Slogging through Blogging
This may come as a surprise to anyone under 20, but blogging is not intuitive. As such, until personal phrenology can catch up to technology, this will become more of a running newsletter
All the News that’s fit to print …
“Metal of Honor” is proceeding toward an April completion. The tour kicks off in Oklahoma City on April 9th (see The Tour).
Each week the IronMen gather to work on the car. The body and chassis are in primer, the engine, trans and rear end are ready for paint. The firewall had to be tweaked to accommodate the engine. By mid January we should have drawn a bead on all the parts needed to complete the car.
One of our board members, Chuck Caswell was interviewed at the renowned SEMA Show in Las Vegas back in November by Road & Track Radio. You can listen to the entire program by linking onto http://podcasting.roadandtrack.com/2009/Rt_110709_HR2.MP3 . Chuck’s interview is the last of the five segments to the program.
As of this date, three magazines have indicated they will publish articles about the construction of the car … Hot Rod, Street Rodder and StreetScene.
While we hope more will log on to the effort, we’re certainly counting our blessings that the editors of these three are interested in getting the word out on behalf of the Children of our Slain and Disabled Soldiers.
Blessings to all on a prosperous New Year.
Last month saw the arrival of many many parts for “Metal of Honor”. Optima sent its best battery to power the car. Edelbrock ponied up an aluminum intake, carb and fuel pump. Bob Drake sent a couple boxes of reproduction ’32 parts … lights, brackets, rubber mounting pieces, snubbers, etc etc etc. Speaking of Edelbrock, a gentleman from South Dakota found out about our project on Vic Edelbrock’s Facebook page and intends to join us the last week of February to work on the project. Chuck Caswell, our volunteer director, was able to thank Vic in person at this year’s Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, CA. So many of our donor/partners were at the show. Everyone is enthusiastically looking forward to the unveiling of “Metal of Honor” in April.
Here’s a link to a speech you may find interesting. It puts the work of our American heroes in perspective http://www.nragive.com/ringoffreedom/nr_j0199_landing.html
February saw great gains in the project. The highlight was the visit by Mr. Clifford Houser from Kimball, SD. Cliff discovered our project via Vic Edelbrock Jr’s Facebook page. He then wrote us an email expressing his desire to drive 12 hours to Custom Classics, in Island Lake, IL and work on Metal of Honor for an entire week. Clifford is a body man by trade and did wonders preparing the Brookville body for paint. In fact, Cliff impressed our team so much that we’re planning to bring him back to Illinois for another week. We gained a workmate and a friend.
The chassis made it to the paint shop where it was bathed in Valspar’s Olive Drab.
Pertronix jumped in on the build with their ignition system, and Speedway Motors sent a pair of their Bomber Seats. Some cash donations have allowed us to purchase some additional small parts.
There’s a lot worse ways to spend your evenings than building a fine roadster that will be someone’s pride and joy come next January.
We’ve been contacted by a gentleman in Indiana who’d like to have the car at a local car show supporting the construction of a war memorial.
The chassis is all back together and down on the ground. Doors, hood pieces and trunk are in blocking primer. Mr. Oogah has given us an appropriate Horn, loud enough to cause pre-mature births. Chassis, body, engine and trans are about ready for a road trip to Stainless Works in Ohio where they will be outfitted with a custom tip to tail stainless exhaust system.
3/24 … We got our rear in gear (er, gear oil), and the brakes are bled.
We are blessed.
The month was a big one. It had to be. Sure, we’re behind schedule … doo-doo happens … but, we’re working hard to get this car right.
The chassis made its pilgrimage to Chagrin Falls, Ohio … home of Stainless Works. It’s only a 16 hour round trip from Island Lake, IL to CFO, what’s the big deal?
The body has been put in primer. The interior panels have made. Although we’re waiting for a few parts to be delivered, we’re starting to see a sliver of light at the North end of the tunnel.
