1953 Studebaker #2411 " A Bonneville Salt Flats Car"
In June of 1999, Gail & Ron purchased this Studebaker from Gene & Betty Burkland of Great Falls, Montana. This Studebaker was in Wendover, Utah Museum for 18 years. They were able to acquire this car when the Museum ceased operation. Burklands started running this car in 1971 obtaining a top land speed record of 255.863 miles per hour.
Gail & Ron knew the car would need substantial safety upgrades to make it ready to return to the Bonneville Salt Flats. By August of 2000, all of the required updates and were completed by Gail's husband Ron. One of the major updates was the extra interior roll cage and the spoiler on the rear. All new Lexon windows and roof rails were also required. The 1st event on the Salt Flats was a World of Speed in September 2000. A reunion with all 3 of Burkland's salt cars (Studebaker, Datsun & Streamliner) was great.Finding the Hemi to run in it again was a must. They found a 1954 - 336, after lots of work and 9 long years of trial and error, Gail received her class "A" license ( which means speeds no less than 200 mph and no more than 250 mph), during Speedweek
2009 with exit speed of 221.808 mph. Ron has been a master car builder most of his life knew cars but needed to learn the skills he would need to build and tune racing engines. He would continue to learn this engine rebuilding to be able to afford the cost so that his wife (Gail) could accomplish her goals on the Salt Flats. During the next nine years of running the Studebaker, she managed to ruin 4 transmissions, more pistons and valves than they could count and completely blew up a fresh 372 cid donated by Bob Lindstrom. They battled with the "salt germlins" on many issues. With the nine years it took for Gail to get her class "A" license she was able to get the experience needed to become a professional driver. To drive this Studebaker, practice is out of the question, when you get on the Salt Flats you must be at your best.
In 2004 they were invited to be part of a movie, "World's Fastest Indian" starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, a documentary of Burt Munroe. Their photos with A.Hopkins will always be treasured, as well as his autographed signature on their car. Gail's goal when they purchased the car was to hold the record again in honor of the Burklands. Through the passing of time, technology has boomed, and with that the record has increased to over 300 mph. They have been asked to place the Studebaker in the new Wendover Museum when it is completed.
In 2010 Gail was offered a ride by some great friends that have a lakester to go after a landspeed record, once again the weather and germlins slowed her down. In 2015 they are hoping for a great year!! All in all they have an amazing opportunity and a unbelievable experience - so fortunate and yet so blessed to have this virus, "Salt Flats Fever".
Gail & Ron Tesinsky Billings, Montana
1947 Chevrolet Fleetmaster
Mother nature works in very strange ways. We are talking about a man who dreamed of owning a "Chevrolet" from even before he was able to have his own driver's license. One day the traffic was very heavy and he missed a turn he had to make. This was before the time of GPS. It was with this miscalculation he was to find the car of his dreams.
It happened to be a car that had a full frame-off restoration; a 1947 Chevrolet Fleetmaster. For a car that is over 65 years old, it is no small task. This car has been lowered to look like the old school era of the 1950s. Some of the modified items include a Griffin all aluminum radiator, Mustang II Fat Man Fabrication suspension, and air conditioning. Chevrolet in their wisdom to produce the 350 small block (390 bhp), never knew the popularity this engine would have for the classic car builder. The automatic transmission along with the 10-bolt rear end makes this a driver's dream come true which is just what his vanity plate stands for " DMCMTRU" .
By the end of WWII, the '46 to the '48 Chevy's were given slight modifications from the 1942 model year. The grill medallions and some of the exterior trim was added, while the basic power train remained the same. Only 59,661 cars were produced in the year following the end of the greatest war ever fought by the United States. With the selling price of $1,281.00 it was still out of the reach of many because there was no financing of cars.
Owner's Truman & Carol Rogers Billings, Montana
1967 Ford Galaxie XL
A couple of years after Sandy and Roy got married, they bought a 1968 Galaxie XL GT 428 cid with a four speed, it had a white interior with bucket seats and a console. The car was all red with a gold stripe at midline for the full length, It would be a gorgeous car and fun to drive. They kept it until their twins were born and then with three girls in tow, they jumped into life.
Looking ahead in time with the kids on their own, they got to thinking how fun it would to be to have a car like that again. Many sales and shows later, they came across this car at a weekly Saturday McDonald's Car Show (billed as the longest continuous weekly car show in the nation) in Scottsdale, Arizona. They looked at the car but thought it wasn't quite what they wanted (a '67,not a '68) and left. They drove a couple of miles down the road, looked at each other and said they better go back and get serious! It was gone.
