Author Archive for matt wood


Chuck’s Triumph “The Mindbender”

Today my son and I went to  see my friend Chuck who I had heard painted his Triumph and it was KRAZY.  Around the back of the building I can’t help but laugh at the freak drop/Kandy bubble paint job on their shop truck. What other shop truck have you ever seen that had freak drops painted on it? (I love it! ) Chuck greeted us at the door as if he knew we were coming and this wasn’t planned at all. Crazy minds think alike I suppose…We do both have lots of the same tattoos just as a side note on our insanity.  In the shop we checked over the paint booth which is air brushed and pinstriped to the hills and well beyond. Their spray booth is covered with Kandy painted and metal flaked welding helmets and other Hotrod-esque items.

Against the spray booth leaned the long Triumph chopper on its chrome kickstand. The bike is still being built, but I wanted to get down to take pictures of its insane custom late 60’s inspired paint job. The fully chrome looong twisted square bar springer front end is a site in itself. The front wheel was probably a good foot further forward from its stock position with some help from the Kandy blue frame’s neck being stretched.

The gas tank was soaked with Kandy yellow paint and rainbow flake. On each side of the tank he had painted a different pattern. The right side was a panel  of large  Kandy orange gills with Kandy root beer shading. The left side of the gas tank popped with layers of Kandy faded bubbles. The top of the tank also had two separate panels, on the left side, a blue Kandy lace job showing its finely detailed lacey pattern. The right side of the top panel was a Kandy green small fish scale. And that’s just the gas tank!

The rear fender was bobbed and graced with a long Kandy red lace job and Kandy green fish scale panel running front to rear. The background of the fender panels were surrounded by green, silver and blue Kandy boarders. Off the sides of the fender were two brackets for the not so sissy bar which makes a good mount for its hand grenade and devil tail  also soaked with silver Kandy and  tons of metal flake that of course added to the sick-ness.

Behind the engine hung a spade shaped oil tank which I believe a late 60’s show rod custom paint book had exploded onto.  It then was fogged with clear coat which causes you to just stare at the bike to try to figure out what happened…Give up… There’s a method to Chuck’s madness and it’s locked away in his shed. The spade was time warped with different trippy styles including; Kandy shaded bubbles, turnpikes, Kandy fine-line strips, Kandy droplet panels, freaky flame panels and then topped off with Indian Larry’s legendary question mark to complete the madness.

Chuck is now plugging away on the mechanical part of the chopper, and I will get back to him in the spring for a full write-up when it’s done.  He will be causing hell in the South Shore before you know it. Just watch out for his Suicidal Tendencies flipped cap coming at you!


Gathering of the Faithful

To start this off I’m going to set straight exactly what show we attended.  We drove to Plum Corner in Rochester for the one and only “Flathead Jacks” 10th annual Gathering of the Faithful New England Speed Meeting.   We have  attended this show for a few years now, every year guarantees cool cars and cold people since it’s in October in New England. 

 This show draws a lot of cars that don’t go to everyday cruise nights and local shows.  The type of cars that show up are old roundy rounds, midgets, vintage racers and of course the enthusiasts.  This pre- 1960 show draws mostly hot rods, though you will see some customs and muscle cars in the mix.  The Gathering is one of the only shows around where you can see a variety of cars from vintage slingshots, old race cars and hot rods in the same place. 

On the front row sat a black on black 1931 Ford Model A roadster which wore old salt flat numbers 37b. Under the louvered hood was a warmed over 1941 Flathead motor. The motor had been bored to 239 cubic inches with Edelbrock heads ported and polished to let the flatty breathe deeper. Bolted to the top of the motor is a Thickstun 2×2 manifold with two Holly 94’s (Ford of course) to complete the hopped up motor. This roadster is a real driver and has frequented the salt flats on the west coast numerous times in the last few years.

A few hours into the show everyone huddled around the stage with coffee in hand while a seminar was put on by Mac Van Pelt.  Mac is the author of the How-to manual “The Ins and Outs of Early Ford Transmissions”.  Mac pulled apart and went through an early Ford transmission in great depth with lots of questions and answers interspersed enabling the studious crowd to absorb his knowledge. 

