By Holton Secret Lab 01 Mar, 2017

For some motoring enthusiasts, the 1967 model of the Chevrolet Corvette was among the best looking of the Stingrays and of that decade. It’s styling, which is almost the same as its predecessor was clean. It had the familiar egg-crate style grill upfront and a smooth hood. There were five vertical and functional louvers on the sides of the front fenders that slanted towards the car’s front.

The ’67 Corvette also featured large interior vent ports, folding seat back latches, four-way flashers, and directional signals. At the rear were dual round taillights on each side. Standard equipment included an odometer, clock, tachometer, and six-inch wide slotted rally wheels. It has 10 lacquer exterior finishes.

One of the premier racing cars of its generation, the 1967 Corvette remains as one of the most popular sports cars through the years.


There were three engines available for the 1967 Corvette. There’s the 327 cubic inch small block V8 with an output of 300 horsepower, a 427 cubic inch big block V8 rated 390 hp and the big block tri-power version with an output of 435 horsepower.

Those engines are pretty good for an everyday driving car by today’s standards.  But there are some hot rod enthusiasts who dared to touch those engines and replace them with newer power trains.

One engine that is popularly mated with the 1967 Corvette is an LS3. This small block engine increases the output of the Vette and enhances its performance on the road, particularly in cruising down the highways.  Customized fuel pump and exhaust can be added to add up to the horsepower, as well as a six speed automatic transmission for better street manners.

There are those who prefer to retain the engine of the Corvette. Instead of replacing the engine, they instead focus on the exteriors and interiors of the car, to make it look more contemporary.

Improving the suspension is critical in making a Chevrolet Corvette perform better on the road. The original Corvette IRS was noted for poor handling. Its high roll center yielded a jacking problem, resulting to a raised car rear while the Corvette was cornering. Eventually, it affected the camber of the outside rear tire and loss of grip.


Others prefer to improve the look of the Corvette and make it more contemporary. Some put a hardtop for rainy days. Others upgrade the gauges to give it a more modern look. Still, other put a waterfall hatch in between the seats that is reminiscent of the 1962 Corvette. Leather seats can all the more make the Chevrolet Corvette one fantastic hot rod.   Other contemporary features that may be added to the Chevrolet Corvette are in-dash radio with phone/MP3 jack, and USB port.

The 1967 version of the Chevrolet Corvette was ahead of its time in terms of power train that its engines are still decent by today’s standards. But imagine adding a more powerful engine that can increase the car’s output significantly, and giving the car a more contemporary look— a Corvette hot rod will look very impressive to say the least.

By Holton Secret Lab 14 Feb, 2017
1859, Oregon's Magazine did a great profile on Holton Secret Lab and some of the work we're very proud of. Not only that, but they recount the early days of Bill and Marcy's car obsessions, their first meeting in Pendleton, and the early days of their marriage and the opening of their Helix facility. Check it all out right here:  and feel free to leave them a comment!
By Holton Secret Lab 14 Oct, 2016

When you ask motoring enthusiasts who were able to see and drive the second-generation Dodge Chargers, they may likely say that the 1969 Dodge Charger was the best looking car of all time. The 1969 Dodge Charger was also one of the most recognizable cars ever, being featured in the TV series “Dukes of Hazzard” as the orange car named “General Lee.”

The 1969 version carried the same powertrains from the ’67 model. There was the 318 cubic inch V8 engine with 230 horsepower, a 440 cubic V8 rated 375 horsepower, 383 and 426 cubic Hemi. Transmissions were either 3-4 speed manual or 3 speed automatic.

The Dodge Charger may be a beautiful car but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need any enhancement. The following are some of the areas where the Dodge Charger is often modified:

1. Engine

The engines of the Dodge Charger in 1969 are good enough for everyday driving in today’s standards but those who want more power can replace any of the original powertrains. One common engine for the Dodge Charger is a souped up 6.1 liter Hemi mated with a five speed automatic transmission. Other Dodge Charger hot rods feature a Gen III Hemi that churns out a mind boggling 1,000 horsepower.  Doing so gives the Dodge Charger 1969 a supercar performance coupled with the car’s classic look.

2. Transmission

The original Dodge Charger has a four-speed manual transmission system.  Overhauling the transmission system can change the way the car’s engine delivers all those power to the wheels. A six-speed automatic transmission can make the 1969 Dodge Charger faster and easier to handle when on the road.

3. Suspension

Overhauling the suspension of the Dodge Charger 69 model can make the car a lot more enjoyable to drive, and for passengers and the driver not to feel every bump on the road. Adding shocks, torsion bars, sway bars, heavy-duty rear leaves, and extra large wheels (17 or 18 inch in diameter) could do the trick.

