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History Rod & Custom, Bud Bryan Pete & Jake’s, Super Bell =the Dale Caufeild Story.

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Cyclone Kevin, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,068

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    I’m digging on reading about Hot Rod History, Noticed that there are some unsung heroes who were extremely formative in shaping the cars and images that many just dig and get or have gotten inspired by in many of the builds that many enjoy.

    This subject being Dale Caulfield of Caufeild Automotive and Proprietor of Weedetr Chassis Components.

    Dale and I talk pretty often and I feel IMHO that he is one of these unsung hero’s. Here’s his story in his own words. (Disclaimer, there may be a couple of typos ;)). I try to add pix in where it will let me, but if I can’t theyll be after the story.

    [HIstory of Dale Caulfield, Caulfield Automotive and WEEDETR Street Rod Components

    In 1960, my father, Jim Caulfield bought a lot and built a bulding that would house my grandfather's radiator shop and, eventually his body shop. My grandfather ran his radiator shop from this location until he retired in 1965. Jim's body shop, Caulfield Automotive started in operation around 1963. During this time, when both businesses were operating there,one of the things that they accomplished is, they became one of the early Mark IV auto air conditioning outlets. Many vehicles got air conditioning in that time.

    Since Jim had been a hot rodder all his life, and an accomplished auto body man, there always seemed to be an antique or hot rod being worked on at his body shop. In 1965, when I was 12 years old, I started spending weekends and summers at the shop, doing odds and ends, helping out where ever I could.By 1967, I was doing some rough body work and honing my painting and paint prep skills. I did my first "professional" paint job in '67, a chopped and channeled 1934 pickup for a Temple City Honda motorcycle parts manager named Dick Weaver. I also did most of the work to channel the bed and shorten it a foot. We redrilled the holes where the bed floor was riveted to the sides and re-riveted the floor in. When we cut the end of the bed off, my job was to restore the body line that runs around the sides of a 34 bed. I used a block of wood, a torch and a ball pein hammer to rough form the bead, then some picking and dolly work. Finally I turned it over to my Dad to do the finish work. Two other distinct features of that truck were the 40 Ford dash, and that my dad cut the bottom of the cowl off and re-shaped it more like the 34 car cowl so that it didn't stick through the front fenders, which was how it had been done by whoever started the project.

    During this time period and after my grandfather had retired from the radiator business, we met Gene Scott. Gene had a business supplying parts for antique Fords. The business was Antique Auto Parts in Rosemead Ca. To keep my grandfather busy and to suppliment his retirement income, he started rebuilding model A and B water pumps for Gene. Then he started makin lower radiator pipes for model A's, then foot rests and starter pads. The last item that my grandfather produced was headlight and horn conduits. My dad also took over the roadster windsield building business for Gene. Then he got me to take over making stone gaurds for the fronts of Model A's.

    Fairly typical of Gene, we get a call from him one day saying that a customer is there to pick up a 29 roadster windshield frame, could he send the guy over to pick it up. Of course, Gene hadn't given us a lot of advanced notice but the windshield frame was just about finished so we told him sure. When the customer arrived, he turned out to be Bud Bryan, editor of Rod And Custom magazine, and the windshield frame was for his 29 roadster project car. When he saw the kind of work we were doing, he asked if we would be interested in looking at his project and possibly doing the body work on it. So, my dad and I went to Bud's house one evening to look at his project. Well, we came to an agreement and shortly after, he brought his project up to us to start on. The body was in pieces and needed some pretty major repairs. The typical lower quarters were rusted out and a lifetime of dents and dings. Over a period of several months, my dad got the repairs made to the body panels and we got the body assembled. Of course, we saw quite a lot of Bud then too. Once we got the body all repaired and fitted to he frame, I went ahead and painted the car in black nitroceluose laquer. The car wore that paint job for the first few years. This was in 1968/69.
    FC24869A-FDE7-40E3-A298-4CA3420A8E9C.jpeg 76D9BEED-533F-47E9-8E73-4396EA65F001.jpeg E897E350-F48B-47E4-BF88-B74C56B08B02.jpeg

