Custom Car Chronicle
Larry Pointer Files

Neferteri Part Ten




For our Forrest Gump, it has been a long and dedicated mission. Now, in this final episode, Neferteri… his Queen of Egyptian Revival… receives her Majesty’s regal raiment.

Larry Pointer found himself a survivor of Y2K, retired, a widower, and a more or less empty nester.  He needed a project.  In this series, he shares his passion for all things “Streamline Moderne”, and how it all turned into a 13-year labor of love, to create “Neferteri“, his custom Diamond T truck.

By Larry Pointer with Rik Hoving

Neferteri, Part Ten

Time flies. If you’d told me it would take 13 years to build my streamline dream, I wouldn’t have heard you anyway. Dotti calls it selective hearing. But I was retired, having fun, and wasn’t really agonizing over “what’s next” anxieties. What I was doing had pretty much become who I was. And it was a comfortable feeling.

I keep remembering those words in the movie, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.

Or, the words of friend Jack Whittington, at each next challenge in the mechanics of the Neferteri build, “It’s all good.

It was all good. Partly because I had heeded wise advice to start with the comforts. “All the comforts and convenience of a sedan,” Diamond T had advertised. Early on, my buddy Buzz had upholstered a pair of 80s bucket seats in matching wine hues of velour and Tandy leather. Sadly, it would be his last contribution to the cause, before cancer took him away. Continuing our “comfort and convenience”, Kirk Grantham stitched up velour panels for the doors and cab panels behind the seats, tucked over three-inch wide foam rolls. The wider rolls really nailed the Art Deco era of opulence. Kirk completed his work in a headliner of velour, and matching wine carpets over the floor, firewall and that raised shelf behind the seats, which hid the air conditioning unit that Darryn Waldo had plumbed in.

The seats were upholstered by Buzz Franke.

Drivers door panel upholstery. (The metal piece on the walnut garnish molding is my “Forrest Gump” safety latch.)

It was nothing short of sumptuous, and I was glad we had started with last things first, by conventional standards. But then, “conventional” would never have been a word to come up, in polite society, to describe this old “Forrest Gump” character. Through primer times in coats of many colors, Neferteri had proudly paraded past the occasional “rat rod” benedictions, to shock her critics flat-footed once her doors swung open to reveal the “box of chocolates” inside.

Burn The Point parade 2013.

There, too, are the “unconventional” touches. Sill plates of walnut are planed down to shape, and a pair of brass “Diamond T” hood-side plates are countersunk into the surfaces to greet the eye. Which next is drawn to the door handle. The venerable old exterior door handle became the interior handle, but now mounted on the side of the seat base, and connected via cable to the door post latch.

Door sill plates of walnut with brass Diamond T lnlays. On the right a better view of door handle attached to seat base, walnut trim pieces.

Console, walnut surface. The air vent exits forward at front of console.

From the heating/air conditioning plant, air ducts are routed forward to either side of the seats from the face of the raised shelf, and centrally between the seats through a narrow console, topped by a walnut arm rest.

Pvc piping up the door post and forward beneath the upholstery above the door frame would route defroster air down over the windshields. Awaiting one of those “round Toit” times.

Toaster/fuse box under dash closed and open.

Wiring and fuse box are tucked inside a bread toaster, located under the dash panel precisely where the old heater would have ridden. Yep, a toaster. The back door removed to create the fuse box space; the shiny front door, a drop down panel to access those wiring necessities.

Interior “dome” lights would be discovered at each rear corner inside the cab, atop a pair of walnut staffs carved into stylized Egyptian cobras. The golden lenses of their Egyptian eyes are re-purposed RV side lights.

Dome light on “cobra” stanchion. Green glass bud vase in center of walnut trim divider in upholstered back panel.

Flanking the chromed gauge panel are those hand-carved walnut images of “Neferteri”, in cameo profile. Dash knobs of a diamond embossed design are re-purposed from the hardware aisle of a big box home improvement store.

Neferteri cameo carved in walnut, right side of dash cluster.

The above panel with its open glove box, courtesy the Diamond T Motor Car Company…just like the one the hay crew hid their smokes in…was retained as-is. A reminder of why that first taste of tobacco would satisfy my curiosity for a lifetime. It’s all good.

Gauge cluster with the raised diamond on surface of the dash knobs.

Grinders give grace to ungainly welds,” had become my mantra. God bless the saint who invented the flap disc for grinders. Coming in a variety of sanding grits, and infinitely less aggressive than stone, these gawky looking wonders can smooth out even the most embarrassing of gloppy molten weld. A true testimonial.


