1961 Biscayne Quater Panel Replacement

I wanted to tell you and show you a little about another project I’ve been working on for some time now. I do this to show you I’m not goofing off and ignoring the 55 Chevy, but in fact trying to make progress on this other project.

It’s foolish of me perhaps, trying to work on two projects at the same time but originally there really was method in my madness. A little reasoning: I wanted to learn more about body panel repair, sheet metal welding, panel replacement, etc. etc. before I embarked on that process on the 55.

I tend to cruise craigslist a lot so one of those times I ran across a 66 Biscayne for sale and I’ve always like those for some reason… I don’t know why. It was in need of most everything but the price was decent and it looked straight so with the help of my brother, Randy, we trucked to Tacoma to get it. I already had an engine/trans, it didn’t, so I thought we could do what was needed, fix it up quickly and make it roadworthy, learn some things and practice on it and then start on the 55.

As it turns out and we didn’t realize it until we had already drug it home that it was rusty due to the fact that the window channels collect and hold crud, water/moisture and more. Like I said the body was straight and the rust was hidden. We discovered the problems while taking it apart in preparation for body work and paint prep.

This discovery necessitated the purchase of a parts car. A greater amount of disassembly and the project snowballed into a monster of a project. Someone said recently I should have cut my loses but you know me, I didn’t. I pushed on and I’m still pushing. The car is coming along ok but taking way more time than I originally thought.

The big block has a new cam, lifters, timing chain and gears, upgraded oil pump, water pump, A/C pulleys, and so on. I acquired all the factory A/C components to allow for that upgrade. The TH400 was rebuilt and prepped by A-1 Transmission in Vancouver, Washington. The 10 bolt has been removed and a rebuilt 12 bolt with a Yukon Gear Dura-grip, 342 ratio, Dutchman axles, new bearings/seals were added and rear drum brakes were rebuilt. Power disc brakes were added in front.
At some point in the process I decided to mostly clone it into an L-72, sorta. It doesn’t have a 427 but a 454. As mentioned it has a TH400 not a 4 speed and I don’t know for sure but I don’t think that there was ever an L-72, built with factory air but this one has it.

It has new stock reproduction Biscayne seats and it will be painted back to the original Mist Blue color. Since the quarters were wavy I decided to replace them and it’s a good learning experience.

Hopefully one day in the not too distant future I’ll be able to take it out for a little cruise. I look forward to that.

2017 Salem Roadster Show

She’s all history now! They were rockin’ at the State Fair Grounds back on February 18th & 19th at the Americraft Center, Saluting the Salem Roadster Show for 2017. One hundred entry’s, plus a few extra past winners, of Custom Cars, Classic Stockers in Trucks and Cars plus a handful of Super Show Bikes were displayed. Several thousand classic car enthusiasts were treated to some of the Best of the Best show cars from all over the West Coast. From Canada to Central California and all over the Pacific Northwest, the only vehicles invited by co-show producers Bob Symons and Greg Roach are the top trophy winning cars from pervious show car events. Greg and Bob’s special winning cars this year in memory to the late Doug Gatchet’s 1956 Nomad and his 1964 El Camino was Greg’s choice and for Bob, he selected Lee Dixon’s 1968 GTO. They were all three delicious super show class rides. Like past Salem Roaster shows, every car, bike and truck are winners and the proud owners of these fantastic show dream machines are rewarded with a beautiful Salem Roadster Show Winning Jacket.

We at R&R NW Publication would like to thank Bob and Greg for another fantastic show, we would also like to thank both of you and your scores of happy volunteers that help and assist the running of your classy very professional Salem Roadster Show. We would also like to recognize and thank Bob and Greg for the Thousands of Dollars your Salem Roadster Show has raised and donated to a host of local, regional, and national charitys. Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Cancer Program through KDCCP, The National Red Cross and the Roberts Charter High School Foundation plus several more out-reach charity programs have benefited over the past eleven years. In our eyes this is what makes your Salem Roadster Show one of the best shows ever.

