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Hot Rods Rich Roberts and Friends rebuild the Olson Brothers ‘32 Ford Altered Sedan

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Used Up Junk, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. Used Up Junk
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 669

    Used Up Junk
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Merced, CA

    14C2EEEC-29A2-4E83-A9D1-099E21F7212B.jpeg Ok guys, so I’m not an internet guy I’m more of a hands on kinda guy but this car is just too cool to not post so bare with me as I try my best to share some of the story of this little sedan. I will be adding pictures and stories along the way but I wanted to at least get something posted for the curious HAMBers that have asked about the rebuild of a somewhat historic old drag car. So here we go! So a while back an eagle eyed HAMBer saw this picture and noticed a familiar face hiding in the background.
     
    AHotRod, BigO, kidcampbell71 and 11 others like this.
  2. Used Up Junk
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 669

    Used Up Junk
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Merced, CA

    So Rich gives me a call and says “hey check out this for sale add, I’m pretty sure I’m going to pick this car up if it’s what it’s supposed to be. I’m going to go check it out if you want to go for a ride.” Ok, I’ll bite, any time someone asks if I want to go check out an old racecar the answer is of course “Yes!” So we show up at the guys house and this is what we find. The hood and grill shell were off to make it easier to move around but it was all there including a lot of other parts that had been on the car throughout its long career as a drag car. We weren’t at all ready for what we were about to see. While the car has a great mid sixties look to it everything underneath is modern Nostalgia Eliminator drag car. The Logghe chassis that was under the car was deemed unsafe for use by the NHRA chassis inspector so a totally new 112” chromolly chassis was built buy the previous owner who did an absolutely BEAUTIFUL job on everything he did building the car. He completed it to about 80% then lost interest when a proposed racetrack in our area fell through. I’ll get deeper into the build details later on but for now here are a few shots from the day we picked it up. 94C52D6F-1EB7-41A0-B1BD-C75C532C97A2.jpeg 44E1E330-A71A-47CD-8A14-16139D2DE8F6.png
     
    Thor1, triumph 1, AHotRod and 16 others like this.
  3. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 10,781

    Tim
    Member
    from Raytown Mo

    Way cool
     
    loudbang likes this.
  4. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 4,190

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    Ok that is over the top cool.:) Maybe I should reconsider selling my Tudor. :oops: It go eat me ideas but I need a truck more.
     
    loudbang likes this.
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  5. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 4,190

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

  6. Used Up Junk
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 669

    Used Up Junk
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Merced, CA

    B299EA5F-DB2B-4EDF-9D36-5EA1447F6476.png I’m going to cheat a little bit and skip to the punch line, last weekend the sedan made its return to the drag strip out at the Eagle Field Runway drags for a few shakedown passes. Sharp eyed readers will also note the tow rig is the same five window coupe in the foreground of the first picture in this thread. The coupe is also an old hotrod that Rich has gone through and put back on the road there is another little thread about the coupe here on the HAMB. If you’re thinking Rich is a hardcore car guy just do a search for his name here on the HAMB and get ready to be amazed. He’s one of the nicest most talented guys you’ll ever meet and I’m honored to call him my friend. I’ll post some more pictures of the work we had to do to knock this old warhorse back into shape and some video of the shakedown passes out at Eagle Field soon. If you search the Eagle Field Facebook page there’s a ton of pictures of the coupe and the sedan together as well as a few videos my Dad posted.
     
    Thor1, gnichols, AHotRod and 22 others like this.
  7. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 4,005

    catdad49
    Member

    Wow, great story and the above pic! What more is there to say? Thanks, Carp.
     
    Stogy, OLSKOOL57 and loudbang like this.
  8. gonzo
    Joined: Dec 24, 2003
    Posts: 1,675

    gonzo
    Member

    Great looking sedan.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  9. BENT VALVE
    Joined: May 13, 2013
    Posts: 35

    BENT VALVE
    Member

    I watched that 32 race at Eddyville forever. I heard Rich wrecked it a few years ago. It had an injected 427 Ford in it most of the time. Ended up in Cali huh?
    Bent
     
  10. Previous builder is not on HAMB but is the brother of a well known HAMBer. Prev builder did a lot of work on it, the crash was not kind to the car. Glad to see it completed.

