Back Roads & Side Streets

If you can get away from speeding down the massive interstate system that crisscrosses our great country and slow your speed to fit into the state or county highway system, you will find some really great automotive jewels. Whether these jewels are in the shape of a small hometown automotive museums, the custom shops that you don’t see on television or the occasional rusty relic that really catches your eye, they are there to be found if you just slow down and hit the back roads & side streets.

Falcon In A Chicken Coop

1963 Ford Falcon
Article by Larry Crain
Original and build photos by Roger Gaynor
Finished photos by Larry Crain

It is truly hard to believe that this awesome 1963 Ford Falcon was rescued from a chicken coop where it had lived in raw steel for 15 years! That’s right, Roger Gaynor of Owosso, Michigan took possession of this car in March of 2016 in a very rough form. So rough, in fact, that his friend Bruce Rathburn nicknamed it “The Potato” because of all the surface rust the car had. Yes, you read that sentence correctly, Roger’s Falcon project was completed in a little less than a year! This little Ford has come a very long way in a very short time, and it is just great seeing how it has been transformed into the four wheel work of art it is now.

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Mr. Junk Does It Again!

1930 Ford Model A Sedan
Article and photos by Larry Crain

Sometimes lightning does strike twice! It did for Mark Rinehart, AKA Mr. Junk, who has had, not one, but two vehicles in Scottie D’s Dirty Dozen at the Pigeon Forge Rod Run. The first-time lightning struck was when Mark had his kick-ass 1951 Chevy Deluxe Coupe invited to be part of Scottie D’s Dirty Dozen during the 2016 Spring Pigeon Forge Rod Run. The second time just took place at the 2017 Spring Pigeon Forge Rod Run when Mr. Junk debuted this 1930 Ford Model A Sedan rat rod.

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Gold Standard

1970 Camaro
Article and photos by Larry Crain

There are many ways to determine a level of quality, whether it is winning an event or by completing a task at higher level than anyone else. This is usually called a “gold place” finish. Setting this mark of accomplishment can be called a “gold standard” for those that hope to follow what you did. David Kountz, long time hot rodder and race car driver of Mobile, Alabama, has set a gold standard in the Pro-Touring community with his 1970 Camaro.

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2017 Spring Coker Tire Cruise-In

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Article and photos by Sierra Hamilton
Edited by Larry Crain

There was no foolin’ around on this April Fool’s Day at the 2017 Spring Coker Tire Cruise-In as the sounds of engines rolling through downtown Chattanooga. Being one of the first events in the Southeast, the car show season kicked off to a great start early Saturday morning. With incredible growth each year, Coker Tire expanded the grounds to allow more cars in and this year even incorporated a swap meet for the first time.

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2017 Wild Wheels Car Show

New Orleans, Louisiana
Article by Larry Crain
Photos by Barbara Crain

Take New Orleans, AKA, “The Big Easy”, The Mercedez-Benz Superdome, and over 225 of the most awesome cars, trucks and motorcycles, mix them all together and you have the 2017 Wild Wheels Car Show. This all-new event was put together by Lionel and Paul Dowling, the father and son team that make up Dowling Productions. Neither one of then, along with Show Chairman Kal Smith, are newbies to the car scene as they live and breathe hot rods. So, who better to put on a car show in what is one of the greatest places to host an event.

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1956 Chevrolet Bel Air

A Four Wheel Memorial
Article and photos by Larry Crain
Additional photo provided by Stephanie Sanchez

This article is about how a family is using a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air as a rolling memorial to a father that was a great car builder and a well-loved man throughout the automotive community along the Gulf Coast. Doug Brock of LaPlace, Louisiana passed away in September of 2016 and will always be remembered as a man that loved to build cars and enjoyed driving them just as much. Over the years Doug built seven cars, and one of my favorites, a 1933 Packard, convertible now resides in a museum.

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Stranglehold – 1971 Plymouth Cuda

Article and show photos by Larry Crain
Additional photos supplied by Kyle Cothren

Sometimes we can start out on a project that we think “oh this will be a cheap and easy build.” Then next thing you know you’re bleeding cash and the credit card is maxed out with the project still not finished. Kyle Cothren of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida found himself in a similar situation with this 1971 Plymouth Cuda, and after completion of the project appropriately nicknamed the car Stranglehold.

The Stranglehold Cuda was found in a barn in South Carolina where it had been sitting for about 30 years. The owner had no real interest in selling it as it was his dream car and was going to finish building it one day. Kyle had kept an eye on the old Cuda over the years in the hope that the owner would one day change his mind about selling it. Years went by and the owner of the Cuda passed away without ever seeing his dream car completed. The old car sat for another seven years before a deal was struck with Kyle and the owner’s family.

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Pro-Touring – 1963 Chevy Nova

Article and photos by Larry Crain

This beautiful 1963 Chevrolet Nova owned by Gene Delcomyn of Brandon, Mississippi is an awesome example of the Pro-Touring style brought to show level. While most Pro-Touring style cars and trucks are built from day one as engineering marvels and feature beautiful craftsmanship, they mostly see the autocross or road course tracks, not the floors of indoor shows. I saw this one recently in a video Scottie D had done for ScottieDTV while at the Birmingham World of Wheels, and then I saw it again at the Wild Wheels Car Show in the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Pro Street Monster

1972 Chevy C10
Article and photos by Larry Crain
Original truck photos by Teddy Mueller

Teddy Mueller of Summerville, South Carolina owns a Pro Street 1972 Chevrolet C10 truck that could be the four-wheel version of the “Hulk”. An apt description would be big feet “tires”, green as any mean ass monster should be and nothing but a sheer terror if you make the mistake of messing with it on the street.

Teddy has owned this truck since 2002 but back then it was just a mild mannered primered C10 with a 307 engine, a Turbo 350 transmission and a rear end with 3:73 gears. Teddy was in the Air Force at the time he bought the truck, and he left it as-is until he was discharged. But as soon as he got home, the truck started getting some changes with the first one being a motor swap to a 350 four bolt and an early Cuda green paint job with blue flames. Terry drove the wheels off the truck during this stage of its life, but in 2011 he inherited a 468 cubic inch big block Chevy motor. His brother-in law had owned a 1979 Camaro drag car that was also street driven a few times before he lost a battle with cancer, and Teddy’s sister knew the perfect place for her late husband’s motor to reside. This is when the old Chevy truck started a radical transformation into the Pro Street Monster it is today.

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Weda’s Street Rod

1930 Ford Model A Sedan
Article and photos by Larry Crain

Old skool style rods have always been cool even back when they were first being built just as hot rods to cruise or race in. As a gearhead I love almost all things that have four wheels and burn fossil fuel but traditional style hot rods really catch my eye. This particular rod was on display at the 2017 Wild Wheels held in the New Orleans Superdome and it just screamed “Look at me! I am the history of hot rodding!”

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