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"The Relay" Online Newsletter
March 2018 Issue

This is the monthly online newsletter for the car club council. All car hobbyist events are listed on this site under "Calendar." Just click on the link above to view the list of car shows and other activities.

President's Message

It looks like exhaust freedom will be here soon. The House Sub-Committee has passed the bill with a small change that will not affect the intentions of the bill. I am very hopeful that the Transportation Committee will pass the bill, the House will pass the bill, the Senate will pass the amended version and then the governor will sign it into law.

To me this is just common sense. When you can't buy exhaust parts that are required by law, when the parts simply do not exist, then it's time to change the law to reflect reality. We are very grateful to Senator DeSteph for being this bill's patron and helping Virginia's antique car hobbyists.

There are some council members who haven't paid dues for 2018. I am going to contact them once again. Dues are due in January and are only $10 a year. There is no other organization that represents car hobbyists like the council. The council not only keeps members informed on legislation at federal, state and local levels but also has car hobbyists resources like the VAACC website and an online calendar that dare I say it - is the best in the state for car hobbyists events.

There are clubs in our area that haven't joined us. We need more members so we have more informed car hobbyists that will stand up for our rights and keep Virginia a car hobby friendly state.

Spring arrives this month and next month begins the cruise-ins and "car season". I hope you're ready.

~ Fred

56th Annual Asphalt Angels Rod and Custom Show
56th Annual Asphalt Angels Rod and Custom Show ~ See all the photos

Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be Monday, April 23rd at 6:30 PM at a location to be posted in the April newsletter.


The $10 per club per year dues are due during the month of January. If your club has not paid please send a $10 check made out to CCCCVA to Fred Fann, 15628 Rowlett Road, Chesterfield, VA 23838. Thanks!

Car Hobbyist News

On Wednesday February 21 the House Transportation Sub-Committee #3 voted unanimously to pass SB 586 with an amendment made by the bill’s sponsor Senator Bill DeSteph. Although the bill passed the full Senate a change needed to be made. The bill would allow all antique vehicles to have aftermarket exhaust system parts. The problem was the Code of Virginia defines antique vehicles as vehicles 25 or more years old. The bill’s intention was to allow vehicles registered as antiques to have aftermarket exhaust parts. The amended bill will allow only vehicles registered as antiques to have aftermarket parts. This doesn’t seem like much but a bill has to be exactly right to do what it is supposed to do.

At that hearing I and Greg Lucyk (council delegate from the Central Virginia British Car Club) spoke in support of the bill. No one spoke against the bill. It will now be voted on by the full Transportation Committee and if they approve it will go to the House for a vote. If the House votes for the bill it will have to go back to the Senate for a vote since the bill was amended. If it passes the Senate it will go onto the governor for his signature or veto. We also spoke with Senator DeSteph and he is optimistic that the bill will become law.

Let’s take a look at some of the other bills and what has happened to them.

The State Police changed the location of inspection stickers beginning the first of the year. A bill to make that change was killed so I am assuming that the State Police can make the change without a change in the law. Also a bill that would have increased inspection fees from $16 to $25 was killed. A bill to allow inspection appointments when there is only on inspection bay is still alive.

There are a couple of speed limit bills that would change some roads from 55 to 60 mph limit and it looks like they will pass. The bill to make 45 mph the minimum speed on interstates and some other limited access roads did not pass.

Bills that would only allow a cell phone to be used by a driver if it is hands-free were killed along with the bills that would not allow you to drive with an animal on your lap. A bill to “Provides that any person who drives a motor vehicle on any highway while using a handheld personal communications device where such use substantially diverts the driver's attention from the operation of the motor vehicle is guilty of distracted driving” looks like it will pass.

The bill that would alter the definition of motor vehicle dealer to get rid of dealer licenses for people who are selling fewer than five vehicles a year has been continued to next year.

A bill would allow strip searches of people in custodial arrest for a traffic violation if an officer has reasonable cause to believe that person is concealing a controlled substance was killed.

There are a couple of bills to allow military surplus off road vehicles to be registered as antiques (if they are 25+). These are vehicles that the US military has sold to civilians. One was killed but one is still alive and looks like it may pass.

One bill would allow you to have certain non-required, unapproved, or unpermitted lighting devices on your vehicle uncovered. Current law states they must be covered when on highways. This bill has passed both houses.

One bill would allow the sale of ethanol-free gasoline in parts of Hopewell that border Prince George County on the west side. It has passed the House and is in the Senate.

A bill would allow electric vehicle charging stations on public property. It has passed both houses.

Special license plates:
ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK FOUNDATION – continued to next year
STOP GUN VIOLENCE – passed the House, looks like it will pass the Senate
I SUPPORT WOMEN VETERANS – continued to next year
FIRST IN WINE - killed
I HAVE A DREAM - killed
KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON – passed both houses
VIRGINIA REALTORS – passed both houses
ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION – passed both houses
FRIENDS OF THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY – passed the Senate, in the House

And finally the three bills that would make rear seat passengers wear safety restraints have all been killed.

You can check on all the bills at vaacc.org

56th Annual Asphalt Angels Rod and Custom Show
Deuce Coupe

Are Dealer Badges on Your Vintage Vehicle a Positive or a negative?

