goodguys get in your garage

Get in Your Garage – December 2020

As we enter the final weeks of 2020 there is little doubt it has been an unusual year for all of us and a disappointing one for many of us. Most Americans have been stuck at home much more than usual, unable to attend Goodguys events, car shows, and other fun large gatherings.

One saving grace has been our garage time. Spending time in the garage or the shop transforms forced downtime into productive project time. Rodders and car enthusiasts seem to be taking full advantage of this, as you continue to share your projects with us month after month. Some of you are tending to minor upgrades and upkeep, while others are tackling bigger projects – or even hauling home new rides to start on. We’re incredibly impressed with your hard work and the fun and creative rides you’re wrenching on. Keep up the great work!

As you enjoy this month’s latest round of projects, we hope you’re also taking a little time to document your own projects and progress so we can share them in a future Get in Your Garage installment. You can email your photos to [email protected] – just use Get in Your Garage as the subject line, and be sure to give us a little bit of info about you and your vehicle. We’d love to share your project with other Goodguys members – and it just might inspire someone else to get out in their garage, too!

Up in British Columbia, Neil Siermachesky is streamlining his latest build by starting with a car that already has nice paint and upholstery. “My 1963 Nova SS project was an older restored six cylinder two-speed Powerglide car that was still running and driving as of May 1, 2020,” Neil says.

“I have been collecting parts for the car since I bought it back in the summer of 2018. With not much happening this year with the pandemic, I decided to build the car and have it ready for 2021. Car is running a TCI front end that has been raised in the car and a TCI rear suspension with a Currie 9-inch. Wilwood brakes will be stopping the car and it’s sitting on a set of 17×7- and 18×10-inch Rushforth wheels. The motor is a 5.3LS that is pretty stock other than the turbo cam and the 76/65mm turbo. A Holley Terminator X ECU will be running the motor. The LS is backed by a Tremec TKO600 five-speed with a Ram clutch/ pressure plate and flywheel. The car has been mini tubbed by widening the factory tubs 2.5-inches and a larger trans and driveshaft tunnel has been built to accommodate the raised motor and trans. I hope to have the car done in the spring of 2021 and take it to the Goodguys Pacific Northwest Nationals in Puyallup, Washington next summer.”

Adam Serwinski has been diligently working to reimagine his ’73 Chevelle in his Ohio garage. “I’ve replaced the fenders, hood and ‘4-ton’ polyurethane rubber nose using fiberglass panels from U.S. Body Source,” Adam says. “The rear portions of the fenders (behind the front wheels) have been completely removed. I recreated my own shape which now consistently matches the rear wheel openings, while also lowering the appearance of the panel. This gives the car a lower look. The fronts of the fenders have also been cut and dropped 2.25 inches to match the side profile of the lowered rear fender.

“The front bumper has been sectioned and moved inward by 2.75 inches,” Adam continues. “I created housing buckets to incorporate 1973 Pontiac turn signals and horizontally cut and lowered the bottom portion of the bumper to now match the new fender height. Lastly, I incorporated the large air inlet. The center section of the hood has been removed and replaced with a one-off hood scoop. The design is a combination of early-’70s Chevrolet and Oldsmobile styling cues.”

We dig Adam’s creative approach to an uncommon body style and hope to see the finished Chevelle at a Goodguys event soon!

Down in Tucson, Arizona, Jim and Rhonda Hatzelis have a dream garage for Mopar fans – a 60×40-foot building filled with Pentastar power!

“We are a mopar family,” Jim says. “All these cars where completely rebuilt from the ground up by the two of us. The only thing we didn’t do was the body and paint, some interior work, and machine work. All our cars have a close relation to us.”

The collection includes two ’67 Chargers – the red one is a White Hat Special owned by Rhonda’s late father; the blue one was owned by one of Jim’s friends and Jim actually helped restore it 30 years ago. The green ’70 Road Runner was owned by Rhonda’s brother and is a 440 six-barrel car with a Mod Top recreation. The yellow Coronet is now 440-powered and the black-and-gold ’64 Belvedere was found in a wrecking yard back in the ’80s – it’s an old drag car out of Wisconsin, named Dream Weaver. The lavender-and-orange ’66 Coronet was built into a drag-style car just for the fun of it.

“This is a working garage, so all our friends are welcome to use it for any reason,” Jim says.

“This is my humble little shop in Marysville, Washington,” says Tom Dietz, who shares the space with his wife Kim and son TJ. “I am currently working on rebuilding my 1940 Ford Deluxe coupe. My wife and I inherited this coupe from Kim’s stepdad. I put it together, painted it, and finished the interior over five years. Now it’s time for a new frame and a complete re-do. The new chassis will have four-wheel disc brakes, four-link rear suspension, IFS, and new wheels and tires. In addition to the coupe, I am helping my Son, TJ, restore his 1962 Ford Falcon.”

John Ridgeway has a great selection of projects in his North Carolina-based shop, including a ’64 Chevy II wagon, a ’54 Chevy, a ’41 Ford coupe, and a pro street ’63 Nova under the car cover. Having a four-post lift is definitely a benefit for a do-it-yourself enthusiast, and John says he recently expanded the shop. “Just put up a side room for the metal brake and bead roller and really going to stretch myself to learn more things,” John says. We hope to see you and one (or more) of your rides at an event next season, John!

Ross Ireland is in Danville, California, just down the road from Goodguys headquarters. He shared photos of his J-5 Kellison project. “I drove one of these to high school in 1962,” Ross says, and included an old black-and-white photo of that ride. “I sold that car in 1965 and the car was destroyed in an accident near the Dumbarton Bridge by the new owner.

“I have decided to build a new (old) J-5 Kellison with contemporary parts and I am well into the build,” Ross continues. “I found an unmolested J-5 Kellison body and purchased it. The chassis was largely constructed with much help from Dan Freitas (owner of Chassis Design). The engine is a Dart small-block Chevy using Kinsler Fuel injection controlled by MoTeC electronics. The car will use a hand-fabricated accessory gear drive (no belts!) as well as many one-off handmade parts.”

Exotic styling, brute American power, and homespun hot-rodding ingenuity – sounds like a winning combination to us!

Jim Mothershead says he and his wife Rosina have been playing with neat old cars since 1958 – and they’ve been Goodguys members since 1983! The Downs-bodied ’33 sedan delivery they built now has about 142,000 fun miles, with power coming from a small-block Chevy and 700R4 transmission,both donated from an IROC Camaro. It rides on a TCI chassis and sports Vintage Air, Dakota Digital instruments, and a Walker radiator. The Dearborn Deuce is similarly equipped with a crate ZZ4, 700R4, Vintage Air, and Ron Francis wiring.

Dale Carr sent photos of the 1950 Ford step van project he’s working on up in Washington. The old sheet metal has been dropped onto a 2004 Chevy 2500 express van chassis to update its underpinnings. To accommodate this change, he had to cut the front end off of the original van and fabricate a new nose using parts from three different Ford F1 to F6 front clips. It looks like the heavy fabrication work is nearing completion, which means this old van should be seeing a fresh finish and a new life of service in the near future.

Editor, Goodguys Gazette

Damon Lee began snapping photos at car shows when he was 10, tagging along with his father to events throughout the Midwest. He has combined his passion for cars and knack for writing and imagery into a 20-year career in the automotive aftermarket, writing for titles like Super Chevy and Rod & Custom and, more recently, working for respected industry leaders Speedway Motors and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association.