    I had purchased a 1934 Ford 5 window coupe basket case in 1968. My dad and I built that car from the ground up and had it finished and driving by September of 1971. I joined the Vintage Tin street rod club in early 72. Some of the members of the Vintage Tin, which had been a kind of off shoot of the Early Times, were Pete Eastwood, Tom Vandenberg, Richard Loe, Ken Young and Pete Chapouris. Pete Chapouris had just bought an old race car 34 three window coupe. After a short time in the club, Pete invited me over to see his coupe. He had the body off the chassis and sitting on a cart while he worked on the chassis. He showed me the body, and the damage it had. When the car was originally chopped and the top filled, who ever had done the work was a real craftsman. The top was hammer welded in and there was no filler what so ever. And the chop job was just as impresive, though there was some lead in it, which is completely unavoidable, considering the various line changes that occur during the chop of a 34 Ford. Unfortunately, there was some damage to the top. At some point in time, someone or something had been on the top and it was slightly caved in on all four corners of the fill. Plus, when Pete and Richard Loe were removing the body from the chassis, Henry's decision to run two bolts on each side, through the frame and into the body, caught them by suprise. This was something Ford only did on the 33/34 cars. So, when they had all the bolts removed (that they could see) and lifted the body up, the chassis was still attached and came with it. When they finally found the offending bolts and got them removed, they set the body on the cart and dropped the chain, which they had thoroughly wrapped with padding to preven damage, the eybrow over the dors had been pushed in about and inch on each side. Of course, they were mortified but, what was done was done and it would just have to be repaired. Pete and I looked the body over, finding some rust in the rockers and minor dents, dings and imperfections elsewhere. Pete said his plan was to paint it white with rootbeer flames all over it, but thought it would be bitchen if it could be black. I assured him that I could repair the damage, and make it straight enough for black. A817AA28-FD98-4AF6-BB7C-9ECD99260EF7.jpeg So, we formulated a plan and I went to work. As I got further into the project, the rust damage was far worse than we had thought. I ended up replacing both rockers from the middle of the cowl to the middle of the wheel well. There were no replacement parts available at that time so, I had to fab all of the pieces and weld them in. I finished all of the rockers with lead. The top was a challenge because when the top had been walked on, or what ever happened to cave it in, it had cracked the welds in a couple of places. At that time, all I had to weld with was a oxy/acetelene torch. Re-hammer welding those spots was quite the challenge but, I was able to get it done. After the repairs were all made, we transported the body to our body shop and I proceeded to do the block sanding and prep for the black paint. After I got it all painted, we put the body on the chassis and, Manuel Reyes (Pete’s Friend since 1955 )Flamed it. the rest, they say, is history. FC60BC2C-7448-4421-B6AC-DE1BB1E00F5A.jpeg BBE152E7-BCAB-45BB-BED6-88005F0D8501.jpeg 9C7C1514-7C9A-467F-8AAF-8B1CD977F0DC.jpeg 48CFF83C-826A-4A15-888B-5092BDBBB578.jpeg

    After I finished Pete's coupe, Jim Jacobs, aka Jake, decided to have me finalize the body work on the 34 three window that he was building, and paint it. There wasn't much body work left to do, except he had me weld in the firewall. I then proceeded to prep and paint his screamin yellow coupe parts.
    5BC900D5-08C4-4D7D-9279-A7C65678DFB3.jpeg 990E2FFA-0EAE-43A3-8612-EB489A3BA528.png 20EDBA17-3D93-4BB9-BB6F-9FCB10D43938.jpeg 9D16E6ED-CCB9-4C00-830F-DAD3642D5EC2.jpeg 79635D14-1213-4455-B74E-81B2C1FE8C2C.jpeg

