Bummer, I missed out on a vintage motorcycle racing window card that I had never seen before.
Bummer, I missed out on a vintage motorcycle racing window card that I had never seen before.
It’s been a while since I posted any photos of the 1948 Jeep CJ2A. Since last time I have powder coated the wheels, rebuilt the carb, ordered a military sun top, and changed all the brake lines. Still more to do, but it is looking good.
I purchased an old Cleveland Aztec Neon clock several years ago. When I purchased the clock it had a working clock mechanism, but the neon was not functioning. One ring of neon was there and the other was long broken. I purchased it from a junk store for $45.00, as the proprietor told me the clock mech had recently stopped working and the clock was only good for parts. The case was faded and chipped and the hands were long faded, but the clock face was good and it seemed all the parts were there. I opened it up and got the clock running again, and then restored the case with fresh paint. The intention was always to get the neon replaced and get it back in form. I hung it on the garage wall and let it run. There was no time adjustment bar connected to the clock mech, so every daylight savings I had to unplug the clock and let it sit until the time caught up with the clock. Four years passed and I never did anything with the clock.
I recently celebrated my 50th birthday and went on a trip. When I came home I walked into my house to see a funny glow coming from the kitchen. When I entered the kitchen I found the Aztec clock sitting on the counter with brand new neon glowing like it originally was meant to. My neighbor, who works in the sign industry, had snatched the clock while I was gone and replaced the old neon with new as a birthday gift! It was the best gift I could have ever imagined.
During the neon replacement process the old original clock mech had stopped working. I removed it and did my best to get it un-seized, but to no avail. Over the years I had done research on Cleveland Clocks and found that there was a company called Petrorelics that was reproducing replacement parts and had replacement motors. I ordered a motor and a time adjustment stick and anxiously waited for them to arrive. Once the arrived I found that the old hands did not fit the new hub, so back to Petrorelics.com it was. I ordered new hands that fit the new clock movement and ordered a hanging bracket as well. I had to fabricate a bracket to install the new clock mech, and once this was all done it went together without difficulty. It looks great, and now should last another 100 years.
On October 5th Morphys Auctions had a petroliana auction that had some of the sweetest Michelin advertising figures. As expected, they commanded top dollar.
This guy was plaster or composite and stood 31″ tall. He sold for $8000
This guy was also plaster or composite and stood 31″ tall. He also sold for $8000
The next had some condition issues, such as repaint and replacement accessories. He was the standard 31″ tall and made from the same materials. He went for a measly $2500
The last figure was the compressor topper that you see often around the auction world. Even so, bidders got excited and ponied up $1200 for him, even without the compressor.
This little gem surfaced a few days ago. Unfortunately the owner wants a cool $1500 for it. I guess it will not make it to my collection…
No, this is not a picture of where the truck is in the timeline of the project. This is just a little inspiration…
The truth is that the truck is sitting in the yard of the lads who are going to help me get it back up and running. After going through the truck and getting the motor to turn over we have decided on a plan of action that includes some items we hoped did not need attention. The engine did indeed turn over, but after looking at the compression we found that four of the eight cylinders did not have compression. We also discovered that it was not the original engine to the truck. Somewhere along the line a larger V-8 had been crammed into the bay and they had notched the frame on both sides to get it in. Where they had notched the frame the frame had cracked on both sides. You can imagine my disappointment. So now, we have a firm plan on the build and with the help of my amigos at the Vintage Rollers Car Club we will be tackling the following:
New (old) motor – We will look for a donor car that has a solid Chevy 350. The guys will rebuild it to ensure it is sound.
New (old) transmission – Same deal here. The guys were trying to talk me into an automatic, but I want to keep the manual 4 on the floor.
New wiring harness – New electrical throughout. I will switch back to the double headlights, instead of the rarer single. I like the look of the double better and have already picked up the double bezels.
New brakes – We will stick with drums at this point but will refurbish them and run new lines.
New fuel tank – We will drop the old and see what it looks like inside and go from there.
New exhaust – Maybe go to double.
Fix cracked frame – I was thinking of bagging it, but will hold of for now, as I am getting in deep on the money front already. We will box the frame where it is cracked and the bagging and disc brakes will happen sometime in the future.
