Monday, November 24, 2008

Fantasy Friday... for Monday

Monday Monday...  and now the song will be in your head for the next several hours. Sorry about that. Thanksgiving week and it's really off to the races isn't it? No question now about whether it's that time of the year or not. It is. If you don't already feel the collective panic when you walk outside get ready to start feeling it in traffic. Understand, I'm not trying to be a scrooge, it's just that... well...  you know what I mean. 

     Hitting the ground running this morning as the Bronco will, hopefully, be coming home from the trim shop and I have to put two new tires on my trailer before it moves again. Trailers have hard lives. Unless you have the good fortune of indoor storage for your tow rig, you're faced with having to repack wheel bearings annually and buy a set of tires nearly as often. No surprise I suppose as it sits outside baking in the sun and then is suddenly awoken by having to roll its own weight around ( about 3,600 lbs in the case of my 26ft Interstate ) with the additional 3-4 thousand pound cargo on its back all while binding and scuffing its way around every corner you take. A handy tool, though, as it has not only hauled many a car, its also been responsible for moving not only myself, but many a friend of mine in and out of various homes. If you think you're asked a lot of favors because you have a pick-up?- try letting the word out that you have an enclosed trailer. You'll suddenly have friends that you never knew you had. 

     Like I said regarding the Bronco coming home today, I'm hoping this will be the case. Even though I was sure that I over-ordered when purchasing the carpet, they couldn't quite get it done with what I supplied them with. So, another order into Bill Hirsch and we should be good this time. The wheels that we ordered shipped out last week and came on Wednesday as 3 boxes. Now, if I were building a BMW Isetta this would be fine, but I'm not. For some reason, UPS decided it would be good to split up the shipment somewhere along the way. The stray wheel arrived on Friday. No big deal with either of these but it's the little setbacks like this that ad up quickly and can really make you feel like a build is dragging on... especially when you're as close to completion as I am. Anyway, more on that later. 

     I'm happy to say that I received some really fantastic responses to the Fantasy Friday post, loaded with many choices that had me saying aloud, "Of course! How could I have forgotten one of those?" Unfortunately they came to me in my e-mail and I'd really looked forward to the posting of these for all to see. I shouldn't be the only one who gets to see these and I also think it will inspire some good debate. So for those who have responded, feel free to repost in the comments section if you'd like. Speaking of, I've had all weekend to think about my next five so I suppose they better be good. You be the judge. 

6) 1933 Packard Twelve coupe roadster 

      For my money, one of the most beautiful pre-war open American classics. Obviously the Duesenberg J series cars are pretty hard to beat, but I feel the big senior Packards are nearly their equal on curb appeal and, I believe, superior mechanically. Talk to anyone who has had the opportunity to drive both and they will go with the Packard every time. Lighter steering and more refined for sure and, although the Duesenberg engine is much more advanced and a true work of art, you get a smoother and lower maintenance powerplant with the Packard 12. Speaking today to my good friend Mark Lambert, ( a highly respected Packard specialist, collector, historian, and Pebble Beach judge ) he had this to say on the subject,"I think most people would agree that the high water mark for Packard, in execution of design, was 1933. It really all came right in this year as far as cleanliness and overall balance are concerned." I agree. Built during the single greatest era of American automobile production, when labor was our cheapest resource, and highly skilled, thoughtful craftsmen were the norm. The cars from this era will forever be our country's greatest automotive acheivement and the Packard is in the top of the lot. Again, I'll take mine in a 12 with seating for two and a top that goes away... preferably in black with black walls.  

7) 1960 Chevrolet Corvette 290 fi

    I will admit that this choice comes from a somewhat more personal place. I grew up with one of these being owned by my father throughout my life growing up and remains in our family to this day. Someday I will get into the colorful history that 1960 Corvette #155 had in the hands of my father and continues to have in the hands of my brother Rob. There's a lot to tell and I'm sure it will be one of the more epic blog series that I'll write. What Chevrolet, and the people who raced them, were able to achieve with what is basically a Chevrolet passenger car from the day with a low slung frame, a hotted up engine set back and low in the chassis, and a two-seater fiberglass body, is nothing short of remarkable. In 1960 Briggs Cunningham fielded a team of nearly stock production Corvettes in the GT class for the 24 hours of LeMans. With some backdoor help courtesy of Zora Duntov, something he was famous for with racers, they were able to achieve an incredible first place in GT and eight overall. For the record, these nearly stock 1960 Corvettes were clocked at over 160mph on the Mulsanne straight! It would be almost 50 years before a Corvette would again place that high in an international endurance race. Most people who have spent time at the wheel in one of these probably won't agree with me here but I really like the size and layout of the cockpit in these early Corvettes. Everything you need is right at your reach and the gauges are large and easy to read. In good condition, the steering is amazingly light and responsive ( with or without the quick-steering adapter ) especially considering it's made entirely of the same parts as the passenger cars. Of course the early Chevy 283s are a dream. Very high revving, very responsive, they take to modification incredibly well, and seem to happily accept endless abuse. When I visit my brother and have a chance to drive the old car, I can't help thinking about a young Bob Bondurant, Dick Guldstrand, or Dave McDonald, drifting these cars around west coast road courses back in the day and winning a lot of races. Without question, the greatest bang for your buck sports car of their day and it's nice to know Corvette have recently regained that title. I think I'd like mine in triple black with the 290 fuelie, big brakes, big tank/hardtop only, 3.70 rear. 