    After we finished the chopped and channeled pickup for Dick Weaver, he drove it for a few years, then one day he came by our shop and was all excited, he had found a chopped 32 three window sitting behind an upholstery shop in Pasadena. 50A1450C-13FB-4FBF-811A-05F25316BBD8.jpeg He sold the pickup and went after the 32. It took him several months to figure out who had the title and who he could buy it from. The coupe's former owner had been a rather shady character, and lots of people wanted his car. Dick was ultimatley succsesful in aquiring the 32. He brought the car to us for body repair and paint. There was some damage to the passenger side of the car from when it had been in a garage and there had been a fight next to it. There was a large dent in the grille shell, the passenger door was caved in and a one inch hole had been punched in the eyebrow above the passenger door when a 1" electric drill had been thrown at one of the participants in the fight. The chop job was also pretty bad. One could look over the tops of the doors and out the opposite side window. When the chop was performed, the wood framing for the doors was cut in two through the upper door hinge. We re-did the chop and pulled the door frames out. We screwed some bracing to them to keep them in the correct shape, and had Dick get some new ones made. At some point in time, Dick learned that this was the coupe that had belonged to Doyle Gammel and had been on the cover of Rod and Custom magazine. With that knowledge, he decided he wanted the car painted a brown, since it had been brown when it was on the cover. We finished that one and moved on to the next project.

    Along about 1974, this long haired crazy character came into our shop driving a "59 Ford pickup. He gave us a business card that stated his business as "Scrounge"(another “School of Scott alumni).”
    He said that he was building a 29 Hiboy roadster and had some body panels that needed some repair. He continued to bring in parts until we had the complete body. We got this body repaired and painted black nitroceluose lacquer. He then brought the completed chassis in to put the body on. Now, this was one of the coolest 29 hot rod chassis I had ever seen. This was an original 29 Ford frame with all the original holes, with a Halibrand quickchange, dropped axle, early Ford brakes, Kelsey Hayes wheels, and a Chevy II four cylinder engine, wearing a Frontenac valve cover, bolted to a 39 Ford trans. Now, at that time, this was pretty unusual, but considering the owner, Jim Ewing, it was understandable. Jim had also found a set of very rare, cast brass, folding windshield stanchions, and proceeded to chop them, then brought them to me to Heli-arc braze back together. Fortunately, he wanted to paint them black and not chrome them. After the roadster was finished, he pickup up a pretty thrashed old 34 race car body from George Wilson of Temple City. Jim had M&S Welding in Irwindale build a unique “Mike Hoag 4 bar” chassis for the 34 using another Halibrand quickie, dropped axle and a 427 Chevy engine. (Coincidentally Pete Chapouris learned how to weld and fabricate from Mike Hoag @
    M & S Welding and was also a Don Blair Speed Shop Alumi).
    The front suspension was a dropped tube axle and disc brake kit that he and Vic Leon had put together on a four link. Now, at this time, both Jim and Vic were working for Gene Scott of Antique Auto/ PSI Industries. Vic was a machinest and Jim worked the counter. Gene had started to reproduce the old Bell Auto Parts dropped tube axles and called them Bell Super Axles. Gene decided that he didn't want to be in the axle business so he gave it to Jim and Vic, who renamed it Super Bell Axle Co. So, this 34 Coupe was to become their Logo Car. So, when Jim brought us the coupe, it was a chopped body shell, channeled 6" over the modified original frame, with no floors, and a cut up firewall. The front frame horns had also been cut off the frame. So, we proceeded to build new floors and repair the rest of the body. I built new frame horns and added shocks to the front suspension. Jim wanted the frame horns long so that's what I did. Because the body was channeled, the transition from the rear hood line to the frame looked a little goofy so, my Dad built a couple of panels that continued the bottom body line up to the top of the frame rail so that a hood could be built that looked right. These panels were welded to the body so as to make them look like they were supposed to be there. The upper four link bar actually mounted through that panel. After we had all the major body work done, Jim took it to Kenny Ellis for a nose and hood.That sexy now would be the undoing of not only the 427 but also a 350 Chevy and created havoc for at least one Buic V-6. Jim finally had a custom, L shaped radiator built to try to cool it down. When the car came back form Ellis's, I went to open the hood to look at it and it would only open about two inches. That wasn't going to work very well so, I spent most of a day working to get the hood to open, without making it ugly. Once everything was fit and functioning, I went to work prepping it for paint, and painted it with some surplus USAF paint that Jim had found at a local house wrecking yard.]