All for the Love of Custom Classic Cars & Street Rods

Once again, we visited the garage of Michiel and Denise Gies out in the Damascus area of Portland, Oregon. There was talk on the street that Michiel had picked up a few new rides awhile back and we needed to get current on the subject. The rides in question are three in number and yes, he has added some fantastic new wheels to his collection. We at R&R NW Publication are excited to bring you Mr.Gies latest additions “All for the Love of Custom Classic Cars and Street Rods” for April 2017.

1956 Chevrolet Belair Hardtop
This was a frame off restoration a few years back and she now sports a 454 LS7 for power, producing around 500 HP. An F-10/4-speed tranny and a Ford 355 Posi rear-end. Power steering and brakes plus Tube A arms and Dropped Spindles finish off the re-build. The all stock body in the classic red and white Chevy combo colors compliments the all new stitched out interior. To enhance the stock look the chromed out beauty rings and the spindle covers are a nice touch. This is one fine classic ’56 Chevrolet automobile work of art.

1935 Auburn Boat-Tail Speedster
“Tribute Build.” This delicious automobile in light soft shadow green w/ darker lime green trim was manufactured in October of 1978 by Custom Coach down in Pasadena, Ca. She is built on a Chevy-Monte Carlo Chassis and sports a 350 Chevy V-8 for power w/turbo 350 tranny, complete with power steering and power disc brakes on all four corners. She shows off an all leather interior in soft green and she sports all the offerings that came on the original ’35 Auburn. Mike recently added a new set of wire wheels and Coker Tires w/whitewalls and a set baby moons to finish this ride off in style. Believe it or not, this fantastic ride was found in a barn out in Corbett, Oregon. She needed a little TLC, but Mr. and Mrs. Gies are enjoying every minute of the clean-up time. This tribute built work of creative art falls somewhere between a Picasso and a Matisse masterpiece, and she will soon be ready for Show Time!



1934 Ford Five Window Coupe

This cherry red little coupe comes with a lot of history. She sports today for power a 350 Chevy V-8 w/ 350 Turbo Tranny and a 9” Ford Posi Rear-End. Add on Heat and Air Conditioning and this is one fine new ride for all seasons. She shows off a super stitched tan fabric interior with style and the updated tires and wheels give her an award winning classic look. The history in question is, this is the same little ’34 Ford Coupe that ran down in Woodburn back in the Sixties. She was all white then and sported some graphics on her side “Goofin Noff”. The owner and driver back then, was Jim Hoxit who belonged to the Ramblers Car Club and he was sponsored by the old Shakey’s Pizza in Milwaukie. The gentleman that purchased the car from Jim spent the next thirty years getting it to the show class condition it’s in today. Mike and Denise are taking extra good care of her.

The OH MY GAWD Moment

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I have a vague recollection of when I first heard of the Beatnik Bandit.

I must have been around seven as Ed Roth created the car in 1961. It is very likely that Gregory (my next door neighbor) built a model of it. The graphics on the cardboard box look very familiar to me.
When Roth’s Rat Fink made the scene a couple years later, it created a sensation in my neighborhood. One inch rubber likenesses were highly sought after prizes in the corner market’s gum machine. Teenagers purchased air brushes and taught themselves to paint their own ghoulish characters on T-shirts. My siblings and I each had one.

I played with Matchbox cars as far back as I can remember. When Chevrolet introduced the Camaro in ’67 I thought it was so cool, I pretended my Opel Diplomat was the popular pony car! Then the first series of Mattel Hot Wheels were released (1968) and I pretty much lost my mind. The first car I bought was the Camaro but the Beatnik Bandit was included in that first series. Interestingly, I never owned the track and preferred racing them on a smooth carpet. Eventually all of my cars became racers (even my Snow-Trac got tires instead of treads!). I busted out the Bandit’s bubble top and replaced it with a full roll cage and miniature banana wing. I painted it black and numbered it “11x”. Today it would make a Redline collector swoon!
Years later, I introduced my daughter to “Kar Kulture” and shared my Roth books with her. We discovered that numerous Roth creations, including the Beatnik Bandit were on display in Reno so we planned a pilgrimage there. Seeing it in person was beyond nostalgic- It was weirdly spiritual. We spoke in low voices out of respect. Roth was an original with a unique perspective. Viewing his collected works in full scale was truly impressive.

