Ask the Expert

On this page, we hosted a feature whereby hot rodders could ask a personal question of our Expert of the Month via e-mail. The Expert, most often a pioneer, would answer the question over the telephone to us, and we would then post an audio clip on this page (see below). Unfortunately, we have had to end the feature, primarily because most of the pioneers did not want to answer a question “off the cuff”, but wanted instead to think it through, write it out, and then read it. We felt we were asking too much of them. In addition, many questions we received were not about hot rod history or traditional builds, but more about a muscle car or street rod (or even a question better put to Click and Clack!). So we were forever writing e-mails to say, “sorry, we can’t ask them that one.”

At any rate, we now have a nice archive of questions, many answered by the pioneers themselves, and we hope you will find this fun and useful.

Thanks to all rodders who participated in Ask the Expert!

Browse our Q & A Archives

Category: Expert: Keyword(s):

Category: General

QUESTION

I would like to know where John Athans Model "A" is. I thought it was at Wally Parks museum,but when I called there the young lady I spoke to said she thought it was still at the Smithsonian. I am trying to plan a trip to see this car and several others. Any help you could provide concerning the location at this time would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Morris

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QUESTION

What's up fred? This question is not for you in particular, I've been trying to contact someone from the Emperors car club in California. My pops used to be in the club about 15-20 years ago, he lost contact with them and I've had a hard time trying to track them down. I've heard their still around, but havent been able to varify. I would greatly appreciate any feedback or info. Thanks a lot!!!!!

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QUESTION

Hello; Do you know if Al Segrini is still racing, and if he can be contacted? Thank you; Marty Ulman

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QUESTION

On page 22 of 57 there is a question about the Ala Cart. I listened to the answer expecting to hear that the Ala Cart is now stored in the Petersen Museum "vault" as that is where I saw it two weeks ago. Is that another "Ala Cart"?? It seemed to be the one that I saw "back in the day" -- but, of course, as we grow older memories fade and it could be a "rendition" of the pickup called the Ala Cart -- Thanks for the forum -- it is pretty cool to read lots so much history - Bob Amaral

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QUESTION

Anyone know where i can find period Photo(s)/Artical of a Hot Rod Model A FORD Briggs Sedan built up in the 50's 60's. I have one i built up in the late 70s and would like to redo it in early style copying a vintage machine.

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QUESTION

I have seen several photos on the web showing the Hudson modified roadster built by Jim White of the Albaba club in the 1940s. This is the same person as Jim Harrell of Harrell Engines in LA of the late-1940s and 1950s. He manufactured "Harrell Los Angeles" heads and intake manifolds. I can't find any reference to him under either of his names--White or Harrell--on the AHRF site. Am I just missing something?

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QUESTION

There are a lot of real drag racing and hot rod pioneers that your sight does not list. My god friend Ed Donovan who build many drag race engine blocks and the firts to build an all aluminum 417 CID whiched replaced the Chrysler hemi.Don Yeats,who was the first guy to go 144mph at Santa Ana,California with an ARDUN Ford.( shortly after Art Chrisman went 140mph at the same track. Myself, Sonny Balcaen who the the fastest GMC twelve port nitro powered dragster.How do we get this information on your sight? All the best,Raoul"Sonny"Balcaen

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QUESTION

what will cause a 302 roller moter to pop when you try to give it all that it has it is not my car it is my father in laws i am just trying to help him get it right when he bought it it had a fuel pressure gauge and the person he received it from said that it used to be hooked up to NOS i was wandering if that has anything to do with it

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QUESTION

I just bought a 51 Chevy Deluxe,and cant find any vendors that sale parts for them ,any ideas,also what do you have to do to convert from 6 volt to 12 volt.Thanks Larry

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QUESTION

Dear Mr. Senter, I'm sending you this message on behalf of a friend of mine Dick Roads from Marion,Ohio. Dick spent some time racing with you while he was in the Navy and stationed in San Diego during the late 40's or early 50's. He had a black 34 Ford Roadster which spent some time in your shop and was drag raced at some of the local strips. I go to Indianapolis Motor Speedway every year with his son for 500 qualifying and heard you were there this past May and was hoping to catch up with you there. Dick speaks very highly of you and his time out there in California and has shared many wonderful stories with me. He has mentioned coming with us to the Speedway next May if he knew you were going to be there and I know alot of time has passed by but maybe the two of you can do a little catching up if I can get you two back together. Thanks for you time and I hope you have a Merry Christmas. Sincerely, Mark Schertzer

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QUESTION

Greetings, I am curious, was that your "T" in the movie "The Lively Set"?? Thanks, Joe

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QUESTION

Hi what is the camber,caster and toe settings for a solid axle having split wish bones and with a cross steer set up that is in a hot rod?...It has a spring over axle.

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QUESTION

Hi, I looking o build a rat rod. Im a welder and a fabricator.I,m a little confused about the front end with the spring over, under,in front or behind the axle. Can you explain this and the pros and cons. Thanks

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QUESTION

This is off the subject of traditional hot rodding, but I am trying to verify an account given to me by a customer of the shop I work at. We are working on a 1954 Doretti Swallow. This particular car, as told to me by the owner of the vehicle, was one of the first 12 cars off the line. Again goining by what the owner has told me, the first 12 vehicles were sent to you to be tuned, then sent out to be raced. I was wondering if you have any recollection of this, and if it actually happened. I would also be interested in any speifics you could offer up, if the story is indeed true. Thank you.

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QUESTION

Do you remember a guy who used to crew for you named Ron Jelick if so he is a good friend of mine and I would like to surprise him if you could call him. he would shit !!

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QUESTION

I HAVE A 32 FORD SEDAN,283 CHEVE POWER. THIS CAR WAS BUILT 20 PLUS YEARS AGO AN I BELIEVE IT HAS A F-1 STEERING BOX.I BOUGHT YOUR STEERING BOOK AND FROM THE PICTURES DECIDED THAT WAS IT. I BELIEVE I HAVE A FORD STEERING COLUMN ATTACHED.IT HAS THE SHIFTER ON IT,3 SPEED AUTO,WITH EMERG. FLASHER SWITCH ON RIGHT SIDE.IT IS A TILT.IT HAS TWO OPENINGS ON THE SHAFT ON TOP. CAN YOU GIVE ME WHAT TO LOOK FOR TO DETERMINE IF THIS IS A FORD OR CHEVE SHAFT.IS THERE A SOURCE FOR F-1 PARTS FOR THE FUTURE? THANKS AB

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QUESTION

Tommy, you are still my favorite racer, new or old. My question is pretty simple... who was the first person to give you the nickname "T.V."? We know how you got it, but who gave it to you?

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QUESTION

Your involvement in the Indy and midget cars early on was remarkable. Indy cars in the early days seem to have roots closer to the grass-roots/mainstream car hobby. When you started building those cars were they concidered as exotic as an Indy car is today not only in money but in design, technology and execution? How do you feel about how the car hobby has turned out? Do you still follow Indy racing and/or midgets? Lastly, do you have any stories about getting by with what you had available on hand (Jerry-riggin') that turned out good, bad or humorous.

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QUESTION

What are you working on for this upcoming Bonneville meet?

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QUESTION

I have heard you refer to cam duration as the "fifth cycle" . could you tell us a little about that statement.

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