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History 1931 Chevrolet 5 window Coupe 48 Years Later

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by thedreamer, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. thedreamer
    Joined: Nov 21, 2012
    Posts: 118

    thedreamer
    Member

    Imagine what it would be like today if you had $40 burning a hole in your pocket and a used T.V. and really wanted to get a hot rod in trade for it. I would imagine people would laugh you off of their property or worse now a days. Then again this is 2013, but in 1965 thats exactly how Barry Naples bought his 1931 Chevrolet 5 window. Barry is now 72 years old and is retired from Hirsh Industries. Living with his wife Shirly in Des Moines Iowa, he enjoys going to Sprint car races at the famed Knoxville Raceway and going to car shows. Barry is no stranger to cars and has owned hundreds since he has been of age to drive. His first car was a 1947 Chevy with the vacuum assist shifted transmission. From there on the buying and selling started. He has had as many as ten 1964 Impalas, and ten 1950 Fords. Besides the 31 Chevy he currenlty has a 1963 Ford Galaxie Convertible with a 390 and an automatic that was just recently restored. He also owns a 1970 Chevelle that he and his grandson Dusty cruise, and wrench on together. Of the three cars the '63 and the '70 are in tip top shape.

    The man he bought the '31 Chevy from had apparently given up on hot rodding it and Barry was at the right place at the right time. The previous owner had attemped chopping the coupe as well as channeling the body over the frame. Barry can no longer remember what drivetrain was in the old Chevy at the time of purchase but he pitched it in favor of something newer but didn't know what to install yet. In the mean time he got to work on the body of the car.

    Barry started by rechopping the coupe. He did this by himself and it seems that he still has a sore spot for doing it that way. He said with aggrivation in his voice, "I had that top on and off multiple times trying to get it right." He says he took out between 4 and 6 inches but can't remember exactly how much. Once done and almost 50 years later the chop still looks great. Next was rechanneling the body. The previous owner started to do so but just set the body on the frame without finishing. Barry started after it but didn't own a welder so he used an acetelyn torch and coat hanger to weld the floor and mounts. When finished with the channel it was 6 inches over the frame. The Chevy still retains its original wood innner structure. With this work done it was time to find a fitting drivetrain for the car.

    It is now 1966 and fate would intervien on his way to look at a vehicle to rob of its components to bring the Chevy back to life. While driving to see the donor in his 1964 Impala Super Sport an 89 year old man would run a stop sign and broadside Barry on the drivers side. He said it happened next to a car lot and that he wiped out the first 10 cars in the front row. His door also blew off "right out from under my arm" and slid another block down the street. He was okay and drug the Impala back home. While sitting in the driveway thieves stole the chrome wheels and nice tires off of it and just left the Impala in the air on the jacks they used. It was a bad deal but now he had an engine to drop in and gain momentum on getting the Chevy back on the street. He removed the 327 from the Impala and put a solid lifter cam in the block and added an Edelbrock tunnell ram with twin AFB's. He also dressed the engine up with Edelbrock finned aluminum valve covers and '57 Chevy fender well headers he bought off of a circle track racer at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. He backed the 327 up with a Hurst shifted 1962 Muncie and a 1957 Chevy rear end. U.S. slots big and littles and Firsestone tires round out the package.

    That wan't the only thing he repurposed from the Impala. He cut down the dash to fit and welded it into the '31 he also retained the factory AM radio and speaker grille from the '64 for music. Barry then cut down a 62 4 speed console to use in the old Chevy as well as the door panels from the '64. He also dressed up the body with the "SS" badges on the grille next to the R.E.O. headlights and use the '64's tail lights on the deck lid of the coupe. At this point in time the Car was blue in color and stayed that way until 1970.

    Add fellow hot rodder/fabricator/painter Dave Farren to the mix. The car was stripped down to bare metal and after exsposing at least 7 previous colors it was shot with mettalic green laquer. After the base coat flames were taped off and shot as well as scales down the trunk lid. Barry made an insert for the top out of wood and diamond pleat vinyl with buttons added for effect. Chrome was now in order and everything from the front axle and leaf springs, headers and as Shirly said "every screw or bolt for the car" got it. The Chevy was once again ready for the street.


    The coupe would only be on the road for two more years. In 1972 the Chevy went into the garage only to be pulled out to work on other projects then put back away. There are a couple of factors that may have lead to its short lived street duty. It is hard to judge the rear of the car while driving with the wide tires and the gas tank hanging out off of the rear of the frame. It is also hard to drive due to sitting on the floor and trying to push the clutch in and shift it without any support for your legs. There are not any front brakes, not that they don't work but none at all.

    Lets fast foward 41 years to 2013. The car still slumbers in the back of the garage but today it had a visitor, me. I went to talk to Barry about the future of the car and to write this article on its life. Barry and Shirly were more than willing to share the memories of the the 5 window with me and I think they had a great time doing it. I have been told the car is not for sale and never will be. Now enter Dusty into the equation. The 16 year old sophmore has an intrest in the cars his Grandfather owns and regularly join Barry on trips to Knoxville and to car shows. Barry says they have plans to get the car going again this summer with some changes of course. One of them being an automatic and the possiblity of better brakes. The best thing about the car getting a make over is that another young gun will understand hot rodding and will learn the tradition from someone who lived it and still owns the proof.