In 1969 the Twin Mill was introduced by Hot Wheels. Unlike the Camaro or Bandit, the Twin Mill was a fantasy car designed in-house by Ira Gilford. It wasn’t one of my favorites but my buddy Mike Farina had one and so I was familiar. Over the years it remained popular with kids and continued to be a top seller. When Hot Wheels decided to celebrate their 30th anniversary in 1998, they endeavored to have the first full scale Twin Mill built. Boyd Coddington’s shop got the nod, and then went bankrupt to everyone’s dismay. Mattel rescued the project and had the build completed by someone else. The anniversary got pushed back and the reveal took place at the 2001 SEMA show. I didn’t have my Oh My Gawd Moment until I attended SEMA a couple years later. Rounding the corner and finding it sitting there, bigger than life, was surreal. It was repainted Antifreeze Green. The twin, chromed 502’s glistening under the lights. Around the blowers was a hint of residue…starting fluid? Oil? You didn’t know, but you knew it ran! That was important. Yet somehow, it retained the essence of a toy. Man, I just wanted to steal it.

Since 1/64th was my scale, not surprisingly, I also collected HO slot cars. My dad got me started on those in the early sixties and I remain a track owner to this day. Over the years I’d owned numerous Tyco and Aurora Cheetahs; it was a common slot car. I don’t think it occurred to me that there were real Cheetahs until I walked into a garage in Fresno (circa 1992) and saw one. It wasn’t complete; in fact, I remember it looking like a big slot car body. Still I recognized it immediately and it took me back to my childhood. I loved finding it but didn’t appreciate at the time, what a rare discovery it was.

The Cheetah was designed by Don Edmunds (of midget building fame) for a builder named Bill Thomas. Between the fall of 1963 and April of 1966, fewer than two dozen Cheetahs were produced. Because of the low production number, the Cheetah could not compete against Shelby Cobras as intended and had to race in the modified class. There, the transition to mid-engined designs was in full swing so the Cheetah was hopelessly outdated. I think it’s interesting to note that a street version of the car could be purchased for $10,000 in 1964 and Sonny and Cher bought one!

I experienced my most recent Oh My Gawd Moment when I spotted this ex-Alan Green racer at Laguna Seca in August. In spite of being tied down, it appeared ready to pounce. The owner had just turned down a bid of $250,000 at the Bonhams auction. According to one source, the value has diminished now that reproductions are available for half that amount. Still, the Cheetah was an Oh My Gawd sports car if there ever was one.

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My First Car

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From time to time I’ve heard about or read a story about someone’s first car or even cars. How they found it or how it found them and often these stories are fun and entertaining. An example might be my first “car.”

Back when I was growing up it wasn’t considered a necessity to put anti-freeze in one’s cars. I vaguely recall that antifreeze wasn’t in fact used unless threatening weather was coming. At least such was the case in my family.

At this point I can’t honestly remember which car was my “first” car, but at about 13 or so a family friend told me that if I wanted “that old Ford” that I could have it. It was a ’49 Ford 2dr. sedan. It was pretty straight with the front sheet metal off and the engine missing. All I had to do was come tow it home. I talked my Dad into helping with the amazing stroke of luck? But we didn’t have a trailer or a tow bar. I rented a tow bar from A&A Rental on Molalla Avenue in Oregon City and away we went to bring home this amazing treasure.

