Under The Covers

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Restoring a ’48 Dodge Truck- Interview

Here at Empire, we love finding people that are passionate about what they do. In this case, we got the opportunity to talk to John, a car enthusiast out of Rochester, NY. Read his interview about his plans to restore a classic ’48 Dodge Truck, his feelings on custom cars, and why he dislikes car snobs.

BTC: How long have you been working on custom cars?

John: I’ve been doing brake jobs, oil changes, tire changes etc when I was ten or eleven. As for heavy-duty restoration/repairing/rebuilding, that started this summer. To be able to rehab a part that most people would simply replace is not a skill that really exists anymore, but once you have knowledge of metalworking and welding and grinding and so on, you can pretty much fix anything.

BTC: What are your favorite make/models of cars?

John: I love small Japanese or British roadsters. Miatas, S2000s, MGs and Triumphs. I also love almost everything vintage. Cars from the 20′s and 30′s just oooooze style and charm. My absolute favorite car would probably be a Ford GT40. Rear engine, massive power, incredible styling – it was created to beat Ferrari in races, and it did. That’s all. Its a machine with a mission, and its not trying to win style points.

BTC: How long can it take to completely rebuild a vehicle?

John: Rebuilding a car can take years, proper restorations can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, more than the car could ever be worth, probably. I’m not trying to restore cars to win trophies at car shows, I’m trying to rebuild cars so that they don’t simply rot in a field somewhere. In cases like this, the mechanical bits take precendece over the paint and finish and shininess. To get everything in good working order, it will probably take 2 summers of intermittent work. If this was my full-time job, a few months. This particular truck, a 1948 Dodge, will probably take a year.

BTC: So far, what’s been your favorite car restoration project?

John: My favorite project . . . my favorite project is one I haven’t started yet. I really want to make a completely custom, totally self-designed and home-made race car. Tube-frame chassis, custom suspension components, hand-formed body panels, something low and sleek and sexy like the rocket-shaped F1 cars of the 40′s and 50′s. That’s the sort of thing I’m working towards.

BTC: What kind of skill set do you need to rebuild a car?

John: I have to keep accumulating knowledge of old-time techniques, because that is the kind of car I want to build. Something old-timey, simple, computer free with no ABS or traction control or GPS navigation. Cars are expressions, and everyone has something different to express.

BTC: What’s your favorite thing about rebuilding cars/ cars in general?

John: I love the off-road scene, big monstrous Jeeps and old lifted pickups with winches and floodlights. Also drifters, people who race and thrash their cars.I basically love people who use cars for their intended purpose and don’t care if it picks up a few dings and dents along the way. I’m a big fan of the import scene, but I also love American muscle and European grace. If its cool, I like it. I don’t like the people who hate on cars because “I would never do that to my ride! It looks so stupid!”

Win $100 at Empire!

We asked our Facebook fans to help update our chart. We’ve had some great responses so far!

“To prevent sun fade on the paint.”- Jason S. 


“Scratches and every time I take it off its like Christmas.”- Ryan T.  


I have a classic car. I try to keep the dust off, the cat, and not let window peakers know what is under the cover. I also look for a cover with some padding for small incidental bumps and scratches prevention.”- William S.  

What are your thoughts?

Enter on our Facebook page before noon on Friday, July 13th for a chance to win $100 at EmpireCovers.com!

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Three Weeks in a RV: The Ultimate College Tour

Here at Empire, we’re like a tight-knit family. We celebrate birthdays, encourage each other’s successes and occasionally check out our local happy hour. Recently, when discussing our alma maters, we got down to talking about the actual college selection process. Our social media manager, Melissa, shared her unique experience.

At the beginning of her college selection process, she was invited by a family friend, Rebecca, to join her own college search. For over three weeks, they toured 22 colleges up and down the East Coast, along with Rebecca’s parents. Starting in Southern New Jersey, the trip spanned across West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and ended in Florida.  Their mode of transportation? Rebecca’s family RV, a Class C RV nicknamed “Sally”.

“Sally was named after the song ‘Mustang Sally’,” Melissa says. “We listened to that song over and over the entire time.”

To keep track of the colleges, Melissa made a rating sheet. The two judged colleges on a point system, based on their location, size, housing, and extracurriculars. On some days, the girls toured the campuses on a tandem bike- a bicycle built for two. Out of all of the universities, High Point University in in High Point, NC gained the highest score.

“High Point had a really homey feeling,” Melissa recalled. “The campus wasn’t too big, and they gave us free t-shirts on the tour.”

The University of South Florida also had a high score.  Melissa remembers the campus being “really aesthetically pleasing” with “beautiful, clean facilities.”

But their college tour wasn’t just about universities. During the process, they visited famous attractions and sites such as the Grand Ole Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame, Skyline Drive,  Dollywood, and Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL. The girls favorite stop was Myrtle Beach, where they parked at the Ocean Lakes Campground. The campground, boasting consecutive wins of “RV Park of the Year” by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, provided direct beach access.

In the end, Melissa chose to attend Temple University in Philadelphia. As for “Sally”, Melissa says she’s securely parked at her home in New Jersey, taking occasional road trips. While parked, Sally is kept clean and protected with an Empire RV Cover. 

“It was an amazing experience,” Melissa says of the trip. “I really got to see parts of the country I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. I had never been in a RV before that.”

 

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EmpireCovers.com has been selling high quality covers online since 2004. Located just outside of Philadelphia, our team strives to bring you the best quality products with an easy shopping experience. Because our car, truck, van and SUV covers are a ‘semi-custom’ fit, 99% are in stock and ship right away. And, since we ship direct from the manufacturer, we’re able to pass the savings on to you, offering some of the most durable covers online for a fraction of our competitors’ prices.