Going fast and looking good aren't mutually exclusive. If they were, we would all be driving incredibly fast, primered Camaros with brake dust encrusted wheels or pushing around beautiful trailer queens. While we would all agree that performance is what makes this hobby fun, it's also true that super trick parts add to the mix. They give us a chance to make our rides stand out from the crowd. One aesthetic area of a car that I've had a hard time dressing up is the hood hinges. No matter how tricky I got with powder paints, finishes and hardware, they always looked like they came off a horse-drawn buggy from the 1800s. Detroit Speed and Engineering saw this same dilemma and decided to offer up a solution, CNC-milled billet hood hinges. Aside from looking killer, we were told they also offer a few functional improvements over the spring-loaded stockers. So, with hinges in hand, we set out to find a car and see if this new part from DSE was more than just another pretty face. 01 We met Tom Lee when were shooting his '68 Camaro for this issue and he agreed to be our guinea pig. Surprisingly, it didn't take much arm twisting. The first step to installing the hinges is to remove the hood. It's a two-person operation any way you slice it. 01 We met Tom Lee when were shooting his '68 Camaro for this issue and he agreed to be ou 02 The main advantage of the DSE hinges is that they offer super smooth operation not found with the herky-jerky OEM units. This is because each of the fulcrum points operates on a set of bearings. In addition, the old-school spring has been replaced with a pneumatic cylinder. Anyone who has ever had to remove the spring from a stock hinge knows that it can sometimes be a pain. The shock on the DSE unit is easily removed if needed. You can even get one that's valved for a lightweight fiberglass hood. They run $625 a pair in raw billet, and $700 in a black anodized finish. 02 The main advantage of the DSE hinges is that they offer super smooth operation not fou 03 Next up, Tom bolts on the billet hinges with the button head Allen fasteners supplied by DSE. 03 Next up, Tom bolts on the billet hinges with the button head Allen fasteners supplied 04 As we were getting ready to shoot this story, DSE announced that they had a new part to compliment their hinges. This hood latch pin and spring collar are machined from 304 stainless steel. Sure, it's purely cosmetic, but at $45 it's not going to make you miss your next mortgage payment. And, it won't chip and rust like the stocker. 04 As we were getting ready to shoot this story, DSE announced that they had a new part t 05 The first thing we did was measure the height of the stock hood latch pin. This will help us get the new pin "in the ballpark" as far as alignment. 05 The first thing we did was measure the height of the stock hood latch pin. This will h 06 Remove the old pin using a large flat-head screwdriver. The new pin is simply screwed into the resulting hole. Also, the new pin doesn't have a slot in the end like the OEM unit. Instead, there's a hole in the side were you can use a tool to tighten the part down. We used a small Phillips screwdriver. The new pin doesn't ship with a new jam nut, so you will want to buy a new fancy stainless one, or you can clean up your stock one like we did. 06 Remove the old pin using a large flat-head screwdriver. The new pin is simply screwed 07 Adjust the pin to the same height as the old one, tighten the jam nut, and you're done. Easy as smacking around Mustangs at the track. 07 Adjust the pin to the same height as the old one, tighten the jam nut, and you're done 08 With the new pin in place we can get back to installing the billet hood hinges. I've always found that adjusting the hood is a royal pain in the gluteus. One adjustment made messes up another area. That's why it helps to have friends who do this for a living. Dick Kvamme of Best of Show Coachworks makes sure Tom's hood fits as good as it did before the install. 08 With the new pin in place we can get back to installing the billet hood hinges. I've a 09 The best innovation with these new hinges is this small turnbuckle (red arrow). Adjusting this helps make small changes to the alignment of the hood, and it's a ton easier than loosening bolts and moving the hood over and over again. Dick says that it made dialing in the hood alignment much easier and, given the lack of curse words during installation, we believe him. 09 The best innovation with these new hinges is this small turnbuckle (red arrow). Adjust 10 Color us done. Total install time was about an hour, and the new hinges look stunning in the black engine bay. One aspect that we can't convey on the printed page is how silky smooth the new hinges operate. They really need to be felt to be appreciated. The hood also stays put at any angle you wish to stop it at. The only thing Tom wishes is that he'd had these on his car before we shot it for the feature. 10 Color us done. Total install time was about an hour, and the new hinges look stunning SOURCES Best of Show Coachworks 7-60/-480-0227 www.bestofshowcoachworks.com Detroit Speed and Engineering 7-04/-662-3272 www.detroitspeed.com By Steven Rupp Enjoyed this Post? 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