August 2, 2019

The Gear Jam Vintage Drags Fall Nationals and Eckler’s NE GA Swap Meet is Saturday, August 31st at the Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, GA! This month, we’re pleased to be hosting the Georgia C-10 Chevy Truck Club—we’ll be letting them in for free as both vendors and spectators, so if you’ve got Chevy truck parts […]


JP’s Muscle Cars
Investment Quality Vehicles
Restoration – Parts

NuTech Refinishing
Jefferson, Georgia

August 2, 2019 Swap Meet Coordinator

The Gear Jam Vintage Drags Fall Nationals and Eckler’s NE GA Swap Meet is Saturday, August 31st at the Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, GA!

This month, we’re pleased to be hosting the Georgia C-10 Chevy Truck Club—we’ll be letting them in for free as both vendors and spectators, so if you’ve got Chevy truck parts to sell, or need Chevy truck parts, you should make attending this swap meet a priority!Everyone driving a vintage or enthusiast truck of any make or model, will get a $10 Eckler’s gift certificate this month.

Vendor Set-up is 6-7am and is just $30 for all the space you want.
Vendor General Admission is 7am and is just $20 for all the space you want.
Spectator entry is 7am and is only six bucks.

The Vagabonds: Henry, Thomas, Harvey and bad roads.

“What are you reading” used to be a pretty common question when friends would get together. That seems to have fallen by the wayside in these Internet times, but I still read a ton.

One of my friends just told me about “The Vagabonds—the story of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison’s 10 Year Road Trip” by Jeff Guinn. I’m 190 pages in to the 253 page book, and I’ve enjoyed every sentence.

The book is very well researched and the author gives a lot of relevant historical context to each chapter. (And though he didn’t make the cover blurb, Harvey Firestone was an integral part of the trips as well.)

Edison and Ford were two of the best known people in the nation, and their “camping” trips during the Model T era of the last century were covered by newspapers coast-to-coast. It’s a fantastic insight into the country, early motoring, the roads, and the men who helped shape our nation during the era.

I’m a sucker for road trips—I’ve bought one-way plane tickets and driven vintage cars back home three different times (’62 Suburban/Joplin MO; ’61 Corvair wagon/Chicago Illinois; ’73 Duster/Los Angeles), have driven to Bonneville twice, Newfoundland Canada to crew for a Mustang in the Targa Newfoundland, Colorado a couple years ago to buy a transfer case and PTO winch set-up for the ‘62 K10 project, and drove my ’61 Suburban 100,000 miles through 20 states before the deer put it in the pasture too many years ago now.

My road-tripping days aren’t done, and books like this and John Steinbeck’s “Travels With Charlie” are awesome inspiration. If you’re into road trips, history, camping and vintage cars, you’ll really enjoy “The Vagabonds.”

NuTech, Nu Products, Nu Business, Nu Employees Needed
NuTech Soda blasting has been in the business for… I don’t know, exactly. I know they were around when I was still working at YearOne, and that’s between 10-15 years ago now. They’ve grown and expanded into new digs in Jefferson, and they’re growing again: NuTech is now the manufacturer and international distributor of portable soda blasting equipment, as well as a distributor for blasting soda.

They’re looking for help of all kinds, from assembling soda machines, to blasting parts. If you’re looking for a job in the industry with a company that’s going places, give them a call. If you’re already in the industry, and are looking to get into soda blasting (including fire damage restoration, mold remediation and building restoration), call for information on their equipment.

Between building and shipping blasting equipment, the guys blasted some early Bronco parts, a ’69 Thunderbird, a ’76 Corvette, a really clean ’55 Chevy (that DIDN’T have any surprises lurking under paint and filler!) and a ’65 Lemans that had been turned into a GTO years back with bondo and is being turned back into a Lemans. They also cleaned up a set of vintage American Racing wheels, and for an encore blasted a 30-foot car hauler and then undercoated the bottom side. (which makes me REALLY want a nice covered storage area for my own car trailer, so I can take it to them and have it blasted, then undercoated, painted and the deck bed-linered to wrap up a nearly 20 year project) And I still haven’t gotten up there to pick up my rear bumper and roll bar for the ’76 Power Wagon… Fortunately, I had them prime the pieces, so I don’t have to worry about them rusting again.

