Sunday, April 30, 2017


The body work has started on our 65 T- Bird, the interior and engine parts have been painted "Blazin Copper" that will be the color of the car. You can see progress pictures on Face Book by going to Joe Russo, page and Hackbeery Auto body Blog.

 The gray is the primer over the finished body work.
 The new smaller Gas door has been installed and finished.
 Engine parts received the same attention and preparation as the body.

 The gauges and dash were taken apart for chrome and paint then put back together so it can be sent to Dakota Digital to be converted to digital gauges and to incorporate a cruse control.

 I'm glad that I took pictures when I took the dash apart so it could be put back together.
 Center console painted.
 Dash also painted.
 Rear panel and seat backs as well as all the other interior parts that were the stock color are painted.

 Below are pictures of the engine mocked up with the painted parts.

 A update on the caboose project the interior drywall has been been completed.

 The metal corner trim still needs to be completed then it can be taped, filled and textured.

 It looks a lot different with the sheet rock up. 

Monday, April 24, 2017


We went to the AVI Casino near Laughlin Nevada located on the Colorado river with the 51 for the River Cruizers car show April 20 thru 23. Weather was good on Thursday then the wind came up on Friday and Saturday but it was warm in the 80's and 90's. We stayed at the AVI RV park across from the Casino.

 This Pontiac has been in the family for over 30 years and is now a street rod with all new suspension and drive train.

 41 Cord with a EFI small block Chevy nicely done. 
 You can see the river in the background as the show is held on the grass just above the river.

 I really like this 40 Cadillac, if I do another project car this will be a good choice. For a 1940's car there is a lot of room in it and a large trunk.

 The owner did a lot of special things like the trunk, steering wheel, display and a picture of Bob's Big Boy in 1940 on the dash. A 500 CI Cad is under the hood.

 Custom, chopped Mercury with Candy Apple Tangerine paint.  

 This 33 Plymouth with a Hemi in it was just finished and won a award. A nice job on a unusual car.
 There was a 50 Cadillac park next to me with a 500 CI engine and has a EFI setup on that I will probably put on the 65 Thunderbird. You can see the Fitech throttle body that takes the place of the carburetor.

 The Fitech sump has a high pressure pump in and is supplied with fuel by the stock fuel pump. This system requires no in tank pump or return line to the gas tank and is half the cost of other EFI systems.

 This is the 50 Cad with the EfI set up in it.

 The 51 won an award at the Sunday morning award presentation. 
 We loaded up Sunday morning and were home by noon. The AVI is 1 1/2 hours from the house.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


The caboose project is coming along with all the framing done inside. While waiting for the sheet rocker to schedule us in I worked on the outside metal work. Completed hand rails on the West end are shown below.

 To make the 4 hand rails I used 50' of 3/4" conduit as I have a bender to make the 90 degree bends and it looked to be the right size for hand rails.
 The hand rail was laid out on the floor and the pieces cut to fit the pattern 4 times then welded together.
3" X 3" X 3/16" plates were cut for the mounting plates and welded on.
 All the rails were ground smooth, cleaned and center chains added before painting.

 This is the East end with hand rails in place.
 1" X 1" square tube and 1 1/4" X 1/4" flat bar was bought for the step and ladder fabrication.
 I had a set of aluminum running boards from the 74 truck that were damaged from a tire blow out the I was able to straighten for the boarding steps. You can see one of them is cut in to three pieces as 6 steps are needed.
 A cardboard pattern was made and held up on the caboose to check how they would look. The first pattern stuck out to far so a second was made setting the two lower steps back with a little overlap.
 The running board steps were not wide enough for the opening in the deck of the caboose by about a 1" so I used a flat plate on one side and a channel plate on the other.
 1 X 1 square tube was cut and welded to the end plates to support the steps.

 This is the step assembly before paint.

 West end steps installed.
 East end steps installed.
 For the ladder the two 10' flat bars were welded to 1 X 1 square tube stand off's withe 5" X 5" X 3/16" mounting plates.
 1X1 square tube 12" long will be used for the ladder rungs.
 Ready to add the rungs.
The sheet rock, tapping and texture should be complete by the end of April.