How to Hop-Up Your Engine (September 1962)

How to Hop Up Your Engine. Long name for a magazine and different than the simpler titled and more popular Hop Up.

I have over 100 of these “little pages” as they are sometimes called. Smaller than today’s magazines, they were often hidden behind textbooks in class.

The first thing I noticed as I was scanning, is how few ads there are. This J.C. Whitney ad from the inside front cover is super cool. Check out the stuff, tiki voodoo head shift knobs, Krazy decals, a cattle caller horn (which I have in my car), a Hollywood wolf whistle, Hula-hula girl (like the one in my avatar), and more!

Here’s an editorial talking about these new safety devices called seat belts.

Still running a Flathead in 1962.

Here is the cover car. None of the pages are in color. Today I looked at a few issues of Rod & Custom and Hot Rod from the 2000s, and ALL the pages are in color. Even we retronuts are aware that some things improve.

Autorama and Oakland Roadster Show photos. Autorama is still around, but Oakland, or what should be called the Grand National Roadster Show, is now in Los Angeles.

The three magazines shown here are not The Big Three. However, I do have some issues of Custom Craft.

I used to love looking through the J. C. Whitney catalog, even though it was past the glory days when I was thumbing through it.

As an Ohio-based magazine, there’s a letter in this issue complaining about the lack of West coast cars. There was quite a rivalry between West coast and East coast in hot rods and drag racing. Either style, I love this early style hot rod, always have. There’s been a huge resurgence in this style, and I wonder if it was started by folks like me in the 1980s finding the old man’s magazines and falling in love with that look.

These Motor’s Auto Repair Manuals are indeed great. I’ve got one from 1953 and one from 1966. If you want to know how to work on an old car, forget any other type of manual, get a Motor’s.

This post is adapted from a post I did at a former blog.


  1. The letters to the editor feature readers with an interesting mix of antique-even-then, old and cheap, and late model cars. I’d have recommended the ’57 Buick owner to look to trade cars, not look for a Buick manual to swap out the Dynaslow (as it was called in the day…) in his existing car.

    For that matter, engine swapping what would’ve been a new ’62 T-bird! That was NOT a cheap car in its’ day!


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