Tag Archives: rat

  • John Findra: The "Anti"-Restorer!- Custom Built Model Cars


    Auto enthusiast John Findra doesn't work on real cars. He's a model builder, and much of his business comes from customers who'd like custom model replicas of their favorite old cars. But for fun, he builds classic car models and then "un-restores" them! "Underhauling", as opposed to overhauling.

    John says we live in a world where perfection is so tantamount to success that "perfection almost becomes boring. A car in its original state is a man-made idea of perfection, but when you take that car and put it out in nature, nature now takes over and creates its own perfection. Nature has its own way of reacting to metal and rubber."

    John's research takes him into overgrown fields and old barns, two of the best places to find old, abandoned, rusted-out cars. He brings his camera with him, so he can document the pattern of shattered glass, the shape of the rust holes, the way paint peels, how rust drip lines form. Then John goes back to his workshop and creates model cars that reflect the reality of "nature's perfection" (see an example in photo above).

    Watch the video, courtesy of Etsy, by clicking here. You'll also find several of his "un-restored" classic models available for sale on that page.

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  • How to Make a Custom Running Board From Scratch- Project Pilehouse Edition

    In one of our last posts we gave you some sneak peaks of the custom running board project we've been working on for Project Pilehouse. During the process we documented the full build and shared some of our secrets to help you build a similar project yourself for cheap. After a some editing, we have the video chopped down and ready for your viewing. Check out the DIY video below and see some of our great Eastwood tools in action!

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  • The Ultimate Woods Find - A Classic Saved By A Helicopter

    How far would you go to save a rare classic you love? I've gone to pretty great lengths to obtain a car, or even parts for a car. I remember climbing piles of cars just to get a tiny little interior piece and thinking "man this would suck if these cars fell". Needless to say, in the heat of the moment we don't always use our better judgement!

    Some may remember the early VW Rabbit pictured above that I obtained this past fall. It was saved from a 40 foot high scrap pile and had to be lifted off with a crane! Now it is sitting safely in my garage rolling, stopping, rot free, and almost ready to run! My friends and family all think I'm crazy, but there is just something about saving a car that was so close to death. I'd almost prefer to own a project that has an interesting back story, over one that is slightly cleaner but just bought off of Ebay!

    After reading a blog entry by the guys over at Rod Authority about a remarkable junkyard that was forced to close in Switzerland. I was given a suggestion on Youtube to watch another video by a German fellow that saved an early "Barn Door" VW Bus high up in the mountains. The video starts off like a few "woods-find" videos, deep in the woods, and digging it out of the ground. That alone is pretty cool, but as the video continues, you see they are in the mountains (note the ski lifts in the background), and a helicopter flies in to help. I'll leave the rest of the video for you to watch. But I can assure you there is some great shots in this video!

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  • Mocking up the Bed on Pile House.

    Now that we have the cab and front end sheet metal mounted and they are a "bolt-on" affair, it's time to start tackling the job of making bed mounts, as well as stretching the bed to fit the chassis. I initially was going to shorten the chassis to match the original Dodge wheelbase, but after some time of staring at the truck, and pictures of other trucks, I decided that I think I dislike how "unproportioned" these old short bed trucks look. After some measuring of the truck, and looking at pictures of other trucks, I think the overall appearance of the truck will look more "balanced" with the front of the bed lengthened to meet the cab.

    So today we chopped out the metal that was fouling the chassis from the original bed floor first, then once we dropped the bed down we found that the S10 gas tank was hitting the bed and not allowing us to move it around freely. After removing the tank we got the bed sitting about how we wanted it height-wise, and tacked up some metal rods to hold the front part of the bed at that ideal height. We also added some cross bracing inside the bed to keep it from twisting while we are chopping it up and locking it into place. This should be a great exercise to hone my metal brake and bead rolling skills that I need some freshening up on! Check out the pictures below, and keep an eye here on the blog for a lot more updates to come.

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  • Parking Lot Gems- Original 50's Chevy Pickup

    Next to Eastwood there are a few fairly busy shopping centers which always provide a diverse crowd. With that diverse crowd you get everything from the businessman with his new sports car, to the moms with mini vans, customs, restored classic rides, and my favorite "original classics". I decided to start a series where I post photos of some of these interesting rides we spot in the parking lots surrounding the Eastwood headquarters.

    This gem looks to be a 50-52 Chevy Pickup. The split window and wing windows are what were a giveaway for Joe R.; our resident "Classic Car Encyclopedia". This truck was in pretty original condition. It must have been painted yellow at some point, but the respray had to be quite old, and there were many touch ups done (with a brush) around the truck. It seemed to be a "driver" as everything was pretty focused on function here, no fancy wheels, big brakes, upgraded exhaust, or anything here. It all looked someone had been just keeping it going all these years. The chassis and running gear looked pretty clean, and under the layers of paint, we reckon she is pretty dang straight. We reckon it could be a nice base for a resto here on the east coast. But in the end of the day, we are just happy to see unrestored classics like this still rolling around!

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