OK Charlie, What's With The Car Avatar?



sp331yi

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Yes . . . homemade body over what chassis? Engine and tranny?
Pleaase attach a larger photo!
 

70 Tango Charlie

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OK Guys and Gals,
I have to give you a little history first, so you will know the "rest of the story"!
I was close to retiring from my shoe repair shop in 1993. That winter I wanted to go to Florida to get away from the cold winter. My wife did not agree as she does not like hot weather or Florida.
So, my next idea was that during that winter, I would make a wooden vehicle out of a 1977 Dodge Van that was on its' last legs body wise - but still ran very well. It had a small V-8 engine with a stick shift called 'three on the tree', or on the steering column.
I had been dabbling in wood working for about 20 years prior to this; doing different types of projects like cradles, book cases, scroll work etc.
After making a drawing to scale of what I wanted to build, I began the tear-down in October while we still had warm weather.
I have three sons who all have various engineering degrees from Mich Tech and Mich State. They were unanimous in their opinion that 'Dad did not know what he was talking about, and the project would never get finished.' {I guess it never entered their minds that their ability in engineering did not come from their mothers' side of the family. Her side provided them with any artistic ability they might have.} I enjoyed mechanical drawing when in high school and knew pretty much what could be done. So, being the stern father {and stubborn} that I was, I took their opinions with a grain of salt and proceeded forward.
When the old body was removed with saws and other means, I moved the carcass into the one stall garage to be worked on in a somewhat heated atmosphere during our coldest months.
As soon as I can find the 98 pics of what I did, I will post some of the more interesting ones. {Organization is not my strong point, but I know they are here somewhere. LOL}
It was the middle of April of 1994 that I drove the finished product out of our garage; as shown in this full size pic. I worked on it in the evenings and on weekends.
Woody.JPG


As I am able, I will post some more with accompanying explanations. It was licensed as a Dodge Van and never had any problem getting the license renewed or pulled over to explain to the police what in the world I was driving down our roads!!! Everything on it was legal. The windshield was a regulation safety glass windshield. The lights all worked, and it drove just as good as it ever did.
Many friends rode in my Woody during that summer. I had some advertising painted on the side mentioning our business. I did drive it the whole summer of 1994 as my youngest son had to use my car to go to work across the state.
Now as you may imagine, that is not the whole story with all the gory details - and some funny ones too. If there is more interest, I will continue.
But, for now ......Hi Ho Silver, Away!!!!!!!
Old Geezer, TC
 

captain-sensible

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yes we all want to hear more- but maybe there should be a new thread " eclectic members memories" ?

now you might think i'm pulling your leg- no not on this one but you mentioned shoe repair; now generally shoe repairers don't know how to make shoes. Its something i want to inspire to and apparently one of the most complicated of leather fabrications. I have made holder for my analogue phone , bag etc , wallet. Have you ever thought about hand stitching a pair of shoes ?
The car is a feat of engineering i'm thinking wood to metal; did that involve one of those metal self taping drill bit type bolts ?
 

Condobloke

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....As long as Charlie doesnt park anywhere near a white ants nest, all should be ok.....
 

Condobloke

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Panels for side of car/doors etc....how thick Charlie ?

Any weather issues, water ingress etc ?
 

70 Tango Charlie

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@captain-sensible
That is correct, repairers usually are not able to make shoes. It requires a different set of tools, lasts, etc. specifically used in the shoe making business.
Didn't have time to think about hand stitching. Only thought about how to make a living in a 'dying trade' as I was told several times. {Don't believe that one}.
I built the whole body on top of the original sheet steel floor. Used 3/4 inch bolts to fasten the 2 x 6 lumber to the floor. Then I could go ahead and finish building the rest like you would build a building out of wood studs and such.
The fun came with figuring out how to extend the steering column 3 feet so I could have a hood on the front. One other fun thing was changing the gear shift levers so they were on the floor instead of the steering column. I'll give details about those items in separate posts.
@Condobloke
All the panels, doors etc. were of 5/8 inch plywood with two coats of varnish on them.
I used hooks and eyes for the door latches. No fancy handles and locks. Did not even have locks as I figured no one would be able to figure out how to shift it if they did get it started!!!
It was actually pretty dry except in a driving rainstorm. Wouldn't you know, that my wife was riding with me when we encountered our first rainstorm. I don't recall if she ever rode in it again or not. Her side got the most wet - but the windshield wipers worked just fine.
I'll post more details as memory allows and as soon as I can find those Fine pictures that show some interesting things I learned along the way.
Later.
OG
 

