Brakes: Braking the Language Barrier in Stopping Power

HotRod & Restoration Magazine

Hotrod and Restoration

September 2006

By: Lori Lovely
Photos by: Lori Lovely

Bigger brakes are following in the wake of the recent popularity experienced by bigger wheels and tires.

STOP! Arret! Arresto! Anschlag! Parada! In any language, that's the job brakes are meant to do. The more powerful the car, the more necessary the brakes. If a guy drops a 429 in a muscle car, he better know how to slow it down.

Affordability isn't the only quality builders want in aftermarket brakes. Bigger brakes are following in the wake of the recent popularity experienced by bigger wheels and tires.

Aesthetics come into play because of increased visibility of the brake components, creating new opportunities for custom finishing.


Tom McGavin, sales and technician for Classic Tube in Lancaster, New York, has noticed a steady increase in customer demand for high-end technology and quality aftermarket brake systems. "The difference is they're made specifically for the hot rod aftermarket; they're not parts for other cars that are grafted on to make them work. People realize that specifically made aftermarket products work better. It's smarter, it's safer. Passenger car brakes from a junkyard may work, but they don't do the job as well.

"The old-time hot rods put the emphasis on 'show and go,' " McGavin continues. "They put the biggest motor in the lightest car. They weren't concerned with stopping. Today's hot rodder is concerned with the ride, handling and performance. Ninety percent [of the cars] are driven to the shows."

Classic Tube's mixture of street rod, hot rod, muscle car and truck customers "come to us for help with plumbing: lines and hoses." Their  StopFlex® stainless steel braided hoses use a special four-layer design for superior strength with virtually no volumetric expansion. "You don't want rubber hose with better brakes," McGavin contends. Replacing rubber hoses with StopFlex® hoses can increase braking performance by eliminating a "soft" brake pedal. Because stainless steel hoses don't expand like rubber, they provide a firmer pedal that allows for more control and better safety. Custom-made to fit the new caliper with the old chassis, the Classic Tube product is "a safety factor and a good looking piece that really finishes a car."


While the hottest market for Classic Tube consists of Mustang muscle, McGavin indicates that Mopar muscle is moving in and is here to stay. He calls muscle "by far the hottest segment of the market. For that market (and others), Classic Tube displays a vast selection of braided stainless steel brake pre-made hose kits for most applications. As an alternative, they also offer all the materials for street and custom DIY customers to build their own kits. Other items for sale include bending and flaring tools, fluid, mounting clips, fasteners, fittings and tubing.

StopFlex Braided Hose

Classic Tube's StopFlex® hose assemblies are used for brake and clutch applications to eliminate the spongy pedal feel and provide greater braking efficiency and clutch operation.

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