EP015 Mike Patterson, Owner of the Evel Knievel Museum

In this episode of Road Muscle Radio…a peek at some gurus of restomodding nirvana… possibly the 5 worst problems to look for with modern muscle cars…and why your two-wheeler ain’t turbocharged.

In segment two, Mike Patterson- owner of Historic Harley Davidson in Topeka, KS- aaaand owner of the way cool Evel Knievel Museum-  joins us for some chat about jumpin’ not only buses and canyons, but corona and history.





Restomodding raised to Perfectionism

Got a classic you wanna make amazeballs?  Got pockets deeper than the Pope’s gofundme account?  Wanna make your rolling dream into a fire-breathing asphalt-eating monster of reality?

Driving.ca listed 5 firms, each with a car as an example, for places to not just kick your minty or messy vehicle a notch, but catapult it.

Let’s look at our favorite three from the article. Note- we don’t talk price cuz if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.

Eagle Lightweight GT

The Eagle Lightweight E-Type GT is an almost-from-scratch breathtaker. Eagle, according to their website, offers “original and restored Jaguar E-Types for sale, all prepared to our exacting standards, alongside the world famous ‘zero miles’ Eagle E-Type restorations and Special Editions – the SpeedsterLow Drag GTSpyder GT and the new Lightweight GT.”   That lightweight version has taken the race-bred E-Type Lightweight of the 1960s to new-fangled heights..

“Restomod?”  Puh-lease.  Almost every piece has been meticulously recreated and perfected. Eagle does at least begin with a stripped-down Series 1 E-Type, even if almost none of the original parts are retained. Some 8,000 hours go into building each one.

Each E-type gets:

– upgraded and enlarged all-aluminum 4.7-litre straight-six

– three twin-choke Weber carburetors in place of the original SUs.

– 380 horsepower and 375 lb.-ft. of torque

– a manual transmission and titanium exhaust.

Plus, almost everything that could be made out of magnesium on an Eagle E-Type is — and everything else is carbon fibre. Dry, the GT weighs just 2242 pounds. Talk about fun to drive.


We spoke with Jonathan Ward, the evil genius behind the ICON4x4 and DERELICT brands, back in Episode 4. He’s super cool, and so are his vehicles.

According to this article, the bread and butter of his business is taking classic Toyota Land Cruisers and making them near-perfect daily drivers.

You can have yours any way you want: ICON offers the FJ40 as a completely stock-look restoration; as a crazy kitted-out off-roader built for the trails of Moab; or as a patina’d old warhorse with brand-new mechanicals.

What you get when Jonathan gets jiggy on your jitney:

– a choice of a Chevy-sourced LS 6.2-litre V8 with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed  automatic transmission; or, for a more retro feel, a 2.8-litre straight-six diesel with five-speed manual.

– multiple wheelbases available, as well as a four-door model that was never offered by Toyota in the first place.

– Heated seats? Sure? Classic look? Sure. Customized out your ears? Double-sure with a half-flip. As bare or boof as you want it.

– electronic locking differentials, sport brakes, and cast-iron manifolds into ceramic coated exhaust

All this to name a few.

As the final note, from the brochure you can download at icon4x4.com, “His volume is extremely limited, with each vehicle assembled and finished by hand. It is an astounding act of déjà vu: Reincarnations of classic utility vehicles that inspired a cult following since the 1960s. But while the look may be pure vintage, the body, engine, drivetrain, wiring, seats, suspension and steering are completely state-of-the-art..”

Classic Recreations 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 9

How often is a company officially licenced to build resto-mods of iconic cars?  Not many. Classic Recreations is one- with their 1969 Mustang Boss 9.

First off, you decide if you want to use an original 1969 or 1970 Mustang shell, or opt for a completely new Ford-licensed body, and all the Boss 429 trimmings.

What you get:

–  an 8.4-litre, 546 cube V8 with hemispherical BOSS 9 cylinder heads

–  815 freakin’ horsepower

–  electronic fuel injection

–  200 mph Boss 429 gauges

– a Tremec manual transmission, with auto available.

