Look Mom! I Can Hack!
Bein's how I like this place so much, I just figgered I'd like to contribute a little somethin'. This ain't exactly recent -- I did share this with a small group of (less than a hunnerd) hot rodders on another board a few years back, but anyway; here it is, modified to git in where it'll fit in, etc.
It was just the other day; our friend Don the telephone guy stopped by to hook us up a vintage red rotary phone at Gopher Grove Garage. Once the work was finished, Don expressed some interest in pyrographic procedures -- specifically; how pounce patterns are used for flame job symmetry. Well, I didn't have anything goin' up in flames at the time. In fact, it'd been several whiles since I've even done a flame job, so we took a little journey through 'The Rotten Archives' (a BIG ol' cardboard-box full of loose pitchers of past projects). We found what Don was curious about, his curiosity is now satisfied, but before I toss them back in the box, I kinda thought that maybe a few of y'all might enjoy them as well -- if not from an artistic standpoint, then perhaps from a historical standpoint. It's story time. Here we go again...
Yes, I can hack -- with great conviction at times, and I wanna clean it out with a full confession, but first I gotta tell y'all about a guy I met back in the early-nineties: Harry (AKA The Crow), new in town, from Milwaukee Wisconsin; walks in the door at the family junkyard, and begins to tell me that he wants to build a fifty-three Stude for land-speed racing. Heck, that's somethin' that I've always wanted to do myself, and although I had a rollin' shell of one just waitin' it's turn, in an instant I came to the realization that I'm never gunna do anything with it, so I walked the stranger out back to have a look. If I've ever been guilty of anything, it's this: I have a tendency to go with first impressions (even though I'm not always right) and I couldn't help but like this guy from the moment we met. I gave Harry (The Crow) a price that he couldn't refuse -- in fact, I probably coulda' got in some trouble if my dad had checked me out, but it seemed like the thing to do at the time, and today; Harry (The Crow) is one of the best damn friends I've ever known.
Are y'all ready for some car-stuff?
One day (maybe a year or two after I sold my Stude), Harry (The Crow) stumbled upon a second; a legitimate retired fifty-three Stude land-speed racer of yore. It had been decomposing under a tree in a remote section of the Golden State for many years. Although it was beyond rough, it looked as though it already knew what to do -- all set up with set-back engine mounts for somethin' er other. I hate name-droppin' so I'll say: According to a famous guy that you've all heard of; the front axle and suspension are a Curtis . . . er, Kurtis design. The guy we were talkin' to's name (badly faded) was hand-lettered on the car's fenders, so I figgered he'd be the guy to ask, and sure enough, after the examination, some history began to unfold.
Does anybody recognize it yet? I know there might be a few land-speed types here who'll either flash-back or figger it out. How 'bout a nice prize for the first to correctly identify this long-lost / newly-found national treasure? Lemmie see . . . what do I have around here . . . um, okay -- how 'bout a one-quart (trial-size) can of BIG BROHAM TM. Magnetic Body Filler??
If you're unfamiliar with 'Magnetic Fillers' -- you're not alone. I have not yet released my brain-child to the public. It tested well in Pleasanton...
Now we're back in the 'lavatory' for further testing...
*Test data confirms: This revolutionary new 'Magnetic Filler' stays where you sling it, even over rugged terrain!
*Advanced 'Magnetic Granules' ensure that BIG BROHAM TM. won't fall off like conventional fillers when liberally applied!
*BIG BROHAM TM. "The thickerer -- The stickerer!"
It's a good thing I brew this stuff in-house, 'cause this ol' Stude is gunna need a bunch of it, as illustrated by Harry (The Crow).
Last edited by RottenRodney; 06-15-2009 at 11:20 PM.
len needs to carry that stuff in the store!!!!!
Eh, Style? I'd be happy to set Len up as my first dealer... Anyway; where was I? Oh! After sufficient magnetic ballast had been added to the hood, it was time for some really finessie paint prep...
