Deuce Update May 11, 2004

It was bound to happen. A guy can only take so much temptation, or was it torture. One day I snapped, or as one of my more colorful friends says “He busted a spring”. I’ve been working away in the shop, trying, sometimes in vain, to keep the coupe in one piece and sanding on the Cadillac. Sanding, sanding, sanding…. While there in the corner under a thick blanket of dust, mostly primer dust, patiently waits the deuce roadster. Well, not so patient really. Every time I look over there it seems to scream “HEY!!!!! What about me?!?!?! When’s MY turn?!?!?!

I keep saying “after the Caddy is done or at least mostly back in one piece”. I’ve set a completion date for the Caddy for Paso ’06. That’s two years plus at least another two to re-do the roadster means I can’t drive it for at least 4 more years. That’s too long but I can’t just put the Caddy on the back burner for 2+ years while I build the roadster besides I don’t have enough space to have both of them completely blown apart for that long.

So, a couple weeks ago I came up with a scheme that gets me into the roadster within a few months and still keeps the Cadillac on schedule for Paso ’06. The basic plan is to buy a basic, low buck , repop roller deuce chassis, put the roadster body on it as is and drive it while I finish the Cadillac. Then when the Cadillac is done, I’ll build the original deuce chassis the way I really want it. The deuce body will get the appropriate body work and paint before being installed on its permanent chassis. Then I’ll buy a repop body for the repop frame, paint it and sell it.

I’ve been refining the plan over the past few days and it’s coming together well. Originally I thought of using the low mileage Cad500 / TH400 slated for the Cadillac for power. That would have necessitated getting replacement cores of each of those to rebuild for the Cadillac. However , after some quick measuring I determined that combination would not fit under the stock hood with the stock firewall and I don’t intend to cut either one. Plan B: I’ve got a TH400 under the bench and I scored a complete '66 283 that has never been in a car from a local high school auto shop. An old pair of ‘vette valve covers I got from RottenRodney, and that grody old Edelbrock 3X2 manifold with 97’s on it should work just fine (probably need to get Jere Job to give the 97’s a once over. Anybody got his number handy?).

I ordered the repop chassis from CSR Mfg. but I had to make some changes to their basic entry level offering. Making this prime vintage steel ride around on a repop chassis is bad enough, I can’t make it suffer the indignity of it being a 4 bar chassis with coil overs, disk brakes and a tube axle. By the time I got done with upgrades, downgrades and swapping in a few old parts out of my junk stash, I ended up a few bucks under the base price for the chassis. The 4 bar front and tube axle will be swapped out for a beam and hairpins. The rear 4 bars and coil overs will be swapped out for hairpins, a buggy spring and covered shocks. I’ll supply the Vega box, spindles, and ‘56 F100 brakes for the front. They’ll add the appropriate bungs for the fenders and running boards. I’ll run the fenders while the car is in its beater state. When it gets mated back up with its original chassis it’ll be a high boy.

Some other parts from the junk stash that will be used: a set of small Guide headlights without the parking lights, a ’39 banjo wheel, Signalstat, a set of 46 Merc caps and a set of ’56 Ford truck wheels (I might need to dig up 2 more of those). The dash insert that I got from SoCal for the Auburn dash will be a bit shiny for the beater state but it fits the dash perfectly (maybe I’ll have to throw some dirt on it or something). I picked up a bunch of little things at the NSRA Nats. With so many vendors in one place it's kinda like shopping in a hot rod mall. Some of the new parts include: windshield stanchions, gauges, hood hold downs, headlight bar, Gennie shifter, Limeworks column and some re-pop '39 taillights for the lenses and stainless.

That’s the plan. I’m excited. Hopefully I’ll be able to cruise this heap to Bonneville this year.

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