Historic Customs USA Road Trip P4

 

HISTORIC CUSTOMS USA Road Trip Part 4

After spending some time with Gene Winfield, the guys are now on their way to Hot Rodding Mecca El Mirage, and the Los Angeles Roadster Show.



In early July 2016 Ronnie Lindblom and Micke Hedberg left Sweden for their dream road trip in the USA. Both guys had bought an historic custom in the month prior to this trip, and along the way the idea had grown to fix up their cars and make a road trip of a life-time.¬†After 11 long days and nights working on their cars, they finally had them ready to hit the road. You can read about the first 11 days of their journey in Part One,¬†about¬†the first time on the road for the cars in Part Two¬†and a their visit to Gene Winfield in Part Three of this series.¬†After spending the night at¬†Dave McCain place the guys are now¬†all ready to go for another trip. One they had been looking forward a lot… having a spin with their historic Customs on the dry lake beds of El Mirage.

CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-06After having had a nice breakfast, the guys are ready to hit the road to the El Mirage. 
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-07They only had a quickly drawn map from Gene Winfield and no GPS to rely on to make it to El Mirage. Ronnie was in front en soon took a wrong turn, they were now going in the wrong direction.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-01It took Mike several miles before his ’36 Ford was door to door with¬†Ronnie’s Merc. Now he could¬†tell him that they where going¬†the wrong way! The Merc has a lower rear-end ratio than the Ford, so it moves faster. And as long the engine was cool, Ronnie wanted to go fast!
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-09After they stopped to check directions it was time to let the pressure out of the Merc in the only shadow they could find in the dessert.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-06According the Gene Winfield map they needed to find a T-crossing. Eventually they found it, as well as¬†the fist sign that the Swedes were on the correct road to El Mirage…. Yaheee!¬†While the guys took¬†a brake and some fresh water for both the cars and the guys at this point, they¬†got company from a state police man. He stopped, to check out the cars, and ask if we need anything and if everything was fine. They told him the whole story, which he enjoyed, then, he wish them a good luck on the rest of their journey, and took off again.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-07The only sign of life in the dessert was this liquor store. The guys stopped for some water but the owner did not want to give them nothing. So they just hit the road again.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-08Home of SCTA… magical road sign, and first view of the dry lake on the left.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-09After some help form a local friendly old guy the Swedes found the way to their first stop for the day, visiting George Callaway who lives at the end of the lake bed.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-05Arriving at George Callaway‘s shop.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-10They had a great time at mr George Callaway. Lots of stories and a great tour at his yard. A very nice person to hang out with.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-04The sign say it… time to go… see the lake bed.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-11Leaving Mr Callaway for a spin on the El Mirage Dry Lake.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-12Ronnie took off in his Mercury as soon as they had arrived.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-13The guys made it, for the first time, El Mirage, and with two historic customs, that could have driven around here on the lake in the 1940’s, early 1950’s. A real magical moment.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-16The guys¬†enjoyed¬†the wide¬†emptiness for a some time and visualize their historic customs surrounded everything that happened during¬†an late 40’s SCTA¬†meeting at this very location.¬†¬†They took plenty¬†of photos of¬†their¬†customs at this historic Hot Rod scene, and now¬†it is time to take the cars for another spin on the lake bed.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-17Ronnie in his ’39 Mercury enjoying the dry lake with the top frame removed.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-19Hot Rodder’s dream come true.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-21Ronnie with his 1939 Mercury convertible. 
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-22Time for Micke to take his ’36 ford a spin so that Ronnie can snap some pictures of it.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-23Wonderful cracked dry lake bed with Micke in his ’36 Ford going for a spin.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-26One last photo, and its time to leave El Mirage and drive up to Los Angeles.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-27One more¬†stop to take a last look at the dry bed and snap a picture with the SCTA sign. The guys say goodbye to El Mirage¬†for now…¬†they¬†will be back!!
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Lets cruise down to LA!

ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-at-lars-la-01On the freeway to Los Angeles and later to Pomona where the Los Angeles Roadster Show will be held the next day.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-28O, yes LA traffic.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-19The guys checked into a motel for a good night rest, and capture this sweet view from the motel door.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-29Some night cruising around town is hard to beat.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-at-lars-03Despite all the troubles they had the¬†guys¬†reached their ultimate goal and¬†made it to Pomona in time for the 2016 Los Angeles Roadster Show. The guys felt really fantastic, and they parked the cars in the parking lot for a few “We made it” photos. Not long after that Kipp Winward Lined up his beautiful full custom ’36 Ford 5-window coupe. He’s a great guy.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-at-lars-02
The cars at the spot at the swap meet. They had made some posters telling some history of the cars, and asking the audience tfor help filling in the empty spaces in the history. And Yaheee they did get some new info they had hoped for.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-30Cruising at the LA Roadster Show.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-32After leaving the LARS the guys needed to get gas one more time to make it to the shipper. Suddenly this fellow (right) shows up. Mr Memo Ortega. Memo had spotted the cars at the gas station, recognized them from the CCC Forum, and managed to make a U turn in to the gas station. Memo was really happy to unexpectedly bump into the Swedes, talk to the guys about the trip, and check out the cars.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-31Busy Los Angeles afternoon traffic. Heading down to the shipper in Compton, the final destination in the US.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-33After a long trip and very long hours they finally arrived at the gate at the shipping company in Compton. Petter Dahlstöm at So Cal Classics took care of the transport to Sweden. Petter is a really great contact and a great helper and very professional.
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ccc-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p4-34Before the cars would be loaded into the sea-container, the guys made sure all their extra parts, tools and other stuff were packed in the trunk and inside the cars. The, it was time to say goodbye to the cars and get back to the airport for their flight back home to Sweden. 
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After all the paperwork was handled by the shipper, the cars were loaded into the sea-contaier and send off to their boat ride From the US to Sweden. After 6 long weeks the cars arrived in Sweden, save and in great condition at the end of August 2016. Next plan is to get the cars completely restored as closely how they looked when they were first finished in the early 1940’s for Ronnie’s ’39 Mercury, and in the early 1950’s for Micke’s ’36 Ford. We will make sure to cover the restoration of both cars here on the Custom Car Chronicle.

