual Hot Rod & Restoration Trade Show, which happens every year in Indianapolis, Indiana, in early March. So take a walk with us down the isles of the Indianapolis Convention Center and see what's new for our cars.
While the Hot Rod & Restoration show is nowhere near as large as, say, the SEMA show, it does have its share of cool rides, both on display around the show and within many of the manufacturer's booths as well. We spied some sweet Ford rides this year and wanted to share them with our readers too. Check 'em out!
Dakota Digital Electric...
Electric Cooling Fan Controller
In today's tight packaging environments, electric cooling fans are pretty much standard fare in production cars. In the performance aftermarket, fans are getting larger and more powerful to handle the cooling needs of modern high-horsepower engines. Dakota Digital [www.dakotadigital.com; (800) 593-4160] now offers the PAC-2700 programmable cooling-fan controller that will handle up to 70-amp fan loads and retails for $110.95.
Fast EZ-EFI System Everyone...
Everyone wants EFI for their classic rides, but the choices can be confusing. From used stock parts to high-zoot laptop-tunable systems used on 6-second racecars, the decision can be migraine inducing. The folks at Fuel Air Spark Technology [www.fuelairspark.com; (877) 334-8355] are aware that people want bolt-on simplicity with all the benefits of EFI and have introduced a new EZ-EFI system as an answer. The EZ-EFI bolts to any 4150 Holley-flange-based carbureted intake, handles up to 550hp applications, uses a wide-band 02, and the included electronics are self-tuning. Bolt it on and drive for under $2,000.
Fatman Fabrications G-Tech...
G-Tech Strut Suspension
While not technically a new product, we'd be remiss if we didn't share the news that Fatman Fabrications [www.fatmanfab.com; (704) 545-0369] has completely revamped its G-Tech strut suspension line. The new G-Tech system features a much beefier crossmember, true lower A-arms, and modern rack-and-pinion steering. The system retails for $1,995, is a complete bolt-on, and utilizes late-model struts and spindles for easy brake upgrades.
Flaming River Industries ...
Flaming River Industries
Touch Start Keyless Ignition Tilt Column
Tilt steering columns are quickly becoming standard upgrades in classic Fords. (Hey, we're all getting older and need all the help we can for ingress/egress.) Flaming River [www.flamingriver.com; (800) 648-8022] has tilt columns for many classic Fords and its newest column option is the keyless ignition switch. Similar to modern keyless-ignition-equipped cars, you simply carry a fob on your keychain that sends a signal to the controller, allowing the pushbutton to start the car. Columns with keyless ignition start at $999.
Flaming River Industries ...
Flaming River Industries
'60-'64 Galaxie Bolt-In Rack and Pinion Steering Cradle
We also spied from Flaming River a new rack and pinion cradle system for Galaxies and fullsize Fords. The bolt-on system means no drilling or cutting modifications to the frame of the car, and it includes power-steering-pump adapter fittings, a vehicle-specific tilt steering column, and all the necessary hardware for just $1,875.
Littelfuse ISIS Intelligent...
ISIS Intelligent Multiplex System
Chances are your classic Ford is still rolling down the road with its 40-year-old wiring, glass fuses, and extra circuits installed haphazardly. What if we told you that you could control every circuit in your car, including modern upgrades like power windows and locks, with half the wiring that's in your car now using modern multiplex technology? It's true; you can, thanks to the ISIS Multiplex System from Littelfuse [www.isispower.com]. The ISIS system allows daisy-chaining for vehicles with large amounts of circuits, and options include remote-control operation, custom programming, and more. Prices start at $799.
Gotta Show Products Muscle...
Gotta Show Products
Muscle Car Heater Hose Kit
Sometimes it's just the little things for people to take notice--wrapped wiring harnesses, neat and tidy hose routing, and so on. Gotta Show Products [www.gottashow.com; (602) 237-4506], famous for its braided hose kits for A/C and power steering systems, now offers this great-looking braided heater-hose kit for all popular muscle-car engine combinations. The kit includes everything you need to connect your engine to your heater core, and even includes a manual heater-shutoff valve for under $275.
PRW Industries Small-Block...
