2017 – A Year in Review

Well, another year has gone by and we have had some milestones happen. This has been a good year for us, so, in an effort to recap what has been happening, let’s look back at last years review. (Make sure to scroll down and check out all of the articles. Also, write a comment on your favorite article, or articles.)


You can click here to see last years review.

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As for this year, well, let’s just say it started a little slow. January through April, we had a total of 1,019 views to our site. Four months and we barely had any viewership, which made me wonder if this was at all worth it.

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Hot Rod Fuel Hose – The Company

Recently, I found out that there is this small start up company that was making a product based on real needs of the Hot Rod community. (Actually, I won a free Sticker and that led me to their story.)

These guys had found a need, based on their own issues in building a project and decided that it would be a great idea to make a product that was superior. Below, you can read their story and see why they did it, for yourself.


Customs N Classics does not support one product over the other, rather, strives to share the stories of those in the automotive world for others to read and make informed decisions.
While we may write a feature, or review a part or tool, it is in no way to be interpreted that we feel one is better or more deserving than another, unless we specifically state it. With that in mind, please enjoy the following article, as it is derived from what they have already written on their web site.
If you enjoy Customs N Classics articles, please consider a donation to help us with the costs associated in running this site.

This is their story, who they are and why they feel they will succeed.

So, Justin Gorzitza, tell me a bit about yourself, why you started this.

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Check them out at hotrodfuelhose.com

High school was when I first inherited my dad’s 1980 Chevy C10, boy did I ever have big plans for this thing. At 15 when I started working on this puppy I wanted it to have the best of everything and spent way too much money to try and make that happen. I also had no clue what the hell I was doing and a lack of confidence in how to make it happen. I took a lot of stuff apart including the engine, transmission, and the rest of the drive train. Spent too much money at the speed shop and then didn’t know how to get the thing back together again.

It Sat and Sat and Sat, I got married, had a Son, and It followed me as I moved multiple times but never really got the time or the desire to get back onto this project until 2015 when I finally got serious again. My desires changed at this time and I thought it would be really impressive to rebuild this back to a stock look and still be a reliable driver. You can check out my build thread on 67-72chevytrucks.com The idea was to impress my dad with this truck that looks just like when he bought it.

1980 C10 by Hot Rod fuel hose

So, what made you get into fuel hoses and lines? Why would that even be an issue?

I had been reading lot’s on fuel injection over the years and considered installing a Mega Squirt at one time and converting some type of other injection system to my 383 stroker that I had built, but was always turned off by how much work would have needed to go into learning how the mega squirt and fuel injection system worked.

The year I started back seriously on finishing this project a company called FiTech released an affordable fuel injection system and it had great reviews and was gaining a following of automotive enthusiasts. So I gave it a shot and ordered one up.

I went down to the local speed shop and was seeking out ways to install my fuel system –

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A sample of their fuel line and connections

Well, they want almost as much cash for the rubber stainless steel braided line as I paid for my EFI FiTech system. That’s not right! I thought I could do better than that, my gut told me so.

I reached out to a ton of manufacturers and ordered samples, tested the product, and negotiated like crazy.

Once I had a product I believed in, at a price I felt is better suited to people like me, we ordered some. A LOT of hose and A LOT of fittings – probably too much but we believed so strongly that there is an opportunity for a High Quality PTFE braided hose in the market with awesome looking AN fittings that we committed to taking the idea forward.


A side note, so everyone is up on the terms and what the products are.

What is PTFE hose and what is it used for?

PTFE is a specific chemical composition commonly referred to as Teflon. We chose to only offer PTFE lined AN braided hoses due to better chemical resistance with common automotive fluids and specifically the higher ethanol content gasoline that is offered today.

It is most commonly used for fuel lines and transmission cooler lines. Many guys use it for LS swaps, EFI installations, and good old reliable carbs. Typically fitting adapters are needed to convert to an AN style fitting.