A big thanks for Ronnie Lindblom and Micke Hedberg for sharing their amazing road trip story with us here at the CCC. I hope everybody has enjoyed it was much as we have. 

Go back to Part 1, Part 2 or Part 3




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Historic Customs USA Road Trip P3

 

HISTORIC CUSTOMS USA Road Trip Part 3

 

By Ronnie Lindblom & Micke Hedberg.

With most of the problems on the cars now sorted Ronnie and Micke are ready to get the grand tour at Gene Winfields Shop, and prepare for the rest of their amazing trip.



In early July 2016 Ronnie Lindblom and Micke Hedberg left Sweden for their dream road trip in the USA. Both guys had bought an historic custom in the month prior to this trip, and along the way the idea had grown to fix up their cars and make a road trip of a life-time.¬†After 11 long days and nights working on their cars, they finally had them ready to hit the road. You can read about the first 11 days of their journey in Part One¬†and the first time on the road for the cars in Part Two of this series. The guys ¬†worked till late into the night to get Ronnie’s Mercury fixed. They left Ronnie’s ’39 Mercury at Gene’s¬†shop and took Micke’s¬†’36 Ford to drive up to the nearest Motel to get a few hours of sleep. Early the next morning they head back to¬†spend some more¬†quality time with Gene Winshield at his Mojave Desert shop.

CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-01After sleeping a few hours at the nearest motel the guys drove¬†back to the Winfield shop with Ronnie’ s ’36 Ford¬†early in the morning.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-02New day, new challenges. The Merc was fixed late last night and now Ronnie is almost ready for a test drive.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-03Ronnie only has to¬†refill the water and check oil…
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-04The test drive went fine, and it¬īs time to re torque the heads. There¬†was nothing they could do about the crack in the head. So, they did all other things¬†they could do and hope¬†the engine will last¬†the rest of the trip.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-05The both cars are now ready for the rest of the journey. Micke, Ronnie and Mr. Winfield give the thumb up for the rest of the trip!
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-06Gene is 89 years old and still works on custom cars everyday. It¬īs really impressive to see a legend work and still enjoy it all like it was his firs day at the job. That¬īs amazing! When¬†the Swedes were¬†at Winfield’s, Gene was worked on a channeled ¬≠’40 Ford convertible.¬†
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-09Then it was time to take a tour around the shop and inside Gene own little museum. Here Gene shows the unique bed he made from a model-A Ford pickup.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-10Gene sharing memories and stories from dry lake races in the early days while showing the guys old pictures on the walls.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-collageClose up of the early dry lake collage.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-11One of Gene’s old wood shop signs with his famous logo.¬†Gene hold on to it¬†all these years, and now it’s hanging proudly¬†in his nice little private museum.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-12The “Thing”, a¬†’27 model T racer Gene built¬†in the late 1940’s.¬† Well the original is long gone, and this one is an¬†updated copy of the real ‚ÄĚThing‚ÄĚ. Gene told Micke and Ronnie lots of great stories from back in the day¬īs, It was a blast!
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-07Micke had parked his¬†¬ī36 Ford in the shadow inside the shop¬†to cool down.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-08Micke started his 36 Ford, and everything was still working fine, so they are all ready to go.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-13But before its time to go, they took Gene for a ride in the ¬ī36 Ford.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-14here we go…
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-15Can you imagine how many memories this brought back for Gene… and created¬†for Micke.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-16And of course Gene now also had to¬†get a ride in Ronnie’s Merc as well!
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-17Cruising like it was the early 1940’s…
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-18And more memories brought back, and created.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-19Then it was almost time to say goodbye to Gene, a few last photos with the cars and the shop in the background….
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-24Before the guys left Gene drew a map showing how to best get to El Mirage dry lake and to a couple of friends which Gene thought visiting would be very well worth it. 
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-20And on the way to Palmdale, the first stop
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Not long after they had left¬†Winfield’s¬†Ronnie’s Mercury started to get problems again. The engine started to run really crappy and they had to stop. After they had stopped and let the engine cool a bit¬†the engine refused to start again. The guys checked all possible reasons for the engine failure.¬†Condenser, pionts, distributor cap and several more things,¬†but nothing helped to get the engine to start. Finally Ronnie found out that the distributor was flash-over to ground and he was able to¬†fix the problem. Pfff, it was a hot day out in the middle of the desert!… but they were on their way again.


CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-21Finally the guys arrived at the first stop Gene suggested. Dave McCain, one of the worlds fastest Flathead Ford drag-racers.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-22Dave showed the guys around in his shop and they talked about Flathead tune up all night long.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-25This was the first night without working on the cars since they had arrived in the US. It felt like vacation, just having a good time and making plans for the trip to El Mirage tomorrow.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-23The cars early the next morning… all ready and excited for the drive up to the Dry lake.
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Go back to Part 1, Part 2. Or go to Part 4
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Historic Customs USA Road Trip P2

 

HISTORIC CUSTOMS USA Road Trip Part 2

 

By Ronnie Lindblom & Micke Hedberg.

After 11 days of hard work Ronnie and Micke got their Historic Customs on the road and ready to go.

In early July 2016 Ronnie Lindblom and Micke Hedberg left Sweden for their dream road trip in the USA. Both guys had bought an historic custom in the month prior to this trip, and along the way the idea had grown to fix up their cars and make a road trip of a life-time. After 11 long days and nights working on their cars, they finally had them ready to hit the road. You can read about the first 11 days of their journey in Part One of this series.

CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-00Tuesday afternoon and ready to take off from Squeaks place.
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With the cars now finished, all the tools, supplies and others things needed for the trip was loaded into the trunks of the cars. They said goodbye to everybody who had helped them in Bakersfield and they were ready to hit the road. Yeah!


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The¬†next, exciting phase of their trip was to drive the cars to Gene Winfield’s shop in the Mojave¬†desert. This¬†less than 100 mile trip from Bakersfield, to Gene’s place was going to be a smooth test-drive, so they thought.¬†They planned it would take them around two hours that Tuesday afternoon¬†to get to Gene. Perhaps a little more to take some nice pictures along the way…

CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-01Both cars had their trunks filled to the top with tools, spareparts and water. This made it a little tricky to fill gas!
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-17Bakersfield, California.¬†Ronnie is driving his ’39 Merc and snaps a picture of¬†Micke¬†in his ’36 Ford across the street.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-03 With the cars on the highway for the first time. Exciting and it feeeels good!
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-16What not the guys had realized¬†was the steep mountain-pass right outside Bakersfield.¬†Afterwards they remember¬†Squeak telling them all about this, but who had time to listen to these “small”¬†details when they¬†were too excited and focused to get¬†the cars ready to¬†drive? It was really going uphill here, and both cars were really struggling.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-04Half an hour from Bakersfield the temp gauges were hitting¬†maximum. Pretty soon Micke¬īs radiator started to steam and the¬†winshield started to fog when the steam came thru the louvered hood. It was definitly time for the first stop. Both cars was boiling.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-05The cars had to cool down a bit and it was time for the radiators to get¬†filled with fresh¬†water. It could have happened on a worse place though. While waiting Micke and Ronnie enjoyed the view, and probably dreamt of making this drive in the early 1950’s
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When the cars had cooled down enough they took off, desperately in need of flat roads or even better downhill… But¬†the only way to find a downhill was to look in the rearmirror, so not before long the cars got hot again. While the cars were cooling down again Micke was trying to get some work done on the car, perhaps to solve a bit of the cooling problem. After a while he started the ’36 and it sounded really crappy.

At first they thought the floatlevel was wrong as the hill was so steep, but adjusting it did¬†not¬†make the old flatty run any better. After some contemplating¬†they figured out it¬†must¬†be¬†the condenser… mmm could be worse, they had brought an¬†old spare condenser. They packed it in the trunk… but which trunk?! and where?? Finally they found the spare¬†condenser and while¬†Micke was installing it he lost a¬†screw in the gravel.. Great! Eventually they found another screw they could use and fix this problem.

CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-20The steep hills and the over 100 degrees temperatures was brutal, and too much for the cars.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-14¬† While working on Micke’s¬†36 and waiting for both cars to cool down,¬†3 modern cars also had to stop at¬†the same hill because of overheating.¬†
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-02To drive those historical customs on those old roads is an adventure, but to do it without gps and with partly hand-drawn map is something else!¬†It really took them¬†back in the days. Here¬īs the guys sitting in a crossroad trying to figure out the right way to Mr Winfield.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-11Sometimes you have to drive miles and miles to find a roadsign out there… This was¬†‚Ästas they¬†found out later¬†‚Ästthe wrong way!
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Arriving at Gene Winfield

Even after the guys had left the steep mountain pass behind them the Merc maintain to have overheating problems. After many stops with boiling engine and some minor problem to find the right road it was a real relieve when they finally saw Gene’s huge shop space in the distance. They arrived at Gene Winfields shop shortly before it started to get dark. Gene knew the guys were coming as Squeak had called him 5 hours earlier and told him they had just left Bakersfield. So he was getting a bit worried about the guys.

CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-21Gene’s place… they finally made it.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-22The gate was open and they drove right up to the shop area. Excited to meet Gene, and also knowing they could hopefully figure out the engine problems and solve it for the remainder of the trip.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-27It was a long hot day… finally parked at goal¬†number one… Gene Winfield’s shop.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-23Where the hell have you been guy¬īs“, was¬†Gene first response.
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Micke and Ronnie talked to Gene about the trip, and how they had spend the last 11 days in Squeaks shop. Then told him the trip from Bakersfield had taken so long due to the heating problems.
The guys hoped for a blown headgasket, they had already tried to get a pair at a local car supplies along the road, but most of the stores had sold their last flathead parts 50 years ago.