NuTech Soda Blasting, Jefferson, Georgia; (706) 367-8107, or check out their website at

Some Old, Something New, Everything at Walden’s is Cool.
It’s always cool to hear what’s going on at Lamar Walden Automotive! The variety is always remarkable. This month they did a 348/4bbl restoration motor, a Caddy CTS-V (one of my favorite new cars!) came in for heads and a cam and was dyno-tuned, a 2012 ZR1 Corvette got headers, and a 2001 Camaro got a fresh LS1.

They’ve always been known for building engines, but this “engine shop” has several lifts and has always handled suspension builds and some restoration work, too—this month they did a tune-up and brakes on a ’61 Corvette, a nearly-full mechanical remove-and-replace on a ’55 Chevy—engine, trans, rear, and suspension upgrades; and a ’62 Impala came in for a 9-inch rear end build and swap, along with a serpentine belt kit on the engine.

Race engine builds covered a Duaramx diesel truck-pull engine, an LS427 road race motor, and final mock-up of a 572-cubic inch 409 (that’s not a typo!).

They’re also working on a 350 Pontiac engine, and restored some more aluminum stuff including a 2×4 409 intake. (I’ll be dropping a finned Corvette valve cover off with them to get a fin and the lip for the gasket repaired).

50 years as one of the top engine builders in the South doesn’t just happen… in fact, 50 years for ANY engine builder doesn’t happen, UNLESS you’re one of the best. Lamar Walden Automotive is in Doraville, Georgia; (770) 449-0315,

I Still Have My Marshmallows!
Thanks everyone for taking your old tires back home with you last month—because of you, a bag of innocent marshmallows was able to make it through another month. If taking your tires home with you after the swap meet saves just one marshmallow, it’s worth it!   (but I still have my pointy sticks in the truck, so if catch you leaving tires at the swap meet, the pointy sticks are gonna get used while those tires bathe your yard in a nice warm glow…maybe those pointy sticks will get used on a marshmallow, maybe not…)

JP Muscle Cars
JP’s Muscle Cars is building cars for customers these days, and the projects are pretty cool!

This month they started on a ‘66 Impala 427, 4 speed build that’s getting a Concept One Front Runner kit, Classic Auto Air, new instruments by Dakota Digital, Hotchkis suspension upgrades and four-wheel Wilwood brakes, making the car a really nice modern daily driver.

Their own 1957 Belair convertible came back from paint shop with a beautiful coat of black paint; a 300-horse 350, overdrive and the rest of the goodies will make it a wonderful daily ride they hope to be in by the end of September.

They also just got in a ’68 C10 short wheelbase truck with fresh black paint and red interior; it’s currently engine-less, and they’re planning to build it with a new LT engine and all the rest of the modern stuff they like in vintage vehicles. “It’s a nice truck, and I might consider selling it now” before they finish it. If you’ve always wanted one, this might be your opportunity.

He’s also got a few other vehicles for sale: a ’64 GMC Wrecker (First offer over $2000 takes it home!), a ’67 Impala wagon with 454, overdrive, cold air, new front suspension and disc brakes. It’s satin black and a real nice daily driver.

And he’s also got an original-paint ’71 Camaro with an LS7 454 crate engine, 4-speed and 4.88 gears. “It was a drag car from the ‘70s, and I’ve never seen one with a better body.”

If you’ve got a car already, and need someone to finish it for you, install the wiring, upgrade the suspension, convert the AC system, upgrade the cooling, or any of the hundreds of other winter projects we do to our cars, give them a call and book your appointment!

JP’s Muscle Cars is at 113 Hammond Drive in Monroe, GA: Call (770) 207-9570 or visit their website at, or stop by and see them at the swap meet.

Gear Jam
Well, the Gear Jam wasn’t all I’d hoped it could be. (I’ll let you all run that through your own translator)

Looking at making a change or two to the fall event, so keep an eye on our Facebook Page and your email box.

It’s all a matter of perspective I don’t want to be rich—I just want enough to stare off into the distance while filling the tank on the dually.