By Kyle Smith from Hagerty News
A unique piece of every vehicle’s history is where it was sold. Sometimes finding the original sales point for a car requires research, other times it’s as simple as looking at the badge on the trunk.

The first car dealership in the United States was established in 1898 by Detroit resident William Metzger, and the sales model would soon dominate the automotive landscape and create constant sales competition between dealers. In the pre-internet era, advertising required great effort, and one of the easiest ways for many dealers to get their name in front of potential car owners was to brand each vehicle they sold.

Early badges were constructed of pot metal and chromed to have a more attractive appearance, and emphasis was placed on making a unique piece that stood out. Mounting these badges required drilling holes into the sheetmetal and attaching the badge with screws or rivets.

In an effort to make badges more cost effective, as well as easier to attach and less destructive to the vehicle, dealers soon transitioned to using adhesive to attach the badges. The artistic three-dimensional look became reserved for high-end badges, while lower-cost badges were simply flat logos bearing the dealer’s name.

Fast forward to current times and many dealers have transitioned to license plate frames and vinyl decals that no longer cause damage to a vehicle. These are also easily removed by owners who don’t want to advertise for the dealer.

While today’s dealer badges might be considered disposable, the screwed-in/bolted-on badges from an earlier era are helpful in that they offer a starting point for discovering the history of a car.

News From SEMA

Click the link for the story on the proposed legislation.

New Mexico Bill to Require Front and Rear Plates on All Vehicles Dies as Legislature Adjourns

South Dakota Historic Vehicle Bill Signed into Law

Virginia Bill to Title Military Surplus Off-Road Vehicles Passes House; Moves to Senate

Rhode Island Bill to Provide Courtesy Year-of-Manufacture Plate for Antique Vehicles Receives Companion Bill in Senate

Iowa Bill to Allow for Window Tinting Passes Senate; Moves to House

West Virginia Bill to Allow Off-Road Recreation in Cabwaylingo State Forest Introduced

Washington Bill to Allow Personalized Collector Car Plates Passes Senate; Moves to House

Oklahoma Bill Introduced to Create Titling for HUMVEES

New Jersey Warranty Disclosure Bill Introduced

Utah Introduces Bill to Assist Off-Highway Vehicle Owners

Wyoming Proposes New License Plate to Protect Wildlife and Motorists

Hawaii Offers Resolution for Construction of New Racing Facility

UPDATE: South Dakota Historic Vehicle Bill Passes House and Senate; Sent to Governor

California Off-Highway Vehicle Funding Bill Introduced

West Virginia Bill to Create Additional Opportunities for Off-Road Recreation Passed Senate; goes to House

Virginia Bill Exempting Antique Vehicles from Exhaust Requirements Passes Senate; Moves to House

Illinois Introduces Single Plate Bill

Vermont Introduces Bill to Extend Emissions-Inspection Waiver

Hawaii Introduces Bill to Protect Hobbyists from Unfair Exhaust Noise Citations

Maryland Off-Highway Vehicle Funding Bill Introduced

Rhode Island Bill to Extend New Car Inspection Exemption Introduced

Utah Introduces Bill to Ease Window Tinting Restrictions

UPDATE: South Dakota Resolution to Advance E30 Ethanol Passes House and Senate; Goes to Governor

Idaho Bill to Increase Emissions Exemptions Introduced

Hawaii Introduces Bill to Allow Military Vehicle Registration

Michigan Introduces Bill to Ease Towing Restrictions

Maryland Introduces Bill to Require Warranty Disclosure

Utah Introduces Bill to Extend Emissions Inspection Waiver

56th Annual Asphalt Angels Rod and Custom Show
Model A modified with a big engine

How to Get Rid of Clunks and Rattles

By Rob Siegel from Hagerty News
The oft-stated dictum in buying a vintage car is, “Condition, condition, condition.” To most people, that means dent-free exterior, shiny paint, rust-free body, and clean, intact, rip-free interior. Those things are all important, of course, but if you’re actually going to drive your prize, what you really want is a tight car, and that has very little to do with what you can see with your eyes.

In fact, the act of making a car pretty and shiny can easily introduce rattles, thunks, and clunks. I know because this is exactly what happened to my 1973 BMW 3.0CSi. The guy who painted it 30 years ago was very good at the painting part, but not so good at the assembly part. I’ve spent much of the past 30 years de-clunking and de-rattling the car. Below are my hard-earned tips.

Clunks, thunks, and rattles aren’t the same

You might think that the distinction between clunks, thunks, and rattles is merely a choice of words, but I maintain that they are fundamentally different. Clunks are sounds that occur over potholes or rough pavement and are caused by objects—usually metal —that are hitting one another (but shouldn’t). They typically have a distinctly metallic sound and require some amount of force to reproduce. Thunks are similar to clunks, but generally they don’t make a ringy, metal-on-metal sound. Instead, the sound is deeper. And rattles are caused by small, light things tapping or rubbing with some characteristic frequency on a fairly smooth surface. They typically have a shallow, superficial sound and require very little force to reproduce.