8) 1968 Chevrolet Nova Super Sport 396/375

     We've come a long way from the Packard haven't we? While we're somewhat in American muscle mode, here is one of my all time favorite muscle cars. For me, this is the very definition of what a muscle car should be. Brutally fast, ridiculously overpowered for the rest of the platform, dangerous, and rude. I love it! I've been around only one of these cars in my life but I'll never forget it. It seemed to have the power to weight ratio of a respectable motorcycle. I remember going through the gears with a friend in the car and we laughed and howled at the idea of Detroit selling these to kids all across the country. Brazen! I have a friend who had one new in '69 with a turbo 400 and 4.10 rear. He went mid 12s in the quarter the first week he had it with slicks and headers. Those were the days. I love these for their sleeper quality, simplicity of design, and underdog status as they're not a Chevelle or Camaro. The L-78 375hp 396 is a very special little beast. As anyone who knows them understands, they are a completely different animal than their hydraulically cammed brethren. The only big block Chevy that equally mixes the responsiveness and rpm range of a healthy small block with the grunt and torque of a big block and an exhaust note only found with a high compression solid lifter BBC. I like the '68s for their one year only rocker moldings and relatively low first year production. I'll take mine in forest green with a black bench seat interior, dog dish caps, a 4spd, and 4.10 posi.

9) C-Type Jaguar

    My all time favorite Jaguar racer. I can never see enough of these, especially on the track. Easily one of the cleanest, most timeless designs from an era of tremendous competition in both performance and appearance. An important car for Jaguar as it really put them on the 1950s international sports car racing map showing themselves as contenders to the big boys from Italy. Upon its debut in 1951, it won its first attempt at the 24 hours of LeMans and followed with another win in '53 where it broke the 100 mph LeMans barrier by averaging 105 mph for the race. The C-type also showed the way of disc brakes to the world with its dunlop braking system, which would soon be copied and adopted by all of the major manufacturers. A great great car with a proven and reliable drivetrain, docile enough to drive around town but with world class performance on tap when needed... oh and that shape, from any angle! Is there a color you would want for this car other than BRG? 

10) 1940 Ford coupe

    How could someone not want one of these? The all time champ of fat fendered pre-war Fords. A car so beautiful that even the most tasteless of street rodders can't seem to bury its charm. From the waterfall grill back, these cars are exactly right- especially in coupe form as that body style seems to allow all of the cues to intertwine from bumper to bumper. I just love them. Great touches of art deco sprinkled in by way of the dashboard and tail light designs, a body littered with inspiring lines, all mixing together to almost eliminate the usual Ford conservatism. Never ceases to amaze me how many different forms these can be presented in and still have nearly everything in tact from their stock form. From moonshine runner to '50s cruiser to custom to gasser, they almost always stand up. I'm picturing a very subtle hot rodded example for my garage. Maybe a light, almost battleship, period non-metallic grey with an oxblood interior. 3 inch drop axle, the right amount of leaves taken from the rear, '40 wheels and caps, '39 trans with 59AB full house flat-head, duals with Smithy's...    I can almost hear it at idle right now. 

    Well that was a rangy one now wasn't it? Hope you're still enjoying. Off to work. Look for major Bronco happenings and updates in the coming two weeks. Stay tuned! 




SS62 said...

Since my dream list is influenced by cars that my Dad has owned, I'm gonna lead with my list of the Top 25 he's owned...