Bud’s Garage

Real car-talk for real car guys. Coming discussions include Ford’s Electric F150 that towed a 1.25 million pound train. (I want to know what size bolts they used on the tow hitch), changes at the tag office (I’m super-certain they’ve made it easier… SUPER sure they have…) Big Daddy Don Garlits hits 187mph in an electric draster (Pretty sure motorsports will never see his equal), Color Works by Duff unveils their 2019 SEMA build (Pretty cool shop in Braselton—check them out on Facebook), and the 2020 Silverado 1500 gets a 3.0 Inline 6 turbodiesel and 30mpg! (I’m not a big “New Engine” guy, but I’d drop that in my ’62 K10 in a hot second)

Tune in every Saturday for insights on the factory offerings, racing, the aftermarket and general automotive buffoonery!

The Fastest Car-Guy Talk on the Radio! Saturdays, noon-1pm, AM 550/FM 102.9

Winter Storage for your Hot Rod
It’s Almost August, but winter storage season is right around the corner. My buddy Chuck Keene has some storage spaces still available in his large, heated building in Jefferson. In a secluded neighborhood off the beaten path in Jefferson, the building has a gated drive, alarm, restroom (with hot water for washing hands), and outlets at each parking spot for your battery tender. No more heavy work is being done in the building, so there’s no messy welding, grinding or fab work to generate dust and grime.

Available for temporary and long term storage, your car cover and insurance required. He’ll also store For Sale cars and will have them viewed by appointment approved by the owner.

Spaces are limited, so if it were me, I’d call him now to secure your space—winter will be here before you know it.

Call 678-227-2857 to lock it in.

2019 Dates

Gear Jam Vintage Drags, Car Show and Swap Meet: TBD
Oct 5th Featuring Pedal To The Metal vintage bicycle swap
Nov 2nd
Dec 7th

July 31, 2019 Swap Meet Coordinator

Next Eckler’s NE GA Swap Meet is Saturday, September 1st at the Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, GA!

This newsletter is a bit later than I wanted (my truck and car trailer got a lot of work the last week, and it ate into more important things, like this!), but with the holiday and tomorrow, you’ve still got a day and a half to load up your trailer. is calling for 40-percent chance of rain, which historically means we’re not going to see any during the show: I don’t want to say “40-percent is always dry”… so I’ll say “40-percent is almost always dry.”  Just two days ago, their 3-day forecast for this weekend was 60-percent Friday, 50-percent Saturday, 60-percent Sunday. Now it’s 40/40/20. So we’re gonna be fine.

Priority gate opens from 6-7am and is $30 for all the space you want; Vendor General Admission is from 7am and is $20 for all the space you want, spectator admission is just $6.

Vendors get one helper in for free (because lifting engine blocks and transmissions alone sucks). Extra helpers are $6.
There’s no addition charge to park your vintage or enthusiast vehicle in the cruise-in area behind the grandstands, but we ask that you don’t put For Sale signs in the windows—everything for sale is on the aisles and is $30 or $20 to sell. Driving in as a spectator and selling your car isn’t fair to the rest of the vendors.

Drive a vintage or enthusiast Ford/Mercury into the Cruise-In this month, and receive a $10 Eckler’s gift certificate!

Stone Stock To Full-Race At Lamar Walden Automotive
This month, the guys at Lamar Walden Automotive covered the full spectrum of Chevy performance.
They started with a stone-stock restoration build on a 348 W-motor, and followed it with a 409 street engine stroked to 482 cubic inches.

After that, they worked on a small block Gasser engine for one of the cars on the SE Gasser Association circuit, and then a 383 Chevy to be installed with a 5-speed and A/C in a ’55 Chevy.

Rounding it out was an LS7 427 build.

