Sunday, March 29, 2009

Congrats to Wanda Jackson

While I was adding some new music to my playlist at the bottom of this blog, I thought I would honor one of my favorite female rockabilly singers on her recent nomination to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Congrats to Wanda Jackson, as she will be placed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2009.

I've placed several of Wanda's songs on my playlist. To learn more about Wanda Jackson check out her official website at:
I've also hyperlinked a Youtube video of one of my favorite Wanda Jackson songs: Hard Headed Woman...(let's just say it reminds me of my lovely, redheaded wife.) :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Kool Lil' '38 Chevy Pickup

Hey Kats and Kittens! Thinking about how kool it would be to own a rat rod, but want something different from the everyday "run of the mill"? Do ya 'dig' the rockabilly music too? Well, I think I found the ride for you.

This kool lil '38 Chevrolet pickup truck is currently listed on eBay. The truck is out in California and appears to be a no reserve bid.

According to the listing, the truck's specs are as follows:
Chev 350 ci motor, basically stock for good reliability, it has a an Edelbrock Scorpion intake with a Holley 4 barrel carb, custom headers and a GM HEI ignition.
Turbo 350 transmission with a Genie floor shifter and a S10 10 bolt rear end.
The radiator cowl and grill is a completely custom made Base and sets the theme with barbed wire for strings.
The front end is a Pontiac Fiero with a Nissan manual Rack & Pinion steering. The wheels are custom built with Moon hubcaps. Brakes are power assisted discs up front and drums in the rear. Wheelbase is 108”
Both ends of the truck use air bag suspension that are pressure controlled from the in-cab switch and gages from the pump. Get the ride height you like!
The body has been chopped 6” but retains the full size rear window for great visibility. The bed has been channeled, chopped and shortened and the door handles have been shaved. Gas tank is from the ’30’s.
The custom cut glass for the windshield and back window are laminated.
The drivers seat is custom built and covered in leather.
The truck has all new wiring and it’s laid out nicely.

I'm really diggin' the unique look of the custom double bass radiator! This thing would definitely get second looks on the road or at any cruise in.I've hyperlinked this auction. So just click on the title of this post to find out more.
Got a few comments over the last couple of days! As always...THANK YOU! I appreciate ideas, comments, and suggestions from readers. It makes blogging all the more interesting. One reader gave me some suggestions on color choices, etc. on my sunvisor. Another gave me some ideas on some changes to this site. I'll be checking into colors at the local paint shop this week and adding some "Oldies" to my "jukebox" because of these suggestions.
The next week looks a bit slim for new items to post. As soon as April and warmer weather hits, you can bet I'll be getting the Nifty Fifty ready and getting out to some local cruise ins and shows.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Online Community for Hot Rods and Custom Cars

I want to publicy thank Craig Pike for sending me an invitation to his kool online community for gearheads. The site is called My Ride is Me and can be found at

The site is a virtual gathering place for gearheads to share ideas and photographs. Sort of a Facebook for car buffs. I'm still new to the site, but from the time that I have had to dig around, I LIKE IT. I still have a lot to check out, and a lot to add to my virtual garage, but you can check it out at:

Well, both front and rear bumpers are back on the Fifty as of 03/25/09. Thanks again to Jim and family at Custom Metal Finishers!!!! The bumpers look awesome and the experience was out of this world!
My next project to tackle is getting the holes drilled in my drip rails and installing the sunvisor I bought at the Ducktail Run last year. Right now the sunvisor is "finished" in gray prime. I'm still deciding whether to just install it "as is" or try to color match it with the "vanilla" or "blue" my car currently wears. The current paint is starting to show it's age. I'm thinking that I may just install the visor for this year and maybe starting thinking about some bodywork/new paint in a year or so. I'll be sure to take some pictures of the installation process on the visor.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fresh Bumpers for Scruffy's Nifty Fifty!

Once the pieces came out of the chrome-plating tank, the only thing left to do was look them over and see if any color buffing was necessary. Here are a few pictures I took of Jim doing the final buffing on a couple pieces that needed a few small spots hit.

Well, here I am with the six finished bumpers pieces. As you can tell from the look on my face (and a little dirt) I had a great experience learning about the chrome-plating process and getting to do a lot of the work on these pieces myself. I can't wait to get the bumpers back on the Nifty Fifty, and I know that whenever I look at (or shine) the bumpers, I'm going to remember my time at Custom Metal Finishers.
I still need to get back to Hagerstown to get the bumper guards through the process, (they have already been sandblasted and are awaiting my return). However, I'm planning to go ahead and assembly the bumpers and install them on the '50 without the guards for now. I got the idea from Nathan Hale's '54 Envy featured in the May 2008 issue of Old Skool Rodz. (see quick scan of feature below.) Gives the bumpers a custom look. Anyway, I'll drive it like that to start the "show season" and decide if I want to put the bumper guards back on the car once they are finished.
Just need to run to the local hardware store and pick up a few bolts to assembly the 3 bumper pieces without the bumper guards. Gives the bumpers a "California bumper" look.

