Tag Archives: retail

  • West Coast Report 41st Edition by John Gilbert

    West Coast Report 41st Edition by John Gilbert

    Shake Rattle & Run — Gearhead Kid Builds Auto Restoration Empire

    WCE-41-01

    Torn from the pages of Street Rodder magazine, welcome to the West Coast Eastwood blog and consequently the 41st edition of the West Coast Report. For those that have been patiently waiting since last April 12 when the 40th edition of the West Coast Report last appeared, thank you for your patience. Mental patients, metal patience, artichoke smoothies, there’s a tech story title in there somewhere. Oh, and talk about cool the massive Eastwood blue tool cabinets behind the flames are located in Street Rodder magazine’s Irvine, California, air-conditioned tech center.
    —John Gilbert

    WCE-41-02

    Where were you in ’62? Eastwood founder and CEO Curt Strohacker knows exactly where he was. Curt was a 14-year old gearhead kid enjoying the ’62 Southside Winter Nationals and there’s a historic photograph to document the occasion. Wayne Bryant from Omega Photos snapped a shot of Curt and his buddy peering under the hood of a ’57 Chevy Bel-Air drag car known as “Shake Rattle & Run.”

    WCE-41-03

    The December 30, 1962 USAC sanctioned event happened once again in 1964, and has gone down in auto racing history as the indoor drags. According to Curt it was wilder than blimp bowling on blindfolded elephants in celebration of Oktoberfest. Okay those weren’t Curt’s exact words not even close, but when I spoke with Curt he said it was a wild event with cars crashing into the walls, and rubber smoke billowing through exhaust fumes so thick one could hardly see or breathe. The gargantuan building’s polished cement floors provided a slick surface that today’s drift racers can only dream about.

    WCE-41-04

    The Chicago International Amphitheater was the venue. Torn down in 1999, it was a massive structure built in 1934 to house the International Live Stock Exhibition. ¬¬In addition to hosting momentous bovine spectacles the arena was where Elvis first donned his Gold Lame suit in 1957, and the Beatles appeared on stage in 1964 and ’66. The reason cars were crashing into the walls was if a guy didn’t have his dragster pointing dead straight as he was going through the eyes he’d stuff it into the narrow doorway separating the Amphitheater’s cement walls. Incredibly the final stage of the shutdown area was an immediate exit out into the parking lot... lending a new significance to the expression, Holy Cow! To learn more Google “indoor drag racing” that will pull up a proverbial wealth of both visual and textual information regarding this most unique of all drag racing spectacles.

    WCE-41-05

    The grand spectacle of indoor drag racing is a testimonial to the hardcore passion Chicagoland gearheads have held for all things automotive since the automobile industry’s birth in the late 1800s. The first of its kind anywhere Eastwood opened a new store in Alsip, Illinois, that has become a destination point for anyone that loves automobilia.

    WCE-41-06

    Here’s a little something for the Shelby Mustang lovers out there a completely original unmolested example of a ’66 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350-H. It did have an engine change, but the original Shelby prepped hi-po 289 is still kept with the car in crate form.

    WCE-41-07

    In 1966 I was 14-years old when my mom and I flew from Los Angeles, to Detroit, Michigan to spend the summer at the family farm in Stockbridge. The first cars I spotted as our American Airlines 707 touched the ground was a Hertz parking lot full, and I mean full of black and gold, and white with blue ’66 Ford Shelby Mustangs.

    Source: May 1966 Car and Driver archived road test. “Shelby has contracted to supply Hertz with one thousand GT 350s, designated the GT 350H ("H" for Hertz). Most of these special GT 350s will have the new high-performance automatic transmission, although a limited number will be available with 4-speed manual transmissions for the do-or-die purists. Said puristi will have to join the Hertz Sports Car Club, the qualification for membership being a demonstration of your ability to operate a manual gearbox.”

    WCE-41-08

    “Finned, cast aluminum rocker covers and sump are bolted on, as is a high-riser intake manifold and a big 4-barrel carb with 1.7-inch venturis and center-pivot floats so it won't cut out in turns. This, along with fabricated steel headers and low-restriction mufflers, boosts the horsepower figure by 35, to 306 @ 6000 (vs. stock 271 @ 6000), and the torque from 312 lbs-ft. @ 3400 to 329 lbs-ft. @ 4200. Final touches include the rear brake scoops, a new hood with a big air scoop and NASCAR-style hood pins, plexiglass rear quarter windows in place of the regular Mustang fastback's vent panels, a cleaned-up grille with the Mustang emblem offset to the driver's side, and the stripes.”

