Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Austin "T" Party

I'm in cahoots with four fellow Austin-based Model T coupe owners to start a new club. More details to come if we can get it off the ground.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Well, we're just hours from the beginning of the Lone Star Round Up and I finally got Charlie to agree to leaking a few shots of his new T which will be rolled into the event to introduce his new Zee frames. Here are a few sneak preview shots.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Just popped by Charlie's place and Lord almighty is his T looking sweet. It probably won't be done for the Round Up but it'll be making an appearance along with his new line of Z-frames. If you're building pre-30's rod, don't make a move until you see what he's up to.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Drew pulled the entire front clip off of his '67 Impala recently and got very serious about detailing the fenderwells, firewall, frame rails, etc. Since he was replacing one inner fenderwell, I suggested he consider sandblasting all the parts he pulled to eradicate all surface rust. Remembering that Mercury Charlie had mentioned that he a dedicated blast booth at his shop, we made a call and he told us he'd be happy to give us an estimate. So we carted about twenty pieces out to him. Now if you've ever tried you hand at sandblasting at home, and I have, you know what a frustrating, messy, and painstaking process it is. We chose to avoid the rigamarole altogether and bite the bullet by paying Charlie and his peeps to do it. The cost was not terrible by any stretch and going back out there gave me the opportunity to see the progression of Charlie's T. The frame itself, which he's treating as a prototype for a frame he's going to start marketing, is turning out to be a real beauty. He got a cool suicide perch figured out and is just to the point where he's hung his front and rear suspension. If you loved his old T, you'll flip when you see this one. The stance is going to be quite similar to his old one, which is to say "perfect". But the refinements are where this one is really going to shine. Go see it with you own two eyes.

So if you're in need of a good sandblaster, go see Charlie. He's got a whole paintbooth dedicated to just media blasting and it's one heavy duty set-up. And if you're planning on building a T, don' t miss the chance to see what he's doing on his new T.

More to come.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Had the chance to spend a couple hours with Mercury Charlie today at his shop in North Austin. We covered a lot of ground as Charlie and I always do. It started with the new Mercury Charlie Mercury shift knobs which we will be carrying on our site. And before long, the conversation came around to T's. Charlie revealed that he's going to build another T for this year's Lone Star Round Up. He shared a few details and let's just say if he does half the stuff he talked about, it's going to be badass. He also talked about his intention to offer a line of custom-built perimeter frames specifically for T's using the stance of his old T as the starting point, which had a 13" kickup in back and a 3" Z at the firewall.  I'm strongly considering having Charlie build my T's frame since it was his T that started me down the path to owning one and Marty is not too keen on T's. We talked about rear suspension and Charlie's preference is to use traverse springs, as he found the coils on his old T to be less than ideal after trying several different shock/coil combos on his old car. I shared my plan to used my 425 nailhead, Turbo 400 and 12-bolt rear in my T and the only part Charlie questioned was using a 12-bolt, explaining that the Ford 9" is not only much stronger than a 12-bolt, but far easier and less expensive to repair in the unlikely event that it ever needs repair. His final point was that a 9" can be built to exact specs, as in width and gear ratio -- with all new parts-- for a relatively affordable price. And lastly, he mentioned that he can get good prices through his supplier, John's Industries. As usual, I enjoyed the hell out of our visit and Charlie's willingness to share his POV. A really good day, filled with good company and valuable information.