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Projects Gene Winfield custom found

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by cabong, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,483

    Squablow
    Member

    I agree, the tail lights look great, and they make those custom quarters look great, too. Really glad you found a solution that didn't involve cutting up the rear quarters. Can't wait to see this car as a finished product!
     
  2. cabong
    Joined: Nov 29, 2005
    Posts: 334

    cabong
    Member

    Just got back from a long visit with Leland and Margene. We got to yak'n about WWII and Korea. It's amazing just how good Leland's memory is, and how easy it is for him to talk about anything. He served as an Army Paratrooper right after WWII, in Japan, which, as it turns out, is how he bought the new '50 Chev. He learned how to drive at Golden Gate Park, in his Dad's almost new '40 Plymouth sedan delivery. Sound familiar. Yep, the same one. And, he hot rodded that before the Chev. But, in between he had several old buggers, including a '35 Ford coupe. he had installed a "2-pot" manifold and made his own headers to "dual it out". Man this guy is fun to talk to. Now check it out, he cut '40 Chev headlights into the '35 Ford fenders. His buddies said it made the old Ford look like a "Duesie". We were right in the middle of this story when my battery petered out. You gotta hear the rest of the story.
    Gotta go...............
     
  3. papo49merc
    Joined: Jan 26, 2010
    Posts: 122

    papo49merc
    Member
    from La Habra


    Can't wait to hear the rest. This is so awesome.
     
  4. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    Thank you for your service, Leland. Looking forward to hearing, and seeing, more.
     
  5. raymay
    Joined: Mar 2, 2008
    Posts: 2,352

    raymay
    Member

    Leland, first as a Baby Boomer during the Korean War let me thank you for your Service to our Country.
    I had a couple of Uncles who served in Korea. One Uncle Joe Natale was a Paratrooper Chaplain. "Jumpin Joe they called him. He performed well over 100 jumps during his time with the 82nd, 11th and 101st Airborne divisions. While in Korea he would jump in and say Mass for the troops at places like "Pork Chop Hill", "Bloody Ridge" and during the battle of "Old Baldy". At Fort Bragg he organized "The Society of Saint Michael" for American Paratroopers. Leukemia took him from us in 1963.
    My other Uncle Ralph Masi was from California at the time and served as a Medic in Korea. This year I will have the privilege of being his escort for a Veterans "Honor Flight" to Washington DC. I took him to California a couple of years ago to visit family and one of his old War buddies. Listening to them talk about their experiences in Korea was like a best episode of MASH.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. skoh73
    Joined: Apr 17, 2008
    Posts: 1,553

    skoh73
    Member

    The tail lights look killer! Good choice. Keep up the great work gents!
     
  7. cabong
    Joined: Nov 29, 2005
    Posts: 334

    cabong
    Member

    Okay, I confess, the top taillights were spaced out using PVC pipe. Good thing, 'cause it too 3 tries to get it right. Then I figure we could use a couple Campbells soup cans, cut down to fit.
    But nooooo, Nick says we gotta do it right. Sooo, here is a shot of the spacers being whittled out of 3-1/2" ID pipe. The size works just right, and they will be painted with the car.
    Thank you Nick, for stick'n to your convictions to do things right. I appreciate it as does Leland.


    [​IMG]
     
  8. 208custom
    Joined: Mar 19, 2006
    Posts: 254

    208custom
    Member

    It's looking good Bruce, You an Nick are doing a great job. Any luck tracking down the original 6?
     
  9. Kezo
    Joined: Dec 24, 2012
    Posts: 4

    Kezo
    Member
    from Sweden

    Have to say that you are doing a great, high-quality and true-to-the-roots work on this sweetie.

    Really hope you can manage to track down the old six, or at the least parts to build another one.
     
  10. cabong
    Joined: Nov 29, 2005
    Posts: 334

    cabong
    Member

    As I mentioned in a previous post, it's the small things that seem to take forever. The basic pieces are all there, but now they must be made permanent. We made the brackets for the park lights, and in doing so, realized how the offset lens seemed to not line up with the rest of the design, plus, the lenses were broken, and I couldn't find better ones. Sooo, I went looking for replacements. I found these mystery lens/bezel units. They required many hours of modification to the brackets and buckets, but have turned out neet. They line up with the headlight, pan, and bumber, and I don't mean to be philosophical, but being offset in the opening, they make the little dags a more intergral part of the Pontiac grille bar, and give them their space. I keep mentioning that as things progress, Leland's conv seems to say, "this is what I want to be".


    [​IMG]

    In this shot, you can see the overall appearance of these new lenses. When this was taken, the grille bar is not attached to the brackets, so it is hanging a tad, and not straight, and the park light brackets have not been trimmed. Since trimmed, the park lights seem to be floating in the opening. I just noticed that the fluting in the headlights matched the new lenses. See what I mean??

