Introducing the latest creation to come out of Ringbrothers Spring Green, Wisconsin shop – CAPTIV. This 1969 Dodge Charger boasts a 707 Horsepower Hellcat V8 engine supported by Motul engine oil. It is painted in a custom BASF “Pile up Yellow” paint and features a Flowmaster exhast.
It seems most videos on YouTube that show the procedure for chopping the top on a custom or hot rod are either far too short, omitting important steps and context that help viewers understand the process, or belabor each point with a lot of blabbering about what makes this difficult. Cutting the top off a vehicle requires skill and competency with various metalworking tools, sure, but it also takes a keen eye, not just for the overall package but for the details that make a chop flow. Each chop is unique, made up of thousands of individual decisions, hammer strokes, and beads of weld.
Despite a minimum of dialogue, this time-lapse video of Mike Bello of Bello’s Kustoms taking three inches out of a 1937 Ford’s roof doesn’t gloss over any details. You can see Mike’s thought process as his hands work over each piece. It’s evident he’s done this many times before from every step that seems incongruous at first but later proves prescient. Though rendered in steel, the work here is far from cold and emotionless. It’s well worth the watch, even if you never plan to chop a car.
If it weren’t for automotive fabricator Gene Winfield, the Marbon-Centaur CRV might have remained a footnote in automotive history, warranting a random article every five years or so before everybody forgets it again. But Winfield—known for designing vehicles in Blade Runner and Robocop—renamed it the Piranha for model car company AMT and put one on tabletops across America in the late 1960s at the same time he tried to convince adults to get into the full-size Corvair-powered version. More than 50 years later, at 94, Winfield has lent his talents and his name to the sale of one more Piranha
.”Gene’s personally working on this car,” says Dan Melson, who will offer it (and two other Winfield cars) for sale this weekend. “I have left all artistic control to Gene
.”Marbon Chemical’s development of Cycolac, a type of ABS, in the early 1950s opened up doors for manufacturers to start introducing plastics into consumer goods. Given that Marbon existed as a division of Borg-Warner, it was only matter of time before company executives decided automobiles could benefit from a heaping helping of Cycolac.
To help sell the idea, according to auto historian Nick Whitlow, Marbon partnered with Dann Deaver, a designer and co-founder of Centaur Engineering, another division of Borg-Warner. Deaver had built some race cars in his time, so Marbon’s execs asked him to fabricate an entire car out of Cycolac, one that Marbon could demonstrate for automotive engineers around the world. The resulting Cycolac Research Vehicle (known as CRV long before Honda started using the name) debuted at the Society of Automotive Engineers convention in January 1965 and led to a series of four more prototypes—two convertibles and two gulping coupes—all powered by Corvair flat-six engines.
We all love a bit of nostalgia, don’t we? Especially if it is a classic from the yesteryears. And every automobile lover has their own favorite classic car. Some adore the likes of Ferrari P4/5 for its rarity while others are admirers of the likes of GTO 250 purely because of the moolah they generate in today’s times.
Almost every big automobile company boasts a super-rich legacy in terms of classic cars. And so is the case with Ford. The American multinational automaker produced a bunch of timeless classics back in the day. And one of its classics was the Mercury Eight – a part of Ford’s Mercury brand that was established to bridge the price gap between Ford and Lincoln models. While the Mercury Eight enjoyed a successful 13-year reign, it is the 1949 Mercury Custom that gets us nostalgic.
Ford and pickup trucks have gone hand in hand since times immemorial. Starting with the first one the Blue Oval made way back in 1917 (the infamous Model TT) and ending with today’s segment leader that comes in the form of the F-150, trucks have pulled Ford through hell and high water
The modern-day love affair of the public with Ford pickup trucks did not start with the TT, though, but rather with the vehicles the company started making from 1941. We’re talking about the multi-role Ford machine that was offered until 1948 in a multitude of body styles, from 2-door coupe to station wagon. In between, of course, was the pickup truck.
Playing just like the modern-day F-150 in the half-ton segment, that age’s pickup had a number of things going for it, and that made it quite successful in its time. Some people found the trucks worthy enough to have them preserved to this day when they get another shot at life on the custom market.
The one we have here is currently for sale on Bring a Trailer as the perfect re-incarnation of the F-150’s ancestor. Sporting a red body over a gray cloth interior, it looks more alive today than it ever did, thanks to the addition of hardware like steel bumpers, dual side mirrors, and a step-side bed with a wood plank floor.
