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Projects No pontiac love

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Ny51streamliner, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. -J-
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 132


    We still have that 3 window and have plans to get back at it soon. We are still open and operating at our shop in Monticello, but will be operating in our new facility in Osseo by mid summer.
    vetteguy402 and Enemy1 like this.
  2. bostonhemi
    Joined: Dec 1, 2011
    Posts: 638


    I dunno about the straight 8. But, I have to say your car has beautiful lines and style.
    Ny51streamliner likes this.
  3. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,694


    upload_2019-3-3_5-9-53.png A similar look for a friend's 51 Pontiac Sedan...his first car in high school.


    Back in 1962, one of our friends was happy to have purchased a 1951 Pontiac Sedan as his first car. Since all of his friends had two door sedans, this one just fit the bill. We had never seen a 51 Pontiac before. There were Chevy coupes/sedans and Ford Coupes/Sedans, but not a Pontiac. We were all impressed as the one he bought was pretty nice to start.

    As most teenagers go, our friend was limited as to what he could afford to modify to make a hot rod sedan. So, he opted to keep it stock, make it run like a top, and just use it like a freedom-giving car for unnamed jaunts all over So Cal. One of his claim to fame quotes: “Well, Mickey Thompson uses Pontiacs…” Yes, he does…

    Most of us were in fun classes in high school, such as PE or sports teams. (also, Auto Shop, Metal Shops, Crafts, etc.) There were classes that allowed us to have fun, hang out together, and make stuff we normally could not do at home. We had access to do most mechanical things for our cars. Make a plastic layered shift knob or dash/radio knobs, the crafts class supplied the stuff, but, we had to make it for a grade. Or fix a broken lever for a support bracket? The metal shop provided plenty of supplies and big machines to get the job done.

    So, what did the Pontiac get in the Auto Shop? A one of a kind shift lever and bracket to make the column shift into a floor shift. The bracket on the transmission was made in the metal shop, the car floor torn apart in the auto shop and the whole unit installed with some fine adjustments. I needed a project to boost my grade back up to an “A.” So, this Pontiac project was going to be a grade booster. It was our first try at something like this. There was no money to go out and buy a ready-made shift lever to fit this old Pontiac. (besides, there weren’t any commercially available ones on the market for this conversion.)

    The complexity of the project would boost our grades, if it was done correctly. Doing final researching in magazines and talking to old hot rod guys helped. Even words of wisdom from our neighborhood welding shop expert helped make a cool, functional, all metal, transmission shift lever and arms work perfectly. Before we put the carpet back in, we had to make the last modifications to the tall, curved, shift lever that was as high as the top of the dash.


    Luckily, we made the main transmission lever base with an internal thread-tapped hole just above the tunnel. It was handy as any lever with threads would fit this transmission shift unit. (We made a short curved one like a standard 4 speed unit from the factory…it looked awful.) The first tall lever worked perfectly, but hit the dash. Then we got smart and used thin welding rods for practice clearance models.

    The second, slightly curved model cleared the dash, while still being as tall as the top of the dash. It was the ONLY hot rod in our area with such a tall lever. If it wasn’t fast, (the 51 Pontiac wasn’t), then make it look like a custom cruiser, which it was in droves. The 1951 Pontiac was fun to drive with the shift lever so high inside. We felt rather proud of our accomplishment.

    The car was not the fastest or had the most custom/race stuff on it, but it was a great version of a local, reliable So Cal cruiser. It was a completely fun car to drive and hang out, quite a different experience from my 58 Impala or our other friend's 57 Bel-Air 4 speed, hardtop. The owner was proud of his Pontiac, as were we. But, it was just a fun place to be with friends, without a care in the world at the time. That reality would hit us in the face several years down the road.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
  4. gsnort
    Joined: Feb 5, 2008
    Posts: 192


    I'm for keeping the engine and attending swap meets where I'm certain you'll find Tennessee-go-fast parts for that straight eight. If you join Inliners International, you'd find a lot of help from their members.
    Ny51streamliner likes this.

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