Coming back to the hotel last night from dinner, Max spotted a huge puddle of oil under the rear axle of his F250 – uh oh…it was oil…from the pinion seal. So early this morning we limped it over the a shop in Diamond Bar down from the hotel to see what the deal was – the owner operator Chris(who had a money ’56 Vicky) put it up on the lift, pulled the drive shaft, and the yoke off the pinion shaft – the seal had worn a groove in the yoke….really?? in an ’04 with 90k? Wow.
So while the big truck was under repair, we decided to hop in the roadster and hit up on of the shops near the the hotel and wait for the call to come pick up the truck. Since we’ll be at SoCal for the big party on Friday night, we decided to see what the Kennedy Brothers were up too. As you may know, I’m pretty big fans of these guys and their work(see previous posts about hot rod costumes) – We were greeted at the gate by the fierce and menacing guard dogs, a pair of Italian greyhounds (Davinci and Sinatra.) I snagged a couple treats from the bowl on the front counter at the hotel before we left…dogs love me. I didn’t take a a whole bunch of pics there – as they were leaving for lunch when we arrived, but I did get a shot of a stocker rolling ’32 chassis that was hiding in a container just inside the front gate of their place. It is amazing how in California, stuff like this is just sitting around – outdoors or in sheds. The shop was full of cars and projects – so much that Jay’s Deuce vicky was sitting outside under a carport and they had a 5w body just sitting outside next the building. Only at the Bomb Factory would you have to leave a driver deuce vicky outside – because the shop is full of 3windows, roadsters, and a B400! We’ll get back over there in the next couple of days to get more pics of all this stuff when the shop is opened up.
Since Joe and Jay were off to lunch with a customer, we decided to get a bite to eat at Tropical Mexicana – the infamous lunch spot in Pomona…I’ve eaten a lot of authentic Mexican food in my time, from taco Pepe’ in Ocala – to Chorizo in Texas…and everyone raves about this place – but Im’ going to stamp this one busted – I would say the food was decent at best. Maybe I didn’t get the “signature dish” to put me over the top? But should you really have to get a fancy dish to decide if a restaurant is really good or not? I think you should judge the quality off an Italian restaurant from a simple Spaghetti and Meatballs…and a Mexican place on a simple steak taco or enchilata…you have to compare apples to apples right?
Leaving Pomona, cruising down Mission Blvd, we came up on an early ’70’s Super Beetle with chrome fenders…with no dents! The guy and his wife were very cool, and we chatted with them at a couple of stop lights. The guy had owned the car for years and he had them chromed 20 years ago…
While my roadster is a fine car and is plenty happy blasting down the freeway at 85 all day long…after two days and 400+ miles it was getting old blasting through six lane traffic and pretentious tailgating douches texting at 90mph in a Camry. So I whipped out my phone – typed the address to Jimmy White’s Circle City Hot Rod Shop in the GPS – and hit “no highways” – the GPS spit out a route from Pomona to Orange without going on any freeways. I scrolled down the directions and saw “turn left on Carbon Canyon Drive, go 8 miles”. I told Max, “any road with the word Canyon in the name – I’m in.” The 20 mile trip around the hills (that the 57 cuts straight through) was amazing – a twisting roa with switchbacks, s-turns, corkscrews….I had the little 4.50-16 Firestones on the front of the car roasting by the time we hit the bottom. We came home through the canjon, just so I could get some video of the awesome scenery. Does anyone have a 911 I can borrow for a couple hours in the next few days?
Pulling up to Circle City, we saw the ’34 hemi powered roadster that Jimmy and his crew had the the GNRS back in January. They had it in the shop doing a few tweaks for the owner so it would be in top shape this weekend. Great looking car – great color – and the guys is driving the hell out of it. Do you think the car that won the AMBR 5 months ago has 5 miles on it yet? Pathetic. A couple of cool A Roasters on ’32 rails in Circle City – and a ’27 T roadster on ’32 rails – flathead powered all. While we were in the Circle City complex, we spotted a stocker ’31 roadster in another building – since Jimmy was super-busy with a top secret ’33 roadster project, we walked over to this random guy’s place to look at the little A Model. The guy’s name was Dave, and his father bought the roadster NEW. One family, and two owners. The guy showed us where he smashed the left front fender when I stole it from his own parents driveway when he was 14, and crashed it into a Chrysler down the street from his house. Amazing story and an even cooler guy.
Also in the same complex, we noticed a bay with some vintage motorcycles, and a ramp truck with a ’39 or 40 cab on it. I’m a pretty serious Cushman scooter enthusiast(I have my dad’s ’59 Eagle in original condition) and I though there might be something of interest in there – was there! Another super cool guy, Don, with an A coupe, a ’34 3w, and a ’32 3w. We BS’ed with him for a few minutes, until we realized that it was 3:30, and if we could get to Foose’s at 4 sharp, we could get into Chips shop.
