Owned By: Steve Whaley City; Eugene, OR
Club Member: Loose Nuts
Steve’s favorite cruise Spots:
Any open road, whether its in the valleys, on the coast, or in the mountains….wherever there is a destination and others who wanna go there too ….in THEIR hot rods.
Steve… Tell me the story
My brother in law Tom had just begun rebuilding the car in Mira Loma California, and had not got very far with it when he died in 1997, the year after we first met him at Hot August Nights and he told me of his passion and his dream for this car and how much he was looking forward to driving it. It had been a full fendered hot rod back in the 60’s and he was going to completely redo it into a “Full On STREET” rod with new fenders, power everything, fancy paint…etc. As it turned out I was looking for a coupe at the time, and his widow (my wife’s sister) offered the remains of the car to us if we could come down and take it away. Luckily the frame had been boxed, engine and tranny mocked up with brackets, Jag rear end fitted to frame, Front hairpin suspension installed, new body mount nuts welded into the frame, but it was completely apart…but it was all there, including new Wescott fenders, steel running boards and aprons, new deck lid, grille shell and rock guard, Lincoln power seats, wiring harness, and a whole bunch of other misc NOS and new parts…..AND A CAR TRAILER came with the package! So we made a deal, and my wife, son, and myself flew to Mira Loma and spent a week visiting and my son and I spent 3 days assembling the remains of the car into a rolling chassis with a body bolted to it and the drive train bolted down, rented a Uhaul box truck to put the loose parts in, rolled the car up on the trailer and hooked it up, said our goodbyes….and in a couple days it was in our garage in Eugene October 2004 began the 9 year transformation from a pile of parts to a nice running and finished high boy hot rod chopped coupe. I changed Toms vision of the completed car from a stock un-chopped fendered street rod to a chopped, no-fenders, old-new school traditional hot rod. Tom’s widow, after seeing the change during the build, lovingly approved the change and couldn’t wait for the day it would be done. In March of last year when I had my long time friend Jimmy Carmickle put the squigglies on the deck lid, I had him insert this phrase just below the deck lid handle: “for Tom….” as a tribute to his memory and his vision and to give a nod to him each and every day, and say “Thanks, brother”.
Engine, Running Gear and Cool Stuff:
’71 350 block, bored .030 over, rollers, American Racing Service heads, C3B intake, Carter AVS carb, serpentine belt conversion, AC & heat added, owner built exhaust, turbo 400 with shift kit and upgraded converter and external cooler, 9″ Ford rear with coilover & triangulated 4 link suspension, RCI fuel cell, reversed Mazda pickup steering gear set up for cross steering, 4″ Superbell front axle with 4 bar and Posies superslide spring, 11 inch disc brakes up front, 12 ” drum brakes in rear, hand formed grille bar insert, 29 A headlights, 32 Ford taillamps, 95 Honda passport manual glass sunroof installed (to see the dang stoplights!), 32 Desoto Dash panel with custom gauge mount panel, 66 Olds tilt-tele steering column, 29 Ford 2 door sedan folding front seat backrests with custom fitted padding, hand made and nickel plated grille shell ornament, cowl badges, and sprint car push bar, custom made steel wheels with caps and rings, removable upper cowl top panel (to service electrical panel, plumbing, wiring, gauges), retained fold out windshield, Upholstery did by my wife Sandy,