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Season 17: Episode 13Donnie Payne | Bethlehem, GA
My wife and I recently picked up this K10 from family friends. This is going to be our first ground-up restoration. Currently doing rockers, cab corners and floor pans. This truck meant a lot to what is basically my second family. With that said, they said we will only sell it to you. We know you'll treat it right and fix it up. I'm only in my mid 30s but the love of older cars and trucks is a passion of mine. Wish I could do it full time as a job. The truck currently has a built 305 out of a '79 Conte Carlo. It's .030" over with a pretty decent cam. Has the SM465 4-speed transmission (which my wife has no clue how to drive). Has a 3-inch lift with 33x12.50" tires. 3.42 gears. The factory A/C has been taken off for whatever reason; it's Georgia so we will be putting that back in. True duals with long tube headers and Flowmaster 10s. It's not in the worst of shape currently but once we get done it'll be a head turner. We plan on doing all the work ourselves. Body off to restore the frame. Then body work and paint in our garage is the ultimate goal with tons of learning involved. Have already started teaching my wife the ins and outs of working on classic vehicles, now our 4-year-old is right there with us. Going to be a family project over the next years. We have absolutely no idea on body and paint, but we are going to learn. Can tell it came from car guys, when it left their driveway could see their tears as we left with the truck. Have known this family for well over 20 years. I hope to be able to finish it so Bill the previous owner can see this thing in show quality shape. Sounds great idling and smells like an older vehicle. Already love it and cannot wait for the project to continue.
Season 17: Episode 12Kirk Massey | Willis, TX
This car is called Death Bed Promise. My father-in-law started this project over 20 years ago; he and his wife drove to Speedway Motors in Nebraska on their last road trip together to pick up the C-4 Transmission and adapter for a Flathead. Shortly after he got pancreatic cancer and died. On his Death Bed he made me promise I would finish the T-Bucket. It was many years later that my In-laws gave me the car to finish. So, I sold my R-1 motorcycle to finance the project and got started on November 14th, 2021, and finished the main things in 8 and a half months. All welding, engine assembly, fabricating, exhaust, and painting was done by me except the lower seat upholstery and sewing the seams on the interior side and back panels. The motor's machine work, turning the crank and boring the motor .060” over was done by Ted's Engine Machine. The motor is a 49-53 Ford Flathead, 3/4 Race Cam, Adjustable lifters, Petronix electronic ignition, Edelbrock 65cc heads, Speedway 2 Carb intake with Holley 94 Carbs. It has a late model Ford C-4 transmission and a Ford 9" rear end with a 2:47 gear ratio. The paint is Shop Line urethane single stage with no clear coat.
Season 17: Episode 11Jake Swartout | Tarboro, NC
I bought this ‘74 Chevy Vega because my dad raced pro stocks back in the 70’s. He had a Vega in ‘74-‘75 named “Priscilla”. Although he wrecked it and almost killed himself, I was captivated by the Vega. My dad spoke differently about that car from all the others. When I was 15, he passed away and I always dreamed of building one of his cars. So now I’m 31 and I got my hands on a 74 Vega, and I plan to build a pro street clone of Priscilla. 70’s paint, striping, and of course a tunnel ram. I just got the block machined and bottom end built. When I bought the car, it was all original with this horrible paint job where they drizzled orange paint all over it. Now I’ve got it in primer until I get the motor swap done and running right. The fuel system was flushed, wiring was cleaned up, and grounds were either cleaned or rewired. I replaced plugs and plug wires, added door panels and dash pad from a Vega wagon painted black, and Chevette front seats dyed black. Plastic trim had to be sourced and painted black. There is minimal aftermarket for these cars, so I had to do it the old school way. And honestly some of the most fun I’ve had has been at the junkyard.
Season 17: Episode 10Edward Wesson | Hiawassee, GA
I've been in love with classic British cars since I was a teenager, and now I'm 79. I've had several old British cars, but ever since I saw an MG TD "rotting" in a field next to my house, I've wanted to work on one. That was 65 years ago. Hopefully I will be driving this car often. They aren't built for highway driving, just for toodling around town and to car shows. I bought this car sight unseen, on an MG web site, and had it transported to my home in Georgia. I bought it with the intention of restoring it, and that's just what I did. I took all the panels and the entire body off, and completely restored the frame. I rebuilt the engine. Fortunately, the tranny was good, but I replaced the clutch and brake master cylinders. I upgraded all the suspension components and the brakes. Some of the wood in the body had to be replaced. The body panels were straightened. I had the body panels blasted to bare metal, and primed and painted over 50 individual body parts. I renewed the interior, and the convertible top. The entire process took about 18 months.
