Having already decided that Junior West Coast style mirrors didn’t really look right on the van, I’ve finally come up with a solution. OEM Dodge mirrors were to just to pricey so I’ve gone for these reproduction early 70’s Chevy van mirrors. Much tidier I reckon…
I’m not really a collector of things in the true sense… just a hoarder. The value of the stuff I hoard isn’t monetary, it’s more in the nostalgia. I just like old stuff. Model cars, garage equipment, old stereos and electronic games, vintage cameras and books, car sales brochures and toy garages. Most of all I like car stuff. Like any avid buyer of other peoples junk, the natural domain for me is the car boot sale or flea market. I just love finding some cool piece of automotive tat and paying peanuts for it.
I swear one day, I’ll have a mini museum of my own to put all this stuff in. A big garage with a few nice cars surrounded by the mass of junk I’ve hoarded over the years. I guess I must have about three and a half thousand or so toy cars by now which alone would make a great display. Add to that the toy garages and accessories, slot cars and track, model kits, brochures, signs, posters, books and films and it’d add up to my little bit of old car heaven. Just to give an idea of the kind of stuff I’m talking about, here’s an example of the sort of junk that catches my eye at a car boot sale…
I actually did this job some time ago but figured it may be of interest as it seems many quite capable car nuts are unwilling to tackle the replacement of these large panels, often preferring to just repair the wheel arches on their own instead. If you can get hold of the panels, there’s isn’t actually much more work involved in replacing the entire quarter panel and of course you need virtually no body filler either. Replacing the entire quarter panel also allows you to rust treat and paint areas that wouldn’t normally be accessible. Once you have new rear quarter fitted, you can apply plenty of cavity wax and be certain that there’s no longer any rust lurking and the car will remain solid for years to come. It does seem like a daunting task but in reality it’s no harder than replacing any other welded on panel, much like a sill. Here’s how it’s done…
Just got a scanner for doing old photo negatives. There’s a surprising number of pictures I don’t have as prints including this shot of my Datsun 1000 VB10 estate. I bought this back in 1996 and ran it for about a year until MOT time came around and I lacked the requisite parts to make it roadworthy. B10’s were mega rare even then. It’s still with me but has been in storage since ’97, although I do now have heaps of new parts with which to rebuild it, including a load of new panels. Finding this picture of it wearing some old school 12″ Cobra slot mags reminded me what a rad little wagon this is and I really should get the damned thing fixed soon!
The passenger side, the back end, scuttle and the roof are all prepped ready for primer. Just doing the right hand sill, a little more prep on the drivers door shut and it’s all go for painting the body. At last! The doors are probably all going to media blasting to make life easier. I’ll post up some pics of the hand fabricated sill, you know… just in case anyone needs to know how to make a sill for a Dodge van, right?
If like me you’re keen on fitting tasty wheels to everything in sight, then you might want to get yourself one of these handy, telescopic PCD measuring tools. This is a dead handy thing to have when you’re at a swapmeet or down the scrapyard as you can instantly check the PCD of any 4, 5 or 6 stud rims. In some circumstances you can also flip it over and use it to measure the studs on a hub but only if the hub centre doesn’t protrude too far. I picked this up at the NSRA swapmeet for a fiver but you can go to Bialbero Racing and order one online. There’s more info about this neat little tool there too.
I recently scored a new weapon to add to my arsenal of workshop equipment in the shape of this funky Clemco blasting cabinet. I’ve been looking at getting some kind of blasting cabinet for a while but it seemed that to usual DIY ones didn’t seem to offer much for the money. This used Clemco one is a proper industrial unit and was considerably cheaper than a new DIY type unit so I leaped at the chance when it came up for grabs. This is still a vacuum fed system like DIY cabinets but has a benefit of a full extraction system to draw out dust and debris from the media. It’s largely made of some kind of blow moulded plastic (ABS maybe?) and has a drawer at the bottom to collect dust which doubles as a dead mans switch to control the air supply to the gun (you just press your toe against it). I’m not sure what the round black knob on the front does yet but the rest of it is pretty self explanitory. The window into the cabinet seems to have had some thought put into it as it’s a curved, horizontal affair, designed to prevent to media from hitting it and etching the plastic.
The door mirrors that came fitted to my Dodge were not only revolting but were also rusty so I’ve been looking for some replacements. As I’m going for a full old school late 70’s, early 80’s style custom van I figured some west coast style truckin’ mirrors would be the hot ticket so I bought these. Now they’re here I’m having second thoughts! The arms are too long so they stick out way too far and the mountings are really ugly. Not only that the quality of the chrome onn the arms and brackets doesn’t look that great so I expect they would start to rust in short order too. After seeing that sweet Streetvan at the NRSA swapmeet, I’m now thinking some OEM door mirrors would look way nicer. The problem? It seems that new old stock Mopar van mirrors weigh in at around $500 a set. Ouch!!
I love Top Trump cards. They are like little colour snap shots of dubious motoring history with the techie bits whittled down to merely those about which small boys care, namely engine size, power and top speed. And occasionally value. Whenever I see an interesting old set I buy it.so I was pretty chuffed to find these diminutive Mini Trumps Fact Cards, Particularly as they seem to feature an assortment of sometimes slightly goofy home brewed British Hot Rods from the early 1970’s. Curious really, as the card set is made by a West German company. The cards are pretty small at just 57mm by 37mm so they aren’t easy to scan and the images aren’t all that sharp but I’ve done them anyway as i figured they are kind of interesting. There’s a couple of these old Rods I recognise, namely the American built “Andy’s T” and the green Opus, but most of the rest are unknown to me. Check out the full set of cards after the jump..