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Projects Unearthing a StAr DeStroyer! 1931 Coupe w/394 olds-

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Tuck, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. Tuck
    Joined: May 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,643

    Tech Editor
    from MINNESOTA
    1. Early Hemi Tech


    I hesitated to put BARN FIND in the title... But really that's what it is- the shed it was in was just resided in tin last year- looked cooler when it was all wood inside (-;

    When I was in high school I had a chance to buy a old white hot rod roadster- it was channeled and low with a little boat windshield... Missed it... some kid in my grade bought it the night I found it... Man that bugged me...

    so on the hunt for a model a I heard about this coupe hanging in the rafters down the road from my house- an old hot rod...

    I remember going out to Billy's place and asking about it... He was like who told you I had a coupe??? And gave me the 3d degree for even asking- ... When you're a kid that shits scary- he had reason to be pissy I'll explain later...

    Few years later bumped into him again and asked... Not for sale...

    ...You know it's good i didn't get it when I was younger I would have just messed it up. Pretty sure he knew I would too...

    Again and again I'd ask when i bumped into him- bring it up casually-

    his brother in law Chuck has a 31 coupe still on the road- no chop- heavy channel - z'd frame and cycle fenders.

    Story goes he bought this coupe out of the twin cities to compete with his sisters new boyfriend (chuck)

    Chuck had a 394 olds so Billy ran one in this coupe. It had 394 with a six deuce intake- and legend has it... It was FAST.

    At one point he said he would sell it to me in 2006. I had stopped out driving my 34 coupe.

    His deal: $2500 plus I had to paint one of his tractors. At the time that was like paying five grand plus and I was self employed and just getting by.. So might as well been ten grand...

    Fast forward...

    This kid on the hamb here Kustomcars (Jason) was bugging me after iola to buy a coupe because he seen me sell a 29 I had and I also had a 30/31... Told him I might sell it if Billy would part with his coupe (-;

    so.. stopped in to Billy's again driving my shoebox ford(4days ago) and visited with him. Well... He was offered $ for it but didn't sell it because he didn't think the guy would build it. So I asked what if I paid that "$" would he sell it to me??

    Answer was yes-

    He said his brother in law said he should sell it to me because I'd build it- he had seen my pickup chassis at the car show a month earlier behind the ranchero-


    (-: (-: permagrin for days...

    So I sold my 31 coupe to someone who needed it @KustomCars He's still in high school- tried to hook him up with as much stuff as I could to help him get a good start- super excited for him. If he starts a build thread I'm hoping some of us local guys can help support him and make this happen!


    So with enough cash to buy the coupe I called some friends and we went and picked it up...

    Took forever for billy to actually take the cash from my hand... But he's glad I'm getting it because he knows I'll build it and he really wants to drive it just once before he dies-


    First surprise was the 58 chev tail lights (-:

    I usually get pretty excited.. Most of my pals know when I do I throw up. Haha... Not a joke I do and I can't control it.... Like that kid on south park! I ALMOST did... Right in front of him But somehow talked myself out of it and nobody noticed-



    So.. Reason he was so touchy about people asking about the coupe is because he had the chassis sitting beside the shed with the olds and someone offered to buy it- he said no- and they came back and stole the 6x2, rad/shell and headlights... Pissed him off- so from what chuck told me he hauled the chassis out to the pasture and that was that. It never went back together.


    If the original block is saveable I'll build and run it otherwise I'll get a 394 to run in it and blow the dust off the body and run it like it was pre-tear-down...

    Really excited I finally got it... Still in shock really just didn't think it would ever happen. It seems so weird... But awesome!

    I'll post my progress on this here- I know I have plenty of projects but I'm selling some stuff and trimming some fat.

    Chuck is getting me pics of this from back in the day- body is in mint shape- insert is red and it has some funky interior fabric from 1969.

    Not sure I even want to clean it off yet... It just looks so cool covered in a half inch of dust-

    Tim, IMBROKEN, BigO and 33 others like this.
  2. Tuck
    Joined: May 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,643

    Tech Editor
    from MINNESOTA
    1. Early Hemi Tech


    I bought a olds short shaft lasalle trans and have the crossover and bellhousing at IOLA this year- came with a hurst conversion kit and a hurst shifter- guess this was all meant to be- (-;
    These vintage slicks and mags are part of this car now too!
    1953naegle, Okie Pete, BigO and 24 others like this.
  3. 69fury
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 1,419


    Cool story, Neat machine-but i'm trying to understand- you sold your 31 coupe so you could buy another 31 coupe? If it's due to the nostalgia of that particular car-i get it, just wanting to make sure i understand. -rick
    Stogy and 23 Skidoo like this.
  4. Tuck
    Joined: May 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,643

    Tech Editor
    from MINNESOTA
    1. Early Hemi Tech

    Yeah I sold a old model a and bought a old hot rod that used to terrorize the streets of my home town... History and a connection to the past that's part of the community of old hot rodders here. Meaningful to me.

    What's also meaningful is that Jason ended up getting his first hot rod out of the deal... Since I've know him that's all he talks about. As a High School Shop teacher I wish I would see more interest from young kids in building hot rods... So many good skills to learn along the way...

    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
    dan31, 1953naegle, Stogy and 38 others like this.

