29 February 2012

Good Times at the Big 3

I haven't sold at a swap meet for years.
The last time I had a space at the Big 3,
my wife was pregnant with our first kid,
over 10 years ago.

However like a dehydrated lungfish after the first rains,
it was fun to be back with people that love the grit of a good auto swap meet.
A friend Mario had secured a couple spots,
so a bunch of us were able to hang out and sling our junk.
Thanks for the hookup Mario!

I tried to only bring good stuff that would sell,
not just junk that I would have to bring back.
39 trannies, rally rims, buick drums, a kelsey hayes rim, a v8-60 engine, 34 phaeton project...
stuff like that brings out people I may also want to actually meet!

Big 3 remnants
Brandon mowing asphalt

It was alot of fun actually talking to a face instead of writing messages online.
I met some international Hambers, some other boarders - ford barn etc.
and just many really good like-minded people.

Saturday I brought our 29 Ford roadster pickup "Chief" out of hibernation.
It was the first big "show" since the GNRS last year,
which was different cause I didn't hang around it the whole time.

This time I forgot what a draw the old hot rod was.
Many people recognized it and other's discovered it.

Not to minimize any new acquaintances,
but one guy in particular blew my mind.

Jack "Jackie" Howerton, Travis Perich
& Chief - 29 ford roadster pickup

This guy came down and was studying the pickup rather intently,
noticing many of the things most people don't see.
After talking with him a couple minutes,
I found out his name was Jackie Howerton,
and he had built this thing a couple years back.

Jackie Howerton Roadster

After 15 years or so of construction,
he had sold it,
and the new owner Bill Lindig had it finished by So-cal speedshop.
Oh yeah,
it won the AMBR trophy at the GNRS this year!

Jackie Howerton Roadster 

What the?
We had a good conversation about building hot rods,
and it was really surreal.
It was even cooler when he came back an hour or so later,
to show his friends the old truck.
They made sure I knew exactly who he was!
Not only a master fabricator from his Howerton Racing company,
but a champion sprint car racer who raced Unser, Andretti and others back in the day.
I was humbled!


On a total flip side to the normal hot rod gearheads,
was this guy Paul P. who had a really cool touring bike,
that he uses to take extended hobo trips.

Robeneik touring bike

Lucky guy!
He has a '76 mercedes Unimog,
and is into doing the cooking oil conversions on diesels.


Another chance meeting was with an old timer named Frank Young.
I really wish I'd taken a photo with him.
Somehow we got to talking at his stall,
and he walked all the way over to check out my junk.
We chatted about gas welding and he asked to see my hammer and dolly.
(which I had brought just in case I was bored)
It was really weird,
 he took to them so naturally,
and started beating on the unfinished decklid like a master.
I'll have that memory for a long time.
It was so cool.


To top off the 3 day event,
I was fortunate to have bumped into the Chabott Engineering crew a number of times.
It was an honor and a little embarassing to show them the mess of a shop!

chabott engineering crew

Yeah my camera sucks!
The two in front - Nimi and Shinya - started Zero Engineering,
and branched off to bigger and better things.
Then there's master blogger "Menacing Ayu" and their friends from Japan.
Thanks for coming by guys!
Next time you won't be eating at "Hometown Buffet"!


Stuff like this is what screws with someone like me,
a guy that simply likes to cut, hammer, grind and weld.
Meeting new people and reinforcing old friendships,
is such a huge motivator to continue building stuff.
It's what money can't buy!


slingin at the Big 3

So yeah the Chocolate and Cheese Roadster,
and a huge pile of parts,
 made it to the Big 3

slingin at the Big 3 swap meet

My parts disappeared almost too quickly.
I even reloaded the van Saturday night to bring more stuff.
Making a little extra dough was cool,
but it was also nice to lose some weight and clutter.

There was a constant desire to walk around and start replacing junk,
but I kept it to a minimum.
Saturday evening I walked around scouting for deals,
than noted them in the droid phone,
then late Sunday went back to hunt them back down,
hopefully cheaper than the asking price.

1929 headlight bar
1940 ford dash

My big ticket item was the 40 ford dash.
They always come in handy and this one was perfect,
not too nice to cut up.
The '29 headlight bar opened up a chance meeting with an old timer
named Frank Young,
who I'll talk about later.

flathead head gaskets
old gas can
aluminum shift knob

There's the old aluminum MG shift knob,
now need to find another.
I also scrounged up some new flathead head gaskets,
pennies on the dollar.
The gas can was a score,
good for diesel which is a good degreaser.


After a big last minute sale,
I went and grabbed some model kits for the kids.
These things are tough to find at shops,
probably cause swappers are buying them to flip!

That was it!
There were alot of things I really wanted to get,
but just don't need.
Is this me talking?

There was a bunch of cool stuff out there.
Here's a couple things that the camera caught.

bitchin go kart

I could imagine the kids tearing up the neighborhood in this.

1939/1940 coupe project

This appeared to be a solid start to a 40 coupe.
Not sure if it sold I don't remember seeing it sunday.

1939 ford 4-door sedan

To me this was the sweetheart of the show.
A 70's version of a '39 ford sedan.
I loved it.

1939 ford dash

Get a load of that blue and green shag carpet,
and that black diamond tuck and roll door panel.
Holey Chit.
The perfect family hot rod.

hayabusa mini

This old mini cooper had a turbo hayabusa engine wedged in.
hayabusa mini cooper

This was no hack job.
Very cleanly done.

ford pinto

Who could resist a 1970's pinto!
Some crazy designing back then.

