☰ MENU

Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage


Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage

Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage

ARCHIVES

Ignition Coil Troubleshooting: (No) Fire in the Hole

Troubleshooting - By Tom Benford
Here's what to do when the spark in your life is missing. …keep reading

1952 Ford F1 Truck Restoration Project Part 16: Test Driving our Ford F1

52 Pickup
No, we didn't finish our truck project while you weren't looking...we just want to check things out before moving on to the next phase …keep reading

Restorers and rodders find GPS an easy install

Feature Articles - By John Gunnell
Those who grew up driving older cars tend to think that we can't very easily add modern technology to our relics and rods. We might want to rethink that notion. …keep reading

Classic Car Buyer's Guide: 1965-68 Mustang

Classic Car Buyer's Guide: 1965-68 Mustang

Buyers Guide - By Patrick Smith
Evergreen popularity and availability of parts and services makes the '65 through '68 Mustangs a great choice for the novice car restorer. …keep reading

British Tappet (Valve) Cover Restoration

Learn to Restore Cars - By John Gunnell
There's more than meets the eye with British Tappet (Valve) covers …keep reading

Battery Care for your Collector Car

Feature Articles - By Tom Benford
Today's car batteries require very little maintenance, but that doesn't mean you can forget it altogether …keep reading

1956 Chevrolet BelAir Car Restoration Project - Part 10

Readers Projects - By Steve Nicholson
It's important to test fit panels before welding …keep reading

How to Rebuild a Corvette 454 Engine - Part 14

Learn to Restore Cars - By Tim Cote
In this final installment on rebuilding a 454 Corvette V8, we install the distributor and finish up on some loose ends. …keep reading

How To Clean A Paint Gun

Learn to Restore Cars - By Bruce Saalmans
It's easy to do a "quickie" cleanup job on your spray gun...but it will come back to haunt you. …keep reading

1935 Dodge DU Coupe

1935 Dodge DU Coupe

Auto Biography - By Tom Benford
Designed to appeal to well-to-do college students, the '35 Dodge DU is a real looker! …keep reading

How to Replace a Corvette Half-Shaft U-Joint

Learn to Restore Cars - By Tom Benford
U-joints play a crucial role in the overall scheme of things, since they are responsible for the delivery of power from the transmission to the rear wheels. Corvette has its own approach to drive shafts and u-joints. …keep reading

Classic Car Buyers Guide: 1955-1957 Chevrolets

Classic Car Buyers Guide: 1955-1957 Chevrolets

Buyers Guide - By Patrick Smith
The 1955 Chevy became an instant hit and in three years, the full size Chevy became a hot rod icon and fifties classic. …keep reading

Book Review: How to Restore Automotive Trim and Hardware, by John Gunnell

Book Reviews
Restoring trim on our classic cars can be a bit tricky. But with a little help from our friends, we can do it... …keep reading

How To Photograph Collector Cars

How To Photograph Collector Cars

Learn to Restore Cars - By Tom Benford
At first blush it would seem that photographing collector cars is no big deal; just frame the subject, make sure the exposure and lighting is adequate, and click away, right? Well, that's fine if you just want a snapshot of the car for your scrapbook. But if you want to capture the real essence of the vehicle it becomes a Zen thing - you must become one with the car. …keep reading

1956 Chevrolet BelAir Car Restoration Project - Part 9

Feature Articles - By Steve Nicholson
The elements worked their ways with the '56 Chevy's trunk floor with some success. Here we repair some of that damage. …keep reading

Classic Car Buyers Guide: 1969-1970 Mustang Mach 1

Classic Car Buyers Guide: 1969-1970 Mustang Mach 1

Feature Articles - By Patrick Smith
The Mustang was tame until mid 1968 when Ford released a 428 CJ engine package...then it became a full blooded muscle car. Many of these cars have been around the block more than once, so it helps to know what you're looking for. …keep reading

Removing a Body From a Frame Isn't All That Hard

Beginners Corner
To do a frame off restoration you need to take the body off. Huh? …keep reading

Book Review: How to Restore Your Collector Car - 2nd Edition, by Tom Brownell & Jason Scott

Book Reviews
A first look at Tom Brownell & Jason Scott's new Car Restoration book …keep reading

Survival Gear for Classic Car Parts Hunting Expeditions

Feature Articles - By Tom Benford
Just because I don't need some arcane part now has nothing to do with my desire to go on a parts safari anyway...it is the hunt that's the lure even when the quarry itself isn't known. …keep reading

