Bay Dress-up Tips
have all seen them, when I say ‘them” I am referring to
the tricked out show rods that we all oogle over in the magazines and
stainless steel, air
brushed masterpieces fill our heads with wonder and delight. The burning question that
all us kids ask
ourselves is “how do I get one of those”?
newbie hot rodders search the specialty parts
catalogues in hope of finding the perfect combination of “bling” for
beloved muscle car. Most
of the show car
freshman will order a set of chrome engine caps and maybe one or two
out or stainless steel accessory covers.
They start out with good intentions but find out very
early in the game
that a complete engine show package is well beyond their budget and
importantly their installation skills.
best way to implement a full blown engine bay makeover
is to take your time and carefully plan out the project. Most hot rodders
put the planning phase
aside and start throwing various mismatched accessories at the car. This “shot gun” approach
is both expensive
and frustrating. The
recognized when our newbie never wins a show trophy after spending
amounts of cash on his cars makeover.
first task is to determine what exactly what are you
looking to get out of the make over.
your goal show or street oriented?
oriented goals require extremes in both cash, time and know how. The best way to determine
the best look for
your potential show car is to take a close look at the winning cars at
that you attend. Take
pictures of award
winning engine bays. After
you take the
pictures congratulate the owner, flattery will get you everywhere. Ask questions about the
mods that earned him
the coveted best in show trophy. Show
winning owners are very appreciative of your praise and will go out of
way to describe and point you in the right direction.
newbie will find out very quickly that there are two
ways to go in the engine bay makeover effort.
The first way is to go with extreme “bling”. Extreme “bling” entails
every part in your engine bay with quality chrome or stainless steel. Old school hot rodders
actual parts with chrome plated units.
This includes things like intake manifolds, alternators,
every non moving engine part the can be unbolted.
wave hot rodders seem to prefer using high tech
stainless steel covers to enhance the look of their new age muscle and
cars. The benchmark in the automotive industry for stainless is the American
Car Craft corporation located in Hudson Fl.
Cameron Rivera heads the operation and personally designs
most of the
creations for his fanatical show winning customers. If you are thinking
doing a stainless theme for your car talk to the guy’s at ACC first.
Stainless covers on a C6 LS7
Stainless covers on a C6 LS9
Stainless covers on a C6 LS3
second school of thought entails the use of custom
painted components to dramatically transform the look of an otherwise
engine bay. The
easiest way to achieve
this look is to thumb through the specialty parts catalogs and browse
pages listed as painted engine dress up.
Ecklers, Zip and West Coast Corvettes are some excellent sources for
accessories. These big parts houses act as middlemen to a handful of
accessory manufacturers. The
parts are generic in nature. They
just enough quality to satisfy ninety nine percent of the customers
orders. It’s the
other one percent that
wins the trophy.
winners go that extra step and to do what ever it
takes to ensure that their vehicle is a cut above the rest. The next
you are at a major show ask the top dog’s where they get their parts
from. Dollars to
droughts they will tell you that
they order directly from the manufacturer.
Most of the trophy winners are on a first name basis with
and owners of the accessory companies.
If the design company is within driving distance the top
always arrange to have their cars customized on site.
This is a far cry from the generic mail order
status that most people settle for.
Remember that in order to win a top trophy there is no
accessories and parts can take several forms.
If you don’t want to order from the
catalogs, parts such as fuel rails, battery boxes, air intakes and
surge tanks can be brought to a good body shop.
The shop can arrange for some light sanding, priming and
your stock parts with matching body color paint.
If done properly the results can be very
LS7 Hybrid Stainless and paint
you want to take it to the next level the talents of a
professional airbrushing artist must be employed. The services of
air brush professionals are in very high demand.
Prices for a quality piece of automotive art
can be a little above the ordinary hot rodders budget.
The results are however worth the extra cost.
One of our favorite air brush artists
Steve Ray owner of Airbrush
Incorporated located in Owensboro
KY. We found out
about Steve by talking to
the guy’s that consistently win trophy’s at the local car shows around
country. Steve’s work is to put it mildly breathtaking.
Steve is a down to earth no nonsense guy that
will consistently deliver show winning quality automotive art work.
way to go is the carbon fiber route. Carbon fiber is
all the rage these days. The
tech look of quality carbon accessories is very hard to beat. Engine bays and interiors
done up in carbon
art are among the top trophy winners.
alternative to ultra expensive real carbon parts is a process known as
hydro dipping. Any pattern can be transferred to any automotive part
using this technique.
Custom hydro dipped fuel rails
and covers are a real attention
show winning machine is yours to create.
Whether it is in old school chrome, flashy
stainless, conservative paint, high tech carbon or a hybrid combination
of the above you are only limited by your imagination, budget and