    Have you ever called a Mustang GT350 that you spotted in public as a fake? It could have been you were looking at a ’65 as ‘65s didn’t have the plexiglass quarter windows, or brake scoops. Car and Driver in its May ’66 article spoke to the low quality of Shelby produced cosmetic components. “We also found fault with the rear seats and quarter windows. Construction of both was rough-and­ ready, and in poor condition after only 5000 miles. The upholstery was beginning to tear, the trim was starting to come loose, and rain leaked around the plexiglass window. The rear seats are none too comfortable, but, surprisingly, better than the last notchback Mustang we drove. But it's a sports car, not a bloody bus, and besides, few of our complaints would bother the man who only rented the car.”

    I prefer to gather restoration research from magazines of the day as I believe important details are lost to the memory of a current articles author... in particular recollections of an Internet wizard. “The hood and its scoop look the same as before, but last year it was molded fiberglass, this year stamped steel. Inside, the change is more pronounced. The '65 GT 350s had standard Mustang instrumentation plus a pod atop the dash housing a tach and oil pressure gauge. The steering wheel had a wood rim and considerably less "dish" than the standard wheels, and the horn was operated by a spring-return toggle switch on the fascia.”

    WCE-41-09

    Were the Hertz Shelby Mustangs the original rent-a-racer? “There isn't any significant difference between the GT 350 you can buy and the Hertz version. The standard GT 350H color scheme is black with two broad gold stripes—a sensational, crowd-stopping combination. Other color schemes are available, including the regular GT 350's white with two broad blue stripes. A trio of narrower stripes along the rocker panel are interrupted by a "G.T. 350H" nameplate behind each front wheel. All the Hertz cars have the "occasional" rear seats and "mag-type" wheels that are options on the GT 350. Incidentally, the "H" might well stand for "Homologated" if Shelby—or, for that matter, Hertz—wanted to race the car as a Group 2 sedan; the 1000 examples Shelby will produce for Hertz fulfill the FIA's minimum production requirement.”

    WCE-41-10

    “Standard high-performance, 271 horsepower Mustangs are delivered to the Shelby American factory near Los Angeles International Airport, where they are rebuilt to GT 350 specifications. Wide-base wheels and 130-mph 7.75 x 15 Goodyear Blue Streaks are fitted, as are trailing arms at the rear, a one-inch anti-sway bar at the front, and Konis all around.
    The front suspension geometry is altered, the steering speeded up, and a chassis brace is installed across the engine compartment between the upper shock mounts. The front brakes are 11-inch Kelsey-Hayes discs with heavy-duty pads; the rear brakes are 10 x 3-inch drums (3/4-inch wider than stock) with sintered metallic linings.
    Finned, cast aluminum rocker covers and sump are bolted on, as is a high-riser intake manifold and a big 4-barrel carb with 1.7-inch venturis and center-pivot floats so it won't cut out in turns. This, along with fabricated steel headers and low-restriction mufflers, boosts the horsepower figure by 35, to 306 @ 6000 (vs. stock 271 @ 6000), and the torque from 312 lbs-ft. @ 3400 to 329 lbs-ft. @ 4200. Final touches include the rear brake scoops, a new hood with a big air scoop and NASCAR-style hood pins, plexiglass rear quarter windows.” Don’t forget to watch “Turd Pickers” the History Channel’s new show based on a Beverly Hills family that makes a living mining gold from the sewers below the gold-paved streets of California.

    WCE-41-11

    Here’s the indoor drag’s run sheet from December 30, 1962. Pretty cool stuff, you can Google the car’s owner name and its make and come with some the participants that went on to become very famous drag racers. In particular Google “Shake Rattle & Run.”

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  • Eastwood Retail Outlet Hosts Patch Panel Training Class

    We've found that most car guys and gals are "hands on" learners. Sure you can read all the tech articles and watch all the Youtube videos in the world, but putting in the time practicing is where most of us really learn. We recently started holding small tech seminars where we let our customers learn from the professionals and get their hands dirty in the process.  Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Eastwood Retail Outlet Grand Reopening!

    This winter we've been busy here at the Eastwood headquarters. We've been remodeling and giving ourselves a makeover. We've hinted at our new photo/video studio, workshop, and hopefully you've already seen the new Eastwood Website. We also wanted to give our retail outlet a fresh new look for anyone that stopped by to pick up anything they need to improve their ride. We've redone the floor, changed the layout, and have close to 10 times the amount of product on display in the store! We wanted to celebrate our fresh new look with a Grand Re-opening Event April 19-28th. We know everyone is busy so we decided to make the event over a week long! We'll be having killer in-store sales on some of our favorite products, a welding tech demo Saturday April 20 from 12PM-1PM, a painting tech demo Sunday April 21 12PM-1PM, AND a FREE GIFT for anyone that cruises in during the event in their collector or special interest car, truck, or motorcycle!

    Check out our flyer below and make sure you stop by and check out our new look and meet some of the gearheads behind the counter at the Eastwood Retail Outlet. We'll be waiting to see what you cruise in with!

