Sunday, November 27, 2016

The “Bootlegger” truck
photo by the author
This 1941 Dodge Power Wagon, called “Bootlegger” which debuted at the 2016 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show was built entirely by Daystar Products International employees. The truck is powered by a 720-horsepower LS3 416-cubic-inch Edelbrock E-Force supercharged crate engine.
photo by the author
In addition to the obvious extensive use of copper, the show quality custom manufactured wooden bed was provided by Bed Wood and Parts LLC. 
Photo by the author
The product promoted by the “Bootleger” is the “Cam Can” according to Daystar, when there no room inside the vehicle for  extra fuel, water, tow strap or emergency kit,  the "Cam Can" is the answer.  The "Cam Can" fits securely; the user simply slides the "Cam Can" on the mounting plate and gives it a twist to lock it down on the patented cams.  "Cam Cans" are available for liquid (water or fuel) or dry storage and comes in several colors.
Check them out at

Monday, November 21, 2016

1946 Desoto

Photos by the author

Parked near the 1932 Desoto discussed in our last post at the Good Guys Rod & Custom Association “27th Autumn Get-together” was this 1946 DeSoto Custom Club Coupe.


With the pent-up demand for new cars, the 1946 DeSoto like many Detroit products that year were merely modified versions of the 1942 model. Unfortunately the 1946 Desoto omitted the most striking feature of 1942 Desoto - the "Airfoil" headlights a feature that originated with the six 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt show cars.  

Square shaped doors hid the headlamps until a push-pull lever on the dashboard lever rotated the covers upward and turned on the lights. Fewer than 25,000 1942 DeSoto cars were shipped before automobile production ceased for World War II.
The 1946 DeSoto still used the low wide “rocket body” design with concealed running boards but no longer had the attractive hidden headlights and the “waterfall grille” was larger and incorporated the parking lights.

Mechanically, the 236-cubic inch, 109 horsepower L-head six-cylinder “Powermaster” engine featured aluminum alloy pistons “for flashier performance”  and a force fed oiling system with a rotary oil pump and “micronic filtration” that used a replaceable cartridge oil filter “developed for use on Army and Navy planes.” 
The 60-year old Gem Green paint is badly worn; the chrome surround on the rear window identifies this as a Custom model.
A three-speed transmission was standard, but the buyer could get the optional “Fluid Drive” as in this example. Chrysler introduced “Fluid Drive” in its cars were in 1939 with a standard 3-speed manual transmission and clutch, but had a fluid coupling in place of the conventional flywheel. This option became available on DeSoto and Dodge models in 1941 at a slight extra cost 

“Fluid drive” used a hydraulic coupling in place of the flywheel, and performed the same function as a modern torque converter, only without torque multiplication. “Fluid Drive” cars do not change gears “automatically,” there is a clutch pedal and the car can start from a stop in any gear without slipping the clutch.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

1932 Desoto Coupe

Color photographs by the author

The author attended the 27th annual ‘Autumn Get-together’ hosted by the Good Guys Rod & Custom Association at the Alameda County Fairgrounds and spied this very rare1932 DeSoto Standard Coupe.

Chrysler Corporation announced the formation of the DeSoto division in May 1928, and the first new 1929 Desoto cars rolled out of the former Graham-Paige factory building on Lynch Road  the west side of Detroit  in July 1928. DeSoto automobiles, named after the mid-16th century Spanish explorer 9and discoverer of the Mississippi River) Hernando de Soto, were envisioned by Chrysler its mid-priced line positioned between Chrysler and Dodge.

The first three years DeSoto offered both eight- and six-cylinder powered models, but after 1931 sales dropped by 50%, the all-new 1932 DeSoto was only offered with 211-cubic inch inline six-cylinder engines which produced 75 horsepower that nearly matched the output of the eight cylinder engine.  
Note the similarity of the 1932 Desoto grille to that of the Miller 91
The restyled 1932 DeSoto featured a beautiful “barrel style” grill that mimicked those of the Miller 91-cubic inch race cars which dominated American Automobile Association (AAA) speedway racing from 1926 to 1929. The Deluxe models featured dual horns alongside the grille, dual taillights and dual windshield wipers. All DeSotos featured a striking windshield design which appeared to be split but was in fact a single piece of safety glass.

