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Hot Rods Gene Ciambella Austin Gasser Pickup

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by JPolli, Jan 21, 2018.

  1. JPolli
    Joined: Aug 10, 2012
    Posts: 9

    JPolli
    Member

    Was the Gene Ciambella MGM C&O Austin Pickup campaigned in a primer paint job before it was painted Kandy Red? gas-mgm.jpg
     
  2. It sure looks like it in this picture.
     
  3. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 8,352

    jimmy six
    Member

    Enjoyed working with Gene and the guys when I lived in Inglewood. I ran one of their hydros. They also ran a B/ Gas Supercharged out of the shop.
    I was at Lyons one Sunday when Gene ran a 8.95, I believe the first one under 9 seconds but since it was a Sunday with very few cars nothing was ever said about it much and it was never in Drag News or any othe publication I saw.
    That pick-up and C & O were definately players in the gas supercharged wars in So Cal.
     
    jnaki, KiWinUS, Deuces and 5 others like this.
  4. yellow dog
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 439

    yellow dog
    Member
    from san diego

    Yes, to answer your question it was a red oxide
     
    KiWinUS, Deuces and kidcampbell71 like this.

  5. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 2,228

    Mike VV
    Member
    from SoCal

    Yellow dog -
    At one point...it WAS in fact, Candy Red..!

    Mike
     
  6. ModelAPunk
    Joined: Aug 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,875

    ModelAPunk
    Member
    from Buffalo NY

    My father is currently restoring the C&O Austin pickup to its A/GS configuration from it's Glory days of racing. Here is a picture of it in the restoration process. Chassis is starting to come along now.

    image000000_01.jpg

    And a few pictures of it from back in the day. One color pic of it in primer racing Bones in his 33 Willys!

    20783_465015426984154_2764845995960220306_n.jpg

    10696252_465015690317461_7874741557817388484_n.jpg

    gp-gc5.jpg

    gp-gc1.jpg

    1-CandO-001.jpg

    FB_IMG_1525960619378.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 10, 2018
    KiWinUS, alfin32, Deuces and 6 others like this.
  7. ModelAPunk
    Joined: Aug 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,875

    ModelAPunk
    Member
    from Buffalo NY

    If anyone has any home movies or pictures of the C&O Austin Pickup from back on the day, we are looking for some. Please contact me via email modelapunk@yahoo.com thanks!
     
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  8. ModelAPunk
    Joined: Aug 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,875

    ModelAPunk
    Member
    from Buffalo NY

    A few more old pics of the A/GS Austin pickup.

    Still looking for old home movies or photos of the pickup if anyone has any to help with the restoration.

    Please contact me via PM here or at pastgas33@gmail.com

    IMG_20201117_222243_01.jpg


    IMG_20201117_222242_01.jpg

    IMG_20201118_070506_01.png
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
    Stogy, alfin32, Deuces and 3 others like this.
  9. ModelAPunk
    Joined: Aug 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,875

    ModelAPunk
    Member
    from Buffalo NY

    It was later the campaigned as the Agitator by Hicks & Son.
    Also looking for old photos and home movies of this version.

    IMG_20201117_222244_01.jpg

    IMG_20201118_070504_01.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
    -Brent-, Stogy, KiWinUS and 5 others like this.
  10. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,388

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    I really loved the old Austins, and especially the C&O pickup! Nice to see it's being restored to it's previous C&O version!
     
    -Brent-, Stogy, Deuces and 2 others like this.
  11. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,392

    jnaki








    Hello,

    In 1959-60 we got involved with the team at C&O Hydros in the Gardena/Torrance area. Gene Ciambella had a great crew that knew Hydramatic transmissions inside and out. Their knowledge was impressive. When we needed an “automatic transmission” for our 3 speed Impala to satisfy my mom, we knew where to go to get one. The C&O guys were just starting, but even our expert mechanic friend in Los Angeles knew of them and the quality work done from the shop. So, instead of getting the super high priced B&M hydro and doing the conversion by ourselves, the team at C&O had a simple policy.

    Bring in an old Hydramatic transmission and they will install a newly modified/guaranteed Stick Hydro manual/automatic transmission. With plenty of auto wrecking yards within miles of our Westside Long Beach house, we had a plentiful supply of inexpensive Hydramatic transmissions at our disposal. They told us what model they would like and we went to find one, just down the street. It was to supply their line of workable Hydramatic transmissions for future modifications and installs.

    They converted the 3 speed stick over to “automatic” while still using the cool column shifter lever. We just had to remember where the gear selector places were, as the stock Impala stick shift had the aluminum plate covering the gear selector, as it was originally a 3 speed stick shift.

    The transmission was a manual 1-2-3 or in the last selection, “drive.” It went through all forward gears as a normal Hydramatic transmission.

    Jnaki

    The C&O Stick Hydro was one of a kind and they were impressed with the power and feel, once it was installed. It was one of the original installs, and definitely the only one in a 1958 Impala. When the installation was complete, we went for a test drive with Gene Ciambella or Steve Montrelli driving. It was the most powerful full on throttle drives I had ever been a part of the experience.

    Those dark streets just flew by and the standing starts were outrageous. Instant throttle and instant traction for the neck snapping take off and shifting patterns. Those guys did not mess around. When I got in to go home, it was gentle driving as my full throttle mode had already happened in the past 30 minutes. Wow…
    upload_2020-11-23_4-16-16.png
    P.S. If you finish your research and build, this original sticker from 1959-60 is a classic. If you find one or two, please contact me asap. Thank you…

    Here is some history for C&O Stick Hydro race cars taken in a huge All Gas Coupe and Sedan Drag Race at Lions Dragstrip in 1964.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TG199EVX99A 1964 C&O Willys Coupe
    upload_2020-11-23_4-17-12.png upload_2020-11-23_4-17-30.png

    As part of the C&O Stick Hydro family (they installed one the first Stick Hydros in our 58 Impala ) we loved watching the C&O truck's showing at this meet.

