Sammy Furlong, Jr.
'56 Chevrolet 210 Coupe
We usually choose a winner for Young Gun of the Month by going through the membership forms, finding a member with a cool story or outstanding pictures of an awesome ride, and finalizing the decision by running it past the rest of the staff for second opinions. It's not an exact science, but it seems to work pretty well. This month's winner, however, was hard to overlook.
What you may not know is that while my name appears on most of the Young Guns-related stuff in R&C, there is another person working silently behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly. His name is Doug Anderson, and if it weren't for Doug, I surely would have tipped over long ago. It turns out that Doug is something of a Shoebox Chevy fan, and when Sammy Furlong E-mailed us some digital pictures of his breathtaking copper '56, Doug went absolutely nuts. He made the pictures wallpaper for his computer and immediately printed out some more to show around. As soon as I saw the pictures, I knew he was right; we had ourselves a Young Gun of the Month
According to Sammy, hot rods and customs run in the family, and he's been afflicted with the high-performance bug since childhood. Inspiration for his super-sano Chevy came from a love of '60s-style customs and the legendary Larry Watson's work. Of course, even back in the heyday of customizing, very few paintjobs looked this good. What makes the Shoebox even cooler is the fact that Sammy shot the car himself in his garage, using PPG Radience Kandies, including Orange Glow, Sterling Silver, and Grandeur Blue flames all buried under House of Kolor metalflake. The car is slammed with drop spindles and cut coils up front and lowering blocks out back, while Astro Supremes and skinny whites lend a custom touch. Inside the cockpit bucket seats and a console were yanked out of a '63 Impala SS and covered in white rolls and pleats. Power comes from a vintage four-bolt 350 Chevy with lots of chrome goodies on top.
As the December '03 Young Gun of the Month, Sammy will receive a $400 gift certificate to Mooneyes, where he can pick up lots of cool stuff for his Chevy or for his next project, a chopped and channeled mid-'30s Chevy pickup. Perhaps a new set of whitewall slicks or a pair of finned valve covers would fit the bill. Congratulations, Sammy, if you ever make it out to Southern California, you owe Doug a ride!
Blood, Guts, and Glory
I'm tired. Not yawning a lot and thinking about fluffy white sheep bouncing over my bed tired, more like bones aching, feet dragging, speech slurring, head feels like it weighs a thousand pounds tired. Why so exhausted, you ask? Is it because I was up all night partying like the true hardcore hot rod journalist you all know me to be? I wish. The more likely culprit is the fact that I've been wrenching and parts running morning 'till night, seven days a week, for the past two months trying to get my roadster project finished before the '03 Americruise (check out the progress in this month's issue) while still trying to make it look like I'm actually performing my regular tech editor duties simultaneously. Things have been a little tense, too, since building a car under time constraints can be a very stressful adventure. This is why I want to take a minute and reflect on exactly what it is we do, and why we do it.
What would make a perfectly sane and well-meaning individual decide to spend all of his free time and every spare penny he can scrounge up on an object, an old car no less, that will never run as efficiently or conveniently as a newer one that can be purchased for less money? What would make this guy spend hours on end puzzling over the best way to fabricate a firewall or gauge panel, when perfectly nice ones can be bought straight out of a catalog? The answer is glory.