Regarding the Demise of Pontiac

Feature Articles - By Robert Bravender
Some thoughts as Pontiac falls victim to some harsh economic times. …keep reading

Buying a Collector Car at Auction

Feature Articles - By Tom Benford
Purchasing a collector car at an auction is becoming more and more popular every year, and, although we're frequently seeing tasty models going for astronomical prices, that doesn't necessarily mean that you can't snatch up a real bargain - if you're savvy enough. …keep reading

1956 Chevrolet BelAir Car Restoration Project - Part 8

Readers Projects - By Steve Nicholson
The work continues on making Steve's '56 Chevy Bel Air project like new. …keep reading

How To Repair Paint Flaws without Respraying

Learn to Restore Cars - By Bruce Saalmans
If your paint is a little less than perfect, don't despair...there are many options for bringing up the quality of your paint job without respraying …keep reading

Buyer's Guide: 1970-1974 Barracuda-Challenger RT

Buyer's Guide: 1970-1974 Barracuda-Challenger RT

Buyers Guide - By Patrick Smith
Plymouth stunned the auto world when they introduced their all new Barracuda in the fall of 1969. They're long time favorites of car fans and here's what you should know before you buy one. …keep reading

Brake Bleeding 101

Beginners Corner - By Tom Benford
After working on the brakes of your car, you really want them to work! Gotta get that nasty air out of the brake lines. …keep reading

Parts of a Whole - Getting the stuff you need for your old cars, locally - Part 1

Feature Articles - By Luke Chennell
You don't always need to "send away" for your restoration parts. Building relationships with your local parts store can reap its own set of rewards. …keep reading

Starting Old Cars

Beginners Corner
It occurred to us recently that there are many of our readers who are too young to remember what it's like to have to coax an old engine to life. …keep reading

Barnstormin' Days: Tales of My Dad and Stock Car # 273

Good Ol Days - By Tom Benford
Regular contributor to Second Chance Garage, Tom Benford examines the roots of his addiction to the car restoration hobby. …keep reading

How to Take Dents Out of Stainless Steel Trim

Learn to Restore Cars - By Robert Bravender
Bringing back that hard-to-find trim is an essential skill. …keep reading

A Short History Of Fuel Injection

Feature Articles
Fuel injection has been around for nearly as long as the auto industry. Here's a look at how it got to where it is today. …keep reading

Classic Car Buyer's Guide: 1968-1972 Pontiac GTO

Classic Car Buyer's Guide: 1968-1972 Pontiac GTO

Buyers Guide - By Patrick Smith
The 1968 redesign was completely new and revitalized GTO's image at a time when competition was fierce. Here are some things to look for before you buy. …keep reading

1956 Chevrolet BelAir Car Restoration Project - Part 7

Readers Projects - By Steve Nicholson
In this installment we tackle some front fender repairs. …keep reading

1955 Chevy Road Test

Good Ol Days
Soon after the 1955 Chevrolet was introduced, the newly designed Chevy was put through its paces. …keep reading

Replacing a Windshield, Headliner and Console in a 64-1/2 through 68 Mustang

Learn to Restore Cars - By Robert Bravender
There's one thing we need to make perfecty clear...(And a new headliner and ceiling-mounted console are part of the deal.) …keep reading

Freshening Up Your Classic Car Engine Appearances

Learn to Restore Cars - By Tom Benford
Dirt happens! Your Classic Car's Engine can pick up crud when you're not looking. Here's how to freshen things up a bit. …keep reading

Barn Finds: They're Still Out There

Feature Articles
If you've read about the recent finding of a rare 1937 Bugatti Type 57S in a garage, don't be surprised....they're still out there …keep reading

How to Rebuild a Corvette 454 Engine - Part 12

Learn to Restore Cars - By Tim Cote
Now we're installing our valve covers and a new dipstick. …keep reading

A More Distinctive 1928 Falcon-Knight

Good Ol Days
The new 1928 Falcon-Knight promises speeds of up to 60 mph "with no front end wabble and little pitching" …keep reading

Classic Car Buyer's Guide: 1963-1967 Corvettes

Buyers Guide - By Patrick Smith
Here are some things to consider when considering a 1963 to 1967 Corvette as your classic car restoration project …keep reading

