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Projects Iron Brogan B/MR restoration

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by metalman, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,273

    metalman
    Member

    Over the years there have been pictures posted of this car on various threads including "sitting and rotting" Well, over the last week things have changed, I'm proud to say it's no longer sitting and rotting and moving to a build thread!
    Here in Albuquerque we don't have a lot of history when in comes drag racing (thank's to a family named Unser we have some in circle racing) but in the 1956 a guy named Bobby Davalos took a 1924 Dodge body and Model A frame, put them together with a built flathead and started racing. Over the next few years it progressed to become one of the areas most successfull drag racers till like all race cars, it became obsolete and put out to pasture.
    All this was a little before my time, my intrest in it started 20 some odd years ago when I rented an old gas station/ garage to operate my hot rod shop out of. I found out shortly after moving in it was owned by the Davalos family in the 50's/ 60/s and was at the time a hub of hot rod and racing activities and the home of the roadster. Someone back then told me they thought the roadster was in a junk yard in Socorro, NM (90 mile south of here). I drove down to look and there was an old drag roadster there, it was a Dodge but not the car, roll bar, turtle deck, cut wheel wells, ect were all wrong. The guy was willing to sell but wanted way too much for it so I left it. Fast foward 20 years and we have the HAMB and thanks to the above mentioned pics and history posted I was able to determine that the car in Socorro was indeed the Davalos roadster, just a bit modifed. Back down I go, intrest renewed and I found out the yard owner was in the process of selling off everything and retiring. Even though I was able to buy a 40 Ford PU and an ot 71 Dodge from him then, he still wanted way too much for the roadster. After 1 1/2 years of negociations I finally got him down to a realistic price, last week I brought it home!
    DSC03028-XL.jpg
    1960
    IMG_7062.jpg
    2012
    DSC_0210.jpg
    Last week. You can tell by the pics how many cars are now gone from the yard in a year and a half!
     
  2. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,273

    metalman
    Member

    Some early pics:)
    img115.jpg
    1956. This is the earlist pic I have, flathead powered. Note the "stock" driving position and no floorboards!:eek:
    350116_orig.jpg
    By 1957 it was converted to center steer. I wonder if he could of found a bigger steering wheel?
    Davolos6-L.jpg
    Racing the "Pipe Dream", a Hot Rod magazine feature car
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    58NatsEntry276_8mmfilmPt15m42s.jpg
    unnamed.jpg
    NHRA Nationals, 1958. Now powered by a 56 Chevy 265 and hood/ grill added. Funny tidbit, they owned a Mobil station, seems the sign painter didn't know Mobil gas didn't have an "e" on the end!
    13-1.jpg
    1959. These pics were taken for an feature in Hot Rod Magazine, it came out in 1960 but I'm not sure what month, I'm still looking for it. Now with an Olds for power, new paint and much more detail.
     

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  3. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,273

    metalman
    Member

    324.jpg

    7546531_orig.jpg
    Sometime shortly after the Hot Rod feature the Olds motor was pulled to be installed in a new Chassis Research K88 chassis and the roadster was sold to the Caldwell brothers. Their family owned a Chevrolet agency and naturally it got another Chevy put in. They change it to a more elaborate roll bar and added the turtle deck. Under the deck is a battery box, they must of not ran a mag or had it self starting. Probably added the turtle deck to have a place to put a battery. They raced it a couple years and then history gets fuzzy. At some point the rear axle got mounted solid, wheel wells cut for wider slicks (a move into altered class maybe?) and the car was painted gold. I have yet to find out who and when this was done. Maybe someone in HAMB land will know:confused:

    DSC_0215.jpg
    As it is today. I love the steering box, looks to be early Chevy with the pitman arm extended for center steer with water pipe! The steering wheel is right on top of your lap, guess so you could get down under the cover better.

    DSC_0218.jpg
    The seat is still there with the remains of the original belts.

    DSC_0220.jpg
    The original gas tank is still here, I'm told it's a surplus helecopter oil tank.

    DSC_0221.jpg
    Can still see some of the "Caldwell Motor Co." signage on the door.

    DSC_0222.jpg
    Heck of a way to mount a turtle deck, just weld it to the cage! Thats all there is, the turtle does not bolt to the body anywhere.