Season 17: Episode 9John Davila | Reno, NV
I always wanted a '55 Nomad ever since I saw one at the age of 11. It just tripped my trigger. Fast forward to now. My now uncle by marriage had a friend who had a Nomad. He said, "the cool thing is, it has Packard rear lights.” Now jump back to 11 years old, 1972. That Nomad I saw had funny rear lights, probably the main reason I remembered it so vividly. Back to now. The Nomad my uncle was referring to was, in fact the same Nomad I saw as a kid! By way of timing and sheer luck, I got an opportunity to purchase that same Nomad. So, I did. It was in pieces. I’m at the point of preparing for paint. It has been a difficult journey so far but I’m seeing the light. I’ve managed to collect all the rarest parts needed to complete this rare beauty. It will be an eye catcher when I’m done: black outside with white interior. Another car I love is the '65 Chevy SS. I have the '65 bucket seats and console so that will be the theme: 2 of my favorite cars in one beautiful rendition. It will be powered by a BB 396 with the Speedmaster downdraft fuel injection system. It has a Wilwood brake system and a Ford 9” limited slip rear end cut down to a 50” width to give the wheels that dramatic deep offset. Any flashy accessories will be installed making this BB stand out. As you can see, I’m in love with my car. I waited almost 50 years to get this rare gem of a '55 Nomad. Can’t wait to finish it.
Season 17: Episode 8Don and Mila Farnham | North East, PA
My daughter (Mila) is on her fourth vehicle at age 17, not due to any accidents. She sold a Dodge Durango and in searching for a replacement she found a 1984 Pontiac Fiero SE. With the flip up headlights, she had to have it. We are in the process of getting it put back together after replacing worn parts to make it a reliable daily driver. So far, we have repaired/replaced: clutch, lower ball joints, struts, numerous gaskets, egr valve, windshield washer pump, flip up headlight, motor mount, transmission mounts, parking brake cables, getting all lights to work, slave cylinder, tie rod ends, poly bushing set, a lot of fresh paint. We will be working on a new exhaust when we get it back together. Mila has put in hours of work on each car she's owned. But this project has been the most extensive we've done so far. It will not be a show car but just a fun daily driver. We've been going to car shows and cruise-ins and would like to take her car to a few shows when we get it back on the road.
Season 17: Episode 7Don Graham | Temecula, CA
I got this Buick in a trade. I was building an '05 Excursion, doing an '08 Super Duty conversion. This guy in Colorado saw it and wanted it. He had a handful of projects and long story short I picked this Electra, mainly because she's different than the usual build. This guy loaded her up and drove all the way to Southern California. I thought she would be a fairly simple build. She looked good in the pics. I saw some body panels that would need work but once I got her in the garage she revealed more and more. I'm currently in the process of building a 5.3 LS gen IV and a 4L60 transmission. I'm cutting the rust out of the doors, fenders and floor pans. I decided to pull her all apart make sure the frame is good. I'm going to complete the air ride system and hopefully by next year's Rod Run we'll be ready.
Season 17: Episode 6Mark Ishmael | Brookings, SD
My best friend and his family had a handful of Dusters, and I wanted a car that I could build myself and be different from theirs but still be similar so when I needed help it was a phone call away. I had a 1970 El Camino at the time and mentioned to a coworker that I was thinking about selling it and he said he was looking for one. He had a 75 Scamp he was working on and offered to trade. I looked at the car and it was in pretty good shape, completely gutted of interior, didn't run, and had some body work started on it. I thought it over and ended up doing the trade. This project is important to me because it's the first car that I am building mainly by myself and with the help of friends and family. I plan on making this my semi-daily driver and weekend warrior to go to the track and have fun then drive home and start my week all over. Something I can take family and friends cruising in and take to car shows to talk about it and what I've done to it. When I got it, I primed all the bare metal so it wouldn't start rusting. I did a bunch of troubleshooting trying to get it running and by word of mouth through the car community I got turned to a big Mopar guy and got ahold of him about the car. We figured out a time to bring it down and he had it for about a month and found part of the wiring harness was bad, replaced it, and it ran. I got it back from him and started slowly gathering parts for it. Found some wheels and ordered tires for it, then got those installed. Bought a parts car for the interior and some extra parts. Got some subframe connectors to be welded in along with a trunk pan. That's all I have done on it so far due to surgery on my hand.
