Tag Archives: retro

    • Classic Cars Stuck In Time...in Havana, Cuba

      From the video: one of the many American classics (’56 Chevy) still on the road in Havana.

      While browsing through some videos on YouTube, I came across a 4-1/2-minute home movie that someone took on a trip to Havana, Cuba. It's amazing, but at first glance you'll think it's a video about a classic car show somewhere in Florida!

      Virtually all the American cars in Cuba are from the Fifties, thanks to the blockade imposed by the U.S. in 1960. So you can imagine what kind of fine shape they must be in to still be on the road! (Without access to original car parts, Cubans make their own parts or scavenge them from other cars.)

      Though several of the cars in this video have already been identified, you can try identifying them as you watch as well. You'll also enjoy a short travelogue of today's Havana.

      Interestingly, you'll also see traffic lights that have digital timers to let drivers know how many seconds are left until the green light and red light change. That might not be a bad idea in this country (though I could think of some drawbacks).

      In this video you'll see classic Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Ford, Mercury, Dodge, Chrysler, and even a vintage Mercedes-Benz.

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    • Firewall Fabrication and Some Packard Donor Parts

      Now that we're starting to settle into our new workshop and photo/video studio here at the Eastwood headquarters, I've been able to turn my attention back to making progress on Project Pile House. At this point the truck has the silhouette that I've been envisioning, but it just needs a lot more rust repair and final finishing of the body mods, and some more associated work I've got on my to-do list. I've decided I want to take a break from some of the visual enhancements and get back to making the truck closer to being roadworthy. This includes making a new firewall that fits around the Chevy 350 crate engine from Pace Performance and the Chevy TH-350 transmission from TCI Transmissions.

      Our new tech-help guy Mike was eager to help me extract the old firewall. Mike has years of body shop experience and knows his way around a grinder and jumped right on board with chopping up the truck to make it better! Make sure you welcome Mike if you call or email and speak with him, he's a great addition to the Eastwood family.

      Now with the firewall cut out I can start making some templates to make a new smooth firewall for the truck. I'm still undecided if I want to run some beads around the perimeter from 18 gauge or if I want to use some thicker 16 gauge and make the firewall completely smooth. Like a lot of things with custom cars, it'll take some standin' around and eyeballin' things to figure out what looks best. Once I've got a template made up, I'll move on to the real thing out of steel and I'll be sure to post the process here on the blog as I progress!

      I also hit up my favorite local junkyard to rummage around their classic car section and see what sort of goodies I could find for Pile House. I'm not a fan of billet accessories on this build and I wanted a steering column housing and steering wheel that I could customize and keep it looking period correct. I settled on a late 40's Packard column housing that has a cool oval housing and intergrated turn signal switch. I plan to shave the shifter hole (I'm running a floor shifter) and smooth it out before mounting it up. I think I can make a custom steering shaft that fits the S10 steering joint and box on the chassis and integrate it to fit the Packard housing. I've started by gutting the surround and now I can start modifying it to fit into the new firewall. I'm still on the hunt for a steering wheel that grabs me, I feel like I've looked at just about every steering wheel from the 30's-60's at this point!

      Stay tuned, with the weather warming up I'm itching to get Pile House on the road this summer!

      -Matt/EW

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    • Texan Buys Classic Car Once Owned By Classic Slugger Babe Ruth

      Lonnie Shelton and his (and the Babe's) ’48 Lincoln. (Photo courtesy AP.)

      This regal blue 1948 Lincoln Continental two-door hardtop coupe is not a restoration project. It's been kept in pristine shape all these years, and was recently sold to car collector Lonnie Shelton (no, not the ex-NBA player). But it's not just any 1948 Lincoln.

      "The first time I saw the car," Shelton said, "I fell in love with it. There are several 1948 Lincoln Continentals out there, but none like this one." That's because this one was owned by baseball Hall of Famer Babe Ruth before his death on August 16, 1948.

