Tag Archives: classic car

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.

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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.

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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.
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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

1973 Porsche 911S Coupe

Early Porsche 911 ’s embody a combination that is rare among collector cars today. They have both unparalleled driveability and usability, especially when compared with other cars of the same vintage, but are also fully connected to an earlier era. There is a certain wholeness, cohesiveness, and agility that is only evident when they are driven, and it is no surprise that they have a fanatical following. They are simply a blast to drive, with the advantage of solid investment potential.

1973 Porsche - Front passenger side

  • 2.4 liter,
  • 6 cylinder,
  • horizontally opposed air-cooled boxer engine,
  • 190 HP,
  • 915-5 speed manual gearbox,
  • Bosch fuel injection,
  • independent front suspension on transverse links,
  • rear independent suspension on lateral links and transverse,
  • torsion bars,
  • 89.3” wheelbase

 

The 911S was introduced as a better equipped and more powerful version of the standard 911. It featured engine modifications that resulted in 30 extra horsepower, and in addition, the chassis was modified and bigger brakes were installed. An extra five pounds were saved from each corner of the car by using Fuchs alloy wheels. 911S models for 1973 gained a discreet spoiler under the front bumper to improve high-speed stability. With the cars weighing only 2,315 pounds, these are often regarded as the best classic mainstream 911’s ever, as well as holding the crown for being the longest running production sports car ever.

1954 Jaguar XK 120

The Jaguar XK 120 was introduced at the October 1948 London Earls Court Motor Show as a design exercise and showpiece for the magnificent new XK engine. This was the first British auto show in nearly 10 years due to the intervention of war, and although money was still tight and rationing was still in force, public interest was high. Chief Jaguar stylist William Lyons talent was more than justified as his new roadster design was the sensation of the show and the press acclaim was overwhelming and immediate. Sensing the opportunity and the promotional value of competition, Lyons immediately set about promoting the prototype car through racing and speed events, even before he produced and printed sales brochures and announced immediate production plans.

1954 Jaguar XK 120

  • 3442cc in-line six-cylinder dual overhead cam engine,
  • 160 HP,
  • four-speed manual gearbox,
  • Torsion-bar independent front suspension with anti-roll bar,
  • rear live axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs,
  • 102” wheelbase

 

1954 Jaguar XK 120

The press pundits were skeptical that the new Jaguar could achieve the claimed top speed of 120 mph as the model name suggested, and they also were doubtful that the car could be sold successfully for the suggested $4,000. Lyons had enough orders on his books to start a limited production line, hand-building the cars in the classic tradition of alloy body over a wood frame, and in the meantime set about the business of convincing the world that his new car could do everything he said it could and more. He built another three pre-production cars, painted them red, white and blue, and sent them to Silverstone for the prestigious production car event, which they won in great style coming in First, Second, and Fourth.

1954 Jaguar XK 120

In May 1950, with the world motoring press watched a production XK 120 with a smaller windscreen hurtle down the motorway in Jabbeke, Belgium at over 132 mph, and history was in the making. The news went out and within weeks orders started to pour in. Just 240 Alloy bodied XKs were built before the sheer volume of the orders demanded that production change to pressed steel panels to speed up the assembly process. Lyons had justified his faith in his new XK engine and his engineers and staff had built a great car around it.

1954 Jaguar XK 120

1954 was the final year of XK 120 production, and this fine Roadster was long part of the esteemed John O’Quinn collection. The restoration was obviously performed on a straight, rust-free car, as the panel fit and gaps are excellent. Finished in classic white, this superb XK 120 Roadster sports the original dash panel with its correct brass plaque and period instruments. The seats are fine black leather, and with the correct carpets and door panels in place, everything looks clean and proper inside. Take a good look underneath as well, and you’ll see a clean and properly prepared undercarriage. The boot offers the correct mat, spare wheel, and has a full original tool roll and jack, and throughout, it’s a lovely presentation of a significant early Jaguar.