Suspension – Instead of bagging we will drop the whole ride by 3 – 4 inches all around and see how it looks.
Wheels and tires – Wheels will come off and get a tomato red powder coating and white walls will be mounted.
Patina polish – Erik the Viking at Hold Fast Kustoms will work his magic and I will acquire the missing brightwork, which I have already started finding.
Glass – Needs everything except the back window.
Drivers door – The door is cracked in a place where you can’t get enough metal to weld. Fortunately the truck came with extra doors, unfortunately I will lose the matching patina on that side.
There is a long list of things I have left off but this is the beginning checklist. This all told will have me in at around $7,000 without the patina polish.
This whole stars-lining-up story I have been telling for a few weeks is starting to sound a little unbelievable. Since I have been giving up a few things in my public life and concentrating on more things in my private life I have been starting to feel a little grounded. Perhaps that is why good coincidences are popping up more frequently.
The latest odd coincidence I had was that I had been studying up on some underground denim producers and collectors and came across the Desert & Denim Show, happening out in the California desert. Somewhere in my reading I saw a really amazing hand-made hat and started remembering my acquaintance in New York City, Philip Treacy, and his passion for the art of millinery. At the time we used to hang out he was a young crazy oddball from London that was trying to find his way into the fashion scene in New York. We used to kid him that the art of hat making was an old person’s art and that nobody really wore hats anymore. Had I known where he would be in 20 years I would have bought every hat he was making at the time as an investment.
Forward 22 years and look at where Philip is and the state of hat demand now… Accompany that with the Makers and Heritage movements and the time is perfect for crafts like hand made hats to finally find their time in the sun.
After a little more digging to find the origin of the hat I had seen in the background of the photo from Desert & Denim I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was made by someone in my own backyard. Literally! The hat was made by Cate Havstad of the Havstad Hat Co. and it is located in Bend, Oregon. Not 2 miles from my house. Now I am obsessed to meet Cate, check out her studio, and commission a hat. Too bad I don’t like myself in hats, hers are amazing.
I took these photos from her FB page and I didn’t ask permission. I hope she doesn’t hold it against me. She looks to be a nice person…
Check out her website and order yourself a hat! I almost didn’t post all this because once she blows up I will never be able to afford one anymore.
I’m off to start learning to like myself in hats…
Today was the day I picked up the old beast. I used a hay trailer without a winch and thank goodness my friend, Fatty, had sense to remind me to pick up a couple of chains and come-alongs to help us load it. We stopped and bought some heavy duty straps as well.
It was a bit of a challenge getting it on the trailer once we got there. The kind seller of the truck ended up hooking his modern truck to a chain on the bumper of the Dodge D-100 and we dragged it up on the trailer, nearly dumping it off the side. If it hadn’t been for his help I would have had to leave and return with another trailer that had a winch.
The truck was in pretty good condition. No serious rust or corrosion. A few minor dents and dings. Brakes not functioning. No steering wheel. In need of new windows and rubber seals. In need of new tires. Electrical looks shot. Never been started. damaged door (which is why he had 2 extra doors included in the sale). But great patina.
I immediately towed it over to the Auto Clinic of Bend. Julius and his daughter, JulieAnn, are classic rat-rod specialists. Turns out JulieAnn had been after this truck for quite some time, even stopping and knocking on the door of the owner, who was not home when they knocked. So far 3 people I have talked to had been trying to get this truck. Again, the stars seemed to line up on this for me.
Getting it off the trailer took the assistance of the good guys at the Vintage Rollers Car Club. We all got behind it and pushed and shoved and gently let the brakeless monster off the trailer and onto the lot using a lock wrench on the steering wheel column to muscle it into place.
Once we popped the hood and took a look at the motor it was concluded that the motor is not the original, but it is a period V8. Someone cut the frame to stick this larger engine in, but that didn’t seem to phase Julius, as long as it wasn’t seized. The oil looked pretty good so they grabbed the fan and started to crank. It wasn’t seized! It seems we have something to work with. Next step is to fire it up and see if it has compression. The goal here is to get it running and then see what the path is to a restoration over time. A solid running engine, new brakes, new electrical, new tires, new glass, a patina polish from my friend Eric at Hold Fast Customs and a sound foundation will be ready to roll. Here she is on the lot:
I’ll keep you posted on the progress.