    I wrote this article as an attempt to become a freelance writer and maybe get some work thrown my way in the future. I'm using The Hamb to test the waters. I was wanting people to tell me if the article kept them reading or if they got bored. Is it too long winded. I wanted to make sure you got the whole story. This is a real car and it has really been owned for 48 years buy the same guy. I know there are errors but it is the rough draft. Let me know what you think.

    Thanks,
    Bud.

     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  2. thedreamer
    Joined: Nov 21, 2012
    Posts: 118

    thedreamer
    Member

    More pics.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 14,579

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    i like the story and the car. thanks
     
  4. It's as good if not better than some of the suff you see in the "Main Stream Mag's"
    Good luck!
     
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  5. black 62
    Joined: Jul 12, 2012
    Posts: 1,896

    black 62
    Member
    from arkansas

    great car ---great article---good luck with the writing career...
     
  6. Cool story, some history there.
     
  7. lawman
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,667

    lawman
    Member

    That is a great story and car !!!! Hope someone get's it bacon the road. Thank's for posting.
     
  8. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 14,579

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    i love bacon.
     
  9. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    VoodooTwin
    Member
    from Noo Yawk

    Very Very cool!
     
  10. thedreamer
    Joined: Nov 21, 2012
    Posts: 118

    thedreamer
    Member

    Thanks guys. I was afraid it was too long. My next plan is to take it to my neighbor who is a freelance writer and see what she thinks of it and see if she has any tips for getting published. I know quite a few people in the car world here in Iowa and I know that isn't what everyone wants to read about but that is all I want to write about. My overall goal is to be published in a main stream magazine some day. We'll see.

    Need more feedback though. So far only compliments (which is fine with me). There has to be some negative some where.
     
  11. jstanotheidiot
    Joined: Oct 23, 2008
    Posts: 136

    jstanotheidiot
    Member

    Great story!I love the fact that he still own's it and it's not for sale.The door panel's from the impala with the handle's is unique also
     
  12. I think everyone does.
     
  13. GaryB
    Joined: Dec 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,530

    GaryB
    Member
    from Reno,nv

    more pics,great read,let's see some side profile pics
     
  14. I don't eat bacon,but I like the story.
     
  15. I don't eat it either, but it tastes great... and this is a good story, love to read this kind of stuff.
     
  16. thedreamer
    Joined: Nov 21, 2012
    Posts: 118

    thedreamer
    Member

    The car is in the back of a 1 1/2 car garge that is two cars deep. The Chevelle is currently blocking it and they have it all covered up and he didn't want to get it out. I may be able to get a recent picture of the car being outside though at some point.
     
  17. Good Story Thanks!:cool: did someone say bacon?:rolleyes:
     
  18. Nice thread. Great read and awesome car to start my day with.
     
  19. kyvetteman
    Joined: May 13, 2012
    Posts: 762

    kyvetteman
    Member

    Love the story and the car. Very well written.

    Mmmm bacon.
     
  20. thedreamer
    Joined: Nov 21, 2012
    Posts: 118

    thedreamer
    Member

    Thanks guys. I'm going to do another story about a friend of mines replica 1935 Miller Ford stroked Flathead Indy car.

    Is the story above something you would like to see in a magazine. I'm thinking of taking a final draft and sending it to some of the mags like Rod and Custom or Hot Rod Deluxe and the likes to see if they bite. Or maybe I'm just dreaming.
     
  21. 1928chevycoupe
    Joined: Jun 4, 2012
    Posts: 217

    1928chevycoupe
    Member

    Great car and great story!

    Since you asked for critique, in my humble opinion, I'm not sure this sample writing rises to the level of "professional", but its close and I'm sure you can get there! keep going!
     
  22. Iron Dog
    Joined: Oct 28, 2011
    Posts: 267

    Iron Dog
    Member
    from Minnesota

    As a publisher, would I publish it? Sure thing. Before you submit it, polish a little, and include a photo or two of the couple with the car, and include the grandson, if possible. A couple vintage photos would be icing on the cake.
     
  23. thedreamer
    Joined: Nov 21, 2012
    Posts: 118

    thedreamer
    Member

    Thanks. I will continue to hone the creative skills of writing.

    I have one photo of the car taken in 1972 but it isn't very good. All of the original photos have been lost. Barry is very reluctant to be photographed and made it a point that he would not be photographed for any reason. They do have pictures from about 6 years ago with Dusty sitting behind the wheel with the car outside. I will polish it some more.

    As a publisher is there anything you would add or delete from the original story?
     
  24. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 14,579

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    nothing wrong with dreaming.
    100% chance you will never do it if you don't try.
     

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