Monday, October 31, 2011

Daytons is For Sale

Yes, it's true.  The Bill Bair's roadster that friends and I call "Daytons", is for sale.

I'm posting this exactly two years from the day when I saw this car for the first time and purchased out of that small Long Beach garage.  Ahhh... I can remember that day very well.

My hot rodding life has changes immensely by owning this car.  It's been the topic of more then a few blog posts here, which has kept you the reader, and me, entertained.  It's coolness has helped me make many new friends, in person & online. And it is now featured in two popular magazines, Rod & Custom's Little Pages, and now Rolls & Pleats.

Plus, I've learned a lot about hot rods simply by owning this vintage roadster for the short time.  New techniques & ideas, some of which I am already using on my current roadster built, the '27 T.

I am a lucky persons, I got to reintroduced Bill Bair's car back into the world.  I only hope Bill would have liked what I had done with it.  People really love to see this car, it craves attention.


. FOR SALE: Vintage 50's Hot Rod, A True Southern California Roadster

The new owner will get the whole package!  This car is more then meets the eye --you can change it's look to suit your pleasure.  It has a removable canvas top, a 3-piece hood, extra wheels with wide tires.

Everything you want, and more on a hot rod roadster! You can plainly see it's a Model A on a original 32 frame, but under that bonnet beat the heart of a winner. The Ford flathead engine is all vintage muscle. And just like the body it is custom everything!

A car with a long history and comes includes an album with many old pictures. The oldest dated photo is 1959, and some undated are older.

It is fun to drive, starts easily, shift well, stops well, and it gets a lot of attention.

The cosmetic condition of the car is less then great, the paint is fifty years old and has many scratches & chips.  All the chrome has aged, as has the rubber, and everything else in fact.  This is an untouched vintage hot rod, and it looks every bit the part.  Born right here in So. Cal. with hot rod history running through every part.

Update: Feb 17, 2012 Car Has Been Sold
The asking price was $35,000.

To learn more about this car, I've updated the roadster's page with all the statistics and new information.  Please click the picture on the left side of the page "Daytons" or click here.

If you have any questions or comments, would like to see the car in person, or to make an offer click this link to email me.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Petersen Museum Open House - Ultimate Car-Guy Fantasy Comes True!

The first car you see walking into the basement, a custom Bugatti with arabic license plates.
If you've ever been to LA and missed going to the Petersen Automotive Museum, you missed something good.  But If you are a member of the museum and never been to the open house, well then you should be in bed crying later!

Tonight, my wife Wendy & I went to the annual open house for members only.  This event is worth the small price of a yearly membership alone.  This is the only place on Earth with a true melting-pot of world class cars!  And it's basement is open for view only once a year to us regular folk.

Nowhere else on Earth will you find a 1925 Rolls Royce Round-Door Phantom parked next to a beat up shell of a Muntz Jet.  Or the Doane Spencer roadster keeping company with a gold plated Delorean. AMBR winners, Big Daddy Roth cars, solar cars, Kurtis midget racers --dream cars for everybody!  I'm not exaggerating either.

I spend a good 15 minutes with the only car I really wanted to see, Frank Mack's Model T.  I was told it wasn't in the basement, and there it was in a dark area near the front.  This was the first time I've seen it in person.  I was happy.

I've never seen this slammed coupe before, I'd like to know who's it was.

Unlike the cars on display up top, cars down in the basement don't have info placards.

This is one of two Muntz Jets in in storage, this one was the bad one.

How many of you have seen a Mercer Raceabout in person?

You might know these two hot rods.  Yes, those are the original ones!  Stacked down here as if they were just parked at the mall.  Actually, they are usually on display.  But the Phil Hill exhibit is in theirs, and the Doane Spencer 32, place at the moment.

I don't know much about this car, but I liked it.

I didn't see Bruce Meyer there this evening. Let's just assume he has full access to the basement anytime he wants.

1946 Kurtis Midget, one great restoration car.
Why aren't these on display with the Super Sports Cars exhibit happening now?

Cars not good enough to display in the museum?

There were over 100 vehicles the public will never see down there. Priceless cars to the mundane! I wish I could share what I was feeling with you, but I'm no Wayne Carini.

This one was a jaw dropper.  I've never seen this car before either.  It an obvious vintage hot rod no doubt.  But it's half Ford, half Duesenberg, at least I think so.  Duesy engine & grill, modified Ford body, suspension, frame.  Four Stromburg carbs, BLC headlights, Chevy taillights --standard hot rod parts.

I did a little searching online, and only one old photo popped up, really no other info.  I could tell this was done in the 40s/50s, hmmm.

'Sniper' is its name, many of you should remember it --this custom was a game changer.  Now it's way in the back in the basement next to the Elvira's '58 Thunderbird.

Elvira's T-Bird on the left, Barris built Elvis movie car right.

This is it, right off the Pebble Beach lawn --1925 Rolls Round-Door Phantom.  One of the coolest cars you'll never see.