To be clear, I’m excluding from this discussion things that are simply broken. The two biggest clunks I’ve ever had were: First, when the bolts loosened up on one of the half-axles of a Vanagon I was driving, and second, when the mounting ear of an engine mount of a BMW 2002 broke off. Those were not “this noise is driving me nuts” issues. Those were broken parts that needed to be repaired immediately.

Peeling the onion

While rattles, thunks, and clunks can come from absolutely anywhere, I do have something of a procedure, or at least a sequence, to try to track them down.

They’re like an onion that you need to peel one layer at a time. You have to locate and fix them as you find them, even if the exact one you find isn’t what’s been driving you crazy. That’s the only way to rule sounds out; as you fix problems, other noise contributors will make themselves known.

Junk in the trunk?

Don’t laugh. The first thing to do when encountering a clunky car is to completely—and I mean completely—empty out the trunk. Take out the panels covering the spare and gas tank, and then take out the spare. Why? Two reasons. First, the spare tire or panel might be unsecured. Second, you may find there’s a fire extinguisher, jack, or can of Fix-O-Flat rattling around back there. If a car makes so much noise that it sounds like there’s a box of loose tools in the trunk, there may be, in fact, a box of loose tools in the trunk. Hey, I’ve literally found loose ratchet handles and sockets banging around in the spare tire well. Go for the low-hanging fruit first.


Next, check the front seats by grabbing them at the base and sliding them back and forth, and grabbing them at the headrest and rocking them fore and aft. The seat rails and reclining mechanisms on seats in vintage cars are notoriously sloppy. I’ve applied tension in one direction with a bungee cord or even removed them entirely and driven while sitting on a milk crate to take them out of the picture and see if they were the source of what I was hearing.


Unless you own a rear-engine car, the exhaust is typically suspended before and after the muffler by rubber hangers. When these wear out, the exhaust bangs around. With the engine cold (so you don’t burn yourself), grab the tailpipe and shove it up, down, left, and right to check for play. In addition, it’s not uncommon for the U-bolt holding the headpipe to the transmission to loosen up. If it does, it can make one hell of a steely-ringing ruckus at certain engine speeds. Jacking up the car and physically examining the whole exhaust can be illuminating. Sometimes the exhaust is clunking because it was misaligned when installed and a portion of it is hitting the underside of the car.

Worn ball-in-socket components, bad bushings

Having plucked the low-hanging fruit (trunk, exhaust, and seats), you need to do some real work. Before I delve into clunks and thunks from the suspension and steering, let me offer a few general observations.

Previously, I wrote that clunks are usually caused by metal things hitting other metal things. If we exclude broken components, often the culprit is either a ball-in-socket component (ball joint, tie rod, or certain kinds of sway bar end links) or a bushing—a thimble-shaped rubber piece, usually with a metal sleeve through the middle, that sits inside of a metal piece and has another metal piece going through the sleeve in the center.

When a ball-in-socket component wears, play sets in and the metal can slap against the other metal and generate an honest-to-goodness clunk. In contrast, a rubber bushing is designed specifically to separate two pieces of metal. As it wears out and moves, it may generate a thunk, but it has to wear out pretty dramatically in order to have metal hitting metal. Thus, in my humble opinion, a ball-in-socket component is more likely to be the source of a metallic-sounding clunk than a bushing. Remember that when you look for clunks in the steering and suspension.


When you think of everything that your suspension does (struts in front, shock in back, springs at all four corners, and sway bars connecting left to right), it’s a wonder that it doesn’t clunk. If the car makes loud clunking noises over bumps or potholes, and the exhaust checks out, the suspension is a likely suspect.

The tried-and-true technique for suspension testing is to go to all four corners of the car and “bounce-test” it by pushing down sharply on the body. The idea is that that corner should move, then rebound, but not continue to bounce up and down. If it doesn’t move, the shock or strut is seized. If it moves but doesn’t rebound, it’s sticking. If it continues to bounce up and down, the shock or strut is blown.

However, there are a few problems with this test. The first is, on cars with stiff shocks and springs, the bounce test simply doesn’t work, as you often can’t budge the car. The second is, seized or blown shocks will certainly affect ride quality, but they may not, in fact, be the source of an audible clunk.

The other thing is that, from a suspension thunk-and-clunk standpoint, the bounce test is less definitive than you might think. Even on cars without molar-rattling suspensions, it’s often challenging to get sufficient motion to replicate a clunk you hear while driving on rough roads. Vintage cars often have thin body panels, and care must be taken when pressing down on them to bounce it. As much as I hate the bridge-abutment bumpers on my ’74 and later BMWs, they provide a secure surface to bounce the car. I’ll sometimes stand on the big bumpers in order to get a motion going. I’d never try that with the small, lithe bumpers on earlier cars.

But even bouncing up and down on a stout bumper often still isn’t definitive for thunk-and-clunk generation. If a rear upper shock mount is worn out or detached, or if the shock itself is worn out to the point of being broken, the bounce test may cause it to announce itself, but if the problem is that the rubber at the bottom of the front spring perches is worn out and the spring is banging against the perch, or the upper strut mount is going bad, often you can’t bounce the car enough to simulate the road motion necessary to tickle this.