Learn more about Custom Metal Finishers at the site I'm building for my buddy Jim at: Hopefully I'll have more pictures of some of his work in the weeks to come.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Still Workin' Hard on the Bumpers of the Nifty Fifty

Well, the final step in the chrome-plating process is the chrome-plating itself. As my buddy Jim from Custom Metal Finishers lowered the nickel-plated bumper center into the tank, I asked him to pull it back up for a picture, You can see that initally, the chrome-plating gives the part an orange appearance.
After the piece is immursed in the chrome take, the electrodes attached, and the power swithed on, the chrome in the solution is attracted to the part. Once the process is complete, the part is removed and washed.

You can see from these pictures of Ol' Scruffy working hard, the goldish-orange color comes off in the rinse leaving a beautifully chromed bumper section.

Sometimes the process has to be interupted to address an imperfection. While I was working at the chrome-plating tank, Jim was in the other building copper-polishing and buffing out some imperfections in one of the bumper ends.

Come back tomorrow to see if Ol' Scruffy can FINALLY get his bumper sections completed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More from Custom Metal Finishers

Custom Metal Finishers in Hagerstown, Indiana can plate a variety of objects...heck, if it's metal, they can probably chrome-plate it. Rumor has it that the owners oldest son even figured out how to chrome-plate a gourd! Here is just some of the kool stuff they are currently working on. These items are waiting for nickel and chrome plating.
Can you believe this?!?!? These exhaust manifolds are waiting to be plated. I've been told they will ALL go on the same pull-tractor!!!
Well, once the parts were copper buffed, they were placed in a cleaning solution, then scrubbed and rinsed.
Here's Ol' Scruffy rinsing a part, getting it ready for the next step in the process which is nickel-plating. (Man...Ol' Scruffy looks like he needs to get himself back on some kind of exercise regiment!!! Yikes!)
After about 30 minutes in the nickel plate, this bumper center piece is removed. The part will be rinsed, neutralized, and then placed in the final process, the chrome-plating tank. Come back tomorrow to see more.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Back to Custom Metal Finishers....

Well, I got some time this past Saturday to get back to my buddies chrome-plating business in Hagerstown, Indiana. Regular readers of Suede and Chrome may remember that I've been working on the front and rear bumpers of my '50 Chevy....(by the way, someone told me calling her "Ol' Blue" was derogatory, so from now on...she will be referred to as the "Nifty Fifty").

At any rate, when I left 2 weeks ago, we had polished the bumper pieces and gotten them coated with the initial layer of copper. I started the day using a 600 grit polishing belt to knock off any roughness to the surface of the parts. Then I used a buffing wheel to buff the copper.

I really "dig" the look of polished copper. And actually gave a quick thought to the idea of leaving the bumpers like this. (I saw a '54 Chevrolet at a show once that was painted flat black and all the chrome was left in copper! Pretty kool....BUT what happens when it oxidizes?!?! If you don't mind bumpers with a pretty green patina, I guess that would be o.k., however, I'm really looking forward to some freshly chrome-plated ones!)

Well, here is another shot of the parts after I had copper buffed them. More pictures from Saturday's progress tomorrow!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Playin' With Adobe PhotoDeluxe...

Well, as I'm waiting for weather warm enough to spray paint, I'm still kickin' around the idea of painting the rims on my '50 a different color. The rims are currently color-matched with the car. I think the car was painted in the early 90's. The problem is that the original hubcaps beat the paint off right around were they met the rims. I've actually got some gloss black paint, but thought I would mess around with Adobe PhotoDeluxe tonight to get an idea of what the rims would look like in different colors....Any thoughts?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Last Post from 2009 Detroit Autorama

A couple more pictures of '60s Show Cars that were featured at the 2009 Detroit Autorama

Well, we FINALLY got to meet Chip and Chris! I was so impressed that they both took the time to talk with EVERYONE that waited in line. Both of these guys are members of the Hub Garage.

Well, so ends our 2nd annual trip to the Detroit Autorama. Can't wait til next year....and who knows, maybe I'll decide to take my '50 up and put it in the basement next year!

Friday, March 20, 2009

2009 Detroit Autorama Post #12

Another picture taken while waiting to meet Chip Foose and Chris Jacobs.
One of the koolest things at this year's Autorama was to see Ed Roth's restored Orbitron. If I remember right, this car was missing for several years. Someone found it sitting infront of a store in Mexico, barely recognizable. It was quickly purchased and restored. Pretty kool.

More pictures of some of the 60's show cars that were on display.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Detroit Autorama 2009 Post #11

Check out the floor board in this hot rod!

When is the last time you saw a wood Ford sedan with a Jaguar engine!?!

I took this picture while waiting for almost 3 hours to meet Chip Foose and Chris Jacobs from Overhaulin'.

While standing in line, I met one of my Hub Garage "buddies"...."Big E". He was lucky enough to get to spend the day with Chip and Chris. Guess it pays to be the son of one of the guys who started Hub Garage! :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

2009 Detroit Autorama Post #10

More pictures from the basement of the Cobo Center. These traditional hot rods are very kool.
This picture doesn't do this Chevy justice. Check out the "raised" ghost flames on the hood.

"Thou shall not covet....Thou shall not covet!"

Check out the Cadillac mill in this rod.