One more post for good measure... We've got a new Dog in our life and he won't leave my side. Man's best friend? Well I guess... Nothing like having a Big Dumb Lab to hang around and keep ya company! From the dynamic team here at HB Kustom Machine I would like to introduce SPUD.... AKA, Mr. Oaf-A-Loaf!
Oy Vey!!! Long time since posting a solid update! If you follow along then please accept my appology for tardiness. Good news is that I haven't been slacking.... Lot's going around here lately, but the first item up on the "Done Platform" is the complete restoration of an Atlas Model 618 lathe. Why? Well it's a cool piece of equipment and I really wanted something small and tame for Maxwell to learn on. It was actually in pretty good shape from the get go but I couldn't leave well enough alone... Here's a few snappies of the project!
Time for a little story about this Vintage Race Car that I'm involved with...
First off, this project has taken me on a little trip I would have never imagined. Going back to the beginning when I decided to recreate this Bitchin piece of history I had no idea what it's life was beyond the 1966 photos of the car wearing it's Purple Paint and tearing up the LA strips.
All I knew, was that it was cool and was "HANDS DOWN" my Favorite car since reading that magazine for the first time in John Shoemaker's living room at the young age of 12. A lasting impression you might say... This car is the epitome of a Top Fuel Dragster, and for a good solid year back in '66, this car Tore-Ass on the LA boys putting up one hell of a fight. As the project research begins, I start to unearth what really happened with the car beyond my narrow little scope. I learned that Dave Beebe drove for the majority of the time but, sometime in 1967 another certain someone climbed into the seat, John Mulligan. Wow!!! The start of the Beebe and Mulligan legacy was in this car?? Well come to find out John had been involved with the Beebe family for quite awhile and was once the driver of the little Fuel altered etc, but after the Adams, Wayre, & Mulligan AA/FD, this was his next ride. Moving on with the process of gathering pictures here and there, and all of a sudden I notice the car is much longer!
Turns out that sometime in '67 the chassis makes it's way into the shop at Huzar's and get a whole new front half. Still charging hard with ZOOK in the seat they drag it over to another guys shop for a little face lift. Mr. Tom Hanna... No Shit!!! This is the first Green Car???
Wow!! I had no idea! You see, I was always under the impression that the Fighting Irish deal was the one and only car that has now been brought back so perfectly by Dave West and Pat Foster? But sure enough, as you look thru the photos and chase the time line this was car number 1... I never knew until now.
Then comes Phase II, or Phase IV??? Who knows... but the the story get's interesting here! Thanks to the tireless effort of Don Ewald's site I spent many an hour coming thru every possible photo I could drum up! Who's this guy with his head sticking up way beyond the roll bar??? Oh, why it's Leland Kolb!
Well turns out he bought the car and after making a few blasts down the 1320 here and there he crated it up and shipped it down under! Hmmm.... OK, so now the car is in Australia still wearing the Green Stripe paint job and still lettered as B&M! Cool! Surfers Paradise Dragstrip now had their very own Top Fuel Car!! The car get’s a new roll cage and a repaint and continues to be campaigned by Peter Dykes for quite some time until one hard evening of racing in which the entire motor ejects itself from the frame in a blaze of glory!!! The remaining car and pieces were sold that evening to and up and coming racer from the Sydney area known by the name of Jim Read. He proceeds to completely rebuild and restore this fine machine back to 100% condition along with bringing back the Multi Green Stripe Paint job! The car is absolutely gorgeous and continues to thrill the crowds!
Then after a good run with Read behind the wheel, the car takes and interesting turn and is actually converted to a Rear Engine Dragster by a Mr. Fred Perrotto. This was a drastic change to this once beautiful machine and it certainly signaled the beginning of the end for this now ultra famous and well traveled car. After a short and kinda unclear stint under the control of Mr. Perrotto the car was purchased by a fella named Rod Bradshaw. Rod was ready to set the world on fire with his new acquisition, but after dragging it home and giving it the once over it just wasn’t going to work.... So rather than tossing more money at the tired old beast the decision was made to end it’s life and move on. Thankfully... Oh Thankfully... Everything was unbolted from the chassis before the next move. The chassis was hauled over to the Local Dumps in Syndney, known as Holroyd Gardens today, and tossed into the pit. Here’s the last remaining shots of the car while it was at Rod’s house.
Well there you have it, the short history from beginning to end on this ultra Bitchin piece of Drag Racing history. The part that blows my mind is how much impact this car had on the Racing community not only in the So-Cal area but across the US and then onto the other side of the world after it’s move to Australia. So many faces, and so many places it just goes on and on...
Now for the BIG NEWS! After many years in isolation, tucked away alongside brush saws, blow torches, and other associated trinkets we have recovered the original front axle from the CAR!!!!!