Another thing to check is the collar nut that holds the front strut cartridge in its tube (if your car has that design). If the collar nut is loose, you’ll hear sharp banging in the front when going over bumps. This is rarely caused by an original nut simply loosening over time, but can be caused by a recently-installed nut being inadequately tightened when the struts were replaced. You can usually reach in between the spring coils with a large pair of slip-joint pliers and tighten it.

In checking the suspension, don’t forget the sway bars. They’re typically clamped onto the front and rear subframes, with a rubber or urethane bushing between the bar and the clamp. The ends of vintage sway bars typically have holes through which long bolts pass, holding them to the trailing arms, with rubber or urethane bushings interposed. In both cases, if the bushings completely wear out, you get metal-on-metal contact. On more modern cars, the sway bar ends typically have “end links,” which are small ball-and-socket components that attach to the trailing arms. It’s very common for these end links to wear out and clunk over bumps. (Remember what I said earlier about ball-in-socket components being more likely to bang than bushings?)


A car’s steering typically offers several components that can thunk and clunk. In particular, the ball joints sit at the bottom of the front struts, at the nexus between the steering and suspension. They’re at the front line of pounding. You can’t test them by bouncing the car. Instead, you need to jack the car up and squeeze the ball joints with a large set of slip-joint pliers. If there’s any vertical play, or if the boots are ripped, replace them. This is not to save you from the annoyance of the clunking—it’s to save your life. If a ball joint fails, you lose control of the car. Take it very seriously.

Worn-out tie rods and, if the car has them, center track rods and idler arm bushings, can all contribute to clunking as well. The bearings in the mounts at the top of the shock towers can wear out and have increased play, but this usually isn’t as loud or as deep a clunk as the previous items, as it is dampened by the struts.

Subframe and trailing arm bushings

When people talk on forums about wanting a tight car, someone will often say, “Replace the bushings.” I find it a largely meaningless statement, as a car may have dozens of bushings in it. They often mean “the subframe bushings,” but those are not always a high-probability clunk source. Also, the idea that a rattle-bucket old car can be turned into a tight quiet one by replacing four bushings is simply laughable. Always remember the onion.

For example, in a vintage BMW, at the front-most extensions of the front subframe, there are two large radius rod bushings, each about half the length of a can of tomato paste. If these are worn, they may affect the crispness of turn-in, but they likely have little to do with clunks or even thunks. There are rear subframe bushings that attach the rear subframe to the unibody of the car. These can cause thunks or clunks if they’re so worn out that they’re no longer securely holding the subframe against the body of the car.

There are also typically a myriad of bushings in the front and rear trailing arms. In the front, as they wear they’ll typically cause vague and quirky steering response. They can generate thunks if they’re worn out, but the car would be actively hazardous to drive if they were so worn that they generated a metal-on-metal clunk. With that said, anything’s possible with a 40- or a 50-year-old car.

Another word about bushings. There’s been a trend to replace the rubber bushings in things like control arms and sway bars with urethane bushings, the idea being that urethane is harder and lasts longer. You can read on forums and make up your own mind, but be careful. At a minimum, urethane’s increased hardness often transmits more vibration and changes the feel of the car. In addition, I can tell you from experience that the urethane sway bar bushings on my vintage BMWs begin to squeak like old bedsprings if they’re not lubricated every few years.

Drivetrain mounts

The engine and transmission are supported by rubber mounts, and the rear differential is typically hung from them. It is more common for worn-out drivetrain mounts to cause excessive engine motion or clunks on hard acceleration than driving over rough pavement, but they should certainly be checked. Engine and transmission mounts are particularly susceptible to degradation due to leakage of engine oil and transmission fluid.

56th Annual Asphalt Angels Rod and Custom Show
Chevy Nova

Shop Secrets

Written by The Staff of Motorsport Marketing
Humble car cottage dripping with memorabilia? Palatial pro shop with floors you could eat of of? No matter what your workspace, it could always be better—more efficient, more comfortable–with another tweak, trick or tool.

That’s where we come in. Here are 80 shop tips culled from our editorial staff, friends in the business, and faithful readers. Bonus: Many of these tips can be fairly easy and inexpensive to execute, so it’s not all about adding zillion-dollar pieces of equipment. In many cases, your shop can transform with just some ingenuity and a fresh perspective. Now get out there and make your shop the best it can be.


Good tools last a lifetime. Cheap tools eventually get thrown across the shop.

A good craftsman never blames his tools. That’s why most good craftsmen have the tools they need. I never argue or feel bad about spending money on tools. The more appropriate the tool for the job, the better and more quickly the job will get done.
Tyler Tadevic, TruSpeed

Some people buy two sets of cheap tools. I prefer to get good tools and only pay for them once. You don’t want to break a cheap wrench when you’re away from home. Also, tool rolls and socket rails make it easy to ensure nothing gets left behind.
Keith Tanner, Flyin’ Miata

In a restoration, have a set of taps and dies available to clean the threads of various fasteners.
John Twist, University Motors Ltd.

When tool shopping, buy the entire set, not just the one socket you happen to need that day. This leaves you prepared for the next job and saves you money in the long run.

Save all your old hotel key cards. They make great decal applicators, Bondo spreaders, epoxy mixing palettes, or anything else you might need a small, stiff, disposable piece of plastic for.

