When I was a kid I spent lots of time doodling. I never got good at art but I sure practiced a lot. I still have a bunch of my later high school and college notebooks for some reason. When I found them recently I came across a whole bunch of my untalented artwork. I drew lots of skulls, flames, band logos (embarrassing) and yes even some cars.
In 1994 I saw my first 1963 ½ Ford Galaxie 500 Fastback. I was in awe, and in love. What the hell was this spaceship?!? This was nothing like any car that I knew at the time. We were in Nebraska at a car audio competition and this car was decked out. J. Bacon was the owner, and a stranger to me at the time.
After hanging out at the Hot Rod Garage Open House in the morning and about an hour and 45 minute drive I arrived at Shoebox Central for their open house. I met a few cars leaving the event but even with them, the parking lot doesn’t hold too many and it was pretty full.
The second stop on my trip down to Pistons and Paint (see show coverage here and 1st shop visit here) was at Oklahoma City’s Shoebox Central. Owner Chris has owned shoeboxes as far back as high school, so he knows them inside and out. He has a ton of parts cars out back and shelves and shelves of various parts inside, pulled from parts cars, some N.O.S., some reproductions, all kinds of parts for just about anything else you could need.
The Rumble (formerly Rumble in Delano) has been going on each year in Wichita for a few years now. This is the second year for the show’s new late September date and the first time for the show’s new location just south of the Go Away Garage in downtown Wichita. Those two changes can be tough for a show to survive, but from my experience Saturday I think the show came through fine.
I really dig the under Kellogg/US-54 location, it just has an interesting and kool look about it. Here’s my Galaxie when I rolled in. As always, to purchase any of these photos as a print, click on it and you’ll be taken to the gallery where you can pick size and paper style. Metallic is my favorite paper right now but they all have their own place to be used and the site will even tell you what each does best.
There were quite a few early arrivers like myself.
Doug’s Toad and McPhail’s 41 Buick at the registration booth.
A few of the pinstripers hung out at the Go Away Garage and had a panel jam.
The platform out side of the Go Away Garage made for a great place to watch the incoming rides.
Jason and his truck have been at a lot of the same shows as I have been lately, and I’m not complaining.
Jack and his 51 leading in a few friends from the Mulvane Marauders. The 51 and Joe’s 41 Ford Pickup behind it took home 4 combined awards. The awards were hand made and painted and some of the koolest I’ve seen all year so far. Congrats to Fast AL’s Upholstery on the Best Interior award on the 51.
The family that hangs out at the cars show together…is kool.
15 shot HDR Panoramic of the show
One of the stars of the show. Micheal’s newly finished 34 5 Window Ford, done in an East Coast style. The 59 Olds steering wheel is the only part on the car newer than 53.
I love it!
Larry Wolfe recently brought this late 60’s Dave Stuckey creation back home to Wichita. Plans are to return it to it’s 1967 state. Back in the day Stuckey used this wild sectioned 1965 Pontiac Catalina to tow his Top Fuel Drag car. I reallly wish I could have been around to see that rolling down the road.
The good tunes all day were provided by my buddy Everett.
Some of my favorite cars all in the same shot.
I love it Neal! Thanks for bringing it out!
Dad’s 59 Thunderbird and Ron’s Chevy Truck
Voodoo Jim’s Corn Cobb Coupe
Doc Parsons’ T is purrrrfect.
Yeah yeah yeah it’s for your wife, we know we know.
The Lonely Knights’ Big Rich awarding Mickey with their award.
Mickey and one of Wichita’s Godfathers of kool, Johnny Hammann
The 2nd stop on the Garage Krawl for our group was my friend Roger’s house. Due to it being a private property I will not mention his last name or where it is. Roger has a fantastic collection of Fords mostly 40’s of various types and a couple of Falcons and more, but his automobilia collection is equally as impressive.
Great old signs
Some grilles in the background behind this great plane
Dashes, grilles, and beauty rings
So the power company puts in an ugly power station behind your house and keeps building it bigger… well you’d better find a cool way to hide it from your view. This works
Everyone’s backyard should be so kool.
More yard art, some of it I might have a need for, I may have to come back and make an offer…
The chain was just laying there, but I couldn’t help shooting a pic of the cool wheel and tire.
pretty kool mag.
One wall of the garage featured license plates staring in 1913 I believe, and sequentially going up from there.
Another wall featured only 1940 Kansas plates, from 99 of the 105 Kansas counties, that’s an impressive collection.
Some great car club plaques.
Great taillight lens display
What to do with your extra plates? Why not make an American Flag? 🙂
Then it was off to Chaotic Customs in Mulvane, KS for a shop visit and some lunch. Giant hot dogs, soda, chips and some homemade cookies really hit the spot. Here’s Mike Young’s 40 Ford pickup which is being built for SEMA this year.
Some of the projects under construction at Chaotic.