Small-Block Ford 28/50-oz. SFI Damper
Wouldn't it be nice to buy one small-block damper for your engine, no matter the crank's balance requirements? Early or late, stroker or not--just one damper. Well, the PQ Series small-block damper from PRW Industries [www.prwindustries.com; (714) 792-1000] will allow you to do just that with its removable counterweight system. Whether it's a 28- or 50-ounce balance, you are covered. The PQ Series is built from billet steel with laser-engraved timing marks, and features a black epoxy coating or polished with a clear epoxy coating for just $155.
Rocket Racing Wheels Rocket...
Rocket Racing Wheels
Rocket Fuel and Rocket Booster Wheels
New to the wheel scene is Rocket Racing Wheels [www.rocketracingwheels.com; (888) 307-7525] with two five-spoke wheel designs: the Fuel and the Booster. The wheels are made from A356 aluminum and are available in full polished, full chrome, and painted-center finishes, in 15- to 18-inch diameters in popular offsets to fit popular muscle cars, with prices starting at just $720 for a set of four.
RockSolid Floors Polyurea...
Polyurea Floor Coating
We've all seen the sweet-looking coated floors on automotive TV shows and photos of upscale garages, and dreamed of having our own sharp-looking coated floors at home, right? RockSolid Floors [www.rocksolidfloors.com; (866) 765-4474] can help you easily achieve that look now in just one day with its new Polyurea Floor Coating kit; an industrial-grade floor coating system that is superior to traditional epoxy floor coatings. The product is a single-layer primer/colorcoat that is applied and ready for foot traffic in 4 to 8 hours; it can be driven on in 24 hours. The RockSolid Floors kit retails for $349 and will cover up to 275 square feet.
Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation...
Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation
Competition Series Calipers
The folks at Stainless Steel Brakes Corp [www.ssbrakes.com; (800) 448-7722] have been building and designing brake systems for classic (and now modern) performance cars for longer than some of us have been around. Constantly pushing the envelope with award-winning new products, SSBC has introduced its new Competition Series brake calipers for improved wheel clearance, better braking performance, and less weight. The square-cut piston seals allow competition use in high-temp applications. Caliper pricing starts at just $169 each.
PerfectMatch Powdercoated Oil Pans
Known for decades as the king of engine and transmission swap adapters, Trans-Dapt [www.tdperformance.com; (562) 921-0404] has continually added to its catalog of engine adapters with products that complement the rest of the product line, including pulleys, brackets, filters, and more. Now Trans-Dapt has powdercoated oil pans that match Ford's "Ford Blue" paint scheme for small and big-block engines, starting at just $179. Matching powdercoated valve covers are available as well.
Rockin' Starliner This gorgeous...
This gorgeous '61 Starliner was built by Bobby Alloway's Hot Rod Shop for George Poteet and features an Art Morrison chassis...
...SOHC 427 FE, Tremec five-speed,...
...SOHC 427 FE, Tremec five-speed, and a redder-than-red custom interior using '60s Ford bits as a starting point.
Street-Rod Heaven Ford Racing...
Ford Racing debuted this supercharged Aluminator-powered '33 Hot Rod kit from Factory Five at SEMA last year. We got to see its drop-dead-sexy Foose paint in person at the PRI show last December, but looking at it never gets old. Factory Five is selling these things left and right, so the company must be doing something right, and it certainly grabbed a lot of street rodders' attention as well. For more info on the kit, check out www.factoryfive.com.
Flashback Again Regular readers...
Regular readers will recognize the name Flashback from our Feb. '09 cover and feature photos. This second styling exercise, dubbed Flashback Bullitt, for obvious reasons, is much closer to the actual Flashback styling that will be available turnkey or as individual parts.
If you want your '67-'68 Mustang...
If you want your '67-'68 Mustang project to look different, CDC's Flashback division has some options for you. You can see them at www.cdcflashback.com.
Super (Clean) Coupe We couldn't...
Super (Clean) Coupe
We couldn't find too much info on this sweet little '66 coupe. It was on display at the back of the show floor, sitting with perfect stance on some billet wheels. Overall, the car was stock-appearing, with subtle touches here and there. I certainly wouldn't kick it out of my garage!