Pulled MoHawk Out, Finish Ole Blue, Brakes on Barge and Some Pit Conveniences

For the last 35 years, I’ve always had a large Chrysler vert. There’s nothing like cruising down a country road at 70 with the top down on a land barge. In the 80s I had a 67 Newport and then a 64 300 vert. in the 90s I had a 65 300 vert. About 20 years ago I bought a 64 Imperial vert off the original owner and sold the 65.

So about six or seven years ago I parked the Imperial and haven’t driven it since. Last week I decided that I need to get it running well again and start driving. Yesterday the bad fuel was pumped out and fresh fuel put in, along with new battery. The car started but ran like crap. The plugs, cap, points, condenser, points, and wires were change, and it now purrs like a kitten . Also the value covers were pulled, sanded, primed and painted Mopar engine blue. I’ll do oil change next week.

There were no brakes, so today a new master cylinder was put on, and front brakes got new wheel cylinders. The drums and shoes were good. The back was a little more of an issue. I did have an old school drum puller to get the tapered hubs off, but they weren’t budging with any of the impact guns I have. I had to get my largest breaker bar with a jack handle slid over it – and put all of my 300 pounds behind it to break the press loose.

Again the drums and shoes were good, but the wheel cylinders were garbage. Replaced those, but couldn’t get the fluid to the back, so I ordered a pair of 72″ x 3/16″ brake lines, and a 36″ and 24″ and some couplers to run new lines front to back. That’ll be next week.

Moving onto Ole Blue, my 25 year old Harley. I finished getting the bags back on it, and adjusted the right handle bar controls so I can see out of my new right mirror.

Mounted a 50′ Goodyear air hose (a Doug ‘the Thug’ Duell tip from last month’s race) to my Coach’s 150 psi air supply – so I have air to power a pair of air bottle jacks – should I have a flat on the coach or stacker.

Also mounted a door cabinet on the stacker for cleaning supplies, and to hold a 25′ hose reel. Now I can plug the reel in and air up the race car’s tires without dragging my compressor to each wheel.

This was another theft of a Doug Duell pit tip

The parking light hole in the front bumper of the Texas Thug was filled with amber Plexiglass.

Finally, in the 80s I drove a pair of GT Hawk as my Daily Driver. Over 20 years ago I wanted to Kustomize one of them with a rack and Pinion steering, 340ci Motor, 5-speed transmission, Fins from a 60 Plymouth, and a front clip from a 53 Commander. The car would be “MoHawk”. It has been at various shops in that time – coming back worse than than it was when dropped off after paying tens of thousands of dollars. Anyway, it has been pulled out and cleaned out.

In the near future, I’ll separate the body from the tube chassis to handle making the chassis right at my shop, and I’ll find a decent metal working shop to cut the silly fins from the first shop off, graft on the 60 Plymouth fins, and make the body ready for paint. Then back to my shop for mating to the chassis, drive train, wiring, paint, trim and interior.

So that was my Thursday July 12, 2018.

Screamin Woody in the House!

Monday at 9 AM I left my shop in Beasley, TX and drove 950 miles to Evansville, IN., arriving at my room at 10 PM. Not much of the route is on Interstates, so I made pretty good time.

I showered and decompressed for a couple of hours before falling a sleep. At 7:30 I met my bestest racing bud, Doug Duell, at his Evansville KIA, where he showed me the major remodeling going on there. We hopped into my truck and headed next door to his Evansville Hyundai dealership, where I got to see the major expansion he did there late last year. He’d been storing my trailer there and shuttled my wagon to the Wrapper when she was ready to do the car. So we hooked up the trailer, headed over to the Wrapper, and loaded up the wagon.

Yes I bought Jim Bailey’s aluminum trailer, after he sold his Drag Pak to Jeff Frees. So I dropped Doug back off at his Kia dealership at 9:45 am, hit the trip meter on my truck, and headed back home. Doug went above and beyond helping on this wrap. Took a little longer to get back with the trailer and construction slowdowns, but I was there before midnight. Since I’d gone to Colorado a couple days earlier, I drove about 5000 miles in a week.

This morning, I unloaded the car into its spot for next six months (while I put it back together), put on jack stands, and dropped the trailer.

I didn’t have the flag that Mark Artis painted on the roof 13 years ago wrapped over.

