Jim’s Blog: Finding the Payoff

Last Friday, I took a day off work and spent it at my dad’s house, wrenching on his 1968 Camaro. The car is in the absolute final stages of reassembly after restoration, so we worked on things like adjusting the hood fit, wiring the dash gauges, installing the front bumper, and bolting in the driver’s seat. At the end of the afternoon, we dumped five gallons of gas in the tank and rolled the car outside. And then, finally, after Read More

Jim’s Blog: When is it Time to Sell?

When it comes to classic cars, buying is the easy part — just lay down the cash and take home your new prize. Hopefully your significant other is on-board and you’ve got a place to keep the new car — but those are only details, right? We can work them out later.

Selling, on the other hand, is a lot more involved. Why? Because if you’re like me, you get attached to the cars you own, even if only Read More

Jim’s Blog: Stock or Not?

When I was building my ’72 Chevy truck, I kept the engine and drivetrain as stock as possible, all the way down to the original rebuilt Q-jet carburetor. Why mess with something that worked?

But there have been huge leaps in technology made in the decades since 1972, and it’s trickled into the old car world. Modern carburetors, roller cams, polyurethane bushings, and more have made it possible to turn our old cars into modern/classic hybrids. These modern parts can Read More

Jim’s Blog: Movie Cars Matter

The 1980s brought us a lot of things, but for a certain generation of car people, the most important of those things was the VCR.

When the VCR became commonplace in the American household, kids could all of a sudden watch movies or recorded TV over and over again — and that’s exactly what we did. For a lot of us, interest in and availability of content turned minor fascination into full-on obsession.

Those household VCRs were where a lot Read More

Jim’s Blog: What Steers Your Collection?

I’ve always been a car guy, but the drive got even more serious when I got my driving permit and finally slid behind the wheel of an actual car. A few spins in my sister’s ’95 Dodge Neon had me circling classic car ads in the local paper for cooler options. My father, also a car guy, became my unwilling-but-coerced partner and financier in my hunt for a classic.

First up was a 1961 Chevrolet Impala in Fawn Beige and white Read More

Jim’s Blog: Buy it Done or Build it Yourself?

A friend of mine called me a few weeks back to shoot some photos of a GTO out in the weeds on his property. After years and years of an “I’ll build it someday” mentality, he’s finally decided that it’s just never going to happen. Time to sell the GTO while there’s still some GTO left to sell.

Some car people see nothing but possibility in the image above — it’s got the Endura bumper and was a factory 4-speed Read More

Jim’s Blog: 4-speed or Not?

What's missing here? A chrome knob and white ball, that's what.

I got my Caprice sitting right on a set of QA1 coilovers in the front, added a set of big-as-possible 275-series rubber in the back, and have a great-sounding BBC with a 236/245 duration roller cam with .625/.639 inches of lift cackling through a set of three-inch Flowmasters. But there’s one thing missing, and that one thing is a chrome Hurst stick and a white ball.

The car is a factory big-block car with a Turbo 400 automatic I Read More

Jim’s Blog: Swap Meet Time!

The Portland Swap Meet is the Northwest car guy’s kickoff to the car season. Even if it’s raining sideways, like it was this year.

But for thousands of car-crazy parts chasers, the rain didn’t matter. Who’s afraid of a little rain when those vintage parts you’re hunting are just waiting for you to find them?

The meet, which is always in April, took over the Portland Expo Center from April 7 through April 9, sprawling out through all the Read More

Jim’s Blog: What Was Your Best Car Buy?

We’re working on the May/June issue of ACC this week, and for this issue’s Reader’s Forum, we’re looking for your comments on your best-ever car buys. There’s still time to be included!

I tend to think of my best car buy as the next one I’m going to buy, but it doesn’t usually work out that way. If I had to pick one car, it would be the 2001 Camaro SS I bought for $18,500 back in 2007 or so. Read More

Jim’s Blog: Diamond in the Junk?

This past weekend, I was out taking pictures of a friend’s 1969 GTO project in the weeds and came across this engine sitting in the dirt. What would you do with it?

The notion of one man’s trash being another’s treasure is alive and well here. Yep, this is a vintage Chevrolet 409 V8. Or at least it was before it became rusty yard art.

A couple of things stand out to me. First, it’s a truck engine, which you Read More

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