All posts by Rick Drewry

Rick Drewry is the senior claims specialist, Collector Vehicle & Motorcycle, at American Modern Insurance Group. He has been passionate about collector cars since he was a kid. He has owned and restored collector cars for 30 years.

The Build – Removing seat covers

In the previous episode of The Build, the team painted the exterior of the 1965 Chevy Malibu, along with adding a customized pinstripe that included American Modern’s logo. In this next episode, Rick Drewry and the rest of the team will begin to work on the interior. Step one will be to remove the current seat covers, then re-cover the seats.

Rick will start by unbolting the frame of the car seat. Some of the time you’ll get lucky when unbolting, but most of the time, elbow grease is required, along with some tools that provide good torque. One of the first things that are required to be removed are the seat adjusters. You’ll need to use an Allen wrench to remove it, since there is an Allen-head screw holding it into its place. With the trim and clips now removed, they can now separate the top part of the seat from the bottom part.

A couple bumpers will need to be taken off next, where the top of the seat rests on the bottom part of the seat. The hog rings hold the material to the frame, which can all be simply cut off and disposed. The material is wedged underneath the seat tracks with hooks, so the next step is to pull the material away from under the seat tracks. Next, a row of hog rings go along each seam, so if you turn the material inside out to expose the cushion, you’ll then find the steel rods. These steel rods will need to be removed in order to make the seat fit correctly. New seat covers are a requirement for The Build’s 1965 Chevy Malibu restomod.

seat covers

Similar to the bottom part of the seat, the hog rings will be required to be cut off of the top of the seat as well. Be sure you do an extremely thorough job of removing every single hog ring, as it will not feel very pleasant if one remains and you sit on it before driving away in your restored collector car.

seat cover hog rings

As you are fully aware from staying up-to-date with “The Build” , the 1965 Chevy Malibu SS, named Ami G., has made huge strides to get to where she is today. You definitely need to be sure to stay current with all of her updates. Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get the complete list of episodes of “The Build”.

What did the 2015 Monterey Auctions tell us this year? A lot!

The 2014 auction results were no fluke! The final auction result entries show that we are over the 400 million mark for the second year in a row, and not far off from the record-setting $428 million dollars in cars sold in 2014.

So far, 2015 has shown:

  • RM Auctions setting a new auction record at $172.9 million in sales
  • Gooding & Company setting a two-day sales company record with $128 million in sales, and
  • numerous records being set for many cars, creating many new benchmarks.

The overall results have more to do with what cars were on the auction block in 2015 and not the collector car market.

Ferrari is still king of the auction block. There were numerous record-setting prices for Ferrari when the hammer dropped last week. Out of the top 25 cars sold at the Monterey Auctions, 16 of them were Ferrari’s. In fact, the top two were the 1964 Ferrari 250LM ($17.6 million) and the 1961 Ferrari 250GT California SWB Spider ($16.83 million).

Next, values on Exotics from the 80’s through current day are growing at a rapid pace! This is great for the hobby. As long as there is a demand, automakers will continue to outdo themselves each model year.

As an example, here are the top 8 modern day exotics from the RM Auction:

1 – 1998 McLaren F1 ‘LM-Specification’- $13,750,000
2 – 2005 Ferrari Enzo – $6,050,000
3 – 1994 Ferrari F40 LM – $3,300,000
4 – 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO – $2,420,000
5 – 2012 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport “300” – $2,310,000
6 – 2005 Maserati MC12 – $2,090,000
7 – 2015 McLaren P1 – $1,980,000
8 – 1995 Ferrari F50 – $1,980,000

We also have big classic cars continuing to hold their own. From pre-war back to the Brass era, these cars steal the show at the Concours events. The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is a perfect example with a 1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A taking best-of-show this year.

The best-in-class Gold Ribbon winners were:

  • 1914 Rolls Royce,
  • 1937 Delahaye
  • 1953 Abarth 1100

 

New cars on the block! I loved seeing a couple examples of the 1967 Toyota 2000GT go across the block.   They were a unique and very rare sports car from Toyota that housed a Yamaha-influenced overhead cam in line 6-cylinder. Rick Cole Auctions and Mecum Auctions were both selling exceptional examples of these cars. These cars are making a statement for the Japanese automakers in the collector car hobby by selling in the million dollar range!

