1954 Ford Victoria
Stan Aksamit writes, "One of my favorite old rides was my 1954 Ford Vicky. I bought it in 1960, then someone bumped it and damaged both rear fenders only weeks later. At that time there was a small custom shop in town and the owner was going to stop custom work and only work on Mercedes and Jaguars. My car was the last custom to be done. Frank Mann said that he would fill all holes, repair the damage, and repaint the car for a tidy sum of $141. Wouldn't we enjoy that price now? I left 58 holes for him to fill!
"Shortly after I got the car back it was stolen. This time I found a new shop, Trend Automotive in Lyons, Illinois. The co-owners were Dave Puhl and Johnny Malek. Dave appeared in Rod & Custom many times over the years. He shaved the doors, and Johnny installed a new 1960 292 and changed the auto to stick. I added the silver scallops. Dave and I became friends but the last time I saw him was in 1969. I understand that he died recently.
"Oh, that 23-year-old is me and the photo was taken shortly before I sold the car. Apparently, the thieves who stole it before came back a year later and tried five times to steal it, in one week!"
North Lake Tahoe, Nevada
After building numerous other projects, Curtis McLachlan realized he had almost enough parts accumulated to build another car, if he just had a body shell. That problem was fixed when he came across a 1955 210 that had been sitting in a field for 17 years. It needed a new floor, but that was one of the few parts Curtis had to buy, along with a 9-inch Ford rearend, rear tires, tunnel ram, and the rollcage.
Everything else—from the 383 stroker and Muncie four-speed, to the straightaxle from a 1957 GMC pickup—he had "in stock". The idea behind the project was to re-live his high school days, when he was an 18-year-old. "You only had money to get it running. Who cared what it looked like, just as long as it went fast and stopped quick! Even if your girlfriend didn't want to ride in it, your buddies did." And so, with the help of a couple of friends, emerged "Alley Oop", Curtis' high school Gasser. Better late than never!
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