Oops … when we mounted the body on the chassis, our enterprising designer put the wheels (sans tires) on the hubs and discovered that, if the tires were attached, it would be rubba-dub-dub all the way to the pub if we didn’t use some hefty spacers.
The problem was presented to MHT Wheels. You gotta appreciate this … MHT decided to manufacture a whole new set of polished aluminum Nitrous II wheels, with the correct back spacing, for us. They were delivered in just one week and Berry Tire in Libertyville, IL mounted the Pirelli rubber on them. Man those are big rear tires!
We are blessed and blessed again by these manufacturers. Guess that’s why you ask the best to be part of your project.
Vintage Air joined the project this month. And one week later we received a Gen II heating and air conditioning unit.
Oh, and Mr. Oogah … Frank Czarnik … graced the car with its own genuine Oogah horn.
In the midst of the economic downturn, our donors have turned up with the best stuff for this car. Someone is going to get one nice ride at the Barrett-Jackson/Scottsdale auction next January.
As of now, we’re fully a month behind. We’re aware that people are disappointed after all the hype. But, the work goes on. And the donors keep hopping on board. It’s exciting. It’s frustrating. It’s proceeding with all intentions of getting it on the road this summer. The steering column and linkage arrived from Ididit. And, we found the perfect battery box … a military ammo box holds the Optima battery perfectly. Oh, and did we mention the center armrest between the two Speedway Bomber Seats? How about an ammo box used to transport multiple mortar rounds? It will hold all the electronics and business end of the sound system.
The Brookville Roadster body met up with the complete Custom Classics’ painted TCI chassis. Ogden Top & Trim began construction of the interior panels. The whole kit and kaboodle was transported to Willett Coachworks for its Valspar paint job. Valspar’s rep Jaime Bartels has made trips to Custom Classics and Willett Coachworks to offer advice and help to both paint shops. Now, the long wait while the car gets all pretti-fied. Our friends at the NSRA keep hoping we’ll show up at their shows … where they’re eager to provide us with exhibit space. We’re all in this together on behalf of the kids of our heroes. So, we wait patiently.
No news is no news. While we wait to hear that the car is painted, the IronMen Foundation people appeal for additional help with the proposed “Metal of Honor” tour. We still need a fuel supplier … a food supplier … and a lodging supplier. We would ask that anyone with a “connection”, or with advice on how to get American corporations to step up on behalf of the kids to please call, write, email us. Some “friends of the foundation” are pursuing CDL (commercial driver’s license) certification so they can take the tour rig (truck and trailer donated for the tour by Randy Nehring and the good folks at Sioux Falls Ford) to car shows throughout the U.S.A. We are blessed
We finally got the car back from the paint shop. Like Kermit the Frog, it’s green all over. Painted, clear-coated and wet sanded. Wait’ll you see it in the buff … er, after it’s buffed, I mean. We labor on. The steering set up is an issue. At every turn we’re faced with another dilemma. We forge ahead. We need to make a hairpin turn with the steering column … but, unless we tie a whole bunch of u-joints together, we’ll never make it happen. A bunch of u-joints joined at the heads is going to get ugly. We seek a solution.
On one fateful Thursday two of our mechanical types came up with the same solution on the same day! Ever heard of Steer Clear? Well, if you go to Speedway Motors’ catalog you’ll find one the same way we did. What makes us different from you is that we ordered one. It’s the answer to our steering nightmare. Borgeson has agreed to climb on board and supply us with the polished stainless u-joints and splined rod to finish the system off with class. Slick and elegant.
The car is invited to the Ididit Company car show in Tecumseh, Michigan. It’s not finished, but it was well received. In fact, ’32 Ford Roadster folks were impressed with the quality of our build and some of the innovative ideas we’ve come up with. We continue to work two nights a week trying to knock off items from our punch list. Studs are welded onto the inside of the firewall so there will be no visible screws, bolts, hanging chads or anything. Next we will have to deal with placement and mounting brackets for the ’39 Chevy tail light buckets. Now that it looks like a car, we can start to see light at the end of the tunnel.