The following Saturday, they returned to the show on the chance the car might be there again. It was! After looking at the car again and getting as much info from the seller as they could, they told him they wanted to look at it again in the daylight and if it looked as good as it did at night they would take the car and yes it did. The car new was sold in Winsted, Connecticut, They get a lot of enjoyment showing their car. The car is completely original.
There were only 18,174 made and sold for $3,243.
Owners: Roy & Sandra Rose Livingston, Montana
This is an original 1979 factory Corvette T-top. This car was acquired in September 2004, the actual miles was an buyers dream with only 1,596. It was located in the small town of Crosby, North Dakota, a small town of about 1300 population. It proves a dream can sometimes be located where you least expect it. To make it even better the storage was also heated for the 25 years until it was sold. The only time this 'Vette saw the light of day was a home coming parade for the local high school.
This is a Third Generation, which covers the years of 1979 to 1982. When this sports car was new it came with every option GM had to offer, the engine was a L-82 / V-8 350 cid (5.7 L.) 370 bhp. GM was able to perpetuate the rumor "there will be a brand new Corvette next year" every year. By 1983, there really was a new Corvette, this was a plan to up-grade the chassis at the end of 20 years. The upheaval the industry went thru proved the Corvette body was on the fast track to becoming a major player in the sports car field. In 1979, lighter seats, designed for the pace car, became standard along with bolt on spoilers as an option. The wind tunnel proved effective in reducing the drag by 15%, which helped in the sales with 53,807 Vett's to come off of the production line.
Owners: Craig & Karen Swenson Billings, Montana
1929 Ford Model A
The secret to building a street rod is to make it different than anything you have ever dreamed of in your lifetime. Take a step back in time to the 1981 U.S. Nationals in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This street rod was judged good enough to qualify as one of the top 10 in the entire United States. It is cars like this that set the standard for the best there is to offer in restoring and rebuilding the classics for many years to come.
This 1929 Ford Model A with its 5-inch chopped top is a far cry from the days when it rolled off Mr. Ford's assembly line. The engine is a 327 cid Chevy with a 400 automatic transmission coupled with a 9-inch Ford rear end. The front end has a Kugel independent suspension with disc brakes. The man who owns this classic purchased it in 1989, with the reputation of being one of the best painters in the area he gave it a stunning paint job. The Opal "Signal Green" was a very popular color in the 1980s. Drive this car in a parade and you will be sure to have heads turn only to dream of the day they will have their own classic.
Owner: Ken & Dilys Neibauer Billings, Montana
1955 Chevrolet BelAir Hardtop
Life can be good and it has been great for Charlie who has earned his retirement. He now has the time to devote all his attention to his classic 1955 Chevrolet BelAir. He has never used the term "Classic" lightly, this car has been restored from bumper-to-bumper, iron frame to the front suspension. When this car was purchased it required a fair amount of work, every part was rebuilt or replaced with OEM parts. He also replaced the 327 cid small block, its 350 turbo transmission along with the 3.08 rear end.
1955 proved to be a great year for Chevrolet, Two-tone paint was all the rage, including pastel shades with matching interior to match. The egg crate grill was inspired by the great sports car "Ferrari." This application helped to keep excess chrome to a minimum. Point of sale by GM said it was a "Blue Ribbon Beauty" when it introduced in the fall of 1954. GM also liked to use the term "Motoramic" when they talked about their new found success. The image of stodgy associated with the past several years was now fading away with the birth of this new model. Style and power were to be the next standard to captivate a new generation of buyers who were making more money. Back then this car sold for $1,888 or to put it another way $.60 per pound. On November 23, 1954 a 1955 Chevrolet BelAir hardtop gold-trim rolled off the line which was the 50,000,000 car produced by General Motors .
Owner: Charles Deshner Butte Montana
1940 Ford Sedan Delivery
The chances are very slim that you have ever seen a 1940 Ford Delivery like this, Mick was able to purchase this in '75. It was the victim of major vandalism by someone with a hammer who just liked to destroy everything they could. A complete restoration would be needed to bring this Sedan Delivery back to its formal glory. it now has a 350 cid/396 bhp, a turbo 400 automatic and a '68 Corvette rear end. One man's opinion, "The beautiful lines of the 1940 Ford coupled with the reliability of all Chevrolet power train. It doesn't get any better than that." (Author unknown) Many designers said it was the best body ever built. The lines were smooth and had an art deco dash-board with contrasting colors. the post was era proved to be some of the greatest and lasting designs made. Restyled, the Delux had a lowered vee'd grill, clean front fenders with head lights set into the fenders. Hydraulic brakes and a column shift was added.