      Earlier that year, Ford Motor Co. presented Ruth with a new Lincoln Continental as a measure of its appreciation for his tireless devotion to Little Leaguers and baseball. Before he died of cancer, Ruth spent many of his final days traveling across the country in this Lincoln, giving speeches and hitting lessons to kids.

      The car is in perfect shape, with original interior and car color — "I call it Yankee blue," Shelton said. The speedometer reaches 110 miles per hour. The radio works and takes about 15 minutes to warm up the glass tubes used in that era. The doors and windows work by hydraulics. The steering wheel is huge by today's standards. The license plates are black and feature the orange words: THE BABE.

      "To know somebody had enough foresight since 1948 to keep that car in that kind of shape is amazing," Shelton said. "I respect that. And I can tell you that car will be maintained and kept in better shape than it ever has. I love old cars."

      Shelton said he plans to use the car to help raise money for charities.

      For more pictures and rest of the story, please click here.

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    • Hang up the Lawn Chairs and put on the Race Helmet- Dan and Amanda's '68 Mustang Fastback

      Dan Woods is a familiar face around Eastwood and he's actually made some appearances in powder coating posts here before. Dan runs his own powder coating business he calls D&W Motorsports. Dan's partner in crime is a long time Eastwood employee. Amanda and Dan are both really into classic cars and this is the story about their 1968 Mustang Fastback show car turned racer.

      Dan Powder Coating

      Dan tells us "This story actually started back in 1967 when my older brother came home from Vietnam. He bought a Highland Green 68 Mustang fastback. I loved that car so much that someday I was determined to have one of my own." In 1995 Dan was searching for his own 67 or 68 Mustang. He had his heart set on finding a Fastback, but so did everyone else, so he wasn't having much luck finding one. He broadened his scope and found a 1968 Mustang Coupe that had been sitting on a trailer for some time. He then did what any classic car fanatic would do and left a note asking to buy it. This method is always hit or miss and this time owner didn't want to sell the Mustang coupe and Dan's search went dry.

      Just when he thought the '68 coupe was a dead end, Dan got a call from a gentleman asking if he was still looking for a '68 Mustang. He went on to tell Dan he'd been at the bank chatting to the teller about selling his and she mentioned Dan had just asked to buy her sons coupe! Phone numbers were exchanged and Dan was now on the line with the seller of a '68 Fastback GT with a four speed.

      Once in the presence of the potential project car, it was apparent the car was in a bad state and the current owner obviously wasn't much of a mechanic. Dan agreed to buy it and drug the car home to disassemble. He decided to go through EVERYTHING the last guy had done to it. During this time Dan was going through a rough divorce and he used the Mustang for therapy. He spent his "therapy sessions" learning to weld as he finished replacing the floor pans.

      The plan from the beginning was to install a 500+ HP big block, so all of the the rust had to be addressed and additional bracing added for the power. He fabricated new patch panels for the spring towers, fabricated new torque boxes out of 3/16" steel, modified some Chevelle ladder bars and made custom frame connectors. The car at this point was 100% disassembled and he began tearing into the exterior of the car. Rust repair was needed on the quarter panels and other parts of the body, so Dan had to learn how to do body work with some coaching from a friend.

      After tackling the majority of the rust repair, bodywork, and suspension upgrades, he began customizing the car a little more to his tastes. Dan used a Shelby trunk lid and quarter extensions, but did away with the some of the chrome on the rear of the car. After all of this work the car was ready for paint and Dan had a local friend paint the car what he calls "Steve Mcqueen Highland Green". After reassembling the car he had the makings of a really nice custom '68 Mustang Fastback GT.

      Just like the car, the engine had an interesting story and involved Dan exchanging $100 for a 428 block, crank, and chicken lice... Luckily Dan solved the lice problem quickly and he was able to build the engine he had planned from day one. The engine got the full treatment and was decked, bored .020 over, ARP bolts and studs on the bottom end, Aries pistons for 11.5:1 compression, and everything fully balanced and blue printed. He mounted a set of Edelbrock aluminum heads, three Holley 2-barrel carbs, MSD ignition components and finally upgraded to a Tremic TKO 5 speed transmission.