Gene told the guys that he might have a pair that was ment for a -49 merc project he had in the shop, Gene went into the shop and searched for the new pair of head-gaskets while Micke and Ronnie drained the water and prepared for pulling the heads off the engine.


CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-28By now the un was set, and it was time to get to work on the Mercury, to see if the problems could be fixed.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-25The guys and Gene working together on the Merc. What can be better than becoming friends this way? Its intresting how a big problem and frustrating work can result in such a great time.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-29Micky cleaning one of the heads.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-26Sadly the old head gaskets looked good, but under the right head of Ronnie’s ’39 Merc engine the guys found the reason of overheating. Big cracks between cylinder and valves in two cylinders. They only had one spare engine, and that was already mounted in Micke’s ’36… there was no other choise than to put the heads back on and hope that the engine would make the trip till the end! And so they did… and then finally it was time to get some sleep. [divider]



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Go back to Part One or ahead to Part Three of the Historic Customs USA Road-Trip.



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Historic Customs USA Road Trip P1

 

HISTORIC CUSTOMS USA Road Trip Part 1

 

How to get two historic stalled Custom Cars back on the road and make a once in a life-time Road Trip.

By Ronnie Lindblom & Micke Hedberg.

In early July 2016 Ronnie Lindblom and Micke Hedberg left Sweden for their dream road-trip in the USA. Both guys had bought an historic custom in the year prior to this trip, and along the way the idea had grown to fix up their cars in the US, and make a road-trip of a life-time before shipping their cars to Sweden. Ronnie had bought his early 1940¬īs restyled 1939 Mercury chopped padded topped convertible in the summer 2015 from Kevan Sledge, and Micke bought his 1936 Ford 5-window coupe in November 2015.

The Mercury had been for sale previous at the LA Roadster Show (LARS). At this show an older gentle man had pointed out that he was very familiar with the car. But at the time the man was not properly interviewed and no contact info was written down. This all lead for Ronnie and Micke to make the 2016 LARS their prime goal… who knows, perhaps the older gentleman would make an appearance this year again. Micke’s 36 Ford has a Long Beach history, so he was also hoping to find out more about who had originally performed all the well done body work on his Coupe.

 

CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-map-01Plane trip from Sweden the US on June 2, 2016.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-map-02Blue trip with Squeek’s pick up and Ronnie’s ’39 Merc on the trailer to Bakersfield (blue pin). After 160 hours in 11 days and half a day to clean up the mess the first trip to Gene Winfield in the Mohave desert. (Green pin) Next stop is El Mirage (Orange pin), and then to the LA Roadster Show (Red pin).
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-01Both Ronnie and Micke had started¬†collecting parts from the moment¬†they bought their cars. Some were delivered in the US, others had to be brought from Sweden. Three suitcases full of car parts, hand-luggage¬†with a few clthes and two hats… All they need.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-02Ronnie and Micke took a taxi from the SF airport to the upholstery shop in San Francisco that had done the interior for Ronnie‚Äôs Mercury and stored the car until now. They met Squeek at the shop, who was there¬†with a trailer to pick up the guys and the¬†Merc. On the way up Squeek he also had picked up some parts for the Merc and a spare engine for Micke‚Äôs ‚Äô36 Ford at Kevan Sledge’s place. Once the Merc was loaded on the trailer it was off to Bakersfield where the real work could start.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-03They arrived at Squeek’s home/shop late that night. Ronnie’s Merc was unloaded and Micke saw his ’36 Ford for the first time in person. Micke had it shipped from the guy he bought it from in Oregon to Squeek’s shop  in Bakersfield the week before.
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Ronnie and Micke worked at least 160 hours in 11 days to get their cars fixed for their planned road trip to Gene Winfield, El Mirage, the LA Roadster Show and the end destination, So Cal Classics that would ship their cars by container and boat to Sweden.

CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-04The guys slept in the office, just to save time. First thing on the agenda was to make a list of things needed and visit the local car supply store and super market to get parts and human fuel. The first big hurdle was to get the cars registrated and legal to drive on the road. Micke had already arranged full insurance on both cars from Sweden, and made an appointment at the local DMW office for registration on the Merc. Registration and inspection of the coupe took a bit more time as the title was too old. After some long hours and some administration problems they left the DMV with new registration plates and tax tags! With all the paperwork out of the way, the real work on the cars could start.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-05Squeek had made sure the guys had plenty of space to work at, their own personal garage, and let them borrow special tools when needed. Ronnie and Micke brought some tools from Sweden and bought some at the local toolstore. They figured a big box of tools would be needed to ensure the trip to LA.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-06Ronnie inventorying all the parts he had brought, shipped and found in the car. 
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-07Micke’s 36 Ford was also packed with all kinds of parts and stuff needed to get his car back on the road. The parts were ordered over time and all delivered to his friend John Terry in Oregon, where the car was stored before being shipped to California.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-08And then… the hours and hours of work on the car begins. Long days, late into the nights, early starts,¬†no distractions, and just one goal.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-09Brake repairs with everything new from mastercylinder to brakeshoes and overhaul inspection of bearings to make sure the car would be able to make the road trip safe, and stop where needed. The car has not been on the road since the late 1970’s.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-10Micke did all he could to make the original¬†engine that was in his ’36 Ford to run. He had made a special tool back in Sweden, to use at the starter gear. The heads and intake were pulled off and he made sure the valves were loose. While Micke was under the car with a long socketwrench and the special too,¬†Mike Parker, a friend of Squeak tapped the stock piston. The engine got loose and turned over… but not enough for¬†the starter on his own power. Even after a couple of days with lubricate and wrengching. Micke ran out of¬†time to spend on the engine, so he had to replace it with the spare engine to make sure the car would run.¬†
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-11Everything on the brake system had to be changed to make it road-safe. The first time Ronnie lifted the Mercury,¬†he got¬†unexpected¬†news. The spindle bolt was so dead that the wheel move at least¬†an inch. So new bushings had to be installed. And the next surprise was that the steering rods was hitting the oilpan. Sweet! Ok let¬īs dig up a truck pan to a 8ba. Luckely Mike Parker had a spare¬†one that could be used on the Merc.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-12Working until late in the evening was needed to make the deadline.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-17Up early, and a quick breakfast in the shop. The locals laughed and asked if they always lived on serials and frozen pizza’s‚Ķ and beer?!
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-13Out goes Micke’s ’37 Ford engine…
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-14Micke droped the pan down to check it, clean it and replace the old oilpump before the new engine was going in.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-18Old and New…
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-15Micke is prepping a new gastank for his ’36 Ford.
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CCC-roadtrip-p1-radiatorThe cooling system on the 36 was totally clogged, Micke had the radiator flushed and boiled at the local radiator shop and installed all new hoses.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-16Ronnie keeps the neighbours awake late in night, Sparks flying…
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-19Micke’s Ford is now almost drivable… Ronnie is still working hard to get his ’39 Merc ready.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-24Yeah… 50% of the mission completed. Micke’s ’36 Ford coupe is back on the road for the first time since the late 1970’s. The crew has a new parts getter.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-20Ronnie’s Merc is back on the floor, and now its time to install new glass.. 
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-21Interior back in, and getting all the electric stuff to work.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-22First time on the road for Ronnie’s ’39 Mercury since 1959.
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For a short time the guys thought they would be done early the last night in the shop, but after a frozen pizza and a couple of beers the crew noted some stinky smell coming from the ’36‚Ķ O¬īboy!¬†It turned out to be the coil was melted over the crank pulley‚Ķ They didn‚Äôt have any working spare coil and as the timing-cover was the wrong type for the spare dist. Micke decided he had to replace the timing cover. As they didn‚Äôt have a fitting socket for the crank pulley nut Micke had to cut the pulley off with the angle grinder to make space¬†for a big monkey wrench to fit. With the new dist mounted Micke made the final test-drive three thirty¬†in the morning. Now¬†the coupe was running like a kitten again! Pjuhh‚Ķbedtime!


CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p1-23They made it… both cars are done, and ready for the trip to the LA Roadster Show, with a stop at Gene Winfield and El Mirage along the way.
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Micke and Ronnie want to say a BIG thanks to Squeak for all help for everything!! Transports, lodging, workshop, work and great company!! We never would have made it in such a short time at another place for sure! Thanks for a really great time! They also want to thank Mike Parker for all the help and running errands around town.

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36 Ford Survivor Custom

 

36 FORD SURVIVOR CUSTOM

 

Customizing on this 1936 Ford 5-window Coupe started in 1948 and was finished in 1953. It was family owned until it was sold in 2015. Now it is destined to be fully restored to its former glory.

 



In November 2015 this 1936 Ford chopped 5-window coupe was offered for sale on eBay. Listed as an 1936 Ford Custom Coupe “True Barn Find” in Oregon. I first found out about it when one photo of it¬†was¬†posted on Facebook and somebody mentioning how bad the chop looked on the car. I disagreed and thought it was looking really great and interesting. I¬†figured it was an older custom job done perhaps in¬†the 1950‚Äôs.¬†I searched for¬†the eBay listing and compared the eBay photos with some of the old 1936 chopped 5-window coupes in my archive files, none of them looked similar. I saved the photos in my files and went on doing other things. A couple of days later I received¬†an email from Micke¬†Hedberg from Sweden, mentioning¬†that he had just bought this ‚Äô36 Ford 5-window¬†and that he was looking to find more info on the car.

Micke also thought it was an old build, and he asked the Oregon seller what he knew about the car’s history. He just told him that it was found in a barn and the owner had passed away. He would not give any contact information to the earlier owner.


CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-2015-02Photo from the Oregon ebay seller. This is the trailer that the car was on in storage since 1980. Notice the new louvered hood sides. The Chevy bumper, chopped top and the smooth running board give the car a very nice look.
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First when Micke received the title for the car he was able to search for relatives to the earlier, original owner¬†Delwyn Triska¬†(Del) listed on the title. He¬†did Google searches and was able to find a few matches in Oregon.¬†He¬†contacted them on facebook without results. After some more researching he found a¬†Nolene Triska¬†listed as an artist in Estacada. Micke contacted her and got an positive answer the next day.¬†Nolene¬†was indeed connected to¬†Del Triska, the former owner of the Ford. Nolene was married to Del¬īs son¬†Wyn¬†Triska. After the first contact with the Triska family, it has taken Micke almost five¬†month to gather all the information¬†on the car¬†so far. And he sure is hoping he will find out much more about the car.

