Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
July 19, 2006
Because the Hotrod & Restoration show is a smaller, two-day event, displays are not as large as those at, say, SEMA or PRI, and there are few cars on the show floor. We were pleasantly surprised, however, when we rounded the corner and found Mark Buchanon's beautiful '64 Galaxie lightweight in the Genesis Performance Castings booth. Mark drives his rare lightweight on the street often-even to the convention center for the show.

There's no denying there's an outstanding amount of personalization going into custom-built classic Fords these days. Sure, there's still the straight clone builds and the nice restored cars with polished Torq Thrust Ds and a few bolt-ons, but by far the largest growth we've seen at shows and other events is from universal products creeping into the classic Mustang and Ford market from the street-rod arena. Items like billet door handles and mirrors, custom owner-built gauge enclosures, power accessories like remote locks and windows, and, of course, power upgrades like superchargers, turbos, and EFI systems.

The 8th Annual Hotrod & Restoration Trade Show, held this past March in Indianapolis, was the perfect place to check out "the other side" and see just what the street-rod market had that Ford owners could use to increase the performance, safety, and looks of their classic Mustangs and Fords.

Maybe there's something here you'll want to use on your next project or to improve your current ride. We found quite a few things we'll be looking forward to trying out on some projects this summer.

Billet Specialties Serpentine Conversion
(708) 588-0505

A well-known name in street-rod circles, Billet Specialties has been running its CNC machines into overtime, coming up with its latest Ford billet, polished, serpentine-drive conversion kit. The company's Tru Trac system for FE big-blocks is so bright it should come with sunglasses. You might also notice on the display stand the new adjustable water neck, too. With its double O-ring seal, you can position the neck in about any angle and then tighten it to lock the position. Small-block water necks and Tru Trac systems are available as well.

427 block from Genesis Performance Castings.

Genesis 427 Side-Oiler Crate Engine
(317) 357-8767

If you just have to have a big chunk of side oiler power under the hood of your classic Ford project, check out the new 427 blocks from Genesis Performance Castings. Genesis has been cranking out these big-block baddies for a while, and the company is now shipping its second-generation casting. The biggest news when we stopped to talk to Tim McLoughlin was the new Genesis 427 FE Side Oiler Crate Motor Program. Now you can have your FE muscle in one turnkey package, in either iron or aluminum block options, with all-new, quality internals.

Classic Instruments Mustang Gauges
(231) 582-0461
While Classic Instruments didn't have a complete gauge system for us to look at when we stopped by, the company is working on a new project to introduce direct-replacement Mustang gauge clusters featuring its own line of high-quality instrumentation for a direct bolt-in solution. As soon as we can get our hands on one, we'll give you the full details.

Seals-It Firewall Seals
(860) 979-0060
With our Factory Five Racing Roadster project underway, we were wondering how we'd pass cables and hoses through the aluminum firewall panel of the Roadster. Then we happened across these great firewall seals from Seals-It. Available in a variety of sizes and combinations, they allow hose-even ones with fittings or clamps already on their ends-to easily pass through. The firewall seals are simply riveted or bonded into place. Seals-It also has trick rod-end seals, too, if you are using rod ends on any of your suspension components.

Performance Automatic AOD Linkage/Modular Engine Adapter
(301) 963-8078
If you've wrestled with an AOD swap in your classic {{{Ford}}}, only to find the next problem after getting the auto box installed was trying to figure out how to hook up the original shifter linkage, then fear no more. The Ford nuts at Performance Automatic have heard the screams and seen the bloodied knuckles, and come to our rescue with their new AOD linkage kit. This simple kit allows you to keep your stock shifter assembly for that period look, while allowing you to connect your AOD to it effortlessly. PA also showed us its new modular engine adapter for non-electronic transmissions. If you've been thinking about a modular engine swap but would rather run a C4, a C6, or an AOD transmission, this adapter will hook you up in no time flat.

Gotta Show Power Steering Cooler
(602) 237-4506
Power steering is a nice option to have with today's wide tires and performance suspensions, but it's the little details that really make a clean installation. We found this great little inline power steering cooler from Gotta Show Products at the show. With an easy inline installation and available with hose barb or -6 AN ends, it'll fit just about any power-steering application on your {{{Mustang}}} or other classic {{{Ford}}}. Gotta Show also has braided line kits for power steering, hydra boost systems, and other fluid lines as well to dress up your engine compartment and add some fluid-pressure security.

Jon Barrett Hot Rod Engines Total Package
(405) 769-8114
We caught up with the guys at Jon Barrett Hot Rod Engines to see what was new, and we really liked their idea of the Total Package program. With the Total Package, you can order your custom-built engine package and transmission, and the top-notch builders at Jon Barrett will put it all together for you in one easy shipment. Those installation-day headaches ("Oh, I need bellhousing bolts") will be a thing of the past. Automatic or manual trans, Jon Barrett can hook you up, so give the company a call.