      Dan debuted the car at his first cruise night (Chesterbrook) in May of 1998, three years after he started building it. The car turned a lot of heads and people flocked instantly. Dan and Amanda met and shared the love of classic cars and they showed the car together for some time, winning over fifty awards. During that time Dan was hooked on powder coating and in 2001 he opened his custom powder coating business. Dan's handiwork (and love for Eastwood products) shows all over the car including Eastwood under hood black in the engine bay and under the car, chrome w/ gloss clear powdered oil pan and coil springs, Ford light blue powdered strut rods, Ford dark blue powdered front sway bar, Mirror blue powdered trans case, bell housing, and timing chain cover, mirror red powdered front calipers and ladder bars, gloss black powdered front rotors and rear drums, and smoked chrome powdered rear housing and back plates.

      Eventually shows and cruise nights became mundane and Dan began thinking of racing the car after meeting some local guys racing in a nostalgic super stock series. Amanda helped him make the decision by saying "you've been talking about going drag racing again since I've known you why don't you do it!". So like that they quit the car show and cruise night scene and began prepping the car to race. Dan replaced the 406 Tri-power with an Edelbrock Victor 427 intake and a 750 cfm HP Holley carburetor and ditched the five speed with a C-4 auto transmission.

      Dan hadn't raced since 1975, but he was confident in his car. Dan and Amanda entered the car for an episode of the TV show Pinks!. After two days of racing Dan made it to one of the final tiers and got to race with host Rich Christianson dropping his arms to start the race. In the end Dan didn't make it onto the show, but he got very close! After that Dan and Amanda joined the 422 Allstars Super Stock racing class and were instantly hooked. Quickly the car began getting some "old school" touches to give it a 1960's drag car vibe. With some retro sponsor decals, pin striping, and a change in wheels and tires, the car really fits the "look" of a drag car from the 1960's now.

      Dan's first and second season he placed 16th overall in points. Each year they've refined the car more and more. Dan and Amanda are a true classic car couple and she has as much wrench time as some of the guys out there! She's helped pull the engine, bleed brakes, start the car initially after a tear down, load and unload the car from the trailer, etc. She's even working to eventually be a track specialist and data recorder for the 422 Allstars. Needless to say, it's obvious the couple that wrenches and races together, wins together!

      All the hard work paid off and in 2012 they placed 7th overall, boasting a best 1/4 mile time of 10.95 at Maple Grove Raceway.
      The car still makes appearances at some local shows and events (it attended the Eastwood Summer Classic this past year), but these days it usually turns heads first when it starts up. This is a perfect example of a love affair with a car and the ways you can still have fun in your classic car when things get boring. Dan and Amanda are getting some more engine work done this year and going through the transmission. They hope to break into the top 5 this year or maybe better!

      Check out Dan and Amanda's '68 Mustang Fastback in an upcoming issue of Modified Mustangs & Fords Magazine. Some of the photos throughout this article are actually teasers from the feature by John Machaqueiro!

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    • Think You've Got A Lot Of Classic Cars?

      Just a fraction of the museum's displays.
      Unique exterior of the LeMay "America's Car Museum®".

      This is the mother of all car museums!

      The world's largest privately owned auto collection—more than 2,000 vehicles and thousands of artifacts—was owned by Harold and Nancy LeMay, and is now displayed in their brand new Harold E. LeMay Museum in Tacoma, Washington.

      Opened in June 2012, The LeMay "America's Car Museum®" is a large, technologically advanced, interactive automotive museum and educational center that showcases the cultural impact of cars, motorcycles and trucks on our uniquely American way of life.

      “Everybody remembers their first car, family driving vacations, a sports car they fell in love with as a teenager,” says ACM CEO David Madeira. “Personal experiences with cars are at the heart of the American experience, and we’re going to showcase more than a century of automotive lifestyle and history as well as the future of transportation.”

      The ACM campus includes the 165,000-sq.-ft. museum and a 3.5-acre show field.

      If you can't make it to Tacoma yet, you can always click here to visit the museum's web site.

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