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History Driving the Kookie Kar back to 1958

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Jive-Bomber, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,127

    Roothawg
    Member

    Here's my Norm story. I am working in the shop one day and my buddy FlatTop Bob calls and ask if I would help Norm out. "Sure, anything for Norm". Bob says he is broke down about 10 miles from me and needs some help. I show up with tools in hand to find an old flat black Grumman bread van looking deal on the side of I-40. He tells me what the problem was, I troubleshoot it and we head out to get parts.

    I run by the house to grab a few things and he comes in the house. The wife makes us lunch and Norm is in rare form. He's hitting on the wife, with his normal Norm attitude. Cracking jokes, flirting and just having himself a great time.

    I finally ask what he was doing when he broke down and he says, "Oh nothing just hauling that old junk car to CA." I asked "What car? "
    "Oh, the Kookie II. It's in the back of the bread truck."

    What? We left it on the side of the road? You gotta be kidding!!!!!!......"It's just a car", he says. I about panicked. I got him back on the road and he was gracious and thankful. He drove the old bread van the rest of the way with no problems. He would always say hello to myself and the wife when he was making public appearances if we stopped by. He was a great guy. I wished I would have gotten to know him better before he passed.
     
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  2. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 3,947

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    I’m really glad to see this apart as really this is the way that a wholly modified Hot Rod was.
    Yes, it’s lacking the technology of the Kookke II Tub, but I’ve always preferred the T in multiple forms over the KII.
    This is great to see, it is why I wouldn’t change the HAMB scored chassis under my 32 or prettifying the Chassis under the Waske Effect 265b roadster.
    Ladies & Gentlemen, this is the way these Hot Rods were built. Good boy Roy!!!!!!
     
    brad2v, HEMI32, Stogy and 1 other person like this.
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    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
  4. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,454

    jimmy six
    Member

    I'm glad it's being done, but if I read the frame was in such bad shape we had to build a new one I won't even bother to look at it. IMO It just won't be the same car.
     
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  5. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,282

    Gearhead Graphics
    Member
    from Denver Co

    A little hacked and beaten.
    Abused and enjoyed for sure, and clearly built by a teenager who didn't have all the fanciest tools available.
    Still a icon in any form. And I'd have driven it in prior condition with a huge smile on my face!

    Long live Norm's creation
     
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  6. 1-SHOT
    Joined: Sep 23, 2014
    Posts: 1,625

    1-SHOT
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  7. Chevy Gasser
    Joined: Jan 23, 2007
    Posts: 693

    Chevy Gasser
    Member

    Norm was a good friend of mine, I think he was a good friend to all. I got to know Norm at the Big Cruise in the Rock, a car show that was held in Little Rock Arkansas. We stayed at the same hotel when we went to the show every year. Norm was the guy who introduced me to the Vodka & Tonic, we tipped more than a few. I bought one of the early copies of "The Car That Ate My Brain". I took it with me when we went to Little Rock that year. Norm had heard about it and I was surprised he hadn't seen it yet. After the show Fri. evening about a dozen of us crowded into Norms room for a private showing. We turned the beds on their side and leaned them against the wall and filled the room with folding chairs. With the sound turned down Norm narrated the movie making some corrections along the way. As we were setting up for the movie Norm admitted that selling "Kookie" was a mistake he came to regret. He never mentioned who bought it from him but he said it was not the same car everyone had come to know as "Kookie" and that he wished the show car had been built from scratch rather than radically changing "Kookie".

    Norm said he had to put several clutches in it because Ed Burns didn't know how to shift it and always just shoved the shifter forward rarely shifting it because the scene just involved driving the car off camera. He pointed out that Ed once pushed the shifter up to 2nd and the skull came off and just fell on the floor. He also noted in one scene where the door was opened and let go that it slammed into the header and chipped the paint and dented the door. He would stop and rewind it to rewatch some scenes and explain which parts he was driving in and when some one else would be driving and how they would drive it.

    When the evening was over Norm asked if he could have the movie so I gave it to him. He sent it back to me some time later and he had signed it with a note saying it would be the only copy he would ever sign. My dad didn't like it but my mom had to watch 77 Sunset Strip because she like the two main characters, I liked that my mom never missed an episode because I couldn't see "Kookie" enough. I was about 10 at the time and was really disappointed whenever the hot rod wasn't on the show. After the car show was over for the day, Norm asked if I wanted to ride back to the hotel with him so my wife drove our car back to the hotel and we would take the long way back in "Kookie II". I was amazed at how fast it was and Norm didn't seem intimidated by the fact he could have gotten a ticket or two, that car is fast in it's own right! By the way, I keep the movie securely locked away with my "Grabowski Skull".
     
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  8. verde742
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 5,363

    verde742
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My opinion::: Roy and his crew could NOT and will NOT build anything that crude..
    I really doubt that Roy and his crew will "sell out" and duplicate anything this awful.
    Its just the worse ever....
     
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  9. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 15,073

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    These are priceless shots. Were you the Photographer El...it almost looks like a series for Life or perhaps it was Sunset stills.

