Geez, seems like I just turned in my last editorial and can’t believe it’s already been a couple of weeks since. Anyway, as you may recall, the last time we talked I’d mentioned I was gonna do my best to get back out into the garage and get crackin’ on the ’57. Well, I did just that and managed to get some of the jambing done – not all, but at least enough to allow me to begin the installation of the new American Autowire wiring harness.
Wiring for me has always been one of my few strong points when it comes to assembling trucks ’n’ hot rods. I started out years ago by wiring from scratch, assembling circuits one by one as I progressed. It did take quite a bit of time, but it always seemed to work out well. As time went by, the availability of aftermarket wiring components and complete kits became available (I’m really dating myself here) so I began to use them whenever the pocketbook allowed. Boy did they cut down on head-scratching and time.
Once I got the hang of wrestling with the amazing amount of wires (since those new kits came with each circuit already tied to the brand-spankin’ new fuse box assemblies) the installation jobs became even quicker. A lot of that was due to the fact that the manufacturers had the forethought to label each and every wire (every few inches of their complete length) with their intended use. That way I or anyone would be able to concentrate on one circuit at a time – just as I’d always done, but without the possibility of the horn button turning on the wipers or some such surprise I’ve experienced in the past.
Fast forwarding to the present day, there are a multitude of aftermarket companies offering wiring harnesses for nearly any situation, from bare-bones hot rod harnesses to the advanced, high-quality factory-fit harnesses like the American Autowire Classic Update series (part number 500481) ’55-59 Chevy truck harness I’ve chosen to use in my current pickup project. I met co-owners Michael Manning and Frank Colonna years ago; the two had founded American Autowire a few years prior, in 1983. Back then, it was a two-man operation working outta Michael’s basement in Laurel Springs, New Jersey. Now, Michael and Frank are still at the helm, but with over 60 employees and 38,000 square feet of manufacturing space at the American Autowire facility (now located in Bellmawr, New Jersey). The guys and their dedicated crew have become one of the premier manufacturers of automotive wiring harnesses and electrical components for classic pickups as well as OEM/restoration, modified restoration, and street rod/custom vehicles in the marketplace.
The company currently offers five different product lines that cater to all types of automotive projects, including a huge selection of wiring harnesses, accessories, kits, and components that any true classic trucker, rodder, or restorer can appreciate. They offer over 9,000 original restoration wiring harnesses, switches, battery cables, and spark plug wire set combinations in their Factory Fit product line; complete modified restoration kits in the Classic Update series; and provide integrated fuse panel and modular fuse panel street rod wiring through their Power Plus, Builder, and Highway series harnesses. Having used American Autowire harnesses on previous builds with great success I chose ’em yet again for my ’57 Chevy project truck. I’m hoping I’ll have the opportunity to at least begin my installation in time to show the install elsewhere in this very issue, that is, if I can get my butt out into the garage and get crackin’.
Having used American Autowire harnesses on previous builds with great success I chose ’em yet again for my ’57 Chevy project truck.