Get in Your Garage – February 2021
Got the post-holiday winter blahs? Yeah, we know the feeling. And we know one thing that helps to boost our spirits when the days are short and the weather is cold: garage time!
With COVID still wreaking havoc on indoor events around the country, this winter might seem especially long for those in colder weather areas of the country. If that’s the case for you, it might just be an ideal time to fire up the heater, pull on your work clothes, get in your garage and start tackling a few projects on that special ride of yours.
Whether it’s a minor upgrade like new gauges or disc brakes, or a major project like an engine swap or a complete new build, wintertime is a good time to put your head down and make some headway on your project. Many of you are doing just that and sharing your progress with us. We thank you for keeping us informed and have to say we’re impressed with the creative and cool vehicles you’re building. Keep up the great work!
We hope you enjoy reading about the cars and trucks other Goodguys members are working on, and we also hope you’re documenting your own project. We’d love to share them in a future Get in Your Garage installment. The process is quite easy – just email your photos to [email protected] and use Get in Your Garage as the subject line. Be sure to give us a little bit of background information about both you and your vehicle so we can share it with other Fuel Curve readers.
We must admit we were pretty envious of Fred and Diane Ritenour’s super-tidy garage when we first saw the photos they sent us from Florida.
“Just wanted to drop you a quick line regarding our most recent positive lifestyle change and ensuing project,” Fred says. “For most of our adult lives I have been road racing import sports cars and vintage sports cars with SCCA and HSR in the greater southeast. Several years ago, I retired from competitive motorsports and made good on a promise to my wife that she would finally get her street rod. She picked out the car after shopping for nine months on the internet. We had it shipped to Florida from Connecticut and it has been a work in progress for the last several years.”
The ’34 Ford coupe was built by a previous owner using a Downs fiberglass body and aftermarket chassis with a Heidts IFS, four-link rear suspension, coil-over shocks, and a small-block Chevy backed by a Turbo 350 transmission. It’s got Viper Red paint with tan leather upholstery.
“She has been driving it locally between the addition of four-wheel disc brakes and an interior redo,” Fred says. “The most recent COVID project was a front fender repaint/cooling system overhaul that was finished a week ago.
“We are now firmly involved in the street rod hobby as members of Goodguys, Georgia Street Rod Association, and a local hometown club which has been very helpful and supportive,” Fred continues. “I was concerned about giving up such a longtime hobby, but the street rod lifestyle has certainly made up for change perfectly. I still have plenty of opportunities to spend time in the garage, I’m just wrenching on something different. The Corvette in the background is my car and is a 2006 ZO6. I haven’t totally given up the need for speed!”
“When my better half told me to clean up the junk beside the shop, I did what any hot rodder would do and dragged it in to the shop and built a speedster,” says Ernie Welta, who has been working on this one-off roadster project in his garage in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Ernie says he started with a ’32 Ford cowl, built a frame, and used early Ford suspension components like the axle, wishbones, brake and clutch pedals, and steering parts. He cut and formed about three sheets of 18-gauge metal to create the body, burning miles of MIG welding wire to graft it all together. The speedster is fed by a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine fed by side-draft carbs and backed by a T5 transmission. Ernie says it took about 18 months to put it together. “Hope to burn up the tires at a Goodguys event sometime in 2021,” Ernie says.
Bob Gurnick calls his ’29 Model A an “old man’s dream” because he started building it when he was in his 80s! He’s 90 now and has a hot rod that someone of any age can appreciate and enjoy.
Bob started with a coupe and cut the top off to make a “coupester,” which has wider doors and more cockpit space than an original roadster. He boxed the original Model A frame and used a Model A rear axle converted to open drive, along with a dropped front axle and 16-inch wheels. He topped the rebuilt ’50 Mercury Flathead with Offenhauser heads and a dual-carb intake. “After years of shifting and gear clashing, I went with a 1979 C4 Ford-o-matic, which I adapted to the Flathead,” Bob says.
Bob says his friend Gordie May did the bodywork and applied the purple paint. Bob installed aftermarket gauges in the dash and added a fuel cell in the trunk, along with the battery. The end result is a back-to-basics hot rod, just like the old days.
“I had lots of help from a couple of good friends, Randy Turk, Gordie May, and my oldest son, Bill,” Bob says. “Keep dreaming!”
John Priest sent us some photos of his 1970 International Scout 800 SR2 project. “This is one of 1500 ever made, one of 500 done in Burnished Gold finish,” John says. “This is a frame-off restoration with some upgrades, including a disc brake conversion. I’ve replaced the driver and passenger floors as well as the inner and outer driver rocker panels. The tub has been blasted, seam sealed, and undercoated and is back on the frame. She is in zombie mode now. The journey continues…”