  5. neat car, have fun and give her hell!
  6. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 15,586


    Very cool
    powrshftr likes this.
  7. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,684


    I am so envious.......I had a '59 Ranchero parts/trailer hauler once! Sure miss it.
    Oh, and the A is going to be way cool! :)
  8. This is going to be great, I'm subscribed.
    Cool start, cool story.:cool:
  9. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 8,718


    Cool story. Congrats.
  10. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 6,075

    scrap metal 48

    Cool story.. Cool hot rod...
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  11. Blase
    Joined: Aug 31, 2009
    Posts: 80


    Very cool! So did you get the chassis with the 394? Would be really cool to put as many original parts back on this car as possible!

    Edit: Call me weird but I like the tail lights!
    Hombre and hipster like this.
  12. Tuck
    Joined: May 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,643

    Tech Editor
    from MINNESOTA
    1. Early Hemi Tech

    Getting the engine - chassis is gone. Putting as much back as possible- and I LOVE the tail lights!!! @Blase
  13. Tuck
    Joined: May 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,643

    Tech Editor
    from MINNESOTA
    1. Early Hemi Tech

    Slicks and mags were there too but he didn't want to let them go.
  14. great story line Tuck.............happy for you and the "little helper"! Be a great build for sure.

    Congrats to you and Jason!

    Jason's a great kid.
  16. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,222


    Wow, a local old build, channeled and with a that !

    Where are the chassis and motor pics?... :)

    That bellhousing looks very odd to me...I think it almost looks like a 51-64 Olds with some drilling mods done to it. I don't think it's the 50 Olds bell for that trans. They use different TOB guide tubes/bearing retainer. One is larger OD where it fits into the bell.

    keep the pics coming...

    Stogy, volvobrynk and Tuck like this.
  17. Tuck
    Joined: May 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,643

    Tech Editor
    from MINNESOTA
    1. Early Hemi Tech

    @F&J you are correct the bell is later modified to run the lasalle... this too came out of a old hot rod. The bell has been redrilled and the lasalle has ears brazed on it. Its really neat. It will bolt up to the 394- This too has some history. ;-)
    Stogy, enloe, Hombre and 3 others like this.
  18. Tuck
    Joined: May 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,643

    Tech Editor
    from MINNESOTA
    1. Early Hemi Tech

    The chassis was scrapped. I'm going back to get the olds motor... and I've been promised pics of it from when Billy had it on the road.
    Stogy, enloe, Hombre and 2 others like this.
  19. why did he want to keep them?
    cool project......
  20. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,222


    QUOTE: "the bell is later modified to run the lasalle... this too came out of a old hot rod. The bell has been redrilled and the lasalle has ears brazed on it. Its really neat. It will bolt up to the 394- This too has some history. ;-)

    You bet ! I love to see the old backyard mods they did. It's all history that some people lust over... :) awesome!
    Stogy, Hombre, Dogger and 2 others like this.
  21. studebaker46
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 688


    so does the pu get pushed to the back burner? neat car but for one I like to see them finished 1 at a time or both seem to lose something. jmo Tom
  22. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,590


    Great read, will be following the build.
    Tuck likes this.
  23. Tuck
    Joined: May 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,643

    Tech Editor
    from MINNESOTA
    1. Early Hemi Tech

    nope pickup doesnt get pushed back... haha. (-: This will sit in the shop until its ready. I have it now thats the important thing to me. In the mean time I'll find all the parts for it... thats what takes the most time.

    @jonnycola first thing he said was dude... you need to take that over to @tokyo 's garage so you cant see it and just mothball it until the trucks done. :)
    enloe and general gow like this.
  24. Runnin shine
    Joined: Apr 12, 2013
    Posts: 3,319

    Runnin shine

    Otherwise you will catch my new HAMB non-cure able affliction... To many projects!
  25. dumprat
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 3,186

    from b.c.

    Nice to see somebody actually get a car they dreamed about when they were a kid! Especially when it happens for two guys in the same deal.
  26. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,728

    Atwater Mike

    When I was building my steel '27 Hiboy (on gennie rails) in 1976 a bud bought some stuff in Salinas, among 3 cars was a just painted (all apart) steel '27 Rdstr P.U., '30 frame, suicide front, all chrome front and rear undercarriage, 324 Olds, Weiand Drag Star intake, six chrome 97s, '55 Dual Range hydro, and B&M 'hydro stick' shifter. I recognized the car... It was built by a German dude they called "The Dutchman", from the Pomeroy area in Santa Clara.
    Car had been a real 'bomb'...Dutchman had shown me a ticket he'd received in '65, laminated in plastic: 125 MPH thru radar, in a 25 zone! (instant fame when encouraged by 'Yay-Hoos'...)

    I had just opened my shop, and was busy...and every dollar counted, as there was always some tool or machine to buy.
    The reality of it all gradually sunk in, so I sold it to my brother, who had NO appreciation for what it was...or had been. He 'talks the talk'.
    Its history is gone, now it's a sorta R** Rod, on a 'customized' '32 frame, Chrysler hemi, and weird combo of '38 Ford nose...
    Tuck likes this.
  27. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 27,718

    Jalopy Joker

    Congrats on hanging in there to get "your" ride.
    Tuck likes this.
  28. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 11,587


    Great score Tuck
    Tuck likes this.
  29. TBone69
    Joined: Aug 21, 2007
    Posts: 828

    from NJ

    Congrats, looking forward to seeing this come together.
  30. Okie Pete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,603

    Okie Pete

    Great buy . Sounds like you are the Man to put it back on the road in style.

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