Exhaust Hanger Hangover

What happens when your only commuter car is your classic and when you’re about to get in the car to go to work you notice that one of your exhaust tips/pipes looks like it has lost its mojo? It’s hanging down almost dragging on the ground. This is what happened a few weeks ago.

That’s one thing about driving the 45 year old car daily, it’s like taking it on a shakedown cruise. If something is weak it will let you know.

I’ve got to drive the machine to work but I do not want the car to look bad… what to do?

Take it to the muffler shop as soon as possible! There is no honor in letting your classic car run around with a goofy looking tail pipe (aside from the fact you’d hate to have it drag on the ground, should that happen!).

I take my cars to one of the local Meineke Muffler shops, the one in Redwood City, run by a muscle car guy named Lupe Garcia. He has been helping me since around 1990 when I used to take my GT-350 clone there. A fellow open track racing member of the Nor-Cal Shelby American Club, I can always trust him to make the right corrections of repairs to my exhaust. Sometimes they’ve done some specialty welding for me, including on my white Challenger.


You think this looks bad? It was way worse, hanging down about twice as much that is shown before I hauled it up with a strand of rope. It was looking pretty UN-high performance, a bit like it suffered from a stroke.


Notice how the original hangar broke away from the under trunk 45 year old sheet metal that is rotted. The detachment process was accelerated because the muffler hangar screw came loose, so everything from the header tip on back was resting on the tailpipe hangar which eventually tore away. There’s not much rot in the car that I can tell, but there are some spots in the “under side” trunk pan that has some weak spots.



Here’s where I tied the pipe up to the bumper. Pretty secure, enough to get me to work and then to a late afternoon trip to the muffler shop.


Here’s the Challenger waiting at the muffler shop.


This is the shop owner’s Mustang Fastback GT which he still uses for open track. Nice clean car with the 1966 Shelby 10 spoke wheels. One of my favorite wheels.


Bad photo but here’s the interior of Lupe’s Mustang, the glove compartment is signed by Carroll Shelby.


Look close… See? “Carroll Shelby”


On the rack again. It’s good to be back up on the rack again…



Lupe doing his magic using tool for delicate work… not


We’re not worried about making it concours correct, just solid, fix it so I can get back to driving again. We can take some liberties with pipe hangars.


The Return of the Camry

I just got the 1994 Camry repaired (replaced the transmission with a good 1999 version) and picked it up this last weekend, putting and end to this chapter of daily driving of the Challenger. I was getting pretty use to it and rarely missed a shift after I figured out the little nuances of the Richmond/Long Shifter combination my car has.

Driving in rush hour traffic jams Monday through Friday was getting me more sensitive to people tailgating me  while looking down at their handheld devices. I want to have an neon sign light up on the back of my car that says, “KEEP YOUR EYES ON ROAD” or “BIG FINE FOR TEXTING”. Might not do any good however, since I need the message translated into 15 different languages out here in California.

There’s a days when I’m perfectly happy to drive the car without abusing it, I feel like I’ve actually accomplished something noble. And then there’s times when redline tire smoking launches at the highway metering light is just too natural.



By the way, do any of you guys know about “Roadkill”? (www.roadkill.com). I happened to stumble upon it when I was looking at Youtube. It’s a Motor Trend Channel show featuring two experienced and comedic hot rodders who do some amazingly wild and crazy stuff with cars, almost always beating machines to the outer reaches of the human experience.. It’s become one of my favorite “TV” shows. Very entertaining. Watching it certainly makes me feel pretty sane.


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The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

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