The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Koz, Jan 12, 2012.
If I was steady enough, I'd do beads without grinding. But I can't, so I migged, and then ground mine.
Koz, when are you going to get a Rocket we need more Olds guys here.
I'd love to have a 303 but the cost is just prohibitive. General rule of thumb is a Model A is worth only about the same no matter what's in it. I'm always broke and sooner or later somebody wants money and I off my rod. I've kind of lost the desire to build things I hate to part with. Actually, if I could have, I'd have built the car with a hot Flatty.
man I was right with you on this one till I saw the Rocket covers on it.
It's a little misleading in 777's thread about the Hedman connection. The way he wrote it sounds like Sandy sold to Bob Hedman in 58 and Bob then started Hedman Hedders.
According to Bob's son Dick, this is not quite the way it happened;
In the early 40's Bob Hedman built an AV8 and went to his friend Tommy Ikkanda who owned a Gas Station and had built headers before. Tommy cut the tubes but told Bob he couldn't weld them together. Bob had learned to weld in school and ended up welding them together himself. When Tommy saw them he liked the welding and gave Bob a job. He quit school and continued racing and working for Tommy. It didn't last long as Bob joined the Coast Guard at the outbreak of the war.
Like so many Japanese American's, Tommy was put in an internment camp and lost his business. He had sent Bob a letter telling him of what happened so ob knew when he returned he wouldn't have a job. When he returned he got a job at Porter Muffler in Hollywood where coincidentally Sandy Belond also worked. Together they started building headers on the side. Sandy left in 1947 to open his own shop in Culver City and Bob worked there after hours and eventually became a partner. In 1954 He bought out Sandy and changed the business name to Hedman Muffler and Manufacturing, then Hedman Hedders. According to son Dick Hedman "The demand for headers at the time just outstripped the demand for mufflers, so Dad eventually cut the mufflers out of the business entirely and focused on headers" with the muffler business being sold off to Appliance Plating. The business grew, forcing Bob to quit racing. He concentrated on making headers that were more suited for street cars fitment wise, unlike the other pioneers - Doug's, Hooker, and Jardine that concentrated on Race car headers that could be used on the street.
Anyway, just thought I'd add a little to the history ....
Excellent info! I always enjoy knowing the history of these great pioneers. Since so much of it i heresay and passed around the circle it's great to get the facts from the folks who were there. With the 1954 sale date of the header business it also explains the lack of SBC Belonds.
The 54 date also explains why I have never seen a Belond to fit the 54-up Olds with the different ports? or was there one to fit them?
There's no shame in quality work, fit and FINISH.
Why people want to build "rough" cars when they have the ability not to is beyond me.
One man's opinion.
Something about the origional Belonds just looks "right". They weren't sloppy, just typical of aftermarket parts in the early fifties. Had my Dad took the time to polish and dress welds his customers would have been pissed and not wanted to pay him for wasting time. He was an expert welder and it showed. I feel quality work on cars of the period was beautiful in it's own right. They didn't need to Tig everything for the fashion show. I think my work is not too bad. The fit up on these headers is really good and they are as nice inside as they are out. No offense intended Brad54, I value your opinion and totally agree with you that we should all do the best work we can as it's the only thing that keeps us from becoming Ratrodders, (well maybe not the only thing), but I really love that natural look of the early speed parts. The reason I dressed out the first welds is because I don't Oxy/Ace weld everyday and I'm a bit out of practice. In short the finish didn't suit me.
The origional Belonds I understand, frequently had defects in the welds fixed with brass, and then were polished up.
A little more progress tonight. I still need to finish up all tyhe welds and do a little touch up. Also I'm going to make up reversion baffles for the inside of the center dump just so I don't have any problems in this area. You can see from the end shot the headers are actually finished from the inside out and should flow fairly well.
The flanges lay very nicely where they head under the car. Hook up should be a breeze. Now I can't wait to finish up and get onto the intake.
P>S> The welds look really shitty in the pics. Thjey're not that bad in person and should clean up nicely!
