The Early Times Car Club contingent comprised of Dan and his Ice Truck, Jim Babbs with his It-T-Bits T-delivery (also featured in that same August 1970 issue), Danny Eichstedt and his Leg Show T-bucket, and Richard Graves' 1927 T-touring (both featured in the January 1971 R&C) trucked to Oakland for the show. What a caravan that must have been! But Dan wanted to polish the heads and make a few changes, so another show or two were the extent of the Ice Truck's public life before it was partially torn down.
Business and life took over and Dan opened Contemporary Chassis Design and Contemporary Carriage Works and became responsible for countless customer hot rods. The Ice Truck sat until the late1970s when he sold it, which was the last time he saw his creation for many years.
Current Ice Truck owner Dave Shuten has immersed himself in the show car culture of the 1960s and 1970s, and after recreating Ed Roth's Mysterion and his own Astrosled bubbletop car, he was ready to build his version of Dan's Ice Truck, which he thought was never finished. "I'm fascinated by the whole show car thing because I like how it's cars and art, and I like the artsy part," says Dave. "And they're different--I like different." When I asked what his car buddies thought about his show car affliction he added, "Most of my friends think I'm nuts."
He started gathering parts to duplicate Newt's R&C cover drawings. Then good friend and fellow show car freak Steve Estrin called Dave to tell him not only did the Ice Truck exist, but it was for sale. Dave soon purchased the 1980s incarnation of the Ice Truck, now called Blood Alley.
We'll let Dan describe it: "It had been years and years and then these pictures of the Ice Truck show up painted candy blood red with `Blood Alley' emblazoned on the side. It just curdled my stomach. Candy red with all that brass crap hung all over it--cowl lights and headlights engraved like bikers do it--and the headers were cut off to get in without stepping on them. They relocated the steering, too--all these things just messed it up."
The candy paint was a problem for another reason. Says Dave, "Yeah, whoever painted it used that old Centari paint--everything under the clear was like chewing gum. I had to strip the paint with a razor blade--the frame and everything." That and finding the NOS Indy tires were the biggest problems encountered with the project. Otherwise the car was remarkably intact.
Dave found a drag boat gearbox to convert the steering back to the 90-degree configuration and recreated the center console, which had been modified. With the headers restored, he cleaned and polished the engine and transmission, which had almost no miles, and painted and reassembled the chassis.
After prepping the body, Dave got Long Island's Fritz Schenck--another 1960s/70s show car fanatic--to paint the House of Kolor Ice Blue pearl with diamond dust and white fogging. Fritz also handled the platinum leaf work, then he and Dave pinstriped the body.
John Meyer at Ogden Top and Trim in Chicago handled the ice blue velour interior, closely following photos supplied by Woods. "These old show cars need to be what they were," says Dave. "I went to great lengths to make sure it was right--the way it was." The F-4 Phantom map light seen just above a young Dan Woods in the vintage photo has been lost and another has yet to be found.
So how does it run? Says Dave, "It runs like a MF--scary fast." It's lopey and loud, he says.
Says Dan, "When these pictures in front of the old Packard Plant came across my desk, I've got to admit, it made me smile. I wanted to drive that car--it just never happened. Life takes hold, the business took over, and it just sat there."
Dave and Dan have much more in common than the Ice Truck. Besides Dave finishing up the restoration of Dan's Milk Truck for a customer and storing Steve Estrin's Butcher Truck, which Dan originally built for Bob Reed in the mid-1970s, they both have plans for some unconventional rods. There's more to come from Dan and Dave, exhibiting that special mix of history, cars, and art for which they have a unique eye.