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  • Season 16: Episode 4

    1948 Cushman Resto Mod - Volks Pod

    Mike BlackburnEdina, MN

    I Saw It, I Knew I Had To Do It

    It honestly was that simple. While visiting YouTube one evening I came across a Post about how a fellow cut two Volkswagen Beetle fenders in half, welded them together and then stuffed a minibike beneath them. So, with a tip of my cap to Brent Walter (Ultimate Rebuilds) our project began.

    Only a week later, two reproduction Beetle fenders hit my doorstep. With the immeasurable assistance of my friend Steve D., a retired welder-fabricator, the project was underway. The premise is simple, but as they say, the devil is in the details. You can expect to spend many evenings and weekends to complete a build this involved (it took us nearly 7 months).

    There's no need to go into every detail on our build. Basic construction is covered by BW's six-part series as well as others. Some highlights, when the forks and frame were shortened, I added metal rods inside prior to welding. Flat 2-inch bar stock was rolled to match the inside of the fender and welded in place, near the bottom edge, on both the front and rear. This improved the strength of the fender shell and allowed a hard point to weld the mounting brackets to. I didn't want to weld mounting points to the thin fender shell. This was designed so that one person can easily install and remove the fender. Four brackets on the frame were welded in place; the fender has four welded studs. That allows the fender to simply drop down to be securely fastened. With the extremely short wheelbase and no steering rake, I installed a steering damper, something which I would absolutely recommend.

    A battery provides power for the running lights and brake light (lighting coils can be installed on this engine). I retained the minibike’s handlebar mounted engine shut off switch. The steering post was drilled, and a nut welded in place. Then, the bicycle steering post was inserted and drilled to match the hole in the steering post for a bolt to be inserted and secured with a locking nut. This provides additional safety in the unlikely event that the bicycle stem lock might fail.

    This was not to be a minibike relegated to only the parking lot or alley; the ability for it to be ridden to Saturday morning coffee and local events was paramount. It was able to be titled and insured as a scooter, so it is now perfectly street legal. All of the parts were powder coated with the single exception of the top side of the fender shell.

    There were so many hours - skilled and very patient hours. This would not have happened without my buddy Steve’s (and wife Marge's!) tireless effort. With thanks to SKYCOAT powder coating, Baldwin, Wisconsin. Body work was handled by Darren S. and Mark T., River Falls, Wisconsin. Paint by my friend Mark T. (marks650yamahas.com). Cables fabricated and supplied by GoMoto in Minneapolis, Minnesota (Thanks Marty!). Thanks to an anonymous admirer for assisting with the production of this video.

    VOLKS POD Bug Fen - YouTube

  • Season 16: Episode 3

    1975 Volkswagen Combi Bus

    Jim HensonMiddleburg, FL

    The project started when my brother got the VW by trading a golf cart for it. It is my brother’s project and I helped him with the work until my health issues stopped my participation. He keeps me up to date on what he has done and sends pictures. I am 78 years old, and my brother is 84 years old. We're both veterans and we always wanted to do a VW project. We have worked on cars together since my late teens, starting with a 1950 Ford and 1955 Chevrolet. The VW Combi Bus will be passed along to someone at some point after completion. We started by removing the engine, interior, lights, glass, handles, bumpers, etc. Next, the underside was cleaned up. Then, the wiring harness was replaced from front to back. The engine was refreshed and updated by a local VW expert. The brakes have all been renewed. The axles have been replaced, rims and bumpers powder coated, and new tires installed. All lights and electric have either been replaced or restored. We restored the steering components, replaced all rubber and seals around doors and windows, changed all fluids, and installed a new clutch system. The interior is yet to be renewed and the windshield will be the last thing to go in, so we still have access to the back of the dash and electric. We reinstalled the engine and installed a new gas tank, fuel pump, and filter. We also cleaned and painted the engine compartment. My brother will be finished before too long and the interior will look stock but renewed and nice.

  • Season 16: Episode 2

    1947 Ford Coupe

    Matt FreygangFort Wayne, IN

    I was looking for a project that my son and I could work on and found this Ford coupe sitting next to a gas station near my house. I got all the cash I could get, and I went and looked at it. As I was looking at it two other guys came along with trailers, so I knew I had to get it. It's really neat because it's a 1947 - the same year my mom was born. Unfortunately, I didn't get it on the road before she passed. My dad was seven in 1947 and I have a picture of my grandpa playing baseball in 1947 for a minor league team. The coupe had been sitting in a barn with the back end outside the wall that was built around it. It was a complete basket case and I had to find a new frame. I had to repair all the sheet metal from 6" down all the way around and rockers, quarters, and rear tail pan. I patched what I could on the fenders. I boxed in the chassis put a new front independent Mustang 2 suspension on it. I installed a ladder bar rear suspension, Ford 9 inch, and coilover shocks. To work with what I have, it has a rebuilt 289, T5 manual transmission, and custom-made clutch and brake pedal out of a YJ Jeep. I also built in a custom dashboard. It still has so much to go, but I am driving it now. It motivates me a lot when I take it to a car show. I have you to thank for giving me motivation with your show. I've been working on the car for 10 years and it's been a budget build pretty much from day one. I'm in the process of building a 351 Cleveland stroked to 393ci for it.

  • Season 16: Episode 1

    1967 Pontiac Firebird

    Dirk MuitsCherry Hill, NJ

    My sons and I started with two 78 Corvettes. After working on one we were going to install the motor, but a few months later they lost interest since we all could not drive in it together. So, I sold them and bought my childhood dream muscle car, a '67 Firebird. I made the classic mistake and bought a car online without looking at it in person. The car was really bad with rust everywhere, non-matching '76 400 motor, not running. For the last 5 years, the sheet metal, frame rails, and subframe have been replaced. The only original metal left is the dash, inner quarters, door jambs and the two interior roof supports; everything else is new. We drove to Virginia from NJ to pick up a '68 400 block, then drove to Maryland to pick up heads. Motor is now rebuilt with Howard cam, roller rockers, aluminum Edelbrock intake, Edelbrock carb, and MSD distributor. It's pushing around 375 hp. We added new rear suspension and tubular control arms and converted to Wilwood brakes on all four corners. We also replaced the steering column and added an aftermarket wood steering wheel. Then, we took the new steering wheel horn button and the original and modified both so I could still use the original horn cap. Car is currently in primer and will be painted within the next year. The interior is mismatched; will do the upholstery while the car is getting painted. We are converting the standard interior to the deluxe interior. The wheels are 18" Ridler's off a C10. I created a 69 Trans Am front spoiler drawing in CAD, had it fabricated out of aluminum, and made modifications to the air baffle so the air dam could be mounted to it. After it was finished, my boys decided to add all the stickers to the air dam that we collected at shows or from parts we have purchased for the car; you will not see this on any other car. After 5 years of work and sweat with my boys, we took her to our first cars and coffee meet this summer.