1966 Oldsmobile 442

1966 Oldsmobile 442

Auto Biography - By Tom Benford
In the mid 1960s, Oldsmobile jumped on the muscle car bandwagon in a big way with it's beefed up F85 Cutlass, called the Oldsmobile 442. …keep reading

1956 Chevrolet BelAir Car Restoration Project - Part 6

Readers Projects - By Steve Nicholson
Time to get down to some serious body work …keep reading

Steel Valve Cover Refurbishment

Beginners Corner - By Tom Benford
Here's a quick way to dress up your engine. …keep reading

Electrolytic Rust Removal

Learn to Restore Cars - By Luke Chennel
Tired of all the dusty, dirty sanding and cleaning when removing rust? Here's an easy and green method of cleaning rusty parts without all the mess. …keep reading

1980 TransAm Carpet Installation

Learn to Restore Cars - By Patrick Smith
Changing the carpet in your muscle car looks like a big job, but its a good project for hobbyists. All you need are hand tools and patience. …keep reading

How to Rebuild a Corvette 454 Engine - Part 11

How to Rebuild a Corvette 454 Engine - Part 11

Learn to Restore Cars - By Tim Cote
We take a look at the intake manifold and carburetor installation …keep reading

1975 Cosworth Vega

1975 Cosworth Vega

Auto Biography - By Tom Benford
John DeLorean was looking for a high-performance version of the Vega that would appeal to the youth market. Enter Keith Duckworth of Cosworth Engineering. …keep reading

1956 Chevrolet BelAir Car Restoration Project - Part 5

Readers Projects - By Steve Nicholson
We continue to explore the car and find some interesting "repairs". …keep reading

1956 Chevrolet Car Restoration Project - Part 4

Readers Projects - By Steve Nicholson
Preparation of body panels for repair begins. …keep reading

New Brakes for a 1966 Buick Deuce & A Quarter

Feature Articles
After we fixed the burnt wiring on our friend's '66 Buick Electra 225, we quickly notice that nothing happened when we tossed out the anchor on this boat …keep reading

1956 Chevrolet BelAir Car Restoration Project - Part 3

1956 Chevrolet BelAir Car Restoration Project - Part 3

Readers Projects - By Steve Nicholson
Now it's time to tackle those fragile, and valuable trim pieces. …keep reading

How to Rebuild a Corvette 454 Engine - Part 10

Learn to Restore Cars - By Tim Cote
How to determine piston to valve clearance. …keep reading

The Buick Wild Fire

Feature Articles
No, Wild fire isn't the name of a Buick engine, it's actually what happened to a friend's '66 Buick Electra 225 convertible. …keep reading

1956 Chevrolet BelAir Car Restoration Project - Part 2: Remember to Bring Your Camera

1956 Chevrolet BelAir Car Restoration Project - Part 2: Remember to Bring Your Camera

Readers Projects - By Steve Nicholson
Steve gives us some insight into what to consider when starting a new car restoration project. …keep reading

How to Rebuild a Corvette 454 Engine - Part 9

How to Rebuild a Corvette 454 Engine - Part 9

Learn to Restore Cars - By Tim Cote
Tim walks us through the proper sequence for determining push rod length for the new heads. …keep reading

1952 Ford F1 Pickup Restoration Project - Part 15: We Tackle Some Sort-of-Forgotten Body Work

1952 Ford F1 Pickup Restoration Project - Part 15: We Tackle Some Sort-of-Forgotten Body Work

52 Pickup
We decided early on that we'd be uncomfortable tooling around sitting on top of our gas tank. So we decided to move it elsewhere, but that left us with a big hole in the cab... …keep reading

Gary Schwendeman's 1947 Chrysler Windsor 4 Door Sedan Car Restoration Project

Gary Schwendeman's 1947 Chrysler Windsor 4 Door Sedan Car Restoration Project

Readers Projects
Gary's Schwendeman's 1947 Chrysler Windsor looks like it could be a fun project...have a look. …keep reading

1956 Chevrolet BelAir Car Restoration Project - A First Look

1956 Chevrolet BelAir Car Restoration Project - A First Look

Readers Projects - By Steve Nicholson
Steve Nicholson and his crew at Classic Body Works is going to be restoring this 1956 Chevrolet BelAir and invites us along …keep reading

How to Rebuild a Corvette 454 Engine - Part 8

How to Rebuild a Corvette 454 Engine - Part 8

Learn to Restore Cars - By Tim Cote
In this installment we look at how to install the oil pump, camshaft and timing gears …keep reading