’49 Merc, gray primer, early hemi with 4x2s, 3-speed
’54 Ford sedan, straight six with 3 carbs, 3-speed, black with no hood, grill or front bumper, red engine compartment & wheels
’55 Chevy sedan, green with white top, with ’65 327/365 with ’57 fuel injection
’55 Ford Crown Victoria, red & white/red & white
’56 Chevy sedan, gray with white top, 265 Power Pac
’57 Chevy sedan, green/gray, 283 Power Pac with 2x4s, 4-speed, Moon discs, et 16.8 (’61), then modified to…
’57 Chevy sedan, black/gray, Ford truck scoop, no front bumper, ’61 Pontiac 389/348 tripower 4-speed, et 14.4 (’61)
’57 Corvette, copper/black, straight axle, 327 with 2x4s, 4-speed
’57 Corvette, gold/beige, 350 with ’57 fuel injection, headers, 4-speed, 4.56
’58 Studebaker, gray/red, 400 sbc with Paxton supercharger, Turbo 400
’60 Chevy Biscayne, gold/black, original 348 tripower 4-speed car with ’63 409/425, headers, 4.88, et 13.3 (’68)
’61 Ford Starliner, black/red & white, original 390HP/401 tripower 3-spd OD car with ’63 427/425 with 390/401 tripower, headers, 4-speed, 4.56
’62 Chevy Biscayne, white/beige, original 409/409 car with ’68 427/425, headers, 4.88
’62 Chevy Biscayne, red/red, 327/300 3-spd on the column
’63 Dodge 440 sedan, bought new, dark blue/light blue, 426/415 T-85 4.56, et 13.4 @107 (’63)
’63 Ford Falcon Sprint, red/red, with ’64 289/271 4-speed
’64 Chevy II sedan, bought new, silver/red, ’64 327/300 4-speed, red lines on chrome-reverse, et 14.0 (’64)
’65 Mustang fastback, dark green/gold, 289/271 4-speed 4.11
’65 Olds 442 sedan, dark green/dark green, red lines on Torq Thrusts, et 14.5 (’68)
’65 Sunbeam Tiger, black/black with 347/530, Powerglide, et 6.50 @100 (ie 10.20) (’08)
’66 Plymouth Satellite, silver/black, 426/425 hemi 4-speed, 4.56
’66 Plymouth Satellite, red/black, 440/500+, 727, 4.56, et 12.0 @112 (’90)
’67 Plymouth GTX, copper/copper, 440/375, 727
’68 Ford Bronco, bought new, green with white top, Ford truck scoop, with 289/271 4-speed, red lines on chrome-reverse
’91 GMC Cyclone, black/black, larger turbo, et 11.89 (’03)

SS62 said...

And here's the Top 25 I'd own...

’32 Ford 3-window highboy, chopped top, dual-quad 425 Buick nailhead, B&M hydro, 4.10, black primer, black wheels, cheater slicks

’55 Chevy sedan, dark green/gray, no front bumper, 409/425 4-speed, fenderwell headers, 4.88, chrome steel wheels, cheater slicks

’57 Corvette, black/black, 301 with 13:1, big solid cam, dual quads, 4-speed, 5.13, black wheels, dog dish caps, cheater slicks

’57 T-Bird E, black/red, 312/300 supercharged, 3-speed OD, 4.56 (blueprinted for Pure Stock drags), black wheels, dog dish caps, cheater slicks

’57 Chevy Bel Air sedan, black/black & gray, no front bumper, Ford truck scoop, black wheels, cheater slicks, ’61 Pontiac 389/348 tripower, 4-speed, 4.56

’61 Ford Galaxie Starliner, black/red & white, 390/401 (blueprinted for Pure Stock drags), 3-speed OD, 4.56, chrome steel wheels

’61 Lincoln Continental, white/red (my Grandfather had one)

’61 Pontiac Ventura, burgundy/burgundy tri-tone, 421SD 4-speed, 4.30, wide whites on 8-lugs, cheater slicks

’62 Chevy Biscayne, white/beige, L88 4-speed, 4.88, white wheels, M&H slicks

’62 Ford Galaxie Club Sedan, red/red & white, 390/401 (now 456/560) tripower, 4-speed, 4.56, red wheels, slicks (Ok, one down, 24 to go...)

’62 Pontiac Grand Prix, black/red, 455/500+, Turbo 400, 3.55, 8-lugs, cheater slicks

’63 Dodge 440 sedan, dark blue/light blue, 426/415 (blueprinted for Pure Stock drags), T-85, 4.56, blue wheels, cheater slicks, alternate fiberglass hood with two Ford truck scoops staggered over the cross ram

’63 Shelby Cobra 289 Dragon Snake

’64 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt, burgundy/beige

’64 Ford Fairlane hardtop, dark blue with white top, blue interior, 289/271 (blueprinted for Pure Stock drags) 4-speed, 4.56, chrome wheels, cheater slicks

’64 Buick Riviera, burgundy/tan, 425/360 (dual quad), auto, thin whitewalls on wires

’65 Olds 442 sedan, dark green/dark green, 4-speed, 3.55, red lines on Torq Thrusts (blueprinted for Pure Stock drags)

’65 Mustang fastback, dark green/black, 427FE, 4-speed, 4.88, T-Bolt hood, Torq Thrusts, M&H slicks

’65 Shelby GT350

'65/'66 Shelby 427 Cobra

’67 Plymouth GTX, copper w/black stripes/copper, hemi, 727, 4.56, red lines on Torq Thrusts (blueprinted for Pure Stock drags)

’68 Ford Bronco 4x4, green with white top, 289/271, 4-speed, Ford truck scoop, red lines on chrome reverse

’68 Dodge Dart hemi Super Stock

’68 Mustang 428 CJ Super Stock

Hennessy Dodge Viper Venom 1000 twin turbo, street legal 8-second quarter-mile

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