sp331yi

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I'll post more details as memory allows and as soon as I can find those Fine pictures that show some interesting things I learned along the way.
Later.
OG
Yes -- let us see the interior!
Great job, BTW!
 

Vrai

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OK Guys and Gals,
I have to give you a little history first, so you will know the "rest of the story"!
I was close to retiring from my shoe repair shop in 1993. That winter I wanted to go to Florida to get away from the cold winter. My wife did not agree as she does not like hot weather or Florida.
So, my next idea was that during that winter, I would make a wooden vehicle out of a 1977 Dodge Van that was on its' last legs body wise - but still ran very well. It had a small V-8 engine with a stick shift called 'three on the tree', or on the steering column.
I had been dabbling in wood working for about 20 years prior to this; doing different types of projects like cradles, book cases, scroll work etc.
After making a drawing to scale of what I wanted to build, I began the tear-down in October while we still had warm weather.
I have three sons who all have various engineering degrees from Mich Tech and Mich State. They were unanimous in their opinion that 'Dad did not know what he was talking about, and the project would never get finished.' {I guess it never entered their minds that their ability in engineering did not come from their mothers' side of the family. Her side provided them with any artistic ability they might have.} I enjoyed mechanical drawing when in high school and knew pretty much what could be done. So, being the stern father {and stubborn} that I was, I took their opinions with a grain of salt and proceeded forward.
When the old body was removed with saws and other means, I moved the carcass into the one stall garage to be worked on in a somewhat heated atmosphere during our coldest months.
As soon as I can find the 98 pics of what I did, I will post some of the more interesting ones. {Organization is not my strong point, but I know they are here somewhere. LOL}
It was the middle of April of 1994 that I drove the finished product out of our garage; as shown in this full size pic. I worked on it in the evenings and on weekends.
View attachment 6891

As I am able, I will post some more with accompanying explanations. It was licensed as a Dodge Van and never had any problem getting the license renewed or pulled over to explain to the police what in the world I was driving down our roads!!! Everything on it was legal. The windshield was a regulation safety glass windshield. The lights all worked, and it drove just as good as it ever did.
Many friends rode in my Woody during that summer. I had some advertising painted on the side mentioning our business. I did drive it the whole summer of 1994 as my youngest son had to use my car to go to work across the state.
Now as you may imagine, that is not the whole story with all the gory details - and some funny ones too. If there is more interest, I will continue.
But, for now ......Hi Ho Silver, Away!!!!!!!
Old Geezer, TC
Ahahahaha!!! That's awesome! A true "Woody".
I have a '97 Dodge Ram 1500 pick-up which runs great but has too much body rust - you've inspired me to give the old girl new life!!!
 

70 Tango Charlie

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@wizardfromoz @captaincrazy @Condobloke @sp331yi @Vrai @f33dm3bits
Hey Guys and Gals,
Here's a little bit more about my 'Shoemobile'.
Back in the mid 70's I had this idea about making a vehicle that looked like a shoe; kinda like Oscar Meyers' Weinermobile. That idea got put on the shelf as I had three kids and a wife to feed.
Up to the start.
Here's a picture of the plan {drawn to scale}
Shoemobile-Drawing Plan.jpg


As you can see, it is a very fancy blueprint! LOL.

Next comes a pic of the van in first stage of tear-down.
Shoemobile-1.jpg


Next up - tear-down almost complete.
Shoemobile-9.jpg


This is what it looked like when I moved it into the garage. The floor was in very good condition.
Looking at it now, I wonder why I didn't just drive it like that! Hah!