1955 Jaguar D-Type

When the Jaguar D-Type debuted at the 1954 24 Hours of Le Mans, it finished a narrow 2nd to a 4.9-liter Ferrari V-12. A year later, a D-Type with a long-nosed factory body and a revised motor won the race outright. Although Jaguar retired from racing after the 1956 season, the D-Type continued to flourish in private hands, winning Le Mans in 1956 and 1957 for the Ecurie Ecosse. Although not necessarily well-suited to every type of course, the D-Type proved to be extremely effective on properly surfaced endurance circuits, and it remains one of the most important Le Mans race cars ever built, holding a special place in Coventry lore.

Chassis XKD 530 offers a tale that is surely as intricate and fascinating as any surviving D-Type. This car, one of the fifty-four examples produced for privateer customers, was dispatched from the factory on February 13, 1956, and it was finished in British Racing Green, as confirmed by its Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate. The car was retailed through Finnish Jaguar dealer S.M.K. and delivered in April 1956 to Curt Lincoln, of Helsinki, a tennis player on Finland’s Davis Cup team who was known to the racing world for his exploits in F3 midget cars, and a Jaguar C-Type. Mr. Lincoln had the car modified for Ice Racing and campaigned it in Europe in several forms.

1955 Jaguar D-type front

In November 1966, chassis XKD 530, no longer competitive on Finland’s ice courses, was sold to English collector Nigel Moores, a historic racing enthusiast who owned a number of D-Types during his life. When the car arrived for him, it showed the symptoms of wear expected from such hard use, and the body had been modified to an open two-seater cockpit with a truncated tail. As rebuilding the original body was deemed to be too prohibitively expensive for a car of such value at that time, it was decided that the later D-Type construction manner, which involved separately bolting a front and rear chassis sub-frame to the monocoque body, afforded the opportunity to remove the damaged body and salvage as many original chassis components as possible.

Mr. Moores’ staff separated the chassis tub, mounted all-new bodywork in the factory long-nose style, and fitted the car with the wide-angle headed D-Type engine that had originally been used by the Cunningham team. The separated monocoque body, the original engine, and the gearbox were put aside and eventually sold, around 1984, to historic racer John Harper, who repaired the coachwork and mounted it on an all-new chassis that mostly consisted of various original Jaguar factory components.

1955 Jaguar D-type interior

As both resulting cars were stamped with the XKD 530 chassis number, a controversy gradually emerged as to the proper identity of each car and as to which was, in fact, the authentic original car. Ole Sommer, a D-Type owner and the proprietor of Sommer’s Veteranbil Museum in Denmark, eloquently summarized the situation; “It seems difficult to rectify the situation, unless some benevolent person should decide to purchase both cars and exchange the front sub-frames and the legal documents, resulting in only one single car claiming to be XKD 530.”

1955 Jaguar D-type hood

This is essentially the path that the previous owner followed after acquiring one car in 1998 and the other in June 2002. The consignor delivered both cars in late 2002 to Chris Keith-Lucas’s well-regarded CKL Developments in East Sussex. When disassembling both cars, CKL carefully noted the individual part numbers, and after comparing them to original factory parts numbering that had been supplied by a long-time D-Type expert, the parts were separated and color-coded to distinguish which were original to XKD 530 and those used as replacements in either of the two vehicles.

1955 Jaguar D-type

It was presented at RM/Sotheby’s Amelia Island sale in racing livery, with Dunlop centerlock alloy wheels, Dunlop Racing tires, dual wraparound Plexiglas windscreens, 4-point belts, RetroTrip rally odometer, SINN stopwatch and clock, three Salter digital timers, and a driver’s head fairing. It was in great useful condition at Amelia, with noted experts Gary Bartlett and Terry Larson both concurring. Sold by Christie’s in London in June 2002 for $517,979 while there were still two claimants to the chassis number, then sold after rectification by RM at Monterey in 2013 for $3,905,000. It left the RM Sotheby’s Amelia auction block unsold but closed post-block at $3,340,909 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $3,675,000 – surely an excellent deal on a D-type that is eligible for, and has participated in, many desirable events including four runs in the Mille Miglia Storica.

