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Folks Of Interest O'Briens Rod Shop . . . Anybody heard of them, 20 years ago?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bored&Stroked, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. Hey Gang:
    I'm looking for information on a place named 'O'Brien's Rod Shop' - they built a black flamed 32 three window that I've recently acquired (at least I think they built it - based on some pin striping on the rear). It is definitely NOT a traditional build - more like mid-90's stuff. It is a nice running/driving car (not really my style . . . buy hey, steel three windows are not easy to find and I have never owned one of any condition, and the price was fair - so don't beat me up too badly!)

    The car came out of Florida, but it could have been built anyplace - probably East Coast is my guess. It has good workmanship - the work that I can see is pretty well done for the time period (late 90's stuff is my guess). I'll change the hell out of it over time - but there are at least 3 projects in front of it! :)

    Engine: SBC, 700R trans, Mustang Damn II front end, 10 bolt Chevy posi in rear. A little bit of 'billet', but not terrible (it will come off), steel body, glass fenders.

    Anyway, here are a few pictures of the car - any info, history or contacts would be greatly appreciated:

    $_57 (2).JPG $_57 (7).JPG I know - the rear needs help too . . . exhaust has GOT to go!

    Yes - it needs some major changes to fit my liking - will probably be a mid-60's style build (is what fits it the best). Will need a whole different frame/suspension/engine/interior . . . lots of stuff. I'm going to leave it alone for now and just cruise it and enjoy it . . . while I slave on my other damn projects!

  2. 36couper
    Joined: Nov 20, 2002
    Posts: 2,012

    from ontario

    Nice rod great purchase!. I'd lose the flames, bob the fenders and change the exhaust pipes. Other than that it looks killer. Drive the wheels off it.
  3. Hamtown Al
    Joined: Jan 17, 2007
    Posts: 2,393

    Hamtown Al
    1. Virginia HAMB(ers)

    Looks pretty good to me but if it is REALLY troubling you, my new pal, I've got some garage space in Virginia!
    Just sayin'

    Drive it! Do not make it another project, that you can't drive! Driving is always best.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  4. redo32
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,731


    In 20 years this will be the traditional car that everybody wants to emulate. I would change the tail lights and exhaust & drive the hell out of it. When your son is ready to drive it will have the perfect patina.
    H380 likes this.

  5. Very nice car regardless. Love to have it myself. Enjoy. Tim
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  6. Isn't there a 32 that looks like that called The California Kid? Maybe a clone of that car. Overall nice looking car, a few tweaks to your taste and you got a nice ride.

    Edit The California Kid is a 34 3 window
  7. jimcolwell
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 474

    from Amarillo

    1. Please don't cut the fenders up.
    2. Changing the exhaust tips shouldn't be a problem.
    3. You need to think about a trailer hitch.
    4. Keep it black and install red interior.
    5. Drive it like you stole it.

    Just my ideas. I'm sure you will improve it to your licking.
    Texas57 likes this.
  8. jimcolwell
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 474

    from Amarillo

    I hate billing.
  9. flamedabone
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,810


    That is a good looking little car. Ditch all the goofy nick-knacks and you can probably live with it, but that ugly assed M2 lurking under there might bother you like the tell tale heart.

    The more I look at that car, the more I like it.... My advise is to bite the bullet and stick a straight axle under it. I bet you could do it in a weekend, maybe two. Then, ditch the trinkets and drive the hell out of it.

  10. WiredSpider
    Joined: Dec 29, 2012
    Posts: 721


    Nice car but it is funny that someone spent time and money making it look like a glass car.
    No door hinges,filled top and cowl vent and glue in windshield
  11. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,985

    Member Emeritus

    There is nothing wrong with that car that can't be fixed. A bit street-toddy but a couple of weekends and a few $$$$$$'s and you'll have something that will return years and thousands to miles worth of smiles. Just don't get caught up in taking it all apart with plans to completely redo it. If you do you take the chance of being undriveable for years and the potential loss of interest in finishing it.

    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  12. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    I certainly wouldn't kick that car out of bed, I like it, flames and all. Even the MMII wouldn't bother me on a fendered car, and yes, the exhaust would go. But it sure ain't bad as is at all.