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  • A Retired 1953 Chevy Farm Truck Stops by the Eastwood Outlet

    We often have local customers cruising to the Eastwood retail outlet in their classic cars. During the winter the number of interesting cars and trucks that we see goes down considerably, but that doesn't stop everyone. Ray T. stopped by the other day to price out some tools and supplies for his newest project- a 1953 Chevy 3/4 Ton Pickup. His truck is a rare bird in that it's all original and it's farm fresh! The truck spent 99% of its life since new on a Kansas Farm and it only has some wear and tear from being "used". Overall the truck is very solid and it stil sports the original inline six that runs great (albeit a little oil smoke). The only modification currently is a rear end from a more modern 1987 Chevy 3/4 ton pickup.

    Ray's plans are a bit controversial, but he's talking about turning it into a street rod and installing an automatic v8 and some more modern modifications. The purists may turn their noses up for modifying such a nice original example, but he does have a nice solid base to start with! Whatever he decides, our guys in the Eastwood retail outlet will steer him in the right direction to do the job right. If you want to visit our retail outlet and get some advise about your next project or see our products in person, come see us here: http://www.eastwood.com/custserv-store

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  • A Note of Appreciation From A Father-Son Team

    Every so often we get emails and letters from customers that want to share their buying experience with me. This particular email is pretty touching and it's a testamant to what each of us try and accomplish each time we have contact with YOU the customer. Mike and the crew in the retail store have really outdone themselves this time. This young enthusiast has experienced what the automotive hobby is really all about, the cars, sharing knowledge, and the relationships you make with others along the way. I only hope the positive, helpful attitude he received can be passed on to the younger generation as he gets older and more skilled. If you're local and want to plan out a future build, or need some advice on your current project, stop by and have a chat with these guys. They really do wanna hear what you're working on! We'll let his dad tell the story below.

    "Mr. Strohacker,

    I just wanted to drop you note to let you know of the positive experiences I have recently had when dealing with the individuals in your retail store in Pottstown, PA.

    In spring of this year my son (16) told me that he wanted to buy an old muscle car and restore it. After a great deal of searching he found a 74 Nova. The car was in pretty rough shape. Due to a previous oil leak inside the car, one of his first tasks was to remove the carpet and clean up the floor pans. He spent quite a bit of time removing rust to get them down to bare metal then he sprayed some primer on that we had purchased at the local auto parts store. Unfortunately this primer didn't hold up and they began to rust. Not wanting this to happen to the rest of the car he began to do some research and decided he wanted to buy some products from Eastwood. He was going to buy them online and have them shipped but knowing he was anxious I volunteered to drive to the retail store and pick them up since it's only an hour from our house.

    When I got to the retail store I presented my son's shopping list of items to Mike Ullman. He told me that he was impressed with the list of products and equipment my son had chosen which was reassuring to hear. What impressed me the most was Mike's interest in my son's project. He was genuinely enthused about a 16 year old working on an old car instead of sitting in front of the TV or playing video games. He offered several suggestions for use of the products, asked for pictures of progress of the car and provided his direct number in case we had any questions. Never having done an auto restoration project before I left the retail store with a very good feeling knowing we now had a good resource with years of experience to assist in this project.

    My son had been using a flux core welder that he had borrowed from a friend for some of the body work. He had taking metal working classes in high school and was not happy with using the flux core welder but the price was right. Last week his friend needed the welder back so he began to search for a true MIG welder. He saw on the Eastwood website that the MIG 135 was on sale but still a significant investment for a 16 year old. Knowing I could trust Mike's opinion I sent him an e-mail to ask about the equipment. He responded that it would be able to handle everything he needed and that there happen to be a scratch and dent model in the store that he could buy for a reduced price. That's all my son needed to hear. He was out of school early last Friday so we took a trip to the retail store.

    Josh took the time to show my son the welder and explained the features of the machine as well as making other suggestions that might be helpful as he's using the equipment. My son was also planning on picking up some of the low end body filler but after discussing what he was doing with Mike, he recommended a bit more expensive product but said he would be much happier with the results and that it was well worth the additional money. After using the alternative body filler on Sunday, my son said that Mike was right. Zak was also there and offered other suggestions and tips so we ended up with some rust encapsulator as well. Another very positive experience at the retail store.

    On the way home my son commented that he couldn't believe how friendly, helpful and supportive everyone was to him. Over the past 6 months he's put a great deal of time and effort into this car and I think it made him feel good to talk to other people who truly appreciate the time and effort it takes to complete a project like this.

    I apologize for the length of this note but thought it was important for me to relay as best I could the commitment and caring of some of your employees that I have had the pleasure to encounter. If this is any indication of the rest of people in your organization, there is no doubt in my mind that your company will be successful for years to come.

    Thank you for your time.

    Jim Malkowski
    Lancaster, PA"

    Thanks to Jim and his son for making the trip out to our retail store, and most of all for sharing this great experience with us!

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