Chip Foose has a reputation for being an awesome sincere guy that takes time to talk to anyone about his cars. However, those guys do have customer’s cars to work on, and can’t just have people walking in and out of their shop all day long. They have a policy that the shop is open from 12 to 12:30, and from 4 to 4:30. That is it. We pulled up to Foose Design at 4:04 – and the gate was cracked open just a bit – We were in! Chip’s Caddilac SRX wagon that is in all of the Mother’s Powerball TV commercials was parked in front, right up the gate – that car is pretty bad ass if you ask me – and the cooler part is he obivously drives the hell out of it. We pulled up to the gate and parked right behind a black Foose Edition F150 sitting inside the fence. As I shut the roadster off, Chip stepped out of the truck right in front of me, and looked at the car arched his eyebrows and “hmm nice car man” We stood out front and BS’ed for a bit when it hit me – the coolest thing about Chip is that even with the TV fame (and related fortune) he was in work clothes and had a gallon of urethane reducer, and some paint strainers in his hand…Chip running the paint store to get some reducer. Awesome guy.
Inside of the shop – a few things going on – the EldoRod was in the booth under plastic; apparently it was in for a restyle – new top and a few details. Also the P32 was sitting there in the front door of the paint shop side of the building. The real project was a ’65 Impala – that was going on a ’09 Corvette chassis. The owner of this project wanted a ’65 Impala for his wife, but wanted a car that drove like a new Corvette. Chip’s solution? Put a ’65 Impala wrapper on a new Corvette. So chip went down the dealership, bought a new corvette, drove it straight to the shop, where they disasembled the car the the basic platform. That is right – 20 miles on a new car…and they tore it down like a Tijuana chop shop. The ‘vette chassis was lengthened 8″, and the body of the Impala was being shortened slightly, moving the rear wheel openings forward so that they were underneath the quarter windows, and then shortening the entire quarters and decklid ot make the entire rear of the car more compact. Chip says the finished car with have the proportions of a Chevelle. When done, the car will be able to be serviced at the dealership, the Navigation, OnStar, and all diagnostic systmes of the ’09 Corvette will be as new. the entire drivetrain warrantee will be valid as well. Unreal.
As we were standing in Chips’s Shop, one of the guys needed him to move the P32 out of the way – so chip just hopped in, fired it up and moved it. That thing sounds absolutely RAD – the V12 Lincoln motor is throaty. He backed it out and chirped the tires on the way back into the other bay…right has he cranked it up, I pulled out my camera and got some video.
In the same industrial park as Foose, is Scandinavina Street Rods – Erik Hansen is the owner here – and they are most famous for building over 100 ’32 Ford bodies using Brookville components. Hansen did the body and metalwork for Foose’s P32 Project. When we walked into the shop, Erik had his belly tank lakster up on jackstands in the shop wrenching on it. Yesterday was a Speed Meet at El Mirage dry lake, and the car was dirty from being on the lakes. As I walked up, I asked him if they had it out yesterday…’Yep. 194!” is all he said. One Hundred and Ninety Four in a flathead Ford powered P38 Fuel tank. Insanity. Can I drive?
This car was really cool, and brought into perspective the car we saw Saturday morning at Donut Derelicts – Eriks car was LIGHTYEARS ahead of that one in design and execution. his car was an engineering marvel. The triangulated rear suspension with sway bars and watts links, inboard coilovers with canteliever operated shocks. all of the handmade hardware was cadium plated. It looked like a manufactured product. Eriks was about 10mph short of the SCTA record he is seeking, but is pretty confident he is there power-wise. The telemtry from his runs shows that the car was spinning the tires through the traps at teh end of the course – thats right – spinning the rear tires at 194mph. He said that when the fronts were turning 190-195, the rears were going between 205-210. Amazing technolog. To further illustrate the confidence that he has in the land speed car, he let his wife take a pass down the lake yesterday, and she went 130 it it…her first run on the lake. How cool is it that is wife wants to drive the tanker at El Mirage?
After Scandinavian, were were beat – back home up through the Carbon Canyon to Walnut. Dinner at Acapulco, Tecate on draft…nice. As I walked back over the hotel, I spotted a little black Porsche 356 zooming up the hill, the car whipped into the gas station, and out hopped a cute girl. Michelle, the car was hers, and she had a boyfriend, which she described as “pretty serious”. Damn. A single girl in a ’59 Porche 356B roadster…only in Southern California.
Odometer update on Roadster – 656 miles.