This was the ending show of my Massachusetts season and what a way to end the year.  I can’t wait for the spring!


2009 Piecrust book

I have put together a book of photos I have taken through out 2009. This hardcover book is 25 pages long and inside are over 50 color and B&W photographs. Only a small amount of books will be printed and personalised to the buyer. $25.00……For all orders contact

Also check out the photographs for sale on right side of page!!


Alter boys


We quickly give Joe’s shoebox Ford a tagteam cleaning scrubbing the oh so protective and stubborn elusive blue coating off the whitewalls of the four freshly mounted Goodyear Super Cushions.  A hand off of the quick detailer and I’m wiping down the body and chrome.  Final stretch, the interior including polishing the windows for a glare-free ride, disposing of the never ending pile of fliers of past shows and we’re on the road to the AMVETS Post 79 in Natick, MA.  Remembering that this show in the past was quite possibly the best representation of traditional Hotrods and Customs in the New England area, Joe keeps the throttle wide open as we sail up the expressway. 

 The superb crowd and club friendliness makes me remember why I have been looking forward to this show all year. I’ve  seen this club at shows all over New England for the last couple of years, they really put the extra effort into making their cars the coolest which gives them a very stellar reputation.

Turning onto Speen Street in Natick we quickly see the Alter Boys’ sign painted appropriately on two old car doors marking the entrance.  We are greeted by two of the Alter Boys who mark our hands and head us to Pete Flaven who is on traffic duty lining up the cars.  (Pete’s 33 Ford was also in Piecrust’s June 29th Sin Alley Saints story.)  We slide out of the Ford and head to the show taking a quick glance at the vendors in the first lot.  We approach the second lot in record time to check out the altered wheelbase and front engine dragsters lined up for a group photo.DSCF2131

I look at the nostalgic dragsters but I am quickly drawn to 1948 Fiat that reads Brady&Mahan that is owned by the lucky lucky Jack Brady of Cumberland, RI. I have seen this car run at New England Dragway numerous times throughout the years and it’s by far my favorite altered to see blast down the strip.  It’s a real race car, meaning it has three pedals(gas, brake and clutch).  Those pedals react via its hopped-up small block Chevy which exhales through zoomie style exhaust.  Atop this growling beast sits a six pot intake with six Stromberg 97s.  The power is fed through its 1965 Chevy three speed manual transmission hooked to a Ford 9 inch that turns its big Mickey Thompson hides. 



The next group of cars we see are the cars of the Alter Boys.  This section clearly has the most foot traffic of the day.  In the back of their area the Alter Boys sell their Jalopy Jamboree shirts under a tent which is also shared with Tony “Flash” Dowers of Mag-Neto Magazine who is selling shirts as well as new and past issues of Mag-Neto Magazine.  Eli English had part of his collection of cars at the show including his beautiful black 1955 Ford Customline which laid in the grass behind the other alterboys cars.  Eli also brought his 1931 Ford Model A coupe with a stump pulling 1959 Buick Nailhead mounted neatly between the 1932 Ford frame rails.  Next to the coupe is John Schols’ fresh 1931 Ford Model A roadster with a 1954 Oldsmobile 324 also sitting on 1932 Ford rails.  Jared Brouilett drove his Model T roadster which is propelled by a vintage Ford Flathead with a 2 pot intake.  We stand and watch carefully while Pete Flaven’s Green 1933 Ford coupe gets its aluminum hood and grille lettered by a very talented pinstriper named Don Fearon.  When Don finished striping we check out his work and find amazing perfect crisp dark lines which read “Edmunds racing equip. and Sta-Lube” on the grille.





