Joel “Peter Pan” Peters getting down on my Swinger. He’s been lettering cars since the 70′s. We spent hours bullshitting and talking about the good old days, it was a grand time.
Yep. A celebration of Airshocks, shackles, traction bars, big meats and glass packs. A bygone age of Street Machines.
Visit Up In The Rear
Alex came all the way from South Carolina to witness the Ventura Nationals and hang with the Los Boulevardos. He brought a few of his cameras with him and put together this great video for all to enjoy. Thanks Alex, great to meet you.
It was a little gusty today.
Arrived and cruising with the Los Boulevardos crew. Stay tuned.
A few of us Chicago guys are heading out for the Ventura Nationals. I’ll be hanging around with the fine gentlemen of Los Boulevardos CC. Say hello if you’re attending, we’ll have plenty to talk about.
Sadly, I won’t be bringing the Caddy with me.
Bastards smashed all the windows in my truck.
June of ’77. Dad pulling through a swapmeet in Bloomington, Il.
Bumper sticker reads, “I’d rather be driving my Corvette”
Still have that wagon.
The new whip. Tentatively titled “American“
I’ve never loved the grill of my ’62 Coupe DeVille. It’s the least appealing aspect of the car’s overall design. A huge missed opportunity… GM phoned it in. In an effort to solve this GM oversight, I’d collected 5 additional center bars from ’62 Caddy grills to build a custom grill that should look factory, but much cleaner/sleeker.
Six months later and I’m moving a few parts around on the back porch and realized I needed to get my ass in gear on this project. One of the reasons I’d put off doing the grill is my lack of knowledge on building such a thing. Only one way to learn I suppose.
Five ’62 Cadillac grill center bars fresh from various junkyards in the southwest. Made a yard guy quite mad by requesting just the center bar and not the entire grill assembly. “I’m going to have to tear apart a perfectly good grill to get that bar out”, said the dude. “Yep”, said I.
Before & After : Some bars cleaned up nicely with a little Never Dull, others required a little mechanical polishing. This particular bar was one of the worst, used a polishing wheel (attached to my drill) and a little red rouge compound.
The stock grill in my Coupe was actually in presentable shape. Decent driver quality. These grills are notoriously difficult to restore, they are pinched and slotted together. Once you break it down in to individual pieces, you’ll never get it back together correctly. Fuckers are impossible to clean as well. After years of attempted cleanings, it looks no better than the day I brought it home.
Took great care in removing the stock “crate”, just in case I need to return to stock. It came out in a two large sections. Once it was out, I was happy to discover there are plenty of mounting opportunities for whatever grill I build. My goal was to build the new treatment as a unit that would slip in, rather than trying to build it on the car. Rasputin came by and gave me a hand. So nice to have a second set of eyes, hands and brains. Afternoon came to an early end when my wife and son came home from a long trip. It would be a week before I could get back on this.
After much eyeballing and head scratching it was determined that using the five junkyard bars + my original bar should fill the space nicely. Using some left over pre-drilled steel stock, two feet of threaded rod and a couple High Lifes; I mocked up the unit. It came together pretty quick. I was pretty fucking excited to test fit it in the morning.
Loose test fit. I was a little disheartened. Six bars are way to many. Not only does it look crowded, but I couldn’t get my hand in there to pull the hood release. I kinda hate it.
Last night, after a healthy dose of spare ribs and kool-aid Ras and I headed out to the garage to make it right. Using threaded rod to build the grill allows for infinite and immediate adjustments, which makes life a lot easier. Because it’s built as a unit that hangs on the car, adjustment can be made without unmounting it, so we were able to really dial it in quick. Moving a bar up or down only took a few nut turns and each side could be altered independently.
We tried a few variations. 6 bars, 5 bars, 4 bars – evenly spaced, two on top – two on the bottom, etc.
4 bars looked the cleanest. And so it shall be. Still needs some finishing: Blackout the supports, final tightening, final polishing, etc. Quite happy with the result. It looks like something GM “could” have done, while looking clearer than stock and still feeling custom.
