In life, be it in art, work, or leisure, we all have to have a source of inspiration and influence. We need exposure to someone, or something, that drives us to take the next step, to better ourselves, to increase our skill, our knowledge, and expand our limits. I’m fortunate, perhaps even blessed, to have friends who inspire me, who have vision, who have talent, who give me drive to see beyond my own frame of reference, and step out of my comfort zone.
I’m also fortunate that those people are willing to lend me their time, and their tools, to bail me out of jams when I box myself into a corner!
One of those people is my good friend, Kirk Brown, of “Crafty B Nostalgic Speed”. Kirk’s shop is just a half an hour from me, and every Friday he has an open house, where hot rodders, car guys, and the occasional curious by-passer can stop, check out the latest project, have coffee and cookies, and draw inspiration from each other, and what Kirk is doing.
This past Friday, I went up with 16 lug nuts for my Diamond T project, that I hoped Kirk could help me re-drill and re-tap to fit the wheel studs on the Dana axle. I could have taken the axle out, gotten new studs, but I had the correct (for the Dodge wheels I’m using) lug nuts, and it looked to me like I could make it work with the right drill and a 5/8×18 tap.
We made magic, and metal shavings happen, and I got to use a REAL drill press, wear a machinists apron, and for a few minutes, feel like I knew what I was doing.
Best of all, I got to check out the progress on Kirk’s latest project, a ’32 Ford Roadster, a former 60’s drag strip veteran he salvaged, and added his own “Crafty B” touch to.
A cast aluminum grill shell, tilting side hood louvers, cowl steering, cast dash, licence plate holder, exhaust port, shifter, headlights, tailights, shocks, radius bar mounts, trademark gas filler and more, all from Kirk’s catalogue of hand crafted, sand casted, parts.
Add other innovative features like raised wheel openings, a totally re-worked deck lid, smoothed cowl, and one-off, Hallock style windshield, and you’ve got a ’32 Ford that’ll be like no other one out there.
In this day and age, it’s REALLY hard to come up with something that’s different, that’s already been thousands of times before. This build should stand out from a sea of ’32 Ford Hot Rods as something just different enough to get noticed, but not stray off into “cartoon” category.
And, if that, or the ’32 3 window also under construction, or the ’57 Stude wagon getting four-wheel disc brakes, and bagged, wasn’t enough to get imaginations going, how about a ’51 Ford F-6 heavy-duty truck?
Trucks aren’t Hot Rods, you say? How about if they’re chopped, bagged, fitted with a monster big block Ford engine, and all riding on a cantilevered suspension that’s also Kirk’s design?
This thing is innovative, provocative, and will surely assault the sense and sensibilities of Hot Rodders wherever it’s seen. And it will be seen, as it’s planned use is as a tow vehicle for its owners trailer. It’ll be bed-less, fitted with a 5th wheel to show off the deeply dropped frame and suspension arms.
So, it’s back to reality, and my own dingy, cramped, clutter shop to get my own stuff done. I do that though with the knowledge that I CAN do whatever I can imagine, with a little help, inspiration, and support from my friends!