No excuses here. No poser pretenses of master craft, just a Forrest Gump guy, enjoying Life’s box of chocolates. But that’s the point. That Neferteri drawing…my streamline moderne fantasy…could easily have gone no further. Just a colored pencil doodle, tossed in a box chock full of fanciful “what if’s”. One of those “one day” daydreams. Waiting until… Until WHAT? My ship came in? I hit the jackpot in a lottery I never picked a ticket for? I could hire somebody who was Somebody? Or I just woke up one day, skilled and really crafty?

Sheridan 2010 KARZ car show 44. Neferteri in primer at July 4th car show, Sheridan, Wyoming.

No delusions here. Nor apologies. Nor pretentious intentions. Not a super spit and polish show car. No “Do Not Touch” signs. No ten foot tall trophies. But Neferteri was going to BE. She would be all I could make of my dreams. She would have her warts, her scars. And her scars would be seen, and they would be beautiful. And little kids could crawl over her, and into her cab, and go “Vroom, vroom, vroom”, as this Forrest Gump had done back in the day. It just didn’t matter. It’s all good.

Ford autumn red, Pt cruiser sunset bronze pearl, 2013 Porsche in auburn metallic.

Seven, come Eleven. Seven years into the build, I had brought home the paint for Neferteri. Ford Autumn Red. Chrysler Sunset Bronze Pearl. Porsche Auburn. Then, eleven years and counting, I retrieved those sealed cans from their time capsule, the crawl space under my humble abode. The paint still was good, but Time was running out on the painter: planned obsolescence. I had exactly two years to get that paint to grace the surfaces of my streamline dream, or… The paint company was discontinuing the line. Better living through chemistry. Not only were they ceasing to manufacture it, they were completely changing their chemistry and, in the process, removing from their shelves the old line’s paint toners, reducers, and hardeners all. If I wanted to activate my paint, I had to activate the painter. Me.

I had come kicking and screaming into the 21st Century’s brave new world in automotive paint technology. What was wrong with lacquer, I whined. So what if you could get a little high in a misty lacquer haze? With this new paint, you could die!

I painted some test panels in autumn red, auburn and sunset bronze pearl. The real colors don’t show up to well in this picture.

And what was so wonderful about the wet look of clear coat? What had happened to that wondrous mile-deep surface that lacquer had given us for generations? Where did that go, to be replace with the snake-skin-peeling clear coat? Tell me that!

Why, I’d even used rattle can lacquer for my firewall, cast iron grey. There, and on all the chassis parts. Why could I still get lacquer in a rattle can? Nearly every surface of Neferteri sported rattle can lacquer of one primer patch or another. As a symbol of Rebel Without a Clue protest, I painted the beltline in rattlecan cast iron grey. Lacquer. Harumpf!

Hold on there, Rip Van Winkle. Try the new high build primer fillers. Wow! Miracle in a can. Never did a long board do so much for so little effort, back in the lacquer day. I became a believer. And there’s no believer like a new believer. No going back now.

Still, there was all that peeling clear coat. Automotive dandruff, with no Head and Shoulders shampoo to cure it. All the King’s horses and all the King’s salesmen tried to convince me it was all good. “If you…. You need… Works best if you… Then you… The pot life… Be sure you… And the window is only… Or… Or…” “Try it. You’ll love it.

I stubbornly resisted their siren songs. At the court of last resort, I handed down my decision: Urethane? OK, ok. But single stage, only single stage. Done, and by Golly, done.

Well, not quite. It would take two summers of weather willing opportunity to paint Neferteri, one panel at a time. Montana’s Big Sky was my paint room. I removed what fenders and parts I could, and drove Neferteri out onto the driveway. With tarps for containment, I masked off the cab to begin painting her, section by section.

The cab without the doors were painted outside.

There are a lot of single-paint-cup sized sections to a full figured Diamond T truck. But soon a syncopated rhythm developed in my jazz dance around my Egyptian Queen. I was like… like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, right out of Walt Disney’s Fantasia…
Ok, Ok, his name was Mickey Mouse. So what. It was my second childhood; I could fantasize if I wanted to.

Getting there…. Autumn red above, auburn belt, cast grey belt, fire red pinstripe, sunset bronze pearl bottom.

Fantasy met Reality in my little world with each gust of wind and each cloud rolling in. There had to be a better way to control my paint spray. Not to mention mayfly hatches, cottonwood cotton, and dust from the gravel road. Then the little grey cells began to kick in, beneath my moon suit hoodie. I needed a paint booth for the removable parts. A booth I could roll out onto the drive. A booth of panels. Panels that could be assembled, and disassembled. Think, think.

Aha, I had it! Sketches, calculations, measurements. Then, off to the big box home improvement store. There, I picked up pvc pipe for a framework, caster wheels to make it a roller, clear plastic sheeting for panel sides and roof, home furnace filters on the air intake end, fans on the other to exit the isocyanate fumes. Brilliant!