David North, Chief Designer for General Motors got it right when he designed the GTO. The timing was perfect, many of our military were in the process of returning from overseas and in need of good transportation. The "GTO" would provide just that—style, muscle, performance and lots of power. There were several add ons you could get to make this a first "Factory hot Rod." The cultivated image, the "GTO" or even better known as the "Goat" which to this day is as well known as the letters "GTO". They started with a 325 bhp engine sporting a standard 4-barrel carb, next you could get a 348 bhp with a triple 2 barrel carb setup which this car has. To make it your own you could add a heavy duty suspension and brakes, bucket seats now referred to as romance busters, and a floor shift in manual or automatic. Fast? You bet is is. It would 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds thru a quarter mile at 14.8 sec doing 95 mph. When the "GTO" was sold they called it a Hard Top, GM in their wisdom had based their sales at just 5000 GTO's however the "GOAT" struck gold and sold over 32,450, it was to set a new record for Pontiac for production in a given year. During production the wheelebase was extended to 115 inches which placed it in the intermediate size range. The body was actually shared by Buick, Olds F-85 and the very popular Chevelle. The "GTO" was to be the first of the true "Muscle Cars." Yes, when you put your foot in the gas it was like flushing a (you know what) however gas was only about $.22 per gallon back when this car hit the show rooms. Ferrari was a fast car until it came to a drag race, that's when the "GTO" would come out on top. At a $1.08 per pound selling price it was a great buy.
Current owner: Roy R. Wherley
1956 Ford Thunderbird
This is a sports car that Ford was very proud of. If you dream long enough, the day will come that your wishes will come true. Wendy's dream was to own a "Baby Bird" a Thunderbird to the rest of us car enthusiasts. When they were married in 1999, her husband promised her he would fulfill her dreams. Imagine Wendy's stunned surprise when she got her '56 Baby Bird for their 7th wedding anniversary. This car was purchased from a wonderful couple in Arizona who had completed a complete frame off restoration in 1978. During the winter months, Baby stayed in a heated garage waiting for the spring rays of a warm sun before getting out among the public.
The 1956 Ford Thunderbird offered "flipper" vent windows, a continental wheel kit and vents on the front fenders. It came with two tops, a convertible soft top and a hard top with "port hole's" for windows. The engine was a 312 cid V-8 with an automatic transmission, which produced 225 bhp. New, this car sold for just $3,151 dollars with a limited production run of just 15,631 vehicles. The color of this Bird is very rare, and yes it was a factory production.
Owners: Terry & Wendy O'Neill Belgrade, Montana
1956 Ford Victoria "Thunderbird"
When the '56 Ford Victoria came out the changes were minor from the 1955. Safety was on the mind of the designers with a dished steering wheel, break away mirror and crashproof door locks that all became standard. If you wanted a padded dash and sun-visors you would have to fork out another $16 dollars. Factory installed seatbelts were not considered a large item however if you added them from the factory that would add $9. The 312 cid "Thunderbird " engine produced 225 bhp using an automatic transmission and was a factory limited package. One of the big selling points Ford used was "performance" for '56. Financing a car was something new to the public, Lee Iacocca came up with an idea of offering a "56 Ford for $56 per month. Three tone paint was common on all cars and white side walls were the norm. The chrome was real and excellent quality that would last, not like the paper covering of today.
This car was placed in a museum with only 11,000 miles where it stayed for the next 39 years, after that it was moved to a private home for the next 9 years. When the current owner found this car it had not enjoyed sunshine for 48 years. A heavy layer of dirt was on the outside and the covering plastic was still on the floorboards, even the tires were in good condition. This car received a good bath and a much needed polish before entering its first car show.
Owners: Jerry & Kim Watson Billings, Montana
1956 Ford Crown Victoria
This 1956 Ford Crown Victoria was one of the most exciting cars built during the '50s. They offered a bold "New Lifeguard Design" to protect both driver and passengers. This design was the culmination of two years of research by a university, medical associations and safety experts. They made a dish steering wheel, added safety door latches and cushioned the hard surface of the dash. Seat belts were available for only a few dollars. Most dealers, however, did not order them with their new cars because of the up-charge of $9.00
This car has Ford's top engine choice, a 312 cid V-8 with 225 bhp. Lee Iacocca, just a young man at the time, came up with a new marketing strategy that offered a payment plan of $56 per month for a Ford.