Lizard Skin Ceramic Insulation
(877) 278-9468
We'd only recently heard about Lizard Skin on an Internet message board, so when we spotted the company's staff at the Hotrod & Restoration show, we stopped to learn more, and we're glad we did. Lizard Skin is a ceramic insulation that you spray onto your car, literally anywhere-on the undercarriage, in the trunk, and so on. You can even apply it to exterior panels, sand it, and paint over it. Lizard Skin will adhere to most materials, including fiberglass, wood, aluminum, and steel, and has the benefit of being Class A fire rated and a high-quality insulator (which is what the Lizard Skin coated griddle was demonstrating). The product ships in 2-gallon containers and is applied with air pressure and a feed gun.

Momar Stack Injection
(970) 627-3651
The idea of individual throttle bodies, or stack injection, is gaining ground in the performance aftermarket. With the look of carburetion but the precision of fuel injection, stack setups are becoming the rage. After seeing the Momar Injection 4-Pac setup on the Ring Brothers' Kona {{{Mustang}}}, we had to stop by Momar's display and see the system up close. The company's system uses 45 or 50mm-bore throttle bodies that fit right where a Weber setup would. Momar can also sell you the manifold, fuel rails, and so on for a complete setup. If the stack injection is a bit rich for your blood, Momar also manufactures two- and four-barrel EFI throttle bodies for the Holley 4150 flange found on most aftermarket intakes.

MSD Digital Shift Light
(915) 857-5200
When most people think of MSD Ignition a performance distributor or a multistrike ignition box is the first thing that pops into their heads. These days, MSD offers such new items as APS alternator systems, Lazer gauges (released at SEMA last year), and its new Digital Shift Light. The compact Digital Shift Light will easily work on anything from 1-12 cylinders, and connects to anything, including distributor, coil on plug, coil pack, or a diesel, with its included GMR pickup assembly. The super-bright LEDs are easy to see in daylight, and the shift light can be programmed in 10-rpm increments up to 15,000 rpm. You can even have different shift points for each gear.

Lokar Mustang Billet Pedals
(865) 966-2269
One of the biggest names in street-rod accessories is Lokar Performance Products. The company's line of universal-fit door handles, shifters, throttle cables, and more have found their way into countless street rods and custom builds, and we're seeing more of their product in classic restomodded Fords, too. With Lokar's new '65-'70 Mustang billet accelerator pedal (and matching clutch and brake pedals), we're sure even more classic Fords will be running Lokar products now. The pedal mounts using the original throttle-linkage seal hole and utilizes a throttle cable for smooth actuation of the carburetor or throttle body. Applications for both manual and automatic pedals are available.

Totally Stainless Brake Line Clips
(717) 677-8811
Totally Stainless has a huge selection of stainless bolts, screws, nuts, and washers for your project. The company even has complete engine and chassis fastener kits for many Fords. When we stopped by to talk to Doc Hammett and his wife, Abigail, the new-product signs on the table immediately grabbed our attention. When you install those nice stainless steel brake lines and stainless steel flex hoses, how do you secure them? With those zinc-plated U-retainers, right? Well, now you can use stainless steel versions of those retainers to complete your stainless braking system and know the retainer will not rust away.

Steve Schmidt Competition Engines
(317) 898-1831
There are several ways to get the performance engine you've always wanted, but it seems crate engines are in the majority these days. We spoke with the staff at Steve Schmidt Competition Engines about their new 418 Windsor they had on display. The 418 uses Eagle and JE internals with Comp Cams' roller valvetrain, polished Edelbrock heads and intake, and much more. With a 24-month/24,000-mile warranty, it's a solid 450 hp that's just a phone call away. Even better, the guys at Steve Schmidt Competition Engines tell us they've got more Ford crate engine plans for the near future, too.

Tuff Stuff Performance Accessories Chrome Master-Cylinder/Booster Kit
(216) 961-1800
There's no denying the allure of shiny bits under your car's hood. It's like the magnetic force we feel when we see a hood up at a cruise night or car show and get a peek of the chrome or polished items calling to us. If you like the shiny stuff as much as we do, then you'll love the new Tuff Stuff Performance Accessories master-cylinder and booster combinations for '65-'66 and '67-'70 Mustangs and similar Fords. These products come with a high-quality chrome finish that is completely handled in-house. Nothing is farmed out in the buffing, plating, or polishing of Tuff Stuff parts. Check out the company's full line of chrome and polished water pumps, alternators, and starters too.

Scott Drake GloveBox Lock/Electric Trunk Release Kit
(800) 999-0289
Every time we bump into the guys at Scott Drake we're excited to see their latest reproduced parts. The early Mustang had an optional locking glovebox button, but they've been hard to find for years. Scott Drake's new reproduction will allow you to safely store your valuables with the twist of a key. The company also has reproduced the popular remote trunk-release kit, but with a modern twist. The hand-operated lever actually controls a micro switch, which sends power to a solenoid inside the replacement trunk lock. This kit is for '67-'70 models right now, but a '65-'66 kit is in the works.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery