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History Life of Riley Roadster - before McMullen

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by So-Cal Speed Sacramento, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,441

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Maybe the new owner will restore the car to this configuration?
     
  2. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Why dont more guys do bobbed stock rear fenders on highboys? It was real common back then, and it looks damn good. A nice break from the endless stream of fenderless, black, flatty powered highboys.
     
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  3. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    The bobbing has to be just right...a little too long at either end and the car's rear looks FAT.
     
  4. FINKSTR
    Joined: Oct 8, 2006
    Posts: 300

    FINKSTR
    Member

    I agree, that roadster was perfect until Tom got ahold of it.
     
  5. Nobey
    Joined: May 28, 2011
    Posts: 1,246

    Nobey
    Member

    Not only are the fenders bobbed just right, they rolled a bead in both ends...
     
  6. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,787

    Malcolm
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Nebraska

    Very cool -- I agree, this version of the roadster is much better. Thanks for the photos and story!



    Malcolm
     
  7. hotrod40coupe
    Joined: Apr 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,562

    hotrod40coupe
    Member

    Bobbed fenders were to keep the law off your ass. They used to come down hard on fenderless cars. I'm glad those days are gone.
     
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  8. thequietwon
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 600

    thequietwon
    Member

    Really appreciate the pics, always like this version of the car. I know I am in the minority, but I never liked the McMullen version...
     
  9. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,873

    Harms Way
    Member

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  10. Roger O'Dell
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 1,143

    Roger O'Dell
    Member

    I think the years have confused his grandfarther. The "Life of Riley car" was built and still owned by Jim Gripsma. Who lived in Bellflower, he was the neighbor to go to with your car for kids like Larry Watson and others. Jim still owns that and his 41 ford custom, and they are kept as they were back then. Jim now lives in the Bakersfield area, And his son is an Highway Patrolman. Jims car is the coupe on the mag cover. Roger
     
  11. Cool video from the TV show. HRP

    <iframe width="640" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/agJhDuiOZ7w?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
  12. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,873

    Harms Way
    Member

    Well yes and no,... there were a few different deuce roadsters to show up in the Life of Riley episode,... But on the bottom left corner of this article from Dec. 1956 Hot Rod,.... Does in fact show the Don Hudson Roadster.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a link to the thread about it,.. including the entire TV show.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v605/jimmyschev/Hot Rod Mag/1956/December/dec563.jpg
     
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  13. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 35,138

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    FWIW, In this version it had a torque tube and whn McMullin had it it had rear facing qtr ellipticals acting as upper control arms. But I get your jest. :)
     
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  14. Mart
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,524

    Mart
    Member

    Wow, these are great photos. It's a very well known car and it's great to see these early pics. It's amazing what keeps turning up.

    Mart.
     
  15. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,873

    Harms Way
    Member

    Yes,.... Ah,... but no torque tube, banjo..... and a Ford 427. Sorry couldnt find a bigger picture.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 35,138

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yeah, he went open drive, I do have some better HRM shots of it somewhere. I will add them here if I stumble upon the issue.
     
  17. Jims35
    Joined: Dec 22, 2009
    Posts: 279

    Jims35
    Member


    ______________________________________________________________

    I have that December 56 magazine someplace in my collection. That's when i got bit real bad by the Hot Rod Bug , before that it was just nibbles.

    ____________________________________________________________
     
  18. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 27,702

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    Thanks for thread-pics & links
     
  19. So-Cal Speed Sacramento
    Joined: Sep 6, 2008
    Posts: 463

    So-Cal Speed Sacramento
    Alliance Vendor
    from Sacramento

    love it! thanks for the post.
     
  20. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    The McMullen version was featured in HRM and in Popular Hot Rodding around the time it became open drive...from memory, I think HRM showed the early version with early Ford/Halibrand driveline, the other feature covered it after it went to a 4-speed and the Klentz Chevy/Ford hybrid quickchange. I might have the coverage reversed...
    I think I have small magazine article on it with earlier ownership and maybe one after M bought it but before he redecorated...
    McMullen stuff was always interesting, but after this car everything else he built was UGLY!
     
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  21. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 8,715

    brady1929
    Member

    cool vid hrp. those were the good old days. wish i were around then.
     
  22. U-235
    Joined: Dec 18, 2010
    Posts: 452

    U-235
    Member

    Just an opinion...but I think Tom should have never been envolved in that car.....
     
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  23. rbantique
    Joined: Jun 12, 2008
    Posts: 6,418

    rbantique
    Member
    from maine


    the 34 was in Riley also
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
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  24. jimi'shemi291
    Joined: Jan 21, 2009
    Posts: 9,499

    jimi'shemi291
    Member

    Cool thread! I love the early history.
     
  25. hot rod pro
    Joined: Jun 1, 2005
    Posts: 2,709

    hot rod pro
    Member
    from spring tx.

    thanks for posting.

    -danny
     
  26. jalopykid
    Joined: Nov 13, 2006
    Posts: 1,205

    jalopykid
    Member
    from Bozeman,MT

    Cool Thread! Thanks for posting.
     
  27. El Gato
    Joined: Jun 2, 2008
    Posts: 4

    El Gato
    Member

    Hi Fellas
    I'm the guy So-Cal Sac was describing regarding cloning the original pre-McMullen '32 Roadster as built for "The Life of Riley" TV show. My Dad took the orignal photos in 1956 at the Norwalk State Mental Hospital Grounds. The orignal owner was my Dad's Excelsior High School buddy, Chuck Karnatz.
    Fast forward to 2014. Now in their 70's. Dad, Chuck and myself (56 yrs old) are partners on the finished clone. We call it "KR2" for "Karnatz Roadster #2". We tried to stay true to the original car, but due parts availability and funds, had to make a few changes.
    Engine: 1948 Ford 59A Flathead: 1/8” bored over, 4” Merc crank, 276 cu in, Ported & Relieved, Potvin Super 3/4 Cam, Sharp heads and manifold, 3x2 Stromberg 97s. Reds Headers.
    Body: 2-inch chopped windshield, New Age body, bobbed fenders, Stewart Warner gauges, black & white tuck & roll (Higgin’s Custom Upholstery, Chico, CA) Chassis: Blackboard Hot Rods frame, drilled 4-inch drop ‘34 Ford axle, Split and drilled ‘32 Ford wishbones, ‘56 Ford Steering Box, 1940 Ford Brakes, 1940 Ford Banjo Rear End 3:54 w/ open drive conversion, T-5 S-10 5-speed Transmission Model A rear cross member and spring.
    This is my first post, but I want to thank all HAMB'ers for technical postings that have been of great help!
    This is a Father & Son, owner built car. Some new photos below Eng side copy.jpg Lft Ft Qtr copy.jpg Side vu copy.jpg Rear Qtr copy.jpg Front copy.jpg Ft axle copy.jpg Int 1 copy.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2014
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  28. Very cool, thanks for posting! That is a beautiful looking car.
     
    Stogy likes this.
  29. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Oh man! Just give me a minute to wipe up the drool!!!
     
  30. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,608

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    32 Ford built by a senior... doesn't mean the same today as it did in 1956.
     

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