Lastly, one has to ask, is it the Gen Xers making their presence known in the hobby driving these prices?  The number of first time bidders and bidders in there 30’s and 40’s are at an all-time high. I am going to say they are definitely having an impact. And this is a very good sign for the collector car hobby!

Monterey week is the best of the best. You will see cars you have never seen before and you will see cars selling left and right that the normal person would have to win the lottery to even consider. It is a spectacle and it is fun! Here is hoping that my generation (gen x) can keep it going!

The Build – Putting the ‘65 Malibu’s body back together

The team at American Modern will start to put back together the 65 Malibu auto body for the very last time. They will start by reinstalling the trunk, more specifically attaching the trunk to the trunk hinges.

65 Malibu back quarter panel

After bolting up the trunk to the hinges, they will make sure it is lined up and smooth across the rear quarter panels.

After lining up the door hinges, they will look to bolt on the actual door. Then they will test fit the radiator to the core support, before mounting the core support to Ami G. The radiator will be attached to the core support. Next they will install the overflow tank onto the core support.
65 Malibu radiator

They then look to finish the cowl panel by painting the inside black, which creates a nice and clean look. Before this reinstallation of the cowl panel, the team removed the holes for the windshield wipers, and covered over it to make it look factory, as if it never happened. They will then put the front fenders back on.
65 Malibu front install

After the fenders are installed back onto the body, the wheels will be taken off, and replaced with the stock wheels. This is to make sure that when the car is painted, that any overspray will not get on the new wheels.

65 Malibu restomod

Fenders are now buttoned up, time to move onto getting the hood in place.

65 Malibu restomod 2

Ami G – A Backdrop for the Network News

I could not have predicted what would happen at the 2015 Car Craft Summer Nationals.

After driving from Cincinnati to Milwaukee, I was backing the American Modern trailer into a spot at the hotel where I would be staying. Right after I parked, a woman came over to talk to me about our 1965 Chevy Malibu restomod – Ami G. She introduced herself as the head of event promotions for Car Craft Magazine.

“You are going to think I am crazy,” she said, “but I would like to have your car on 3 different local news channels tomorrow to help promote the Car Craft Summer Nationals.” Obviously I didn’t think she was crazy at all, and thought it would be great for people to see the car that makes us all so proud. And along with that, promote the car show we were attending.

Our first stop was at the main entrance of the Wisconsin State Fair grounds. That is where Milwaukee’s ABC and NBC news did their features – talking about the upcoming show and interviewing John McGann (Editor for Car Craft Magazine) while Ami G sat contently in the background.

65 Malibu State Fair grounds

Once the feature was completed, the sun began to rise. I loaded up Ami G. and drove half an hour to the Milwaukee Fox News Station. I unloaded Ami G. and Fox began to interview John McGann about the Car Craft Summer Nationals show and Ami G.

Car Craft Magazine feature

In summary, Ami G. made a grand appearance in Milwaukee! From the countless number of people that recognized her at the show proclaiming “That’s the car I saw on TV,” I would say she made her appearance well-known!

Car Craft Summer Nationals

The Car Craft Summer Nationals in Milwaukee turned out to be a great event with thousands of cool classic cars, great people that love to hot rod their rides, and love the collector car hobby! What more could you ask for!

If you aren’t familiar with Ami G.’s story you can view her video series here.

The Build – Installing the windshield and back glass

The team prepares to work on the windshield and the back glass. In order to begin, they need to apply butyl tape to surround the area, along with pinch weld primer, which will enable the tape to stick. After the pinch weld sets in, the tape will be applied, and then the windshield and back glass will be re-installed into the 1965 Chevy Malibu SS restomod.