Nolene was going to be the family contact person, She has had her husband¬†Wyn¬†(Del’s oldest son) at her side while answering Micke¬īs emails and phone calls and has spent a lot of time questioning¬†Nancy, Del’s widow, about Del and the car. It is from Nancy we got many old pictures. Nolene has also spoken to Del’s older sister, Shirley, to search for more information. Micke would like to give a BIG thank you, to Nolene for all the help putting the history together on the ‚Äô36 Ford. He could not have done this without her help.

  • Delwyn Triska (Del)¬†Owner of the car since 1948.¬†(born 1930, passed away in 2013)
  • Wyn Triska¬†Son to Del.
  • Nolene Triska¬†Wyn¬īs wife (Micke’s contact person, gathering and sharing the family information on the car)
  • Nancy¬†Del’s widow (Married to Del since 90¬īs)
  • Shirley, Del’s sister



Lets start with the info that came with the car from the Oregon seller.

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This is a true barn find. ¬†This car was brought up from California to Oregon on the¬†trailer in the photos, and put in a barn and was not touched since 1985. ¬†I checked this vehicle out and found no rust anywhere. ¬†Here is what I know about it. ¬†The top was chopped professionally to give it a better look. ¬†The running boards were molded in as well as the headlights and taillights. ¬†Louvered the hood. Aluminum firewall. ¬†Has engine compartment gauges. ¬†Still a 6 volt system. The brakes are upgraded to a hydraulic system. The steering column is from a 47 ford. The engine is a 1937 with dual carbs on a Edmunds intake, Aluminum heads Cyclone 21 high compression. ¬†I have not tried to clean it up or start the engine yet. I am sure it wouldn’t take much to get it running and put tires on it and drive it as it is.
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CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-e-bayThe eBay ad as it appeared online in early November 2015.
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Micke found the listing on eBay early in the morning (European time), it most likely was put up a couple of hours before he saw it. He had to wait until the afternoon (European time) before he could call the seller using the phone number in the eBay ad. The listing was up in $16,100.- at that time, (less than 24 hours after it was listed). Micke called the guy in Oregon, spoke to him about the Ford, made him an offer and a deal was made.




Del Triska 1936 Ford

In December, a month after the Ford had been offered on eBay, Micke was able to get in touch with Nolene, the wife of the original owner’s son, and asked about the ‚Äô36 Ford 5-window coupe he had bought. She told him that the car he had found belonged to Delwyn (Del) Triska. Del who, sadly, passed away in 2013, was born in 1930. He’d bought the ‚Äô36 Ford as a used car in 1948 or 49 in Long Beach California. He was still a young guy and had just graduated from high school when he bought the car. Del was in the United States Navy, stationed out of San Diego, California, while he was working on the car.

CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-delA young¬†Delwyn (Del) Triska with the 1936 Ford before the major restyling had begun.¬†The photo is taken¬†at Del’s parent’s home on 98th Street, Los Angeles. No date, but had to be ’48 or early ’49. He graduated in ’48, turned 19 in December of ’49 and went in the Navy right after that.
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CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-interior-early-00When this photo was taken Del has already been working on the car in his parents garage for some time. It already has hydraulic brakes, other bumpers and radio antenna, but the top was still stock. We do not know if Del bought the car the way it looks here, or if he added the hydraulic brakes, bumpers and antenna.
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CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-dash-earlyDel reworked the stock ‚Äô36 Ford dash early on, but would later redo it a bit more dramatically. All the early work was done in his father’s garage and out in their backyard on 98th Street in Los Angeles.
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CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-interior-earlyThis photo shows the first version of the dash installed in the un-chopped coupe.The¬†seat had a new aftermarket seat cover installed, but the door sides are still factory stock. The car also still had the¬†floorshift and a ’37 steering wheel. Noticed the “Southern California” letters in the windshield! This was a typical California thing to show which high school you attended.
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CCC-del-triska-and-friend-with-carsDel posing with his ’36 Ford before it was chopped in the background. In the foreground a friend of Del poses with his mildly restyled ’36 Ford 5-window coupe. His friend Ford had the running boards removed, fenders modified,¬†hood sides replaced with smooth units and running singe bar flipper hubcaps and new bumpers. Two young proud guys posing with their two cool Customs, what a fantastic photo.
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Del had found a local (Long Beach) body-man who had a good reputation of doing fine body work. Wyn remembered that the body-man was pretty well known and that Del had said he was the BEST around in the Long Beach area at the time. Wyn also remembered that the body-man had build car(s) featured in the magazines back then and that he had an unusual name. Judging from quality of the work done on the car it may very well be that Herb Reneau might have been this famous body man who worked on Del’s 1936 Ford. Micke is trying to find more info on this right now, and hopefully we can confirm this, or at least add the right name for the body-man at a later stage. (Herb Reneau is best known for his work on the Jack Calori 1936 Ford coupe.)


Del’s Ford was the first ’36 Ford 5-window coupe the body-man had chopped. He had chopped 3-window coupes, but the 5-window coupe needed a much different chop. More was taken out of the rear than the front to get the top, which is a bit higher in the back from the factory, nice and better flowing after the chop. The B-Pillars were lined up after the chop, and the windshield was laid back, and cut down a bit to meet the new roof line. The rear window is uncut and angeled forward a bit as Del wanted the full-size window in the back. The top section was filled-in using a section cut from a ’39 Pontiac.

CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-011953 photo of Del’s 1936 Ford all finished in super glossy black paint with the right amount of chrome accents. The Chevy bumpers give the chopped coupe some extra “body”, a very nice touch.
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CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-rear1953 photo from the rear shows the molded in taillights and the ’49 Chevy license plate guard mounted on the 46-48 Chevy bumpers. Notice the ripple dish hubcaps with no flipper. And how it still matches the spare tire cover on the car today.
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CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-engineDel used some great looking polished and chrome plated dress up parts for his 1937 Ford engine. Notice the engine turned panel bolted to the fire wall.
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Del replaced the original engine with the ’37 Ford engine that is still in the car today. He¬†hopped up the engine a bit with 21 stud¬†Cyclone¬†heads,¬†Edmunds¬†intake manifold, twin¬†Stromberg¬†97 carbs,¬†Weber¬†3/4 race camshaft, hi-volume oil pump, distributor adapted from late 40s Ford engine. Del also added¬†exhaust headers, hydraulic Brakes from late 40s Ford. Tranny and columshift too.¬†Dell added 1946-48 Chevrolet bumpers with 1949-50 Chevy accessory bumper guards and an¬†1949 license plate frame on the rear bumper.

Wyn mentioned that Del did not have a lot of money when he first got the car. He was in the Navy and just did not had a lot of cash to spend on the car. He agreed with the builder that he could do as much work on the car himself as possible to save money. Besides that Del offered to do other work in the shop to trade with the body-man to work on his Ford. It all worked out great and labor was traded and everybody was happy. The car was finished in the early 1950’s and some of the photos we have received from the¬†Triska family show the finished car in 1953, and colour photos from 1954.

CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-color-01Nice color photo of Del’s chopped ’36 Ford 5-window coupe from around 1954. It shows that the car was only lowered a minimum amount to get the perfect a bit sporty stance.
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CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-color-1954Del checking out the engine on his Ford at his parents’ home in Kagel Canyon. The photo is dated 26/2/1954.
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CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-wyn-and-brian

This photo was taken in October of 1964. Wyn to the left is 5 years old and his brother Brian 3 years old. Notice that Del’s Ford has a large diameter white with chrome trim ring steering wheel. Also notice that the car still looks very good. Del used it now and then after he got married, but he drove the Mercury to work, usually, according to Wyn. [divider]

Del¬†was in the Navy from 1949 to 1954. After he joined up at 19 years old (several months after high school graduation), his parents moved from their home (on 98th Street in Los Angeles) to their Kagel Canyon property. Del didn’t have the car chopped and rodded until he was in the Navy, when he had a little more money. After the work on the car was done, he drove the car back and forth from San Diego to Kagel Canyon, Los Angeles, where his parents lived. He got out of the Navy in 1954 and married Wyn’s mom.

They bought¬†an 1950¬†Mercury right after they got married, to have a family car, and shortly afterward, moved to Torrance, California. Del drove the Ford off and on after that, but Nancy says he usually used the Mercury to go back and forth to work. By the way, Nancy also mentioned¬†that Del was in charge of the engine room on his ship. He was extremely proficient at tending and repairing the diesel engines and supervising the other sailors in the engine room. Everything ran smooth as silk, the engine room was spic and span and there wasn’t any problem he couldn’t solve. The captain of his ship was so happy with his work that he wouldn’t let him be transferred to any other ship. So Del stayed with his ship all four years of his enlistment. He told Nancy he was in heaven running the engine room. He also had access to machining equipment to make parts for his car!



1970’s Restoration

In the 1970’s, Del and his son Wyn (13 years old at the time) decided to restore the 1936 Ford as a father-son project. All the original body work was left as it was, the engine was removed to be worked over and later re-installed. Wyn remembered that his father was a meticulous person and fussy about doing things correctly.
 Del helped him rebuild the engine, fix up the body and repaint it. Wyn rewired the ’36 with a salvaged scrap Boeing 747 wiring harness which he had found at a local swap meet.

Wyn designed and fabricated new exhaust headers to replace the ones Del had designed so many years ago. Sadly, the originals were completely rusted out. Under Del’s supervision, Wyn re-machined the engine turned aluminum panels on the dashboard that matched the panels on the firewall, all of which were installed by Del in the 1950‚Äôs. They also removed the large white steering wheel and column and added a smaller diameter wheel. Wyn could not remember where the original large white steering wheel came from. During the time they rebuild the ’37 engine the engine from the Mercury was mounted in the car.

CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-2015-04During the 1970’s update the real spotlights were replaces with dummy spotlights. There is a lot of dust on the car, but it appears to be in a very good condition.
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CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-2015-03The spare tire hubcaps is most likely still the original hubcap that Del used back in the 1950’s. Sadly its the only one still with the car today.
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The father and son team worked on the car for three years. With the car completely redone and Wyn now old enough to drive, he drove the car to his work in Los Angles for about a year. When Wyn moved out of his parents home in Torrance, California, he gave it back to Del and the car was stored for 16 years. In 1996, Del and his wife, Nancy, moved to Estacada, Oregon, to be closer to Wyn and his family. Del brought the ’36 with him. Nancy remembers that Del started the car and drove it onto the trailer in order to tow it to their new home. He stored it inside their pole barn, and then, in 2003, moved it to their 3-sided carport, open in the front. The Ford always had the car cover on it.