Mechanically, the 1932 DeSoto featured “floating power” a system by which the inline six-cylinder engine was suspended at three points in the chassis to isolate vibration, Lockheed hydraulic brakes and an optional (for $20) “freewheeling” transmission. By pulling a lever the vacuum actuated system pulled the clutch pedal to the floor any time when the driver lifted their foot from the accelerator.   DeSoto print advertisements claimed that the new cars provided a “new thrill” with “effortless driving.” 
The United States was entering the worse years of the Great Depression and DeSoto prices were low a 2-door coupe like the one  photographed sold for $695.
This one had the Deluxe dual taillights and wipers, but not the horns.  

DeSoto utilized the services of two famous Indianapolis racing drivers in promotion of the all-new car.  Peter DePaolo the 1925 Indianapolis 500-mile race winner and holder of the record for the fastest 500-mile race ever run at 101.127 miles per hour (MPH).
DePaolo left the DeSoto factory on March 15 1932 on a ten-day 3000 mile promotional tour which was climaxed by a 300-mile speedway run. DePaolo later toured dealership across the country with the $22,000 working model DeSoto assembly line which was twenty feet long and four feet wide and actually produced tiny model DeSotos. 
Prior to DePaolo’s March 1932 departure Detroit Mayor William F Murphy looks over the DeSoto miniature factory. Murphy later served as Michigan Governor, United States Attorney General and as a justice on the United States Supreme Court   Photo appears courtesy of the Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University

The following year retired racing driver Harry Hartz the 1926 AAA champion was employed by Chrysler to drive a 1933 DeSoto Sedan cross-country. The unusual part of the promotion was that the sedan’s body had been reversed on the frame; the driver sat in the same position but looked out through the enlarged rear window. Surprisingly, engineers found that the DeSoto’s fuel economy improved by 20 percent.
Interestingly the lives of these two DeSoto drivers intersected as DePaolo’s seven-year old speed record was broken by Fred Frame in his victory at the 1932 ‘500’ as he drove a car built and owned by Harry Hartz.

Unfortunately DeSoto sales did not improve from 1931 with just 25,096 cars built for the 1932 model year. Like the rest of the auto industry sales fell even further in 1933 with just over 22,000 DeSotos built. For 1934 Chrysler introduced the aerodynamic Airflow, which Hartz used to set 32 new national speed records at Bonneville Salt Flats, but the DeSoto Airflow was a sales disaster with just of 14,000 sold in 1934.

 Coming soon we will take a look at an example of the first post-World War Two DeSoto.

Sunday, November 13, 2016


One of the most popular cars among hot rodders is the 1955 Chevrolet and no body style is more prized than the two-door Nomad station wagon. The Nomad was the production version of a concept car introduced at the 1954 General Motors “Motorama.”  Just over 8000 1955 Nomads were produced and the author found two striking custom versions at the 2016 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show in Las Vegas.  

The first Nomad displayed in the Spectre Performance booth is known as “Gone Mad” was built by the Classic Car Studio Speed Shop from St Louis Missouri. The colors are Krazy Kiwi with Truffle Butter Gold from the BASF Glasurit® paint system. Author photo.
 The engine built by Shafiroff Racing Engines from a World aluminum block produces 625 horsepower and 638 ft/lbs of torque. Author photo.
 The interior features Relicate Custom leather over PROCAR seats by Scat Enterprises and an American Retro steering wheel. Photo supplied by Classic Car Studio Speed Shop.
The one-piece woodgrain headliner is amazing. Photo supplied by Classic Car Studio Speed Shop.
The second custom 1955 Chevrolet Nomad on display in the AzkoNobel booth was built by Kindig It Designs, the Salt Lake City Utah based custom shop led by Dave Kindig, who stars in the Velocity network show “Bitchin’ Rides.” Author photo.
Notice that the Nomad which debuted at SEMA 2016 has the typical Kindig attention to details with patented custom smoothed ‘spoon style’ door handles and the bumpers pulled in tight to the body. Author photo.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Veterans Day Salute

To all veterans - Thank you for your service! 
On Veterans Day, to honor all those served in the United States Armed Forces it is fitting to share photographs from the PPG’s booth at the 50th annual SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show  as this year’s exhibit was entitled “A Salute to Color,” and featured a patriotic World War II canteen theme.

PPG’s 2016 SEMA exhibit honored and helped to raise funds for the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) founded in 1946 by a group of wounded World War II soldiers with spinal cord injuries. The Paralyzed Veterans of America group is dedicated to providing veterans and people with disabilities, and their families, with everything they need to live full and productive lives. You can donate at

The centerpiece of the exhibit was the gigantic America’s Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) trophy from the Grand National Roadster Show.