    Sent from my SM-J337V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  11. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 8,222

    brady1929
    Member

    Beautiful sedan and 5w.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  12. Corn Fed
    Joined: May 16, 2002
    Posts: 2,698

    Corn Fed
    Member

    Ive been waiting for this thread. Its fantastic to see the sedan together and back on the track where it belongs. Its been a racer for well over 50 years. I hope you can post some pics from way back.
    A few years ago I saw a video of the crash. It was heartbreaking to see the track rescue guy take the jaws of life to the front windshield posts and fold the roof back. But it looks great now!
     
    chryslerfan55 and loudbang like this.
  13. Used Up Junk
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 669

    Used Up Junk
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Merced, CA

    927A173D-B7D6-42E7-B018-664E29BB30F7.jpeg 9E90E16C-8B31-4CC5-AC87-21C6F36B6BFD.jpeg 516DBFFF-861B-4CDE-97B1-45ECBDD95B3D.jpeg DD4FA768-288D-41E5-912D-EF046D45FBA1.jpeg Corn Fed, sorry about the delay on the thread but hopefully I get a bit of a pass since I was busy putting about a million hours into getting the sedan into useable shape again haha! You’re not kidding about the rescue guys making a mess out of the roof. This is what I was fighting with trying to get this poor old racer looking good again.
     
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  14. sololobo
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 8,071

    sololobo
    Member

    this fantastic, love the sedan, we had a car club in the 50's called 'The C-Dans" what a blast. Coupe as the tow vehicle is off the hook!
     
  15. kidcampbell71, Stogy and loudbang like this.
  16. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 4,423

    continentaljohn
    Member

    Wicked cool
     
    loudbang likes this.
  17. 15ASedan
    Joined: Mar 16, 2010
    Posts: 198

    15ASedan
    Member

  18. Hot Rod Nut
    Joined: Jul 1, 2006
    Posts: 532

    Hot Rod Nut

    I think this is the same car from my home town. The Olsons brothers Speed Shop in Burlington, Iowa. They just closed the shop last year. Every one getting old. I'll do some research on it and I think I even know the guy who was driving it. Will check it out in the next few days. Just noticed that it says Burlington, Iowa under the name. Cool.
     
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  19. Used Up Junk
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 669

    Used Up Junk
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Merced, CA

    15ASedan, thanks for adding the pictures! Hot Rod Nut, this is indeed the real Olson Brothers Sedan out of Iowa! Well what’s left of it anyways. When the previous owner bought the car the injected Cammer was already gone and the West Coast NHRA chassis inspector nixed the idea of using the original Logghie chassis. This is however the body, front wheels, and fuel tank from the original car.
     
    loudbang and Stogy like this.
  20. Used Up Junk
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 669

    Used Up Junk
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Merced, CA

    F99AD0F1-7EA5-4C98-BD44-05F91EF717A1.jpeg 61001370-7A23-40DC-8775-1F05097500C6.jpeg 63EECE91-D237-430E-ABB1-41A27E6F1167.jpeg 1C44B312-5102-4558-8D94-7DE7C0514392.jpeg Ok kiddies, now for the REALLY scary stuff. We knew the body was in rough shape after the crash at Indy in the 90’s but we didn’t know how bad things were until we set the car up on my frame table.
     
    AHotRod, catdad49, alfin32 and 4 others like this.
  21. Cool thread, glad to see the car saved...I really dig the TOW vehicle too!
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
  22. Used Up Junk
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 669

    Used Up Junk
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Merced, CA

    E710C9B8-FAA0-47D6-813F-050B44BC2DB9.jpeg F454AA15-0332-41B4-AC5D-E90F4F46BF19.jpeg You can’t really see it in any of the pictures but if you tried to line up the belt line it looked like the entire ass end of the body was sagging. I spent almost an entire day just walking around the car taking measurements and pushing it around on the table just seeing how things wanted to move. I had so many ratchet straps, clamps, and jacks pushing the car around it was almost comical. Unfortunately per usual I forgot to take a picture. The decision was made to use the doors as the reference point to build the the rest of the body around since in theory the doors should be a fixed shape...... or so I though. The idea was to get the door gap and beltline dialed in between the door and the cowl and work back from there but for some reason the gap kept changing on me. A few minutes of head scratching later I realized the doors were sagging on the hinges between one and two inches on each side! The hinges on the body side and the door side were so hammered I ended up drilling them out to 5/16” and Rich whipped up some nice looking hinge pins out of some 5/16” shouldered bolts that I picked up. Ok, so now things are all groovy and we can get rolling. I hung the doors and the gap was still changing on me. I spent a little while yelling at the doors using all my best four letter words until I finally figured out what was going on. The doors have been completely gutted and had become so floppy that even with the new hinge pins in place as soon as the back of the door came off of the dovetail and latch the doors would flex and change shape under their own weight. Ahhha, we can fix that! You Model A guys will recognize these braces at Model A mechanical brake rods. Hey, you use whatcha got. The cool thing now is not only are the doors a lot more rigid but I have some control over their shape to help set the gaps later.
     