Of course, hind sight is always clearer but I have to say, “What was I thinking”? I think we got pieces of the engine and loaded them in the trunk, rigged up the tow bar and dragged this pile home. It never became anything more than lawn art, that is until the day 5 years later that it became the donor car for a rear leaf spring rebuild that I had to do on my 55 Chevy after the main leaf snapped. I know what you’re thinking. No, I wasn’t doing a 4-grand clutch sidestep launch in an illegal street race. I can’t say that hadn’t happened to that 55 before I bought it but, it didn’t happen this time. I think the main leaf just died of fatigue that faithful evening as I was leaving the gas station where I worked. I heard a “snap” and the car listed slightly after I crossed the rather large dip at the driveway entrance/exit onto 7th street. I motored up the hill until I pulled into the Union station that was still open, where Jim worked and I told him what I’d heard. He said pull it in on the rack and we’ll see. Yes, it was the same Jim whom I’m still friends with today and it’s interesting to note that he has always been that same nice he is today.

We discovered the broken main leaf that was still hanging together fortunately, but it was evident that it wasn’t fixable only replaceable. I told Jim I didn’t have a spare and he volunteered that he had a set that needed to rebuilt. He also said that if I added one leaf it would raise the car slightly and of course stiffen the suspension a little. I told him I didn’t know anything about rebuilding or replacing a set of leaf springs and he volunteered information about how to do it. I bought the rebuildable set from Jim and used the components scavenged from the 49 Ford and new center bolts to create the springs I needed.

At five years after acquiring the 49 it had managed to get in the way enough that my Dad sent it to old junk car purgatory. The woods on his property where part of it rest till this day. Naturally with younger brothers and their friends and then my kids and then my siblings kids their ain’t much left of that first car.

At the beginning of this tale I mentioned I couldn’t remember “Which” car was first. You might also recall that I told a story about antifreeze being optional back then. Because of people considering it optional my uncle’s wife’s 50 Chevy 2dr. sedan developed a significant freeze crack along the right lower side of its original 6-cylinder block. To my total surprise one day my aunt and uncle drove in our driveway in separate cars. My uncle had driven the 50 Chevy. When asked why they had each driven he said that he was going to “GIVE” me the Chevy. It still ran good but leaked and I could use it to drive around on the farm to learn how to drive. At the ripe old age of 13 I thought I already knew how to drive but I didn’t say that because I was really excited about having my own, running, driving car. I felt like I was the coolest kid anywhere within many miles of Redland Oregon. My Own Car! I couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel to see what she could do. I don’t remember how all that worked out but I do remember sitting in it dreaming about driving around in my Chevy.

As I mentioned, I had little brothers and a sister. If I’m right about my age at the time that would make my siblings 5, 3 and 2 ish. My 3-year-old little brother has always been the helpful kind of guy and even then, he wanted to help his big brother. He decided that since my car burned gas and gas was expensive, he would help me out. With the Chevy parked near the pump house and with his understand of putting gas in cars, trucks and equipment he filled up the gas tank on the Chevy for me. Unfortunately, he used the garden hose… with water. The next time I went out to start my car, it started but then died never to start again. Still I didn’t know why so I kept trying to start it. Eventually through conversation with my brothers I learned what had happened.

One day a family stopped and asked if “that old Chevy in the field ran?” After the explanation, they wanted to know what we would take for the car. We settled on $15.00 whole dollars. The woman accompanied my Mom into the house to retrieve the title while I help the man hook it up to be towed by the car they were driving. They seemed so nice and friendly, you know really nice people. They thanked us profusely, climbed into their tow vehicle and the Chevy and happily waved goodbye as they drove out of the drive way.

Sometime later I asked my Mom for the $15.00 the lady gave her when she surrendered the title. She said she gave her the title but she didn’t get the money and asked “didn’t you get the money from the man when you were helping him hook it up to be towed?” What a sinking feeling! No car, no money, no name or address from them, no nothing.

