Here is a quick look back at some of the vehicles I’ve constructed since 1955…the ones I still have pictures of. They are basically in chronological order and include a brief description of each.
This is the monster that got me hooked on wheels. A discarded lawnmower motor bolted to some slapped together angle iron. The drive gearing came from a push mower and the front steering was a straight axle mounted on a center pivot and then pushed side-to- side with my feet. And check that zoomie header. Added at least 15 HP I’m sure. Year – 1955.
My first legitimate wheels. A Jawa 125. I thought the gold pinstripe decals I applied were the ultimate in customization. And it was heaven to my ears when I’d pull the baffles out of the exhaust pipe. What can I say. I was 13…and the terror of our farming neighborhood. Year – 1958.
My first legitimate set of FOUR wheels. A 1955 Plymouth with V8 power and automatic…with the shift lever on the dashboard. I had it painted poppy red and as was the custom in those days, ran with whitewall tires, red rims and no hubcaps. 15 years old and still the terror of the neighborhood. Year – 1960.
This was the car I drove throughout high school. A 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 with a Thunderbird 312 engine and automatic. I had it painted Honduras Maroon which was the poor man’s Candy Apple Red. I installed a tube grill and lowered the front (raked) about 3″. It had a great set of glasspacks. To this day I’ve never been able to duplicate that sound. Year – 1963.
When I blew up the flathead in this ’52 Ford I bought a ’53 Chrysler from a neighbor after he had rolled it. I pulled the 331 Hemi and bought motor mounts from J.C. Whitney to slip the engine into the ’52. I often drove the car around town with the hood off just so people could see the hemi. Oh, and I once blew the driveshaft out while going 115 mph…scary. Year – 1963.
For some reason I loved the look of the old Buick nailhead engines and went out of my way to purchase this 322 cubic inch version from a ’55. I also found a very rare 3 speed Buick transmission to go with it. The ’23 T body and pickup bed were early fiberglass units. My mom did the upholstery. Year -1965.
In the mid 60’s and early 70’s I went drag racing. First with a 283/4spd 1964 Chevy II and later with this C/Altered. Chapman Chassis out of Chicago built the frame and it was powered by a 307 cu. in. Chevy, tunnel ram, dual four barrel carbs, crane cam, hydro stick transmission and a narrowed Olds rear end. The car ran high 10’s which was okay in those days. My wife was my pit crew. Year – 1973.
I picked up this ’57 Chevy 283/automatic for $200. But it was a four door and somewhat of a rusty mess. So I welded the rear doors closed, cleaned up the metal work and then painted the car myself with Honduras Maroon lacquer. You had to climb over the front seat to get to the back seat. Year – 1990.
When a radiator hose broke, the rotary in my ’83 Rx7 was warped beyond repair. Fortunately, my daughter had just gone off to college and left behind the Buick Regal/Olds 307 I had bought her. It was a tight fit but with a few taps from a handy maul, the transmission tunnel agreed to fit. I shot it in jet black, my first urethane paint job. Fun car but a little front end heavy. Year – 1993.
This mess was my very first attempt at hand fabricating a car body. It was built by applying fiberglass over a plywood base. The engine, 5 speed and front wheel drive were from a Honda Accord. I had the car sitting unfinished in the driveway one day when a stranger stopped and insisted on buying it. I parted company with it quite gladly. Year – 1994.
I didn’t build this ’30 model A myself but I owned it for awhile. It was originally built strictly for racing but was later put on the street. 396 Chevy with a 402 crank. Comp cam, 850 Holley, Turbo 400 and a 4:56 posi rear end. Full roll cage and 5 point harness. Crazy fast for the street. Year – 2006.
All steel, hand fabricated body mounted on a shortened Ford Econoline frame, F150 front clip and Twin I-Beam suspension. 460 Ford, Edelbrock 750, Performer Pro manifold and cam. Race modified C6 transmission. Titled as a 1932 Ford and build by Charlie’s Rod Shop in Vancouver, B.C. in 2004. I’ve owned it from the day it was finished. Year – Present Day