They also did several intake manifold restorations, including a vintage Edelbrock big block Cross Ram. I’ve mentioned their intake restoration here a lot, and it’s still one of the best processes I’ve seen for any kind of restoration. I’ve had them repair and restore several intakes for me over the years, as well as an rare Edmunds finned aluminum head for a Plymouth Flat 6, all coming out concours-quality. I’ve got a pair of Weiand 322 Nailhead intakes I need to have restored, and one of the Corvette finned valve covers I picked up at the swap meet last month needs a little repair done to it as well, so I’ll be making a trip up there one of these days.
It’s 50th year in business, Lamar Walden Automotive is in Doraville, Georgia; (770) 449-0315,

We’ve been over this countless times, and I still have to deal with it a few times a year—most recently last month. So I’m instituting a new policy:  If I catch you leaving tires, I’m going to follow you home with them, stack them up in your driveway, and set them on fire.
At 3am.
On a Wednesday.
OR, you can save me, you and the fire department a whole bunch of hassle and just take your tires back home with you and stick them out behind your shop to start a mosquito farm like the rest of us.

If you happen to notice any fellow vendors looking like they might have “forgotten” to load all their tires before trying to slide out at the end of the day, I’d appreciate it if you’d point out the error of their ways.
Or throw a cylinder head through their windshield for me. Either/Or, I’m flexible.

Blast Capital USA
NuTech blasted a couple Corvettes this month, and at the other end of the spectrum soda-blasted some vintage Ford Bronco bodies, and media-blasted the frames and suspensions. One of the bodies had a steel hood with a fiberglass scoop bonded to it: these are the square-body Broncos from the ‘60s and ‘70s, with that common era-correct Bronco scoop. Blasting with soda meant the scoop didn’t have to be separated from the hood.
I found a vintage bolt-in roll bar for the ’76 Power Wagon project, along with a good hood and dropped them off, along with a correct rear step bumper. I’d found another hood, but blasting revealed a couple rust holes in it: I found a third hood and did the “Repair versus Solid Original Metal” cost/benefit, and opted for solid original. The cost of stripping the original paint and surface rust off the roll bar versus doing it by hand with sand paper landed the bar at NuTech as well. After hunting for over a year for a good rear step bumper, we found one, had them blast it and prime it, then we did a couple repairs and decided to have them knock the gray primer back off and are having it shot with self-etching black primer, which will hold up better under the black top-coat.
Besides in-shop stuff, they’ve done several remote blasting jobs, including finishing the vintage caboose on display by the town of Auburn.
But the big news is NuTech is now a manufacturer and international dealer for soda blasting machines and equipment! “I liked it so much I bought the company!” the old commercials said. That’s pretty much the deal down at NuTech now. So if you’re a restoration shop and would like to cut out the middle-man on blasting—as well as expand your business—or are a building restoration company or want to get into building restoration, fire damage restoration, mold remediation, etc., NuTech is your source for equipment and blasting soda.
With the growth of their company, NuTech is looking for some employees too. They’re looking for soda blasters for in-house and remote-site, as well as someone to help manufacture and assemble the blasting equipment. If you’re looking for a job (and are the kind of employee YOU’D hire if you owned a business and needed someone!), give them a call.

NuTech Soda Blasting, Jefferson, Georgia; (706) 367-8107, or check out their website at

Dress For Success
In this case, it means wear shorts, sandals, a hat, a light-colored T-shirt, and drink lots and lots of water on Saturday I’ve had guys get into trouble with the heat at my show, and I regularly get sick from the heat by the end of my summer shows, too. It’s miserable, and I’d like to spare everyone the suffering.

Speaking of sparing suffering, the NE GA Swap Meet is a dog-friendly show for friendly dogs, but please, when it’s this hot, leave Fido at home—that blacktop gets scorching hot, and unless you’ve got booties on their paws, they’re gonna go home with burned feet. Would YOU want to walk around on that parking lot with bare feet at 11am? Then don’t make your pooch do it. As much as I love having Remi The Airedale at my shows, I’m leaving her home Saturday.

JP’s Muscle Cars Parts and Restorations
Soooo glad I’m out of room for projects, because Johnny just got a suede-black ’67 Impala station wagon in… big block, overdrive, air, bucket seats and factory console. That’d make such a cool tow rig for the Altered! But, I’m out of space, so one of you needs to buy it.

