Get to know your classic car community! Here are some area car and truck enthusiasts' pride and joy. To submit your vehicle, please email your contact information, vehicle description/story, and photos to email@example.com.
1964 Ford F-100 Custom Cab
Pickups like this never rolled off the production line unless it was for the CEO of Ford Motor Company. The owners of this truck purchased it new and treated it like one of the family. Jonas' dad ordered it with the factory 292cid V-8 & limited slip differential. Factory options included the spotlight and the AM radio. Now is when you wish you lived in the good old days, the price new was just $1979.49. In 1964 Ford offered a wide selection of pickups, Chevrolet tried to match them one-for-one which made for some great competion. The Ford's styleside box featured a double wall design which prevented the loads from ever making dents to the outer box panels. This was the first pickup to have a lever in the center to release the tail gate. This new F-series made available options like Air Conditioning, two tone paint. Another great feature was the tail gate height of just 24 inches, a far cry from the new pickups of today. White side wall tires were common on all F-100 pickups. Owner; Tim & Joan Sleeth Billings, Montana
1948 Chevrolet Suburban The future was upon us with this type of transportation. This Suburban was restored by a master rebuilder who has done many show cars in the past. With only 36,000 original miles, this 216 cid six-cylinder was still like new. This old engine had small cups at the end of the connecting rods to pull the oil up to the engine. Unlike most engines it was void of an oil pump, the later 262 six-cylinder motors did have an oil pump. The transmission was a four speed with a very low first gear. The factory radio and fog lights were factory options along with the sun visor over the windshield. Mark Tronstad of Billings, Montana restored this classic to factory specifications in 2014.
2014 Shelby Cobra GT500
"Yes" its fast by any standards, when you add a 662 bhp power plant you better hold on to the seat of your pants and grit your teeth. The electronic Line-Lock is a special feature that should be used only on the track. This feature allows for you to keep the front brakes locked up which will allow you to smoke the rear tires for a solid quick start. The launch control will integrate the brakes, traction control along ensuring a smooth consistent start. The message center will provide instance performance metrics in the center of your instrument cluster. You know there is power when your car provides longitudinal g-forces and acceleration times plus automatic and countdown starts. Some drivers like to adjust their powersteering. You have 3 options, Normal, Sport settings and comfort. The fun just gets better with the manual six speed transmission. It is the smooth shifting that the owners like the most.
1950 Hudson Pacemaker Coupe
Hudson used the term "Step Down" for their lower look of the 50s. It referred to the dropped floor pan surrounded by steel frame girders. The Supermatic were applauded for toughness and handling, as well as a smooth highway ride. When Hudson introduced the Pacemaker coupe, it accounted for almost half of the 1950 production of their cars. The Pacemaker used a 232 cid 112 bhp in-line six cyl engine. An available option in 1950 was the Super-six 123 horsepower aluminum cylinder. You could have your choice of three transmissions, mechanical overdrive, Drive Master, and new Supermatic, which had a new crusing gear with a button on the dash, which allowed you to shift gears by just letting up on the gas. "Step Down" meant that you would sit within the Monobilt frame, with box-section steel frame on all sides for safety. This was a full six passenger sedan with the most room of any car built to date. With a price of $1959 you would pay just $ .56 per pound to buy this car.
1951 Ford F-1 1/2 Ton Pickup Built to last at a time when there were few garages to work on them. White sidewall tires were a common site on pickups of this era. This '51 Ford had a facelift with a new grille and hood trim. The box underwent a change from a steel floor to a wood floor. The stock engine was a 239 cid V-8 which was rated at 100 bhp. For 1951, Ford offered a total of three engines to choose from. This newly designed cab with its one piece windshield was referred to as a million dollar cab. This was also the first year the name tag "F-1" was used. A selling point was that the tail gate was only 24 inches off the ground. It seems like everyone I talk to is looking for a 1948 to 1951 to restore. A personal note: I drove a 1950 Ford 1/2 ton during High School while living on a ranch 40 miles from town, dirt and gravel roads and it held up like it was a tank.
Shelby Cobra Replica The story as I was told. Lets call this a "Fathers Love." This car started out about a couple years ago in a secret location in Billings, Montana. This Father wanted to give his son a very special gift when the day came that he would be married. I was told this car was moved around and hidden like a child playing Hide & Seek with all of his or her friends. This car was truly built with all the compassion and love of detail a father could put into it. Rest assured that I was told about this from one of the many who had a part in making this a reality. Some may make a feeble attempt at a task like this, not this father, he did it right addressing every small detail to perfection. I was informed the son is on active duty as a Commander in the United States Navy. I believe the wedding has now taken place and this was the father's gift to his son and his new bride.
