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):

Latest Postings

QUESTION

I have seen several photos of a pair or "twin" 1941 chevy coupes that have been converted to 3 windows. The captions say that you and Sam made them for a movie... Do you know what movie they had been used in? Thanks... HyFire

ANSWER

High School Confidential.

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QUESTION

I would like to know if Ford had any problems with you building the Batmobile out of one of their old concept cars. I know they were very picky about destroying most of their concept cars so they couldn't be reused, I've always wondered how you got away with that, and if Ford had a problem with it.

ANSWER

Audio File Only.

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QUESTION

Hello George... big fan of your stuff here. Could you explain to me your involvement with Cadillac flower car designs? I have a friend who owns a car that looks like a cadillac el camino. He says you had something to do with it. He says that there was a lot of famous hands involved with it's creation. It's called the Cadimeano. It looks like it has a cameo pickup mixed into a caddillac.

ANSWER

Audio File Only.

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QUESTION

In the fifties you kustomized the Cadillac LeMans concept car. You later also created the Batmobile out of the Lincoln Futura concept vehicle. Since these are both unique and rare automobiles, I'm wondering if you ever thought about kustomizing a Tucker Torpedo? Myself, I'm in the middle of kuztomizing one of the 1948 Tucker Torpedo Movie Car Replicas. If I had visited you in your shop back in 1958 with my Tucker, asking you to turn it into a full blooded kustom, what would you have done to my car?

ANSWER

Audio File Only.

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QUESTION

As do many of us, I greatly enjoy the opportunity to see photos from your collection of the early years of your career, and the great kustoms that came through your shop. Do you plan to publish any more books that would include more on the early years? If not, would you consider a page on your website where you could share some of these? I am very interested in pictures of the Jesse Lopez '41, the "Snooky" Janich '41, and others from this era, especially those pictures that have not been widely seen before. Thank you for your contribution to the hobby, and for agreeing to answer our questions in this forum.

ANSWER

Audio File Only.

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QUESTION

what happened to the "barrister" corvette/sportscar? did you ever sell any kits?

ANSWER

Audio File Only.

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QUESTION

what other kustomizer did you admire the most?

ANSWER

Audio File Only.

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QUESTION

what is your favorite car that ever came out of barris kustoms? famous or non. and why?

ANSWER

Audio File Only.

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QUESTION

i would like to know the color green that was on sam's 49 mercury. was it metalic or nonmetallic? also, what did he make that wonderfull grill bar out of?

ANSWER

The color was a metalic, dark kelly green.

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QUESTION

what where your and sams thoughts on the then new 49 mercury? did you like the car? did you think that it would turn into the icon it is today or was it just another new car?

ANSWER

Audio File Only.

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QUESTION

I have a '79 Corvette with a stock rear suspension plus a 330 pound fiberglass rear spring and aluminum plates to firm up the rear crossmember. I have looked at the various 6 link rears and your 5 link but they seem to be too much for my street driven car. My wheels are 17 inches with modern low profile tires. Would I see a handling improvement if I were to lower the inside mounting point for the rear lower control arms by 1/2 to 1 inch with no other changes?

ANSWER

Audio File Only.

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QUESTION

My favorite cars of yours was the Python, a Falcon customized into a fastback sports job. It was on the cover of the Spotlite book, Custom Compacts (pics from that issue below). I never saw the car, except in that magazine, which I still have. I always wondered about the color - it looks black or dark blue in some photos, red in others, and two-tone fade on the cover of Custom Compacts.

ANSWER

Audio File Only.

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QUESTION

My favorite cars of yours was the Python, a Falcon customized into a fastback sports job. It was on the cover of the Spotlite book, Custom Compacts (pics from that issue below). I never saw the car, except in that magazine, which I still have. Do you know if it still exists?

ANSWER

Audio File Only.

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QUESTION

Does Isky offer any 'cheater' cams in it's hydraulic flat tappet line for small Chevys?

ANSWER

Audio File Only.

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QUESTION

My favorite cars of yours was the Python, a Falcon customized into a fastback sports job. It was on the cover of the Spotlite book, Custom Compacts (pics from that issue below). I never saw the car, except in that magazine, which I still have. Was that car done for the Ford Custom Car Caravan?

ANSWER

Yes.

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QUESTION

My question pertains to the current resurgance of the "old School" styles. Call it "traditional rodding" or "rat rodding" or what have you. I'm positive that your roadster is a source of inspiration for many.

ANSWER

Audio File Only.

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QUESTION

Iv seen your roadster in person several times ( thanks for sharing) and iv always wondered about something. Iv never seen any early in progress photos. Was it driven in progress ? and how did it escape being updated over the years? With things like, solid wheels - later flathead or ?.......... __________________

ANSWER

Audio File Only.

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QUESTION

Ed, do you remember using a 54 Ford, with fiberglass flip up front end, straight axle front, and Pontiac rearend with ladder bars, to test your cam grinds? I purchased this car in 82 while in High school, and I was told this use to be your car. Regretably, the car is long gone, but I still have the fiberglass front end, and one of these days I want to re-create the car. Thanks, Brad

ANSWER

Audio File Only.

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QUESTION

I can't imagine starting to design a camshaft for increasing HP in a motor. In this day and age of computers and dyno's it's probably easier than it used to be. How did you test your cams after design; did you have the luxury of using a dyno or was it all "I think that's better than the last one?" How many grinds went into testing before the final for the 400jr?

ANSWER

Audio File Only.

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QUESTION

As a New Jersey native I have always been a big fan the East Coast styled hot rods of the fifities. In your opinion what were the main influences and origins of the chaneled east coast style? Did drag racing influence the way you guys built your cars in the fifties? Thanks for this great opportunity Mr. Nuemann!

ANSWER

Audio file only.

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