Then it was off to my buddy Jack’s place for a visit. Here’s a lineup of Jack’s rides. He has a 30 year head start on me but I hope to catch up one day.
Then it was off to Big Joe’s for an air conditioned shop visit (it was a hot one that day!) Here’s a “gas station” that Joe built to hold his compressor and welders and such when not in use.
Some of the art inside the main shop building.
Then I hopped in my buddy’s Galaxie for a ride to Rocky’s shop, we had a good line of 10 or so rides on the way there.
Rocky has a pretty kool collection of Wichita area club plaques too.
and the best chandelier around.
Then it was back to the hotel for some fajitas courtesy of the Lonely Knights. Thanks for the good eats folks!
The 100 or so people in the parking lot stayed out and socialized until around midnight. So many good friends that are all really more like family than friends. This is a big reason why this show is one of my favorites of the year.
As I did last year, I got to the Host Hotel on Thursday evening about 7pm so that I could wake up ready to go on the Garage Krawl on Friday morning. After dinner with some friends I shot some night shots in the parking lot.
One of my favorite Mercs around.
Love that hood ornament
More of our friends from the Lonely Knights in Colorado
Next up for the 51 Ford is to finish what I’d previously started. Not very exciting but getting the booth ready for the KKOA had to take precedence. So back to the regularly scheduled program… I’ll drain the bad gas out of the tank, take a peek inside and see how it looks. Then either clean and seal the tank or just put some good gas in and see how she starts. For more info on Ford’s “shoebox” check out this blog post.
Then the Aerostar springs for the front (3″ drop and variable spring technology for a great ride quality) and new drop springs for the rear will go in with the freshened up 1978 Granada rear end.
So that’s the next few months of my evenings when I’m not working on rebuilding the website, creating the Calendar for Charity, resting for the day job and all the other things on the list :). The point is, make a list, and get about the business of knocking items off of that list so you can get your old heap on the road too!
In the week since the last post about my 51 I’ve driven the 63 Galaxie 13 hours round trip to Springfield, MO for the Queen City Riot and I’ve done a small amount of work on the 51. To see more about the Queen City Riot show coverage see the gallery here or the blog posts Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
All that I got done on the 51 this week was installing a new fuel pump and verifying that it was in fact working. Installing the pump shouldn’t have taken nearly as long as I took, but it’s on now. Just a hint, if the engine is still in the car, it’s easier to take off the pump and the housing that it’s attached to than to remove the pump from that housing, unless you have a special 1/2″ shorty wrench or super thin walled sockets. So after some cursing, some head scratching and using an old Cragar S/S wheel with tire as a platform to stand on, I got the pumps swapped out.
Next step was to get the pump plumbed. Dammit. On both the inlet and outlet the new pump had larger connectors than the existing lines that the car had. A trip to Salina (20 miles each way) and 3 different stores (the 2 auto parts stores didn’t have them) and I came up with a set of new hose barbs and some new hoses. I replaced the existing rubber lines with the new hoses, primed the carb, hooked up the battery and turned the key.
She sputtered for a second or two, ran out of the gas in the carb and died. The fuel bowl was still empty on the fued pump too. So I cranked it a few times to see if the pump was able to draw any fuel up from the tank. Bone dry. After a few more attempts the battery was dieing and I was tired anyways so I called it a night. The plan for the next day would be to charge the battery, and see if the fuel pump could pull gas out of a water bottle directly next to it.
The next day I ran out to my Dad’s to borrow a gas can, the 5 mile trip was better than the 20 miles to town, and to pick up my battery charger that he’d bought for me years ago. Since I’ve recently decided to actually start working on my cars in my garage it would be good to have it home. I hooked up the battery charger and went into the house for some lunch. Upon my return I filled the water bottle with gas and stuck the fuel pump feed hose into it and tried the ignition again. Again the car only sputtered for a few seconds but I could see the fuel pump was pulling gas out of the bottle. Yay! that means that the pushrod between the cam and fuel pump might work.
Next up will be to see if I can get the car to run on that bottle of gas in the engine compartment. If so, then I need to replace the soft line at the fuel tank and try to use the air compressor to blow air through the hard line to make sure it’s not clogged shut. After that I’ll reconnect my new soft fuel lines at the tank and lightly use the compressor to put air into the tank to try to force the fuel up the line towards the pump. If the engine is capable of running and that line is full of fuel, we might be able to get her to move under her own power.
The tank is visibly newer than the straps that hold it into the car but I still will snake a camera down the filler pipe to see what the inside of the tank looks like. If need be I have a tank sealer kit waiting standby.
So, that’s where it stands for now, I hope to report next week that she is moving under her own power, see you at a show,
On Memorial Day 2012 my father, my nephew Gannon and I went to Kanopolis Lake about 40 miles west of Salina, KS with the truck and trailer to pick up my 1951 Ford Custom 2 Door Sedan. I’m hoping to do as much of this car as possible myself, and I’m no mechanic. This will be a challenge but I hope to show a bunch of you that you can tackle these jobs involved in bringing an old car back to life if you break them down into small jobs.