After installing the windshield, the trim can be re-installed as well, but not until after the car has been repainted. The back glass was also re-installed, and in the process, the team discovered some unwanted scratches. They will now attempt to buff out any of the scratches so that the glass is clean and easy to see out of.

back glass - restomod

The Chevy Malibu’s back glass will be taped and masked off before buffing to make sure they concentrate the area where they found the scratches. The attempt to buff out all of the scratches was a failure, so the team will now need to completely replace the window.

buff out scratches - restomod

Now that the windshield and back glass has been put back onto the classic car, watch as The Build team continues to put back together the 1965 Chevy Malibu. Make it your top priority to watch the other episodes on our YouTube channel, and follow the progress of our collector vehicle on our Facebook page too!

The Build – Installing Brake Lines

The team now begins to install the brake lines and emergency brake cables in the 1965 Chevy Malibu SS restomod. Once this is complete, they can button up the bottom of the classic car. The brake line and emergency brake cables line the underbody of the car, following the frame to be flush with the rest of the collector vehicle.

The brake line is now mounted to the frame, exactly where they need it to be. The front brake hoses are next, they distribute fluid from the steel line on the frame to the wheel. The steel-braided lines are created to be able to move with the suspension and turning of the tires.

steel braided lines

The next step is to re-install the original pedal assemblies, but this time they will have brand-new bushings to eliminate vibrations. The brake pedal and clutch pedal will then be inserted into the pedal assembly bracket.

pedal assemblies

Next, the chrome brake master cylinder will be installed on the firewall, connecting to the brake pedal rod.

brake master cylinder

Now that the brake lines and pedals has been re-installed back onto the restomod, watch as The Build team continues to put back together the 1965 Chevy Malibu. Make it a priority to watch the other episodes on our YouTube channel, and follow the progress of our collector vehicle on our Facebook page too!

Which are your favorite car shows?

I have been going to car shows for as long as I can remember. Not all car shows are created equal.  I like just about all types of shows and car related events, but for different reasons.

Let’s break it down into 5 categories:

  1. Your local community car show. These shows are put on by your local church, school, VFW, small town, etc. There is usually a charity or fundraiser tied to the event. They are smaller and a lot of people know each other. For me, the local show is about community, friends, people you know, and raising money for a charity or organization that is in your own backyard.

American Modern Summer Classic

  1. Local cruise-in. Not a show where you win an award, but an event where anyone and everyone can show up and show off their special car, truck, or motorcycle without worrying about being in a competition or being judged. These can be as small as a few cars and as big as several hundred. The cruise-in is just flat out fun! No stress, no cleaning if you don’t want to, just hanging out with a bunch of car guys talking cars for hours.

Apr 18, 2015: Motoring in Focus Spring Classic Driving Tour.

  1. Major custom/hotrod show. Usually last several days with several thousand cars. These events take place at state fairgrounds and very large venues. Major car shows have a huge amount of cool customs and hot rods to look at. You can have just as much fun as a spectator as you do being a participant. I always walk away with some cool ideas and admiring all levels of custom work.

Ami G Car Show

  1. Concours. These are elite car shows where the best of the best are in attendance. Usually lasts one day, but there are numerous other car related events leading up to the show. Concours events are at the top of the spectrum. You will see cars you have never seen before. You will also see the highest quality restorations you have ever seen.

1949 Mercury

  1. Road Rally. Small or large, these events involve a group of people getting together to drive their cars to specific destinations. It is about the joy of driving your classic car and being with people that like to do the same. How could you not have fun driving your old car with fellow car people that share the same passion for “driving” vintage automobiles?

Apr 18, 2015: Motoring in Focus Spring Classic Driving Tour.

You should be able to find something you like from each type of show. Regardless of which event you participate in or attend, you will have fun, be with good friends both old and new, and be part of a hobby that is one of the greatest in the world!

 

 

Share with us your favorite show and why!

 

The Build – Steering column installed

As the team continues on, they now have the firewall plate in for the flaming river steering column, which was slightly modified for the clutch rod. The brand-new steering column is ready to slide into the plate and attach to the dashboard with a single mount.