The AMBR trophy loomed over the 2016 winner, the 1932 Ford traditional style ‘highboy’ roadster built and owned by Darryl Hollenbeck. While it was his first win as a car owner, 2016 marked the third time that Hollenbeck from Concord California painted an AMBR award winner.  

The color of the 1932 Ford is a custom mix called “Rotten Avocado Green” of PPG ENVIROBASE High Performance waterborne paint topped with single stage DCC9300 Acrylic urethane.

Nathan Curry of Curry’s Hot Rods Inc. in Nixa Missouri built this tribute “bagger” style custom motorcycle owned by Josh Davis which made its show debut

Joe Ballard’s Veteran Tribute Big Dog "chopper" motorcycle was built by Howard Rosen and airbrushed by Chris MacMahan of Aerografix Airbrush and Pinstriping in Elyria, Ohio.

In addition to the beautiful vehicles wearing PPG paint, there were numerous incredibly detail pieces of artwork throughout the exhibit.

Through leadership in innovation, sustainability and color, PPG helps customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets to enhance more surfaces in more ways than does any other company. Founded in 1883, PPG with global headquarters in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania operates in nearly 70 countries around the world. For more information, visit
The author wishes to thank Cynthia Schauer at PPG for her assistance with this article. All photographs by the author

Thanks to the generosity of Joe Ballard, we can offer these additional bonus photographs of Joe's Veteran Tribute Big Dog "chopper" motorcycle

 Hello Marilyn Monroe

Joe Ballard with his bike

Monday, November 7, 2016

3M 'Hire our Heroes' auction
raised over $3800 at SEMA 2016

At the 2016 SEMA Show, 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division (AAD)  featured a special 3M “Salute to Freedom” Showcase sponsored by 3M™ Accuspray™ Spray Gun with PPS™ Paint Preparation System. The speed shapes, all painted using the Accuspray™ System, featured custom-designed paint schemes honoring the nation’s military members.
Thanks to some of the  automotive industry’s top car designers and painters, including Chip Foose, Charley Hutton, Mark Oja, Rich Evans, KandyNChrome, Lugo Customs, Martin Brothers Customs, Coast Airbrush, Xecution Style, House of Kolor and West Coast Customs, the auction raised $3,805 for the Collision Repair Education Foundation, which administers the 3M Hire Our Heroes program.

left to right: Rich Evans, Mike Taylor, Ryan Templeton. Kyle Morely and Shorty Ponce

“3M Automotive Aftermarket Division (AAD) has been an incredible supporter of high school and college collision school programs through the Collision Repair Education Foundation,” noted Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) Executive Director Clark Plucinski. “The 3M Hire Our Heroes program has been a great success in assisting military veterans and their family members studying collision repair and the ‘Salute to Freedom’ Showcase is a new creative way to highlight the program. We would like to thank those who participated in the auction and for 3M’s continued support.”

In 2017, 3M AAD will mark the fifth year of the 3M Hire Our Heroes program, and is continuing an innovative way for shops to get involved -- the 2017 3M Hire Our Heroes Calendar.  With a $200 donation to the CREF, shops will not only be giving to a worthy cause, they will also receive the commemorative calendar which contains a total of approximately $1,700 worth of monthly deals on 3M products.  In 2016, the initiative raised $210,000 for scholarships and tool grants.

The ultimate goal of the 3M Hire Our Heroes campaign is to support the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in raising awareness for hiring America’s heroes and help drive employment in the collision repair industry for these deserving veterans and their families. In addition, 3M is a national board member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes program. 

3M Hire Our Heroes grants are available for qualifying returning veterans and family members.  Grants may be used for tuition, school fees, tools, textbooks and equipment at qualifying technical schools. For additional information and to apply, visit

To make a donation and get a 2017 3M Hire Our Heroes calendar visit
Information and photo for this article provided by Debby Robinson Victory Management Group PR

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Ray Evernham unveiled his 'American Graffiti' 1958 Impala

On Tuesday, November 1 Ray Evernham unveiled the 1958 Chevrolet Impala from ‘American Graffiti’  after its complete disassembly, repair and reassembly in the Axalta Booth (Outside Booth #61009) at the 2016 SEMA Show.

Ray was joined by original ‘American Graffiti’ cast member Candy Clark (“Debbie”)


Photos provided by Debby Robinson at Victory Management Group PR