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- Hero image and all other pictures from: The Custom & Hot Rod Life vast historical archives. Text, art and errors by: Chris Breeden

The Sunday Read

The front cover of the January, 1970 issue of Rod & Custom Magazine

A LOOK AT THE JANUARY, 1970 ISSUE OF ROD & CUSTOM MAGAZINE.

Let's jump into the time machine and go all the way to the beginning of the Street Rod era. To better understand the kinds of problems gearheads were grappling with at that time, lets look at the January 1970 issue of R&C.

I'd like to draw your attention to one of the many bi-lines on the cover of the issue:

Being that I'm from and live in the state of Tennessee, I'm interested in the first story, but that 3rd one is really VERY eye catching! Swapping a 289 Ford engine into a Mercedes? That has got to be a miss print, right?!

After consulting the table of contents let's turn to page 34:

Taken from the Custom & Hot Rod Life vast historical archives.

Here it is, in all of it's glory! How to put some power into the sluggish Mercedes 190SL.

Taken from the Custom & Hot Rod Life vast historical archives.

The instructions are detailed, in the typical Tex Smith, style and they even give you pointers on how to perform this on other models of Mercedes.

Taken from the Custom & Hot Rod Life vast historical archives

I think it's important to remember that doing this to a 190SL in 1970, is exactly like putting a LS engine into a Mercedes from the early 2000's now. No one would blink an eye if you did such a thing today. It also speaks to the number of these cars in the US at the time. Their would have to have been a large number of them and this problem and solution would have to have been asked for so often that R&C felt compelled to devote 4 and a half pages to solving it.

L. P. Hartley once said that "The past was like a foreign country; they do things differently there." I think that this is a very good example of that premise and a demonstration of how automotive history will always repeat itself.

Keep on Cruisin'!

Be sure and check back for next week's installment of "The Sunday Read"! Also, come back throughout the week for more Custom & Hot Rod related content!

(The following is a message from the Give a Car Journalist a Bump a Day foundation or the GCJBD)

Art by: Chris Breeden

Thanks for reading!

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