Down the hill I see a plethora of 1932 Fords, Model A s and T s, Coupes, Sedans and Roadsters all of which share the same concept which is the traditional Hotrod.  I am quickly overloaded with the sight of bias ply tires, Buick brakes, quickchange and two speed rear-ends, chopped tops  and channel jobs.  The shutter on my camera just wants to stay open to absorb all the detail and colors of the cars.  I see a crowd of people standing around a 1932 Ford coupe that is giving off a vintage aura.  I get closer to the car and see four Stromberg 97s that feed a small Cragar blower that is mounted upon an iconic small block Chevy.  Which in turn is connected to a 1939 Ford transmisson and is modified with Lincoln Zepher gears leading to the almighty holy grail of vintage rearends the Columbia two speed.  The car also has the perfect stance with its 16×3 1/2 front V8-60 wheels with 4.50/4.75 16 Firestones and its 16×5 rears wrapped with massive 8.90 16 Firestones.



Across from the 32 there lies a 1954 Chevy that is absolutely stunning, its paint and chrome are simply amazing.  Checking the car out I hear the owner talking about how there was 7 inches added to the roof top during the chop which explains its perfect proportions.  Its dechromed, shaved and Frenched exterior are only the start of the body mods.  The pristine bodywork was done by a guy at the show, who painted the car in his garage.  I would have never believed it if I didn’t hear it myself.  The black paint soaks me in and it seems a mile deep.  The ebony interior and trunk are designed perfectly to complement the exterior.  The Chevy’s chrome smoothie wheels and wide white walls tuck nicely inside the wheel wells with the help from the airbag suspension at all four corners.



I am happy to see all the club jackets and clubwear being worn through the day, including Sin Alley Saints, Double-Crossers, Road Lords, Rod Knockers and of course the Alter Boys.  The show continues into the night playing videos of  the “Alter Boys do Bonneville” and then “Devil at Your Feet” .  Just as I suspected another amazing show put on by the Alter Boys.  You guys never seem to let us down!  Hopefully I will be bringing my coupe next year…We will see!

Pictures from the show are in the column on the right marked Alter Boys and Alter Boys 2


Local Shows

We posted new pictures from Bay State Antique auto club car show at the Endicot Estates and from Ty-Rods Old Timers car show at Bolton Fairgrounds in Lancaster Ma.


Drag-n in the 50s

Sunday, Sunday, Sundaaaay!

Pulling into New England Dragway on this beautiful Sunday morning, my eyes are drawn to the cars just leaving the starting line with their cloud of burning rubber smoke being swept away by the slight breeze towards the spectators. I say to myself, “This is going to be a good day”. Walking through the staging lanes we see a few slingshot dragsters that are in line to run in the Nostalgia class which only allowed Flathead V8’s, in-line four and six cylinder engines pre 1969. Slingshot dragsters have such a Nostalgic vibe, their high compression and thumping cam help squeeze all the potential horsepower out of the injected engine. There isn’t much to a slingshot dragster the chassis with steering, the hopped up engine which emits scorching exhaust fumes through headers into the driver’s face, usually a glide transmission or in some cases a four speed manual then the rearend. The driver sits directly behind the engine, which leaves him nowhere else to sit but actually straddling the rearend’s center section. One of the safety features for the driver is the custom half inch steel plate that is formed and welded on the pumpkin between the driver’s legs just in case he grenades the rearend.


Approaching the starting line is an A/A slingshot named King & Marshall. The power from the blown injected Hemi can be felt in the ground and in my body. The driver is wearing a vintage gas mask and scalloped 3/4 helmet which completes the nostalgic look. The pilot launched the vintage dragster from the waterbox doing his burnout to warm the tires for traction, the entire crowd is in awe of the intense power of the vintage rail. When the driver is ready to launch the dragster you can feel the adrenaline rushing from the driver into you. Yellow, yellow yellow…GREEN the rear tires stand up from the acceleration and the dragster blasts down the track. The track is only allowing 1/8 mile runs today because of the weather and the King ran a low 4 second pass and in the high 140mph range!


The Gassers rumble in after the front engine dragsters finish their runs with an awesome array of vehicles from blown Willys coupes to Nailhead Henry J’s and 1940 Fords with small block Chevys all of which are running in the six to eight second range. A couple of cars that really stand out are the Paciello and sons Anglia and their Henry J that have been running strong all day.