– a full interior with 5-point seat belts, A/C, wicked JVC sound system, and a bunch of options to make you giddy.

The company also makes a 1967 Shelby “Eleanor” replica out of carbon fibre, not ot mention a metric crap-ton of other iconic Mustang models, plus a Camaro.  I mean…dayam.


13103684 – portrait of crazy electrician over white background


 Hotcars.com listed their 10 Worst Problems Muscle Cars Have Had Over The Years

We’ll look at their top 5, but coming in at the bottom 5 were:

Valve Covers That May Warp And Cause An Oil Leak,

Fuel Tanks That May Degrade Due To Exposure To Heat,

-Lamps That Lack Amber Side Reflectors Which Pose Serious Visibility Issues,

-Faulty Accelerator Pedal Return Due To Interference From The Floor Carpet


-Ignition May Get Switched Off Due To Accidental Knee Contact

Their top 5:

5Faulty Tire Pressure Monitoring System

This issue affected the 2012 Dodge Charger. It started after the 245/45Z-R20 All Season Performance tire sales code information was not included in the Central Body Controller (CBC) of the car, where the parameters for the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) are programmed.

According to the defect information report, “Since the BBC configuration in the suspect vehicle population did not include a cold inflation value, a TPMS telltale would only trigger if the tire pressure fell below a default value of 22 psi.” The TPMS must send a warning when tire pressure is already 24 psi.

4Disengaged Park Brake Cable

General Motors has revealed that the issue affects its 2015 Chevrolet Corvette. According to its manufacturer notice, “Some of these vehicles have been built without one of the rear parking brake cables fully seated and engaged. In this condition, the parking brake will only operate on one of the rear brake drums leading to a reduction in the parking brake’s operational capability. This reduction in operational capability may cause the vehicle to roll away if parked on a steep gradient.” This can also increase the likelihood of a crash.

3Electrical Short Circuit That Can Start A Fire

This problem affects the 2013 Dodge Challenger and according to the defect information report submitted by Chrysler, seven incidents that were linked to this issue have been identified. It is unclear if the issue had caused any injuries.

The report also explained, “Some vehicles may experience an electrical short circuit between the Starter Motor B+ cable assembly electrical terminal and the Starter Solenoid. This condition may cause a vehicle fire without warning.” All seven vehicles that experienced the electrical short circuit were manufactured at the assembly plant in Brampton.

2Possible Engine Stall Due To Alternator Failure

This issue stems from the electro-hydraulic power steering (EHPS) used by the 2011 to 2014 models of the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger. According to the safety compliance report, vehicles using this EHPS “may experience an alternator diode thermal fatigue failure due to cyclical loads induced by EHPS.”

Moreover, the report also explained, “Depending on the failure mode and timing, system voltage may drop to critical levels, disabling systems such as the Antilock Brake System/Electronic Stability Control, Engine Control Module/Central Body Controller or result in a loss of vehicle power.”

1Missing Fuel Pump Regulator

This issue affects several Chevy models including the 2020 Camaro. Because of this, a fuel leak may occur, and this may become an ignition source that could start a fire.

According to Chevrolet’s safety recall information, “The supplier of fuel pumps for these vehicles may have failed to install a component that regulates pressure within the pump. This can result in over-pressurization leading to a crack in certain welds in the pump. If the welds crack, fuel could leak from the pump.” To fix the issue, the car’s high-pressure fuel pump would be replaced.



The drive had a fun article on why turbocharged motorcycles are an un-good idea.

Apparently a version of this showed up on Bring A Trailer, which made the website give the thought a spin.

The first forced induction production motorcycle goes to the Kawasaki Z1R-TC, but Honda’s CX500 Turbo must be credited for beginning three years of turbocharged motorcycle insnaity. Today, the soft shape, turbocharged motorcycles of the 1980s register as feats of engineering and relics of vicious competition.