What are the fittings made from?

Our PTFE hose end fittings are made from 6061 Aluminum alloy and anodized to give it a sharp look. We also engrave our logo to really make them pop.


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A close up look at a fitting with their logo.

Ok, so, you have your fittings, you have your hoses, what’s next?

Well, we are still a new business selling PTFE hose for Hot Rods so we want to do a great job at getting our name out. Sales so far have been very strong and in fact above expectations. We have had to order new product already thanks to support from our Awesome customers and we look forward to becoming a premier supplier of Hot Rod fuel hose and AN Fittings and continuing to search out new opportunities for finding quality products at great prices so we can all continue to enjoy this hobby we have (and that our wives definitely don’t like) and I hope you will all support us and let your friends and hot rodding buddies know we exist as that has definitely been the biggest challenge in this venture so far.

This is a new company with some great reviews already. (Check out their reviews!)

Want to contact them? Check it out!

Email us at info@hotrodfuelhose.com

Contact us on FACEBOOK

Call US (866) 797-0384.

Let them know you saw them here. We don’t get anything from it, but, it would help them to know that they are out there.


Customs N Classics store – Amazon Store showcasing some tools, some models, some “vintage” metal signs and some automotive books

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2017 Apple Scrapple Festival Car Show – Bridgeville, DE

On Saturday, October 14th, my family and I decided to attend the 2017 Apple Scrapple Festival Car Show in Bridgeville Delaware.

This year marked the 26th annual festival in this little town. We have been going on and off for the last 17 years we have been married, but, my wife has been going longer that that, as she has lived on the Eastern Shore of Maryland longer that I have.

Now, as you can guess, this festival is centered around apples and scrapple. (For those of you who may not know what scrapple is, it is scraps of pork, seasoned and cooked and put in a mold.)

The festival is a Friday evening and Saturday event that includes vendors of every kind and plenty of food vendors, with an emphasis on apple foods and scrapple sandwiches. (Again, if you really want to know what scrapple is and my explanation just isn’t enough, ask google.)

Now, this event also hosts a decent sized car show, which is what I will be sharing with you in this article.

You can see the videos, basically, 3 videos that I edited from one large video. This is just a quick walk-through of the show, to give you and idea of the size. I am also adding all of the photos, so you can see some of the best ones there. (All of the cars/trucks were very good, but, I only had so much time.)

Video Part 1

Video Part 2

Video Part 3


Here are the pictures for you to go through.


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Denton, MD Cruise-In – June 2017

20170609_200344On June 9, 2017, Denton, MD hosted there June Cruise-in. This event happens from 6 to 9 pm and is located in downtown Denton. There is food and music available, not to mention, there is a town of shops you can browse in between looking at the cars.

(Photos of this cruise are at the bottom)

(You can view the video of the Ocean City Cruise here.)

Cruise-in plaqueI took my oldest son, Aaron and my youngest son, Benjamin with me. They were tasked with taking some pictures while I spoke with some of the owners. We got great new contacts and had some great conversations. I have new business cards I have been handing out, thanks to Aaron, who helped me make them.20170609_195010

We got there a little before 7 and walked the length of the street before I started taking pictures. I didn’t count how many were there, but, it took over an hour to get photos of all of them and to have se20170609_194550veral great conversations. These guys were here for some socialization and to just enjoy the evening showing others their car and seeing the other cars..20170609_194708

Most cars and trucks there were pre 1970, however, there was definitely a presence for later models and they all seemed to show well. It was a small crowd of people and I did see some cars leaving before and during my time there, but, for the first cruise of the year, (The May one was canceled due to rain.) I thought it was pretty good.

 

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The Jeep Wrangler, an American icon

The Jeep Wrangler is an iconic vehicle. From a quarter mile away this modern dinosaur stands out like a sore thumb with its close-set round headlamps, seven-slot grill and goofy fender flares that stick out on either side like Dumbo’s ears.