Home made portable paint booth, and the inset photo shows a fender freshly primered inside the portable paint-booth.

It did work. Like eating the elephant: One bite at a time! Sundry and all parts moved in and out of the visqueen booth. Primer, that “miracle in a can”. Color, in crowning glory! Panel by panel, piece by piece.

Me with the freshly painted and assembled gas tank, freshly painted grille shell and headlight.

Drivers side front fender, just out from the portable paint booth.

Inset photo; hood-side striped in fire red, and the hood installed on the car. Passenger door still needs paint.

Rear view, it is now all coming together, rear fenders are just painted, but not installed yet.

Freshly painted rear fenders, just out of my home made spray-boot, and now ready to gt installed on the bed sides.

Rear view with the rear fenders installed.

It took two summers, but by Labor Day 2015, Neferteri was ready to regally glide in copper and wine finery, 1Shot fire red pinstriping, and a Larry Watson tribute roof, paneled in Porsche Auburn.

Cab front view in paint. This shows auburn roof panel, pinstripe. Corner windshield frame clamps on the passenger side are still missing.

Close up, left front with fender, hood, grille, door done.

And finally, most treasured of all came the crowning touch. Scott Stalick presented me with a plaque he had made expressly for this occasion. It was not just any plaque. It said “Conquistadors Car Club, Sheridan“. What made it really priceless was that Scott had found the plaque of my mentor Harry Larsen, and had mine cast from that very special piece of my own personal history.

Full frontal view of Neferteri, ready for Burn The Point parade debut, 2015

Front 3/4 view and ready for its first car show as a finished truck.

“Burn The Point” parade… here we come!

And the final detail…. A Conquistadors Sheridan plaque from Scott Stalick, cast from Harry Larsen’s original.

Show time! Down the “Burn The Point” parade route in Billings, Montana. It was our crowning car event of the season. From the crowd I heard a voice call out,
“#%& &?%#! Look at that truck! Beautiful! What IS that thing?”
It’s all good.

B’dee, B’dee, B’dee, That’s all, Folks!



Larry Pointer

Larry Pointer is a fan of Rik Hoving and the Custom Car Chronicle. He was a member of the Conquistadors Car Club of Sheridan, Wyoming in the 1950s. As he looks back over a lifetime of passion for the styling of the traditional custom car, he writes in tribute to those who influenced him, and for those who carry on the torch of passion. He is retired from the National Park Service, a former college instructor and rodeo advisor, author of western history, and now realizing his dream in building "Neferteri", a streamline moderne custom, based on a 1936 Diamond T truck.

9 thoughts on “Neferteri Part Ten

  • Great story of your “epic build” on your Neferteri Diamond T. Lots of nice detailing in the interior like the cameo carved dash inserts, toaster for wiring, lighting, etc. Paint turned out perfect and was a huge task for you to take on. Thanks for sharing all of your experiences in this project. “The joy is in the journey!”

  • The question begs… What are you doing with all of your free time now???
    Pretty damned impressive and pretty damned unique!
    It is – YOU, in it’s masterful design. Proud of you, my friend.

  • I want to thank Rik Hoving for all his graphic design work, editing, and encouragement in bringing this story to life. Thanks also, to all who have tuned in to the CCC, and especially those who have commented appreciation along the way. My friend Chip used to tell his kids, “There is a fine line between a Grand Adventure and a Questionable Endeavor…but you Don’t Know if you Don’t Go!” For this old Forrest Gump, Neferteri has given the Grand Adventure. For others out there, I hope this journey has given inspiration, and has fanned the flames of your own passions. Thank you all.

  • Great job Larry!
    I’m still in search of my next” Grand Adventure” and your story has helped to keep the fire stoked.
    p.s. I use those flapper discs on my grinder as well. They also do a great job of stripping off old paint. 🙂

  • wow larry u sure did a lot of work on it ur work is awesome love all the things u did, that work on the dach is so kool an the wood work beautiful love the color u picked it sure stands out an the best thing ur driving it how kool is that love it,

  • Well.. I FINALLY managed to read this last instalment. Hmm, “last”. What a journey! And what a wonderful result! If you are inclined to consider another Gump-like endeavour, perhaps a smaller project to cart around in the back of Neferteri! I’m sure we would all enjoy following another instalment!!
    Great stuff Larry! Thank you for the adventure!


  • Don Schramm

    Larry–long lost contact and loads of memories from PTC. I thought your world revolved around Butch Cassidy?–I’m impressed with this link thanks to Chip

    rsga= Rock Springs Grazing Association, been on this side of the world since 2003

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