Offerings from Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Suzuki cropped up in 1982 and 1983 as a direct response to the Honda CX500 Turbo, only for production to cease across the board in 1985. With the exception of Kawasaki’s H2 line and Peugeot’s one-off Jetforce Compressor supercharged scooter, forced induction has been absent in motorcycles and for good reason.

To go through the painstaking R&D process of packaging a turbocharger into a motorcycle was work enough, meaning each bike was an iteration of an existing chassis. Adding power and weight to a chassis originally engineered without these extras required each company to bolster their bikes to varying degrees.

The Honda was futuristic for its time, equipped with electronic fuel injection, a liquid cooling system, and air-adjustable preload front and rear.

Suzuki also attempted a form of radical cooling, using an oil-jet sprayer to augment its natural air cooling, while the air-cooled Kawasaki and Yamaha broiled under the extra heat of a turbocharger.

The Kawasaki, Yamaha, and Suzuki were carbureted, adding to an already lagging powerband, according to Motorcycle.com’s head-to-head comparison.

Ultimately, Honda’s extensive research into packaging the turbocharger, with 230 patents filed in the process, and updating the drivetrain accordingly paid off. These bikes were not devout canyon carvers but they did rocket through the quarter miles, with Jay Gleason recording a 10.7 second run on the Kawasaki, according to Motorcycle.com.

Turbocharging doesn’t exactly fit the mantra that Motorcycle Safety Foundation instructors and Superbike racers preach: smooth is safe, and smooth is speed. And while these bikes were certainly powerful, the GPZ750 Turbo making 113 horsepower in 1983, the power of the bikes was secondary to the idea of these bikes existing in the first place for the sake of competition.

In other words, if Honda did it, the other three had to follow—even if the technology present was cumbersome and ineffective.



(many thanks for info: https://www.cjonline.com/news/local/good-news/2017-11-11/topeka-businessman-driving-force-behind-evel-knievel-museum)

Mike Patterson own Historic Harley Davidson in Topeka, KS, saw Evel Knievel live when Mike was just 4 years old.  He doesn’t remember much else from that age, but he clear remembers Evel’s performance at the state fair.  He can still see it- waiting for Evel to come out of the truck, doing the speed runs, the wheelies- and finally, the jump.  AS he grew up, EK stayed his hero, and Mike’s room was full of EK posters, models, and toys. His family was already in the motorcycle business, so the love of cycles and pyscho’s was cemented.

Mike’s grandfather purchased the dealership in 1949, and it’s passed through three generations.  And now, next door- the Evel Knievel Museum.

Mike- welcome to Road Muscle Radio.

  1. When you saw Evel Knievel, what was that like? Did you want to do jumps like he did?
  2. Connect the dots for us on how a project for Jerry Lee Lewis led to the Evel Knievel Museum? Were you just looking for an adult way to show off your collection of Ideal Toys action figures?
  3. What was it about Topeka that said to you, “this is the place for it?”
  4. So when you opened the museum, what was the response like?
  5. Tell us some of the highlights of your museum collection.

We’re talking with Mike Patterson, owner of Historic Harley Davidson in Topeka, Kansas- and the Evel Knievel Museum.

  1. Tell us about the Doug Danger jump done in downtown Topeka that you helpe make happen.
  2. Are there any Evel artifacts you’d love to get into the museum?
  3. Tell us about the restoration work at Historic Harley Davidson?
  4. What are the museum hours, and how does a person go on a tour?
  5. Have you ever jumped a shark?
  6. Brett’s closer: What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done on a motorcycle?

For more info, visit evelknievelmuseum.com, and look for them on facebook, twitter, and instagram, plus you can guy tickets online.  Remember we’re practicing social distancing, plus wear your golldang masks.  Mike Patterson, thank you so much for sharing your story on Road Muscle Radio.

(after he’s off line)

Talk about a fun daytrip. Maybe toss in a ride on the city’s 1908 vintage carousel, picnic on the Kansas River, go see Truckhenge,  check out the combat air museum, whatever you like.  Welcome to jump over  country.


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