    [​IMG]
     
  11. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    cabong, if you get a chance, ask Leland if he remembers Gene racing stock cars. Here is a pic of Gene in the convertible on a road course at Carrell. Erick Ericson is in the Kaiser, and I can't recall who the other driver is.
     

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  12. safari-wagon
    Joined: Jan 12, 2008
    Posts: 1,457

    safari-wagon
    Member

    Cabong, I gotta say that "you ain't just another pretty face"...

    Well done.


    Sent from snowy Detroit via the H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  13. cabong
    Joined: Nov 29, 2005
    Posts: 334

    cabong
    Member

    Thanks to the 'burbs, although I'm way too old to be "purdy". And, good luck with the upcoming show. It would be great to be there with Leland's kruizer, but the logistics are a stretch.

    Now for some good stuff. The first pic is of the service policy that Leland bought for his Chev when he picked it up at the dealer, which was Ingold Chrevrolet on Van Ness in San Francisco. Note the date......Leland's daughter had this paperwork in California, and sent it to Leland last week. It's absolutely amazing that anyone could hold on to a manila envelope for that many years. Check out the second picture. That's the paper "temporary" license that was placed in the back window. Note that it also is dated. Leland went to the trouble to use just 4 small patches of tape, so as not to mess up the rear plastic window. I can't say enough about this family.

    [​IMG]


    BUT, don't go away!!!!!! The best is yet to come. I'm going to show those "out-of-staters" why the titles are called "pink slips". That's right......I have the first pink that Leland had for this daring droptop, and will post it tomorrow. Needless to say, I made sure that Leland was okay with posting these documents. Some of it is rather personal, as you will see.

    Thanks for the questions, and personal comments to Leland. He enjoys and appreciates them all. I have more video with some answers, and some really interesting insight into the life of a young car guy with the moxie to make his dreams happen.
     
  14. Buddy Palumbo
    Joined: Mar 30, 2008
    Posts: 3,859

    Buddy Palumbo
    Member

  15. will the coolness ever end? i sure hope not
     
  16. skoh73
    Joined: Apr 17, 2008
    Posts: 1,553

    skoh73
    Member

    Unreal! Thanks for holding on to the history for us Leland! I love everything about this story. Can't wait to see more.
     
  17. autobilly
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 3,094

    autobilly
    Member

    x2:)
     
  18. cabong
    Joined: Nov 29, 2005
    Posts: 334

    cabong
    Member

    Boy, those little things. I knew the bottom of the passenger door was in about 5/8", and yet the top was correct. This is shown in the following pictures. Just adjustment, right....WRONG!!!! The front edge is right on. So we started brain jamm'n, which is actually a short process in our case. It was obvious the leading top edge of the quarter panel was in, and when the aft door edge was adjusted with the striker plate, it in turn brought in the bottom edge even more. Got That..... Take a peek, you'll see what I mean...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So, bring in the big guns. We cut the inside bracing at the bottom of the quarter, which is substantial, being a convert, and powered out the top of the panel. We had to go further than necessary, to allow for a proper fallback without stress, which buckled the quarter, of course. But, by the time all was back together, the buckled area had gone back to flat. WHEW!!!!!!!!! Nick massaged and rewelded the bracing, and we stood back to see what we had done

    [​IMG]

    Hot damn!!!! Good as new. We did manage to split a seam just below the top of the jam, but that's no big deal. All fits good as new.

    [​IMG]

    It occurred to me that the top of the quarter was pushed in when the trim got smashed. The Olds sidetrim has very heavy retainer strips which contain the screws that hold the trim to the body. I haven't seen a similar setup, but it does hold the trim nicely in place. The rigid trim/retainer spread out the impact and pushed in the front of the quarter, and the only thing that could move was the top. All is well in the Carson Cosmos.......

    Something else to note.....Upon close inspection we realized that there literally is no area of this Leland Leadsled that has not been altered. Check the photo with the Porta-power. There are welds and patches, and holes everywhere, and the tunnel has been raised to accomodate the weeding. All of the top mechanism with the exception of the ram bracket has been removed.
     
  19. jesse1980
    Joined: Aug 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,355

    jesse1980
    Member

    Very cool thread
     
  20. thats a lot of work for a small adjustment. knowing me it would be something i wouldnt notice until the car was completely finished, then drive me crazy for all of eternity afterwards.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
  21. I did auto body work for a while and I always found this sort of puzzle solving to be a fun challenge. That was a great solution.
     