    This build thread might last awhile, don't think it will be done real fast. Yesterday Bobby Davolos came over and was reunited with his old race car. We worked out some details and it now belongs back with him and his family!
    We have a 50th reunion show for our drag racing ass. next week and we'll have it there. After that it gets blown apart, I'll start rebuilding the frame and body and we will start gathering parts. We plan on putting it into the form it was when it was featured in Hot Rod. I'll probably be calling on HAMBers to see if anyone has some of the harder parts to find, especially speed parts for the Olds engine. I admit I'll need some advice when it comes to Olds motors, kinda forin' to a Ford guy!
     
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  4. luke13
    Joined: Oct 25, 2013
    Posts: 381

    luke13
    Member

    at least the dry desert air was on your side,
     
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  5. Very cool save. I will be looking forward to this one!
     
  6. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,273

    metalman
    Member

    Yeah, it's really still pretty solid for sitting out in the weather for 25+ years.
    The Dodge tin seems to be thicker the Fords so it held up amazingly well.
    Even so, about the only thing on the body we'll be able to save is the cowl, I'll probably build new doors and quarters instead of patching the missing parts where they cut in the wheel wells.
     
  7. Jimmy B
    Joined: May 4, 2004
    Posts: 5,664

    Jimmy B
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Great to see you taking on the challenge. I look forward to seeing it return to its former HRM glory.

    The May 1960 Hot Rod article.
     

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  8. luke13
    Joined: Oct 25, 2013
    Posts: 381

    luke13
    Member

    the cowl is the hardest part,so if thats good then the rest of the body ill be nice an easy, soak it in mollasses for a week and see what comes out, might not be as bad as ya think.
     
  9. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,273

    metalman
    Member

    Here's the man. This young man posing with the car is the same one posing with it for Hot Rod 55 years ago.
    And, yes, he says if we can find a track to let us he'd like to make another pass in it when it's done;).
    DSC_0240.jpg
    Now that we're thru with our reunion show yesterday I hope to get it taken all apart this week, sandblast what we can salvage and start the rebuild. We're getting a lot of good support from the local rodders/ racers, some are starting to donate needed parts. A couple leads on the Oldsmobile engine and parts, still that looks like it will be the toughest to come up with.
    I know a lot of guys bitch about "horders" and how they hang on to cool old stuff but at least the guy I got the car from horded it for 30 years, so many cars like this would of been sold off for scrap years ago. I admit I'm amazed this POS survived!
     
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  10. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,988

    fab32
    Member Emeritus

    Totally cool that this old warrior just might live to fight another day. Keep us posted as the rebuild continues.

    Frank
     
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  11. CGkidd
    Joined: Mar 2, 2002
    Posts: 2,787

    CGkidd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Damn thats cool.
     
  12. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,273

    metalman
    Member

    Fab 32, it will live again, just not sure how much "fighting" this old warrior is going to do, least not on the dragstrip!

    What a fun day;), taking it apart! Overall not too bad a job, a little PB Blaster and most bolts came off without a lot off trouble. Kinda hate 1/4" pan head slotted stovebolts now, they used plenty of them, ended up cutting most off.
    DSC_0006.jpg

    DSC_0009.jpg
    Once the roll bar and turtle was off it looked a lot more like the original Brogan

    DSC_0007.jpg
    Got a savable T turtle deck that needs a good home, scrappers will probably get the bars.

    DSC_0010.jpg
    I was amazed, the right door was still attached to the hinges, just brazed shut in a few places. Cut the brass and the door swung open, I would of bet the hinges were rusted solid.

    DSC_0011.jpg

    DSC_0008.jpg
    Starting to be just a pile of parts. Still got to strip a few more things off the frame and it and the cowl will be headed off to the sandblaster. The frame is going to be a bit of a chore, now that the body is off you can really see some twists.
    Got quite a few of the locals starting to locate parts and some even are donating them which is cool. Yesterday a cool old Moon fuel hand pump walked in, donated to the cause!
    Updates to follow...
     
