This car was built by the Austin Speed Shop of Austin, TX. It was commissioned by a friend of mine from NW Texas. He started with a six cylinder powered car that was sold new and utilized by the California Forestry Service. He had a vision!
If I recall, it took SEVEN years for the car to be fully completed. As usual, it was twice the time allotted and twice the budget. But he ended up with a great car that was on the Western show circuit in 2017, where it won numerous awards.
I have owned the car for three years. It is stored in my friend’s climate controlled warehouse. Like my friend who built the car determined, it is just too nice to be driven! It is so perfect and ornate that it is difficult to imagine getting it dirty. I cleaned the car from top to bottom and front to back before placing it in storage. It took a couple of days. For that reason, it is not driven. It gets out a few times during the summer to be shown and admired. My friend’s collection is visited frequently and Showtime is admired by all. I start the car every couple of months and bring it to temperature. Otherwise, it is sitting pretty. Time for a new home. Can you offer Showtime a good home?
The body was pretty much rust free. But that didn’t mean it was beyond attention. Every square inch has been massaged to perfection. After it reached that level, it was taken to a World-renowned painter. Tuki applied House of Kolor materials and used his amazing talents to create the beautiful finish. The roof is simply amazing.
All trim and bumper chrome is new. The grill is a custom piece. The wheels are Aluminum Halibrand Sprint knock-offs. The front end is a tiltable fiberglass piece. The color is a Candy Red over Silver and the lettering is real Gold leaf.
The front axle is from a ½ ton Chevy pickup of the 50’s. It was smoothed, then chromed. The springs are from a Model A. The steering box is from a Vega. The shock absorbers are chromed, as is the steering column and the roll bar. Even the master cylinder and the foot pedals are chromed.
The rear end is a Currie 9 inch with 4:11 gears and limited slip differential. There are Caltrac traction bars to help with getting the Cheater slicks to hook up. You are going to need all the help you can get because this car has plenty of horsepower.
The engine began with a Dart 400 block. It has AFR Aluminum heads and 11:1 compression ratio. Keith Tardell built the engine. It not only performs, but it looks amazing. The six chromed Stromberg 97 carburetors on the polished intake look and perform at a very high level. The headers are polished stainless steel and they let the engine breath and rumble. The spark is provided by a MSD ignition. The fuel is provided by an electric pump. It is quite easy to start, even after sitting for a stretch.
The power goes through a heavy duty clutch with blow-proof bellhousing and to a Tremec TKP 500 5 speed transmission. A chromed Hurst shifter rows the gears. The combination of the overdrive and the 4:11 gearing works out quite well. You could certainly race this car if that is your desire. It is also set up to be comfortable and reliable on the street and highway. Stopping power is provided by GM disc brakes.
You can monitor the engine with the real green line Stewart Warner gauges. The entire dash layout is very attractive and very period correct. Who doesn’t like a Moon steering wheel and a Leadfoot gas pedal?
The real leather upholstery was stitched by Cato. He is good enough to sew for Chip Foose, so you know his work is great. The interior needs to be seen in person to appreciate the quality. It just adds to the amazing overall quality of this car.
You don’t care about the total investment, but I can tell you it was more than twice my asking price. My friend from Texas wanted his car to be stunning and worthy of the Greatest shows. He succeeded, but at an extreme cost. He won the trophies and received magazine ink. I hope it was worth it. BTW, the magazines go with. This car was on the cover of a couple!
Showtime is ready to be driven, raced, shown, or any combination of the three. It absolutely needs nothing. I am quite certain there are no flaws to disclose. But you really should see Showtime for yourself. I am reluctant to take you to my friend’s warehouse, so it is on you to convince me that you are not just a tire-kicker or photo collector. I will take you there, but we must talk first and it will be by appointment only. Showtime deserves that kind of respect. I hope you understand.
My Texas friend had a vision. I remember encouraging him to just fluff up the car and leave it as it was when he bought it. But his vision was detailed and a thing of beauty. He recalled a paint scheme from his Grandfather’s race boat and decided to incorporate that on top of this outrageous custom gasser. Showtime is a great name for a great car.