Tag Archives: shrinker

  • Pollock Auto Restoration- Vintage Automotive History in our backyard

    Some of the best craftsmanship often times comes from the shops and builders that aren't bragging at every cruise-in, swap meet, car show, and local bar. They are too busy cranking out quality pieces of automotive art and let their work speak for itself. This is exactly the way things seem at Pollock Auto Restoration, they are situated in an old part of town in Pottstown, PA (just miles from Eastwood headquarters) in a building that could easily be missed if you were just passing by. There aren't signs miles away, rows of cars out on the street, or any other things you see at other shops that attract customers. The cliental and cars that come into Pollock Auto are there because they know the shop reputation and its long history of building and restoring extremely rare and unique vehicles.

    The business and the building itself have a long history in the antique and classic car world and although the exterior hasn't changed much over the years, the inside of the building has. This location was originally a coal yard until the early 1900's. The building was constructed in the early 1920's as a silk mill until Levitz Furniture took over. Mr. Bill Pollock took over the second level of the building in the early 1950's and it became the home for his "showcase" of rare cars, a museum of sorts. Mr. Pollock had a ramp and industrial winch system built into the building (you can see it in the picture above) that allowed him to pull his cars to the second floor and easily rearrange cars in the building. To this day they still use the original winch and ramp system he had built!

    Ralph DeStefano started working for the Showcase in 1981 and Mr. DeStefano began operating "Pollock Auto Restoration" in 1995. Ralph and crew were master metal workers and quickly the business gained a reputation for their high quality of work. Fast forward about 13 years and the shop was taken over by Michel Engard who has been running his other shop "Ragtops & Roadsters" successfully since 1990. Michel and crew have managed to keep a lot of the vintage tools that came with the building and you can still almost imagine how things looked inside many years ago. The shop is extremely clean, every corner you turn and door you open, you'll see another line of extremely rare cars waiting their turn.

    We were lucky enough to get to learn about how they functioned smoothly in such a huge space. We even got to see some of their vintage, industrial-sized metal working tools in action like the PullMax and English Wheel. Amongst these tools we spotted an old Eastwood Shrinker Stretcher that they use regularly to this day! They also were happy to show off some of the retired tools that were left behind in the building. Sadly the bits from the foundry the previous owner built have since been donated to surrounding auto museums, but it was still neat to see some of the one-off antiquated tools around the building.

    We were delighted to get a tour around the shop and see how they truly were a "one-stop" restoration business. Nothing needed to be shipped off to other shops, they could do it all from mechanical to body/paint and even interior. Each department had a seasoned expert in that field that focused on that part of the build. This approach really lets everyone perfect their part of the process on each car and make sure it leaves as good or better than it would have from new! Check out the picture gallery below for a virtual tour of the facility and make sure you visit their site and like them on Facebook!

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  • Eastwood Visits Chrisman Auto Rod Specialties Get Together

    Anyone that is in the "know" about automotive racing history will be familiar with the name Art Chrisman. He was of the first to do a lot of things in racing history including being one the five charter members of the 200 MPH Club at Bonneville, the first drag racer to hit both 140 MPH AND 180MPH, and the first winner at the Bakersfield U.S. Fuel & Gas Championships. After making racing history, Art and his son Mike formed Chrisman Auto Rod Specialties (C.A.R.S). There you can find some of the best engines and cars in the Hot Rod and Racing world being built right here in his shop.

    We were lucky enough to be invited to the weekly impromptu get together at Art's shop in early March this year. Art was gracious enough to show us around and let us drool over all of their handiwork. One signature theme you will notice with engines coming out of Art's shop is "smooth". Everything, including trans cases, engine blocks, and everything seems to get smoothed and then painted. Not only do these engines make some serious power, they look great doing it!

    The amount of cool old industrial sized tools around the shop was staggering. From giant Bridgeport mills to bead rollers, ERCO shrinker and stretcher, and english wheels that would make any of our DIY home shops setups look like fisher price play sets! Art and crew are in the business of making seriously fast cars and the shop was filled to the brim with tools that could make an ordinary sheet of metal into just about anything, or an ordinary classic into a bonified Hot Rodding legend.

    We are thankful to have the chance to meet Art and wander around his shop. Make sure you check out the rest of the photos we snapped along the way below.

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  • How to Replace A Rusty Lower Door Skin

    When looking over Project Pile House we started seeing a lot of spots where we needed to repair rusted panels on the body. When sizing it all up, we found that many of them could be replaced with the combination of some basic hand tools and our new Patch Panel Install Kit. We decided to show you an outline of how to tackle this job on an extremely rusty door. Enjoy the video, and let us know if you have any ideas for future technical how-to videos!

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