That, Ladies and Gentlemen is the story of my “first” car (s). Maybe you’d like to share your “First Car” experience? Hopefully it was better than mine. We’d like to hear your story and share it with our readers. If you have a “First Car” story you’d like to share please type it up and send it to us @
R & R NW, 17273 So. Steiner Rd., Beavercreek, OR. 97004 or email the copy to us @ roddinracinnw@gmail.com. We’ll give you the byline and print your story in an upcoming issue. I don’t have any pictures but if you do and would like to include them please also include a self-address stamped envelope so we can send them back or email them to us as a jpeg attachment to an email. We look forward to hearing and sharing your stories. ED.

7th Annual Cruise to Historic Downtown Oregon City

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Trick ‘n Racy Car Club together with the Downtown Oregon City Association, has been putting this show/cruise on for 7 years with never a rain out. It’s generally nice in Oregon in September. Until 2016 that is. The weather was great for the seven days before September 17th and the five or so days after the 17th, but the day of it decided to rain and rain it did. It would let up a little once in a while but it never really quit, so the cruise got drenched.
This show/cruise has become very popular and has grown over the years in fact it had outgrown the space that was allotted so for 2016 they expanded the “footprint” so they wouldn’t have to turn anyone away, like had happened in recent years. Unfortunately “Mother Nature” had other plans. It wasn’t a total rain out thanks to some true diehards who showed up anyway and every one of them stuck it out to the bitter end. The organizers would like to thank all who helped and all who participated.

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MetalWorks built 65 Lincoln Continental

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Lincoln Continentals have always been popular cars due to their long sexy lines, luxurious ride and amenities, and don’t forget about those amazing looking suicide doors.

At MetalWorks we had the privilege of building a heavily customized 65 Continental for a customer, and the owner of this Lincoln took note of the build on our website. After watching the process unfold online  and on social media,  this owner knew he had to get his 65 shipped our way for some upgrades.

When this Lincoln arrived it was a nice survivor car, but Continentals are big cars with big, heavy, gasoline hungry engines—and this one was looking for improved performance. The owner not only wanted more ponies under the hood to push the 5000lb Lincoln down the road, but reliability, and a little increase in miles per gallon wouldn’t be so bad either. After research and some phone meetings it was decided the right treatment for the 65 was a brand new GM Performance LSA engine—the same as you would find in a Cadillac CTS-V. The LSA platform is a supercharged 6.2 L putting out 556 horsepower and comes mated to a 4L85E transmission.

Now the LSA didn’t just drop between the rails of the Lincoln, but the necessary mods were not as radical as one might think. The modifications however were more in-depth than we can discuss in this quick article — but you can check out the full build in great detail on our website. Besides the LSA engine conversion and all the components required (EFI fuel tank, modified drive shaft, radiator swap,  etc) the  Lincoln also received a Currie rear end, lowered suspension components, custom interior upgrades, and even a set of wide white walls.

In the end we never touched the 65’s external appearance beside the new lowered stance and shoes, so the Lincoln retains a mostly stock appearance. Stock appearing that is until the owner decides he needs to mash the throttle—the results of which could lead to a very short life for those shiny new white walls. He had a 64 Lincoln back in high school in the late 1970s that he daily drove into the ground. He states that once the expense of keeping the Lincoln on the road became too great, he had to let it go. His current plans are to turn loose of his Mercedes and drive his newly transformed 65 daily. Sounds like a “reliable”  trip down memory lane.

See the 65 Lincoln’s full build at: http://metalworksclassics.com/portfolio-page/1965-lincoln-lsa-conversion/

 

