One of the best parts of judging at Pebble Beach is talking to the owners about why their particular vehicle is special and deserves recognition. After a handshake and introduction from each team member, our first question is usually, “So tell us about your car…” At this point it’s not unusual for an entrant to show us a photo album of the restoration, or perhaps hand out a sheet on the particular car’s history.
Our own Flat Top Bob went one step further and presents a really cool 20 page glossy magazine with images of the Cusey Roadster restoration and original articles. I’ve done a truly lousy job photographing the pages below, but just had to share this neat thing that Bob put together for the Concours. Did I mention that he took Third in Class?
I’m sure by now you’ve seen the cool images of the ‘War Surplus on Wheels’ exhibit curated by the Lyon Air Museum and Bobby Green. There are some fantastic photos of the WWII military aircraft displayed along side the historic belly tankers inspired by them together in one huge hangar, right next to the Santa Ana/ John Wayne Airport. Cool idea, right? To kick the whole show off, Bobby had an idea to also gather 150 of the most period-perfect hot rods and pre-war customs called ‘Hot Rods on the Tarmac’ just outside the Lyons hangar. All vehicles were hand-picked to fit the theme of this show, and the ‘quality over quantity’ is evident as you watch the videos below. Great cars!
Bennett’s Customs is an Australian is a traditional builder that does some pretty cool car and motorcycle projects, and they have embarked on a new project that must be done by September in order to go racing at the Perkolilli Red Dust Revival. This is a single seat race car build, like one that you would have seen in the 1940s and they are building it from a mix of scratch made parts, stuff that has been sitting around collecting dust, and some more traditional parts they will no doubt be wheeling and dealing for. If you are into traditional rides, like those we feature from Iron Trap Garage, then you are going to dig what they are doing here. I’m intrigued, and inspired, by projects like this because we all tend to make projects that are so complicated and big that they take forever. If instead we worked on some smaller projects, maybe we could get more of them done.
This project here is no lightweight with regards to the work required, since they are doing this all from scratch, but it sure looks like it is going to be a fun one and we can’t wait to watch it come together. Here are the first two episodes and we’ll bring you more shortly!
At 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday, in an industrial Southern California suburb a stone’s throw from Disneyland, the guttural rumble of a straight-eight thundered ever closer. Stanley Chavik arrived with the squeal of cross-ply tires, climbed out of his replica 1933 Buick Shafer 8 looking like a Viking headed to battle, then cracked a broad, gap-toothed smile. “Oh, I remember you.” Stanley’s thick Czech accent rolled over his respectable English, which he learned only four years ago. “Come in!”
Stanley hails from the Czech Republic, where his father and grandfather were both car guys. It was a pale yellow 1940s DeSoto, its bumper heavy with metal spikes for an Italian Mad Max knockoff called I Predatori Di Atlantide, that captured his attention. Stanley got hooked on American hot rods.
The internet nourished his hot-rod daydreams. He’d browse classic images from the likes of Gene Winfield, George Barris, and modern builders like Chip Foose. After opening his own welding and fabrication shop in the Czech town of Zlín in 2003, Stanley married Daisy, who applied her business savvy and determination to the venture.
European automotive regulations choked the Chaviks when it came to how they built their cars, but a ramshackle 1939 Buick he’d acquired made Stanley’s dreams manifest when he rebuilt it into a replica of a Shafer 8, inspired by Phil Shafer’s early Indy racers.
After the car’s completion, and much contemplation, the Chaviks packed up the Shafer 8, their U.S. E-2 visa for new businesses, and what money they had. The family, now three with the birth of their son, Stanley Jr., landed in California in late 2017.
Hot-Rod Chavik USA, in sunny Orange County, isn’t large—only about 2000 square feet, with three garage doors that roll skyward to the lofted ceiling. The space owns its Eastern European orderliness. Any color comes thanks to the candy-hued cars that roll in and out.
Upon arrival to the States, Stanley had to buy the cheapest tools he could afford from Home Depot. “We don’t do credit. When we have money, we buy tools,” Daisy says. Stanley does most of his shaping with a Pullmax and his hammers. “I stopped using the English wheel. I prefer a pummeling hammer,” he explains, as if the famous British machine were too delicate.
Aluminum has always been Stanley’s medium. Daisy revealed that he used to shape metal roses for the girls at school. “I like weapons, also,” Stanley interjects, slightly puffing his barreled chest lest I think he’s just a flower guy
One of our viewers Ed emailed us many months ago about the 1932 Fords that were owned by his father, both with New York drag racing history. Ray Stillwall purchased the 1932 Ford Roadster in 1948 and built the car in stages over the next 10 years. The roadster was raced at many local tracks, and even at the Allentown Fairgrounds back in 1955! Ed’s father was able to purchase the car back in 1970 and after a few other owners it ended back in the hands of Ed. The blue 1932 Ford Tudor was owned by Ed’s father and was also raced all over. This one stayed in the family and Ed continues to drive and race the car today. We enjoyed spending time with Ed and hearing all of the stories of the two 1932 Ford’s in his shop. Thanks for watching
It is not everyday that you receive an email asking if you would be interested in buying a barn full of 1934 Fords, but if you do respond immediately. At first we thought the barn was going to be full of rusty and rotten 34s, the pictures we received told a different story. At that point we knew we had to try to buy it all. We won’t spoil to much in the description so be sure to watch the entire video!!
In the early 1940s, a policeman showed up at the Smith family home in Lincoln, Nebraska, with 12-year-old D. William Smith in tow. Like other youngsters, he had used an old gas-powered Maytag washing machine engine to power a go-kart. Problem was, he’d been driving it down one of the town’s main streets.
From an early age, D. William Smith, to become better known as “Speedy” Bill, had a need for speed. He tinkered with cars, raced them and motorcycles as well, yet went to Nebraska Wesleyan University and graduated with a degree in education.
But instead of teaching, he borrowed $300 from his fiancé, Joyce — who later would insist that he never officially repaid that loan — and opened a speed shop called Speedway Motors in a 20×20-foot building on Lincoln’s main street, US Route 6/O Street.
Fast forward a few decades and the Smiths with their four sons grew Speedway Motors into a major supplier of automotive speed equipment that occupies a half-million square-foot warehouse and headquarters on a 46-acre Lincoln campus just off O Street that since 1992 has included the Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed.
The museum is a separate building just across the parking lot that fills three stores while preserving race cars, engines and historic performance accessories. For example, there’s a large area devoted to Henry Ford’s Model T, and to the parts from Frontenac, Rajo, Riley, Roof and others that, shall we say, accelerated the car’s capabilities.
Ditto the Flathead Ford V8, with one wall covered by every cylinder head ever created to enhance that engine’s performance, including some experimental models that Ford sold to the museum by mistake and then asked for their return, which Speedway Motors politely declined.
It was cool to finally feature my grandpa on the channel. He has tons of cool stories that I am excited to share on the channel! Stay tuned for more videos! Special thanks to my dad, Aaron Kahan, for help filming!
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