Monday, March 31, 2008

It Never Fails...

It never fails! If you are fortunate enough to have a "back-up" car in your garage, chances are you won't need it. But heaven forbid you decide to sell it...and watch out! Since we decided to sell my wife's Eagle Talon, we've had to have the gasket replaced under the intake manifold on both the 1999 Chevrolet Venture and my 2002 Impala. This morning on my drive to work, the Impala began acting very sluggish. When you accelerate from a stop sign or is like you are driving in pick up at all. If you have the car on cruise and go up a hill at 55 mph, it's like it's taking everything the car has to maintain speed. This evening's drive home was no better. It reminds me of a problem we had with a 1989 Toyota Tercel my wife owned early on in our marriage. It ended up being a plugging catalytic converter. My dad and I removed the coverter and punched it out and put it back on the car...end of problem. My guess this wasn't "legal" or environmentally "friendly", but being newly married on a beginning teacher's salary, it was the best solution.

Are there any "Mr. Goodwrenchs" out there? Am I "barking up the right tree"? I did a little research on the internet this evening and it sounds like I may be correct. Here are a couple examples of what I've found:

"My 2002 starting running very sluggish. No pep on acceleration. Also overheated. Thought it was the transmission not shifting. No warning lights came on. Got a great mechanic who suspected it, dropped the exhaust pipe and smelled the rotten eggs. If your's goes sluggish, get this checked immediately. You could blow your engine."

Found this entry on the Edmunds Car Space Website :

#1447 of 2014
Re: 2002 Impala hesitates when accelerating [impala2002] by impala2002
Aug 30, 2005 (9:31 pm)
Replying to: impala2002 (Aug 16, 2005 8:39 pm)Unfortunately no replies to my message. But in the spirit of helping others, just wanted to mention the outcome of my issue. I took my car to the dealer. The service representative was nice enough to do a quick drive the car and suspect the transmission - so he persuaded me that we should do a transmission diagnosis. Unfortunately, they didn't get to it that day and I took my car back that day (Wed). The next day, as I drove the car, I was more or less convinced that it was a transmission problem since the car would tend to stall more when going up hill. When I changed to a lower gear, it took off. Anyway, dropped off the car to dealer on Fri. The dealer diagnosed it as a constricted catalytic converter. Fortunately, the catalytic converter is covered beyond the 3yr warranty and was replaced by the driver. Now that the acceleration is back - you guys watch out for this maniac in the Impala!

This really bites! I suppose I will have to buy a new catalytic converter! Since they contain Platinium...I know they are not cheap. Looking them up online looks like it will cost me about $95.00 to $240.00 just for the converter.
What do you think? Your suggestions and comments will be greatly appreciated!

Suede and Chrome Worthy??????

I'm always looking for new things to post on this blog. Be it things I run across on the Internet or even better, pictures and commentary from cruise-ins, rod runs, and car shows that I have attended. In the past, I've even solicited input from my as you can imagine, I was VERY excited when a reader/friend brought me a photo CD labeled "2007 Detroit Autorama" and told me he had about 100 pictures on the disc!

"That is awesome!", I said, having attended this year's Detroit Autorama. I thought to myself, "I can't wait to get home and see all the sweet rods and customs on this disc!"

Well, you can imagine my surprise when I got home and found almost 100 photos taken at the Autorama showcasing new and concept cars, not rods and customs. I had to think about it for a day or two. "Should I post these photos on my blog?", I asked myself. The focus of this blog has been rods and customs. However, I do GREATLY appreciate the input from readers....and I do enjoy AWESOME cars...even if they are new, concepts, and/or race cars. So...with that in mind, I thought I would start posting a few of the pictures.

If you are an traditionalist, and the posting of these photos ticks you off....sorry. I do think however that most of you will appreciate the subject and the quality of the photographs. Josh took these photographs with a high end camera...and it shows in the resolution and clarity. Look forward to seeing a few shots of the Chevrolet Concept Camaro, the Dodge Concept Challenger, the Ford GT, the Dodge Charger, and others.

Thanks Josh!

(p.s....that's Josh standing mesmerized in the first photo!)


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Well....I Finally Found Some!

Well, for those who have faithfully read "Suede and Chrome" over the past couple of years, you are aware of my efforts to locate an Old Navy truck. For the rest of you, I'll try to get you "up to speed".

The corporation that owns the Old Navy stores has decided to remodel. In doing so, they had all of their "signature" Chevrolet pickup trucks removed from their stores. These trucks were built using actual trucks from the early 50's. The trucks have begun appearing on eBay, on discussion boards, and in places like the Indiana Auto and RV.

The trucks for sale have been all over the US. I've been trying to locate one that is fairly local. Well, a buddy of mine, we'll call him "Mr. Custom Hotwheel Builder" (see links to his auctions on this site), told me he saw a truck sitting on a lot in Muncie, Indiana, just 10 minutes from my house. (I think he told me that last Monday) Before I could get over there to check it out, he had driven by again. This time he told me there were 4 trucks.