1953 Studebaker Champion
What a wonderful custom this car has become, only a master craftmen can pull this off and make it flawless. This car started off as a 2-door hardtop, Ron chopped the top 4 1/2 inches and made a flush mounted windshield, the rear window was slanted back 7 inches and made up with 3 fabricated pieces. It takes a lot of time to flare all four fenders to perfection. A new trunk lid had to be fabricated along with hawk fins and a Mustang spoiler. A Mustang 3rd tail light and Chrsyler door handles. Century rear view mirrors, the front end was nosed & decked along with smoothed bumpers. A special engine cover was fabricated. Power windows and seat along with keyless entry and a new alarm system was added. Montana weather requires both a heater and air-conditioning. A few of the add-ons were a cruise control, 8 speaker sound system and a complete Cobra interior. Firewall and transmission tunnel Mustang, Jaquar independent suspension front and rear. Also added were power steering, 4 wheel disc brakes, 3:03 posi, 4.6 L -4 overhead cam 32 valve engine. 5 speed Tremec transmission, remote twin oil filters - 9 quarts, complete EPA emissions.
Donar cars that were used: 1953 Studerbaker, 1986 Jaguar XJS and 1999 Mustang Cobra.
Paint: House of Color Kandy Tangerine, Black PPG Concept, 18 Gold Leaf strip.
Complete build/design by Ron Tesinsky / Westside Customs, Billings, MT
1961 Studebaker Hawk
The "Hawks" were the last Studebakers to be designed by the legendary "Loewy's team." They were good looking and a blast to drive. They operated on curves like a true sports car and hugged the highway at high speeds. The Hawks were descendants of one of the most popular of all, the Starlight Coupe. The 1961 Hawk was up-dated receiving two-tone color panels and a four-speed gear box. Brooks Stevens was given the task to take over the design as an outsider of the "Hawks." One major change was the Mercedes-style grille, Studebaker was distributing "Mercedes-Benz" at the time. The optional 225 bhp would give this Hawk a top speed of 120 mph and 0-60 in less than 10 seconds.
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtop
Red as Red can be. That is what this stunning Bel Air is. They say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, make no mistake this car makes us all beholders. Many '57s have been restored, however few have obtained the clean, crisp elegance this car has became. The selection of engines were no less than six V-8's from 185 to 283 bhp. The 283 was courtesy of "Ramjet" a fuel injected engine. Their were few takers at $500 per add-on, it did however give GM the bragging rights for 1 bhp per cubic inch. The Bel Air Sport Sedan equipped with a four barrel 270 bhp would do 0 to 60 in just 9.9 seconds. Peddle to the metal in the quarter mile you would reach 110 mph in 17.5 seconds. We all look for a good buy in life, this car new was only $.70 per pound.
This was a workingman's car. Good reliable transportation that became the staple of the American dream. Most of these cars got about ten miles per gallon with an average speed of about fifty-five mph. Gas was about 10 cents per gallon and a quart of oil around 8 cents. When my wife was in High School in 1954, her parents had a car like this. She and her girlfriend would cruise around all evening on $ .50 cents worth of gas. The present owner has kept this car all factory and looking like it did in 1939. In that year many body types were available, coupes with or with out the Rumble seat (many would call it the Mother-in-Law seat). For 1939, that one year only Plymouth would offer a convertible with a rumble seat. A car like this sold for about $740 at the dealerships, by the end of World War II this car would sell for over $900. Plymouth. Ford & Chevrolet made up the top three cars in the United States. Back in the 30s Plymouth "Binder Twine" was used on almost every farm in America. That is the origin of the name Plymouth for automobiles...not Plymouth Rock.
I was the bride of Mr. Chrysler and Mrs. Plymouth. I came with 18-inch wheels and a six-cylinder engine. My air conditioner would consist of six windows down at 30 miles per hour. My new parents thought I should get a face lift to compete with the big boys, and here I am. My power train now has a 1978 440 cid with 1971 heads, I'm hopped up just a little with being bored .030 and with a Isky Cam. I added a Mopar suspension with a Volare front clip and a massive 30-gallon fuel tank. Talk about hard times, I have a touch of road rash, but I'm not to bad for one who was "born" when there were only 48 staties and has survived Prohibition, the Great Depression, and World War II. Added to that were several armed conflicts and 15 Presidents. I have earned my scratches and worn tires as I have traveled all over this great United States of America. I am proud that my owner went to war to defend our way of life. God Bless America.
1932 Ford Pickup, The "Deuce"
Fords from 1932 are known as "Deuce" to the world of car lovers. There are national meets for the "Deuce's" that bring thousands together for reunions. The '32 probably has been customized and modified more than any other car. It is considered the ultimate hot rod or better known as the holy grail of hot rod builders everywhere.
