Tag Archives: restomod

Barrett Jackson Auction 2016

The collector cars that show up at the Barrett Jackson Auction in Scottsdale each year can give you a good idea of what trends we will be seeing. It also, re-enforces my belief in the collector car hobby.

Barrett Jackson Auction hot rod

This year was big for the restomod Corvettes. I lost count of how many crossed the block this year. High end quality and style brought out some big money for these cars. However, compared to what is invested into building one of these cars, you could consider it a bargain. It is nothing to have $200,000 to $300,000 or more invested in one of these high-end builds. So buying a ’67 Corvette restomod for $125,000-$150,000 could be considered a steal! With the amount of restomod Corvettes on the market, prices should stay well below the cost to build one.

Barrett Jackson Auction 64 Corvette

Another trend that is continuing is the popularity of the cars from the 80’s and 90’s. They have found a place in the collector car market and continue to go up in value. So keep a lookout for a nice, fox body Mustang, Monte Carlo SS, Grand National, Iroc Z, GTA Trans Am, or Hurst Oldsmobile from the 80’s. It just might be worth more than what someone is willing to sell it for.

Barrett Jackson Auction Camaro

Lastly, the hot rod market is in transition. While the hobby is strong, it is aging rapidly. There will continue to be some high quality hot rods from the 1920’s, 30’s, and 40’s come available in the near future and unless a younger generation embraces it, the prices will continue to go down. Watching the collector car hobby is like watching the stock market. Except for me, it is a lot more fun!

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.

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”.

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 – 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!

AARP Convention

Miami was a great experience! Not just because it’s Florida, but because of all the cool people I met too. From event coordinators and workers laying carpet and running electricity to the AARP members, we were all instant friends.

65 Malibu classic car

Ami G. worked her magic and made those friendships come to fruition. She inspired AARP Convention attendees to start working on that old car that’s been sitting in their garage for years. And she brought back great memories of the cars they use to have.

'65 Chevy Malibu

Whether you’re a car person or not, there’s no denying that classic cars and their stories bring people together. I heard many great tales during this awesome event. One guy I met, Richard, was a GM Autobody Tech for 40 years and remembers vividly working on the old Chevelles, like Ami G.

1965 Chevelle SS

So what was my single most important lesson from the trip? No matter how much times change, America’s passion for classic cars will continue to unite us.

65 Malibu restomod

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