You can never have too many C-clamps, locking pliers, ratcheting clamps and the like. Buy good ones and hang them on your pegboard.
Carl Heideman, Eclectic Motorworks

Buy a quality, name-brand vise and securely mount it to your workbench.
Carl Heideman, Eclectic Motorworks

All shops should have a bench grinder, ideally one with at least a 3/4-horsepower motor.

A bead-blasting cabinet can suck up a lot of shop space, but if it can’t accommodate an exhaust manifold, is it even worth having?

Keep your air lines clean of water. Best way is to put a water trap on the output of the compressor–cheap and easy to install. Don’t forget to drain the compressor of water at least once a month, or more depending on use.
Tucker Madawick, Autosport, Inc.

Always make sure to shut off your oxy-acetylene, argon or compressed NOx gas on the MIG welder. The valves and hoses might leak, leaving you without any gas when you go to use it.
Tucker Madawick, Autosport, Inc.

Buy a quality shop vac that has a low center of gravity.

A 20-ton hydraulic press can be $200 well spent.

Buy a quality rechargeable flashlight–actually, buy two.

Get a cheap ultrasonic cleaner to clean all of your greasy parts instead of doing it by hand or utilizing a larger machine that’s not energy-efficient.
Jeff Schlemmer, Advanced Distributors

Jump-starting a car with a booster pack is so much easier than jockeying another car into position. A good one costs less than $100.
Carl Heideman, Eclectic Motorworks


There is no substitute for a good “bolt bin.” Never throw away good nuts, bolts, and fasteners. You never know when you might need them.
John Tecce, BGB Motorsports Group

Keep some wood scraps around–anything from furring strips to 2x4s. You never know when you’ll need one to steady an engine, keep a car from rolling away, or protect something that’s in your vise. Carl Heideman, Eclectic Motorworks

Torque seal is one of the most indispensable tools for the race car mechanic. Torque seal is a paint, and when applied to the flange of a fastener (bolt head, nut, etc.) it forms a seal that can only be broken when torqued. Trevor McClure, Mitchum Motorsports

Build a solid table and put it on heavy-duty casters. A 4x8-foot table built from 4x4-inch posts and 2x6-inch sides can hold a car body, organize a project, or give you a portable workspace. Don’t forget to slap an electrical power strip on the side, too.


Cleanliness and organization, these are key. No matter the size of your work area or the amount of money you have to spend, you can always be organized and clean. This should be the bedrock of your overall approach to going racing. The thing I find most interesting about motorsports is that all tasks are simply links in a chain–no link is more important than any other, and without all of them, the chain breaks. Starting out and staying clean and organized will make the job easier, faster and more likely to be mistake-free.
Tyler Tadevic, TruSpeed

A clean space is the only one acceptable and can be kept that way if you stop 15 minutes early and put away tools and whatnot
John Tecce, BGB Motorsports Group

Trust us, your memory isn’t what it once was. Have a system for taking notes: whiteboard, notepad and digital camera.

Custom wood shelves are dimensionally fluid, so you can build them to the right size for your big stuff–tires, whatever. Use large lag bolts for any support posts, and assemble everything with screws, not nails, so you can take it apart to fit new gear into the garage. Jay Hickey, Classic Motorsports forum member

We love those plastic mail storage bins, but using them for personal stuff can get you thrown in the mail jail. Solution: Companies like Uline offer the same bins for about $11 each.

Cardboard boxes don’t age well, but the local home improvement stores sell durable, plastic boxes in nearly every shape and size. Many are clear, too, so you can easily see their contents.

Take a baby food jar. Punch two holes in the lid with nails. Screw the lid to the bottom of a wooden shelf (threaded side down). Now you can screw the jar up into the lid to hold nuts, bolts, etc. Coat the lip of the jar with a light bit of silicone lubricant so it won’t seize to the lid. I have about 60 of these in multiple rows in my garage for all my different sizes of nuts, bolts and other things.
Jay Hickey, Classic Motorsports forum member

29. BAG AND TAG Always use baggies and Sharpies to organize and keep track of bits while taking something apart. Keith Tanner, Flyin’ Miata 30. HOT WHEELS
Putting quality casters underneath everything–cabinets, tables, shelves, heavy equipment and the like–will help maximize your space. It also eases cleanup.
Carl Heideman, Eclectic Motorworks

For about $100, your local fastener shop can hook you up with a nice nut-and-bolt starter kit. When you’re elbow deep in a project, you don’t want to stop because you need to run out and buy a bolt.
Carl Heideman, Eclectic Motorworks

Beg, borrow or steal a little Brother label maker and label each drawer and cabinet. It’s a lot easier to tell a helper to find the label that says “Metric Ratcheting Wrenches” than to say, “Okay, I think it’s the second chest from the top, third drawer–er, no, maybe the fourth drawer….”
Classic Motorsports forum member

Build a loft. Even if you have a standard-height ceiling, you can still run “mini-lofts” across the garage to hold small things: race gear, a dozen small clear plastic bins full of parts, etc. I like to run a pair of 12-foot 2x4s parallel–about 6 inches apart–and then use metal closet shelving between them to hold the parts. That wire shelving allows light to shine through. I hang them about 3 to 4 feet above my head height.
Jay Hickey, Classic Motorsports forum member