    As for Obriens, maybe this is Obrien Truckers ? They used to sell (maybe still do) hot rod parts and I think they were in Florida. Could be wrong on all of that, but who knows.

    zzford likes this.
  13. Don: Yes, O'biens Trucking is still around and set up indoors at the NSRA in Louisville every year. Very nice people. Don't know if it is the shop the op is thinking of but shouldn't be hard to sort out.

    As for Obriens, maybe this is Obrien Truckers ? They used to sell (maybe still do) hot rod parts and I think they were in Florida. Could be wrong on all of that, but who knows.

  14. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida


    Worth a shot to give them a call and ask. Here is their website:

  15. Well I know I didn't build that car, for that matter I can't say I remember seeing it here in the Northeast.

    Sorry I couldn't help.

    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  16. I remember in the late 80's early 90's their were some guys selling high end hot rods at York they were O'briens brothers rod shop
  17. DERPR30
    Joined: Jun 3, 2010
    Posts: 803

    from HARVEY LA

  18. BTT: Much appreciate all the input. Like you guys have mentioned, the car isn't 100% my style - but then again, the only way for that to happen is if I had built it. And even then, I'm sure there would be something I didn't like or wanted to fix. I think it can be turned into something really cool - 60's style is my guess.

    I'll see if I can find out the 'OBriens Brothers' rod shop - maybe a lead worth chasing down.

    I like some of the ideas posted here - will make some small changes for now, explore the car a bit and have fun with it. Once I get some other projects done (lots of work!), then I'll probably come back to it. In the meantime, I'll drive it and have some fun. It is a very comfortable car to sit in and drive - quite different than my 32 Cabriolet in that regard! :)

    Keep the information and ideas coming . . .
  19. Thanks Dennis . . . appreciate you tuning into the thread . .
  20. BTT - Any more info on 'O'Briens' - haven't found anything as of yet?
  21. Yeah - they obviously went about it in a very deliberate manner and all the work was done very nicely. The body is super straight, top is perfect, doors hang really nicely, chop is nice, etc.. It will be work to transform it to what I want, but a nice place to start.
  22. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,427

    from Berry, AL

    Get rid of the billet wiper arm, mirrors, the square tail lights and exhaust tips, and drive the hell out of it!
  23. Mike McCaleb
    Joined: Jan 12, 2017
    Posts: 2

    Mike McCaleb

  24. Mike McCaleb
    Joined: Jan 12, 2017
    Posts: 2

    Mike McCaleb

    I have a 1915 T Bucket that was built by O'briens Rod Shop, my paperwork shows it was built and first titled in Chicago, IL in 1966. It is black with lots of pin striping. I too would like to know a bit more the builder. I like the one you have, looks very nice! Jalopy 1.jpg Jalopy 2.JPG

    Attached Files:

    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  25. Did they sign their name in the back - down at the bottom? Also, did you purchase the car in Florida - or is that it's new home? I bought my car in Florida - so was wondering if there is a connection there? The pin striping looks like it may have been done by the same dude - so that makes the connection possible as well.

    Take some pictures of the pin striping areas in the back/middle and down low in the back - then I'll post mine as well.
  26. That chop and moon tank makes me think they were going for a Bob Porter/Doyle Gammil clone
  27. Agree! Also there are no seams on the apron under the trunk. The cowl looks a little wonky too. And while I realize it's chopped the rear window shape looks off too (especially in the left side). interesting........
  28. Thomas Collier
    Joined: Apr 22, 2018
    Posts: 3

    Thomas Collier

    Hey, not sure if anyone still needs to find him, but Tom O'Brien is my grandpa. He still does work, but not often for hire. You've seen his work, it's good. He's a bit pricey. Three cars finished now and one finished in the process of getting a title. 32 Ford (no flames like that) 31 Ford (again no flames, both black, message my phone number for pictures) a classic t bucket, flames and all, step plates and white vinyl removable top. And a completely custom radical car, not even sure how to describe it. Blue with no top, I'm 5'8 and can't comfortably fit in it. He's 5'4 ish and built it based on his size. 67 Corvette engine, gosh I'll just send pics if you want to look. 32 listed around 40k, 31 around 35, t bucket around 20 and the custom around 25. Message 386 if interested 785 in just seeing the cars 8534 or buying one. Thanks.
    lothiandon1940 and Budget36 like this.

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