I have logged the first 100 miles after getting the 58 Dodge D100 project back on the road. We have worked out most of the kinks.
I have logged the first 100 miles after getting the 58 Dodge D100 project back on the road. We have worked out most of the kinks.
The spare tire mount has been beefed up and a spare has been mounted. We are checking off items from the list quickly. We are really getting close. The boys a VR Garage are doing a stellar job.
Well, we are in the home stretch on the 1958 Dodge D100. Glass is in, interior is done. We had a last minute engine swap, after discovering that the motor we put in was a bit worn out. Bed is done. Painted bits are on. Drive train is installed.
Now it’s time to make a spare tire bracket, back bumper, mirrors, bright work install, and a few minor details before getting a logo painted on the doors.
Here she is as of February 2109:
Well, we find ourselves at the beginning of summer 2018. The old 1958 Dodge D100 project is shuffling along. I almost feel like we can see the finish line, but it might be a mirage, as I have said that before. Today the boys over at VR Garage got it back from the painter, where it was clear coated in a satin finish to preserve the patina. I originally was going to patina polish it, but the more research I did told me that unless you are going to store it inside, or pay to polish it every year you are looking for trouble. Also, the polisher has to meticulously polish around the surface rust, otherwise the polishing compound sticks to the rough rusty areas and must be power washed out. There are a lot of rusty areas on this truck (surface only) so I know it would have been a huge project to polish it. The satin finish came out great! I know my friend Erik ‘The Viking” Elbeck is going to trash talk me behind my back to all the hot rod crowd, about what a terrible decision this was, but I can take it. They all think I’m not a real hot rod guy anyways.
So, until next update – here she is:
So, I have kept it quiet for a very long time, hoping that a few more pairs would show up on their website for me to secretly gobble up, but alas, it seems they might be gone forever, unless we can garner support. I am talking about the best work pants ever! The Carhartt Series 1889 Double Front Work Dungaree. This was a limited series that Carhartt issued back in 2015, that was based on original designs when the company was founded. Now, I have worn regular Carhartt carpenter style work pants for years when I am actually doing construction or remodeling, but I have always had a problem with the “relaxed fit”. Even when they fit me in the waist I am swimming in huge wide legs and a flat ass-section. Not so with the 1889’s! They are a nice slim cut with a button fly! Same heavy duty duck canvas as the standard bullet proof pants, but they actually have a flattering cut. I discovered them in 2016 when I was searching for heritage work pants. I had been looking at selvedged work pants that retailed in the $200 – $300 price range when I came across these at $69.00. I ordered a pair to try them out and was instantly in love. I wore them a few times as fashion jeans with my Redwings and received multiple compliments, so I raced back to order another color. By the time I went back to the website in early 2016 they were already out of the standard duck-brown color in my size, so I ordered a pair in mushroom brown to go along with my original moss green pair and put in a “notify me” note for a notification when they were back in stock. Shortly after I got a note from Carhartt saying that they were discontinued but that they would notify production that I was interested, and that retail stores might have some left. My next visit to Portland I checked 2 stores to find that they never had them. My next visit to Seattle I hit a flagship store, where I was told that they briefly had them, but they were out and that they got lots of requests for them to come back and that they would notify production that I was interested and give me a call if they came back in. Since 2016 I have emailed several times and checked the website monthly to see if anything was happening. Nada! I even ordered another back-up pair in moss green in the wrong length, knowing I could hem them when my others wore out. Yes, they are THAT GOOD. Now I figured I would talk about them a bit and drive some traffic to their website to spur activity and hopefully entice them to rerun the style. So, here are the standard website photos (I haven’t photographed my personal pairs):
I encourage you all to hop over to the website: Carhartt Series 1889
Once there, I encourage you to add them to your wishlist and/or send a note to Carhartt to bring them back. Maybe, just maybe, you will be lucky and they will have your size. If they do have your size, order them right away. You won’t be sorry.