You can never have too many checklists. They help you stay organized, make you feel good when you check off items, and if you file them away in a folder, you have a service record for your race car.
John Tecce, BGB Motorsports Group

Pegboard on the walls will allow you to quickly configure and reconfigure your storage space as needed.
Carl Heideman, Eclectic Motorworks

Have a separate set of tools for your shop and your race hauler. There’s no worse feeling than being in the paddock under your race car and realizing the one tool you need for your diff replacement is the one you left in your shop. The club racer’s track set of tools doesn’t have to be extravagant or break the bank. Narrow down the tools you’d need for jobs you can do at the track. If you’re not carrying spare subframes or transmissions, you really don’t need the specific tools for those jobs in your trailer.
Trevor McClure, Mitchum Motorsports

Safety & Smarts

Use 14-inch drive sockets and ratchets for as much as possible. For items that won’t break loose with them, use 3/8-inch ones. Be very wary of 1/2-inch drive tools, as it’s so easy to strip or break fasteners.
John Twist, University Motors Ltd.

Don’t use your wife’s oven for powder-coating.
Glenn Lenhard, Glenn’s MG Repair

Visit search.earth911.com to find facilities near you for properly disposing of your shop waste–everything from parts to fluids. In addition to motor oil, did you know that antifreeze can also be recycled?

Have a good-quality, covered metal storage bin available to store dirty towels used during the work process.
Randy Bush, Kip Motor Company

When not in use, store all liquid and solid chemicals in positive sealing containers of the approved type and all aerosols in a secured cabinet.
Randy Bush, Kip Motor Company

I only have two rules under my tent or in my shop: Keep your hands clean (it’s been my experience that if your hands are clean, so is everything else), and have a good attitude. You’re racing cars! And the last time I checked, my worst day at the race track was still 100 times better than my best day selling insurance!
Tyler Tadevic, TruSpeed

Work as far away from the job as you can. This sounds like a safe sex ad–use the longest tool you can. It gives more control and you can more easily see what you’re doing.
John Twist, University Motors Ltd.

Hang a vacuum cleaner in one corner of the garage and add enough hose to reach the diagonally opposite corner. This keeps it off the floor and out of the way when not in use.


The secret to long-term shop success is planning. Make scale drawings of the shop floor and then all of the major components and the cars involved. Then, move the pieces around in scale to see how things work. This is important, as placing a lift 6 inches too far in one direction can make a huge difference in the ultimate utility of the shop. Plan for more clearance around things than the bare minimum, and you’ll thank yourself later. Also, plan the open workspaces with car doors open, not closed.
Paul Dierschow, Sports Car Craftsmen

One of the biggest time-wasters for any shop or tech is walking around looking for parts, waiting for machinery, and moving things to work on the job at hand. Try and set up your work area to go with the typical order of the jobs to be done.
Tyler Tadevic, TruSpeed

If you’re building a shop from scratch and you have the room, go wide instead of deep so you’re not constantly moving cars out of the way.

50. Dirty work vs. Clean
Arrange dirty work on the opposite side of the shop from clean work. You don’t want to sandblast near where you assemble an engine.
Jeff Schlemmer, Advanced Distributors

I set my shop up like a kitchen: Lay out a floor plan that allows your normal flow of work. Figure out your “work triangle” and place your most important tools and parts storage where they’re convenient to reach when needed. That may mean building a custom workbench, but that’s one of my favorite things.
Jeff Schlemmer, Advanced Distributors

Build a workbench that’s the correct height for you. Being comfortable while you work is a key factor of successfully completing a project. While a 32-inch-tall bench may be great for your vise, it may not be correct for assembling a carburetor.
Jeff Schlemmer, Advanced Distributors

Bolt down your workbench. My bench is bolted to the floor as well as through the wall. I can clamp anything in my vice and beat the crap out of it and my bench will never move. I can also use my bench as an anchor point for winching cars in.
Classic Motorsports forum member

Get a lift, get a lift, get a lift. When it’s installed, ask your buddy to kick you in the rear for not doing it sooner. Even if you have a low ceiling, there are low-clearance models made that will help just about anyone make their work easier.
Paul Dierschow, Sports Car Craftsmen

While the minimum ceiling height for any kind of real lift is 10 feet, 12 to 14 feet is more comfortable, especially if you’re into larger classics and not just small sports cars.

56. Overhead Space
Remember to plan to use your cubic feet of shop space, not just square feet. Upper space in the shop can be put to very good use.
Paul Dierschow, Sports Car Craftsmen

If you have heavier tools that would benefit from being floor-mounted, use a large masonry bit to drill holes in the floor and then use a good concrete adhesive/epoxy to sink threaded sleeves into the floor. You can use either threaded rod with a slot cut in the end for a screwdriver, or hex bolts to keep the threads clean when not in use. Then you can easily bolt and unbolt the tool when you need it.
Classic Motorsports forum member

Large garage items like the compressor, engine hoist, shop press or whatever waste a lot of floor space, and you can’t stack things on them. So build a loft shelf with wood just tall enough to fit over them.
Jay Hickey, Classic Motorsports forum member

Light Is King

Invest in good lighting. Even cheap fluorescent fixtures work great if you put good bulbs in them.
Jeff Schlemmer, Advanced Distributors

Light-colored walls, ceilings and floors will maximize your lighting and make the shop feel less like a cave.

