Get In Your Garage – April 2021
Keep the faith, everyone! Spring is certain to come soon, and we know there will be some great cruising weather and events coming to all areas of the country in the coming weeks and months. Will you and your ride be ready?
Based on the in-progress projects we’re seeing, there should be a great variety of fresh cars and trucks out on the streets and at Goodguys events during the 2021 season. You’ve used the Covid year to get a lot of work done and have pushed through with even more progress during the winter and off-season.
The Get in Your Garage photos you’ve been sending in cover a wide range and scope of projects – from simple polish and detail jobs, to complete ground-up builds. Our collection this month includes several full-scale builds, including one that was put on the back burner for more than a decade. Hey, there’s no time like the present to get that old project uncovered and start wrenching on it again!
We enjoy sharing these projects and hope that you’ll help us keep the Get in Your Garage series going by sending us photos and information about your build. The process is simple – just email us at [email protected], use Get in Your Garage as the subject line, attach a few photos, and give us a little background on you and your vehicle. Your project can serve as inspiration for other Goodguys members and might provide the motivation they need to keep going on their own projects.
Todd Foster says he loves reading the Goodguys Get in Your Garage articles and seeing what other rodders are putting together. And we have to say we were impressed with the projects in his garage and driveway!
“This is my 1957 Ford Ranchero project,” Todd says. “I previously built a ’55 Chevy pickup and drive it to the Goodguys show in Del Mar every year. My wife Sandy has a ’57 Ford DelRio station wagon and I just love the lines on that car, which is the inspiration for me building this Ranchero. We thought it would be awesome to someday, in the not too distant future, drive her DelRio and my Ranchero to as many shows as we can.”
Todd says he built a mobile rack for the Ranchero body and sent it to be media blasted. “Every panel needed to be replaced or have metal work done to it,” Todd says. “When I started this project, I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be finding ’57 Ford replacement panels.”
Beyond the bodywork, Todd has added a four-link rear suspension, Mustang II-style IFS, RideTech air suspension, Wilwood disc brakes, and a 351 Windsor V8 backed by an AOD. He replaced the metal bed floor with new framework, widened the wheel wells 2-inches, and built in under-bed storage compartments.
“I’ve had the body on and off the chassis too many times to count and I’m now in the final stages for paint and assembly,” Todd says. “The paint will be House of Kolor Galaxy Gray on the bottom and roof with Platinum Pearl on top.”
The Ranchero has some great garage partners. Todd’s ’55 Chevy pickup was a ground-up build with a ’70 Camaro front clip, 383c.i. stroker small block, 700R4 transmission, RideTech suspension, and Budnik wheels. Sandy’s wagon was bought mostly as-is and updated with a serpentine pulley kit from All American Billet and a Painless Performance wiring harness.
“It is nice having a wife that enjoys classic cars just as much as myself,” Todd says. “We are both passionate about our hobby and it’s a great excuse to get out of town for the weekend driving from show to show. There are so many great people we’ve met along the way.”
We showed you Al Sandvig’s Wisconsin-based ’31 Model A highboy roadster in a previous Get in Your Garage installment (August 2020). “The roadster got finished to the point I was able to log 100 miles before our driving season ended,” Al says. “I am on to my next project, a ’49 Willys Overland Jeepster.”
Al tells us he started the Jeepster project a decade ago but lost interest in when he ran into issues with the ’55 Chrysler 331c.i. Hemi engine. “The Hemi was purchased off of eBay as being rebuilt in 1967 and came with a B&M adapter for a Chrysler 727 transmission,” Al says. “It will be off to the rebuilder to be checked out and updated with new valves, seats, springs, oil pump, and of course a new lumpy cam.”
Al says the major parts of the Jeepster rebuild – the IFS, frame, transmission rebuild, wiring, and rearend – have all been completed, so the little Jeepster should be ready for some test drives shortly after the engine is done.
Jeff Foster shared a few photos of the Garage Guys, an affiliation of enthusiasts who chip in their shop time for a good cause.
“Garage Guys is a small group of 10 to 11 guys,” Jeff says. “We all belong to the same car club. We get together once a week and work on the project. When we finish it, we sell the car and donate the money to charity. This the fourth car we have done over a period of about 10 years.
“The first car we built was a clone of Tommy Ivo’s 1925 T,” Jeff continues. “Once it was completed, we sold it and were able to present $18,000 to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon, and kept a little seed money for the next project.
“Our current project is a 1932 Ford roadster, fiberglass body, old-school lowboy with a 292 Y-block,” Jeff says. “The body we are using came from a local guy that took a mold off an original ’32 roadster. It’s a one-piece body, no inner structure, so we had to cut in a trunk, cut in doors, build floors and all the inner structure. We did it this way due to our tight budget – our labor is free. We also built the chassis with a dropped tube axle, disc brakes, 8-inch Ford rearend with coil-overs and triangulated four-bar. We scrounge parts from swap meets, guys’ garages, and look for as many donated parts as possible.
“We all enjoy getting together and doing this,” Jeff concludes. “It’s just as much a social time as it is rewarding to get some work accomplished.”
“Slightly past 82 years of age, the Covid has given me a reason to spend more time in my garage,” says Goodguys member Jim Peters. “Fortunately, my favorite pastime is upgrading a Buick!
“In the last 40 years I have built more than 30 Buick-powered street rods and street machines,” Jim continues. “This time I chose a restored rare 1949 Buick woodie that needed more ‘getup and go.’ A Nova subframe with tubular upper and lower control arms and disc brakes leads the way, followed by a 455c.i. Buick with a better cam, intake, and FAST fuel injection in front of a 400 turbo and a 1991 Buick Roadmaster rear with a 2:54 gear secured by a four-link setup.”
Jim says that other upgrades came in the form of a Vintage Air system, power steering and brakes, a tilt column, and a more modern stereo system. “I started the conversion September 2020 and should finish by January 2021,” Jim says. “My staff is made up of me, myself, and I, with an occasional visit from my friend and neighbor, Don Wilson, to assist with the two-man requirements.”
Les Holm shared a couple of cool rides from the garages in his family stable. His son Garrett is building the ’59 Rambler American wagon with a host of great parts, including an Art Morrison Chassis, small-block Chevy V8 with Inglese carburetion, 700R4 automatic, Ford 9-inch rear, a full custom interior and much more to come. We can’t wait to see this one on the road.
The ’56 Chevy has a long “survivor” story. It was originally customized in the early-’60s with tuck ’n roll upholstery, four ’56 Packard taillights and a tube grill. “The car was purchased in 1972 by my uncle, Don Mitchell,” Les says “In 1973, I was driving the car when it had a devastating engine fire. The car sat in a barn for more than 30 years until I decided to ‘steal the car,’ in the spirit of ‘Overhaulin,’ to restore it to before-burnt condition. Along the way I upgraded the engine to a ’62 409, updated the gauges to Classic Instruments, and added ’64 Impala bucket seats. The blue metallic paint was applied by Huddelsons Auto Color World in a mix as close as we could get to the original blue from 1962. We completed the car in the spring of 2017 and gave it back to my uncle and his wife at a surprise party on Father’s Day.”