They fit true to size and they are rugged. They say “relaxed seat and thigh” on the website, but I can assure you they are a straight cut. Not overly skinny, but slim and straight. Just right. Not hipster. I am 6’1″ and 195 lbs with a 34″ waist and a 32″ inseam. That is what I ordered and they are perfect, if not a tiny bit loose in the waist. I don’t dry mine in the dryer, so they did not shrink at all. The length is also a tiny bit longer than a standard 32″ pant, but not enough to cuff them. I love the button fly, it is my preferred fly enclosure. The vintage style tags are also a plus, setting them apart from standard Carhartt work pants.
For a while I was wondering if they would issue them under the Carhartt WIP label, since they are heritage, but not even over there have they shown up. I personally would pay $100 a pair for these and I am sure you would too, once you try them on.
Help a brother out – visit the web page, email them, wishlist them, and then thank me later if you get a pair. And don’t be offended when your mates on the worksite compliment you on your pants…
It has been a while since I gave a little progress update on the D100 pickup. Last year we bought an old industrial building, so the funds to make the Dodge D100 project move along were challenging. The boys over at VR Garage have been steadfast and patient, getting things done as I can get money their way. I have expressed how concerning it was having someone else do the restoration, as it is the first project i haven’t done myself, but I am getting a bit excited as we get closer to completion. Like any restoration, it has cost twice as much and taken twice as long as planned, but I keep adding projects and changing my mind, so it is to be expected. So far we have dropped in a refurbished Chevy 350 small block and added an automatic transmission. All wiring is new. New gauges and surrounds. Disc brakes with new wheels and whitewalls. New and adjusted suspension. New steering column. New tail lights. Replaced the radiator and refurbished the gas tank.
We still have left the interior, a new bed, clear coating the patina finish, painting some detail pieces, lettering on the door. Exhaust. Back bumper. All new glass and seals. And I am sure a hundred more things I am forgetting. But, it should be on the road by summer, as the building remodel is nearing its end and I can concentrate again on finishing up the truck.
Here it is as of September 2017:
Ralph Lauren has been round and round with great ideas and new selections based on trends and emerging technology. Over the years the company has tried many offshoots that were well designed, but folded them back into their regular collection after brief unsuccessful runs. RUGBY and Denim & Supply are two of the most recent. RUGBY was a great line of collegiate-inspired clothing that was priced below the RRL line, yet offered many of the same great designs in different materials. Sadly, it went away after 2 years and was replaced by Denim & Supply, which was targeted more at the 20-something crowd. There were some gems within the line over the 2 or so seasons, but in order to make it affordable they were forced to use less expensive materials in their manufacturing and they sacrificed quality. Again, it was folded into the regular Polo line last year. I can only hope it will force the Polo line to gain a bit of the edginess that both the RUGBY and D&S lines had, as Polo has been flavorless for 2 decades, almost as if they are waiting for the 80’s prep movement to swing back into fashion. Once and a while you can find a piece in the Polo line that borrows concepts from RUGBY and D&S, but it is rare and a bit watered down to cater to the conservative Polo customer.
This season RL has introduced the first of its customizable garments, most likely playing off the success of smaller makers lines like Hometown Jersey. Their first foray to put their toes in the water is a customizable knit sweater, where the buyer “designs” their own knit sweater with changeable elements. It runs $198 and they promise it is delivered in 4 weeks. I took a stab at it and this is what I came up with:
Time will tell whether this is a successful product, or whether they will add different styles, such as Rugby shirts. RL has always made great patches, so we can only hope they move forward in this arena. I still think their best work is in RRL, but most of the time the prices make it prohibitive to add much to the wardrobe, especially when most of it is manufactured in China. The designs in RRL are great, but sometimes the Chinese materials don’t warrant the premium pricing. If RL can expand the customize program and keep the pricing down I think they will find success with this part of the line. Hometown Jersey is more affordable than RL’s first sweater option, and because Hometown Jersey is a small U.S. company with a quality handmade product, and the fact that they have amazing friendly people at the helm, I am less inclined to jump on one of the RL sweaters. I like RL, but I REALLY like Hometown Jersey, so I will wait to see what’s next in the line for RL.