This afternoon, I put a couple of my boys in the car, and we went to see if we could find the trucks and find out the story behind them. Well, as you can see from the pictures, the guy actually has 5 Old Navy trucks. He also had a 1959 Chevy truck, a '53 GMC, a '48 Ford, and the Ford you see lined up with the Old Navy Trucks... (is this a '40?).
At any rate, as I began looking them over, the owner of the place came out and we stood and talked for a while. None of the trucks have titles. Some of them still have the door jam plate with the VIN number. The trucks are all in similar shape. No pedals, no engine, or transmission. No floor in the bed...just a piece of plywood painted the same color as the truck. The owner told me he had a couple of straight 6-cylinder engines that he would part with if a guy just wanted to make a driver out of one. He said that one of the trucks was already sold, and the others will be listed in the Indiana Auto and RV next week. Bottom line....he will be asking $4,000.00 a piece for them.

1949-1952 Chevrolets

I've mentioned before that my father currently has a 1947 Chevrolet coupe. I've also mentioned the fact that I'm really interested in finding a project car so that my father and I, along with my sons, can attend car shows together (w/ 2 cars).
That being said, I personally like the looks of the 49-52 Chevys over the 46-48's. I've been watching chevy coupes of this era on eBay. This week, I've actually bid on a couple....time will tell if I find one in my price range in the condition that I'd like to start with.

I really like the look that a few grille teeth give these cars. While surfin' the net this morning, I was looking for examples of customized chevys from this are a few of my favorites.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Friend...

I spoke with a friend today that I used to work with about 10 years ago. She and her husband have a couple of righteous cars...a beautiful 56 Chevrolet and a nice rat rod. I've run into them a few times at area car shows and cruise ins in the last year. I called her this afternoon to see if her husband knew of any "leads" on any "barn finds" in the area. Now that my wife's car is gone, I've got room for a project.

Anyway...I told her about this site. Thought I'd look back through the archives and pull up a "tribute". Here is a picture I took of their rat the first time I saw it. I can't remember if this was in Selma, IN or at the Ducktail Run in Gas City, IN. If you look closely you can see her husband in the background with the 56.

Thanks guys for letting me know of any possible "projects" in the area. p.s....CONGRATULATIONS ON THE OTHER NEWS!

What the Heck?!?!?

Hey! Just did a Google search today for "suedeandchrome" and came up with some interesting stuff. The most interesting was a "reprint" of some of my photos and a blog entry about a museum I visited. It is now part of a website about Pigeon Forge and Dollywood. Check it out at:

On another note. I spent the day at the Miami Valley CTC near Dayton, Ohio again today. This time we took the 2nd half of the 8th grade class. We toured several buildings. They offer everything from building trades, animal science, to cosmotology and childcare. I've attached a couple pictures of the Motorcycle Mechanics Lab and the Precision Tooling Lab....pretty cool stuff.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Again with The New Features...

Well...had a chance to change a few things on the Suede and Chrome site today. Probably the most noticable is the new background. Thought it was a same that the pictures I took in the basement of the Cobo Center at the 2008 Detroit Autorama will slowly be placed in the archives as I make new postings. So...thought I'd make a collage of some of my favorite rods from the basement. This way...they will remain in the background for a long time to come.

Another change....I've got a couple of real good buddies that do a lot of business on eBay. One spends his free time customizing Hotwheels. The other runs a family chrome-plating and metal finishing business. Thought it was only right for me to figure out how to use the RSS on the blogger site and provide links to their current auctions. If the RSS works as it claim, these links will be automatically updated as my friends list new items for auction. Take some time and check out their auctions....heck, you might just be interested in bidding on something. And if you do....make sure you tell 'em Scruffy sent ya!

One other change I've made today, I've added many more songs to the Sonific music player along the right column. When I first installed this player, I had it set to automatically begin playing when you logged in. However, it didn't take too long for this to become pretty annoying to, a few weeks ago, I reinstalled the player so that YOU have the option to begin the music, click through selections, etc.....Hope you enjoy it.

A couple other new features I've added recently...include: click on links to some of the "sponsors" along the right column. (o.k....I wish I had some sponsors for this site. It would be great to make a little extra $$$ from this!). Anyway, you should be able to click on the mooneyes, radir wheels, etc. logos and go directly to their official websites. I also added a cool widget that lets you see where folks are from who are visiting this site. All I have to say about that is "truly amazing"! Who knew folks from all over the world have been stoppin' in to see what's going on with my little ol' site!

Finally, I added a link (hope they don't mind) to the Detroit, MI chapter of the Road Devils. There site is pretty cool. I'll proably be adding a link to the Road Rockets site as well, they are out of Indianapolis, Indiana. HEY! It's been some time since I've heard from any of my readers. What gives? I always enjoy feedback. Tell me what's going on in your "neck of the woods". Upcoming club events? cruise ins? car shows? concerts? Feel free to tell me "what's cool" in your hometown.