    So in a nutshell, Dale was a part of a crew that we have to thank for many of the iconic Hot Rods that we continue to enjoy some more or less 50 yrs ago. Remember that he’s a HAMBer as well.
    If I can find a way to get more pix on, I’ll try. ;).

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 30, 2021
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  2. micksmith
    Joined: Dec 30, 2009
    Posts: 96

    from australia

    Brilliant story Cyclone Kevin thank You
    hidez57, Cyclone Kevin and AmishMike like this.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,422


    Great story thanks
    Cyclone Kevin likes this.
  4. bowie
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 2,664


    Golden history, strait from the horses mouth ! Thanks!
    Cyclone Kevin likes this.

  5. Like I said, you, your experiences, your friends, the things you do, the things your acquaintances have done, the flies ... upon your & their walls, and what they have seen ...

    ... you ARE your own, comprehensive, hot rod history TV channel.

    Thanks for the share, Kevin.
  6. WiredSpider
    Joined: Dec 29, 2012
    Posts: 842


    I,m glad George Wilson is Mentioned.
    He was in the middle of a lot of stuff and rarely gets a mention
  7. Jim Bouchard
    Joined: Mar 2, 2011
    Posts: 670

    Jim Bouchard

    Great story.
    Truly an unsung hot rod hero. Thank you Kevin!!!!

    Those three cars and even the Bud Bryan car had such a huge impact me as a kid.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  8. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 26,663

    Jalopy Joker

    Thanks - very Cool - as you may know, Bud Bryan lives near Sacramento, CA now SAM_8236.JPG
  9. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,068

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    Yeah Jim,
    I feel Lucky that we we’re around to watch some of this going down especially when Pete had opened PC3g and got back into the grind with John & Tim doing the squirting of the color.P-Wood & Jake doing the fabbing, Mike doing the assembly and all of the others just making another.

    Dale’s work on those iconic cars is amazing and it’s lasted a very long time having great caretakers of the cars.

    Yes, George Wilson who lives like 7 blocks away from me and has more history in his head and is another unsung hero. He’s had some great tin over time. One being “Flinger’s 34”- Jimmy Shine’s dads coupe. The other being the making of The S/B Coupe, (These are from Dale’s Personal Files-never before seen stills). 62BC0008-0EF9-48C8-B97B-5C6DCBC034B1.jpeg 0CF058F4-A810-44AB-BA9A-D9722505D086.jpeg 1B5F29E7-3B6F-4EA7-AECA-BDC9DEBFDECF.jpeg Dale could tell stories for days on building that car, many innovative parts are a part of it.
    The great thing is that one could call Dale up today and have a whole Hot Rod fabbed up, body worked & painted in his one stop shop. ;)

    Most young guys don’t know the History of The Caulfield’s and WEEDETR HOT RODS.... I’m just Happy that these guys were nearby where I could see some of this history in the making
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
    alfin32, chryslerfan55, Stogy and 8 others like this.
  10. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,598

