Posts Tagged ‘cars’

23244159_10215357173105193_2556155068452531867_n

Forgive the dust on the car, look past the clutter, do what I do and just let this soak in.  It’s been a little over a year with this ’34, it’s gone from a pile of mis-matched reproduction and ancient, cast off parts to a roller, that’s wiring and upholstery away from being a car.  It looks exactly as I imagined when I started, which sort of amazes me every time I look at it.

And I go out to the garage and just look at it a LOT.

IMG_8885

I won’t re-hash the build step by step, that’s already done here.  Suffice to say that I’ve learned a lot, gotten frustrated, done a lot of steps over, and put a lot of other stuff on the back burner to get this car to this point.  It’s a 40 year long fantasy fulfilled, that of having a ’34 Roadster.

I must say, I’m rather proud of myself.

I’m at the point now where I can imagine Kim and taking an evening cruise in the summer,  color touring on a crisp autumn afternoon, and a cross country trip with the rumble seat loaded with luggage.  Vague fantasy just a couple years ago, now just a few months of tinkering away.  Not that we couldn’t do all these things with the ’48 Pontiac convertible we’d had for 40 years that got sold to finance this, we did, and could have kept on doing those things with that car, but fate intervened and the “next project” beckoned.

imageOur friends Brandon and Liz from the vintage trailer group we belong to had tried (rather relentlessly) to convince us to part with the ’51 Pontiac wagon, but we weren’t ready to let it go.  They even came over to the house to try to convince us to sell it to them, but seeing the convertible in the garage, unused for three years, asked if we’d part with it.  We hadn’t considered selling it, and when we considered the pros and cons of keeping it, and doing the things I thought it would take to make me happy with the car, versus parting with it, having some extra garage space, and the chance to move on, it seemed like the right thing to do.

Brandon has done all things that I wanted to do to the car, it’s rewarding to see it used and enjoyed, as opposed to it gathering dust under a car cover.  I had “built” the car several times, there had been 4 different engines under the hood, several paint jobs, 3 interiors, and I wasn’t enthused about starting over with it again.

Sort of a “been there, done that” kind of thing.

IMG_7188.JPGSo, we’ve moved on.  I’m still using the T’bird as a work bench, storage shelf, and coffee table, and the Riviera hasn’t been touched for almost 2 years.  That’s OK.  Retirement is just around the corner4, and I’ll need some things to do.  The “heavy lifting” and big expenses are all done on both of them, it’s down to body work, paint and interior for both, the things I really like to do, so I think I’m set for activities to keep me busy, and have a pretty interesting collection of cars. when they’re completed.

23319154_10215357171825161_780568844160299034_n

So, this is where I am.  I’ve been invited to show the roadster at the Detroit “Auto-Rama” at Cobo hall in February, I should be able to get the interior and have the car wired for that.  It’s flattering to be asked, and would make a good debut, so that is a reasonable and realistic goal.

Now, I just have to stop going out to the shop, sitting in a lawn chair by the T’bird and staring at ’34.  Time’s a wasting!

 

 

 

Advertisements

23031689_10215307017331330_5122918414821591269_n

A little progress on the Roadster today.  I trial fitted the windshield posts and frame, after re-tapping the threads for the pivot bolt.  Someone had re-tapped them for 5/16 coarse, the correct pivot studs are 5/16 fine on the w/s end and 3/8 fine for the wing nuts, so I brazed the holes full and re-tapped them.  I need to get new studs, as the threads are booggered up on both of them too, but those are cheap.

The only parts for a ’34 Ford that are cheap…

The w/s frame itself I decided isn’t good enough to have plated.  I found two more pinholes, which I can braze full, The posts, new bronze castings, I buffed, and I sort of like them as is.  Which isn’t correct, but I’m out of funds for chrome, so I’ll run ’em as is, with the w/s frame painted, until I can get the posts chromed and new frame.

s-l1600-2

After months of watching that on-line auction site, today I spotted a re-chromed, but slightly damaged ’34 grill.  The bottoms of the bars are tweaked, but I think I can straighten them, and since I’m going to paint the bars anyway, it won’t mater if the chrome is damaged in the process.  The chrome on the surround looks really nice.  On a genderless car, the grill shell is the focal point of the whole front of the car, so bad chrome really hurts the whole car.

23130544_10215307016971321_6504642557270940133_n

The dash insert is in, and gauges floating in the holes.  The water temp gauge has the Bourdan tube nipped off, I have a parts store electronic gauge I’ll take t he guts out of and put in the SW housing and face.  I have a fuel gauge, a small one, that I need to figure out where to put, and the ignition and headlight switch have to go somewhere too.

The gas tank is mounted, front and rear spreader bars fitted.  Headlight stands and front shocks mounted too, all with stainless hardware that I buffed up before putting the bolts in.  The headlight buckets are on the stands, I have to polish the reflectors and wire the new Halogen bulb sockets.