Next up comes the initial wood floor beams - the 2x6's. These are bolted to the floor and everything is built on top of, and fastened to them.
Shoemobile-14.jpg


I think that will be enough for now.
More later.
OG
 

Condobloke

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Do you know the size of the V8, Charlie ?.......253 Cubic inch by any chance ?
 

70 Tango Charlie

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@captain-sensible
Nah! Hard to fool an old guy. LOL.
@Condobloke
Sorry, don't remember exactly which engine.
Now it's time for another tidbit.
Once the floor supports were bolted to the body, and the new wood floor, then it was time for the superstructure to begin.
Here's a pic showing the new floor.
Shoemobile-16.jpg


Next came the superstructure of 2x4's.
Shoemobile-22.jpg


Then some of the sides go on.

Shoemobile-24.jpg


This next one will contain the new windshield.

Shoemobile-32.jpg


That will do it for this time.
Gotta go and have some breakfast.
Sayonara for now.
OG
 

sp331yi

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Do you know the size of the V8, Charlie ?.......253 Cubic inch by any chance ?
Looks like a 1975 Dodge with a 360 to me. Exhaust manifold somewhat identifying.

Thanks for the step-by-step photos!
 

70 Tango Charlie

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597
@wizardfromoz @Condobloke @sp331yi @captain-sensible @Vrai @f33dm3bits
Hey guys,
Starting with this one, the real fun began.
I had to figure out how to extend the steering column an additional 3 feet.
Here's a pic of how I did it.

Steering_Column.png


This was the temporary 2x4 post. As I learned, there was a lot more torque on this 'new' column than I had figured. Instead of one universal joint, there was now two.
The shaft was some sort of axle from something - don't remember where.

Here's a pic of the final supports for the steering column.

Shoemobile-57.jpg


However, we did 'gitter done', and it worked. Yay!

More later.
OG
 

captain-sensible

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3,640
@wizardfromoz @Condobloke @sp331yi @captain-sensible @Vrai @f33dm3bits
Hey guys,
Starting with this one, the real fun began.
I had to figure out how to extend the steering column an additional 3 feet.
Here's a pic of how I did it.

View attachment 6978

This was the temporary 2x4 post. As I learned, there was a lot more torque on this 'new' column than I had figured. Instead of one universal joint, there was now two.
The shaft was some sort of axle from something - don't remember where.

Here's a pic of the final supports for the steering column.

View attachment 6979

However, we did 'gitter done', and it worked. Yay!

More later.
OG
i've had sensible reinstated then
 

Condobloke

Well-Known Member
Credits
2,537
In Australia that's what we call 'bush mechanics', Charlie

Do whatever it takes to make the bastard work. ....or as John Williamson (Aussie Singer) would say/sing...
Hey True Blue, can you bear the load
Will you tie it up with wire
Just to keep the show on the road (full song here )

How did your good wife react to the ongoing work.......did she cease talking to you ?
 

Vrai

Well-Known Member
Credits
1,630
@wizardfromoz @Condobloke @sp331yi @captain-sensible @Vrai @f33dm3bits
Hey guys,
Starting with this one, the real fun began.
I had to figure out how to extend the steering column an additional 3 feet.
Here's a pic of how I did it.

View attachment 6978

This was the temporary 2x4 post. As I learned, there was a lot more torque on this 'new' column than I had figured. Instead of one universal joint, there was now two.
The shaft was some sort of axle from something - don't remember where.

Here's a pic of the final supports for the steering column.

View attachment 6979

However, we did 'gitter done', and it worked. Yay!

More later.
OG
Very interesting. Can you do my old Dodge next? o_O
 

wizardfromoz

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i've had sensible reinstated then
It was a typo on Charlie's part, Andy, you'll live :D, he's gone to type in Captain and picked a new Member by mistake.

Charlie, I have hardly a mechanical bone in my body, but I find this enthralling, I am glad you have shared :)
 


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