    Atwater Mike

    Great story, Kevin! Gene Scott...THE early Ford store. Remember his repop 3-spoke Bell wheels? (did NOT know about the Model A w/s/frames)
    I recall Bud Brian talking about "Willie Black"...remember him breaking a chrome tube axle on the way to the NATS.
    P-Wood had a photo of Pete Chapouris, Jim, and 2 others...and mentioned he is the 'last man standing'. A tear came to my eye, 'Was it THAT long ago?'
    Seems like I just talked to Pete, one of my travels to L.A. Roadster shows, So-Cal the evening before.
    Thought we'd all last forever.
  11. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,068

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    Dale’s just further up the state in Red Bluff, but he may be busting a move soon. ;).
    Stogy and kidcampbell71 like this.
  12. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 12,511

    from KCMO

    Fantastic post
    kidcampbell71 and Cyclone Kevin like this.
  13. Rolleiflex
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,053


    Thanks for the history, great stuff.
    What's the story on the Rod & Custom panel. It looks to be a 1937-'38 Willys.
    That thing is sweet!

    alfin32, Rathbone, Stogy and 4 others like this.
  14. I believe that's Thom Taylor's 36 Ford delivery.

  15. Rolleiflex
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,053


    Ah, Thanks @lurker mick. I see the lines on it now. My old eyes coupled with the delivery being in shadow made it hard to decipher the make. Still a very cool ride. I wonder where it resides nowadays.
    Stogy likes this.
  16. Rice n Beans Garage
    Joined: Dec 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,547

    Rice n Beans Garage

    Great history Kevin thanks for sharing
    Stogy and Cyclone Kevin like this.
  17. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,068

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    Yes it is, Thom’s 35 w/36 Front sheet metal on “The 1st Americruise 93.”
    On the road we had My 34 3W, Jake’s 34, Ray Lark’s 34 Roadster & “The Long Weekend Wonder-R&C 36”. We were on a two lane and stopped in for ice cream;).
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
    Stogy, KKrod, teach'm and 4 others like this.
  18. Great history!
    All of those cars played a big part in my addiction, especially the Bud Bryan 29.
    Thanks for sharing with us.
    Stogy, Hamtown Al and Cyclone Kevin like this.
  19. 40ragtopdown
    Joined: Jan 13, 2015
    Posts: 9,391


    Thanks for sharing a part of hot rod history with us. Here's a picture of Pete& Jake from Memphis in 1980. 20170920_131145.jpg
    Rathbone, Stogy, akoutlaw and 3 others like this.
  20. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 16,870


    I was there in Memphis and saw those coupes!
    Stogy and 40ragtopdown like this.
  21. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,068

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    You’re welcome;). Here’s the last time I saw it on P-Woods Trailer. 82377836-5662-4D2A-8E08-AAC35B18B23D.jpeg Very Kool that one young man at the time laid his hands and talent over all of these very iconic Hot Rods and really never had been recognized, I bet many would just walk by him @ a show or passs his slammed yellow 40 WEEDETR Delivery 1FFD3E24-B767-4B98-8D30-D5F70DF617B9.jpeg And never ever know that they just passed history by. ;).
    alfin32, Stogy, KKrod and 1 other person like this.
  22. Weedburner 40 .... ah ha !! I recognize that sweet yellow panel. :) More, please ... kind sirs !
    Stogy and Cyclone Kevin like this.
  23. Bill Nabors
    Joined: Jul 24, 2011
    Posts: 283

    Bill Nabors

    I was in the 93 Americacruise, in a group coming out of the South East. It was great, even if it did rain a lot. I was able to meet a lot of guys that had been a big influence to me through the magazines. Most of the hot rods above were there and driven. I went in my yellow-flamed 36 Ford pickup.
    While walking around, I heard an announcement that said”whoever own that bright yellow and flamed Ford pickup needs to get back to it because there is a guy with a pocket full of cash that wants to buy it.”
    I sold it to Jim Harden from Sacremento and took the bus home with a pocket full of cash. Jim made the 36 his and I used the money to pay for my first year of law school.
    The scary part of the trip was the Memphis bus station with thousands in one pocket and a .357 in the other.
    Stogy, 48fordnut and kidcampbell71 like this.
  24. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,244


