Hot Rod Power Tour 2018 Lessons

It seems like the cars we drive today, rarely if ever give us problems. When I was growing up, back in the ‘60s, it wasn’t unusual to have flat tires, overheating or other mechanical issues when taking a trip.

We took two cars on the Power Tour this year, a ’70 Corvette and a ’65 Tempest.  The Tempest made it thru with flying colors…unfortunately the Vette didn’t do quite as well. Just because your classic does well around town and you may have taken a long trip in it, that doesn’t mean you will not have problems on the Power Tour. I saw two prevalent problems among the cars on the tour.
 
The first issue was that many of the cars couldn’t keep up with the highway traffic.  The normal traffic on the road was running at 70 to 80 miles per hour.  Back in the day, 55 or 60 MPH was plenty and there weren’t as many highways to travel on.
 
 
85 MPH 2200 RPMThe best upgrade you can make to your classic is to re-gear it with an overdrive transmission.  Our ’70 Vette was equipped with a 6 speed TREMEC® Magnum transmission and the Tempest used a 5 speed TREMEC TKO transmission. These cars cruised effortlessly at 70 to 80 MPH, got great gas mileage, and easily kept up with or passed the normal highway traffic.
 
These are not difficult installations or upgrades.  The Tempest was converted from an automatic transmission to the TREMEC TKO 5 speed in the days before the tour.  In fact, it was completed the day before the tour began and performed flawlessly.  The TKO 5 speed made a huge difference in the performance of the car.  Contact Jeff@shiftsst.com or Gene@shiftsst.com to see how easily this can be done for your classic.
 
 
The second most common problem we saw was overheating.  The Power Tour will really test your cooling system because there is a lot of stop and go driving…not to mention waiting in long lines with the engine running.
 
Although the Vette had never experienced an overheating problem before, it certainly did on the trip. 
 
 
We tried lots of options, even propping the hood up with a plastic water bottle to allow the heat to escape…but the bottle just melted and the temperature continued to rise. Eventually we had to just stop and let it cool off until the next time. This can really put a damper on your fun.
 
Champion Cooling Systems
 
 
Champion Cooling SystemsBryan’s car, the ’65 Tempest had experienced cooling problems in the past.  So, prior to leaving, he installed a new Champion Cooling Systems aluminum radiator and cooling fans in his car.
 
This totally solved the Tempest’s cooling problems.  So, I already have a new Champion Cooling System ordered for the Vette.  When we install it, we will create a video showing you how easy the installation is.
 
If you would like to put a new Champion Cooling System in your car, please contact jeff@shiftsst.com or gene@shiftsst.com.  You will be very pleased with the quality of the equipment and the pricing.