Thursday, September 20, 2012


Just picked up a set of 52 Buick gauges for the T. They need to be gone through, but they ought to look awesome in combination with the 52 Buick horn cap on my custom wheel. 


Saturday, September 1, 2012


I paid a visit to my local Painter's Supply and looked at PPG color chips. I found a nice dark metallic maroon color and grabbed the code:
GM (North America)
WA 204M/49

Sunday, August 26, 2012


I just couldn't resist painting the wheel, even though I'm a ways off from having the car built. I decided that since I'm going with red as a primary interior color that I'd try to incorporate both the eggplant exterior color and red interior colors into the wheel. So I painted the wheel red, let it dry, then followed with a coat of a wine color. Once it dried, I used various grits of sandpaper to patina the wheel. As usual my wife and son rolled their eyes, thinking I was ruining the damn thing. I think it come out looking pretty damn cool. And at the end of the day, isn't the point for me to love it? Once I had arrived at the patina I liked, I hit it with several coats of gloss clear, and sanded with very fine paper to keep it nice and smooth. The overall effect is that the wheel looks as if has wear. But it feels nice and smooth at the same time. Once I popped the wheel horn hub on it, I was happy.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I just finished the clean up work on this wheel which was custom squared by fellow HAMB Member  DOGDISHDELUXE and had the backside "knuckles" smoothed out. This is the third wheel I've purchased from him, if that's any indication how much I dig his work. This one started life as a 1961 Chevy Belair wheel. I "v-grooved" out the half a dozen hairline cracks, used JB Weld two-stage putty-style epoxy  to build it back up, then did a course of sanding using 100-grit, 200, 320, 400 and 600 grit sandpaper. I fixed the last few imperfections with two-stage JB Weld, the kind that is sold in squeeze tubes.

The center cap is a '52 Buick horn button which I found on E-bay. It was in nice shape when it arrived. I incorporated the Buick center car onto the Chevy's existing horn bar and luckily it fit perfectly. A quick pass over the chrome pieces with Naval Jelly, followed by some metal polish and viola -- she's prepped. I'll end up painting the wheel to match the interior colors, which will be metallic red, dark eggplant metallic, or pearl white. We'll decide that part later.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Drove one of these yesterday just for shits and grins. Underpowered, but fun, and 37 MPG. As I was at the dealership, I checked out the available colors and came across this one. As close to what I envision for the color of the T as anything I've seen on a modern car. No, I won't likely be buying a Scion IQ. But I'm not above stealing the paint color. It's 2012 Scion IQ Deep Amethyst Metallic Clearcoat (9AH).

Another great color, as seen on this Mercury Cougar is Ford's 
1996-1998 Thistle Metallic from PPG:
Ford's Thistle metalic by PPG

One a side note, I purchased this vintage Buick horn button for Lily. I've got a wheel coming.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Just picked up this vintage Pearl Drum kick pedal from a fellow HAMBer. I'm hoping I will be able to use it for the pedal in my T. Time will tell.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


First, the progress shots, followed by most of the gory details:

Here's an update on the Tall T. I spent Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday in Austin for the express purpose of mating my Mercury Charlie Zee frame to my Tall T's body with a ton of help from my buddy Steve and Mercury Charlie himself.

DAY ONE: We started Friday morning by bringing the body to Charlie's shop. After cutting out the wheel wheel patchs, and grinding the rusty areas of the rear rails, we took the body out into the side yard and set it on a bigass blue tarp, then proceeded to sandblast just the section of the body that needed to be fresh metal suitable for welding. Starting with the body in an upright position, I sandblasted the subrails. We then flipped the body on its lid, and I hit the underside until I saw nothing but fresh metal.

From there, we took the ol' girl into the bay and set her back on her lid and applied metal prep to the blasted surfaces to neutralize the small areas where there was still evidence of light surface rust. The curing time was twelve hours which was perfect as we'd come to the end of our ten hour day.

DAY TWO: When we arrived with the 425 nailhead and Turbo 400 on Saturday morning, Charlie had already started on the supports for the subrails. He'd pie cut 1" x 1" square tubing to fit under the body's subrails and pointed Steve towards the equipment to make a matching piece for the opposite side. While Steve did that, I drilled holes every three iches along the outer interior side rails and then drilled another set of holes along the top so that we'd have numerous spots where Charlie could weld the 1" x 1". Prior to welding, each drill hole was ground down to reveal clean metal for the welds.