1952 was the final year for the original F-Series pickup, and the most powerful engine that Ford offered for the half-ton model was the Flathead V8 with 239 cubic inches of displacement. The F-100 we’ll talk about today is a little different under the hood, though.
Not only did it win “First Place for Outstanding Engine and Interior at the ISCA Summit Racing Equipment Auto Show,” but the single cab in the photo gallery sports a Corvette powerplant from the small-block family. The LT1, to be more precise, and the automatic transmission comes from General Motors as well.
The Turbo Hydra-Matic 700R4 is one of the finest choices you can make for a restomod. Smooth but also stout, the four-speed gearbox switched from hydraulic logic shifting to electronic in 1993 when it was known as the 4L60. 1987 and newer transmissions are extremely popular with race, street, and even off-road builds.
Turning our attention back to the custom truck with sparkling light tan over brown paintwork and a bright orange pinstripe, the Ford F-100 “took over a year to build” according to Worldwide Auctioneers. Offered at no reserve, the go-faster pickup features a TCI chassis with chrome plated arms, Coy wheels, and Nitto radials.
Kustomrama is an online encyclopedia dedicated to traditional hot rod and custom cars. Our mission is to protect, preserve and share traditional hot rod custom car history from all over the world.
If you any interest in traditional rod and customs I highly recommend the Kustomrama Encyclopedia.
This entry traces the history of Jon Fisher’s 1936 Ford, read on here
1960s’ rock duo Sonny and Cher drove a pair of far-out, George Barris-customised Mustang drop-tops. Five decades on, the wild horses are unleashed once more
Read Matt Stone’s article at Autoclassics
While many associate custom cars with 1950s California-based customizers like George and Sam Barris, Bill Hines and Gene Winfield, they really followed in the footsteps of an earlier generation of customizers who operated in the pre-war years without much fanfare or national recognition. Many of those cars today are thus nothing more than memories, but one, a Harry Westergard-built 1940 Mercury, will head to auction this weekend.
Westergard is perhaps one of the best-known pre-war California customizers. Born in Detroit, he moved to Sacramento in his teens and began to perform bodywork and to customize cars in the late 1930s out of his garage. While he raced hot rods during the 1930s, he also became known for applying then-radical custom touches to cars, including shaved door handles and trim, mix-n-match bumpers and grilles, padded tops and taildragger stances. He counted Dick Bertolucci among his contemporaries and the Barris brothers among his pupils.
When Butler Rugard took his then-new 1940 Mercury convertible to Westergard’s shop, he initially wanted Westergard only to apply a set of fadeaway fenders, a styling touch that the Buick Y-Job concept car hinted at, but that wouldn’t enter production until 1942, with the Buick Super and Roadmaster. Over the next few years, Rugard would keep taking the Mercury back to Westergard for more custom touches, including a chopped removable padded top, a three-inch windshield chop, a 1942 Buick grille, an extended nose above the grille, Packard headlamps and hubcaps, 1941 Chevrolet taillamps, fender skirts, 1937 De Soto bumpers (and later 1941 Packard bumpers), a pleated interior, and a taildragger stance via a de-arched rear spring. Under the hood, the original Mercury flathead V-8 remained, but benefited from an overbore and triple-carb Offenhauser intake manifold with matching Offenhauser finned heads.
Though it didn’t appear at a show or in the pages of a custom car magazine until 1950, that’s only because custom car shows and magazines didn’t really exist until about that time. By 1960, Rugard had passed on the Mercury to his daughter, Marie Fernandez, who, according to Kustomrama, added her own touches, including a leopard-fur Carson top, sidepipes, and a chrome dashboard to go with its black paint. Its next owner customized it further over the next 30 years, tunneling the headlamps, replacing the Buick grille with a 1950s De Soto grille, installing a Chevrolet 283-cu.in. V-8, and painting it white. It wasn’t until custom car aficionado Jack Walker of Belton, Missouri (known for commissioning the re-creation of the Hirohata Mercury), bought the Mercury in the 1990s did it revert to its original Westergard configuration over the course of a two-year restoration.
While it won no award (entered for display purposes only), the Mercury did participate in the first custom car class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2005. Four years later, it crossed the block with no reserve at RM’s Icons of Speed and Style auction of the Ralph Whitworth collection, where it sold for $82,500.
Coys is offering the Westergard 1940 Mercury with a pre-auction estimate of €80,000 to €100,00
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