The owners purchased this car from their neighbor, a highway patrolman during the '70s and it had been well used. They had to rebuild the power train and give it a new paint job. The patrolman who sold them the car had buyer's remorse when he saw the completed restoration. Ford produced 9,201 Crown Victoria hardtop coupes, which sold for $2,337 or about $ .71 per pound.
Current owners: Gary & Diana Gray Billings, Montana
1957 Chevrolet BelAir
The 1957 Chevrolet BelAir hardtop can be all things to all people provided you are a true car lover. When this car rolled off the show room floor in '57 it captured a place in our hearts. We, the car buffs, have chopped, lowered, removed emblems and even taken part in a drag race or two. The most important aspect of it all, we made it our own. The body style known as the "double nickel" seriously commands our attention even more today than when it was built.This car was acquired in a moment of frustration from the previous owner in 2004 who had been in the military stationed in San Diego, California, back around 1979. Upon his arrival back home, he parked it by a few trees by an old barn where it sat for the next 25 years. This car could be seen from the highway and thru the years, many people stopped to ask if he wanted to sell it. This one morning, while having coffee, he realized the only way to keep people at bay was to sell it. Another coffee drinker overheard him and asked what he wanted for it. $6,000 was the reply. A check was written for $6,000 on the spot. It was in rough shape. The new owner gave it a frame-off restoration, which took a full year. This car has a 283 cid Power pack, automatic transmission with 3:35 gears for the rear end. This car sold new for about $2,229 and weighed 3,278. General Motors produced 166,500 of this body style.
Current owner: Joe Richardson Ennis, Montana
1972 Chevrolet C-10 Pickup It was the year 2005 and a man needed money and wanted to sell his C-10 as a bankruptcy boom was lowering. Derek had been looking for a truck like the one he had when he went to high school and the price was right. It was a short box in very good condition with a good paint job and rust free. The body and box were kept original, however all parts were replaced with oem factory parts, which added about $40,000 to the cost of the restoration. He installed a Ram Jet 350 with a Pro-Charger 15 psi boost producing 600 brake horsepower on the Dyno to the rear wheels. He added 4 wheel disk brakes drilled and slotted with 20 inch wheels for looks and safety. In completing the power train, he installed a 400 transmission and 373 Posi rear end. Many people are not aware of the performance and power that can be obtained with the knowledge of engines. A naive local patrol officer was given the white-knuckle ride of his life and came out with a lot of respect for what a high powered machine can do. This truck is a consistent winner at car shows through the Great Northwest where it is driven for enjoyment. Owners: Derek & Steph Dickinson Butte, Montana
1990 Cadillac Brougham d'Elegance
The last of the Great American land yachts
The man that owns this classic Cadillac has been an admirer of GM's luxury line of cars for most of his life. He has a very impressive photo gallery of both past and present Cadillac's. He believes the ride should be soft with comfort for long cross country drives. This Cadillac represents the top-of-the-line in transportation with a 121 1/2 inch wheelbase. The longer wheel base made far more leg room with rear seat passengers enjoying more than 43 inch additional space. This time honored Brougham Sedan has long been a very profitable addition to the GM lineup.
The year was 1990 when GM added anti-lock brakes and featured an optional 350 cid (5.7) engine producing 175 bhp. This power train has 295 foot pounds of torque with a 8.5 inch ring gear with a 3.08:1 final drive ratio. This V-8 proved to be the largest engine Cadillac ever placed in their cars.
New this car sold for about $27,000 FOB at the factory.
Owner: Larry Dilts Denver, Colorado
1956 Ford Fairlane Sunliner Convertible
A stunning beauty painted in factory pink and black, in the '50s colors like pink, corral, salmon were among the most popular colors to grace the new cars. They were combined with other colors to make three-tone paint jobs stand out. If you were driving down the street in this 1956 Ford Fairlane Sunliner you were definitely turning heads. This is where the term "chick magnet" got its start. Dave purchased this car in 1975 where it had weathered many long years of Montana winters. It underwent a frame-off restoration with all the body work and painting completed by a master craftsman Bill Hardy, Coachworks. The upholstery was all factory material original to when the car was built. This car was equipped with a standard 312 cid engine, Ford-O-Matic transmission and a stock rear end. 1956 saw the introduction of the dish steering wheel, break-away rear view mirror and crash-proof door locks. This was the first year padded dashes were standard equipment, if you wanted sun visors they would cost you $16 with seat belts another $9. Performance came first over safety and cost with only 20% of the cars coming equipped with seat belts. History will look back on the '50s as a time when cars were developed with style and personality that would last and make it the classics for endless years to come. This was a time when girls may not have known the name of a boy but they knew what kind of a car he drove. This classic is owned by Dave & Gloria Harmon of Billings, Montana
1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Hard Top
With the production of the 1955 Chevrolet, the phrase "Double Nickel" started. It referred to the '55, '56, & '57 Chevy's. These three years of production have been the most popular years ever for Chevrolet Classics. General motors spent over $40,000,000 to retool for what was to be one of their greatest design changes. It would be recognized by the automotive world as the definitive car of the '50s. The properly equipped 1955 was a major fast track competitor, only to have the Cherry's withdrawn from racing in 1957. This car underwent a five-year, frame-off rotisserie restoration. The engine is a 350 cid coupled with a 350 Turbo automatic transmission and a Pontiac rear end. A Firebird sub frame, air conditioning were but a few of the new additions that were added.
