Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Poncho Bill's 1957 Pontiac Starchief #4

Well Gang I spent a lot of time shifting and moving body panels, then re shimming and moving them around again and again till I got the body lines on the passenger side of Bill's car as close as I could get them but where the front fender would meet the rocker panel was just giving me a headache. After so many years, so many miles, and so many other people doing body work on the car long before I got there, sometimes you just gotta do what you have to do, to "Make it happen" I made a small template on an old frozen pizza box and cut a piece of 1/8th plate steel to the same contour as the rocker and welded it onto the end of the rocker panel. after a little clean up with a 3 inch roloc disc it looks pretty dang nice I think! I took a bit of time and fixed the rust and rot on the head light bucket. I had an extra from a junk yard fender I bought for the car so it became a donor to fix the bucket that came off Bill's car. Another little something I did was spent entirely to much time trying to get the head light door / bezel shimmed so it wasn't sitting right ontop of the fender, I don't want to do all the body work and painting on this car and install the head light bezel and have it "smoosh" or "mushroom" the paint, so I put the bezel on & took it off more times then I care to count and shimmed it also. there are two small thin washers welded to the top two mounting tabs and a small piece of 1/16th plate steel behind the lower tab, But It sits just right! a little added extra attention makes all the difference in the world between a real nice job and a shit box. "Get out in the garage and build something" FRITZ

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Poncho Bill's 1957 Pontiac Starchief #3

The inner rear fender housing had a bad ass line of rot that ran from the rocker all the way into the trunk, I made up a 4 foot long piece of steel on my bending brake and then used the shrinker / stretcher to get the radius right and grafted it in. lots of welding and grinding in tight places! I've been taking pics with my phone so they suck, but they are what they are. Just imagine I am laying on the floor looking up into the fender well taking some of the pics , you get the idea. I got the new outer fender well welded into place with the new seal on the edge. I was gonna fix the old outer housing extension / splash tin seeing how it a "pontiac" only piece but figured the heck with it i can just make a new one quicker, so i did. I spray can primed and painted it (rustoleum of course) and let it cure on the wood stove in my shop before i handled it, but i have it test fitted in the car with screws and vise grips, tomorrow I'll get the splash seal on and weld it in "Get out in the Garage and build something" - Fritz -----

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Ponch Bill's 1957 Pontiac Starchief #2

Somewhere along the line i lost a few pics but I posted what I have. The new inner & outer rocker Are installed, the front floor brace and frame support are installed both I had to make from scratch, Also I had to replace a section of the frame side to have a place to install the floor support. The lower quarter panel patch I cut down so I wouldn't have to disturb the original fender lip and it also lacked the lower lip that the rocker panel had to spot weld it to the lower inner rocker so I had to bend a piece of steel on my brake and weld that on as well. all in all the car is coming along great, I'm just taking my time enjoying the work and getting it done right! I did spend a bit of time reshaping the lower door corner (which meant taking the door on and off a few times) and the rocker panel & quarter panel area that meet it, Ya gotta have a nice door line all the way around! the more time you spend now will be less time you spend later. Keep checking back gang! Get out in the garage and build something! FRITZ

Thursday, November 5, 2015

"THE KING OF KUSTOMS" 11-20-1925 / 11-05-2015

A sad day in the Kustom car world today. Georg Barris the "King of Kustoms" passed away. I remember being a kid going to the slot car track on Hempsted Turnpike across from the medical center in East Meadow New York with my Dad. Pop used to build his own cars out of brass rod and stuff, this was the late 60's early 70's I loved racing slot cars. In the display case was this COX batmobile slot car, I wanted that thing in the worst way. On one of our trips to the track Dad bought me that Batmobile slot car, I think it cost him like $20.00 bucks! Dad was only making probably not much over $100 dollars a week at his job, trust me it was a big deal on many levels. I loved that car, I still have the aluminum frame from it but I play with it hard as a kid and totally trashed it. but as you are reading this now I am 51 years old and still think very fondly about the time I spent with my Dad and that freaking Awesome "Batmobile" when you were a kid of the late 60's you watched Batman on TV and just came unglued when that Car raced the 14 mile to Gothem City from Wayne Manor! About 1973 or 74 when my Dad's friend Steve Haig (*sp) came home from Vietnam the three of us went into New York City to the ISCA custom car show when they held it at Columbus Circle. there was this long elevator up to the show and right there at the top, the first car you saw entering the show was the 1966 TV Batmobile! I got to see it in real life! Thats the first time I met Ed "Big Daddy" Roth as a youngster also but thats another story. As I got older and into the Car & Chopper scene and I started to build my own crazy cars and bikes I got to meet George at shows and spend some time with him, Detroit, Chicago, Tulsa, Salina. He truly was the King of Kustom Cars! He influenced many young people and many generations of them. Many people make a living and enjoy the automotive field because of some sort of influence from The King! be it plastic Model car kits, Tv shows, car shows, slot cars. He will truly Be missed and there will never be another like him, there is just not enough space here on this blog to talk about all the things he's done! and the cars that He and his Brother Sam have built! You had a Fantastic run George, -----------Long Live the King ---------------------

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Poncho Bill's 1957 Pontiac Star Chief

I've know "Poncho Bill" for a long time now, we worked together in my shop when I lived in Long Island NY. like my old Pan head chopper that I have had forever Bill has had this 1957 Pontiac Starchief. its his baby, like my chopped Pan head he'll probably never get rid of it, it would hurt to much like cutting a limb off your body. thats how it is with mechanical misfit guys that are true gear heads. I promised Bill a long while ago that I would go through his Pontiac if he would take it off the road long enough, (see this car has been cross country 6 times, California, Washington state etc and Bill has the truck stop refrigerator magnets of each state Him and his trusty Starchief have been in to prove it.) the one condition i had was I wouldn't spend y time fixing the rust & rot and then spritz out a nice paint job if he was gonna put the old dingy chrome bumpers and trim back on over it. "ICK" thats cool sometimes but not on a dream boat like this! well last year as I was refurbishing my Pole Barn (see my older blog posts) I get that call from Bill, "Hey I'm ready! have all new chromed core bumpers and trim ready to go," he even got all new trim and chrome for his schwinn stingray "cotton picker" bicycle that was his when he was a kid, and its gonna match the 57 Pontiac. lot of work here gang, and thats why I missed last months blog post. here are a bunch of pics of where I started and where I am at now. keep following 'cause when its all said and done this is gonna be one mean green interstate traveling machine once again! what are you guys building this winter, lets see what cha got get out in the garage and build something! Fritz