It was close to 2 years and more and going crazy while I was undergoing this second semi-restoration! I couldn't stand not being behind the wheel of this rod and everyone I knew could attest! But patience paid off and enjoyed my last days of cruisin' on Long Island before I relocated to south Florida! Check out these neat shots of a local 50's diner in Ronkonkoma, Long Island New York! It made for the perfect backdrop! Now you can see a great closeup of my 6 deuce setup with clear red fuel lines and those wicked "Weedburner" headers! They made my small block Chevy sound like a flathead, which really took notice among other hot rodders! The last pic I had to include because of my obsession with the ultimate car freak movie, "American Graffitti". I never saw a Graffitti clone before at that point, so the temptation was clearly there - the Graffitti coupe was buried in my head since my first viewing of this movie at only 11 years old!
Here I'm installing my 2:02 heads which are '73 vintage. Now gaze upon that wicked intake setup which was around 1999 or so! I'm pretty sure I had to be one of the first hot rods running six-twos on the street back in my area on Long Island, New York. Look at those beautiful Mickey Thompson Radir Drag Slicks that are 8.20" in width! I drove on these slicks for a total of 3 years before the belts started to show before I left for the Turkey Run in Daytona Beach, Florida one year! Wheels are chrome Astro Supremes with bullets which made for a seriously cool combo! If you look closely at those cool "weedburner" headers that I acquired from one of the Lone Wolves club members, I had to modify the pipe closest to the front tire so the front end can turn freely... This pipe just rubbed against the tire, preventing any free steering! These headers never join together and end up looking like a running board at the end! There will be good shots of these cool headers in the next installments.
Here we see my engine dressed in white and going back in the framerails with Walter to help along... I never sprayed with an automotive paint gun, so I brushed the Veriprime primer on the coupe to protect the metal and provide a good bite for the black rattle can primer later on. Wish I knew how to weld to cut out my swiss cheese firewall and replace with new metal - a huge goal in the future!
Remember that old '61 283 that was originally in my coupe when it became a hot rod in '68? It was about 4,000 miles since I started cruisin' that the little 'ol 283 let go on me on the way to Bald Hill Cruise Night, just up the block where I lived at the time... Apparantly, the guy who rebuilt this 283 never checked the rods and one of them snapped, resulting in a cracked cylinder wall while it was spinning around. Man, when the engine blew, my heart sank! Imagine the pride and bragging rights to which you can say that you own a rod with the original powerplant still in the car since the late 60's... It took over a month to get over... So it was then that I used the '67 283 out of my Nova SS for the time being. Then, the next owner of my Nova SS wanted my 283 back because he had proof that the engine was original to his car by the protecto-plate still attached to the owners manual. He was right, after some more money, he got the '67 283 back and I picked up this Corvette 350 with 2:02 heads from a friend, Walter, who you see here dropping in a Lunati bumpy cam. I'm prepping the 350 with POR-15 for engines. Now, gaze your eyes on an eye-popping 6 deuce manifold, built by Charlie Price of Vintage Speed! It glows like a treasure find from our lost pirates!!!!
I had a uncomfortable ending experience with Gary Chopit, resulting in my car not being completed in primer as agreed with a handshake... Long story short, I ended up with the welds not completely done on all patch panels, lost my $800 set of new radial wide whites, red steelies, hub caps and hot rod trim rings and worse, discovered that he did not bother straightening out my frame that was bent 2 inches longways on one side... He delivered the car back to me by his tow truck driver without strapping the body down to the chassis, seeing the body rolled to the front frame rails to make this even uglier... Well, it could have been worse, I could have lost my coupe for good... So I had to take the body back off with some good friends to hire a welder to complete the welds on the coupe so I can quickly spray some primer on the body to protect the precious metal! Then I had to tow the chassis out to a guy in Riverhead, L.I. to straighten my frame so my body can drop into the original mounting holes once again! Proof positive that any project will have its ups and downs! At this point, I cut off the fender brackets because I decided to go fenderless and prepare to sell my fenders and splash aprons for the planned Drag Slicks purchase and Astro Supreme wheels...