Thursday, December 30, 2010


Things have been a bit slower production-wise with the holidays and all but Mr. "Dangerous" Carlson and I did manage to squeak in an evenings worth of work last night. I got the new fenders ground down reasonably smooth and removed to be massaged and primed while we take care of reconfiguring the front end. We also got that pesky bumper out of the way and stashed behind the shop until after paint. Damn, that thing is heavy. I have a feeling that it's going to go on a diet before it's re-installed. We then stripped out the entire engine compartment, including all or the wiring and the power steering box. We will be making a custom mount for a manual box down the road. Then it was time to ditch the upper and lower control arms, drum brake assemblys, torsion bars, shocks and remaining steering components.

 This is how it looks all splayed out.

Short on materials for fabbing up the spring mounts we decided to call it a night and make a list of materials needed for our next thrash session and plan our attack for our straight axle install. We mocked up the axle and springs in their new position to see how much we will need to extend the frame horns. We will also be tying the two front frame sections together with box tubing for more rigidity since the K-frame will also be going by the way side.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fender Mod

Considering that this is easily my busiest week of the year with catering, I decided that a shop night was in order to help ease my mental state. Chris was on board so we decided to tackle the fender modification. The front axle will be moving forward (really soon) 8", so the solution to the fender lip problem is to do what most guys did in '65 and just slash away the offending area or move the whole wheel opening. The first option is quick and easy but I think it looks like shit. On the plus side it does leave lots of room for fender well headers but I just can't get over how half-assed it all looks. Moving the entire wheel opening is what the factory AWB cars got and if you look at cars like Landy's Dodge, the Melrose Missile and many others then you can see how clean and proportionate everything looks. This is what we're doing.

The wheel opening itself will only get moved 6" but this will still be plenty of room for the 8" axle shift and also leave enough room for some nice looking dumps behind the wheel. The fender is of course not a perfect square but tends to taper and curve in various places so the car doesn't look like a shoe box. These obstacles took some careful measuring and planning before we decided to slash and burn.

Once the entire opening was removed including the front 6" section that would be discarded, we could commence tacking in the now new forward arch. The rear section gets filled with new sheet metal and the whole thing will be made pretty (some day) with a good dose of Bondo.

Here you can see it with the wheel mocked up in it's new proximity.  Now who's the clown car?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Like Minded Dudes

 Check out these guys. A group dedicated to drag racing period correct Super Stock and AFX cars from the 60s. No delay boxes or modern super chargers here, just traditional heavy cars with big ass engines scraping off the rear bumper on every pass. I've contacted David Franklin from American Nostalgia West and he agrees that we fit the niche and should get a move on with building this insane race wagon so we can line up some match races. Well, I added that last bit but I'm sure he was thinking it.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A-100/Hemi Seat brackets For Sale

I bought these a few weeks back and realized that I made my floor too flat when I removed 12" from it. Der. I used them as a template to have four larger sizes made and now have the original set for sale. There are four pieces, two left and two right, drilled for two seat positions and never mounted.

$200.00 shipped anywhere in the U.S, or Canada is what I paid so the price is firm.

Mounted on my seats

E-mail me if interested.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dash Retro-Fit

Well, I've been slaving away on welding all of the new (old) exterior body panels in place lately and Chris has been doing an excellent job with spot-weld drilling and panel hanging but there is still hours of stitch welding ahead of me before I give up a juicy update....So until then....

I thought we would have a dash panel interlude. In an effort to keep this car looking like a car, I wanted to incorporate my after market guages into the dash somehow. This model of 330 came with a full sweep speedometer, meaning that that section took up almost the whole dash cluster. I happen to have two other dashes in pod form that we got from our donor Plymouth and a '64 440 model that we parted out.

Here you can see what the original dash looks like compared to the one with the 2 5/8 guages that I installed. I severed the entire back of the pot metal housing and made an aluminum backing plate to nestle the new guages. I think the fourth hole will get a fuel pressure guage with an isolator, which is mandatory when routing fuel inside of your race car. I'm pretty happy with the outcome but the guages do seem a bit lost in the large openings. I would like to someday remedy this but for now it's functional and fairly stealth. I also sanded and painted all of my plastic dash peices so re-assembly will look tight.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Acid Test

There is a thread on the HAMB about removing rust with a vinegar solution that only takes a few days and apparently works pretty good. I decided to put it to the test and try to de-rust the backing plates from our A-108 van. I used a large blue rubber maid bin with a good fitting lid and four gallons of 5% vinegar that I just happened to have from past pickle making endeavors. These plates were seriously crusty so I decided to forget about them in the slurry for over a week. After that I used a stiff brush and some hot water to scrub away the black slime that is a result of the conversion.

 The parts will now immediately flash rust but it's only superficial and comes off easily with a wire brush. After that I used the old Por-15 for an indestructible top coat since I never plan on doing this again for this vehicle. For anyone not in the know, Por-15 is a fairly over priced paint of a nearly impenetrable nature. If you don't believe me then just try to grind some off after it is cured, it takes some serious effort with a grinding wheel to even touch it.

Now we're all ready to assemble the brakes and get the axles mounted in their final homes.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hemi Grill

In 1964 the mid-sized Dodge and Plymouth cars that were designated with the 426 race Hemi engine would often get the "Hemi grill treatment" which would delete the inner headlights and extend the grill to cover over where they once were. This was a serious call out and if you were up against one of these super cars then you were in serious trouble.
Unfortunately I don't have a Hemi but I do have ambition and plan to someday sport an elephant under-hood. For now I will have to settle for the Hemi grill and go from there. As far as I know there is no "how-to" for building this grill and I've researched several different variations. Most of the ones done back in the day were crude and crooked (like the body mods). I have the ability to make it look half good so I thought I would go that route. One thing is for certain, two grills must be completely destroyed in order to make this happen and considering the rarity of these grills to start with I will be expecting hate mail from the resto set. Fortunately I happened to have two grills in excellent condition and felt the need to destroy something beautiful. I still need to do some file-fitment and get someone to weld the aluminum after which I will grind and polish it until it's time for reassembly.