EP014 Kansas City Auto Museum Update, and More Fun News!


Coming up in this episode of Road Muscle Radio, we’ll talk some real heavy metal donated to the Petersen by Metallica’s James Hetfield…if you thought classic cars were a good investment- you’ll be left holding the bag….defining the indefinable rat rod…and how a syclone can be a good thing.






Metallica’s James Hetfield Shows off His Classic Car Collection

JUNE 29TH, 2020 AT 9:32AM


Metallica frontman James Hetfield has quite a collection of classic cars, a portion of which he recently donated to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, CA. The museum put out a short preview of Hetfield driving and talking about a couple of his favorite whips back in May, and now they’ve released a 27-minute documentary showing the full monte.

This is not the first time Hetfield has collaborated with the museum either. In 2014, alongside Nick Mason and Brian Johnson, he helped curate an exhibit on the world’s greatest sport coupes for the Petersen. For his recent donation, the Petersen board of trustees has named Hetfield a Founding Member.

Soms of those cars heading to the Petersen’s Bruce Meyer Family Gallery,:

Voodoo Priest, a 1937 Lincoln Zephyr;

Slow Burn, a 1936 Auburn roadster;

Aquarius, a 1934 Packard;

Iron Fist, a 1936 Ford;

Str8edge, a 1956 Ford F-100;

Black Pearl, a 1948 Jaguar Mk 4 with body by Marcel De Ley;

Skyscraper, a 1953 Buick Skylark;

Crimson Ghost, a 1937 Ford;

and a 1961 Lincoln Continental

Metallica had several American festival double-headline dates scheduled for 2020, as well as a South American tour, but all of those have been canceled or postponed on account of the coronavirus. The band is taking advantage of the down time by writing new music, while James continues his rehab efforts.





Let me give a list of possible investments:

classic cars



ladies handbags

Which do you think is currently the top dog of moneymakers?

Yup. Freakin’ handbags.

According to the Times, a newly-published report by Art Market Research has revealed that luxury and vintage handbags now outperform art, classic cars and rare whisky in terms of their increase in value over time.

The iconic crocodile skin Himalaya Birkin by Hermès, for example, is often deemed the most collectible handbag in the world. The report found that Birkin bags increased in price by 42 percent on average last year – almost double that of the 23 per cent rise for Banksy artworks. In the years since 2010, the average values of the cult Hermès Kelly handbags, meanwhile, have risen 129 per cent. Art Market Research stated that Hermès handbags attracted ‘eye-watering’ prices last year, with their value increasing by as much as 300 per cent within only months.

So what does that crap mean?  According to Christies, one of these things sold at auction, in 2016, for over $300,000.

Christie’s auction house hosts seven live and online auctions dedicated solely to bags every year.

In the words of the immortal Slim Pickens from Blazing Saddles…I am depressed.





Hotrod.com’s article defining a rat rod is pretty interesting.

As with most of the terminology used in the hot rodding hobby, the definition of “rat rod” is not precise, and opinions about which cars are and aren’t rat rods is subject to long and passionate debate.

Who Invented The Term Rat Rod?

The phrase is a spin-off of “rat bike,” referring to custom motorcycles built on the cheap. The late Gray Baskerville, venerated hot rod writer, is said to have been the first to apply the word to hot rods.

When Did Rat Rods First Appear?

The earliest hot rods were homebuilt. They were rough, low-budget, and, like rat rods, sneered at by other automotive enthusiasts. The difference is that those cars weren’t intentionally built to be fast; many rat rods seem to be purpose built to get a reaction.

David Freiburger places the birth of the modern rat rod trend at about 25 years ago, starting with high-end, high-tech rods with smoothed sheetmetal, modern drivetrains, modern chassis, modern interiors, and tons of billet. Critics of this style objected to the fact that these cars obliterated everything that identified their heritage. The reaction was the resurgence of traditional style hot rods—the extreme wing of that reaction was rat rods.