Here is the story as told to me by Bob Hedman many times. I worked for Bob from 1969 to July 1974. Bob started in the muffler business just after the WWll with Porter Muffler in Glendale. He later went to work for Belond Muffler in Culver City. Belond sold his muffler manufacturing company to AB Goerlic ( not sure on the spelling) ( I think in late 1954). Sandy was so pleased with deal he made he GAVE the muffler shop to Bob Hedman. Sandy developed property in Carlsbad, including the Carlsbad Raceway. When his contract to compete with AP expired he partnered with Appliance Plating, the originator of chrome reverse wheels, and built a header manufacturing plant in Mexico, became Apollo Headers, then changed to AP Headers, eventually being sold to Mr Gasket where they produced Cyclone , Eagle ( my old company after I left Hedman), Thrush and all of the other off road stuff.
Back to 1954. Bob Hedman saw the potential in the new SBC Overhead and immediatly
developed the first Hedman Hedder, the HCH1 with the extention as XCH1. Initially Bill Million would but several sets in the back of his Chevy business coupe and went on the road showing and selling the new product. ( that Chevy also doubled as a race car and set many dry lake records Both hedders were the same and the extention made the application work, That hedder went on to be the sole of the company for the first few years. The first hedders were made from .083 tubing which came all the way from Bethleham Steel in PA. In a crazy story Roy Warshawsky called Bob and asked what his discount would be for he up and coming JC Whitney company. Bob told him 50% which Bob figured would be $25.00 Roy thought he meant that the $50.00 quote was the net price and that established the industry standard ( not bad as the product cost about $6.00 to manufacture) With the sucess of the company going strong Bob was one of the first to figure that the racing parts manuractures needed an association, along with Ed Iskendarian , Harry Webber, Dean Moon and a couple of others they started SEMA, When I started there in 1969 Bob was selling about 500 sets a month and considered a "high roller" by most in the industy. At the time I had just left Mickey Thompson when his company was purchased by Holley and moved to Detoit so i had the ears of many of the major customers. Bob said "money is no concern", go for it. We hired some of the best to assist Million in expanding the manufacturing and I got on the road. When I left in 1974 to go into the motorcycle exhaust business ( which Hedman wanted nothing to do with) we were selling over 5,000 sets a month, with less margins and more costs than the old days, but the results were appreciated. Bob Hedman was one of the most generous and honest men I have ever met. It was an honor to work for him and keep his friendship until his death.
Damn! This stuff keeps getting better. Thanks for the info!
Looks like we'll need to do a little more detetcive work on the lineage of Hedman Hedders because The Edelbrocks, Hedmans, Belonds and Bob North all tell different stories, although The Belonds and the North story match up.
I got my info from Donna Belond, Sandy's daughter, and Bob North, Belond's lomg time friend. Donna's mother Ruth, Sandy's wife, told her on more then one occasion that the Belonds basically gave the header business to Bob Hedman because he was the guy that was designing all the headers for The Belonds.
Bud Gregory was also at Belonds and he was in charge of the offices and was likely Sandy's partner, I don't know anyone that knows for sure. He also worked at Porter's with Belond and Hedman and Belond choose Gregory to start The Southern California Muffler Service with, not Hedman.
The money for Sandy's new business came from a loan from Karl and Veda Orr. The Orrs offered Sandy and Ruth Belond a room over their shop and a place for Belond and Gregory to set up The Southen California Muffler Service where they went to work selling the first merge collectors for midgets. Sandy and Bud were hugely successful and eventually offered Bob Hedman a job designing headers for them.
Bob North happens to still be with us. He was Sandy Belond's childhood friend and there when Sandy passed. North also lived next door to the Belonds for years. The Belonds, Norths, Halibrand and many of the big names had dinner every Friday night, which should be good enough but, here's the kicker, North is a money guy and he is the one that brokered the AP deal in '58 for Belond and later helped Belond become the a board member in W.R. Grace Co. the business that AP eventually morphed into. BTW that company under Belonds watchful eyes marketed a fuel additive to the auto industry known as Nitromethane.