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  13. johnny bondo
    Joined: Aug 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,547

    johnny bondo
    Member
    from illinois

  14. Dale Schafer
    Joined: Mar 31, 2014
    Posts: 2

    Dale Schafer
    Member

    Way to go Bob. Dale Schafer
     
  15. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,273

    metalman
    Member

    Welcome to the Hamb Dale.
     
  16. Dale Schafer
    Joined: Mar 31, 2014
    Posts: 2

    Dale Schafer
    Member

    Looks good Terry, keep up the good work. Dale
     
  17. rustisgold
    Joined: Dec 12, 2007
    Posts: 392

    rustisgold
    Member

  18. Angry Frenchman
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,742

    Angry Frenchman
    Member

  19. Long-EZ
    Joined: Jan 17, 2010
    Posts: 2

    Long-EZ
    Member

     
  20. Long-EZ
    Joined: Jan 17, 2010
    Posts: 2

    Long-EZ
    Member

    you could look Mr. Caldwell in the Socorro phone book he is still around.
     
  21. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,478

    Jimbo17
    Member

    Interesting story here.
    Jimbo
     
  22. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,273

    metalman
    Member

    Sorry about the lack of updates. Work has been slow on my end, been real busy with "paying" jobs. After sandblasting and trying to salvage the original frame we decided it was not restorable, besides being VERY rough and twisted it had been shortened from the original. As much as we hated too, I finally took a good Model A frame out of my stash and started cutting it up to use for the main side rails and rear spring crossmember. I am using as much of the original as I can. I figured out the original was actually built from 2 frames anyway, no idea why. Hopefully I'll have the frame put together here in a couple weeks and get started on the body, my favorite part.
    Bob did find a good Olds engine and it's about ready to go, I had to give him a bit of a hard time, I know we want it to run but he's building it like it's going to race again! Had to source out "good" heads, a cam, all the good stuff and build it perfect! Guess he hasn't change much. I'll have to post pictures of it, right now we are waiting on getting the oil pan and other engine accessories back from the chrome shop. He did pick up a good transmission and rebuilt it as well as a rear axle we took from my stash so the drive train is about ready to go.
    Other then that we had Joe out in Oklahoma drop an A axle for us and we have been gathering parts, a lot of the locals have been a help as well as the Hamb, You guys have been especially helpful on the Olds parts.
    Promise, I'll start posting pics again.
     
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  23. What cam are you guys running? I think I have a NOS Potvin for an early Olds - seems it was for a 324 or something like that??? I don't know anything about early Olds stuff . . . except they had 3 exhaust pipes! LOL
     
  24. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,273

    metalman
    Member

    Wow, guess I'm pass due for an update! After I got the perimeter frame assembled Bobby and crew started sourcing, assembling the chassis. Had to fabricate new radius rods, drop the axle and what not to make a roller. Found and rebuilt a 39 toploader transmission, bolted it to the fresh Olds engine and been fitting the brakes, steering gear and all that. In the meantime I finally got the body rebuilt. Ended up fabricating everything from the cowl back. Today we mated the body back on the frame. Real close to blowing it all apart for bodywork and paint. We pretty much have all the parts now, the only trouble we are having is finding a SW 10 lb fuel pressure gauge. We also would like to find a SW "football" tach, we have a similar era SW tach but it's not a football version. We are also looking for a 32 Ford truck grill to cut down like it had, not in many pics but Bobby did run a grill and hood while racing.
    This has been a fun project. Lots of volunteer help and parts donations, We are all anxious to see, hear it fire up 60 years later! DSC_0005.JPG DSC_0006.JPG
    wouldn't you know the shop roof decided one night during a rain to start leaking right above the sandblasted cowl! DSC_0007.JPG
     
  25. I don't believe that SW ever made what you're referring to as a "football" tachometer - this refers to a SUN tachometer with a bright red "football" on it:

    [​IMG]
     
  26. Bugguts
    Joined: Aug 13, 2011
    Posts: 553

    Bugguts
    Member

    Super cool! That motor looks like a jewel sitting there!
     
  27. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,273

    metalman
    Member

    Your right, had a brain fart, it was a Sun tach. My mistake, the rest of the gauges were SW. The one you have pictured is exactly what we need.
     
  28. onekoolkat1950
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,863

    onekoolkat1950
    Member

    kidcampbell71 and cactus1 like this.

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