Sunday, April 3, 2011

1958 Drag Racing Doc...Cool.

I was amazed at the support vehicles just as much as I was the drag cars.

Well as usual, we headed back to Desert Valley Auto Parts see if we could find a second skirt. We found one buried in the dirt underneath a '50 Poncho a few months back. Got the hardware too. After a short time of sight-seeing in different sections of the yard, we headed over to the Pontiac section. After a little bit, we happened upon our skirt. I felt like some automotive archeologist as I stood there grinning from ear-to-ear dusting off my relic that I had pulled from a shallow grave.

Brought 'em home and dragged my new helper's pack and play out into the garage so he could supervise.

 Once we figured out how to mark and drill the hardware, the rest was easy.  We even threw on the full moons to see what it was going to look like.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The original gas pedal is held together by a ball and socket type set up.  The rod that comes through the floorboard had the "ball" on the end.  The back side of the pedal has a rubber socket that the ball pops into.  Anyway, it eroded and is now broken.  I found an old Speed King bass drum pedal and decided to make a pedal out of it.

If you have never seen one of these, it looks to be an easy convert.  There is a good base with a solid hinge.  The top of the pedal connects to the a swing arm that moves the drum stick so that it strikes the bass drum.  While all of that extra metal is, I am sure, functional and necessary to play the bass drum, it is top heavy in appearance and just all around ugly.

So I got out the cutting wheel, and took the end off.  Unfortunately, I don't own a die grinder, yet, so I used the side of the cutting wheel to smooth out my cuts.  'Came out pretty good.  And I polished it up a little too.

My cousin is going to help me rivet some narrow side panels in the rear and then I will run a hole through the rod and either use a cotter pin or thin rod to secure it.  At least that is what I have in my head.  I will keep you posted.

Additionally, we want to french the headlights.  So there is no better way to accomplish that, in my opinion, than through the use of a pair of 1953 Ford headlight rings.  The outer rings were separate from the inner rings.  Not knowing anything about Fords, I had to do some homework and I found that there were some clips that held the two together.  I was able to find those clips at Mac's Antique Auto Parts. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Back At It...

After a long hot summer of changing diapers, we were able to get back in the garage without melting our brains.

The steering wheel that was attached to the Pickle was very pitted and even warped. So we took a trek out to Desert Vally Auto Parts to see what we could find.  We found a steering wheel, it had a few cracks, but it was in better shape than the one we had. 

So I bought some epoxy and patched the cracks and let that cure for a day or two. The dash was a mess so we bought some primer and got to paintin'. Just to break up the black we went with the oxide.

Once the epoxy was good and set, I sanded the crap out of it and got it nice and smooth. But when I went to reassemble everything, I had a steering wheel from a different model Pontiac, and the horn piece didn't fit. I was able to find the right piece on eBay. The bad thing was that my horn button had the cool Indian head profile. This one had the Pontiac script with the diamond symbol, and they were not interchangeable. But the important thing was that it was functional.

Here you can see the epoxy patches as well.

 In an earlier post, I talked  about getting a Bob's Big Boy suicide knob.  Sadly when I got it, I found it to be very cheaply made and was not going to be functional.  I probably wouldn't use it, but I figure the prospect of having it break off mid turn was bad, very bad.

So I had come across a Hollywood knob, again, on eBay.  The guy who had it don't think knew what he had.  He had it listed for $5.00.  So when I got it, and it wasn't broken, I was pumped.  It has some very cool metal flake on the back.  Great purchase.

I have to figure out how, if I can, get the steering wheel painted.  Not sure how to get that done and not have the paint rub off.  Any suggestions???

Lastly, my buddy Chris told me that I had to have a tachometer.  He is a muscle car guy (owning a beautiful Chevelle SS) and I wasn't sure I wanted a tach.  He said we would need one for setting idle and for tuning.  I conceded.  But I didn't want a new one.  I found a guy selling parts to a wrecked '69 Superbird.  The dude had a Sun SuperTach II for almost nothing.  The tach was all I could afford of the Suberbird, but I thought it was cool since it has some racing history behind it.