Bob North, now 94 years young, has been refered to as the Godfather of the hot rod aftermarket industry. He ran the NHRA concessions in the 50's and 60's; lent the money to AP when they invented the reverse chrome wheel and wanted to go into business; kept the Barris's in business when the brothers were first starting out; funded a guy that won the GNRS most beautiful roadster 3 consecutive times; and had his own Ford cabriolet in the first Hot Rod show at the Armory; he was Belond's contact to the bookies that ran at Ascot, Gilmore and Atlantic, was a founding member of the Hollywood Throttlers; these are a few of the things he dabbled in.
As you see Bob's been in this industry since the beginning of dry lakes racing at Muroc, he was there at the birth of midget racing behind a small gas station on Sunset Blvd in Hollwood, CA. He's older then Bell Auto, the SCTA, organized drag racing and he's clear minded with a sharp wit and mischiveous nature.
One other fun fact: Bob had the first mobile phone in his then new '58 Cadillac. The guy who designed it was funded by North and they sold the idea and technology to the Phone Co. for 7 figures more then 50 years ago.
As Bob tells our industries old timers" You guys provided the presperation and I supplied the inspiration"
If anyone wants to meet Bob he'll be at the Hollywood Throttlers Picnic again this summer and I'm certain he will be glad to go head to head with any old timer to clear up any stories.
He actually did do this! I'm not sure when, but he owned quite a few manufacturing businesses in Baja California and Belond definitely manufactured headers in Mexico but I don't know under which brand.
If they ever made them they would have probably looked like this
Thought I'd add this part of my thread here since we are a little picture challenged on this thread.
I had to make an entirely new set of W headers when I found out that Sandy had added the SCTA required 3-foot exhaust extension to his W headers on the Sandy's Muffler Shop roadster.
The extensions are actually megaphones, tapering from 2-inches at the collector to 2 1/2-inches at the "baloney cut." The tapers for the magaphones were fabricated the "old way" by folding sheet metal over a fence pole and then tacking the edge and cutting the excess off and finally brazing the seam closed with the desired taper.
The short turn radi at the flange took forever. I always wondered why Belond Headers had so much fill rod in the joints. What I found was they would add the extra brazing rod to the tubing so they could grind away at it later to form a proper short turn.
Last but not least it is a pain to make a center dump header (Belond W Header) for a Flathead V8 in a 32 frame with the stock steering box and wishbone; there simply is no spare room and with this roadster it is even more involved because it has a column shift and those rods pass right by the number 8 primary. The last 2 pics are of the number 8 cylinder's primary tube. It basically turns right to go past the steering box and then needs to go 180 into the collector. I used a set screw and a jam nut to fasten the lower side of the header flange since it isn't possible to slide a bolt between the tube and flange.
Now that they are polished, their off to the platers for a coating of nickel.
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Sandy was instrumental in starting Carlsbad Raceway back in the sixties. I have a permanent pit pass under glass on my desk signed by Sandy. He used to critique my stories in HRIN and offered some sage advise; "don't make your story any longer to read than the time you have to take a crap."
Those are going to be quite the sight when nickel plated. Pics would be coming, right?
Lots of fussy work and talent there.
I think we met at the GNRS in 2011 by Sandy's car; I was with Bob North and you guys told a few war stories. The quote jogged my memory.
I have often wondered if these were Belond headers part number h-155.
Damn those look GOOD.
I'm constantly amazed by the wealth of information here on the HAMB.
Did a search tonite for early header styles for inspiration for my '36 coupe and stumbled across this.
These are exactly the style I had in mind but was thinking along the lines of two centre pipes - this looks way more traditional and is probably the direction I will be heading.
Thanks for the inspiration!
Very neat thread. Back in 1954 I bought a 53 Olds 88 post 2dr that had Belond headers and steel pack mufflers. To this day it was the best sounding car that I ever owned. In the late 70s I met Sandy Belond who was working the Cragar Booth at the SEMA Show in Anaheim and told him that. He was a very nice guy and I was glad to have met him.
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