Rod & Custom Feature Car
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Dan custom-built the entire 106-inch wheelbase from 1x3-inch rectangular tubing in his parents' garage in 1967. The rearend is based on a Jaguar center section with axles, uprights, and locators all fabricated by Dan. The front suspension is tubular A-arms fabbed by Dan, originally sprung by a single buggy spring attached to MG spindles. In 1971, he changed it to what had become his signature frontend, utilizing coilovers laid on their sides in an "opposed coil" configuration. Airheart disc brakes were mounted front and rear. This was all restored by Shuten and chromed by Advanced Plating.
The little Buick 215 was punched and stroked to 325ci and originally built by Mickey Thompson as one of two engines powering his twin-engine dragster from 1961. Dan purchased it from Mickey for $500 in 1967. It features some unique and rare Thompson parts, like the custom crank, aluminum rods, and pistons. The heads are aluminum with Cal Custom valve covers and the cam is a big-lobed solid roller. A 4-71 Cragar blower is mounted to a one-off M/T intake, with chrome 780 Holleys on a one-off Thompson-lettered tri-plate. Ignition is Vertex. Shuten made the headers to replicate Dan's originals. Transmission is a '62 Buick Dual-Path Turbine Drive two-speed automatic, with a manual shift body.
Body & Paint
The body was designed by Ed "Newt" Newton in 1967 and created in late 1969 and 1970 by Roger Jonguris, Newt, and Dan in mahogany panels over ash beams pinned with wooden dowels, then fiberglassed, primed, and painted by Dan. It was restored to its 1970 configuration in a custom-mix Ice Blue pearl with diamond dust by Fritz Schenck, North Bellmore, New York, who also did the platinum lettering and assisted Shuten with 'striping. The white-fogged panels were the only deviation from the original 1970 version.
Wheels & Tires
Dan built custom wire wheels as a side business for years so, naturally, these Buick Skylark wires are custom-made--15x12-inch fronts and 15x18-inch rears, both with 1-inch backspacing. Dan says he bought many a Skylark in the 1960s for scrap price, yanked the wire wheels, put on some rollers, and resold them for the same price! NOS Firestone Indy tires are 15x12-inch fronts and 15x18-inch rears. Finding the tires was the hardest part of the restoration, according to Shuten.
Originally upholstered in light blue velour by Joe Perez, it was redone in the exact same style and material by John Meyer at Ogden Top and Trim in Chicago. Shuten recreated the smoked acrylic console, which was altered for its "Blood Alley" configuration.