Sunday, July 8, 2018


One of my goals for "Lily" is to have a nice stereo system in her. I know it's not very hot rod. It's actually more of a custom touch. But for my money, it's the often the custom touches that mean the most to me. Something that would disguise an MP3 setup nicely.

So, on Mercury Charlie's recommendation that I look for a cool old era-correct unit to upgrade,
I followed the Buick cue of my drivetrain and looked at Buick AM radios from the sixties, eventually dipping back into the fifties, bringing me to a pretty cool looking unit.

A 54, 55 fully contained Buick unit. Which led to the notion of incorporating one of these beauties into my interior as a console rising up off the trans tunnel and perhaps blending into the dashboard.


I was reminded of a unit that Sean Johnstun (Fat Lucky's) built years ago for an owner who loved the look of old amplifiers. MAybe merging these two references will get us to an interesting place.

Maybe not. But it's sure fun thinking about.

Who knows if we'll actually use something along these lines, but it would definitely look cool and the built-in speaker could be a nice solution for an interior with space limitations.

These are the thoughts that race around in my mind when I'm waiting for the first cup of coffee to brew.

Some people cure cancer. I think about customs. It takes all kinds.

Thursday, July 5, 2018


After spending an inordinate amount of time researching nailhead information on the internet, and
seeing a lot of differing opinions. I reached out to a man whose name I'd heard for years. Russ Martin of Centerville Auto Repair and the Nailhead Buick website is a true nailhead guru.

Half an hour on the phone with Russ gave me absolute clarity on any of number of subjects including carburation, intake manifolds was nothing but gracious and answered a litany of questions I had about nailhead in general and the set-up for my T.

We not only talked parts, as Russ has one of the largest selections on the 'net and a ton of technical information as Well. When I got off the phone, I hade tremendous clarity about how I wanted to move forward with my build and for that, I'm truly grateful.

Simply put, after getting Russ MArtin's opinions, I wanted to spend my money with him.
Here's a list of the parts I ordered.

  • A complete gasket set
  • A new, made-in-the-USA water pump
  • A new timing chain cover
  • A new fuel pump
  • A pair of polished Fenton valve covers
  • A polished valley pan with oil spout and PVC

$1,150 later I was much closer to having my engine dressed to impress.
 ready. The last remaining items being multiple carbs, whether 4X2's, or 2 X4's.

Some stuff I learned from asking Russ point blank abut various parts of my build plan.


Russ is a big fan. Strongly recommended a small 12" convertor for such a small and relatively light car as my T. Has one in one of his cars, and is running a 12" torque converter from a 300 ci Buick. Has his variable lockup wired to a high/low dimmer floor switch switch and a dash light to indicate when in use.  Reports about a 400 rpm RPM awing when it's in use. Loves his.


Russ recommended a 4X2 setup using an Eelco mainifold, which is a repro of a Weind. 


2X2 is not enough carburation. Larger nailheads need a lot of carb according to Russ is a fan of the 2X4 setup with Edelbrock 600s, specifically the new AVS 2's.


VC hold down bolts are longer, but no longer available. Russ recommended using 5/16th course threaded rods and acorn nuts.


The polished seven fin with oil spout and PCV will work well with no other brathers. It will not work on the factory 2X4 intake. Will work with all aftermarket 2X4 intakes. 


Russ strongly recommended changing the head gaskets because FelPros are commonly used and don't hold up well.


Proper torque specs are very important. make sure heads are properly torqued when head gaskets are installed. NEVER use hardened seats to a nailhead.

Special thanks to Russ Martin for all the great information. And if you're looking for nailhead parts or great advice, I strongly recommend you call or email Russ at 530 272- 1564, or


Marty is not a fan.

A single 4bbl or even 3 two barrels is not enough carburation for my 401.

Russ shared a ton of learning with me. I was able to ask him about the parts I was considering and he had nothing but good advice.

From our

as while no expert,

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


Okay gang,
This is my favorite part. Charlies and Tina and I started doing the rudimentary planning for Lily.
Without giving away trade secrets, we've got a plan in the works. Three colors. Deep Purple. Light Gold. White. That's it.

Engine: Aztec Gold
Interior: Pearl White
Exterior: Dark Purple Suede



ABOVE: VHT SP404 Gold Flake Hi-Temp

I'm leaning in the direction of a Rustoleum color with a clear on top. 
The Clear would want to be baked on. More on that later. First at low temp 
200 degrees, then at 400 degrees. More on this later. 

A good reference for light gold. Not too orangy or blingy. 

Lee Pratt's engine. Tasty and understated.


Good color reference. Stitchwork is way too blingy. 

To tufted, but like the comfiness.

Very nice and clean. Two tone to add bling?

See next note. 

Too much, but love the wraparound effect, and the center division between seats.

A cross between prior and this one would be cool. A little more bling. 

 REFERENCE: SMS Fabrics website. 


A Fat Lucky's interior.

This is the perfect example of restraint, "The Texas Playboy" built by Brian Bass 
with interior by Fat Lucky's.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Sunday, June 17, 2018


Just got my rear corner patch panels and the new rear valance from MAC's to match my new tail lights from Dave Nowicky @ Throwback Hot Rod Designs. 
Now all I need is a killer metal guy. Ah, progress. 

Friday, June 15, 2018


Just when I thought my tail light search was going to drive me over the edge, along comes Dave Nowicky of Throwback Hot Rod Designs. To those who haven't had the pleasure, Dave had taken it upon himself to create the perfect solution, IMHO. His sand-cast tail light housings come in several styles and can be ordered raw, or in polished form, which the beauties I'm sharing with you today did.

The tail lights arrived with everything a knucklehead needs to install 'em, short of a stepped drill bit, a Sharpee and a measuring tape. Rumor has it that Dave was inspired by Madonna's bra when he came up with the pair I'm rocking here, but many more options are available via the Throwback Hot Rod Design website:

I spent the morning mocking up four different combos and here they are:

These two styles are very similar but the one of the left had deeper recesses and slightly more circumference.
(See shot below for details)


Saturday, June 2, 2018


Started some light teardown and detailing of my nailhead.
Off with the stock 4bbl intake and Holley carb. I'm strongly considering painting the engine after doing a good cleaning. I picked up two cans of Hot Rod Red at Napa yesterday, but will like have to pull the block out to do a great job, which would allow me to get the Turbo 400 dialed in. New seals, etc. Will likely paint the trans to match the block. 

I took the liberty of mocking up the 4X2 intake I bought five years ago at the Lone Star Round Up. 
I'm one carb short of a full mock-up.