    AHotRod, catdad49, alfin32 and 7 others like this.
  23. Hot Rod Nut
    Joined: Jul 1, 2006
    Posts: 532

    Hot Rod Nut

    This is so cool I'm getting goose bumps. Keep up the good work. I'm going to talk to Steve Olson today and see if he knows about this build . I'm sure his brothers and him will be pleased
     
    Thor1, AHotRod, loudbang and 2 others like this.
  24. Used Up Junk
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 669

    Used Up Junk
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Merced, CA

    8B494012-B2DE-4FA0-A239-CC9702752160.jpeg 0D9411C1-EBB9-4ED9-B77C-8455D886E6C9.jpeg 2C6D9AF4-A97E-48E6-B630-565769579D0C.jpeg 7590AABB-B7D4-46F9-8D8C-F745AFD56A96.jpeg The following images may not be suitable for those of weak constitutions..... What was left of the A-pillars after the jaws of life had their way with them was to put it nicely, junk. The body had this weird twist in it through the cowl as well. Our best guess was that the twist was due to the way the body moved and where it was hit during the crash. So we decided to replace as much of the A pillars and header panel as possible using a repop roof for a five window coupe from United Pacific. Hold your breath guys, I know I sure did when I made the next few cuts.
     
    Thor1, kidcampbell71, AHotRod and 4 others like this.
  25. Used Up Junk
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 669

    Used Up Junk
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Merced, CA

    F3E4365F-3533-4EBA-8924-C08348A612E3.jpeg 2FF70E18-4E2A-42E5-8253-13ABA548964E.jpeg So with our nice shinny UPac roof, a grinder with a cutoff wheel, and a “It can’t get much worse at this point” attitude Rich’s son Ryan and I got after fitting the forward section of the coupe roof to the sedan. Long story short, the coupe and the sedan are so different at the B pillar that this plan of action was a bit of a bust.
     
  26. Used Up Junk
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 669

    Used Up Junk
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Merced, CA

    51CEF166-768D-4BA0-8343-B23BE3FAA7A1.jpeg 61BF6D44-74F2-4C4F-A723-B72116B8FCA0.jpeg Study this picture closely and you will see multiple “oh crap” issues. If you look at the angles of the A-pillars relative to each other the “twist” in the cowl is visible. On a ‘32 both A-pillars should lean out ever so slightly all the way from the bottom to the top and these um, don’t. The misalignment of the old A-pillars and the new roof section was a bit disheartening as well. So in an attempt to kill more than a few birds with one stone a pretty radical course of action had to be taken. Again the trusty cutoff wheel came out and we found all the stored energy in the cowl when the cut through the dash rail was made. The poor car almost jumped off the table as everything relaxed into the position it wanted to be in.
     
  27. Used Up Junk
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 669

    Used Up Junk
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Merced, CA

    F8B34782-0F7B-4621-8902-F646BC5C2509.jpeg 154452EB-1180-4F7E-8091-DA41D47E7D0F.jpeg 7DF115EF-B186-4E23-8497-37E573664D07.jpeg A0F716D6-BF52-4EF7-87B0-6810C77D0DE7.png There that’s better, almost. Now that the A-pillars were lining up it was time to stick he cowl back together. Don’t worry this all ended up a lot better looking after a ton of detail work along with body work and paint.
     
    Thor1, kidcampbell71, AHotRod and 5 others like this.
  28. Used Up Junk
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 669

    Used Up Junk
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Merced, CA

    AA6BFA6B-1589-40ED-87AB-F8A7932C714E.png So all of that leads up to this point. There was about another billion hours of unseen detail and structural work and I won’t bore you all with the gory details. We really got rolling to get ready for body work and paint and unfortunately when I get moving like that I tend to forget to take pictures but I’ll add stuff as I find it. Rich and I built a lightweight frame out of 1/2” thinwall tubing to support what was left of the original top insert area and add a lot of rigidity as well as giving us something to attach the new top insert too. Rich and I replaced the drip rails on both sides as well.
     
    Thor1, RonaldR, catdad49 and 6 others like this.
  29. Corn Fed
    Joined: May 16, 2002
    Posts: 2,698

    Corn Fed
    Member

    With all the twisted and damaged issues you had to deal with, at least there wasn't rust like most body reconstruction projects seem to have. Nice save.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  30. Used Up Junk
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 669

    Used Up Junk
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Merced, CA

    Thanks Corn Fed! There was some rust too but nothing too crazy.
     
    loudbang and chryslerfan55 like this.

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