Over the last two decades, Jeeps have certainly evolved. Solid axles gave way to independent suspensions which offered improved ride quality, complex traction controls, and all-wheel drive systems were introduced, and cabin comfort has been improved dramatically.

The Jeeps of today bear little more than a passing resemblance to those of old, say for one: the venerable Wrangler.

Origin

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The original YJ Wrangler, released in 1985, was the next evolution of the original Civilian Jeep. The Wrangler was born from the original Willy’s MB template but was further refined and more civilized.

First introduced in early 1985 under the American Motors Corporation, the first Wrangler, dubbed the YJ in Canada, bore a close resemblance to the CJ-7 it replaced.

The first generation Wrangler was made famous in 1993 when the vehicle appeared in “Jurassic Park.”

Despite popular belief, the Wrangler was not a direct descendent of the original Willy’s MB. The original Wrangler was, instead, the amalgamation of the Jeep Cherokee XJ and the Jeep CJ. The core principles of the vehicle remained unchanged, but the Wrangler inherited the XJ’s niceties, including its interior accents, transmission, and powertrain. The end result was a more civilized Jeep that was just as capable as before.

Over the last three generations, the Wrangler has continued this trend. The latest generation offers premium features such as heated seats and premium sound systems, but it has retained the classic styling and every bit of the original’s capability.

Practically prehistoric

Compared to modern vehicles with their aluminum unibodies, independent suspension, and fuel-efficient transmissions the Wrangler certainly, doesn’t fit the mold. With its solid front and rear axles, a traditional transfer case and a body on frame design, the Wrangler is practically prehistoric.

This makes explaining why I love this vehicle to my friends and family a little tricky because it’s easy to come off sounding a little crazy.

Driving a Wrangler is an experience in itself. Off-road, the Wrangler is an absolute pleasure to drive. It’s confidence inspiring on the rough stuff. Unfortunately, everything that makes this vehicle so good off road, makes it painful to drive on the pavement.

It’s slow, loud and harsh. It could go on and on and list everything that makes this a terrible car, but none of the matters, because I can’t help but smile when I drive it.

But, people don’t understand it. They see these quirky retro SUVs at the dealership and think it’s like any other car.

I’ll often tell people the Wrangler is an amazing vehicle, but if you never leave the pavement there are far better vehicles out there.

A rare breed

Jeep Wranger

The Wrangler’s suspension makes it unique today. Solid front axles are no longer found on any other American made SUV. – Alex Bertha Photo

Today, the Wrangler’s solid front axle makes it a rare breed.

This Jeep’s suspension actually hasn’t changed a whole lot since the very very first military Jeep rolled off the assembly line.

In fact, if I’m not mistaken, the Wrangler is the only American made SUV on the market today that has retained a solid front axle.

This is for good reason, solid axles aren’t well known for comfort and control. Independent suspensions have long since replaced solid axles entirely in just about every vehicle on the market today except for full-size SUVs and trucks.

So if solid front axles are so bad, you’d think that after 75-years, Jeep would have made the Wrangler a little more civilized, but they didn’t. The answer why comes down to articulation.

Solid axles are unparalleled when it comes to articulation. Better articulation means your tires will spend more time on the ground moving you forward and less time spinning in the air.

Making the move to IFS in the Wrangler would have meant compromising the vehicle’s legendary off-road prowess, and risked alienating the vehicle’s core audience.

The Wrangler in its essence is a refusal to compromise. No modern vehicle has stayed truer to its origins than the Wrangler, making it a true American Icon.

Thoughts?

  • What do you think of the Jeep Wrangler?
  • Do you think it’s an American icon?
  • What other vehicles do you think deserve this distinction?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Alex Bertha Photo via Unsplash 


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Tobias Mann is a community journalist and author of the Adventure Bent blog. Each week, he writes about hiking, camping, overland travel and other off-road adventures including one Misadventure in the Iron Range where he nearly lost his Jeep.