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1958 Valletta

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Martino, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. Martino
    Joined: Nov 26, 2010
    Posts: 245

    Martino
    Member

    This is the custom my dad and uncle built at their shop in Detroit Michigan in 1953. They finished it in 1958. Afterwards they showed it all over Michigan and other states at hotrod shows. Always came home with a first place trophy in the hand built categories. They started with the chassis from a 1953 Studebaker. The power-train cam from a 1956 Chrysler. 331 Spitfire motor. The windshield is actually from the Studebaker doner car.
    From there they hammer formed and fabbed the body out of steal and leaded it together.
    It was even in Mechanics Illustrated August 1958.
    The car will be going through a restoration to make it road worthy.
     

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  2. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,482

    Squablow
    Member

    Awesome. Any pictures of what it looks like today? Where did they get a brand-new Studebaker to cut up for the project, was it a wreck, or?
     
  3. Retro Jim
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 3,859

    Retro Jim
    Member

    That is a beautiful kustom ! My grandfather had a Sinclair gas station just like that one on a corner of 2 main street . I loved going there when I was a small kid . Wish I still had all the stuff they use to give away for buying 5 gallons of gas .
    Do you have anymore information on the car he built ?

    Retro Jim
     
  4. ClearSpot
    Joined: Aug 20, 2009
    Posts: 939

    ClearSpot
    Member
    from Michigan

    Hey Martino,I'm glad you beat me to posting your fathers car.I know there's more to come! They will appreciate it here.
     

  5. Royalshifter
    Joined: May 29, 2005
    Posts: 15,517

    Royalshifter
    Moderator
    from California

    awesome and a huge welcome from CA.
     
  6. Martino
    Joined: Nov 26, 2010
    Posts: 245

    Martino
    Member

    The car is in my garage. Just waiting to make up my mind on the details of the restoration. If any of you guys can identify what the steering came from I need to find one. And yes they did get a wrecked 53 Studebaker for the doner chassis.
    Here are some pics of how it looks now.
     

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  7. Kinda like Ferrari meets Indiana in a very custom sort of way, thanks for sharing, BDM
     
  8. Martino
    Joined: Nov 26, 2010
    Posts: 245

    Martino
    Member

    Back in the day Cadillac had a similar fin on one of their Caddy's. My dad got pissed off and cut his off and reworked the rear end.
    Their shop was 2 blocks from Cadillac Engineering at that time. They used to own a bar and restaurant,(Golden Cadillac Lounge) that was a daily lunch stop for designers and engineers. My dad always said they must have got a look at the cat while it was being built.
     

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  9. Bama Jama
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 365

    Bama Jama
    Member

    Man, you are lucky to have a car that your dad built and now you are restoring it. The windsheild looks to be the rear window from the Stude.Keep us posted on progress.
     
  10. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,482

    Squablow
    Member

    You mean the steering wheel? It's a '58 Plymouth unit (pictured below). They're kinda pricey due to the popularity of Christine but they're around. I look forward to seeing updates on the car as it comes along.

    I see the fins on the rear were reworked at one time, I like the revised version better than the original, if it were me I'd keep it that way.
     

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  11. Martino
    Joined: Nov 26, 2010
    Posts: 245

    Martino
    Member

    Wow ! Do you have that Steering Wheel? I'm interested. And yes the windshield is the rear glass from the doner.
     
  12. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,482

    Squablow
    Member

    I don't have that wheel, it's just a pic I lifted off of the web for comparison, but that's definitely the wheel shown in the car. They come up on eBay every so often, I see nice ones bring $300-$400 depending on condition. I think some say "Power steering" and some don't.
     
  13. ScottV
    Joined: Jul 18, 2009
    Posts: 819

    ScottV
    Member

    Hey can I get one of those Enamel Paint Jobs for $49.95 ??? :p
     
  14. Martino
    Joined: Nov 26, 2010
    Posts: 245

    Martino
    Member

    Thanks for the info on the steering wheel. I will have to keep my eye on e-bay.
     
  15. I remember seeing pictures of that car in some magazine;great that you have it and are going to do it right.The taillights look like 61-62 Cadillac tail fin lights.Personally if it were mine I'd re-install the original fins(if you have both of them),but it your car.Thanks for posting the pictures and keep us updated.
     
  16. Martino
    Joined: Nov 26, 2010
    Posts: 245

    Martino
    Member

    If you recall what the magazine was I would be interested in your help to find a copy of it.
    Thanks
     
  17. Martino
    Joined: Nov 26, 2010
    Posts: 245

    Martino
    Member

    His another pic Fellows !
     

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  18. boldventure
    Joined: Mar 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,766

    boldventure
    Member

    X2 for the no-fin revision. Keep the fins as apart of the display though.
    Good luck with the project!
     
  19. Not positive but I think it was in one of the Custom Car Annuals(the 75 cent books when the little pages were a quarter).I have a couple around;I'll see if I can dig them out.
     
  20. Martino
    Joined: Nov 26, 2010
    Posts: 245

    Martino
    Member

    I kinda recall my dad and uncle saying that. if you have time to check let me know.
    Thanks.
     
  21. 4t7flat
    Joined: Apr 15, 2009
    Posts: 266

    4t7flat
    Member

    The car looks a lot like the picture on the "Liquid Glass" cans. Remember the pink cans of liquid polish,that was sold as fund raisers for various organizations? I used to sell it for JA,back in the early 60's.
     
  22. Man that is too cool. Can't wait to see it back on the road.
     
  23. safari-wagon
    Joined: Jan 12, 2008
    Posts: 1,457

    safari-wagon
    Member

    Hey Martino, I TOLD you these guys are a wealth of info! Good to see you here finally.

    BTW- I'm voting for keeping the rear end the way your Dad & Uncle left it. Keep the 1 fin you have left mounted on a stand with a story board.
     
  24. Martino
    Joined: Nov 26, 2010
    Posts: 245

    Martino
    Member

    Still not sure about the rear end decision? So when does the Single-finger Car Club get together? Yea this is cool. One guy identified the steering I dont have any more. I need to find one.
     
  25. ClearSpot
    Joined: Aug 20, 2009
    Posts: 939

    ClearSpot
    Member
    from Michigan

    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010
  26. Martino
    Joined: Nov 26, 2010
    Posts: 245

    Martino
    Member

    Hey Myron. Your right ! One of the guys here identified the missing steering wheel.
     
  27. Martino
    Joined: Nov 26, 2010
    Posts: 245

    Martino
    Member

    Yes I remember the can of Liquid Glass ! Wish I could find more pics of the car from back in the day at shows.
     
  28. Martino
    Joined: Nov 26, 2010
    Posts: 245

    Martino
    Member

    Heres a pic from a car show this summer as is.
     

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  29. kustombuilder
    Joined: Sep 18, 2002
    Posts: 7,754

    kustombuilder
    Member
    from Novi, MI

    neat ride Martino. super cool to have a piece of history and better still that your dad was the original builder.
    i like the story about the tail fins. as soon as i saw them i thought "59 Caddy". then i realized the car was finished in 58... personaly i like the second version though. it's a great story and super cool you still have the fins. i'd mount a fin on a stand and it'd be a great conversation piece at shows.
     
  30. Martino
    Joined: Nov 26, 2010
    Posts: 245

    Martino
    Member

    Yes I still have one fin.
     

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