Tag Archives: Shelby

  • 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.”

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • 2013 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale- Top Ten Cars For Auction

    Every year the Scottsdale Barrett-Jackson collector car auction gets larger. This year they've announced it'll be the largest yet with some of the most rare, valuable, and interesting vehicles for sale. The 2013 auction also has the largest number of Shelby vehicles for auction at one time. That includes the rarest Shelby Mustang of all-"The Green Hornet". We can't wait to see what some of these vehicles go for and we'll be participating in the fantasy bidding just like you! We decided to take a sneak peak at the auction list and pick out our 10 favorite vehicles (in no particular order) being offered up this year. Which one is your favorite?

    1. Clark Gables 1955 MERCEDES-BENZ 300SL GULLWING COUPE

    Clark Gable Gullwing Side

    Even these days Clark Gable is a name that most everyone has heard of, he is undoubtly one of the top American actors of all time. This rare 300SL Gullwing was purchased new by him in Hollywood for under a measly $8k. The car has lived a pampered life and was professionally restored in 1989. Other than a few modifications, some of which Clark himself had done, the car is as nice as it came off the showroom floor. Whoever buys this should definitely buy the Gone With The Wind soundtrack and cruise around doing their best movie star impression.

    2. 1929 ISOTTA FRASCHINI TIPO 8A SS CASTAGNA ROADSTER

    Isotta Franschini Tipo 8A S

    This car is one of the most rare and sought after antique cars in the world. These cars were the most expensive Italian cars built and only owned by extremely high profile and wealthy people. This car is 1 of 2 known and is definitely in the nicest shape. Most recently the car was in the Harrah's collection (yes like the casino/hotels) and this is the first time it has been available to the public in close to thirty years. The new owner of this probably will never drive it, but I suggest that he learns Italian and imports a driver from Italy to complete the full effect.

    3. 1986 PORSCHE 959 PROTOTYPE

    Porsche 959 Prototype

    Normally auto manufacturers don't want their prototype vehicles to get into the hands of the public and often they're destroyed. In this case, a small number of preproduction prototypes for the Porsche 959 got out to the public. Most of these cars were destroyed after the release of the 959 or during testing. This car was an ABS and chassis test mule and faired pretty well over the years. It's one of the more highly-photographed prototype 959's on many high speed road course tests throughout the world. The car still wears its original, never-released lightweight wheels and tires. We think the new owner should get some period correct race wheels and sticky tires and take it to a few track days to let the old girl stretch her legs like she was built for!

    4. 1968 SHELBY EXP 500 "THE GREEN HORNET PROTOTYPE"

    Green Hornet Shelby Mustang Prototype

    This car is the rarest of Shelby Mustangs known and it was a prototype twice. After Ford decided they didn't want to follow through with the GT/SC program, they sent this factory prototype to Shelby to use as the prototype for the EXP 500 Mustang. Again it only stayed a prototype and Carroll Shelby and crew's EXP 500 Mustang plans died with this car. For many years this car was thought to be destroyed like most prototypes, but was eventually found and restored. This is THE only Green Hornet Shelby Mustang in existence. We think the new owner should pamper this car and bring it out for special events.. as long as it doesn't stay hidden away and forgotten like it was for decades before!

    5 FATTY ARBUCKLE'S 1919 PIERCE-ARROW 66 A-4 TOURER

    Fatty Arbuckle Pierce-Arrow

    Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle was one the biggest comedians and actors of his time and the highest paid. He had the money to do and buy whatever he wanted. In 1919 he had this Pierce Arrow built. This car is one of those antique coach built cars that REALLY looks the money it demands. This car has been owned by many high profile owners and had a 100-point restoration during it's 90+ years. I think the new owner should be careful where and what he's driving on with those white tires!

    6. THE ORIGINAL #1 BATMOBILE BY GEORGE BARRIS

    The original #1 batmobile

    Batman and the Batmobile have been a staple in the modern entertainment world. Every new version of Batman produces a new Batmobile. This legacy was started with George Barris when he built the first fully functional Batmobile for the 60's Batman TV series. This car started life as a Lincoln Futura concept car that George bought for $1 directly from Ford Motor Company. He later hand built the car for the Batman series. This car defines an era and is surely going to make Batman fans go wild. George Barris himself has never let the car go and it's up for auction for the first time EVER. I'd say this car will either complete the ultimate Batman collection or start a downward spiral of owning rare Batman collector items. Either way I'd be sure to buy a vintage Batman costume and sit in the car while watching old episodes of the show and yelling "Bam!", "Pow!", "Zap!".

    7. 1968 CHEVROLET CORVETTE L-88 OWENS/CORNING RACE CAR

    1968 Corvette Owens/Corning Race Car

    Corvettes from this era aren't exactly the most desirable, but this one is very important to Corvette racing history. This car was almost unbeatable winning podium positions in the '69 12 Hours of Sebring and the '69 and '70 wins in the 24 Hours of Daytona. This car has been restored back to its look from its days of 24 hours of Daytona and will make any Corvette fan have wet palms. I think the new owner should at least take it out once in a while for a track day, maybe the new owner of the Porsche 959 Prototype will want to rent laguna-seca for the day?