He also just got an original-paint ’71 Camaro in too: “It was an old street racer from the ‘70s… I’ve never had one this close to how it left the showroom.”
Customer builds this month include a ’71 Blazer with LS3 swap and all the goodies, a ’70 C10 with big block, air, Dakota Digital RDX cluster, retro-sound radio, Concept One pully system, and dropped suspension, and a ’68 Camaro convertible with small block, overdrive, air, Dakota Digital dash, Nu-Relics power windows, and houndstooth Deluxe interior.
If you’re in the market for a new ride, or need to have your current vehicle upgraded, give Johnny a call and book an appointment.

JP’s Muscle Cars is at 113 Hammond Drive in Monroe, GA: Call (770) 207-9570 or visit their website at

Gear Jam Rain Date July 20-21
Outlaw and Heads-up 4-speed gassers—including The Night Stalker ’55 Chevy, Southern Slingshots, Altereds, Muscle Cars and Nostalgia Super Stocks.
Swap Meet, and an all-makes/All Models car show.
For more info, go to

Truck Month and Georgia C-10 Club in August
For August, we’re giving away Eckler’s gift certificates to everyone who drives a vintage or enthusiast truck into the Cruise-in.
We’re also hosting the Georgia C-10 club, so if you’ve got truck parts, plan on being there.
We’re also going to put the word out on Facebook for any other truck clubs. If you’re a member of a truck club, give me a call and we’ll work it out so your club gets in free as vendors and spectators.

2019 Dates

Sept 1

Swap/ Gear Jam
Oct 13- 14th  Swap/ Gear Jam
Nov 2nd  Featuring Pedal To The Metal vintage bicycle swap
Dec 7thTruer Words Were Never Spoken
The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers – Dave Barry

Shop and House for Sale in Jefferson.
I’m selling my place in Jefferson: 32×40 shop with 12-foot ceilings, multiple 220v outlets on three walls, 10×10 office and two storage lofts.

Oh, it comes with a nice 3-bedroom, 2.5 bathroom house with office, on a full basement that’s stubbed for a full bathroom. New energy-efficient roof on house and shop.

Nice neighborhood within the Jefferson City Schools district;  NO Home Owners’ Association to get all up in your business, and I’ve broken the neighbors in for you. (They’re used to cars, parts and engines firing at 11pm).
On a 1 acre lot with hardwood trees, it also comes with an extra 1 acre wooded lot next to it.
Also comes with a free vendor spot for life at the NE GA Swap Meet!
Give me a call if you’re interested.


Due to weather forecasts, we are postponing this weekend’s Gear Jam Vintage Drags.
The rain-date will be July 20-21, at the Atlanta Dragway.

All pre-registered entries will be honored at the July event, and we have re-opened pre-registration until July 1.

We MAY do the NE GA Swap Meet this coming weekend, though: I will watch the hourly forecast on over the next 24 hours, and if they’re calling for decent weather in the morning, with the predicted thunderstorms rolling in during the afternoon, we will run the swap meet at the regular swap meet entry and vendor fees in the morning (since it’s always over by noon anyway).

I hate to fill up your email box, but I’ll send a follow-up email tomorrow afternoon letting everyone know if we’re going to do the swap meet on Saturday morning, or just scrap the month. has been far and away the most accurate forecast I’ve found, and that’s who I’ll use to make my final decision tomorrow.

Brad Ocock
NE GA Swap Meet
Gear Jam Vintage Drags
(706) 424-5035

April 18, 2019 Swap Meet Coordinator

The Gear Jam Vintage Drags, Car Show and Eckler’s NE GA Swap Meet is Saturday and Sunday, May 11-12 at the Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, GA.

Southern Slingshots, Southeast Nostalgia Drag Racers, a 4-speed gasser group out of the Carolinas and several Southern Outlaw Gassers have all committed to coming, so it promises to be a great race!

Time trials and a Gambler’s Race on Saturday, Eliminations on Sunday. Check website for schedule and times.

It took some time, but pre-registration is available on our website.
Pre-register by May 5 and receive discounts on racer entry, midway spaces and T-shirts.
Racer entry is $100 for both days pre-registered, $120 day-of-show at the gate.
Racer Test-And-Tune only is $50 per day pre-registered, $60 at the gate.
Gambler’s Race (Dial-in bracket-style race) is $40 payable at the tower day-of-race. We will also have a “Run For The Money” open to everyone—closest to the index/dial wins, reaction time decides in case of a tie.