61. Retract It
I have a retractable fluorescent droplight and a retractable extension cord mounted to the ceiling above the car.
Jay Hickey, Classic Motorsports forum member

62. Spend on Bulbs
LEDs are on the rise. Their low energy consumption is ideal, and while initial investment is high, there are deals to be found. Basic wiring knowledge is all you need. Then you can install bulb sockets and fit them with LED floodlights, which can make any garage as bright as a surgical room. Not that handy? You can find clamp light fixtures that plug into a regular outlet for about $7 at any hardware store.
Kevin Schmidt, Classic Motorsports forum member

63. Trouble Lights
New LED bulbs make fantastic trouble lights. Buy a cheap socket, wire up a plug, and screw in the bulb. Use a 40-watt-equivalent bulb and it will stay cool enough to set on anything in the engine compartment. Slide it under the car to light up dark areas from the bottom. Total cost is somewhere between $10 and $12.
Classic Motorsports forum member

We’ve seen some awesome deals on used equipment, especially lifts.

Epoxy the floor if your budget allows. You will not regret it. Easy to clean, looks wonderful.
Michael Marijanovic, The Werk Shop

Place padded mats on the floor where you work most to prevent fatigue.
Jeff Schlemmer, Advanced Distributors

Keep an old mover’s blanket in the garage to toss on the ground when you lie down under the car or truck.
RealMiniDriver, Classic Motorsports forum member

Old carpet is more comfortable than even the nicest concrete. When it gets dirty, chuck it and find a new piece.

Air Supply

Don’t skimp on the air system; I’ve never heard someone complain about having too much air.
Paul Dierschow, Sports Car Craftsmen

Find a remote location to install your air compressor. I have mine in the basement and then just run the air hose up through the wall. Now I can use my air tools without the constant noise from the compressor deafening me and echoing through the neighborhood.
Classic Motorsports forum member

71. In & Out Outlets
Need to add a dedicated welder outlet? Make sure to add one outside as well as inside. Many times, a welding project is too big to bring inside or can simply be easier outside. Both of these outlets can be on the same circuit since you only use one at a time. They can even be on the same wall next to each other (front to back) or wired in the same stud cavity if that’s where they’ll be convenient to use.
Jeff Schlemmer, Advanced Distributors

72. Get Reel
Get reels for your air hoses. It will help you to never trip on another air hose again.
Michael Marijanovic, The Werk Shop

Find a sale on paper towel dispensers and rolls of paper towels, then hang them on opposite sides of the garage. You’ll have access to towels any time you need them without going far from your work area.

To neatly store your air hoses and electrical extension cords, purchase a few steel garden hose holders from a big-box store. I mounted some on the walls of my garage near the air lines and electrical outlets so I can keep them plugged in all the time.
Fred Baum, Classic Motorsports forum member

Anchor a hose reel with 100 feet of air hose to the garage floor near the overhead door. Now you can deliver compressed air anywhere in the garage as well as down the driveway.

76. WI-FI
The Internet often has the answer. Does your shop have Wi-Fi? Why not?

Put an old laptop computer on a swing-away stand. It’s a lot easier looking at parts diagrams or online factory service manuals on a real screen than on your phone. For bonus points, find a swinging wall mount for an old flatscreen and mount it to your workbench. The computer can swing away underneath when not in use.
Jay Hickey, Classic Motorsports forum member

Music. This one is right up there in importance with bringing the right tools to the track. For us, the music is going as long as the lights are on; we also take it to the track with us. While it’s not recommended for focus-intensive jobs, it’s been proven that music can lift your mood and give you a relaxed focus. A happy shop is a productive shop.
Trevor McClure, Mitchum Motorsports

Every garage needs additional cold storage–a shed or lean-to. There’s no point in goods taking up valuable inside space when you don’t plan on using them for a year. A brand-new shed is cheap.
HiTempguy, Classic Motorsports forum member

Two words: beer fridge.
Jeff Schlemmer, Advanced Distributors

56th Annual Asphalt Angels Rod and Custom Show
Flathead V-8

States Mingle with Single Plates

From SEMA:
As state lawmakers convene to begin their 2018 legislative sessions, a series of license plate bills have been introduced. While some proposals expand current options or create new opportunities, several allow the issuance of a single, rear-mounted license plate. This legislation represents a continuing trend and is often an attempt by states to save money and conserve resources. Those owning hobby cars and trucks—new and old alike—overwhelmingly support these efforts. After all, vehicle owners are spared the burden of having to create mounting holes on original and fabricated bumpers and the aesthetic contours of collector cars are preserved.

Generally, single-plate bills target the smallest population of vehicles possible in order to pass muster with the state agencies, including and most prominently law enforcement. Only a few states have enacted single- plate bills in recent years. In each case, they are unique and benefit a limited audience. Following is an overview of bills currently being considered:

Illinois: Legislation has been introduced in Illinois to require the issuance of only a single, rear-mounted license plate for all newly-registered motor vehicles. As the legislature’s last session adjourned, legislation to provide that motor vehicles registered as “secondary vehicles” and driven less than 5,000 miles per year may display only a single plate on the rear of the vehicle died. That bill did not receive any consideration outside its committee of jurisdiction.

