We heard a new term the other day. It's called a "Facebook Vacation." It's when people take a break from living on the Internet, and step outside into the bright light of day. Put your sunglasses on people, because you are about to go on a Facebook Vacation, and this one can actually net you free swag, like a full set of custom gauges from the Auto Meter Custom Shop, or a full set of Mickey Thompson ultra high-performance Street Comp tires.
Frankly, getting in PHR is easier than strapping a holeshot on a Honda. Just fill out the entry form in this story, write a one-page story about your car, take some good digital photos of your ride, and send it all to Popular Hot Rodding headquarters by the prescribed date. This is not some secret ploy to build a mailing list that you'll never be able to get yourself off; The PHR staff promises to keep all this info confidential (code for "We'll never find this stuff in Hunkins' office.") The sole objective of this Facebook Vacation is simple: We want to put your car on the printed pages of Popular Hot Rodding magazine.
We're taking our regular yearly Photo Contest that you know and love, and splitting it into two contests with two big prizes. The first contest is the Popular Hot Rodding Readers' Projects Contest Sponsored By Mickey Thompson. This contest is for guys and gals with projects that aren't completed. When we say not completed, we mean it's not running or driving, but has visible amounts of work already done to it. We want to see all that hard work and find out what your plans are for completion.
The second contest is the Popular Hot Rodding Photo Contest Sponsored By Auto Meter. This is for muscle cars that are finished. You're already driving it to the track, to car shows, and you're terrorizing livestock and small children with the crackle of exhaust and leaving mayhem in your wake. We want you to show us the beauty of your iron horse while telling us exactly why you like it and how it got that way.
My Car Is In Pieces!
If you've got a half-finished carcass of a project, an idea in your head or on a sketch pad, and a pile of parts stacked in a corner, we love it. Does your wife or girlfriend wonder when it's going to be finished, but so far all you've got is a stack of credit card bills to show for it? Did you just have a great parole board hearing and can now resume wrenching on your Mopar? Take heart! Bolt the tires on, roll that sucker into the driveway, and grab some nice high-res digital photos for the Popular Hot Rodding Readers' Projects Contest Sponsored By Mickey Thompson. Grab some pix of the engine, suspension, chassis, and your fabrication/bodywork chops too, and send them to us on a CD with any renderings you've got. Don't forget to send us a shot of you posing with or working on your car. We're going to run all of them in our November Readers' Projects issue, and the one judged by the PHR staff to be the coolest will get a free set of Mickey Thompson UHP Street Comp tires to finish out his or her project! So unless Google is printing pix of your car in a real magazine and sending out a stack of free tires, what's keeping you? Submission deadline for the Popular Hot Rodding Readers' Projects Contest Sponsored By Mickey Thompson is June 17, 2013.
My Ride Is Already Dope!
The long wait is over for guys who already finished their car creations, and now's the time to show it off to more than just the burger joint regulars. We want to pack our Jan. '14 Readers' Rides issue to the brim with your completed homebuilt and pro-built street machines, and to get the best possible photos, we've turned it into the Popular Hot Rodding Photo Contest Sponsored By Auto Meter. Just as in previous years, we need some great-looking high-res digital photos of your ride, along with a one-page cover story, the completed Photo Contest entry form, your photo CD, and color prints of your car.
And as if getting into PHR isn't enough, we'll be giving the winner of our photo contest a free set of Auto Meter Custom Shop gauges up to $800 in value. That's enough to build pretty much any full set of gauges in any color with any look and feel you want! All you gotta do is send us some bitchin pix! Submission deadline for the Popular Hot Rodding Photo Contest Sponsored By Auto Meter is August 2, 2013.
We plan on printing every entry that we get for both the Popular Hot Rodding Readers' Projects Contest Sponsored By Mickey Thompson, and the Popular Hot Rodding Photo Contest Sponsored By Auto Meter, but for that to happen entrants need to follow all of these rules:
- You must provide digital photos on a CD. They must be in JPEG format and at least 3,000 x 2,000 pixels. You must provide color prints for all the photos you burn onto your CD.
- All photos must be in focus, well-lit, and the car must not be chopped off or blocked by obstacles. No time/date stamps.
- You must write a one-page story about your project or finished car and include it in your entry package. Please make it interesting—we may quote from it.