1959 Pontiac Catalina Tri-Power Convertible

A fully equipped Pontiac Catalina in 1959 was one of the most powerful and desirable cars available from General Motors, but car styling was leaping forward at a record pace towards the jet age 60’s. The Catalina represents the debut year for many of Pontiac’s trademark features that would propel them to record sales just a few years later. From 1950 to 1958, all Pontiac Hardtops were designated Catalinas, but in 1959, they created a one-year only lineup of multiple Catalina body styles, including sleek new sedans, coupes, Safari wagons, and convertibles. The Catalina wheelbase was stretched to 122”, and they all carried the distinctive split-grille styling treatment, which was a fortuitous design accident that became a trademark for decades.

59 Pontiac Catalina Conv

  • 289 ci Tri-Power V-8 engine,
  • 345 HP,
  • 4-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission,
  • independent front suspension,
  • semi-elliptic leaf springs,
  • four wheel power drum brakes, 122” wheelbase

 

9 Pontiac Catalina engine

Pontiac designers were experimenting with a design for a conventional, full width oval grille, containing horizontal quad headlights, and in frustration, they cut it in two pieces and transposed the halves. With the lights remaining at the extremities, this gave them the new split center, open-ended look for the ‘59 Catalina. Along with the wider body came a wide track chassis that was a full 5” wider, which really pushed the wheels outward to fill up the fenders. This not only improved the appearance of the car, but Pontiac engineers discovered that pushing the wheels further out also led to vast improvements in ride and handling – hence the term “Wide Track” which Pontiac would use in its promotional efforts for many years to come.

59 Pontiac Catalina Convertible

The Catalina also had more to offer than most of its rivals under the hood, where a 389 CI V-8 was the biggest engine in its class, and in the case of this rare convertible, when equipped with the rare optional Tri Power carburetion setup, where 3 Rochester 2 barrel carbs make a class-leading 345 HP. Coupled with the 4-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, this big 2-door convertible remains clean and correct under the hood, and a first class highway cruiser today.

1959 Pontiac Catalina

This factory-born Cardinal Red convertible was assembled in Canada and fully restored in 2012, with a lovely paint finish and sharp bodywork. The custom interior is very cool, the glittering chromed wire wheels and whitewall tires look new, and the dash is simply incredible. The big six-person convertible features both power steering and brakes, making it a comfortable boulevard cruiser that’s both reliable and very easy to drive.

1959 Pontiac Catalina interior

Pontiac enthusiasts know that the ’59 Catalinas are quite rare, especially the Tri-Power Convertibles, and will always be looked at as the start of the big, wide, powerful era at Pontiac, and these features propelled Pontiac to great success for the next several decades.

1959 Porsche 356A/1600 Super Convertible D

Before the onset of World War II in 1939, Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche was developing three Type 64 cars for a Berlin to Rome automobile race in 1939, but the event was cancelled due to the hostilities in Europe. Not until after WWII would the next Porsche be built – a mid-engine tubular chassis 356 prototype called “No. 1”, which remains on display in Stuttgart to this day. This prototype has led to some debate as to the “first” Porsche automobile, but Porsche itself considers the steel-bodied 356 to be its first production model in 1950. Its reputation as a lightweight and nimble handling two-door sports car with a reliable powertrain was the key factor in the post-war resurgence that Porsche enjoyed for many years.

59 Porsche 356 right side

  • 1,582 cc four-cylinder 616/2 Super engine,
  • four-speed manual transaxle,
  • four-wheel independent suspension
  • and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 82.7”

 

59 Porsche 356 engine

Little noticed at its inception, except for a small number of auto racing enthusiasts, the first 356s sold primarily in Austria and Germany. It took Porsche two years, starting with the first prototype in 1948, to manufacture the first 50 automobiles, but soon the 356 had gained some renown among enthusiasts on both sides of the Atlantic for its aerodynamics, handling, and excellent build quality. Porsche’s Class Win at Le Mans in 1951 was clearly a turning point in world recognition for the brand.