The car show always has a nice variety of hotrods and customs from New England. One car that really stands out to me is a 1933-34 Ford that looks to be built back in the day. The Ford really shows its New England roots with the motorcycle style fenders, heavy channel and non-chopped roof. The car is chromed head to toe expecially the interior. The interior is wrapped in white diamond pleated vinyl and the headliner is held in place with custom chrome braces across the roof completing its 60’s style showrod look.



chick brignolo

Every year Chick Brignolo of Chick Brignolo Chassis in Norton, Ma throws a birthday BBQ car show at his shop. Chick has been a well known car builder in the area for years and has had many of his customer’s cars in magazines. Chick specializes in building full race chassis and hotrods. The crowd that shows up is always a great one, with cars from all over New England.

In the last couple of days the weather has been the worst I’ve ever seen for July let alone any other month in the years past. Boston has been getting more rain than Seattle. The dark gloomy rainy days and weekends have been ruining the car show scene lately. The weathermen have been stiriking out left and right on “predicting” the weather. But today the weather is perfect.

Pulling up to the the show I am greeted by a 1957 Chevy and 1932 Ford coupe, a great way to be welcomed to a car show. Walking in I see a variety of cars ranging from 1932 Ford Roadsters to 1955 Chevys to an old drag altered wheelbase Bantam. Quickly I notice a black high nosed straight axle 1941 Willys coupe. The Willys has a early Hemi with a BDS blower being fed by two massive carburetors. The powerplant exhausts through ceramic coated fenderwell headers then to cutouts in front of the rear wheels. A Willys coupes is what I think of as a true Gasser. As I am looking over this coupe, two more Willys coupes  pull in; one with a small block Chevy with a 4-speed and the other with a blown big block Chevy.  Both set up with straight front axles.


Right around the corner from the Willys Gasser is a red and silver 1932 altered Austin Bantam.  The details really reflect the era the car was built, especially the paint job.  The painted scroll on the sides, airbrushed lettering and  fogs and fades all over really give it a nostalgic 60’s vibe.  Just in front of the chrome firewall sits a 427 big block Chevy solid mounted to the frame with tall injection stacks that shows it means business.  On the seats are a few pictures of the Bantam from back in the early 70’s when it was running in the gas altered A/A class. The car is still run by it’s original owner in gas altered A/A at local nostalgic events and is in the process of being restored to it’s original glory.


I went looking for some customs and came upon an air-bagged 1956 Lincoln Premier coupe that had been shaved, nosed, frenched and chromed. Then out of the corner on my eye I see a crowd of people surrounding the garage. Inside the garage I think I am looking at a 1971 AMC Javelin that was an old show car. The body has been totally transformed making it almost unrecognizable. The engine is  an old Hemi with six Ford 94’s fueling the beast. The car is paneled, turnpiked, fogged, faded and freak dropped. With an interior wrapped head to toe in striped gold, yellow and red velvet.  The passenger side of the dash has a Sony solid state TV recessed into the dash. This car is a such a  handful to take in at one glance that I have to leave and collect my thoughts and attack it again to fully appreciate all the details of the car.


I then decide to look in the shop to see what is being created at this time. I see a 1932 Ford three window coupe and 1932 Ford roadster both in the process of being built. The body on the three window is amazing with only a small spot that needs a little attention. The fully chromed front ends on both cars are flawless.  Next to the coupe is a pro street 1941 Willys coupe with a full tube chassis and it looks to be running a hopped up big block Chevy. When at the track, the steam roller rear tires on the Willys should keep the sixty foot low.


Back outside I see a 1932 Ford roadster with a drilled front end and wishbones. The motor is a flathead setup with offy heads. The rear 7.50 16 tires are spun by a vintage quickchange rearend. The car’s overall look with the louvered hood, big and littles and cowl steering reminds me of “The Rolling Bone’s” cars.


The show is a great success, as always, with cars rolling into the show all day long. A few cars of the local clubs including the Push Rods, Alterboys, Sin Alley Saints and the Rhode Aces also make an appearance. And good news now I have a few more cars I can do feature stories on!

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Matt Wood