Season 17: Episode 5Herbie Horn | Yakima, WA
Been to many cars shows and haven’t seen one yet. So, it’s a Dodge coupe and Chevys and Fords get way too much attention. This is the 3rd rig I’ve worked on to bring back from the dead. I’ve made a pretty '60 Apache and a really nice '70 Duster. Each had a few upgrades. The Dodge will be my most involved build, with the most mods and most engineering. This will be a rat rod with, hopefully, awesome interior and look like it’s not gonna make it to the next stop light. Gonna race. Gonna show. Gonna put miles under the car. So far, I have a 340 engine (purchased already rebuilt with 13:1 compression, then took it apart and milled the high dome off the pistons and reassembled it. We’ll see if I like it), an A-999 lock up transmission (I rebuilt it), a narrowed 8.8 in the rear (planning on triangulated four link), and a front end with a four link with transverse leaf spring, and a disc brake conversion. Still attempting to figure out the steering.
Season 17: Episode 4Butch Kreusel | Caldwell, TX
I picked up this 1950 Ford 4 door flathead 6 Shoebox. It's pretty solid and about 65% complete. The floors are pretty good. Only had one 6" x 3" place I had to cut out and replace. I'm buying new old stock when I can. The only thing I couldn't find was the trunk striker, so I fired up the forge and made one. I found the turn signal kit and a windshield washer kit. Both were options in 1950. I took out the original wiring harness and will replace it with a new harness I picked up. I'm also going to convert the car from 6 volt positive ground to 12 volt negative ground. I've also got a complete conversion kit to go with the wiring harness. I'm 62, retired and hoping to take my wife and grandkids out for ice cream in it sometime in the fall.
Season 17: Episode 3James Nova | La Porte, IN
This is a story about a restoration and building of the only RV - Rat Rod known on the road at this time. We have traveled the country six months out of the year (in another class A motorhome) for the past seven years and we have never spotted any Ratted RVs of this creation or this model. When we travel with the Ratted RV, usually to car shows, regional racetracks, NASCAR races, special events, football tailgating, and more. Every stop along the way we make new friends, and everyone wants to take pictures.
The following is a list of the restoration features and story lines.
1. RV is a 1983 Swinger by Georgie Boy.
2. Purchased from Kathy's parents in 1996 with around 14,000 miles on it. Restoration started the
next year after driving it several miles.
3. Kathy & Jim along with his friends & mechanics: Glenn Smudde, Max Mangold (has passed), &
Andy Coulter had a major role in design ideas, fabrication, and a lot of mechanical input.
4. The unit/ Rat Rod known as the Urban Assault M-50 vehicle was featured in Motor Home Magazine
in June 2020 issue.
5. As you know a Rat Rod RV is never finished and starting in 1997 to date there are still changes and
6. Inspiration behind the theme and design comes from the family's connection to NASCAR driver Ryan
Newman and his family.
Over the years we changed the exterior design, colors, and emblems to match Ryan's NASCAR sponsors. When Ryan was sponsored by ARMY, we started adding military features such as: ammunition, rocket launchers, turret gun, grenades, military shovel & axes, and thousands of military-style rivets outlining all features and body lines. The Army theme stayed even when Newman's sponsors changed.
7. The original RV (see photo) does not look anything like it looks today inside and out.
The following changes were made:
A) Front & rear suspension rebuilt with racing shocks & torsion bars, air bags, Big Foot hydraulic
leveling system on a P-30 chassis.
B) The Chevy 454 engine was re-cammed, and a racing Holley Carb, racing electronic ignition, exhaust
headers, large oil transmission coolers, and many more high-performance features were added.
C) All engine functions are monitored by fifteen various gauges (including tire pressure). The
cluster resembles an airplane cockpit.
D) The interior was a complete makeover: solid oak cabinets were refinished, all appliances
updated, all lights switched to LED's, counter tops recoated to give a granite appearance,
and all plumbing fixtures replaced. A racing header detail which lights up, replaces a cabinet support divider.
E) Kathy has decorated the interior with a NASCAR theme: blankets, front window covering, bed-
spread, shower curtain, and other miscellaneous accents. Also has a front cab roll bar over
driver and passenger.
F) The entire interior walls & partial ceiling is wrapped with chrome diamond plating. At night the
blue LED lights reflect off the diamond plating creating an appealing effect.
G) The original frame & side body panels are both thick and strong. The front & back panel
assemblies are only about an eighth inch thick.
While on a trip to Canada, numerous wildlife sightings led us to consider that a collision with a deer or moose would completely destroy the motorhome’s front nose and there would be no replacement panels available. So, Jim and his mechanic designed, fabricated, & built a protective grill they named the "Deer Shredder". Complete with a 1950 Studebaker Bullet nose. This assembly protects the frontend but can be used as a ladder to clean the front windshield.