Above: Harry (The Crow) had never driven a DA before...
He seems to be gittin' into his groove...
Above: If you recognize these decals, you're angry. Honest, I tried to save them, but there was no gittin' them off in one piece, so I had to do what I had to do... Anybody recognize the car yet?
Last edited by RottenRodney; 06-09-2009 at 09:39 AM.
How y'all like that expert body-work?? That's all she's gunna get. This is a 'cover-up' -- rare insider photos of some not so serious hackin'.
Above: With a single coat of DP-90-LF applied as a base color, it was time to start a fire -- so I found this transient in the alley out back behind the paint store, and decided to give him a chance...
This went on for a couple a daze...
... and eventually, a layout was birthed. What's the paper for??
Last edited by RottenRodney; 06-15-2009 at 11:28 PM.
Well, the paper is a pounce pattern, pulled by rubbin' a Stabillo pencil over the taped-off layout from the done side. I like to cut the patterns true to the shapes of the canvas' body panels for insurance that they'll line up the same when flop-transfered to the other side. Sorry, I didn't snap any shots of the pounce-wheel or the chalk-sock in action, but you've probably seen all that before -- it sure ain't anything new.
Oh, for those of y'all who'll say: "Flames don't burn symmetrical" -- tell that to Jon Kosmoski. "That's a COP-OUT! YOU just DON'T WANT TO DO THE WORK!" Well, I guess ya had to be there -- I laughed my ass off in full agreement at one of his seminars years ago. If ya git the chance, go to one of those -- it's a goood show. Anyway, if ya insist on layin' yours out different from side to side, that's your deal and we still love you...
Above: They look pretty weird when sprayed, eh?
Above: I think this is the back part -- yeah, it is. Once the tape gets pulled, it'll make more sense. There is a method to my . . . er, that transient's madness, and the blends are actually smoother than they look here.
Although the quality of the following three pitchers ain't that great...
... they're very special to me. One of my biggest all-time heroes handed a customer his camera 'cause he wanted some pitchers of the two of us workin' together. Wow... I don't smoke, yet I need a cigarette.
Last edited by RottenRodney; 06-15-2009 at 11:32 PM.
Yeah, sure, I can stripe a bit, but this thing is flamed from headlamp to taillamp, and I'm gunna need HELP! Have I talked about Uncle Gormo here before? He's a real striper and guess what? Give up?? Okay, I'm the only guy other than Gormo who's ever drug a brush in his shop. It took us the better part of two daze to tag-team the stripin' chores on the Stude. In the time I spent there with Uncle Gormo, I learned some things I didn't know -- including the fact that I needed glasses. I've got them now, and he's still better and faster than me. Perhaps years and years of regular practice comes into play somewhere...
Above: Gormo's lines are pure perfection, but these are some of mine.
Anyway, from this angle, it looks sorta like this...
From this angle, it looks more like this... You git the pitcher.
Last edited by RottenRodney; 06-09-2009 at 09:49 AM.
The Stude is currently runnin' 311 cubic inches worth of SBC where the front seat once resided. We haven't got 'er salty or dirty yet, but that's the plan. Yep, we'll go out and step on our weenies at El Mirage, just like we did at the drags -- at first.
Above: Harry (The Crow) gets vigorously scolded by Whiz-Bang, (motor builder, crew chief and more).
On a different occasion however; the ol' Crow has his day. He's pretty dang tickled with his time slip -- he'd just cut his first perfect light.
Above: Here's The Crow and The Crew. Left to right: Les the cabinet-guy, Whiz-Bang the truck-drivin' mechanic / drag-drill-instructor, Harry (The Crow) and Carlsbad Ken from Oceanside. Ken builds some bitchin choppers, etc., and he also happens to be the 'web guy' for BENCHRACE Speed E-zine.
Last edited by RottenRodney; 06-09-2009 at 09:53 AM.