59 Porsche 356 driver side

By 1956, the 356 in all forms had been continually developed into one of the world’s most respected sports cars. This feat was quite remarkable considering that Porsche as a company was only celebrating its eighth anniversary. The evolution of the Porsche 356 was swift and further impelled not only by Porsche’s drive for technical improvement but also commercial success. By 1958 the Speedster model was four years old and sales were declining. Porsche realized that significant improvements were necessary to attract buyers, despite the market for a “weekend racer”. The Porsche 356A Convertible D was the replacement in 1959, and with Reutter coachworks straining to keep up with the demand, Porsche contracted with the Drauz Company in Heilbronn to manufacture the bodies for the Convertible D (the “D” stood for Karosseriewerke Drauz KG).

59 Porsche 356 right side

The new “Convertible D” featured a taller, more practical windshield allowing improved headroom, roll-up glass side-windows and far more supportive seats. The Convertible D model is arguably the rarest production Porsche 356 model ever manufactured for a full year, with just 1,331 produced between August 1958 and September 1959, with a fraction of those (estimated at 300) ordered with the high compression Super engine. It’s replacement came along in the form of the 356B Roadster Convertible, introduced in 1960. Alas, the sports car market’s love affair with top-down motoring was fading, and soft-top 356 model sales declined significantly in the early 1960s. Today’s market feels quite differently, and clearly the late Type A Super cars remain the high-water mark for 356 collectability.

59 Porsche 356 interior

The car we photographed near Dallas is the rare 1959 Convertible D, produced late in the run on August 7, 1959, the tenth from the last produced as confirmed by the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity obtained by the car’s long-term caretaker. It retains the original options of reclining bucket seats, chrome luggage rack, clock, and the factory safety belts it was shipped with in 1959, and with the factory Super engine, this rare Convertible D represents one of the most desirable Porsches of the entire era.

Sharonville Car Show 2015

It was a perfect Sunday. There was lots of sunshine and it hovered around 60 degrees all day.

For those of us in Cincinnati, the Sharonville Car Show, kicks off the car show season. It includes:

• several hundred cars,
• a swap meet area
• food vendors
• great songs playing from the 50’s and 60’s

This show kicked off the season for Ami G., too. The trailer’s new full vinyl wrap was the perfect backdrop for her and the American Modern Insurance Group booth.

65 Malibu restomod side trailer

A lot went into designing the trailer. We wanted it to be an attention grabber. Judging from the reaction of people, we accomplished that! It’s going to be hard to miss, with life-sized side views of Ami G. on each side. You will even be able to spot her going down the highway in the opposite direction. The back is a great rear view of Ami G., and the front shows her with some of the people who had a hand in bringing her back to life.

65 Chevy Malibu rear trailer

Ami G. will be traveling all around the country in her new trailer. Keep an eye out, you just might see her heading down the road.

65 Malibu SS front trailer

The Build – Buffing & sanding the firewall

In this episode, Rob Baker will take us through sanding the firewall and dashboard to rid the restomod of orange peel and/or dirt that may have gotten into the clear coat.

When they buff it out, it will provide that perfect showroom shine. Rob will use 2000 grit sandpaper just to give it a really smooth coat and eliminate any initial items in the clear coat, as the clear laid extremely well.

sanding the firewall

The buffer will now be used, after the 2000 grit sandpaper has completely sanded the firewall and dashboard. This will assist in bringing the shine back out with just a tiny amount of compound.

65 Chevy Malibu firewall buffing

When using the buffer, either the foam pads or the wool pads, be very careful around any edges or corners, as it will burn through.

65 Malibu Firewall - Buffing

Now that the firewall and dashboard have been sanded and buffed, watch as The Build team continues to put back together the 1965 Chevy Malibu restomod. Make sure to watch the other episodes on our YouTube channel, and follow the progress of our collector car on our Facebook page too!