Class Additions and Rule Changes
New for 2019 is a Heads Up 4-speed Gasser Class! Rules are pretty straight-forward, and are posted on the site. No nitrous, CID/Weight class breaks, etc. Nothing crazy.
One thing to note is we are running the same blower rule that NHRA had in the early ‘60s before the dedicated Supercharged classes: Addition of a blower will bump the car up one class—D/G with a blower will run in C/G, C/G with a blower will run in A/G, no blowers allowed on A/G cars.
All cars in this class will be weighed, and we have a pump and aren’t afraid to use it.

This is in addition to the Outlaw Gasser class, so we’ll have two Gasser classes at the Gear Jam.

At the beginning of the year, we made a couple of minor changes to a couple of class rules, and posted them on the site.
Altered now allows wings, left-hand steer roadsters, and for this year we are allowing blowers up to 14:71.

In the Muscle Car class, we are allowing Vegas, Monzas, Pintos and Mavericks, ignoring the 1974 cut-off date for those cars (and ONLY those cars) because Vegas, Monzas, Pintos and Mavericks make GREAT looking race cars, and who wouldn’t want to see them making passes??
We are also allowing tube chassis cars in the “Hot Rod/Muscle Car” class.

Tree and track length (1/4 or 1/8) is different for each class, so check on the website.

Race format is Indexes.
Each class has its own Index format, and can be found on the website.
If you have a car that runs slower than what is listed on our Index pages for each class, let us know, and we’ll get you entered in the computer with an index slot for your car, so you won’t just be trailer fodder for the faster classes. (That will be an “index” like the other classes, and not a “dial-in.”)

Midway And Eckler’s NE GA Swap Meet Spaces
Midway spaces are for manufacturers and businesses, groups/organizations, artists, collectibles, etc. and will be on the pavement behind the grandstands, running between the car show and the starting line. Spaces are $50 pre-registered.

Swap meet spaces are for parts and cars for sale, and will be in the grass rows at the end of the paved pit area. Spaces are $30 for all the space you want for the weekend. We’re expecting over 200 swap meet vendors.

Set-up from 12-5pm on Friday (If you can’t make it by 5, give me a call and we’ll leave the light on for you), gates open Saturday at 7am.

As always, we will have overnight security guards for The Gear Jam, so you can set up and your stuff will be safe.

Camping is welcome and encouraged! Camping is included for racers and vendors, and is just $10 per night for spectators and car show participants. Above-ground fire “holders” are allowed.

Car Show
Car Show entry is $25, and includes Test-and-Tune passes for entries. All cars making passes on the track must go through Tech. (This won’t be “Competition Tech,” it’ll be to make sure you have seat belts, there aren’t big holes in the floor, and that the vehicles are safe)

$5 of every entry will go to the GSRA, to support them and their efforts at the State Capital on our behalf.

Car Show is Saturday, awards Saturday Afternoon, and entry in the show gets you back in on Sunday for the swap meet and race Eliminations.

Spectator entry is just $10 each day, kids 12-under are free, and gets you full access to the car show, the swap meet, the pits and the racing.

Bracket Race
We also have a limited-field bracket race, sponsored by LGM Racing and Development: 32 door cars, 32 dragsters; this is pre-registration only. Two races: one Saturday, one Sunday.
Nostalgia cars are welcome to enter the bracket race as well as the Gear Jam Nostalgia race.
Bracket cars are welcome to enter the Gear Jam Nostalgia race if their car fits the Gear Jam class rules. (We have several racers enter both each year)
Check out LGM’s website at, LGM Racing and Development on Facebook, or call (256-279-8000

Attention Business Owners!!!
We are putting together 400 Goody Bags. If you’d like to throw something in them, give me a call at (706) 424-5035

T-Shirts are available on the website, along with pre-registration:

If you have any questions, or need more information, write me at, or call (706) 424-5035
See you May 11!