Also going on in the shop today, was my 64 Imperial Convertible getting a new set of plugs, wires, cap, rotor, points and condenser. The car hadn’t been run in years, but fresh fuel and she purred like a kitten. The valve covers came off, got sanded down, a coat of primer, and a coat of Mopar blue – before going back on with new gaskets. Master cylinder came off as it needed to be replaced anyway, and it made it easier to get to #7 plug.

All four of the wheel cylinders are garbage, so lines were broken loose to drain and new wheel cylinders were be here in the morning. Drums haven’t been pulled yet, so don’t know if I’ll be ordering shoes and getting drums turned yet. Obviously needs an oil change. There’s a Sanden AC 134 retro kit with all of the hoses  compressor, bracket, drier, condenser, and other misc parts that are in the Imperial’s very near future.

Last week I disassembled Ole Blue, my Harley I bought new in 1993. I took off the speakers and other stereo equipment I couldn’t hear over my Sampson Dual Fishtail pipes. While apart, I had my daughter (who works three days a week in my shop) detail the sheet metal and chrome; and I ordered a new dash,  tank bib, knurled seat bolts, and leg wind deflectors. Hope conditioned the 25 year old leather seat and bags. I got it all but the bags assembled today, before the 97 degree heat and lack of sleep got to me and I had to call it quits.

I’ll finish the bags tomorrow so I can get it Inspected and renew the registration. I put Baby Ape bars on Ole Blue, my Geezerglide, and my Drifter 1500 last year; but as I work on freshening this bike I might go to old school Full Apes like I use to run on my bikes in the 70s.

Hope also detailed my 78 little Red Express, and I photographed and listed it for sale this evening.

Pretty busy day today, and I have a busy day planned for tomorrow – then Friday off to my little cabin on the lake as I haven’t been there in three weeks and have work I need to do there.

One of the Nicest Original 78 Dodge Little Red Expresses

Is For Sale

Photos were taken 7/11/18
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Mostly Original and Mint care taken of it

51,000 Miles

Cold Factory AC

Dodge made sure that the Lil Red Express would perform like no other. Right from the factory it came with the E58 police package 360 engine. 

Here is a list of factory-installed goodies and statistics on the 1978 and 1979 Lil red express truck

  • Lil Red Express rolled out in March 1978
  • Lil Red Express Had a production number of 2,188 for 1978 & 5,188 for 1979
  • Lil Red Express had a short wheel base (115 inch)
  • Lil Red Express had a gross vehicle weight of 6,100 pounds
  • Lil Red Express had a 360 V8 with a 850 cfm carter thermo-quad four barrel carburetor
  • Lil Red Express truck came Equipped with:
  •  E58 Police Engine
  • Super flow Heads
  • a police cam
  • Heavy duty Valve Springs
  • Cold Air Induction
  • Dual-Snorkel Air Intake
  • Dual Exhaust
  • Came with A-727 Torqueflite Transmission 2500 stall converter
  • The 1979 Lil Red Express included a Catalytic Converter
  • The 1979 had the Flat Hood
  • The 1979 Lil Red Express truck this year came with dual square headlights
  • Also, you could Find These Goodies on the Lil Red Express Truck:
  • Gold pin striping decals on the Doors & Tailgate
  • Oak body trim panels
  • Chrome Exhaust Tips
  • Chrome Valve Cover
  • Chrome Air Cleaner Cover
  • Chrome Side Bed Steps
  • Stainless Steel Heat Shield
  • The Lil Red Express Truck also got about 13 miles to the gallon
  • Dodge said it was the Fastest American Production vehicle for 1978
  • The Lil red truck had 225 Horsepower-3 Speed Automatic Transmission
  • 9¼ inch Rear End with Sure-Grip Differential & 3.55:1 Rear Gears
  • Rear Stabilizer Bar
  • Power Front Disc Brakes/Drums on Back

The 1978s are faster, more rare and far more desirable than the 1979s.

This is what I know about this particular mint truck:

About 12 years ago, I met a preacher in North Texas who was Little Red Express fanatic. He had two, and wanted to sell one of them. One was a non AC model with red seats, carpet and door panels for $22,000, and this far far nicer one for $40,000. I couldn’t justify paying $40K, and bought the not near as nice one.