When I obsess, I obsess… I have been trying to find the perfect standard Army pant in herringbone for quite some time. The trick is that I would love to have as close to the original HBT herringbone as possible and a button fly. After searching for a year or so I have found a couple that are pretty close, but still no cigar.
Gung Ho Olive Camp Trouser:
The Gung Ho series is pretty close to what I have been looking for. They have a button fly, a straight cut, and are pretty heavy canvas, which should age well. The missing link is the herringbone fabric. These are a stiff 12.5 oz cotton without sheen (which I am pleased about). I am a pretty true 34 waist so I ordered them in 34 and they are a bit snug through the seat, but are starting to loosen up with wear. The price was great through Hand Eye Supply in Portland at $55.00 plus shipping. They don’t stock many of each size, but you can get an email update when they are back in stock.
I removed the annoying purple tag on the back. They also come in a nice brown color.
Denim & Supply Distressed Army Pant:
I really like the Denim & Supply distressed army pant. It has a great fit and the fabric is interesting. The fly is a button fly and the fit is perfect, although they run a tad bit large. The 34×32 fit me perfectly. They are not herringbone. The biggest drawback is that they are distressed and paint spattered. I cannot wear them too often, unless it is a completely casual event. Originally they were overpriced at $198.00, but I found them on heavy discount for $80.00 and ordered a second pair after receiving the first to be sure I had a backup pair. RRL has basically the exact pant, but they are even more expensive and do not have the distressing. You are definitely paying for the RRL name for the same pant. I wouldn’t even dare pay &198.00 for the D&S pair, let alone $265.00 for the same pant with different labels.
The RRL version claims to be herringbone, but it looks the same as the D&S to me, which is textures, but not herringbone. It does have the waist adjustment tabs but they will cost you an extra couple hundred bucks.
I know in seasons past that RRL had a herringbone version of the Korean War HBT pant that ran around $269.00. They also did a raw Gurkha version in rigid brown herringbone duck. Both pants are gone and most likely won’t return.
JCrew Wallace & Barnes Garment Dyed Herringbone Miliary Pant:
This is the big drag! I found these pants at the end of the season at JCrew, but they were sold out! They look like they checked all the boxes. I even called the customer service department to see if they could track some down for me but they were completely gone throughout the company. I am scouring the web to see if any pop up…
Maybe they will reissue them, since they sold out fairly quickly. Until then I will be forced to obsess…
Anybody out there know of any other button fly herringbone military pant I should check out?
Update: May 8, 2017
Knickerbocker MFG, Co. Utility Pant
I came across Knickerbocker Manufacturing Co.’s Utility pant the other day. It seems that it might be right on the mark. Great construction with Japanese herringbone fabric. 13 Star button fly. A little less that the RRL version (although still pricey) at $215. I might have to pull the trigger (no pun intended) on this one. If I do, I will update with fitting information.
Update: May 28, 2017
Levis Utility Pant
Another end of season winner! Levis has made a great replica. It’s not herringbone, but the rest is nearly perfect. Button Fly with hidden placket. Side adjustments at waist. Sturdy textured fabric, mimicking the original fabric of Vietnam era trousers. Fits nice and slim with a straight leg. I wear a 34Wx32L and the only suggestion I have is that you step up and order 2″ longer than usual. The inseam is slightly slightly slightly short. They also fit just right without washing at the waist and seat. Hopefully they wont tighten up or I will have to stop drinking… They make shorts in the same cut and these pants come in a few different colors. The only challenge you might have is that they are already discontinued and are on sale for $19.97 down from $79.00 at Levis.com. I ordered 3 pair in 2 different lengths.