Finding a Good Classic Car Restoration Shop

Feature Articles - By Steve Nicholson
We typically do our own restorations, but realize that many do not have the time nor the facilities to do their own. So here are some tips for selecting a classic car restoration shop to do the work for you. …keep reading

Mazda Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Rotary Engine

Feature Articles
Felix Wankel started development of the Wankel engine as far back as 1924...in 1957 he finally got one to run. …keep reading

How to Rebuild a Corvette 454 Engine - Part 7

Learn to Restore Cars - By Tim Cote
In this article we look at installing bearings and pistons …keep reading

First, Do No Harm - Maintaining An Unrestored Original 1958 Jaguar XK1500S

First, Do No Harm - Maintaining An Unrestored Original 1958 Jaguar XK1500S

Feature Articles
Our friend's 1958 Jaguar XK150-S is a family heirloom. His father bought it new, and he wants to freshen it up a bit …keep reading

Product Review - Installing the Moss Air Conditioning Kit for the MGB

Product Reviews - By John Treible
Why would anyone want to install air conditioning in an MGB? Sometimes it can get too hot to have the top down …keep reading

Car Restoration Product Review: Nibbler & Flanger

Product Reviews
Two products that can prove useful for your car restoration project …keep reading

Classic Car Toolkit

Beginners Corner
Keeping your classic car on the road can take a little preplanning...including what to have in your toolkit …keep reading

Buffing Our Clear Coat to a Show Finish

Buffing Our Clear Coat to a Show Finish

Learn to Restore Cars - By Bill McKenna
This finishes out Bill McKenna's four part series on painting your classic car. You have to admit, he does nice work! …keep reading

How to Rebuild a Corvette 454 Engine - Part 6

Learn to Restore Cars
An easy, but important step in rebuilding your 454 …keep reading

Time to Enlighten Your Classic Car?

Feature Articles - By Bill Sullivan
You're enjoying your cruise on a country road in a string of shiny classic cars. The line of cars comes to an intersection and the brake lights come on...can't see the brake lights? …keep reading

The Lost Art of Double Clutching

Feature Articles
Before the days of synchronized transmissions, certain shifting techniques were often required...definitely a lost art …keep reading

Car Restoration Tip 40 - Storing Small Parts for Your Classic Car Project

Restoration Tips
Plastic bags can be good for storing small parts, but …keep reading

Car Restoration Tip 39 - Storing That Respirator

Restoration Tips
Your respiration is a key element in keeping safe while working on your car restoration projects …keep reading

The 1934 Cars

Good Ol Days
Independently Sprung Front Wheels Introduced on Several Makes... Streamlining accented... Starting Simplified... Larger, Softer Tires Generally Used …keep reading

How to Color Sand Your Classic Car

How to Color Sand Your Classic Car

Learn to Restore Cars
Part Three of Bill McKenna's series on painting your classic car. This time he covers Color Sanding …keep reading

How to Properly Dispose of Used Oil, Transmission Fluid, Anti-Freeze, etc.

Learn to Restore Cars
Be kind to your planet...it's the only one you've got. Dispose of all your project car's fluids properly. Here's how …keep reading

How to Rebuild a Corvette 454 Engine - Part 5

How to Rebuild a Corvette 454 Engine - Part 5

Learn to Restore Cars
454 Corvette Engine Build Combination and Piston Ring Installation …keep reading

1962 Buick Wildcat: Wouldn't You Rather Drive a Buick?

1962 Buick Wildcat: Wouldn't You Rather Drive a Buick?

Auto Biography
Buick was a marque with a grand tradition of value and features that appealed almost exclusively to upper middle class males. By 1961 Buick's management decided to go high-performance …keep reading

Car Restoration Tip 38 - Darn Those Metal Shavings!

Restoration Tips
Metal shavings and magnets can present a problem …keep reading

New Restyled Ford V-8 for 1936

Good Ol Days
New styling of radiator grille, hood and louvers, headlamps, fenders and wheels feature the new 1936 Fords …keep reading

How to Paint Your Classic Car

How to Paint Your Classic Car

Learn to Restore Cars
Second installment of Bill McKenna's series on painting your antique car. …keep reading

How to Rebuild a Corvette 454 Engine - Part 4

How to Rebuild a Corvette 454 Engine - Part 4

Learn to Restore Cars
After getting our block back from the machine shop, we continue on with our Corvette 454 Engine Rebuild …keep reading