General final comments:
A.) Creating a rat rod from a classic motorhome is not a job for anyone. Living close to the "RV Capitol of the World", Elkhart, Indiana, I had many RV resources, surplus part stores, and RV system repair services.
B) Jim Nova has a master’s degree in Vocational Building Trades and Architecture Drawing, and years of experience with a business he created - dealing with foundation repairs and structural problems. This background has been helpful in the Georgie Boy's renovation. His wife Kathy is a retired Physical Education teacher, swim coach & lifeguarding instructor.
Season 17: Episode 2Chad Rosen | Swansea, MA
This is a 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S that I bought on eBay back in 2003 to build one of my dream car projects: a streetable tribute version of the prototype 1968 Hurst Olds. The owner of the car was selling it for scrap metal; the 350 2barrel w/ 2-speed Superturbine 300 transmission had long been removed. The front fenders, hood, interior and electrical system were mostly removed/pirated as well. The car was a rust-free Florida car with clean title, solid frame, and Chevy 12-bolt rear end. Over the next 5 years I built/rebuilt the entire car with the help of my wife and my father who was a GM Master Technician and High School shop teacher. A 455 Oldsmobile engine was built for it using swap meet, eBay, and Summit parts, including forged pistons, comp cams XE camshaft, Edelbrock Torker intake, 750 Holley Double Pumper, Hooker Headers, and Flowmaster Exhaust. The car was converted to a stick with a Muncie M-21, Hurst Competition Plus shifter, and performance clutch. The rear end was upgraded to Summit axles, Eaton Posi and Richmond 4.10:1 gears. The suspension is a combination of polygraphite bushings, Moog replacement parts, and Dick Miller Springs and Upper Rear Control Arms w/ relocating kit. The front drum brakes were upgraded to SSBC discs and all new Wagner parts were used to rebuild the rear brakes. The steering is through a power IROC-Z style box and the 14" wheels were replaced with 80's era 15" Oldsmobile Rally II wheels. The paint and body work was handled by my local MAACO shop with their top line base coat/clear coat paint and done by the stores manager who specialized in affordable restorations for older cars. The car is used to go to local cruise nights and has spent some time at the drag strip. It has run a best of 12.8 at 106 mph in the quarter mile with cast-iron heads on pump gas. This was my first major car restoration project and I thank my wife and father for all their help making it a reality.
Season 17: Episode 1Lucas Higgins | McMinnville, TN
I found this truck in a salvage yard after visiting Loretta Lynn’s ranch back on Oct 13, 2017, and it was going to be crushed due to it being wrecked and so badly rusted. I asked to buy it to use as yard art since there were no VIN tags and it was scheduled to be crushed anyway. They agreed and I ended up paying 1200 for it because my wife wanted to use it to sit in the driveway and use to decorate for each season. Once we picked it up and trailered it home to my shop, I found out the truck was originally an AllRight Termite service truck and was wrecked and decommissioned, so I decided I wanted to be able to drive it rather than pull it with the tractor to move from area to area for my wife to decorate for fall, Christmas, and so on. The original v8 was rusted stuck and no way to break free with the pistons corroded to the cylinder’s so I set out to do a body swap on another truck's frame and running gear. I found a good 1998 Ford Ranger that ran and drove great with a 2.5L and 5-speed but had a badly damaged body. I disassembled the body and cut the cab mounts off the Ranger's frame along with the front frame horns, sat the cab of the '55 on it and centered it to the front wheels by mounting the fenders to the cab, then made my own cab mounts and front frame horns along with a square tube bed frame to mount the bed to the original ranger frame holes. Once the cab and bed were in place, I decided to cut the dash out and insert the Ranger's dash in the '55 and paint it all to match the truck's original color to make it look close to factory. The more and more I did the more I decided to repair all the rust and do faux patina where new panels were. I did all this on my YouTube channel 1194video and have more left to do. I have driven the truck to several states and really enjoyed it. I just finished the bed floor using composite deck wood and aluminum material all by hand, added clear to protect the original patina, and added a nice set of wheels. I have the 1-piece door glass in but still need to add the power regulators. I also plan on eventually going full air ride and adding the original Allright Termite logo back to the door and hope to someday find that company to show them the truck back on the road. It’s a running, driving truck, has air, heat, power glass, and all the new model amenities you would want with an everyday driver and I’m getting 15mpg while enjoying a '55 F100.