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum...picture-thread.228509/page-1841#post-11981551 The C&O History for us

    upload_2020-11-23_4-18-18.png
    C&O stood for Ciambella and O'Brien. Steve Montrelli doing a lot of the work, too.

    The Willys Pick Up at the 1964 All Gas Coupe/Sedan Meet...Lions Dragstrip
    upload_2020-11-23_4-18-54.png upload_2020-11-23_4-19-6.png
     
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  12. ModelAPunk
    Joined: Aug 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,875

    ModelAPunk
    Member
    from Buffalo NY

    Very cool! Great stories! Thank you for sharing!
     
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  13. ModelAPunk
    Joined: Aug 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,875

    ModelAPunk
    Member
    from Buffalo NY

    The Austin pickup was in red oxide primer before it was painted the candy red

    Here is a color pic of the truck in primer.
    And one of it painted candy red.

    received_729457491013631.jpeg
    IMG_20201125_114205.jpg
     
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  14. Aussie Warren Goodall must have copied this awesome gasser. Here’s a pic of his gasser.
    upload_2020-11-25_12-35-7.jpeg
     
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  15. ModelAPunk
    Joined: Aug 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,875

    ModelAPunk
    Member
    from Buffalo NY

    The Austin Pickup was featured in February 1967 Popular Hot Rodding.
    Here is the article.

    IMG_20201126_134951.jpg

    IMG_20201126_134949.jpg
    IMG_20201126_134954.jpg
    IMG_20201126_134953.jpg
     
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  16. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 32,888

    loudbang
    Member

    Stogy, ModelAPunk and uncleandy 65 like this.
  17. simon g-s
    Joined: Mar 1, 2009
    Posts: 116

    simon g-s
    Member

    Here's my pickup, not in paint yet . Fiberglass body and aluminium bed, Poncho powered !
     

    Attached Files:

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  18. Gypsy Flyer
    Joined: Apr 1, 2019
    Posts: 29

    Gypsy Flyer

    Very cool
     
  19. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 3,036

    Speed Gems
    Member

    Hunt up a copy of the gasser files 1&2 by the Jackson Bros. it shows the truck in red oxide primer.
     
  20. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,392

    jnaki






    Hello,

    How is the restoration process going on the original C&O hydro Austin Truck? It has been a while and there has been no word of recent photos here on the HAMB. The current times, as they are, can be a downer and for all of us, we cope with the restrictions. So, hopefully, you and your families are all ok and still plugging along.

    I still have not been able to find anyone that has/had photos or the real thing from the C&O shop. I am looking for any photos or actual yellow decals that those guys at the So Cal shop used to hand out to people. But, since I had them install a C&O Stick Hydro in my 58 Impala, they were going to put a huge yellow sticker in the back window.

    That was a little over the top and plus, it blocked my sightlines rearward. So, they gave me a couple of stickers to put in the rear quarter windows of the Impala. i used to have a lot of small oval stickers, but gave them all away. I am pretty sure that is how the Impala ended up, when I sold it to a friend in late 1964. Then, I went off to college.
    upload_2021-1-30_8-30-34.png This is the only version I could find anywhere. Also, back then, we did not start taking photos until the 35 mm SLR cameras came out several years later, that we could afford. They were out earlier, but they were those Rangefinder Leica Cameras that were over the top in cost. So, there were no photos of the sticker on the Impala in 1960-64.

    Jnaki

    If you were able to come across one and/or if you have extra stickers, perhaps we can work out a trade of sorts. But, in the mean time, I am trying to draw one from that crappy photo I found and memory. Please let me know ASAP. Thank you...

    Anyone else have access to a clear photo or the actual yellow C&O decal?
     
    ModelAPunk likes this.
  21. ModelAPunk
    Joined: Aug 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,875

    ModelAPunk
    Member
    from Buffalo NY

    Update on the C&O Austin pickup restoration.
    Sheet metal has been stripped and primed. And the chassis is now underway!
    We Can't wait to have it as a rolling chassis!

    IMG_20210201_093528.jpg

    IMG_20210201_093527.jpg
    IMG_20210201_093526.jpg
    IMG_20210201_094812.jpg
     
  22. ModelAPunk
    Joined: Aug 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,875

    ModelAPunk
    Member
    from Buffalo NY

    This great footage from the 1966 Winternationals Sunday Eliminations recently emerged!

    The C&O Austin pickup makes 3 different appearances on it!

    One is in the AA/GS finals racing KS Pittman's Willy's coupe where the C&O pickup won!

    The next appearance is racing the legendary Stone Woods And Cooke Willy's coupe.

    And one more appearance racing a yellow Willy's coupe (unsure who it is? Might have been in top eliminator class?)

    Check it out!
    Still looking for any more old photos or footage of the truck!

     
  23. ModelAPunk
    Joined: Aug 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,875

    ModelAPunk
    Member
    from Buffalo NY

    Hello there Jnaki

    The restoration is slowly coming along. Collecting parts, and working on the chassis now.
    We are staying healthy. Hope all is well with you too.
    I have not come across any of the yellow decals. Will let you know if we do! See above for updated restoration pics.
     
    jnaki likes this.

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