One of the oldest cars you'll never see.
Guess who Wendy is... she's eating the free hot dog.

Johnny Rockets was treating guests to milkshakes, as if the night couldn't get any better.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Aircraft "Bomber" Seat in a Hot Rod

The issue of seating has been a topic of a lot of thought.  I had a few ideas, but I kept coming back to my original idea --one seat, right in the middle, and vintage aircraft.

There is no way I would just screw it to a plywood floor.
Patiently waiting for the right opportunity, I was rewarded with a nice match pair for sale on ebay.  The seller was restoring a warbird, but the project fell through.  The naval airplane seats had already been were striped of the grey paint, and were looking pretty nice.

The debate continues whether bomber seats are "traditional".  The answer is: it depends.
Look at plenty of race cars, roadster-racers, track jobs, lakesters from the 40s & 50s, many had aircraft seats.  Now look at street hot rods from the same time, and you might notice none of them had war surplus seating.
So 60 years ago when weight (thus speed) was a issue, war-bird seat - YES.  Comfort and sensibility, fighter plane seat - NO.  The only airplane themed cars in 1955 were lakes only, belly-tank streamliners.

Now that I've had the seats a few months, I finally figured out how to install one... finally.

>>>By the way, two average aircraft seat don't fit into a Model T roadster.  The seats are too wide and the T too small.

OK, to the right is how the stock seat hardware looked on the back.  Aluminum & wood verticals, and aluminum brackets.  The handle on the side was for adjusting seat height.

The brackets have holes for tube to slid in them.  One idea was to use tubes again, but the size was some sort of AN sizing, 15/16" tube? It's not made!

I simply unbolted the brackets and and replaced them with 1" heavy wall square tubing.  This way I can make a seat frame custom to my needs.

My needs were; it has to sit low, it had to leaning back a bit for comfort, and it has to adjust back and forth for diffident height drivers.

The foundation's start was simple, two 1x1.5", 1/8 wall tubes across the frame.

I'll weld these right onto the frame later. And I'll make joists to the longer piece for more support.

Now that the lower base is settled, I made seat slider rails with adjustment holes 3/4" apart.  The rails are 1"square, 1/8" wall tube.

The ends of the tubes are all caped and sanded smooth for looks.

The lower base is just below the level of the interior floor so I can still put a floor panel in and hide all my nice work.

I'll skip the process and show you the results.  This is the seat farme, there is the 1" tube directly replacing the original aluminum & wood, and tube brackets.  The frame is fully welded and quite ridged.  And the seat itself is not flimsy in the least. Now lending it's own strength, it is not going move around in a hard turn.
I purposely didn't go overboard, the focus will be on the chair and not the supports.

This is the seat frame minus the seat.  The seat was it's own jig.  I tacked the parts together while on the seat and finished it off without.

Another look at the adjusting rails.
"bomber belt"

I bet you are asking, how about a seat belt?  Well I have that covered too.
This just in: actual WWII fighter plane harnesses --date coded, canvas and leather, early steel length adjusters.  Another recent ebay find.


Attachment couldn't have been easier.  I used 1.5" wide, 3/16"thick bar steel, welded to the lower rail. 

Aircraft seat in a hot rod complete.  Now I just need a cushion.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Long Beach MOTORAMA! (2011)

The second-annual (reborn) Long Beach Motorama seemed to be an improvement over last year's.  Although I thought last year it was pretty great.  The attendance was larger, the displays bigger, and the cars even glossier!
The weather couldn't be better --Saturday was sunny and hot!  Despite a few drops on Friday's opening day, the grassy parking drive-in area was quite full with all sorts. But first, the indoor cars:

 Now I can't show you every car, so I'll show you some of my best shots.

I'm not really a customs-guy, but nobody can say the don't like any of these cars.  I mean each one was truly rolling art work.

Of course it's also a hot rod show...
The king of the hot rods itself, the Barris built 'Emperor'.  The original owner was Charles Kirkorian, today by Blackie Gejian.
 Once winning America's Most Beautiful Roadster, and one of my personal favorites.
 Gary & Karen Schroeder's 1932 roadster, one of my new favorite cars.  Gary has used a lot of components his company makes, like front & rear torsion-bar suspension, and a sprint car steering box.  The car is bristling with one-off machined parts as well as many vintage items, as seen on the dash for instance.

A car that piqued my interest was this lakester built from the wing-tip fuel nacelle of a Lockheed Constellation.  The inner frame is steel with a aluminum skin, the 700+ gallon tank was found in Canada and was used for water storage before it was a car.
The car is registered for street driving as a 1917 Crow brand automobile, but has nothing really to do with a Crow except to used the V.I.N.  The lakester seats two in tandem, and used many aircraft parts as well as numerous custom parts like the 20" wheels.

In the side room...
 Love it...
respecting it...
 I'm just in awe of it all.
Spectators can get right up and literally smell the history!

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Outside, it's one whole other show!  These cars are all about what So. Cal. is --only the coolest rides!

Until next year.