- You must completely and legibly fill out all the information and specs in the accompanying entry form, and send it in with your entry. Please note in the check box which contest you're entering and choose just one.
- The owner of the car must be the photographer. You give Source Interlink Media (parent company of PHR), Auto Meter, and Mickey Thompson permission to publish your photos in print and electronically.
- Please observe the entry submission deadlines for the contest you choose—the deadlines are different. Choose one contest only.
- Both the PHR Photo Contest Sponsored By Auto Meter and the PHR Readers' Projects Contest Sponsored By Mickey Thompson are open to all domestic, rear-wheel-drive passenger cars built between 1955 and 1980. No trucks, imports, front-drivers, or late-models.
- Your entry package must be sent physically to our editorial office, and include a photo CD, prints, a one-page cover story, and the completed entry form/tech sheet (a copy is OK).
- We will notify the winner of the PHR Readers' Projects Contest Sponsored By Mickey Thompson by July 22, and the winner of the PHR Photo Contest Sponsored By Auto Meter by September 23.
Auto Meter Custom Shop Gauges
Until very recently, if you wanted custom gauges for your ride, you had to pay dearly for them—if you could even find someone to do them. Only the most lavishly equipped machines on the show car circuit had one-off instrumentation. Then about three years ago, Auto Meter came up with a great idea: set up a custom shop for automotive gauges, much like a custom guitar shop in the style of Fender or Gibson. The Auto Meter Custom Shop lets customers design their own gauges with unique color faces, ticking, pointers, cover glass, fonts, bezels, and lighting. If it’s part of a gauge, the Auto Meter Custom Shop can do it for you. After logging on to the Auto Meter Custom Shop website, just download the Custom Shop configurator, and start picking out your gauges with all their features. As you build your dream gauge package, the gauges take shape right on the screen. You can try out several different designs, save them for future reference, or compare them. You can even print them out and try them in your car before ordering. And all while you’re building your virtual gauges, the cost is updated and displayed with every revision! You’ll also be surprised how affordable it is. Once you order them, they’ll show up at your door in a beautiful handcrafted wood box. They’ll look so nice, you won’t even want to put them in your car!
Auto Meter Custom Shop
Mickey Thompson Street Comp Tires
The winner of our Readers’ Projects contest will receive a free set of Mickey Thompson Street Comp tires in the size of his or her choice! These high-performance driving shoes have a sexy asymmetric tread design that works well in both wet and dry. With a UTQG treadwear rating of 300 and traction/temp grades of “AA” and “A” respectively, the Street Comp is a great all-around tire for the street and occasional track use. The Mickey Thompson Street Comp tire is built for ultra high-performance applications, and provides incredible traction, crisp handling, and high-speed cornering ability with the outstanding appearance you’d expect from Mickey Thompson. They also have a great look for muscle cars; they’ll complement any hot performer. You’ll also be happy to know that Mickey Thompson Street Comp tires are built specifically for our heavier mid and fullsized classics; available in beefy widths, the Street Comp comes in 18 different sizes ranging from 17 inches on up to 20 inches.
Mickey Thompson Tires
Tips For Better Photos
- At the bare minimum, your photos should be well composed, in focus, sharp, and well lit.
- The entire car should be in the photo, other cars should not be in the shot, and you should not be shooting the rear of the car.
- Try shooting from different vantage points in addition to eye level. If your car is driveable, try shooting at twilight for a more dramatic effect.
- If you turn the front tires, don’t aim the tread at the camera—show the wheel.
- On completed cars, use reflectors to bounce sunlight into the grille. Reflectors can be bought, or made out of aluminum foil and cardboard. An off-camera flash can also do the same job.
- Use a tripod to steady your camera. You can also use the hood of another car, the ground, or a railing if you don’t have a tripod.
- Don’t adjust the color, contrast, or brightness of your images with your computer—this will just mess it up and make it difficult to print.
- Find a unique or beautiful background for a driveable car. A park, beach, historical area, fairground, run-down industrial area, empty country road, airfield taxiway, or tarmac can be a great spot. Keep off the grass, dirt, mud, and the gravel. Stay away from painted parking lot lines.
- Experiment with different exposures. Use the exposure compensation feature (look for something labeled “EV” on your camera menu) to increase the exposure if your images are too dark.
- Bring friends to help with reflectors, flashes, to direct traffic, to move extraneous debris, to read the camera owner’s manual, and to help you move the car.