By the time the '55 Chevy was gaining sales, Ford was making a big push trying very hard to take the number #1 spot in the nation. For a time it looked like they may just pull it off. It was not to be as Chevrolet held on to the number #1 spot. To let you know just how good Chevy was, in NASCAR and other tracks in 1957 Daytona Speed Weeks they took the first three places in a two-way flying mile for class #4 (213-259 cid) thirty three places out of thirty seven places on class #5 (259-305 cid) the average speed would top 131.076 mph. In the Pure Oil Manufactures Trophy Ford had 309 points to Chevrolet with 574. Even with the ban on racing, Chevy still got a lot of support provided by "underground-racing."
1922 Hispano~Suiza Phaeton
This Hispano~Suiza H6 was built from 1919 to 1934. During that period, approximately 2,500 cars were produced. When they were introduced in 1919, there were a number of technical features including; 6-cylinder engine with 7 main bearings, full pressure lubrication, overhead cam and a 12-volt electrical system. This car also came with 4 wheel brakes. The 16 inch aluminum drums were made with cast in steel liners. This car holds a patent for power assisted brakes The interior is unique to a 4-door phaeton (side curtains) not roll up glass windows. Top speed of this car is about 95 mph with 135 bhp. The cubic inch displacement is a large 402.6. An updraft carburetor that was designed with a serious flaw, the breathing was restricted. With a wheel base of 145.201 inches is one of the largest cars ever built. The cost of 5 new Michelin tires is in the range of $2,400. This car exemplifes the quality and excellence of cars produced during the 1920s. The owners have gone to great lengths to make this car able to compete in world class events like Hilton Head Concours and in Hershey, Pennsylvania and North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Owner: Bill & Sandy Culhane Billings, Montana
1974 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Picture in your mind's eye, a man recently retired, the corporate world in his rear view mirror when his wife Beverly spots a 1974 candy apple red Corvette parked in a shopping center. It was love at first glance. Gary asked the owner if he could take it for a drive. The rest as they say is history.
This L-82 happened to be in excellent condition. The former owner was a Montana Highway patrolman had given this 350 cid with a 3/4 cam, Edelbrock carburetor and intake manifold adding a 2500 stall converter. This Corvette is unique, In 1974 when we faced an oil embargo from the middle east, Corvette sales accerelated while other sales declined.
Corvette had a 102 inch wheelbase until 1962 when it was shortened to 98 inches. In 1984 it was again shortened to 96.2 inches where it remained through 1996. Production in '74 was 32,028 with a dry weight of 3,309. The price was just $6,082 or to put it another way $1.84 per pound. Even the new body style, which was introduced in the middle of the great middle east oil embargo, did not dampen sales, on the contrary sales rose. By the end of the year GM would no longer offer their big block.
Gary & Beverly Tieszen Billings, Montana
Current Owner: Kathy Carson Billings, Montana
1970 Oldsmobile "442"
There were many muscle cars produced during the '60s and '70s that would become among the most sought after classics of our time. Oldsmobile produced just such a car with its 442. This car came with a 455 cid V-8 engine producing 370 bhp and a functional hood scoop. Acceleration isn't a problem with its 400 automatic transmission. Oldsmobile came up with what could be termed a cartoon character when they were marketing the 442 as "Dr. Oldsmobile's W-Machine." There were quite a few problems due to the government new emission control standards.