The next project is to figure out a treatment for around the headlights. The factory “pans” that sit behind the lights don’t look correct with the new grill. Harry and I tossed around a lot of ideas. Def going to run some expanded steel back there, and likely some custom metal work in between the lights. Open to suggestions.
A dremel, a drill, junkyard parts and a $13 trip to ace hardware – If I can do this, anyone can.
Finally able to take the the Caddy to work on the daily. One of my favorite things about summertime.
Not sure how to describe Friday’s cruise-in. Pretty small turn out, but still a worthy cruise. Weather was pretty blahhh-grey-cold, keeping most folks inside.
The real high point of the evening was the Polish Sports Bar/Under-the-sea Bar/Dance club/Comedy Club. Speechless.
They put out food for us and everything… buffet of pasta and Dunkin Donuts!
They actually put on a comedy show and everything… for all 5 of us!
A good night for a drive.
My beloved Jeep Wagoneer is now in the care of a new master. I trust he will treat it with the same distain as I did. My only regret is that I did not run it through more mud and subject it to more dirt-based activities. It served it’s purpose over the winter, and served it well. But without the Jeep, I suddenly find myself with some pocket money and a need for a new daily driver to battle traffic in.
As with the Jeep, the new daily needs to fit into some pretty tight requirements to be deemed acceptable. It must be built in America. It must be At least 30, but not more that 50 years old. It should be a truck or based on a truck platform (Vans may apply). It should be iconic in it’s model. It should contain less rust than the afore mentioned Jeep. And finally, it must be had for less than $2000 (the selling price of the Jeep). 4×4 and power steering are bonuses.
Here’s a good example, that I stumbled onto just a few blocks from my home.
1979 Chevy Van : $1300 ” complete with Cragar S/S wheels wrapped with some early radial meat, front visor and rear spoiler. During a conversation with the owner, it came to light that he, his wife and daughter are currently living in it. Sadly that was the deal breaker for me. I can’t drive or deal with that much creepy mojo.
More to come.
I can almost taste it.
Pulled the wheels off the caddy for a good cleaning and to finally install the center caps. Nice to not have a gapping hole in the middle of your wheel. Decided to go the traditional route and run the stock cap on the starwires. Sourced a set of 3-bar eaglehead spinners when these lose interest.
The slots are all polished up and ready to roll. My buddy Harry lent me a pair of NOS g50′s (1970′s). The perfect period correct tire for the wheels. They mean I’ll need to jack up the back of the Swinger another 5 inches for clearance. More on that later.
Now that winter has come to a close, it’s time to sell the winter transport. Yep, the Jeep Wagoneer is for sale. Serious inquires only.
1974 Jeep Wagoneer 4×4 – $2000
Picked up this Wagoneer late last year. Solely for the purpose of driving all winter, which I did. Drove it all winter to and from work in the city… and you know how bad this past winter was. When the big storm hit; I didn’t shovel it out, I drove it out. Now that winter is over, I’d rather see it being used than sitting in the street waiting for winter to come back around. I hate really to sell it, but I’ve simply got too many vehicles.
Runs & Drives great.
Clear Title in hand
Approx. 135,000 miles
Disk brakes in front, drums in back. It stops quick!
Small lift kit
Lots of life left in the all-terrain tires
Rear power window works
Front seats are from a Chevy Silverado (driver’s side is power)
Ceiling mounted console from a Chevy Silverado
Custom wood center console
Frame looks to be solid
New ubolts (common failure point in these Wagonners) less than 200 miles ago
New Spark Plugs less than 200 miles ago
New Spark Plug Wires less than 200 miles ago
New Rotor less than 200 miles ago
Edelbrock carburetor, Choke is wired open, but it always started even on the coldest of days. A 5 dollar choke cable would solve this.
Heat works OK
Gas tank leaks a bit… new tank with sending unit (still in the box) goes with the Jeep. Gas gauge didn’t work when I bought it, 5 gallon gas can goes with the Jeep.
Floorboard have some rust, new floor board steel panels go with the Jeep. Floor has already been replaced on passenger side.
Body has some rust.
Happy to provide more images, Serious inquires only.
call in the evening: three-one-two. 401.8325