  22. cabong
    Joined: Nov 29, 2005
    Posts: 334

    cabong
    Member

    Well, Leland's lifetime leadsled is ready for final body and paint. We're git'n closer on paint color. Dark seems to be the theme, and probably indigo blushed with red, or a dark red leaning to indigo. Again, comments please. Leland and I are really having a tough time deciding. Remember, this kemp was black from the womb, and never really painted since '54, when the party started. So the slate is clean. Both Leland and his bride are inclined towards some kind of purple, but not "purple". See what I mean.
    Now, the picture. Once Nick and I got the doors straightened out in the openings, we removed the inner upholstry panels. Leland had told me that there were solenoids, but I wasn't sure they were still there. Well, they were, sorta. They were buried in the trunk. kinda like the cam and valvecover mentioned earlier. The brackets (ya gotta luv diamondplate, but it is strong) are still in place, so we will probably re-install the original solenoids. Nick and I both really hate to change things if what's there works. NOW........what about the openers????? Suggestions please!!!!!!! Remember, the originals were behind the door panels, where a strategically placed knee would pop the solenoid. That's not really a good idea.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014
  23. cabong
    Joined: Nov 29, 2005
    Posts: 334

    cabong
    Member

    Okay, now we're getting to the part of my association with Leland and his creative custom convert that I find absolutely beyond compare. I realize there are Winfield and Barris, and other creations out there, and most got lots of recognition. I guess that's because of where they lived, or what they were striving for. Leland had Gene Winfield start on his critter because he had been told that Gene could bullnose a Chev hood without warping it. So it began, and the rest is history. But just how many of those other customs retain written documentation. Below is the sales contract written when Leland bought his black beauty from Ingold Chevrolet in SF, CA. This is the original document, that Leland signed when he took possession. I don't know about you, but I am a history buff, and this makes tools rattle in my toolbox. Note the price!!!!


    [​IMG]

    Now this takes my breath away......First, let me say that my original intention was to not show this document, but Leland assured me that it was okay. The California "pinkslip" was imortalized in the phrase, "Wanna race for pinks?". This goes way back, to the earliest days of hotrodding. When I realized that this "pink" was in the documents that Leland has, I couldn't believe it. Nobody retains these guys. Cars are sold, and pinks go away, or cars go out of state, and they are relinquished. But here it is!!!! California "pink" titles went away many years ago, so most youngsters have never even seen one. Now I was a tad curious because the pink is dated 1952, but Leland explained it to me. In that time period, the title was held by the lienholder, in their name 'till the car was paid off. Leland paid off the note in 15 months, and the title was changed to his name, in 1952. I don't know how he has kept this document all these years, but I'm darned glad that he did, and rest assured, unlike some documents that we've heard about of late, this one is the real thing.

    [​IMG]

    Now you can see why this project is so important, and needs to be completed so that Leland and Margene can enjoy seeing it, and hopefully cruizing in it.

    One more thing...... growing up in California in the 50's and 60's, I have seen lots of pinks, and have had many, but I cannot remember ever seeing one that still had the transfer document still attached. This is really incredible!!!!!
     
  24. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,173

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    yep, as for body alignments, never hurts to do some detective work. just like keeping original Title paper work, it makes the project that much better. how about a magnet style actuator to pop doors? more I see of car the less I favor any shade of purple. what is Leland's favorite color/colors? I know that a lot of early customs were white with red, etc scallops. how about deep red with black scallops?
     
  25. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,023

    Torchie
    Member

    " and if that ain't enough I've got the PINK SLIP daddy"....
    Very cool. My favorite shade of Purple was what we used to call Burple. Very deep almost grape colored.
    Whatever you guys come up will be great.
    Torchie.
     
  26. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,429

    40StudeDude
    Member

    A small micro switch hidden under the chrome trim near the top of it is all that's required...simply space the trim up with a washer or a nut and hook up your electrical...simply push down on the trim and the micro switch actuates the solenoid...and since it's hidden, it doesn't affect the "old school' any...!!!

    Look at "lavendar" colors - purple but not purple...and purple was a very popular color back then...

    R-
     
  27. How about Ford's Sapphire of the mid 90's. It has very fine blue and red pearl in it.

    I did my 1/87 scale "Little Deuce Coupe" in it, but have yet to see it on a full size custom or hot rod.

    In reality in looks purplish blue. Like cobalt glass ware. It changes in different light. Some times blue sometimes purple.

    IMG_2093b.jpg IMG_0018b.jpg
     
  28. Or a small magnetic switch hidden in the door with a magnet hung on the key ring to activate it.
     
  29. cabong
    Joined: Nov 29, 2005
    Posts: 334

    cabong
    Member

    That sapphire blue is git'n real close. Actually, Kia (I can't believe I just said that) has a color called blackberry (?) or bramble (?) that is similar, as does VW. I just hope that we can get it right. Only one chance.
    As to the switch. Under the trim would be kool, but the trim fits flush with the body all along the length of it. I'll look into the mag switch, another good idea.
    Next week is it. Nick and I have actually gone as far as we can. Now it's up to Ogden Chrome and one of a couple different shops here local. I feel bad, 'cause 20 years ago, I'da done it myself. But, old age creep has found me.
    Thanks for the great ideas....keep'm com'n guys!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  30. safari-wagon
    Joined: Jan 12, 2008
    Posts: 1,457

    safari-wagon
    Member

    Saphire Burple?



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