Posts Tagged ‘ford

30
Sep
09

Alter boys

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

26
Jul
09

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

09
Jul
09

The Cheetah

One night while I was working on my Model A coupe at my friend Jon’s shop my phone rang. It was my friend Scott.  He told me that he knew of a car to write a story about and he happened to be on his way to the owner’s house. Jon and I quickly closed up the shop to go meet up with Scott. He told me briefly about the car on the way and a few minutes after we pulled up to an amazing red barnboard garage.

Stepping into the garage I feel as though i’ve stepped into a museum of car memorabilia. We are greeted by the very lively “museum” owner, Walter Zion, who’s garage we are at. The walls are covered with old metal signs and car pictures; and the display cases filled with die cast cars, suicide knobs, shift knobs and cool knickknacks. I am drawn to his black 1947 Mercury convertible. The interior is immaculate.  He tells me the car’s interior was replaced in the early 80’s by LeBaron Bonney a high end interior shop. Pictures of the interior of his Mercury had been used in LeBaron Bonney advertisements for years after.

 Just past the Mercury is a black 1934 Chevrolet Sedan street rod. In front of the Chevy is a pristine 1937 Ford Woody Wagon that is all original and untouched with very low miles on the odometer. The door wore an old goldleaf Glenfield Farm logo, a farm that was located in Middleboro, MA.

 After taking in all of the items that are hanging on the walls, ceiling and inside display cases, we step down into the rear garage where the 1950’s survivor sat in all its glory. The car started its life as a 1940 Ford Tudor sedan. In late 1952 the car started its transformation into the Cheetah. It was built by “Pick” Buron of Bridgewater, MA for the McNealon oil company. Walter showed us pictures of the car’s transformation that he received from Pick’s son; the date on the back was February 22, 1953. The pictures show the lead work that was done on the body in its bare state. The Ford was painted a tomato red when it was finished in 1953. The top had been cut off and was turned into a permanent convertible. The doors tops were sculpted to match the line of the front fenders. The trunk and the hood were welded and leaded shut. An opening to access the engine was cut and louvered. The rear of the car was nicely detailed with through “hull” exhaust, 1950 Pontiac taillights and a body contoured chrome nerf bar. The nose of the car was filled and had a custom air inlet opening with toothed grille. In 1964 Chet Andrews bought the car and the headlights were changed out for late 1950’s Lincoln stacked headlights–the craze at the time. The Cheetah originally had a Flathead with 2×2 intake on top, which was later in life swapped out for a Ford 289 with finned valve covers. The rest of the drivetrain remained stock. Red pleated vinyl covered the complete interior and wrapped over the top of the doors and seats. The red vinyl dash is complimented well by a polished gauge panel with vintage Stewart Warner gauges. The one off frameless windshield gives it a real old school open air feel. In 1988 the car was painted white, then painted black in the late 90’s. Still after all of these years the car has pretty much stayed in its 50’s state. This is a very good example of an old East Coast survivor. It really shows that these old cars need to be in the hands of someone that can appreciate the car and the hard work required to maintain it. I can’t wait to get another call from Scott  to go for a ride again.

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Matt Wood