Fortunately for Oldsmobile, they had the type of cars that the public wanted, and their sales showed it. They were among the top three in the nation. Brian's first car was a 1973 Olds 442 2-door hardtop. He was not aware at the time that he had a rare car. This turned out to be only one of 830 ever produced that combined the Hurst 4-speed transmission with the 455 cid engine. He liked the body lines better on the '70s and decided to sell his '73 when he purchased his '70 442. The '70 was in good shape. In the years since he purchased it, only minor restoration has been done on an ongoing basis. He recently had the 442 engine balanced to perform as it was intended. Brian is a Oldsmobile kind of guy- he's never driving anything else and he plans to keep it that way. GM produced only 1,688 of this model only which sold for only $3,151.
Brian Vannoy Billings, Montana
1953 Cushman Scooter "Barrel Spring Eagle"
This Scooter was completely restored from the frame up, they retained the original power train with all matching numbers. A few enhancements have been added: chrome, burgundy red paint and naugahyde dyed in a checkerboard pattern. This "leg over" Barrel Spring Eagle model came with an 8 horsepower cast-iron engine and a centrifugal clutch with a two-speed transmission . Top speed is about 40 mph ... with a good tail wind. It originally came with a side car which will be restored to match the paint and the upholstery.
Cushman started in 1903 in Lincoln, Nebraska, by 1910 the company became Cushman Motor Works. In 1913 they started making the Husky four-stroke engine. In 1936 they began production of the Auto Glide Scooters to increase the sales of their Husky engines during the great depression. Our Armed Forces used these as a way of saving gas and as an alternative to the use of cars both before the war and after. The Eagle was in production for 16 years.
K Dan & Jeanette Koch Laurel, Montana
1967 Pontiac "GTO" (Gran TurismoOmologato)
In the 60s, we were presented with one of the most dynamic cars to give us the muscle, style, durability and price all in one. As our war heros were returing from Viet Nam they had a car to meet their every need, this car was designed by David North of Billings, Montana. A hot car got even hotter when they dropped big block engines in these cars. Until now you could only dream of going 0-60 in just 6.6 seconds. The quarter mile took only 14.4 seconds achieving 99 mph. You were able to build your GTO starting with the Tempest coupe hardtop or convertible. You would get the GTO package, a 389 V-8, floor shift, power steering, stiff shocks, dual exhaust, premium tires all for about $300. A 4-speed gear box for $188. Add a heavy-duty radiator, metallic brakes, no-slip rear end, or a big block of 360 cid and you have a lead foot special for just $190 more. This car was compared to the Ferrari... "It will beat it on the drag strip and lose it on the race track." The Ferrari in 1967 cost $20,000 while the GTO was $3,165. Pontiac produced 728,734 cars in 1967 with only 65,176 destined to become GTOs.
Augie & Patsy Bentz Billings, Montana
1974 Plymouth Roadrunner Absolutely nothing was spared in the building of this roadrunner from Wyoming. The beauty of it is matched only by its performance on the road and on the track. To the speed buff, this car has it all, a 528 cid Hemi with all aluminum cylinder heads. It will produce 729 bhp with 629 foot pounds of torque using pump gas. A Kesslew 5-speed transmission with a 410 Currie rear end complete the power train. Brett purchased this car in 1981 at the age of 17. His car payments were $ 60.50 per month. He then started a low budget restoration in 1991 before the car was placed in storage for the next 15 years. The major frame-off rotisserie was started in 2005 and almost every part of this Roadrunner had to be made to order. That's where the superb talents of Tim Thielen were put to the test building building this one-of-a-kind car. It is not unusual for expenditures to total over $150,000 for a project like this. Bruce Ryniker of Billings, Montana, designed the Plymouth Roadrunner for the Chrysler Corporation in the 1970s. Brett & Annetta Sayer Sheridan, Wyoming
1956 Airstream Bambi 16-Foot
1956 was a great year for those who were to travel the highways of our nation. The "Bambi" proved to be a perfect choice due to the fact almost any car could pull it down the highway without any effort. Airstream created the "WOW factor" when they made this unit. This "Bambi," with its featherweight of only 1850 pounds and its aerodynamics, made pulling up hills a snap. They came with several floor plans to suit the buyer needs, including sleeping for four and a fully self-contained bathroom. Just as an airplane can glide thru the wind with out any effort, so can this Airstream Bambi. Using a monocoque construction with an all steel chassis, alloy body framing, all metal under-body with a Duro-Torque suspension they would add a classic interior to top it off.
The Airstream you are looking at has undergone a complete 100 % restoration back to the original factory speciations when it was built in 1956. On a scale of 1-10 this would deserve a 10 every time.
