West Coast Report 33rd Edition by John Gilbert

Hell Can Wait — The Hot Rod to Hell is headed to SEMA

Wow, finishing up the Hot Rod to Hell in time to leave for the SEMA show in Las Vegas, November 4, and maintaining a punctual publishing schedule for the West Coast Report has been just a little tough. Of course those are not the only things I’ve had to deal with during this period of time. There’s been a ton of magazine features to write for American Truck, Classic Trucks, and Custom Classic Trucks. Did I ever mention that I work for a few different truck magazines? Speaking of mentioned, did I in past reports bring up the maiden run for the ’27 Ford track T has been switched from Hell, Michigan to Las Vegas, Nevada?  I still intend to drive the car to Hell, but the SEMA show is something I can’t miss. I’ve been going to SEMA since it was held in Anaheim, California, and its offices were in a bank building in El Monte, CA. Gee, that was a long time ago.

Anyway, at first I was just going to jump in one of my old pickup trucks and go, but then it came to me the 600-mile round trip to Las Vegas would be a perfect shakedown run for the ’27 Ford track T. Not only a good shakedown to sort the car out, but it has given me a deadline to have the car done. “Done”, gee what a nice word that’s going to be able to say. Here’s a quick pictorial review of the Hot Rod to Hell from when I first got it last summer until 10/29/13 a week away, from having to leave for Vegas. If you like your healthcare plan you can marry it in the states where its now the law. Welcome New Jersey, its now legal to marry your healthcare plan. Just don’t try to go online and register, the website has a few glitches. It might be better to phone (please expect hours of waiting) or find a vintage Elvis stamp and mail in your requests. Myself, I’d like hear Caravan with a drum solo while I wait to speak with my favorite blonde weather girl. Phew… here we go its time to snap out of it, and get serious. You didn’t really read this far did you?

Alright, the first photos are of the Track T known to loyal Street Rodder readers as Candy’s Car, or more specifically, Hot Rod Girl. You can Google Street Rodder Hot Rod Girl to see about six different tech stories featured in print archived online.

There’s 200 photos here, so the captions are eventually going to fade away into pictures that worth a thousand words. Don’t expect to keep your current medical plan. And if you’ve been going without healthcare like I have, don’t worry you still will, but now you’ll have one bill that you won’t be able to pay. Just like Santa Claus, the US government knows when you’ve been naughty, or nice. Yep, you guessed it, you can expect a big lump of coal for Xmas. Notice I took the Christ out of Christmas? I’m just trying to be one step ahead of the curve. That’s not the blonde weather girl curve either.

I drove the car now known as the Hot Rod to Hell around town, and then jumped on Highway 39 and headed out to Coker Tire’s new City of Industry facility. that’s the T in front of Coker without any signage on the building yet.

Once I got a good idea of the mechanical improvements that needed to be made, I blew the T apart, and went to town.

I kind of had to tear the car apart, things were already starting to break. The generic gas pedal, an inferior design that relied on two cheesy little spot welds broke. Compounded with a really crappy bushing that caused the gas pedal to snag I knew I needed to save up all my nickels and dimes and buy a brand-new 409. No wait, make that a Lokar gas pedal.

In one of those photos you’ll see the chrome Lokar brake pedal has been mounted in place of the square rubber unit the T came with. After SEMA I’ll run some comparison images of the cheesy crap imitation pedal, and the really super bitchin’ Lokar pedal. The Lokar gas pedal is TIG welded, and has a really slick bushing that makes it operate silky smooth like a blonde weather girl’s silky dress… Silll-kee.

Sorry where were we? Ah yes, take a look at the fiberglass repairs, and modifications I undertook. Man, I love fiberglass, its so fast to work with. Not to mention fiberglass creates a pleasant itch, that I like to associate with breathing the fumes of nostalgia. You steel guys know what I’m talking about. Its like when you open up a fresh can of Bondo, or even better yet a big jug of Eastwood Contour. Ah, better than the smell of fresh coffee are the fumes of polyester putty wafting through a heated shop in winter rain. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Its like a NAPA store with a dry floor. The RCMP are waiting. Fernie, BC. Olds’ engine, Buick body… Simpson. Who has the weather girl’s dog?

Like sand through the hourglass, so are the fumes of our lives… whatever that means. Alright, you guys should be OK on your own with these images, I have to get out to the garage.

Thanks a lot, I’ll see you after SEMA… who knows maybe at SEMA!

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