From the outside the car looks to be all there. While it wont start and the previous owner said that he drove it from Salina to the lake home, he said it was missing on a couple of cylinders by the time that he got to the lake.
After a quick hose down I see that the weather stripping is not doing it’s job, so I pull back the carpet where the water had dripped to see what was underneath and I find a flattened out Folgers Coffee can as a floor patch. No biggie the floors can be replaced.
The paint looks decent for the most part, probably a 70’s era re-spray, the trunk was in the sun for 8 years so it’s rather oxidized and faded. After a year, I finally got a space cleaned out in my garage at home and I drug the car home so that I could start to tinker with her and see if I could bring the ol flathead back to life. The factory front grille was removed to go on my buddy Jack’s 51 Ford Kustom that he’s just finished with the help of Chaotic Customs, Fast A.L.’s Upholstery and others, and it will be replaced with a 54 Pontiac grille that I have.
Wanting to do things myself as much as possible but knowing when to call in an expert, I had a friend rebuild the factory carb, if I had done that myself it would be months before I did it. So now with a new carb and a freshly charged battery I try to start the old girl. No go. Not getting a drop of fuel out of the fuel pump even though the bowl on the pump is full. A trip to O’Reillys and a new fuel pump is on the way. So next up is to swap the fuel pump and try her again.
Once the car is running and I can take it for the occasional drive up and down the block it’s time to save up for a wiring harness. The 60 year old cloth covered wiring is in bad need of replacement. In the mean time I have a set of Ford Aerostar springs for the front which will bring the front end down about 3 inches and give the car a better ride quality, for the rear my buddy Jack has given me a set of blocks to get the altitude right.
Power washing the gunk off the bottom of the car
Another upgrade that I hope to do soon is installing a 77 Ford Maverick rear end, from everything that I’ve read it’s a near perfect fit and a much higher quality rear end with a better suited gear than the factory setup. The 3 speed with OD should mate well with the new rear gears. Before I can install that I need to get a lesson in how to rebuild brakes so I can finish the Maverick rear end before it goes under the car.
A while back someone asked me if I had a way to search for a specific kind of car on my website. I don’t. It would take a tremendous effort to go back now and label each of the 36,000 images as to what the cars are. So I decided to try to find a work around. The solution for now is having Vehicle Specific Galleries. The goal here is to gather up images of similar cars so you can quickly and easily see many different ways that each body style can be done. The hope is that you might find inspiration in these photos and go build something of your own to enjoy.
The last 2 are not 100% up to date, I try to go and add a few each night until I’m done but they have a good start.
I hope to have more in the near future but it does take a significant amount of time to collect these images together so bear with me. If there are any specific models that you would like to see collected as a gallery let me know by using the email form at the top of this blog or by commenting below.
The schedule for 2013 is already filling up! This post will be a breakdown of some of the shows of the first few months, have a look at the info I provide, check out the photos from years past and pick a couple out to attend!
Those of you that know me know that I’ve recently purchased a 51 Ford, affectionately known as a shoebox. I’ve loved this body style for quite awhile and I’m excited to get started working on mine later this year (after finishing some upgrades to the 63 Galaxie).
So what years of the Ford are considered shoeboxes?
1949-1951 due to their “slab side” design, gone are the bulging fenders and they are replaced with a relatively straight body shell.
Here’s an example of the side of the body.
Compared to the 46-48 style before it.
How do you tell the years apart?
Here is an example of a 49, note the single “bullet” grille, triangular turn signals at the end of the grille bar and the FORD letters on the hood.
The 50 carries on the single bullet design but moves to a rectangular turn signals in the trim pieces that wrap around the front bumper and badge at the front of the hood.
By 1951 they moved to the easily identifiable double bullet grille design and round turn signals.
While many chop their shoeboxes, I am torn on what I will do. Speaking of roofs though, here’s an example of the Victoria model roof.
VS. the standard sedan roof
Here’s an example of the factory coupe roofline
They also came in the Country Squire “woody” version
From the factory these cars came with flathead 6’s or 8’s. My 51 came with a 239 cu. in flathead V8 “8BA” motor and a 3speed with Overdrive transmission. I have heard that there were automatics available in 51 with the Ford-o-matic transmission. Atomic Hot Rods just released a cool documentary on the Flathead last year called A Sweet Sickness: The Flathead Movie Go to the site to order a copy for yourself, click here to see the trailer.
9/14/13 Update: I had my buddy Chris over at Shoebox Central look through here for any errors, thanks for taking the time Chris! If anyone needs parts for their Shoebox Ford or even some Merc stuff of the era, head over to Shoebox Central.