Don & Marilyn Brocopp Billings, Montana
1935 Ford Coupe Togetherness would be a way to describe this 1935 Ford Coupe because two people had to sit so close together! Ford called this "The Universal Car." There wasn't any other car in the world used by so many people as the Ford. It gained its reputation as being the symbol of faithful service. This new model provided an improved ride along with smooth body lines. It out sold all other cars produced in 1935 largely due to its performance driven 110 bhp flathead V-8 engine. Speed could easely top 100 mph if you dared to drive it this fast. This was also the year Ford would have external horns on their cars. You had to spend an extra $20 if you wanted the Tudor trunk over the fordor fast back. Production totals were over 87,326 for the year. The cost of this car was about $ .20 per pound.
When Zane and Karen Gray purchased it in 1993, it was from a very good friend who needed the money more than the car he loved so much. This good friend who later passed away, was a professional mechanic with a vision for building classics. A good friend, Mike Nutting, has adopted this car taking it to shows and now enjoys it as much as the Grays. Keeping this car original has led to great excitement among car buffs. Zane & Karen Gray, Billings, Montana
1948 Frazer 4 door sedan
Frazer .... "A post war car" .... made for population in the United States at a time when there were a very few to options to choose from. A new company in a sellers market at the end of WWII should have been a piece of cake, at least that was went thru the minds of Joseph Frazer and Henry Kaiser. Joseph Frazer was a young businessman with big ideas. He enrolled in a technical college learning his sales skills with Packard, General Motors and the great Pierce-Arrow. He gave Plymouth its name in 1928. He purchased an old line company, Graham Paige Motors from which he was able to build the now collectible "Frazer". Money problems persisted and he was soon to merge with the the famous Henry Kaiser, the tycoon of the west coast sand & gravel, and war time builder of the war time builder of the United States Liberty Ships used during WWII.
Built as a 4-door sedan only, the interior space was a large, at 64 inches the front seat was to be the largest for a sedan. 80 percent of the inside could be used for interior room. The Red Seal Continental 6 cylinder engine was a 226.2 cid. They produced about 100-115 bhp and were manual 3-speed transmissions only made by Borg-Warner, If you wanted an overdrive it would cost you another $80.00. Selling price was $ 2,712.00 or about $ . 80 cents per pound.
1956 Chevy BelAir We are entering into the world of Dan & Nancy’s 1956 Chevrolet “BelAirette” as they call it. They both grew up with the double nickel cars, ‘55, ‘56 and ‘57. To them, they were the most popular cars of all time. As young people, they loved them, drove them, and now they own them. They were at a Show & Shine car show in Cody, Wyoming, in 2003, shortly after purchasing their ‘56. They were introduced to Rick Moore of Belfry, Montana. He was considered to be a top body and paint man. If ever there was a bond between families, this was it. Rick was given the task of restoring their ‘56 Chevy. He turned out to be very good at his chosen profession. They asked him to complete the restoration on two pickups they owned for some time as well. The two families have become great friends and spend time at car shows and family outings. This car was driven to Santa Clara, California, to have the upholstery done by Finish Line. They used Austrian Leather—the trip was worth it. In making this BelAir their BelAirette, they added an L-S2 400 plus bhp Corvette engine, GMPP 4165 overdrive transmission and stainless steel exhaust. They complete the restoration with air, tilt, cruise and power windows. They added Goodyear Eagles and had them mounted on Budnik wheels for looks and safety. This car retailed for $2,025 with a production run of 104,849. —Dan & Nancy McDonald Cody, Wyoming
1970 Dodge Challenger
When Cathy's husband, Pat, drove up to their home with this car on a trailer, she couldn't believe what she was looking at. The first thing that came to her mind was a "rust bucket." There was no front end, no glass, not even a grill. After a long, agonizing look at this car, she still found it hard to share her husband's vision.
After about 3 long years working endless hours, the car started to come together. Once the primer was on, Cathy started to share his enthusiasm. The truly exciting part of this build was when the old 318 cid engine was removed and the new 360 cid with dual Edelbrock was installed. After all, Cathy had just to walk around it on the garage floor for more than three years! This highly modified engine puts out an estimated 400 plus bhp. Cathy was in the kitchen the first time Pat revved it up -- the windows shook, the dishes rattled and then a beastly noise was coming from the garage. She admits, she was hooked from that point on. The paint wasn't cheap, about $1,000 per gallon, but they both admit it was worth every cent, Cathy now has the car of her dreams, thanks to a loving husband.