Hope everyone had a great Easter holiday! Have a GREAT week! Keep prayin' for "cruisin' weather" will be here soon!


Friday, March 21, 2008

A Couple Cool Links...

I've ran across a couple of cool links in the last couple of days. It all started when I was reading about a custom magazine called "Church: cars. not culture." in the latest edition of Rod and Custom. The magazine is produced in limited quantities (3,000) and hand numbered. The guy who puts it together does so with his own money in his spare time. The cool thing about the magazine (which is nearing the printing of it's 4th edition) is that there is little text or "culture hype." The magazine instead focuses on the cars and photography. Copies of the first 3 editions are still available. You can learn more at:

After I followed the link. I began checking out some of the links from the Church website. One link that I really enjoyed was: Unfortunately for this Midwesterner, Imperial Customs is located in Los Angeles, California. But I was so amazed with some of the cars pictured in the Imperial Customs gallery, I thought I'd place some pictures here to wet your appetite. These pictures show that any car can be "ultra cool"...


I was surprised that tucked away in the back corner of the Detroit Cobo Center during the 2008 Autorama there was a section of custom bicycles. Here are a couple of pictures of some unique bikes.

Bikes and a Trike

Here are a few pictures of some bikes I took at the 2008 Detroit Autorama. The bikes were in the back corner of the mainfloor. It was one of the last areas we visited. By this time, there was a very large crowd, and it became very difficult to: a) Get a shot without somebody walking in front of you. b) Get a shot without someone bumping into you.

(o.k....I know this is a poor picture. But this is an example of what happens when you finally get everyone out of the way to take a shot of a cool rod or bike, you go to push the shutter, and somebody who doesn't have a clue bumps into you!) ugh!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Yippee-ki-a!!!! My wife just closed the deal on her 1995 Eagle Talon Tsi! We can finally get that thing out of the garage! Now I can get my "work" space back and get serious about looking for a "cruiser". Can't type to check out what's up for auction on eBay! :)

Last Set of Car Photos From Autorama

Well, I've been posting pictures from the Detroit Autorama faithfully for the past couple of weeks. This is the last of the automobile photographs.
I do however, have a few pictures of some bobbers and other motorcycles that I took at the show. I've even got a few custom bicycle photos. Pictured above is a nice 1932 Chrysler Coupe. Because "everyone" wants an early Ford, then an early Chevrolet, who don't see too many early Chryslers that have been restored.
I believe the owner of this coupe called it a glossy rat rod. Whatever you call have to use the word "cool".
I believe this car is called Vampryre. It made the show car circuit back in the 60's. I think there might have even been a model kit and/or a hotwheel designed after it. Does any know any details on this car? like high dollar cars? My guess is this was one of the most expensive cars at the show. This Rolls Royce was stunning. Next time you see an old Rolls or Jag for sale, I bet you'll think...."That could make a cool rod!"

A Crazy Week...

Wow! finally at the end of a crazy week! I have tomorrow off due to Good Friday. We were supposed to have the entire week off next week for Spring Break, but instead, we will be making up four snow days on Tuesday through Friday. At any rate, I'm looking forward to my 4-day weekend.

Still posting pictures from the 2008 Detroit Autorama. The Chevrolet above was absolutely beautiful. Very simple, yet very cool. If you are a returning reader, you probably understand why I like the car....simple, solid color, wide whitewalls, simple interior, shaded and frenched.....very cool.

My wife's cousin had an old Vega sitting in his mother's garage a few years ago. For several years I tried to buy it off of him. At the time he won't sell. Said he was going to "fix it up". Needless to say, about a year or so ago, he decided to sell it and didn't let me know.

Not a big fan of the color combination on this old Ford, but still, a very cool Sedan Delivery.
No, I wasn't bumped by a passing stranger or intoxicated when I took this photograph. Yes, the coupe is nice, but I like the 'Ed Roth' hat this guy is sporting! :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Some High Dollar Trailer Queens

Back on "the surface", we continued to check out the cars on the main floor at the Detroit Cobo Center. This 1957 Chevrolet was absolutely spotless. I would be afraid to own this one. With six kids, I'm sure one of them would drag a bicycle handlebar down the body or color the seats with a marker!
Here are a couple more examples of the type of cars that I would label strictly "Show Cars" or "Trailer Queens". I would guess these cars haven't felt an old Indiana backroad beneath their Goodyears!

I've always liked the 1963 and 1964 Chevrolet Impalas. This '63 was very nice. I'm not real keen on the color, but the lowered stance really gives this car a 'bad' look. I'd rather see some Chevy ralleys or some steelies on it though. Not a fan of the BIG 'bling-bling' wheels.
Aaaah yes. Now this is more like it. This beautiful Tudor Sedan was one of my favorites on the main floor. I would have no trouble seeing this one in my garage every morning!