Two years later, a lady who worked for the preacher and handle many of his personal affairs called to say that the preacher was terminally ill with cancer, and came down on the price to me because he wanted me to have, before putting on eBay. I bought the truck (about ten years ago) and sold the non AC truck to my son.

The preacher was too ill to meet with me, but the time before when I bought the other truck, he told me the truck was original and that held bought about 15 years prior from the original owner – and had rarely driven it. I asked if the wood was original, and he said he was told it was, but I questioned it being too nice. He said the original owner never drove it in the rain, and it spent every night of it life in a garage. This preacher had a huge beautiful home (preaching was very good to him I guess) and the garage that only this truck was kept in was the Taq Mahal of garages. I too have driven this truck very little, and it is stored a nice garage in a flannel lined custom cover that comes with the truck.

Because the Preacher hadn’t driven the last couple of years of his life, I had to do a little work to get it to run as great as it does.

While I really couldn’t verify all that I was told, I’d given the truck a though going over prior to buying it, and believe the flawless paint is original, as is the interior. The underside also made me feel the truck is an original low mileage truck, and not restored or ever wrecked.

I replaced the dealer installed non-Mopar (very common in 1978) radio Zenith radio/8-track with a rebuilt (and bluetooth added) Mopar Infinity stereo from late 90s and early 00s. It runs and drives great, and the only thing I know wrong with it is the speedometer runs about 20mph fast. it says you’re doing 80 when you’re doing 60.

About four years ago, my son sold me his truck back after it had been neglected so he could buy an engagement ring. I got it running right, polished it up and sold it to a guy in New Zealand two years ago for $28,000. He begged me to sell him this one for $35,000, but I wasn’t ready to sell. Now in retirement, I’m selling half of my 31 cars, trucks and motorcycles to make life simpler. I checked Hemmings.com and there are 8 LREs currently for sale, and the 79s not as nice as this rarer 78 are asking high $30s.

A fair, no haggle, quick sale price is $35,000 – the price I’d already turned down. So I’m not going to start at $40K and haggle down to $35k, but instead say the price is $35K firm – because soon (when I get some share time), I’ll blitz advertise this truck on Old Cars Trader, Racing Junk, EBay, Hemmings…

If you’re interested, email me at Davetheoldhippie @ gmail.com.

There are a few things only that I’d be interested in considering as a partial trade. Click here for the list. Do not call me with your brilliant idea on how to sell for me. I will hang up and block you.

When Liberals Screamed Racist in the 70s

Who remembers when all of the Sambos restaurants (one of the best places for breakfast in America) were shut down and the company was forced in bankruptcy because the name was claimed to be racist against African Americans?

Forget the fact that Rudyard Kipling based the story “Little Black Sambo” on a boy in Calcutta, India.

Calling people racist is the last bastion of the Liberal Scoundrel!

Just an average day in my shop

I spend two or three 8-10 days a week in my shop. Tuesday I

Stripped my 93 Heritage (Ole Blue, which I bought new over 25 years ago, and repainted about six years ago) down to replace battery, pull out speaker system that can’t compete with my Sampson Dual Fishtail pipes, pull off and order new dash, bib and lowers – and make it easier to detail, wax and condition leather seat and bags.

Been wanting to change the Baby Ape bars to Full Ape, but maybe next year.

In my 46 Olds, which has been a ten year project turning into a Street Rod – replaced the leaky trans pan, finished all new electrical, and finished a kick ass stereo system. Also got the engine started and running for first time in a year.

It’s getting close to ready for interior. I sure need a good recommendation on a good Interior shop in the Houston area.

I mowed the five acres the shop is on.

Installed four new dead bolts and door knobs keyed the same – so I have one key for eight locks, instead of four. Also, Installed and configured two Atlanta Pro 3rd Generation smart locks. I’ve been getting into Home automation at my two homes and Shop. Smart cameras, alarms, thermostats, locks, lights, TV, sprinkler system, drapes and blinds and more that I can control with my cell phone anywhere in the world – and get text notifications on certain events.

Its obvious I need to clean and paint those doors.

Finally, I set up a cart with various sanding and grinding tools and supplies, as I’m going through a lifetime of hoarded parts to clean, prime and list for sale.

And that’s a typical day at my shop, a couple times a week

HotRod Reunion 2018 Update

Deb and I arrived at Beechbend Raceway in Bowling Green, KY at about 1pm, and set up out pit with my pit bud Doug Duell.