"THE AXLE HAS LEFT THE BUILDING". Bob came over last night to pick up the axle. It`s now travelled from Pendle Hill, right passed the chassis "burial site" and over to Bobs house at Ashfield - it`s on it`s way. I feel it`s like a real homecoming for the axle.
The key, is that this front axle has been there for the entire journey and now thanks to these great folks it’s coming home and will be mated with the parts I have been working so hard to scavenge and round up! I’m driving to LA late Sunday night and will be meeting a member of the Qantas airlines team who has volunteered to hand carry this thing back to me vs. risking shipment and the unthinkable possibility of loosing this item!
Big News??? Ah Yeah.... Like out of this world kinda shit....
The construction can now begin!
Fire the next pair...
Time for an exciting update here on my site! Roger Lee and I just spent the better part of 2 weeks working alongside each other on his latest Cackle Car project. Roger, along with the approval of remaining family members, has embarked on the ever so awesome task of recreating the Master & Richter AA/FD as it was in 1963. Such an Bitchin project! One of the Killer Cars from Northern California! I was lucky enough to join in on the fun and had the task of welding the entire thing together along with other minor fabrication projects here and there... Rather than post a bunch of pictures and ramble on about them, I thought it might be better to make a little picture show!
Watch Here: "A Short Film"
More data and History can be had at this location: "The Build Thread"
This Beast is now home with Roger and will be receiving the ultra slick chute pack body as well as other little details on its way to roaring back to life at a date in the near future! Get your Hydrometers ready and mix up some 90%! Another time machine is on the way....
A common question when people stop by my shop and hang out... It's Garage Art! Sure I have a fair amount, and there’s plenty of things to see and checkout while visiting including one completely flat, beat to HELL, mailbox. Why would that be on the wall? Surly there’s a story?
Well there is...
So what’s better than a good old fashion BBQ w/Beer on the 4th of July? Nothing!!!! Ya gotta do it! Hell, even Timbuk 3 wrote a song about it! “Oh Boy, Hey Hey, it’s a national Holiday.....” Right... So it’s the summer of 1995 and the boys and I had just moved into a great 2 BDR Apartment in the awesome little College Town know as Isla Vista. Yeah, I know, it’s a party town.... Blah Blah... Well we decided that it would be fun to have our friends over to light the BBQ, Drink Beer, and Hang out with the girls! Fun Stuff! Well, as the evening proceeds on and the keg runs dry, one thing leads to another and the next thing we know the keg is airborne and headed directly for that poor old Mailbox... A fit of rage? Crazy Drunk Boys? Nah... Just having fun tossing an empty beer keg thru the air and seeing what we could hit. After a few direct hits it was time to finish it off with a good old Monster Truck smash!!! A few ceremonial Back-n-Forth’s and she was done!
Who had the truck? Well that’s where we take a little little turn in the story... You see I had become friends with a real cool dude that was living in and around the Goleta area, John Geyer. John Geyer was just the nicest guy around and an absolute riot. He was a Drag Racer to the core and campaigned several different cars over the years with his Dad Craig. I was so stoked to have met him as we had so much in common. In the time I knew John we did all kinds of things together! Wrench’n on the Dragster, Driving to LA to pick up fresh Motors from the legendary Bill Maropulos, Dyno Testing at Lambeck’s! Towing and racing to places like Pomona, and Bakersfield. Odd Jobs like rebuilding hand rails and stair cases for an Isla Vista Apartment Complex. And of course general debauchery like drink’n beer, hang’n out, and tearing around town in the ever so big Chevy Truck! Radio blasting, engine screaming, on the hunt for fresh mud puddles after a nice spring rain! That was John! Having a good time and smiling all the way! As you can imagine, John was at our party that evening and by the time the keg went dry we were ever so thankful that his truck was on hand to smash that Mailbox! Hell, we even drove over the keg! Still haven’t collected that deposit.....
So.... Yesterday I woke up and did my normal routine heading into the winery etc. It’s Friday, no big deal right? For some reason John Geyer popped into my head! I thought, well I need to seek him out and see what’s going on! Man, I haven’t talked to him in years! How cool would be to stop and see him on my way to LA this summer? How cool would it be to tell him all about the Cackle Car project? How cool would it be to swap stories about all that’s happened in life since we last saw each other well over 10 years ago?
So the search began... I went for the ever popular Facebook first! I figured he’s got to be on there? Nope... Then a simple search on Google turned my day inside out. A memorial site remembering the life of John... Shit.... Not cool.... What happened? Where’s my old friend? Why didn’t I get to say goodbye? How am I going to tell him about all the crazy times? How am I going to hear about his life events since we last spoke?
Not going to happen.....
So there you have it..... A sad day for sure.... However, it was a day to think about life and how we must live it to the fullest. It also was a day to rekindle memories of some great times and great people! Times and events that will always be with me for the rest of my my life. A complex twist if you will to the tale of that old smashed mailbox hang’n on the wall in my shop....
God Speed John Geyer.....