    8. RING BROTHERS "PRODUCER" CUSTOM 1965 MUSTANG COUPE

    Ring Brothers Producer Mustang

    The Ring Brothers need no introduction to the custom car fans. They've been building some of the most insane masterpieces of classic muscle cars we've seen and we always enjoy checking out what they're debuting at SEMA each year. This '65 Mustang coupe was nicknamed "Producer" and was debuted at SEMA 2012. This car is as mean looking as it gets, mostly because of the four inches it's been widened and those big aggressive wheels. This car swept up at the Goodguys last year and it proves again why the Ring Brothers are one of the top car builders. The new owner definitely needs to take this out to some shows and at least a couple grudge race days to cream some of the Chevy and Mopar guys! Oh and maybe a show and shine or two..

    9. 1971 PLYMOUTH HEMI 'CUDA CONVERTIBLE

    plymouth hemi cuda convertible

    Mopar and muscle fans lust after this vehicle, it's really a unicorn and rarely ever does one show up for sale. This Plymouth Barracuda convertible is one of eleven built and it's in phenomenal condition. This car is a lot more rare when you start comparing it to the other Hemi 'Cuda convertibles. It was one of two cars built for Canadian export and the ONLY one that left the factory with the "Plum Crazy" color. If you're a muscle car collector bidding on this you'd probably have a tough time picking between this and the Green Hornet! The new owner needs to take it out with the top down on some cool summer night drives with their loved one in the passenger seat!

    10. CR1S 1962 CHEVROLET CORVETTE CUSTOM ROADSTER

    CR1S Custom Corvette Roadster

    If Chevrolet had their heads in the same place classic custom cars guys did, they'd build something like this. This '62 Corvette has been converted into a custom roadster that looks incredible, but has race car performance. This car truly pushes the custom car world and won the 2009 SEMA/GM Best Hot Rod award. This car has so many details and one off modifications it's hard to take them all in. The new owner should definitely find the buyers of the Ring Brothers Mustangs and challenge them to a track day, that'd be interesting to say the least!

    Whatever you're into, there will be something crossing the auction blocks for you. Tune into the SPEED channel today (Wednesday January 16) through Sunday (January 20) for live coverage and get in on some fantasy bidding!

    -Matt/EW

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • SEMA 2012- Eastwood Company Part 3 Coverage

    Traditionally a lot of show cars, especially SEMA cars were known to be mostly all "show" and not a car you could drive on the street or the track. Many people even joke that these cars never see the road and are even pushed on and off the trailer (some still are but we won't point fingers!). For instance if it was a paint company they would have a stock car with beautiful paint and shiny wheels.. but underneath and inside nothing was done to enhance the car, while speed parts companies had cars that had a insane engine in a car that didn't run or couldn't even drive.. all ends of spectrums had cars that showed off their specific niche, but few had the "complete" package.

    These days the overall quality of show cars has risen and many of the cars are streetable-borderline race cars with a show car exterior and interior. It isn't uncommon to see a muscle car with the full suspension, wheel and tire combo, and big brakes to allow it to go around a road course as fast as an Italian sports car. It's quite mind-blowing when you look at how much fabrication, engineering, and design work has gone into these cars to allow them to be winners on the show field AND monsters on the track. The buzz term these days seems to be "Pro-Touring". Many classic cars are themed this way.. but I mean who wouldn't want the best of everything!

    Here's another batch of show vehicles from SEMA. Stay tuned as we dig through more pictures and video!

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Light as a feather, strong as a bull. Carbon Wheels the next auto modifying craze?

    I find myself reading many automotive blogs during my free time. Normally I am strictly a vintage European auto enthusiast; although I feel reading and learning about the many different aspects of the auto industry can give inspiration to even the "little guy" like me that is just tinkering with old Euro "clunkers".

    Yesterday I was quite amazed at this new automotive feat I found being offered for "free". Only catch is that you need to buy the $740,000 Shelby super car. This is the first time I've found a full carbon wheel being put into production (even if it is on a nearly untouchable super car). There has been many prototypes and even a few companies working to make split wheels with carbon outer "hoops". The wheel is apparently being manufactured by a Australian company named Carbon Revolution for Shelby SuperCars. It features a 9 spoke design with about half the weight of a similar aluminum wheel. "Why does this matter?" Well, it means essentially that the engine is turning less unsprung weight first of all. Also because of how strong/stiff carbon fiber is, it removes some of the flex/give found in the common aluminum wheel (read: better handling/road feel).

    After reading some feedback on this subject, it has raised a few questions. Carbon is known to shatter, not just bend/crack like a common aluminum wheel would do. Such as if you say "hit a pot hole going downtown for some drinks with the wife". This is a bit scary to think of! Although I have a feeling 99% of these cars will spend more time on display in a "collection" versus actually being driven around. So this may make that a null and void point. Carbon Revolution has gone through 5 years of development on these wheels, so one would think they would have tested driving them over some pot holes or speed bumps at excessive/dangerous speeds. I envision a test driver just mashing the pedal and speeding over a sequence of speed bumps at 100mph. All while having a grin on his face knowing he is allowed to try and break a set of these priceless wheels.

    So what does everyone think? Bad idea? Dangerous idea? Motorsport masterpiece? I'll just sit back and see what happens before purchasing my set (ha!)

    Thanks to http://www.carbonfibergear.com for the story and pics.

      Click Here To Read Full Post...