Feature Ride of the Month: 1955 Dodge Lancer

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This month’s Featured Ride is a 61 year old piece of sculptured pure-bred artistic creation of automobile wonder. Terry Morris Custom Auto down in Wilsonville, Oregon worked four long years designing, developing and fine-tuning this piece of art. We at R&R NW Publication are pleased to make Mr. Dick Pedro’s 1955 Dodge Royal 2DR Custom Hardtop from Gresham, Oregon our featured ride of the Month for November 2016.
This delicious ’55 Dodge Royal 2 Dr Hardtop from the Chrysler family of fine automobiles was a unique look, back in the mid-fifties. She sports a 354 ci Hemi producing 500 plus HP with a 700 R4 four speed auto tranny on the floor for fun and a 9” Ford Rear-End. A Fatman chassis holds it all together and Wilwood Disc brakes on all four corners does a cool job slowing her down. She’s been tricked out with all the updated tricks like AC , power steering, power brakes and a super sound system. The interior has been treated to a set of Jaguar modified leather seats upfront and arm rested comfort in the back. The classic w/white tires highlight the Orange metallic wheels w/ beauty rings and a set of Spider Clusters on all four corners really bring this ride alive. The exterior of this beauty features Silver metallic lower body, Pristine black top with orange and black scalloping hi-lighting the sides and hood area with world class artist Mitch Kim adding the straight and clean line pin-stripping, bringing this piece of creative art all together like a perfectly framed master piece. Dick Pedro has owned and built several tricked out cars, trucks and street rods since his days back at Molalla High School where in Auto Shop he built a sweet little ’55 Ford two door HT that got him around the valley in the mid-sixties. He now makes his home out in the Gresham area of Portland and can usually be found at the Endless Summer Cruze-In every Wednesday out in Gresham, sponsored by the Pharaohs Street Rodders raising funds and supporting our veterans programs. Mr. Pedro has owned this fantastic Dodge Royal for over ten years and she has won her share of trophies all over the West.

EV Cars & the RPM Bill

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 First we need to acknowledge the passing of two motorsports industry giants.
John Dianna from Hot Rod Magazine fame and Brock Yates from Car & Driver and inventor of the Cannon Ball Run. These guys put it out there and it is up to us to keep it out there. That means we need to keep it up with the Support of the upcoming RPM Bill, our battle against the EPA who would change all of what these men stood for. Be sure to get back to SEMA.com and fire one last shot even if you have already been there once.

Now lets talk about EV Cars, that would be cars powered by batteries—the kinds of cars the EPA would love to have every driver in America driving. Any responsible GearHead would be against that idea. And we are not alone. There are many other major industries fighting EPA tooth and nail over this sort of thing. But be aware, there are also many other industries jumping into this EV craze in a big way – to the tune of over 200 startups entering this market – and heavily subsidized by our government. And get this – China is making a big move in this area. Imagine a future generation of Millennial offspring all compliantly motoring around the Nation in little electric cars … from China! A generation that barely knows anything about what muscle cars once were.
This brings us to Autonomous Cars—those which will haul you around without the necessity of you doing any navigating. Hands off that wheel! I should remind you that for publication purposes, these futuristic scenarios are the opinion of this writer. Well, there are many others in agreement. Be advised that they are already appearing in cities. Looks like taxis will be the first. No more Uber drivers. Imagine a future when you will be criminally prosecuted for touching that wheel. Imagine a future where you will be prosecuted if you are caught simply owning a car that requires you to drive it. Imagine a future where internal combustion musclecars are long, long gone—outlawed! Imagine this all coming faster than you can imagine!
Speaking of fast, we should probably mention Roborace. This is a racing series of autonomously controlled electric racecars running the top roadracing circuits all around the UK and elsewhere. These cars will be strictly run by an algorithm, no human contact or guidance. That starts this year. Sounds like revenge of the nerds to me.
Oh and did we mention the 48 volt hybrids that are coming? Well ’nuff said for now. What say you, GearHeads?

Next we will be getting into a real sticky wicket concerning the subject of cyber security and these autonomous cars. By next issue the SEMA Show will be concluding and General Hayden will have given his speech. Retired four-star General Michael Hayden, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA), will speak at the AAPEX 2016 General Session taking place on Wednesday, Nov. 2, from 8 a.m. to 8:50 a.m., (PST), at the Venetian in Las Vegas. We will see what he has to say on  this subject.