This absolutely rust-free car was purchased in Arizona. It even retains its original rust-free floor pan and floor pan braces. Again, there is absolutely no rust on this ’55 Handyman. We even have pictures showing the car during the build.
After the car was purchased in Arizona, the interior was removed to allow the body shop to perform their work and make the car wonderful. Bruce Tschida and his team at Lake Marion Collision (Lakeville MN) removed the glass, the doors, the hood, the tailgate and all of the stainless and chrome in order to make everything about the black Sikkens paint wonderful. I have been over it numerous times and this wagon is laser straight, even the roof. There are no flaws in the paint.
The chrome, stainless and glass is about as close to perfect as you can get. The emblems are new. This is a World of Wheels show quality car.
As far as the rest of the car, it is equally as spectacular. The interior was performed by the award-winning Premier Upholstery (Rogers, MN). The custom leather upholstery is black and grey and is complemented by a suede headliner. The loop pile carpet with matching floor mats is a perfect match the rest of the interior. The door panels are spectacular, with custom arm rests. A Billet Specialties black leather insert steering wheel mounted on an Ididit tilt column gives it a street machine vibe.
The dash was re-wired with an ATO fuse panel. A Dakota Digital VHX instrument panel was installed with the main control board mounted with Velcro to allow easy access. A stock-appearing AAR radio with AM/FM/iPod/MP3 and Kenwood speakers were installed. A Vintage Air Gen IV heating/cooling system was installed with the outboard vents installed in the dash itself just as they did at the factory. The AC blows cold. A billet aluminum face panel with a quartz stock-appearing clock completes the dash. The doors have power windows with a master controller in the driver’s door..
The engine started life as a 325 hp 396 big block. It has since been upgraded with a Comp Cam, massaged oval-port 454 heads, a Weiand aluminum intake manifold, an Edelbrock carburetor, MSD ignition and a high volume Edelbrock fuel pump. The exhaust is through 3″ ceramic coated Doug’s headers and Magnaflow mufflers.
The engine runs great, stays cool, doesn’t use oil and holds a steady 60 psi oil pressure down the road. Cooling is provided by an aluminum Rod Davis radiator with a flex fan and two (2) electric fans controlled from a Dakota Digital fan controller. The engine does not overheat even on a 90 plus degree day with the AC blasting.
The engine compartment has a “one-off” sheet metal cover that covers the twin electric fans, the radiator, the billet radiator overflow tank, the transmission cooler, the A/C condenser, the horn and the billet power steering reservoir. The cover is easily removed with a hex head driver.
There is an Optima gel-cell battery with a billet hold-down bracket. Billet aluminum is also used for the alternator and the accessories brackets (power steering pump, the alternator and the A/C compressor). Chrome round-head hex bolts complete the unique “look” under the hood. To top things off, two lights with switches are mounted in the engine compartment.
The suspension consists of a power rack and pinion system from Ecklers and a Hotchkiss front anti-sway bar. The front spindles are dropped Heidt’s with lowered springs and KYN shocks. There are power disk brakes in front and drum brakes in the rear with an 8″ dual diaphragm booster and a CCR chrome dual master cylinder. This car corners level and stops on a dime.
The transmission is a Turbo Hydramatic 400 that has been gone through. The Dakota dash indicates which gear you are in. Very cool!
The rear is a narrowed 9″ posi Ford with 3:50 gears, and KYN shocks. The stock gas tank is new as is the spare tire well. Both were removed sometime in the past for a custom gas tank. There is a spare tire and a jack.
The tires are BF Goodrich G-Force Super Sport, installed June 2015. They are mounted on American Racing polished aluminum Torq-Thrust wheels with 17″x7″ in front and 17″x8″ in the rear.
The single key actuates the ignition, door locks and tailgate lock. There are spares. I have inspected this car and all features function properly. It was also inspected by NSRA and passed the 23 inspection perfectly.
You must see this car in person to appreciate it! In addition, you can peruse two three-ring binders of photos that were taken during the build. The quality is evident. It has been carefully driven 5000 miles since the build.
This is as close to a #1 car as you can get and still have it driven on the street. The build was over $70,000, on top of the value of the car!