Custom Steel Wheels
When we settled on a NASCAR theme for our Pro Touring Laguna, it automatically meant steel wheels, but we were in for a big shock when we found out how inexpensive they were. After measuring our fitment, we special ordered five wheels (gotta have a spare!) in Bassett's D-Hole Lightweight line. For our '75 Laguna, we ordered 15x8-inch wheels with a 5x4.75-inch bolt circle and a 4.5-inch backspacing. We also ordered 1-inch NASCAR-style lugs, 5/8-inch valve stems, and custom bright orange powdercoating. The bill topped out at just $448.95, including freight.

Bassett Racing Wheel

Tire Graphics
With our rolling stock settled, we wanted to further exploit the NASCAR theme with big white letters. Traditionally, that would mean Firestone, Goodyear, or Hoosier lettering, but we had Nitto tires. No problem, just hijack the look using a Nitto logo. Fortunately, we were working with Heath Elmer of Arizona Auto Trim on this project, and he was able to quickly download a Nitto logo off the Internet, load it in his graphics program, curve it to our tire diameter, and cut a painting mask out of vinyl. All this took less than an hour's time, and it's inexpensive, too. Additionally, Heath can make painting masks for anything, including bodywork.

Arizona Auto Trim



Headlight Covers
A headlight block-off cover is a real easy way to send out a race car vibe for a Pro Touring car, especially if you're looking for the NASCAR or Trans Am look. The only problem is that permanently blocking your headlights is illegal for the street, not to mention unsafe. The key is making a block-off that can be easily removed. After making some block-off blanks from sheet aluminum using a template and a waterjet, we discovered some Dzus fasteners from Moroso would give us the quick access we needed, while keeping the race car equipment theme.

Advanced Waterjet


Summit Racing Equipment


Quick Trick: Nutserts
Also known as threadserts, these dandy pieces are useful for adding attachment points to metal surfaces. A nutsert is similar to a rivet: it's installed with a crimping tool that pinches the nutsert around a metal surface in a hole that's the same size as the OD of the nutsert. We used nutserts for our windshield blow-out straps and rear spoiler, and found them easy to use right out of the box the first time out. Threadserts come in a variety of thread sizes (you can get them at Ace Hardware), and once installed, provide a fairly sturdy attachment point that lasts a long time. It's a good alternative to welding tabs or nuts, especially after you've painted a car. These are widely used in race cars, and add a nice repertoire of build choices to the hot rodder's trick bag.

Quick Trick: Riveting
Rivets are a staple or race car builders; they're quick, easy, sturdy, and lend any car a distinct race car vibe. We're not saying they're for every car, but if you like your hot rods rough and ready, rivets give you clear fabrication options unavailable from other techniques in the same price range. Riveting two pieces together is shamefully easy--drill your holes, load the right size rivet in the gun, and squeeze. You'll want to practice on a few pieces first, because the rivet gun clips the extra nub off the rivet at the end, sometimes resulting in the tool bouncing on your paintjob! Easy does it, and you're good to go.