Automatic Transmissions and Detroit's Dirty Little Secret

Feature Articles
Nearly everyone has read Moby Dick, Herman Melville's morality novel depicting the battle between evil (Captain Ahab) and good, represented by the white sperm whale. What does this have to do with cars? Read on …keep reading

1958 Pontiac Bonneville

1958 Pontiac Bonneville

Auto Biography
It's hard to believe now, but in the mid 1950s the Pontiac brand was equated with older buyers. Much like Buick today, Pontiac was languishing in the GM stable and had the image of being a so-so vehicle that hardly anyone noticed. To solve the problem, GM executives brought in "Bunkie" Knudsen, the now-famous auto executive who was known to work miracles …keep reading

How To Rebuild a Corvette 454 Engine - Part 3

Learn to Restore Cars
Part Three of this series deals with oil pump modification and pressure balancing …keep reading

How to Build a Home Paint Booth

Learn to Restore Cars
In this four part series, Bill McKenna shows us how to paint a car...starting with how to build your own paint booth, shooting paint, color sanding, and buffing …keep reading

Another Year Says Goodbye

Good Ol Days
A 3-Minute Review of 1939 and a Quick Look Ahead to 1940 …keep reading

What You Need to Know about Battery Chargers

Beginners Corner
Recharging a battery is a fairly simple process, but there are some precautions that should be taken …keep reading

How to Rebuild a Corvette 454 Engine - Part 2

How to Rebuild a Corvette 454 Engine - Part 2

Learn to Restore Cars
In our last installment, we got the engine on an engine stand and pulled the pan. Now we look at disassembling the engine …keep reading

Air Meter Restoration Wrap Up

Air Meter Restoration Wrap Up

Feature Articles
We finish up our ECO Air Meter restoration project. We think it'll make a nice addition to our office …keep reading

Old Cars, New Oil: Is There Something To Worry About?

Feature Articles
The old car hobby is replete with discussions about the incompatibility of using modern stuff in old cars …keep reading

How to Rebuild a Corvette 454 Engine - Part 1

How to Rebuild a Corvette 454 Engine - Part 1

Learn to Restore Cars
Tim Cote shows us how he reworked his 1971 Corvette 454 cubic inch engine …keep reading

1934 Chevrolet: Larger, More Powerful, Independently Sprung

Good Ol Days
The appearance of the new 1934 Chevrolet has been refined in various details. Independently sprung front wheels provide superior ride quality …keep reading

Sheriff Mike Cain's 1959 Ford Restoration Project

Readers Projects
Sheriff Mike Cain of Yadkinville, North Carolina wants to share his experiences with his 1959 Ford Galaxie four door Town Sedan …keep reading

Car Restoration Tip 37 - Whitewall Tire Trick

Restoration Tips
Just when we were about ready to give up …keep reading

Air Meter Restoration

Feature Articles
We recently obtained an old Eco Tireflater air meter and decided to add it to our collection of automobilia. Of course, it needed to be restored. Most of the skills used are of the same nature as "car restoration" skills, so we thought we'd include it here …keep reading

Plymouth Satellite Conversion

Plymouth Satellite Conversion

Feature Articles
We recently dropped in at Showcase Auto Body and Restorations in Fredericksburg, VA, to see what our friends there have been up to. From time to time we trade tips and techniques with Mike Fruth and his staff and thought we'd take a few photos of some of his work …keep reading

SCG Rebuilds a LaSalle Heater Motor

Feature Articles
There's more than meets the eye when doing this repair. After spending several hundred dollars with no luck, our friend came to us …keep reading

Second Chance Garage Visits Classic Car Center

Feature Articles
Ownership of a classic car has many rewards, but sometimes it requires the help of others. Second Chance Garage visited Classic Car Center of Fredericksburg, Va. to see what they offer …keep reading

The Bike is Done!

Feature Articles
We had planned to turn the motorcycle project into a series of articles, but frankly there was very little "how to" involved. It was primarily an assembly project that involved figuring out where everything was supposed to go. This, therefore, is a wrap-up of the project …keep reading

MGB: The Sports Car America Loved First

MGB: The Sports Car America Loved First

Auto Biography
Morris Garage, or MG, first advertised its sports to American audiences in 1947 by introducing the TC model. MG introduced the MGB in 1963. Widely considered one of the best true sports cars …keep reading

1958 Harley Davidson Motorcycle Project - Part 2

Feature Articles
The carburetor is reborn …keep reading