    Some are even a bit Kookie...:D

    Thanks for sharing these @El Hueso
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
  10. @Stogy - they were all shot by Ralph Crane ... for LIFE magazine.
     
  11. Heavens no! Those were taken about 25+ years before I was born!
     
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  12. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 15,073

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    This is an interesting experience in restraint and opinions in save or ditch.

    Why because if Stogy did this it would be in the dumpster quicker than hitting the post button...:D

    I understand and agree in the preservation of the past as long as things aren't cracked...if it's never going to be driven again even cracks may not even warrant repair.

    One other thing to consider is since this is a turning back of the clock what was added post restoration goal date...and should it be removed as it wouldn't have been there? Decision's, Descisions.

    I can't myself fathom spending that much on something and never driving it but I'm me...

    Once all that crud(dirt, grease) is gone and things are painted and back together It'll be like the day Norm completed it.

    My Ole Hotrod has some fairly crude elements...it is a reflection of garage built without all the comforts of engineering and an Automotive production lines. Most of this has been alluded to already but it's a great story of the roots.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  13. According to what I read in Rodders Journal, Don "The Egyptian" Boeke was responsible for the "updates" (dual blowers,quad slicks, dash, skulls...), at the same time the Watson paintjob was stripped & it was redone by Teddy Zgrzemski.
     
  14. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 14,933

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Not that anyone cares, but here's what I'd do with that chassis: Sandblast all the rust and dirt off it, cut off any of the latest mods so it was back in Kookie form, weld up any cracks (would have to find a stick welder to do that), then paint it and use it. I wouldn't grind anything smooth. I wouldn't brace anything or box anything. If it lived through the wild antics we've all seen on film, it will surely live the next 100 years.
     
    jimgoetz, The37Kid, lewk and 18 others like this.
  15. GuyW
    Joined: Feb 23, 2007
    Posts: 532

    GuyW
    Member

    Good thing I'm not "restoring" it, because altho I'd save and use every original part possible, I'd also grind / weld / brace / smooth the original frame and paint it....I don't see ANY value in preserving bubblegum welds and crude unfinished work. FINISH the Mona Lisa....
     
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  16. ROBERT JAM
    Joined: Nov 13, 2002
    Posts: 1,173

    ROBERT JAM
    Member

    I liked that car from the first time I saw it in the little magazine! I'm still digging it today. I would have like to have met Norm, he always sounded like a normal fun loving guy.
     
    Stogy likes this.
  17. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,395

    denis4x4
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Colorado

    The construction of this car in that time period was TRADITIONAL!!! Based on the many videos showing how hard it was driven, Norm must have done something right.
     
  18. GuyW
    Joined: Feb 23, 2007
    Posts: 532

    GuyW
    Member

    LOL - just letting you know that HAMBster mind tricks don't work on me ("These aren't the droids you're looking for...")

    And, there were certainly non-crude cars up to finely-crafted and finished traditional hot rods back then, and those were what I aspired to...
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
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  19. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,172

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    Any recent info on how this is progressing ?
     
  20. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 15,073

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    We'll get this interesting journey back to the top to be enjoyed as it should.

    @HEMI32 is keeping up and up on the goings on within the undoing and revisitation of a former giant within the realm of Hotrod and updating as it unfolds...its clothes are off now. It certainly wore many outfits.

    Thanks @HEMI32 and all others who are keeping us up to speed.
     
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  21. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,172

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    Update?
     
    Stogy likes this.
  22. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 15,073

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    :rolleyes:...One was from last Sunday and Monday... @HEMI32 your being paged.

    @Blue One I just went to Brizio's site and there was nothing on the restoration...so I think Hemi has a special access pass to this so he will have to share that with us.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
    Blue One likes this.
  23. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,172

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    Okay :D I’m curious to see where this is going.
    I’m wondering if they are going to do to this iconic car what happened to the Project X 57 Chevy.

    It was turned into a super smooth top quality show car, something it never was during it’s long life while I was growing up and followed it in the magazines as they built it and did feature articles on it. (And flogged it too :D)

    It lost some of it’s soul when that happened.:(
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
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  24. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 15,073

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It's kind of like making a hotrod to fit in a motion picture and that picture is actually the time frame they are aiming for. It is an undoing which of course poses challenges. I'm excited...:D
     
  25. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,172

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    I'm excited too, however it's hard to remain that way when the whole thing seems to be like a national security secret ;):D
     
    Stogy likes this.
  26. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 15,073

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I am not surprised that the build is closeted as there have been many restorations that end up on the show circuit that have not been openly restored. We are actually fortunate to see as much as we do as some members here have graciously taken us within their establishments.

    Perhaps it does have a public feed I just don't have the technical savvy to find it and that's very possible.
     
  27. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,172

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    I found this :
    https://deskgram.net/p/1911954729098111088_1181368327
    And this video:
    https://deskgram.net/p/1912123876914488889_1181368327
     
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  28. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 15,073

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  29. verde742
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 5,363

    verde742
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    was Norm ever married?


    who was the guy in the picture with Norm in the Life Magazine picture ?

    Is he still alive and can he step forward for an interview?
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
    Stogy likes this.
  30. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 15,073

    Stogy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018

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