    Great writeup. Have bought many parts from weedetr over the years. Quality products
    Cyclone Kevin likes this.
  25. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,068

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    Here’s a few more images of the subject matter. ;). 35988C53-C2CC-42D6-BCD4-6769A2AA4310.jpeg 7851A0BE-DF85-4A2E-87BA-658AFF0AA3B4.jpeg 5F6BDB4F-6175-40F1-A0E9-0448105CE49E.jpeg
    One that I took on Americruise 93 @ Pete & Jake’s Grandview, MO.
    30DBD5B1-BDC3-41AD-BA21-F9C143AF2EDC.jpeg One in front of Pete & Jake’s Temple City, CA. Won’t load. :(.
    And one with Jake & Pete standing by their iconic builds. That Caulfield Automotive Paint has held up well. C1A916C5-CAE3-471A-8225-A0972FC56E17.jpeg Here’s The Doyle Gamel Coupe at different times. FE99E048-3387-40E6-988C-1350F86B61D4.jpeg

    And a RPU that Dale did Americruise with in the late 90’s 1329B63C-AB6A-4615-BE03-EEAE7353F8EB.jpeg
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
    alfin32, Rathbone, Stogy and 10 others like this.
  26. Stovebolt
    Joined: May 2, 2001
    Posts: 3,378



    Great article CK.

    Was this the vision you had in mind when you build your rpu?
    alfin32, Stogy and Cyclone Kevin like this.
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 718


    Great story,
    Cyclone Kevin likes this.
  28. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,068

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    Thank you Mark,
    Dale hadn’t built this yet. Mine was started in the mid 70’s, morphed from a 30 closed cab to a RPU to another closed cab. It’s one of the 1st chassis with Pete & Jake’s Hot Rod Repair Parts. I remember breaking a rear shock mount, P-Wood helped me out by making another, crawled way underneath, so he could see how he did the ladder bars. They are 1st Gen with tube instead of the latter plate.
    Here’s mine from the point of transition to present but 1st The present state of Dale’s owned by Mike Martinez since about 2000??? This has a WEEDETR Hot Rods Chassis under it all built by Dale. 421A2FF8-1D58-43CC-9DFB-A5748B262C7C.jpeg 759922E4-325C-4E37-A3A4-C4DD07E7C5E6.jpeg 0DD45166-B59C-4916-A0FD-4DC0E55690AB.jpeg Now mine below 2578C4A9-7FBE-4E5E-BD46-BAA1E82BF2CE.jpeg 3ADD66D4-74B9-428A-94F8-6C853D9835B4.jpeg 29320255-53B9-40A7-960F-58D409F6E625.jpeg 8777274A-2E16-4A50-9BAF-09ED007E94B0.jpeg 24F5D096-51B4-4CBD-A326-224EDCBE4EE8.jpeg And it in its present state owned for 30 Years by another Preciado. 82671CC8-5E32-4411-B071-8382057CACE7.jpeg C075BF36-7119-4FEB-9D28-3695D0A76DEC.jpeg F20785C5-9C5E-4C58-898B-EE4F0CE3D116.jpeg Lastly one that Dale would like to start from to build his again if he doesn’t get his old truck back from Mike. (It was his wife’s uncles RPU back in the 60’s-70’s). The one below belongs to someone else. 17A26202-014B-40ED-9185-BF2D015E3814.jpeg It could also be a 29 as he really likes that style.
    Dale just keeps on building, but just from helping with the 2 iconic coupes, we have him to thank as well as two 3W ‘s made a “Huge impact”on many lives including my own.
    alfin32, Rathbone, Stogy and 9 others like this.
  29. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,805

    Marty Strode

    Thanks Kevin, for giving Dale credit for his accomplishments, he is one talented guy, and fun to be around !
  30. pwschuh
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,416


    Cyclone Kevin and Stogy like this.

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