This should result in a firmer ride; one that won’t hurt passengers over the long haul. The bigger sway bars and torsion bars also minimize body roll. Lowering the car a couple of inches also helps by changing the center of gravity.

4. Exteriors

While the Dodge Charger was beautiful, there are still several areas of the exteriors that can be improved upon.  One is the elimination of the two vertical supports found on each side of the license plate area, giving the car a cleaner overall profile. A customized LED tail light assembly also gives the car a modern rear profile.

Repainting the Dodge Charger can also restore the once-beautiful look of the muscle car. There were several high impact colors used in the Dodge Charger back in 1968 like bright green metallic and orange. There’s really no need to paint Confederate flags on the Dodge Charger to make it more stunning. And the quality of modern base/clear coat paint is far better than paints of old.  

The 1969 Dodge Charger will rank as one of the most popular cars not just of its generation, but of all-time. Hence hot rodders will always be on the lookout for this model.

By Holton Secret Lab 09 Sep, 2016

1967 Ford Mustang Fastback

The year 1967 saw the first major redesign for Ford Mustang. This was brought by serious competition that the car faced from other muscle cars like Dodge’s Challenger, Chevrolet’s Camaro, and Pontiac’s Firebird. In response to the intense competition, Ford created a more powerful Mustang.

The 1967 model was two inches longer than its predecessor. It also had painted side scoops to match the color of the body. The restyled Mustang featured a more aggressive grille a full fastback roofline and a concave tail panel. And it had a new 6.4 liter, V8 engine. All those changes proved to be worth it as there were more than 30,000 units of Ford Mustang Fastback that were sold during that time.

With the impressive features and design of the Ford Mustang Fastback, it is not shocking that it remains a favorite of hot rodders.

There have been many modifications on the 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback such as:


Many 1967 Ford Mustang hotrods feature larger wheels. Like most of the Mustangs released in the middle of that decade, the ’67 Mustang Fastback had a 14 or 15-inch wheel.  But the car can accommodate up to 18-inch wheels as long as the wheel offset is correct and the tire isn’t too large. The 16-inch wheel is also fairly common on the Ford Mustang.

Larger wheels not only make the Ford Mustang look good. It also makes the car drive better on the road and allows for larger disc brake systems.

Interior upgrades

Upgrading the interior of the Ford Mustang Fastback makes the hotrod not only look appealing but also a pleasure to drive around. Interior upgrades like all-leather seats, customized sound system, power windows, and new steering wheel can make the Ford Mustang look very much contemporary.  Other possible modifications are power remote door poppers, stainless steering column, keyless door entry, and digital gauges. For entertainment, FM/CD, iPod, and Bluetooth and GPS are popularly integrated into the 1967 Mustang along with speakers and CD changers mounted on the trunk.

For drivers, a sport seats on a Ford Mustang Fastback further makes their driving experience memorable and fun. Side bolsters can provide superior side support along with a comfortable lumber support. An adjustable headrest also protects his back and neck.

Front disc brakes

Front disc brakes can make the classic Mustang a lot safer to drive around. There are lots of aftermarket manufacturers that offer front disc brakes to ’67 Mustang Fastbacks. There are those who offer complete reproduction braking systems, while other have factory drop-in replacements that bolt into the existing spindles. 4-wheel disc conversions are also available.


Another way to spruce up an old Ford Mustang is to install high-tech lighting on it. There are lots of headlight options available for the classic Mustang, from tri-bar to Xenon to halogen. There are also LED retrofit kits for taillights and interior lighting.

Indeed, there are lots of modifications that can be done on a Ford Mustang and make it look more contemporary. These modifications should make a 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback hotrod even more appealing to motoring enthusiasts.

By Holton Secret Lab 26 Aug, 2016

The Ford Coupe 1933 model was originally introduced to the market as a replacement to the Model A. It was powered by a V8 engine that churned out 75 horsepower at 3800 rpm. It is considered one of the most popular hot-rodding cars ever, particularly after the Second World War and well into the 1960’s.

Through the years, the Ford Coupe has been restored in many ways. It has been given new, more powerful engines; its body has been redesigned and painted to make it look more contemporary; and numerous Ford Coupes hot rods have been featured in media and car shows.

By Holton Secret Lab 16 Oct, 2015

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Hot Rod Cowgirl is my life as a cowgirl and as a Hot Rodder's wild and crazy wife... I hope you will enjoy the memories and way of life I grew up in and that you will also enjoy my blog here on Holton Secret Lab... as both Hot Rod Cowgirl and Holton Secret Lab intersect... it is who we are.
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