Wednesday, October 31, 2012


With fabrication back on track, I feel as if I'm freed up to think about finish details, like the interior.
Having had the luxury of hanging out with Sean a couple weekends back, I'm hoping I can get him to do the interior when the time comes. I consider the interior a huge opportunity to do something that's different, yet in keeping with a sixties custom vibe. The rectangular steering wheel will, of course, go a long way towards making the interior unique. The Desoto gauges will add uniqueness and because the faces are white and the numbers and needles are gold, it starts to reinforce the complimentary colors that will coordinate with the light turquoise pearl. I'd like the seats to be fairly simple and low profile, but with some bolstering for comfort and support the driver when cornering. I'm leaning towards white pearl with subtle gold accents. I'd like to have a compact center console that would second as an armrest. I'd also like som late fifties, early sixties arm rests on the interiors or the doors and some pockets on the doors, to store small items. Sean Johnstun and I talked about how cool it would be to have a waterfall grill between the seats, like the rear seat of my 65 Riviera had, which could second as a speaker for a hidden MP3 players.


This is one of those posts that is simply a parts list of what is needed. Feel no need to read on.  


1. Axle- The 4" drop one on the top of the I beam page that is 47" wide and 35" perch to perch. $256.50
2. Front spring- 1056A the narrow on 29" eye to eye $136.03
3. Reverse eye main leaf- 1055A 29" eye to eye $40.04
4. Spindles- We need them to fit the lincoln backing plates the riley auto sells (CE Forged Spindles bushing installed $264.50
5. Spring shackles- To fit the front spring (AU 2203? Will work with 1056A? $38.00)
6. King pin set- Whatever we need to put spindles onto the axel you buy (PN: ABC-123 $43.95 Will work with 4” Chassis Engineering 32 style heavy axle 47” wide. 35” wide perch centers, 2&1/4 perch boss)
If we get this stuff and have decided on the tire size I can finish and get the front end under its own weight. That’s huge!
TIRES: from Coker: Firestone 3&1/4” whitewall – 670-15 $376.00 per pair

ADDENDUM: After looking at examples of Big and littles, I found a much shorter tire that will work with the 5.5" front chrome reverses. US Royal 560-15's with 2&1/4" whitewalls from Coker. They're on their way. 

Monday, October 29, 2012


With the roadster now here in Denver, and a talented fabricator who I'll call Mr. T on the case, the roadster will soon be having its 9" rear suspended to the frame. We're looking at creating a four link suspension system for the back. We're also experimenting with front tires to make sure we get the visual rake The challenge is figuring out the ideal front tire to fit on the 5.5 inch front chrome reverses, and making sure that tire has a wide enough whitewall to compliment the rear tires. Once we get the front tires figured out, we'll be setting up the front suspension, too.


It's been a while since I talked about the engine for my roadster. It's a roller cam equipped vintage 327 that has been balanced and blueprinted. I found the engine on Craigslist and it was frankly more than I was looking for. In fact, when I heard how much cam it was running, I initially balked at the idea of buying it. But it was built well, had recent receipts, and after researching the cost of a cam change, I made an offer and it was accepted. I got a hold of some vintage 2.02 heads for it and had Larry @ Performance Automotive set them up with roller rockers and a mild porting job. The cam I chose is a Competition Cams 270HR, which creates plenty of manifold at idle, a key consideration given the fact that I'm going to be running multiple carbs. The photo is strictly a mock up and reflects untold hours of de-burring that I painstakingly performed in my garage where the picture was snapped.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Here's a shot of mi amigo, David Hepp, who was nice enough to pilot a 16' moving truck from Austin to Denver containing all the parts to my Model A. Below, I was showing him my vintage 6X2 intake with 94s. When the time comes to have the carbs gone through and the linkage set up, I'll likely go with Dick's Hot Rod Carbs, which comes highly recommended by the HAMB.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


I did some more research on the Nick Garfias roadster. The Rod and Custom article lists his tire sizes, but not wheel widths. He’s running 16s front and back. I cross-referenced his tire sizes with Coker’s site and found wheel width recommendations.


REARS: 7.50-16 with a diameter of 31.48” that recommends a 5”-6” wheel
FRONTS: 6.50-16 with a diameter of 29.1 that recommends a 4.5”-6” wheel

So the difference in diameter between his fronts and backs are 2.37”


My L78-15’s have diameter of 29.3 and recommended is a 6”-8.5” wheel
(My rears are 8”)

I looked up 15” wide whitewalls for the front tires and found these on Coker’s site

Firestone makes a 6.70-15 with 3.35” whitewalls that is 28.58 in diameter and recommended wheel size is 5”-6” (My fronts are 5.5”) These tires would be smaller than the rears by .73”, yet fit on a 6” rim, which in theory would mean the front wheels I got form Sean may be usable.

Another option is a G78-15 Coker with 3&1/4 WW with a diameter of 27.68", which is 1.62" smaller than the L78-15s on the rear. 


We had the good fortune of spending the weekend with Sean Johnstun aka Fat Lucky's, who stopped by to bring the chrome reverse wheels and rear tires for the roadster. Sean was making a trek from his old home in Austin to Kansas and back to Burbank, CA, where he's setting up shop with a buddy who does high-end Merecedes work. While here, Sean took a run over to the secret bunker where work on the roadster is resuming. While there, we had a chance to visit and I asked him to weigh in for the design direction of the roadster, particularly its interior. As Sean soon found out, I had a multitude of choices for gauges. The only thing I knew for sure is that I wanted to run original equipment gauges form a fifties car. Sean put in a strong recommendation that I use the Desoto gauges I pulled out of my favorite wrecking yard in Seguin, Texas a couple years ago. 
Sean was a big fan of the white faces and  gold accents on them. He felt that the subtle colors would key beautifully off of the turquoise exterior paint and play nicely against my plan for a white pearl interior. While on the subject, I asked him what he would do with the interior. His answer? White pearl with gold piping, to play off of the gauges. That was exactly the kind of sage advice I was looking for. We also talked about my plan for a padded center console and interior door panels with late fifties or early sixties arm rests. If all goes well, it's my intention to cut Sean loose on the interior once the car is up and running. Naturally, we're a long ways out from that stage, but it's nice to have the best upholstery guy on the planet weigh in. Sean left Denver Sunday headed towards Sante Fe in his '42 Dodge truck.  What he left behind was a ton of good advice about keeping the car's interior relatively simple, which is a fine art in and of itself.

When the time comes to have the gauges rebuilt, Redline Gauges will likely get the nod.


Here's the initial mock up of the roadster now that it's here in Denver. The rear wheels and tires are L78-15's on Pete Paulsen 8" Chrome reverse wheels. 

Here's the 327 with it's 6X2 manifold and Magneto distributor. 

Front mock-up of the front end.

Friday, October 19, 2012


The roadster build is back on, and in a big way. Last week, I rented a moving van, loaded up my '29 roadster and delivered it to a secret bunker here in Denver, where a talented builder is going to be plying his talents to it over the coming winter. In conversation with said builder, I was asked to submit shots of a handful of cars that came closest to what I'm envisioning for my car, which is to replicate an early sixties custom. I happened to share the handful of pics I was sending to the builder with my employee, Rob, and he offered to retouch one of them to be close in color to what I want for my car. So with apologies to Nick Garfias, the owner of this beautiful '29 roadster, I present a light turquoise metallic photoshopped version of his car -- and what I want my car to be.