356 porsche

This seemed a bit pricey but it was really solid.
Perfect for that Outlaw style.

1955 chevy truck

This '55 chevy had a great stance and patina.

ultimate swap cart

The award for "someone with too much time on their hands"
goes to Chingon fabrication.
Love the aluminum skills.

chevy DONK

This was the only DONK representative.

1930 coupe body

Some of us came away unscathed by the temptation of the deal,
but a good friend went in hook, line and sinker.
Mike got the hot rod bug and bit the bullet with this sweet 30 coupe body.
It's a perfect addition to his garage!

There was so much more there,
but I wasn't as camera happy as I usually am.
And piles of parts don't look as cool on the screen.

Looking forward to next year!


28 February 2012

chocolate & cheese roadster - last push

I was a little spent over the weekend,
so here's a quick wrap up!

perich brothers!


ween - chocolate & cheese - voodoo lady

Definitely some voodoo goin on with this project.
Like that movie Iron Giant,
it wanted to be put together.
We were just pawns.



There was a good half day to work on the roadster before the swap load in at 4pm.
I started not too early by replacing this rusty section I had cut out the night before.

holey chit

This was no top notch job,
just enough to reinforce the subrail.
I'll have to pound out a sheetmetal patch panel later on.

quick patch

Luckily Spinner showed up to throw some hours in.
I showed him the list,
and he picked the most difficult thing,
the missing decklid.


Okay actually he started by shortening and welding up the headlight bar,
than he started on the frame for the decklid.

spinner checking the decklid frame

Things got even better when Mike showed up to get his hands dirty.

grease monkey

He did some mechanical stuff like bolt on the intake/carbs, dizzy,
and figured out how to attach the tow bar,
while experiencing the loudness of a 70's grateful dead show.
Thanks Mike!

27 roadster dash modification

Meanwhile I tried to mount the steering column.

dash filler

The easiest way was to take out that swoop on the drivers side.

column supported

Good enough.
Before Mike left,
he cut a beat '36 driveshaft to use for the exhaust.

mocked up exhaust

One more day and the exhaust could be finished.
For now this would have to do.

spinners decklid magic

By 3:00,
it was time to get this thing outside.

1927 ford roadster
Spinner's Suzuki

The old roadster rolled down the 2 steps no problem.
I love high cars.
It was obvious that spring clamps were needed,
and SPinner tackled the front.

custom spring clamp bolts

And I tackled the back.

custom rear spring clamp

I couldn't believe the progress he had made on the rear decklid in 3 hours.

1927 ford roadster rear shot

It was so good I sprayed my name on it.

chocolate and cheese
1927 ford roadster

While waiting for the wife and kids to show up,
I amassed a good pile for the swap meet.

1927 ford roadster

Finally they arrived,
and escorted the package to the swap meet.

perich brothers and sister
and mom

The car pulled amazingly well,
and got up to about 45mph.

at the swap meet

My cousin in law Brandon and friend Mario hooked up the spot.

With everything unloaded,
it was time to relax and have a couple drinks.
...4 red beers and 2 shots later..


ween - chocolate and cheese - candi

This is how I felt at the end of the day.
It was great!


Thanks to a good group of friends and family,
the hard part was finally over!

Thanks guys!!


24 February 2012

chocolate & cheese roadster - reprieve

After thinking this was my last day rubbing out the chocolate and cheese,
I found out the entry to the Big 3 swap is either before 1pm or after 4pm.
This gives me a whole morning to do some more thrashing.

custom ford hub puller - fail

Of course I didn't know that when I started the day.
I was like the tasmanian devil,
whirring around the shop.

First off was to get it on wheels.
I couldn't remove the hubs quickly,
so ended up swapping rims and tires to fit the wide 5 hubs.

holey roller!

While running around I grabbed some rattlecan.

dirty frame

With the body removed,
I gave it a half-ass scrub down with a wirewheel and scouring pads.
Thankfully the shop fan blew the rust and dirt out to our neighbors.

frame make-up

It looks pretty good black.

floor obstruction

Next was giving the floor some clearance for the driveshaft/torque tube.

torque tube remnants

The torque tube scrap was put to use.

crude but effective

Hopefully it would be enough.



With that relieved,
for some reason I decided to do some pedal work.

The 40 transmission uses a funky floating pivot arm.

1940 transmission

Fortunately I had a busted up one lying around.

busted 40 ford clutch arm

The arm was cut off,
and the missing end was fabbed up.


It fit perfectly with a top secret frame mount.

pivoting pivot

The clutch lever will need to be attached after the pedals are located.

ford donor pedals

Speaking of pedals,
these had been lying around the shop for a long time.
Finally put to use.
Corners were rounded off,
and brackets were shaved.

hole saw cut outs

My stash of hole saw innards again put to use.

pedals mounted

They'll need some tweaking,
however it's a good starting point.
And they're ford units.

firewall action

There's a master cylinder pushrod coming out the firewall,
but I'm not sure if that's gonna cut it.
I'd do a bell crank and have the MC be under the cowl,
using the vent door as access.
Or not.

1927 ford roadster
rear view

It was a long productive day.
I'm really liking this roadster.

1927 ford model T roadster
front view

There is still a ton that needs to get done.
I told my wife it's like filling a sink with the drain open.

1927 hot rod

Tomorrow, or actually this morning there's a couple good hours to work on it,
than hopefully I can get it to the Big 3 swap meet.

the chocolate and cheese roadster
1927 ford model T

For a banged up old body I love this shot!

Okay time for sleep...