Tag Archives: American Modern

The Build – Front Grille

The team gets ready to work on the trim of the 1965 Chevy Malibu SS. The front end of the restomod was damaged so bad that the team will have to replace the two pieces underneath the headlights. Aftermarket and used pieces, both, are very difficult to locate, so Rick Drewry, Sr. Claims Specialist, ended up creating some of his own to use. The primary use of these pieces is as a filler panel from the fender to the chassis, where the radiator is located.

After those are installed, the new front grille will be put onto the classic car. The grille is now buttoned up, bolts are installed, and the front end is coming back together. The team re-installs fresh trim, the Chevrolet letters, pretty much all the missing pieces and final steps before Ami G. is back to “fully” restomod.

The Build – Exhaust Installation on 65 Malibu

In the last episode of The Build, the team from American Modern completed the installation of the tachometer, turn signals and switch panel of the gauge cluster back into the dash of the 1965 Chevy Malibu SS restomod. This episode concentrates on installation of the exhaust.

Rick Drewry, Senior Claims Specialist at American Modern, will begin to work on the exhaust of the ’65 Malibu. They have chosen to go with a simple design, going straight back from the header, then protruding at a 45 degree angle out in front of the rear tires. The collectors have been welded on, then tacked onto the three inch pipe. Measurements were made to figure out exactly where the muffler needed to be placed, so now the team will cut the pipe, fit it, then figure out the rest of the pipe once it is on the actual chassis.

exhaust pipe cut

Once they obtain the 45-degree angled’ pipe, they’ll attach it to the muffler to see where it will come in, and also to locate the hanger. In the initial measurements, it looks as though the pipe is too short, so what they’ll do is gain a little more length by butt welding the two pieces of pipe together, tack it in place, then slide the tip on to see how far to cut the pipe. When measuring, the team decides that four inches should be appropriate, this will give them some room to play.

butt welding

Next, they will look to take the pieces down, tack them in place, weld everything up and paint it, so the exhaust will be fully prepared for installation onto the car for the final time.

welding exhaust pipe

After they paint the exhaust, it is now ready to be bolted to the chassis. The chrome tips are the last piece to finish the exhaust. The tips slide right onto the pipes to be clamped down.

exhaust chrome tips

We continue to restore the ‘65 Malibu SS collector car on The Build. Be sure to  stay up with The Build on our YouTube Channel, to see what else is restored. Also,  continue to follow along with the  Ami G on our Facebook page.

Cavalcade of Customs 2016

It is time to start a new year of car shows. The 2016 Cavalcade of Customs in Cincinnati kicked off the season. For a lot of people that starts in the spring but with the inside shows it keeps us Northern States car guys engaged through the winter months.

Ami G 1965 Chevy Malibu SS at Cavalcade

This years’ Cavalcade of Customs in Cincinnati was a big success.

green collector car at Cavalcade

There were all segments of the collector car hobby represented. We had the high end customs, drag cars, rat rods, hot rods, and custom trucks. We also had the some cool things that will always enhance a car show.

DeLorean collector car

The show had builders with their cars on display, pin up girl contest, beard contest, and lots of vending booths with tools and car accessories.

Patina collector car truck

It feels great starting off the new year with this type of show. We teamed up with our partners Classic Auto Insurance Agency. Ami G was on display.

red collector car

We were talking cars and talking collector car insurance all weekend long. It was a great weekend!

purple collector car

The Build – Installing Gauges

Now that the hood has been installed and the wiring has been tucked in the classic 1965 Chevy, Rick and the team will begin to work on the gauges. The gauges will be removed from the dash. They will be converting the stock gauge panel first, as they will be replacing the clock with a tachometer. Also, the American Modern team will be replacing the idiot lights with gauges.

First, the new gauge will require cutting the metal of the original ’65 Malibu restomod gauge mounting brackets, where the new gauge will stick through. Then mark the places where the mounting holes will be placed. After the cutting, file the edges, drill the holes, and mount in place.

 

gauge cut out

Next, the replacement tachometer will be taking the place of where the clock was originally in place in the 1965 Chevy Malibu SS restomod. After the tach is set, clean up the areas that are covered with dust and residue from the installation, and get prepared to reinstall the updated mounting bracket.

gauge back

The next step in the process is to install the new lens on top of the three new gauges. The turn signal indicator lenses will be reinstalled next. Back in the day, they had to use a white bulb, then place a green tint, made of a glass circle, to be placed on the outside of the light.

gauges with turn signals

The gauge cluster is mounted to the back of the dash, along with the switch panel in place instead of the radio.