Scotty Gosson, author of the book Rat Rods: Rodding’s Imperfect Stepchildren, said, ” As a response to the high-dollar billet-based street rod trend, budget-limited home-based rod builders looked to the past for inspiration and style, and rat rods were the result. These ‘imperfectly fine’ rods rarely sport paint jobs of any kind, and their owners aren’t scared to drive them. They represent a rebellious attitude, but never take anything too seriously either.”

Does Traditional Styling Make It A Rat Rod?

Rat rods tend to share a lot of the vintage details of traditional rods, such as solid front axles, chopped tops, and other retro components. Traditional rods are built (generally) to honor the style of a past era. Rat rods are the funhouse mirror version, built (generally) to take it to the extreme.

Does Patina And/Or Flat Paint Make It A Rat Rod?

Worn paint or a primered finish is one characteristic of rat rods, but that by itself doesn’t automatically make a hot rod a rat rod.

What Isn’t A Rat Rod?  The article has pictures, and two of them pretty much said it all.

Basically, a ratrod is almost an artpiece, intentional- but not so much from a self-consciously precise design, but more from a “hold my beer” aspect.  Love’m or hate’m, they hold their own.






How would you like your GMC truck to smoke muscle cars?  The original 1990s Syclone was a contender.

The original GMC Syclone was not your ordinary small truck. Its 4.3-liter turbocharged V6 enabled it to hit 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds in the early 1990s, which made it not just way faster than any other truck, but quicker than most sports cars of the time, too.

Basically a high-performance version of the GMC Sonoma pickup truck, the Syclone was produced in 1991 by GMC, followed up by the similarly powered 1992-1993 GMC Typhoon SUV.   Powered by a 4.3 liter LB4 turbo V6, mated to a 4-speed 4L60 automatic.

Hot little thing, now getting a hot nod of hell yeah. Specialty Vehicle Engineering in Florida, has decided to recreate it.

Welcome their 2021 GMC Syclone high-performance truck, based on the 2021 GMC Canyon midsize pickup. Not that the new Canyon you can buy at a GMC dealership is anything like the latest Syclone, which packs 750 horsepower!

The 2021 Syclone uses a 5.3-liter supercharged V8 engine which directs its mammoth power to all four wheels. Along with 750 horses, the motor has 600 lb-ft of torque to play with. The L83 V8 – in its basic form – does duty in the likes of the GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Suburban. Besides the supercharger, it also gains upgraded injectors and cylinder heads. An upgraded eight-speed automatic transmission is used and, although no performance claims are made, it’ll obviously destroy the stock Canyon off the line.

The outside goodies are fun, too:  20-inch forged alloy wheels, a lowered suspension, a composite hood insert, and dual tailpipes for the stainless steel exhaust system.

If the Syclone sounds like the kind of truck for you, you’d better move fast as only 50 examples will be made. It could be the perfect weapon for hunting down F-150 Raptors, as long as the battle doesn’t head off the asphalt at any point. Worth pointing out is that the new Syclone isn’t emission-legal in California – there, it can only be used as part of dedicated motorsport racing events.





Brett and I and our good friend Corey Pratt from youtube’s Craving Cars got to chat with Chip Ashby a few months ago on our brother podcast, Driven Radio Show.  Chip is the Community Programs and Resource Coordinator at Kansas City Automotive Museum. He graduated UMKC with a degree as a Medievalist, and in Film & Media Studies.  So, when he says he’s about to go medieval on your ass…he means it. He digs older imported motorcycles, long walks on the beach, and talking on podcasts.  Welcome Chip to Road Muscle Radio.

  1. The Kansas City Auto Museum is open! What’s changed about how we get to visit.
  2. What’s the latest exhibit for July?
  3. How was cars and coffee at Bar K?
  4. What’s the Oddballs & Obscurities Car show? When do you the museum might make that happen?
  5. Tell us about the Great Car Show coming up this month on the 19th?!!
  6. BRETT’S FINALE: What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done in, or on, a vehicle?

You can contact Chip at kansascityautomuseum.com.  They have a place for you to message them on the “Contact Us” page, plus you can call 913-322-42-27.  The museum is just a few miles from where either Brett or I live here in Olathe, KS. Hit up the website, get the details, and check out this place.  Chip- thank you so much for joining us on Road Muscle Radio!


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