Next we have to get the front end rebuilt, cut the drive shaft, and finish wiring,,,easy stuff...right?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Howlin' Wolf's cure for the economic depression

Seriously, if your foot isn't tapping by about half way through this song, then something is wrong with you.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

New Little Hot Rodder

My wife and I had our son, Dane, on June 6th.  Pretty amazing.  I get the whole parent thing now.  He is amazing.  'Thought I would share one of the first pictures we took of him.  Its going to be a cool journey with him.

I am also a big fan of anything Route 66. So when Cars was on last night while I was feeding him, I had to watch it. The scene where it is explained what happened to the small towns once the interstates were built kills me every time.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I have adult ADD, I am sure of it. But I was able to sit with a razor blade and scrape all of the paint off of the gauge cluster with a razor blade. I think it turned out great. There is some pitting, but we are going to leave it. Here is a before and after. We also threw down some primer to protect some of the exposed metal. I wanted to go with the oxide to break up all of the black.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Another Trip to DVAP

As we try to re-assemble the Pickle we are finding that we are missing small pieces. So we headed out to Desert Valley Auto Parts, a salvage yard that specializes in classic auto parts.  I could go there everyday. There were many, many great cars and I took a couple of pics with the phone.  Every time I go, I see something new.
A sad, and shockingly hillbilly-esque, end to a Cadillac Hearse.

Great grill.

Here is what looks like an old custom. It has been cut into convertible and you can see where someone chopped the windshield and wing window.  I would love to know the history on this.

Teenage Thunder

A teenage gas station attendant (Chuck Courtney) is obsessed with hot rods and racing.  His Dad (Tyler McVey) objects to hot rod racing and thinks his son is a "crazy teenager!"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Little Lower

Chris Parese came over and we mounted the fuse box from the kit I got from GEM Wiring.  And when I say "we" I mean Chris did most of it.  Then he wired the engine up.  I did none of that because it would have been a real bummer to have the car burn to the ground the first time I tried to start it.  I know my limitations.  Wiring schematics make absolutely no sense to me.  I may as well be trying to read Latin.    

We cut out all of the wires to the gauges leaving enough to pigtail them. Seems like we cut out miles of wire.

The folks also came over and we dropped in 4" lowering blocks from Night Prowler's.
And we also painted the rims so that there would be a thin red line around the edge of our full moons. Here is a before and after shot.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Prodigal Son

Well we got the Pickle home (for a while) from Ron's since he wanted to take advantage of the 8 guy's wanting to spend their tax return on new motors.  I figured there were things we could do here.  So we dollied it back to the house.  I was itching to get to work. We wanted to make a change on the engine.  It is a great engine, I just thought it looked like a crate engine that one would buy at Pep Boys.  I got some finned valve covers for Christmas from Ramjet Racing on Cave creek Road.  Just that small change made a huge change.  We were thinking of going with the finned air cleaner and breathers, but thought better of it.  It seemed a little gold chain-ish.

In preparation for being wired, I wanted to get all of the old wiring out and leave 5" pigtails coming from the gauges.  I unbolted the old fuse box and started cutting.

Then I got it in my head that I wanted to pull the gauge cluster out to clean it off.
In talking with my parents (my partners and historical reference in this project), they said that the last thing you wanted on your car in the late fifties was chrome.  So the cars were nosed and decked and side molding all came off.  They even went as far as to paint over the chrome gauges.  Well that's what looks like happened to these gauges.  When I first sat in the car after its arrival from Tulsa, I remember being a little bummed that their face looked as bad as it did.  Then a few months ago I scraped the front of the gauges to get some dirt off and I found that the crappy, dull finish came off too.  It was like wiping mud off of a gold nugget.  I was pumped.  So I am hoping that there is some nice chrome still under there.  And there it will stay, contrary to the ideology of the greaser who maybe painted it many years ago.