With father and son now living close together again, the plan was for Wyn’s son Josh (Del’s grandson) to work with his father and grandfather on the ‚Äô36 Ford, but, sadly, that never happened. Del passed away before this 3 generations family project was started.

CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-2015-06Molded running boards with custom trim pieces added to the top and side. The original body work was done in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s and is still looking very good today.
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CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-2015-08Molded in fender details, and a close look at the 1946-48 Chevy bumpers. Sadly the accessory bumper over-riders are long gone.
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CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-2015-07A look inside shows the engine turned dash inserts done in the late ’40’s, early ’50’s. The upholstery dates back to the early ’50’s.
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CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-2015-10The large white steering wheel was removed and replaced with an more appropriate (for the time) smaller diameter sports steering wheel. The column is still the same as what Del installed in the early 1950’s.
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CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-2015-05As far as we have found out this is also still the same headliner with 1950 Mercury light, that was installed in the early 1950’s.
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Wyn also remembers that the car was registered, actually, as a ’35, because the frame was a ’35 frame, but Del had put on fenders and a body to make it a ’36 because he liked the look of the ’36 better. The upholstery in the car was not touched by Wyn when they redid the car. It was that way as far back as he can remember. He doesn’t think Del re-did it after the first chop and upholstery job.

In the photos we can see how the running boards were smoothed and molded solid with the front and rear fenders. The stock taillights were molded into the fenders, and also the headlights stands were molded in and the front fenders were molded into a single piece. MG¬†trim pieces were added to protect the smooth running boards tops as well as on the sides. Smooth louvered hood sides were added and a set of spotlights was installed. According the family the spotlights originally on the car were Appleton’s.¬†(but not the S-112 or S-552 type).¬†The car never had fender skirts on it after it had been finished. Del liked the more sporty look of the car better this way. And even thought the car looked tough, and the engine was hopped up, Del never raced the car, he was just to proud on the work that was done to the car to take the risk of damaging it during a race.

CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-2015-09Engine is the 1937 Ford engine with mostly the same dress up parts that Del installed in the early 1950’s. They do need a good polishing or rechroming. [divider]


CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-2015-01Better look at the molded in taillight pods, the ripple disk hubcap on the spare tire cover, and the last registration date sticker from 1983.
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Current State (May 2016)

Since¬†Micke had bought the car in late 2015 the car has been stored at John Terry¬īs place in Vancouver WA.¬†Micke got in contact with John through a local hot-rodder named Mark Brislawn that he became friend with while visiting¬†the Portland Swapmeet earlier in 2015. John has been doing a bit of work on the car. He loosened up the frozen left rear brake and mounted the fresh white wall tires¬†on the car. John also removed¬†the spark-plugs, and filled the cylinders with penetration oil and tried to turn over the engine without any luck so far.


LARS 2016
Micke and his brother Ronnie will fly over from Sweden to work on the ’36 Ford, and Ronnie’s 1939 Mercury vintage customs to get them road worthy and then drive to Los Angeles to attend the 2016 LARS show.¬†The Los Angeles Roadster Show (LARS) will be held¬†on¬†Saturday, June 18th and Sunday, June 19th¬†2016. If you plan to go to the show, be sure to check out Micke’s 1936 Ford 5-window coupe and his brother Ronnie’s 1939 Mercury for their great historic Customs. We will make sure that we will be showing plenty of photos from the road trip and gathering of these¬†two historic customs here on the Custom Car Chronicle.

CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-2016-02The chopped interior garnish moldings were smoothed and chrome lated in the early 1950’s.¬†
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CCC-del-triska-36-ford-coupe-2016-01Photos taken¬†at John’s place,¬†showing the car with¬†the fresh white wall tires mounted on the car. The new tires¬†completely change the appearance of the car¬†from the way Mickey bought it.
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Micke¬†Hedberg is still looking into finding more information about the history of Del’s 1936 Ford. Hopefully the Triska family will be able to come up with some more photos, and possibly more information on the early years of the car. When is does¬†we will be adding that information to this article as soon as we can. We have decided to run the article on Del’s Ford now, in the hope to possibly find some more information from other people than the Triska Family. Hopefully some of our readers might remember Del’s Ford from the Long Beach area in the early 1950’s. And hopefully this way we might be able to find out who did the original body work on the Ford, and if it was done by Herb Reneau, or somebody else.¬†All this information will be used when Micke starts a full restoration on this great looking late 40‚Äôs, early 50‚Äôs custom 5-window coupe.

If you have more information on this Custom Car, then please email Rik here at the Custom Car Chronicle so that we can add the info to this article. Thank you.


Micke plans to¬†clean up the car, get the missing hubcaps, bumper guards etc and make the old custom look as it did in the early 1950’s. He is¬†going to run it in that way in the beginning, maby do a complete restoring later. He has¬†a one year old daughter and another one on the way. Mickey likes to use his cars, in a similar way as Del did back in the 1950’s, for “daily” transportation. So he most likely will¬†wait a little while until his kids have grown up a bit and understand to be careful with the car before he starts a full restoration.

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(this article is sponsored by)

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