This was the largest HRR ever, with over 500 drag cars. As such the line to tech in cars was about a 1/4 mile long and a two hour wait, so I waited for it to die down some, and at 3:30 hopped in line.

I was one of the last cars to make it before the 5pm cut off.

The next morning the First Qualifying started at about 9:30am. It was hot as Hell the whole weekend, and I was flying blind between all the engine repairs and a no Time Trials. I took a wild guess and declared the 9.75 Index and added 55 pounds of ballast. I was pretty close and ran a 9.79.

That would actually stand as my best of the three qualifying passes as my foot slipped off the gas (first time ever) on Q2’s launch, and I had too much weight in the third qualifying.

I wasn’t feeling comfortable with the engine on all three qualifying passes. In the first pass the car had three minor hiccups in the mid RPM range. Quite honestly they started running us as soon as we got there, and my engine was about 20 degrees cooler than normal, and those rat roaster Intakes need some heat. I pulled the valve covers off to inspect the new rocker arm and the valve lash caps.

On Friday, the second pass was wasted when my foot slipped off the accelerator. The third pass 9.83@136 was not strong, and I was wondering if I was too fat for the heat with 113 square on the jets in both carbs. Clay helped with running the valves and we found eight loose and three tight – and I put the car away for the night.

Saturday morning I was matched against a 11.75 index car, meaning I was going to have to wait two full seconds at the light on my converter. The motor sounded better driving to the staging lanes. When I left on yellow, I was surprised that he wasn’t as far ahead of me as I expected. I caught him at about the 1/8 and paced ahead of him about a fender from about the 1000′ – crossing the line at a leisure 9.80@122mph. It was all in the lights we had. Mine was decent and his sucked bad. I calculated the run completion and I would have gone a 9.72@137 if I’d stayed in it. The car felt great!

It was after 5pm before we had our next elimination. I was against an even slower car, a 12.50 second 65 Buick driven by Division 3 regular, Jimmy Gower.

He left and 2.75 seconds later I left. Again, he was closer than I expected, and I assumed I had a good reaction time margin. Then my car stumbled bad. I lifted and instinctively jumped back on it, and the thought better of it and lifted until I could analyze. I had oil pressure, saw no smoke in the mirror, and the motor sounded good so I drove off. The car drove fine, and the time slip showed that while my reaction was as bad as its ever been – he still gave me .080 to where it was nearly impossible to lose, but my car found a way.

It felt like a fuel problem, but I loaded up for home, watched Kurt Neighbor win NSS against Butch Cassidy, and Doug Duell win Top Stock in his Barracuda. We spent the night, and left for the 900 mile trip home early in the morning.

Today, the problem was found to be a broken crimp connection on the negative lead of the fuel pump – making a loose connection. That and the positive was soldered. The valves were ran again, the plugs inspected, a new cap and rotor put on, header bolts tightened, and a through clean and polish.

We’re ready for the next race, hopefully with a better outcome.

Shop Cleaning Day

Spent the day emptying a dozen carts of parts that need to be put away, crap that needed to be thrown out, and parts needing to go onto vehicles.

I put away stuff in the proper bin, in shipping containers, but I still have to spend a day sorting through stuff I have on the floor of each of four shipping containers.

As I was clearing off carts, I rolled them outside for my shop rat to wash.

Race Shop Update

A lot going on at the shop, here’s some of the goings on:

The Whale has been sanded as smooth as a baby’s ass (so I’ve been told), and ready to go to Indiana to be wrapped into a new theme. I will be keeping the Texas/Confederate Battle Flag roof.

The Texas Thug went on it’s first road trip yesterday. Easy for 2.5 miles and the wick turned up on the way back.

All that really is left is to sand the bumpers down and try that $300 a pint chrome paint.

My 46 Olds Street Rod is halfway finished having a new wiring kit installed.

Inspected and registered my Allante, Stacker, Geezerglide, Drifter, and the Genesis I’m giving my Daughter.

Mowed the five acres that the shop is on, including the wildflower meadow I let grow until May every year. While the wildflowers are dying off, the Cactus roses are blooming. Stopped to visit with Smith and Wesson’s friends. They love chasing the Angus/Brahma/Brangus calves – much to the chagrin of their mothers.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.