Little by little…

I’ve made some real progress on the ’34, since I missed my “deadline” to have it at this years “Relix Riot” car show last weekend at the Gilmore Car Museum.  After a summer of having fun (which is what summer is supposed to be about), I’ve gotten busy on the car.  The brake lines and fuel lines are done.  I bought another Buick brake drum to replace the junk one (the lining was worn down too thin to be turned), and have that at my friend Jake’s where he’s turning the Ford hub down to fit the pilot hole in the Buick drum and re-drilling the bolt pattern.

I spent yesterday afternoon with a pan of CLR and a scuffy pad getting the surface rust off the Rootlieb hood, and when that was done, another couple of hours re-fitting the radiator/grill shell and hood gaps.  That involved welding the holes in the mounting tabs for the radiator full and re-drilling them, and as an aside, making a divot in the crossmember to clear the lower radiator hose outlet on the radiator, because with the radiator properly positioned it didn’t clear the (flattened) crossmember.

As Jake says, “It’s all about the re-do.”

A bunch of other little things have been done along the way, like cutting an access hole in the floor for the master cylinder, hooking up the shift linkage, and fitting a pair of absolutely beautiful finned Cal-Custom style finned valve covers to the 283, also a “Red Barns Spectacular” swap meet find.

I’m not sorry at all I missed my artificial deadline.  As the saying goes, “Good things come to them that wait.”.  It feels good to have it going together right, and good, rather than fast.  21034616_10214757575235621_5219514695707933902_n21077436_10214757575435626_861188910218844377_n21077515_10214741456792670_7259237883893543992_n-2

Baby steps, baby steps…

Posted: April 1, 2017 in Hot Rod
Tags: , , ,

17523718_10213176088859450_3466695362694935998_n

It’s been almost two weeks since  I’ve had a chance to work on the ’34, but I had a couple hours to squeeze in today.  I put the radiator and grill shell on, mocked the hood up and got the panels aligned pretty well.  Had to drill new holes in the radiator mount pads on the frame, pushing the radiator back about half an inch at the bottom, but things line up pretty well.

Now, I can pull the radiator back off, and have the lower hose outlet moved to the passenger side (it’s a brand new Walker radiator that cam with the project, but it’s not set up for a Chevy engine), paint the firewall, and prep the body for paint.  The weather should improve pretty quickly and cooperate with my plan to get the car  painted by the end of April.  I hope…

I got started on the headlight stands, which I’m making from a pair of F100 shock mounts, but was interrupted by my parents furnace quitting and going up their place to try to restart that.  I’m using some ’37 Chevy commercial lights, which are pretty similar to ’36 Ford passenger car lights, with slightly less curved lenses.  They should look pretty good when I get them done.  Just different enough to be noticed, but not so different as to look out of place.

Stay tuned, lots of fun stuff coming up!

17630174_10213176088099431_6917079502424969621_n

17626384_10213176088499441_1502518482958149357_n

17342997_10213039500804834_3213163995760765948_nWow.  I am so happy right now.  Body is on permanently.  Engine in temporarily, I’ll pull it out to finish and paint the firewall.  Had a moment of “OH NO!”, when setting the engine, as I’d raised the center (flattened) the front crossmember an inch to lower the front, which lead to some initial interference between the crank pulley and the spring U-bolts.  I had room to shove the engine back 1/4″, which let the pulley drop down behind the U-bolts, I’ll have to fill the existing engine mount holes and cut new ones in the frame pads, but there’s plenty of room for that.

Almost done enough to set behind the wheel and make Hot-Rod noises!

A friend on FB suggested that a full width stainless dash might “flow” better than the small center panel, and lots of people, including my wife, thought the two side panels were just too “busy”.  So, back to ALRO steel I went and  had them shear me a 2’x4′ piece of mirror polished stainless (I got extra, in the likely event I screwed up along the way) and I got busy.

(more…)

Chip Foose is my hero.

Chip Foose is my hero.

I’ll say it right now, Chip Foose is a hero of mine.  I’ve heard, and read on-line lately, lots of disparaging remarks about his latest creation, the above Impala which took the Ridler award at AutoRama, but I’m not one of those distractors.  This car is a masterpiece, and was in my head all day yesterday while I was in the shop working on my own two customs, Kim’s ’63 Riviera and my long-term ’59 T’bird project.

I don’t have the talent, vision, or admittedly the budget for a car like this, but I take inspiration for my own cars from Chip’s work, and this one spoke to me at a very visceral level.  It’s absolutely stunning.  The proportions are perfect, the car is radically modified but still looks like a Chevy Impala.  Integrated, unified, classic yet modern/  Everything flows, beautifully detailed to a level that boggles my mind.  It’s everything that I like about custom cars, and everything I’d like to be able to do.

I overheard some comments while looking at the car, and read afterwards, comments along the line of “The Ridler is bought, not earned”, “All Foose’s cars look the same.”, “F-ugly.”, and so on.  My thoughts on looking at this (and LOTS of other cars at the show) were more along the “I could do that.”

In that light, while the images of the car are still fresh in my head, I’m going to get out to the shop and try to get the bodywork on my T’bird, and get busy with the Air-Ride system under the Riviera.  Maybe someday a crowd of guys will stand around my car and mutter “It’s all about money”, “He just wrote the checks”, “I hate painted bumpers”, and occasionally, “I could do that.”

Let’s get busy.

IMG_4597