History in the Printed Word and on the Shelves - Engine Builder Magazine

History in the Printed Word and on the Shelves

As most of you are hopefully aware – and many of you may actually remember – the magazine you’re reading today began life 52 years ago this month as Automotive Rebuilder. Through the decades, we have tried to do things right – supporting the efforts and extoling the virtues of the independent rebuilder and remanufacturer.

Have we done everything perfectly? Of course not. Over the years we’ve had a few typos here and there, a few cover illustrations that just didn’t work as planned and maybe a headline that was too cute and didn’t say what we really wanted it to.

It would be great to go back and fix things, but you know what they say – you can’t go home again.

Luckily, as I look through our back issue volumes, those cringeworthy revelations are overshadowed by recognition of this industry’s history. In ads and in feature articles, the shelves of my library are a wealth of reminders of where we’ve been and companies that have been along for the ride.

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to go back in time in Boonton, NJ, the home of Kanter Auto Products and its wholesale division Rebuilders Choice. You may have noticed the ads featuring vintage pinup girls Miss Easy and Miss Easier in our pages for the past several years – when I walked through the doors of the cavernous warehouse, I felt that, had they been standing right next to me, I would have paid them no attention.

Fred and Dan Kanter started their business with a passion for Packards – they purchased a 1937 project vehicle in 1960 and found an assortment of parts in the back seat. After getting the engine running and the car back on the road, they started selling the extra parts.

Over the next several decades they expanded beyond the Packard community to service a wider range of collector cars. By purchasing truck loads, train cars and even entire warehouses of products, often from auto parts stores and vehicle dealerships that were closing, they were quickly able to load multiple shelves with automotive history.

Let me quickly clarify that statement: in this context, “Multiple Shelves” is a gross understatement and needs further explanation.

Many, many floors of a massive old  warehouse cover more than 120,000 square feet, with miles of shelving crammed with millions of NOS and vintage OEM engine, suspension and body parts.

Need piston rings for a 1951 Henry J four-cylinder? You can choose from probably four manufacturers, names of which you’ll recognize but not find anymore in your local parts store. How about a water pump for a 1928 Whippet. Sure – Fred can probably walk over and pick it up without hesitation.

Main bearings for a 1938 Packard Straight 8? Please. How about a challenge?

Were they given the chance that I was, vintage car enthusiasts and history buffs alike could walk through the space with their heads on a swivel, finding treasure after treasure around every corner. Instead, they can learn more about the vintage part numbers as well as exact reproductions of pistons, bearings, fuel pumps and other components in stock at www.rebuilderschoice.com.

They say that time travel is impossible, but I’m really not so sure anymore.  n

You May Also Like

It’s Racing Season!

Well folks, racing is officially back! And that means engine builders, tuners, transmission builders, chassis builders, and racers have all been hard at work these past few months getting things ready for the track. . Every year it seems the off season will take forever on paper, but in reality, we’re back racing again in

Well folks, racing is officially back! And that means engine builders, tuners, transmission builders, chassis builders, and racers have all been hard at work these past few months getting things ready for the track. .

Every year it seems the off season will take forever on paper, but in reality, we’re back racing again in the blink of an eye. From the time the industry gears up for PRI in Indy to the time some of the first races of the year take place, that time goes by incredibly fast. And, it seems these past few years have carried much more excitement for racing across the board, which is always a good thing!

Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse

Happy New Year everyone! I trust you all enjoyed the holiday season and are hitting the gas full throttle now that we’re in a new year and January is already flying by. Personally, I’m not generally big on making resolutions – at least not ones that require tons of effort or ones I know I

Changing the Narrative Surrounding the Automotive Industry

Every now and then, one of my local radio stations in the Cleveland area invites people to call in who recently got ghosted after a first date. For those who need the definition of ghosting, it’s when someone cuts off all communication without explanation. The radio station tricks the ghostee into telling their side of

Brand Loyalty – is it a Thing of the Past?

Well folks, it’s late September and summer has officially come to a close. If you’re like me, you’ll miss those warm weather days and longer hours of daylight, but it’s been a great few months of race events, car shows, seeing customers, visiting shops, and of course, creating tons of content. In fact, one of

Engine Builder Attends SBI’s 40th Anniversary Gala

If there’s anything that these past couple years has demonstrated, it’s that nothing is for certain in life or in business. In these days of such ever-changing environments, economies, consumer habits and the like, it’s more than impressive when a company reaches a major milestone. In July, the team at S.B. International, located in Nashville,

SBI Gala

Other Posts

America’s Best Engine Shops 2022 | H&H Flatheads

Despite not being a fancy, state-of-the-art set up, Mike and his team at H&H have a great thing going. The equipment does exactly what it needs to, his team is experienced and the shop has built thousands of vintage engines for customers everywhere!

Engine Builder Magazine & Autolite Honor 2022 America’s Best Engine Shop Winners

After more than 200 engine shop nominations, it was 4 Piston Racing, Choate Engineering Performance and H&H Flatheads that proved to be among the elite in their respective categories.

Vintage Engines: Rebuilt to Drive

Classic and vintage car culture in is a diverse one. It’s more than just muscle cars. In addition to the unmistakable rumble of American V8 power, vintage European and Asian marques are part of the regular scenery too, and there are premium events around the world that bring out some of the most sought-after models

Vintage Engines
Engine Builder Magazine’s 2021 America’s Best Engine Shop Winners

Engine Builder magazine has announced the three winners of its 2021 America’s Best Engine Shops contest, sponsored by Autolite. The three winners, Moran Motorsports (Race), LinCo Diesel Performance (Diesel) and Workshop 5001 (Vintage), accepted their awards during Engine Builder’s PRI Party, sponsored by Autolite, at Tin Roof in Indianapolis on December 8. Related Articles –