Picking Up
Brian Brennan, old cars in a garage, and an old Chevy being worked on
BY Brian Brennan
Starting a New Year

t’s time to begin a new year and for all of our publications (Classic Truck Performance, Modern Rodding, and All Chevy Performance) that means beginning 2021 as monthly publications. May not sound like much but it sure will mean picking up the pace around the offices as both CTP and MR go from bimonthly titles to monthly. Of course, our hectic work pace will benefit you the readers of our publications … now your favorite truck and car magazine once a month rather than once every other month.

Picking up the Jan. ’21 Modern Rodding will be filled with an assortment of “young and old” hot rod features along with home tech and some heavy-duty tech. There’s always something interesting in every issue of MR and the Jan. ’21 issue is no different.

In this issue we will be taking a look at one of the prominent shops in this country: Goolsby Customs out of Hueytown, Alabama. We will take a hot lap around the shop and see what’s on the chassis table then onto the body shop and fabricating. There is always something interesting, especially given Goolsby Customs works with some of the top manufacturing names in the industry, like Roadster Shop, Baer Brakes, Billet Specialties, BASF, and numerous others. You will see the obligatory C10 resting on a Roadster Shop chassis, throw in an SB Blazer complete with Roadster Shop chassis and an LS engine, and you will also notice they are working on an old-timey Dodge van. Now that’s taking a step back. Oh, did we mention there is also a very cool hot rod VW? There’s even a 1969 Camaro getting the full treatment.

If you like professional shops but also want to know what’s going on inside the proverbial one light bulb garage, we have some of that for you, too. One of the premier East Coast rodders and homebuilders is Dave Simard out of Leominster, Massachusetts. Simard, like so many of us hot rodders, can remember his first car. It meant a lot to us even though it wasn’t that much to look at. In Simard’s case it was a 1931 Ford Tudor sedan and it was all original and it ran. He was 12 at the time and this served as a great catalyst to get the hot-rodding lights burning brightly. The car went the obligatory route of engine swaps, tranny swaps, and rearend swaps, all with the intent of making the Model A a quicker hot rod and personalized to Simard’s tastes.

If you were to find yourself rummaging through his garage today you would find stacks upon stacks of vintage tin, much of it from the 1932-1934 Ford era—highly desirable and a great investment. You would also find everything from Model A and Deuces to Model 40s, as well a belly tanks, mid-’50s T-birds, along with vintage tin spread all over his yard. Tucked away between the garage polls are Ford Cammer motors, Flatheads, blowers, and every manner of Stromberg carb. Simard has spent a lifetime building these old hot rods for enjoyment and for a profit and has done one hell of a job.

If you want to find a project to work on in your own garage then we do have a nice shifter story on how to retain the vintage look but utilize some modern components from Lokar. It you are into all things electrical then we do have a nifty story on alternator basics that should come in handy, especially in these days of high-demand accessories.

If you want something meatier, how about part 1 of the Art Morrison Enterprises 1959-1964 Chevy chassis story. We are taking a fullsize Chevy and dropping in onto the AME chassis. Next up might be the look inside Hot Rods by Dean’s shop in Phoenix and see how they are coming along on the building of a 1956 Ford Ranchwagon. It’s complete with an AME chassis and Roush supercharged Ford Coyote V-8.

While you are sitting back and enjoying Classic Truck Performance make sure to also set aside some time to look at the latest issue of Modern Rodding … you’ll enjoy it.