OSHA would have fits if today they mounted the gas tank under the drivers seat like they did in '32. When production commenced in March 1932, a powered V-8 model was a sensation from the word go. It was the start of the end of the four cylinder as it was soon to fade into the history books. Introducing a new car in 1932 would prove a real challenge as this was the worst year for the great depression. Very few people had a desire to purchase a new car or truck, however the V-8 gave them a leg up on the other makes.
The marketing department only had in mind to sell the V-8 to the car buyers, that was until the truck buyers wanted it. Ford caved in and the rest is history.
1956 Ford F-100 1/2 Ton Pickup.
When this truck was made, Ford Motor Company made the height of the tail gate a main selling point by being just 24 inches off the ground. Ford knew that if they did their job they would not have to worry about Chevrolet. The wrap around windshield and the option of a large back window gave this truck a "Back To The Future" look. The larger 272 cubic inch V-8 offered 167 brake horse power. The Canadian version of this truck was called a Mercury. This truck possesses quality that would never be repeated in later years. Seat belts were just made available however very few ever ordered by the dealers do to the cost which added about $9 to the base price.
For the collector this is a crown jewel that the person restoring can do so many different things.
1957 Chevrolet Hard Top
The '57 Chevrolet defines the car of the 50s that we all wanted with its style, comfort and that "wow" factor. The colors that were available for these cars have never been offered in the cars of today.There has got to be a reason we love these cars like we do.Perfection comes with a price and this car happens to be one of those. This was a frame-off rotisserie restoration. An "Art Morrison Frame" with a new LS-3 engine complete with a 9-inch rear end. 4 link with coil overs, Dakota Digital dash instruments, House of Kolor "Sun Pearl & Sunset. Vintage air and to top it off it has real leather with bucket seats front and rear. No car like this would be complete with out Budnick wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport Tires.
The GTX had fake hood scoops, the important part was the heavy duty suspension and became a true muscel car. The name GTO became so well known Plymouth decided to follow by using the letters GTX.
1956 Buick Century 4 door hardtop
For the true car collector, the 1956 Buick has proven to be one of the most elusive of all makes. It may be the production numbers or the demand for these cars, who knows. Buick fine-tuned the styling of the '56 to make it one of the greatest body styles of all times. The addition of a new grill and a pointed hood with open rear wheel wells was what it needed. It had a price tag of around $3,000 and production numbers of just 20,891. Sporting a 255 bhp Iron head engine it would power this Buick Century from 0-60 in 10.5 seconds. The author of this article has had 28 Buick's to this date and knows these cars very well.
1948 Chevy Loadmaster Truck Cab All Chevy
3/4 ton Chevy van chassis, 1994 Chevy pickup box over original 48" 2 ton truck frame.
1936 Chevy sedan rear fenders, Color-1950s GM Coral w/Pearl Clear.
Custom interior, Air bags, Rear air shocks, tilt steering w/custom interior.
1947 JEEP CJ2A
It’s always great when you can trace the history of a vintage automobile back to its origins. This fully restored 1947 Jeep CJ2A was bought new from Davis Motors in Butte, Montana. It was then sold to Leipheimer Ford in Butte and used for business purposes, then on to the family farm in Belgrade. Les Roth purchased the Jeep from a Leipheimer grandson and brought it to his home garage for a full restoration.
That’s when the fun really started…new body, tailgate, front fender; and then transmission work, steering gear, brakes and transfer cases. Luckily, the engine had been rebuilt in 2008 at Engine Rebuilders in Denver.
Les’ goal was to make the Jeep as authentic as possible; based on the Jeeps he drove during his years in the military. Les served in the US Navy from 1960 to 1966 and even wanted to name the Jeep after the ship he served on…the USS Washtenaw County LST 116. He painted it battleship gray and it is authentically restored to match the Navy CJ2A’s he used in Viet Nam.
The serial numbers soon to be added under the windshield will reflect his grandchildren’s birthdates. This Jeep CJ2A was certainly a work of love for this Billings classic car buff.
The Cactus Car
In America, we have a love affair with the cars we've owned through the years. The passing of time doesn't diminish our passion. This particular car fits into the category of worn-out-but-never really-abandoned classics. The great southwest holds the secret location of this sculpture .... and many others just like it. It may look like it has seen better days, however in time, a classic car lover will see a diamond in the rough and restore it.
I have authored two coffee table books that will take you down memory lane. "Classic Cars of Mt & Wy" and "Hotrods & Classics" Every car has a story to be told which is at the heart of these full color books of very high quality.