Charlie welded the first side while I prepped the holes on the other. Steve fabbed square tubing and pie cut the second subrail support and Charlie did the welding. With the supports welded in place, we flipped the body back over and put it onto the frame with engine and tranny in place. We then cut out the lower part of the firewall to barely clear the Turbo 400 trans. The rest of the day was spent fabbing other pieces, including the kick-up supports for the rear wheel well sections. One of the more intricate pieces we fabbed were pied triangular shims to rest on tops of the frame rails just inside the doors. These pieces would fill the Vee in the frame so we'd have perfectly level surfaces for the floors. It was a lot of work but the pieces fit beautifully. We also cut the replacemant pieces for the rear wheel wells using the templates Charlie had made from his own T's wheelwells and then Charlie welded those pieces in. By the time this was done, we'd put a fork in day two. It was done. We agreed to get an early start on Sunday, as Steve and I didn't need to transport any parts. Just our own tired asses back in.  


DAY THREE: Day three was so much work I didn't take many pics. But by the time we were done, Charlie had replaced the buthchered section of the firewall with a curved panel that beautifully followed the contours of the original piece, welded it in place and cut a simple graceful curved section that cleared the tranny by about half an inch all the way around. The engine and tran had to come back out for us to cut the firewall's template, which we did after separating the engine from the trans. The wheel well supports were welded in and we cut out the original frame rails out which looked a lot like Swiss cheese. Steve fabbed the rear kick ups following Charlie's templates and also cut much of what we got in of the floors, which had to clear the ladder bars. By the end of day three, the body was sitting right where we wanted it and the car was looking a whole lot like Charlies old T, which was the goal for me since the beginning. The first set of shots in this entry are of the car being transported to its secret bunker until cash reserves build back up so that we can jump back on it. I can't thank my buddy Steve enough, who ended up being a quick study and did probably half of all the fabricating while Charlie guided me thorough some of the more rudimentary steps. We both learned a ton from Charlie and I whacked the labor cost down significantly by being willing to do the grunt work and dragging being a damn fine talent along with me who generously offered to help. Having access to a talent like Charlie and all the right tools was a real eduction in how much three knuckleheads can get done in three days. By end of day three, it was obvious we weren't going to finish the floors, so instead of pulling a half day on Monday, we simply made the day about getting the car moved and Charlie paid. It was a blur of activity for three days, and Steve and I have never had so much fun getting our asses handed to us by a concrete floor. The car left Charlie's looking more like a car than ever before and frankly, I have a hell of a lot of respect for just what a killer builder and good dude Mercury Charlie is for allowing us to assist.Well worth the price of admission. I'll post more shots as we move move forward. Later.

Monday, June 11, 2012


I went to the Colorado Goodguys show in Loveland last weekend and scored a set of gauges for dirt cheap. The seller said they came out of an International truck and the speedo was dated 1969. What appeals to me about these gauges is that they're simple with nice readable type and no unnecessary markings. They appear as if they'd be a good match for the Buick speedo. So now I have to get a bid to have them checked out, cleaned up, rechromed and have the centers painted to match the Riviera speedo. I found a recommendation to Redline gauge works and have sent an inquiry about restoring the International gauges to match the Riviera Speedo. Will keep you all posted. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Here's a couple of shots of the wheel I bought from DogDishDeluxe on the HAMB.
The center cap is just me messing around, setting embedded shift knobs in the recessed horn cap. Gives you an idea of how I could build a cool custom wheel, though. Next step is filling the numerous cracks on the wheel. And lots of sanding. More on that later.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Picked up a pair of custom steering wheels from fellow HAMBer. One will be used on my roadster, while the other will be run on my T. When I mentioned to him that I own a custom shift knob biz, he instantly hit on how cool it would be to make a custom center cap for the wheel to match the car's custom custom knob. I broke out both of the wheels today and snapped some shots featuring a series of our hotrodshiftknob custom embedment shift knobs dropped into the recessed horn cap. Kudos to my fellow HAMBer for suggesting this. I'll be sending him a link to this blog. 






                                                 OPTION SIX: A CADILLAC LOGO