We certainly were blessed with wonderful weather this past weekend. I spent most of the day in the garage and working in the yard. I did find myself in my library looking at a photo album of old my old cars from 1959 to present. I spent considerable time looking at the cars I built in the 60’s and 70’s. I have found memories of those times in Detroit, Georgia and Chicago as well as the Boston area. I have always been found of the Deuce and the photos show that period of my life. I built coupes, sedans and roadsters with only one Vicky in the bunch. I was moving all over the country with my job so I had to keep the cars movable, which was no small task. I built what I liked and like most, followed the trends of dropped axles, Buick drums and 9 inch Ford rear ends (two quick changes). They were all plentiful in those days, remember this is 1970 when the Jaguar rear end became the latest rear suspension you must have. I installed my first one in a 1934 tudor sedan which I purchased as my family had grown to 4 and the coupe wasn’t large enough to accommodate all of us with the kids toys , etc. I saved my lunch money to have Total Performance chrome everything I could ship them and soon I had my gleaming rear end mounted. The car rode like a dream and I even installed one in a roadster later in the 70’s. The past reminded me of how we all looked for the latest to add to our rides. Vega steering gears, Walker radiators, Super Bell axles (not I-beam), disc brakes and the list goes on. The hot rod builder was in his garage not in fancy garages on TV. Sure there were a few shops but not like today. You were always proud of showing off what you made in your garage or with the help of others. My point is today it seems like many builders, amateur and professional are looking back and building period hot rods with long discarded equipment. You can buy new frame rails, drilled bones, Buick drums, Lincoln brakes, etc., to reflect the past periods you so choose. Just price some of the real items today and you will see what I’m talking about.
I love the pre-war look but I was never involved during that period and really grew up with the trends in the 60’s and 70’s. I can relate to almost any style and appreciate what the owner is trying to duplicate, but I have my own taste and that is what I build. Driver comfort was never a factor in the my early days, going fast and looking good was my goal. I built and painted my own cars and had them upholstered by whom ever I could afford. I think the quality today is far superior to any of my cars but they were just fine for my family and me. We cruised everywhere, met lots of new people and enjoyed our cars. I am still doing that today on a much smaller scale but still enjoy the build and the driving of hot rods.
Sometimes memories make you appreciate what life is all aboutâ€¦good times, bad times and making it through both.
Have a wonderful week.
Here is my 3 window in Memphis at the NSRA Nationals in 1971. I drove with my friends from Detroit and ended up selling the car to Jeff Beck the famous guitarist from England. Jeff still has the car and I have seen him several times since. These were my Harry Luzader days, jacked up front, lumpy 327 with 4:46 gears in an Olds rear with street slicks. A crazy young kid in those days.
After a few more Deuce’s, I built a very nice 34 sedan (mint, mint, mint) and moved on to the family man. (Circa 1976) My job was becoming more demanding and I had only a few days a month to work on it. I had just finished rubbing out the paint and rolled it out in the driveway.
I was being transferred to Chicago and needed a drivable car for the transporter. My friend Andy knew of this nice 5 window that Danny had for sale and soon I was back into Deuces. The car is still just like you see it and is located in Napa, CA. I miss this one as my kids loved the rumble seat better than the back seat of the sedan.
This is what I’m talking about. Having a good time doing what you love. I know you will recognize some of these cars as they are famous. Yes, it is summer time not now.
This Deuce has been around for a while and looks ready for a race which is what I used to love to do.
If you were at the GNRS 2014 you saw Paul’s refreshed Phaeton. I am a hiboy fan but the fenders make this car perfect in my mind. We need more of these on the road this year for the 50th LARS in June. Bring’m out for all to see.
Here are two winners from the 2002 show. Don’s Bell Auto Parts and Terry’s old roadster are looking good. Maybe I could go back to the wide whitewalls Don.
SO-CAL had just finished the striking roadster and the owner let me sit in it and explained in detail the entire build. This is still one of my favorite roadsters that Pete and his crew built. The McGee top is perfect for the car.
If you can’t visualize your dream have an artist draw it for you. I have seen this 40 and it is very nice and pretty much like the drawing shown above.
Chuck has been working on this one for several years and I hope he has it done for the big show. He is a very talented builder and grew up in the business with his dad at California Street Rods in Huntington Beach, CA.
You can see the quality of work he does in this photo. Fit is everything on a Deuce and this one has perfect gaps.
I am not sure what it looks like today but the early build photos showed some very nice features like the hanging pedals with drilled holes and Nardi steering wheel. Note the ladder bar suspension and boxed frame rails.
He channelled the body over the frame in the rear and here is the photo of his workâ€¦Clean!
Industrial Metal Craft is reproducing these “New Bones” and they look very nice including and original un-split version. 702-873-8664. If you have not priced the original ones, do so and then call these folks and put your name on the list. I think they come in stainless steel and plain steel but I am not sure.
You can also purchase a new X member for many sources Ionia, CE, SSR or make you own as shown above. P&J supplies the ladder bars.
Ionia makes a beefy front spring clamp that also reinforces the crossmember from extremes loads of your heavy foot.