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!

gauges in dash complete

The Build – Front End Hood Installation

Now that the seats have been covered and are waiting to be installed by The Build team, it’s time to move back to the exterior. The wiring of the 1965 Chevy Malibu SS is almost completely finished, with everything done from the fuse box all the way to the front of the collector car. The engine is dialed in, and now it’s time to connect and run the wiring to the headlights and the turn signals. The wires will be hidden behind the fenders for a cleaner look.

Once the body panels get mounted to the front of the classic vehicle, like the headlight mounting brackets, then they’ll finish up the front wiring and tuck the wires up and hide them for a smooth look.

front grille 65 Malibu

The wires are run and tucked out of the way so they are hidden well from the naked eye. After installing the hood stoppers, Rick Drewry, American Modern’s Sr. Claims Specialist, will install the hood striker and latch assembly onto the hood. They’ll check to make sure the hood is flush with the side fenders and then move onto the next phase in the process of restoring the ’65 Chevy restomod.

Hood latch 65 Malibu

The latch needs to be locked in tight to remove any movement of the hood when it’s latched. There’s no reason to slam shut a hood, especially a classic car. They should be lowered slowly and then clicked when the latch is in the proper place.

front hood latched 65 Malibu

Now that the front hood has been installed and the wiring has been tucked, 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!

 

The Build – Installing new seat covers

As Rick Drewry, Sr Claims Specialist at American Modern, prepares to install the new covers onto the ’65 Chevy Malibu restomod, there’s only a few things that they are required to do before installation.

First, they will take a premade rod, and slide it directly into place. Then, the back part of the seat is a little easier. The back part fits over the back bracket, where it should be, then you’ll locate the rod, and tuck it in between the cushion. Then you’ll take a set of hog ring pliers, clamp around the hog ring, and squeeze.

Make sure that the clamp is securely fastened by tugging on the cloth. The next step is to pull the cloth out and over the foam. This process will be a tedious process, so make sure you are thorough before turning it over to clamp underneath.

Seat frame - 65 Malibu

After stretching the fabric over the pivots for the upper part of the seat, you’ll need to make sure the top is fastened first. Then, pull it over, mark where the pivots are for future cutting. After this, stretch the seat cover over the frame.

65 Malibu seat rod

When doing the other half of the seat cover, turn it inside out in order to install the hog rings into the seam to give it that fit. If you do not do this, it lays out over the foam giving you an unnecessary air pocket. Another tip to have a nice form-fitting seat, is to leave it out in the sun or warm them up, they will become a little bit easier to maneuver.

Hog clamp 65 Malibu seat

Make sure to clamp the hog ring to the bar that is outside the material to fasten it, then onto the frame of the seat. Now that the bottom half is fastened, you can focus on aligning the top half. When you hog ring it into the edge of the seat, the rod will make it nice and tucked in.

Bottom seat 65 Malibu

After installing the hog rings to the sides to seal the cover, the side trim is installed. Locate the mounting holes with the screws, then screw it to the seat. Attach the top part of the seat to the bottom, and finally it’s ready to be put back in the car.

65 Malibu Seat Cover

We continue to restore the ‘65 Malibu SS collector car on The Build. Be sure to  stay up with The Build on our YouTube Channel, to see what else is restored. Also,  continue to follow along with the  Ami G on our Facebook page.

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 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!

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.

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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!

The Build – Starting the 396 Big Block

Our team of collector car experts at American Modern have the final pieces in place on the 396 Big block Chevy engine, and are ready to turn the ignition and let those headers roar.

The team starts out by installing their new Hooker Headers onto the 396 big block. The plug wires are organized from longest to shortest to diagnose which wire goes to which spark plug. With the wire looms, you can easily organize and route the plug wires so that they are flush with the engine. The tach, oil pressure gauge, temperature gauge, and ignition are all wired up on the test stand. When you fire up an engine for the first time, you need to make sure it is done correctly to help with the break-in process. To do this, you need to run the engine for 20 minutes at 2,000 RPMs. Idling is not good for the camshaft on the initial start-up on a fresh engine.

396 big block engine

Now that the 396 big block engine has fired up, 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!