The Forward Look: SUMMERTIME EVENTS – and the Cruisin’ is easy!

photos by: Optima Jim, PJ Rentie and the author

It’s Already Shaping Up to be a Great Summer, and Timeless Muscle will be Right There with You!

It’s shaping up to be a long, hot summer and the 2017 automotive event season is already in full swing. Have you been to any big Summertime Events yet? We sure have — our coverage is bulging with a wide range of events that span a wide spectrum. From the “touring autocross” that is Cars & Cones down South to the California Mustang Parts get-together to the Midwest Mopars in the Park, we’ve got it all.

There will be much more race coverage on the way. too. We’ve shown you some muscle cars from the OPTIMA Batteries“Search for the Ultimate Street Car” events already, and we’ll also be delivering some drag strip stuff pretty soon!

We hope you notice that these events are coming to us from all over the country. We have gone to great lengths lately to reach out and show our readers what is happening from all over America this year.

Our network of journalists let us know what’s happening, and serve to keep our finger on the pulse of the hobby. This will continue and even expand as we keep our network growing even more. We’ve made a lot of great friends from coast-to-coast over our long careers in the hot rod business, and this experience allows us to bring you this level of feedback from around the country.

You will see more technical information showing up on the pages too – We have been planning some stories we know you’ll be able to benefit from. Some of them you’ll be able to duplicate yourself, in your own garage. Others will be more about covering what professional shops do behind the scenes, with specialized tools, equipment, and materials you cannot easily accomplish yourself.

Still, we bring you this information so you’ll be able to make educated decisions, ask informed questions, and ultimately maximize what you get for your hard-earned dollar.

We want to become your reference point, and representative. We would love to hear your questions and story ideas. We want to see your projects! Feel free to send photos of your own cars (and the stories behind them) and we’ll share them with the rest of our readers.

We are out there on social media, too! Check out our Facebook page and ‘Like’ it to keep up with the latest postings here on We add new material all the time, and unless you pop in and see what we’re up to on a regular basis, you might miss something. No one wants that, so if you check on Facebook (and Instagram!) we’ll share when new stories are added.

As the summer show season continues, we’ll be hitting a lot of the bigger events out there and sharing what we’ve seen and heard. Times are always changing and we want to be a reflection of what enthusiasts are doing with their classic muscle cars right now. We’ve already seen some incredibly well-executed restorations, period-perfect “Day 2” upgrades, outrageous drag

cars, and cutting edge Pro-Touring rides. Still, the overwhelming majority of cars we see are somewhere in-between all of those.

They have stock, unmodified bodies, with nearly stock interiors. Odds are strong the wheels and tires will be custom, or at least represent some of the cooler factory designs from when the car was offered new. We have to say that seeing 17- and 18-inch versions of the cool old factory wheels is one of our favorite things trending in the muscle car market right now.

Braking system upgrades are really popular, and that’s totally justified. Making old cars stop on-par with the new cars they now share the road with is just plain smart. Similarly, seeing some easy steering and handling improvements is also a common theme. Hot rodders are making their favorite cars work like their daily drivers, and that’s easy to understand.

Other comfort-adding goodies like air conditioning and good stereo sound systems are almost a given anymore…even on cars that otherwise look restored. Creature comforts like this just make our old cars more pleasant to drive.


As I’ve learned, it’s a lot easier to get wives and kids to come along if there is air conditioning and a Bluetooth-enabled sound system to make the drive more pleasant for passengers who might not appreciate having the windows down while on the freeway, or just enjoying the song of a heavily-cammed V-8 through minimal mufflers. Go figure…

As a result, these are the kinds of upgrade stories we’ll be lining up to share with you. Ideally, the make and model of the car being won’t matter so much, as long as the end product delivers the kind of performance (or luxury) we’re shooting for. Sure, there will be some specific car-to-car variances but we’ll address that as we go.

The important thing to know is that we’ll keep looking to see what other enthusiasts are doing all over the country, and then we’ll show you the best-possible way to accomplish these kinds of upgrades on your own car. There have been a lot of recent developments in the aftermarket that make many of these mods easier, less expensive, or more effective. We’ll share the whole story with you on every point.

We have some cool feature cars lined up too. The benefit of attending a lot of events around the country is that we’re able to see a lot of newly-built or freshly-updated cars that represent the kind of real street machine owners we know like to read our pages. These are the kinds of cars we like to share as features.

Sure, we’ll probably run a few high-dollar shop-built rides too, since they are typically breaking some new ground or showcasing some new style we think you’d like to know about. But, as you’ve already seen, we have no reservations about showing cars that are in-progress and owner-built, too. We want you to be able to relate to who we are and what we’re delivering, which is why we’re hoping you’ll write to us (or comment on our Facebook page) and let us know your thoughts.

The more you let us know what you like (or don’t like) and what kinds of events, cars, and tech stories you’d like to see, the better we can deliver those kinds of articles. If we don’t get much input from the readership, we’ll keep showing things we see, things we like, and things we think are really cool. Thankfully, we have really good taste in classic American muscle cars, and also what it takes to make them more powerful, stylish, and roadworthy. We are confident you’ll like where we’re headed, and we want you to be a part of it!

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