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Robert Kibbe
Robert is the owner and creator of The MuscleCar Place. His passion for muscle cars drove the creation of this site and the podcasts that go with it.
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Author Archive

TMCP #397 - The Greatest Little Car Show Ever – Old Iola Wisconsin Car Show; June Pro-Touring Update with Larry Callahan

This week our guest was Joe Opperman, Director Public Relations and Marketing at the Iola Car Show and Swap Meet in Iola Wisconsin. Iola is a very small mid-western town that once a year transforms into a massive car show that hosts around 120,000 people and is considered one of the best in world. Joe says he has worked with the show for around 29 years, and he is only 33. If you live in Iola you will either be working for the show or have left town for that week. It is a full community effort to put on the event.

TMCP #396 - Nathan Warren, Warren Customs; Job Complete! The Full And Final Restoration Story of Kibbe Lee!

This week I traveled to Warren Customs in Hamilton Alabama to hang out with Nathan Warren and pickup my freshly updated General Lee! I dropped the car off in January for the full “Season 2” Dukes of Hazzard conversion and after months of hard work he was ready to roll. Last week, he was done! This is the whole story of the restoration, soup to nuts.

Even before I purchased  this car, Nathan had offered to be the one to do the work to make my dream come true. Creating this particular car seemed easy….but was really tricky as most of the subtle changes were fairly major.  Other than the fact that my car was already orange and wearing the GL uniform, cosmetically almost everything else had to change. In episode 353 of The Muscle Car Place I did the first full interview with Nathan where we detailed the plans how to make it as TV correct as it could get. Little did I know that things would go way beyond our simple plans.

Kibbe Lee correct brown interior
The General Lee is as much a character in The Dukes Of Hazzard show as any other cast member. Like most actors the role changes and the actor looks different over several years of filming. To be as accurate as it can be, a specific season had to be chosen and I chose to make the car a season two clone with all the oddities that time had to offer. Nathan was more than up to the challenge and even has parts he can make for other General Lee creators out there.

One piece that REALLY pulls off the “Season 2” look is the amazing push bar that is the most accurate recreation I have seen. In order to make it that great it had to go through a couple iterations, and change more, even after it looked correct at first. There is a lot of work in any restoration but Nathan admitted that in some cases he made more work for himself by striving for the most accurate representation possible. Customers in his shop agree that he is a stickler and they trust him to make the job right.

TMCP #395 - Tommy Lee Byrd, Coker Tires for Classic Muscle and Everything else – Ask Rick; See You at the Races?

This week our guest was Tommy Lee Byrd,Marketing and PR Coordinator for the Coker Tire Company. He is from Tennessee and was referred to us by Mike Finnegan. He grew up around drag cars and racing so when he went off to college he just wanted to be around cars. Tommy’s dad even sold everything he could to buy him a 64 Corvette coupe as a gift. He also owns a 1964 Chevelle that is his “Grandma car” and just plain fun to drive around in.

Coker tire got it’s start in 1960 when Harold Coker purchased a BF Goodrich dealership in Chatanooga TN and got access to the manufacturer of tires. He started ordering special build tires for antique vehicles made from antique tire molds. He either had the rights to use the name of the old tire manufacturers are he simply put Coker on the sidewalls and a brand was born. The family would go to car shows and advertise the tire at events catering to that market. Coker built up it’s collection of old tire molds after they were discontinued by the manufacturer.

Tommy Lee Byrd with his daughter and his 64 Corvette
By having contacts at the major tire manufacturers, they were able to make agreements to continue using the brand names on the tire made with these old molds. Tommy said that the radial tires with wide white walls that look like originals has really been Coker’s trademark over the years. Modern radials have better ride and tire life and really enhance the old vehicles in comfort and safety. The original Coker radial was the companies own design to be like the classic tires customers were looking for. Coker’s American classic tires are made in the USA using Coker molds.

TMCP #394 - Mike Paul: Liquidating a Massive Buick, Olds, Pontiac Collection of Documented Rare Cars Needing Restoration – Pro-Touring Update with Larry Callahan

Liquidating a huge collection of Buick, Olds, and Pontiacs:

This week our guest was Mike Paul, the host of the Motor Madhouse Podcast and life long muscle car fanatic. His love of cars goes back to his upbringing and he has learned a lot from his father where he helped him curate a collected of Buick, Olds, and Pontiac muscle cars that were all well documented (and rare enough) to warrant a restoration. Many have highly rare option combinations, or in one case ONLY go fast options and nothing else. Mike told the details and gives some history on some of the cars which was fascinating on many levels. While they did have the chance to restore many cars, but there’s only so much time in life and the reality was they’d never see them all done. This discussion is all about liquidating the collection and moving them on to new homes!

TMCP 393 - Jo Coddington: Women in Racing and Hot Rods, Promoting Automotive Products, and Life with Boyd Coddington on and off of TV!

This week I spoke to Jo Coddington, racer, car enthusiast, TV celebrity, and Motorsports spokesperson. She became a household name along with her husband Boyd Coddingon on the television show American Hot Rod, but that was not at all where she really gained her start in the industry. Jo was born in Woodvine Iowa, but grew up “out west” in Phoenix Arizona due to allergies that had no known cure at the time. She was raised in a racing family and after graduating from a go kart, she moved into dirt sports. Jo tells the story of her dad not allowing her to come home until she had rebuilt the race engine she had blown up. She worked on it at a friends garage and thought she could talk him into fixing it, but he was in on the plan with her dad. Years later Jo admits that making her build that engine just reinforced her desire to be involved and could not keep her out of the garage.