After the installation, there’s a few loose ends to tie up. The steering shaft needs to connect from the firewall to just past the engine block. In order to do this, the team will need to mount and install a carrier bearing next to the headers and suspension. In order to install the carrier bearing, they’ll have to loosen the suspension and install a bolt long enough to handle the bracket.

steering column

The steering linkage from the steering column is now completely mocked up, and it’s time to mark the set screws, put a dimple in place so that when the screws are set in, they will be locked in place. After the steering linkage is completely where it needs to be, they will put the lock tight on the set screws.

steering linkages

They will then install the stock steering wheel so they have control of steering the car back-and-forth, but just wait until you see the custom steering wheel they had made.

Now that the steering column and linkage is installed, watch as The Build team continues to restore the’65  Malibu restomod.  Watch the other episodes on our YouTube channel, and stay up-to-date with the progress of our classic car on our Facebook page too!

The Build – Connecting the Frame to the Chassis

Our team of collector car specialists continue to make the finishing touches on the 1965 Chevy Malibu SS. Watch as the team runs all the wires, including the battery cable, through the frame:

Rick will wrap it up and over the starter, to the solenoid. That way there is plenty of clearance from the header, because the headers can literally burn the coating off of the battery cable. Rick will then cut around the outside cover, in order to crimp in the end to pull it right up to the starter.

Capture

Capture2

The fuel hose and battery cable are now installed, everything is connected that needs to be connected, and it’s time to put the body on, and mount it to the frame for the final time. The crew will wheel the frame out, and lift the body up, then lower the body down onto the frame. In order to align it up exactly, it takes extreme attention to detail, along with exact measurements.

Capture4

The body bolts will be hand-tightened first, and then again will be tightened to the chassis and the frame with an impact wrench so it’s nice and snug.

Capture7

The body is now mounted to the frame, with the engine sitting pretty low. So luckily the coil-over shocks will allow for adjustments, in order to clear such things like speedbumps. Moving the springs on the adjustable shocks with the bottom knuckle lock blot, to the shock to the spring.
Capture8

Now that the frame has been bolted back onto the chassis, watch as The Build team continues to put back together the 1965 Chevy Malibu restomod. Make it a priority to watch the other episodes on our YouTube channel, and follow the progress of our collector vehicle on our Facebook page too!

Art of the Swap Meet

With car show season ramping up, a lot of us are looking forward to hitting a swap meet. The list of what you can find at a swap meet is endless. To the novice, here are a few tips that will help you at your first swap meet as a buyer:

1. Get there early (while they are setting up). You may not get the best deal but you may get the only grill for a ‘51 Hudson.

swap meet car parts

2. Prepare your wallet. Only take what you want to spend. You are dealing with cash transactions. Have enough to buy the things you’re looking for but don’t take too much. You might just end up with some junk you don’t need, and probably won’t be able to get rid of later.

sawp meet booth

3. Bring a vehicle with proper storing capacity. Don’t drive your Mustang or Firebird to a swap meet if you are looking for hoods, fenders, wheels, engine parts, etc.

swap meet fenders

4. Cart it. One of the best things you can do is pull a cart or wagon. When you end up buying something, it is easier to walk around and you don’t have to take repeated trips to the car.

swap meet classic car cart

5. Don’t be afraid to make an offer on something. It may have a price tag of $50, but you can offer $30. He may have been carrying that part around for years and is finally ready to cut it lose at any price. Or he may come back with a counter offer of $40. Then you can say, how about we split the difference and go $35?

swap meet transaction

6. Save impulse buys for the end of the swap meet. The worst thing you can do is buy something that you don’t really need, come across what you were actually looking for later and not have enough money to buy it!

large Chevy emblem - bow tie

7. Stay to the end! Some of the best deals happen at the end of a swap meet. People don’t want to load up all those parts, so they will cut a deal. Especially heavy parts. Make offers, you never know. Sometimes you can buy a bunch of parts at a bargain price. I don’t know how many times I have seen someone offer to buy everything that someone has left. That seller is usually ecstatic because that means they don’t have to load anything back up!

swap meet

Hopefully you will enjoy swap meets as much as I do. Haggling on price, searching for that long lost part for your classic car or that vintage sign for your garage, all while hanging out with car people. It doesn’t get much better than that!

swap meet engine valve covers