Iowa: Legislation was introduced that allows model 1978 or older vehicles to display a single license plate on the rear of the vehicle. Current law allows single license plates on model 1948 or older vehicles. The bill also allows reconstructed or specially constructed vehicles built to resemble motor vehicles which are 1978 model years old or older to display a single plate.

Maryland: Legislation has been introduced in Maryland to require the issuance of only a single license plate for all motor vehicles.

New Mexico: In contrast to other states, New Mexico introduced legislation to require license plates on the front and rear of all motor vehicles (it currently permits a single license plate). The bill passed the House of Representatives, but fortunately died in the Senate as the legislature adjourned. This bill may be reintroduced in the 2019 session.

Wisconsin: Legislation was introduced in Wisconsin that would allow vehicles manufactured without a front license-plate bracket and collector's special interest vehicles the option to display only a single license plate on the rear of the vehicle.

2018 Corvette Raffle
2018 Corvette Raffle info below

2018 Corvette Raffle

I would like to make you aware of a great opportunity to win a 2018 Corvette Stingray (valued at $60,000). Only 1500 tickets will be sold. You need not be present to win. Proceeds will go to several organizations benefiting our veterans.

I can be contacted at elliotedc@gmail.com or 804-241-9770.

Thank you very much,
Elliot Eisenberg
South Richmond Rotary Club

Win A 1957 Thunderbird
Win A 1957 Thunderbird - info below

Win A 1957 Thunderbird

Proceeds will help restore a rare Lockheed 12A

The Spirit of Flight museum recently received the gift of a fully restored 1957 Ford Thunderbird. The museum now plans to give it away to a lucky winner!

“We are incredibly grateful that a 1957 Thunderbird was gifted to the museum,” said Gordon Page, President of the Spirit of Flight Center. “The donor saw our Lockheed 12A aircraft project and wanted to do something to help get it back into the air. We had no idea they would give us a collector car to raffle off to help the process.”

The Starmist Blue Thunderbird has only 35,000 miles and was fully restored in 2006. It has a 312 cubic inch V-8 engine and automatic transmission, and it is loaded with features including hard and soft tops.

“We plan to hand over the keys to the car at our 10th Annual Spirit of Flight Day event on July 14, 2018,” said Gordon Page. “I can’t wait to see the look on the winners face,” added Page.

People can enter to win the car by making a donation to the non-profit Spirit of Flight Foundation at spiritofflight.tapkat.org/wina1957fordthunderbird.

You can also enter by mailing in the attached form.

All proceeds help restore the 1936 Lockheed 12A Electra Jr. that the museum acquired earlier this year.

Good luck, and thanks for your support!

Polar Bear Run
Lots of chrome

Polar Bear Run
Super clean Camaro

Support the RPM Act

Sign at this link: www.votervoice.net/SEMA/campaigns/45394/respond

2017 marks a new session of Congress. Bills that did not become law at the end of 2016 must be reintroduced for consideration.

UPDATE TO THE RPM ACT - click link below

Protect Your Right to Buy Ethanol Free Fuel

Below is a link to Fuel Testers - a website that is opposed to more ethanol in gasoline and would like to preserve our ability to purchase gasoline free of ethanol.

56th Annual Asphalt Angels Rod and Custom Show
1934 Chevy

56th Annual Asphalt Angels Rod and Custom Show

DMV Titling Information

As promised I have a document about titling antique vehicles posted below for download. This contains information from the DMV speakers at the August 2015 meeting and some other information that I hope you will find useful. If in doubt about anything email or call the DMV administrators in the document; I have their contact information listed. And for the millionth time be sure to check to see if the VIN matches the VIN on the vehicle before buying it. This can save you a lot of trouble - just ask anyone who has purchased a vehicle without a matching VIN. There is also valuable info on purchasing an older vehicle from a non-title state. If you are thinking about buying a vehicle from a non-title state be sure to read it. Link to the document: Antique Vehicle Titling and Registration. I also have a bill of sale for use in buying or selling an antique vehicle: Bill of Sale; and a bill of sale for use if the signatures need to be notarized: Bill of Sale.

You may also find these links useful. The following link goes to the National Insurance Crime Bureau where you can put in a VIN that will be checked for fraud and theft at no cost. The link is www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/vincheck. You should do some research on the vehicle you are thinking about buying, check the VIN to make sure it matches the vehicle and of course make sure the VIN on the vehicle and title match.

The next link goes to Stolen Car Reports, another free service. At this site you can register a stolen vehicle. You can also search a zip code, city or area for the vehicles that were stolen from that area. The link is www.stolencarreports.com/report/Search.

Antique Plate Info Flyer Online

The council delegates have approved the flyer with information on antique plates and a link to it is online here: flyer opens to a new window. Council members and antique owners may print the flyer for their own reference or distribute it to those who own or are considering registering a vehicle as an antique. It will remain on the site for an undetermined time. Council delegates will review the effectiveness of the flyer at a later date.

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