Pat & Cathy Bentz Billings, Montana
1950 Willys Jeepster Phaeton Convertible
Duane purchased this rare 1950 Jeepster with a factory 6 cyl. in 2000. It was a basket case as it came from the eastern states and suffered badly from the rust where salt was the demon on winter streets. A frame-off was the only option for restoration. The factory power train was in very good condition. The designer of this during WW II was a man named Brooks Stevens. His inspiration came from the Willys Jeep and he wanted to make a sporty touring car. The convertible top had to be operated by hand. The term "Phaeton" relates to "no windows to role up or down." Curtains would only be plastic or other material. The front passenger seat would fold down for easy access to the rear seats. The bodies were all steel and the chrome was very good quality. The Jeepster came only in a two-wheel drive. A paint option was a two-tone on the belt line which flowed into the windshield frame. The 1950 Jeepster was so rare that only 1778 units were sold nation wide. To look at it another was, it cost only $ .60 per pound new. Factory selling price was $1,490
Duane & Joanne Demars Billings, Montana
1964 Oldsmobile Cutlass
It may be referred to as the "rite of passage," and then again, it may just be the high point of a young man's life -- his 16th birthday. On this special occasion, Mark got the keys to his first car, a 1964 Olds Cutlass.
This car took him through high school, college, his first job and a wonderful honeymoon when he married his best friend Julie.
As the family grew, the Olds went into storage where it stayed for the next 18 years. Finally, the time came when he wanted to restore it. His dad Jerry Weitz, owns a successful trim shop and thats where they spent most of the next five years working on it. Kelly Martin of Billings, MT did the body and paint. The engine and transmission were rebuilt elsewhere. The rest of the car were restored to original new condition with both son and dad working together.
The engine is a 330 cid with 310 bhp. 15,440 were produced and sold for $2,644 factory fob.
Mark & Julie Weitz Sheridan, Wyoming
1973 American Motors Javelin AMX 401
With a limited production of 4,980, the Javelin has become a highly desirable muscle car from the 1970s. This car is a testament to Ted & Jean's ability to accomplish a task once they commit to it. They found this car in a junk yard. It had done battle with a phone pole in 1982...and lost. The windshield spoke of the need for seat belts.
During the cars restoration, which spanned 26 years, they used it for their family car. They were able to keep the Pierre Cardin interior in perfect condition. Everlast of Bozeman, Montana, did the body and paint using the original factory colors. In the last few years, the 401 Go Pac engine was rebuilt using a Holly 670 carburetor, Headmon headers and a Torker manifold. The hood has a functional cowl induction built into it. Only a few cars made it off of the production line with the BW-T10 four speed transmission. While at a car show, they were surprised when the original owner - the same one jousted with the telephone pole - introduced himself.
With a price tag of $3,190 and a curb weight of 3,170 pounds, the car cost about $1.00 per pound.
Ted & Jean Basler Belgrade, Montana
1957 Chevrolet Pickup
Mike & Katie became the second owners of this Indian Turquoise 1957 Chevy Pickup when they purchased it from the original owner in October of 1991. This pickup was purchased to haul lawn mowers that needed repair for a high school business, this is something that had never been done until now. June of 1994 brought the completion of a full frame-up restoration paid for by many repair jobs on lawn mowers and an untold number of lawns that were mowed.
Mike's 57 has been a continual project ever since they declared it finished. In 1998 they added a 350 turbo transmission and a custom console. In the summer of 2000, they replaced the sub frame from a late model Camaro. This gave them a better ride and added power steering. They also added a 10-bolt posi-traction rear end. Unable to leave well enough alone, they replaced the 283 in 2004 with a tunnel ram 355 small block. This pickup is a part of the family and is often driven by both Katie & Mike. They give a great thanks to their parents along with Clint's Restoration.
Mike & Katie Mills Glendive, Montana
1967 Plymouth GTX
The proud owners of this 1967 GTX 2-door hardtop are Michael Hicks & Marilyn Moe. This car was neglected in an open air shed for eleven years. They purchased it from the original owner for $300. It was in rough shape and had flared wheel wells and a spoiler on the trunk for drag racing. Nobody really cared back then! The back seat and door panels were in perfect shape -- guess they never went to the drive in! They ordered as many parts as their budget would allow for a year. Two good friends, Steve and Justin Cooper helped them put the car together in a mere five days. What fun they had! The car is far from perfect as none of them had attempted a complicated task before. It's amazing how a classic brings smiles and great conversation. There longest drive was from Billings, Montana to Virginia Beach, Virginia. Many people asked if they would make it. Their reply was " what did they drive back in 1967." This car has all matching numbers, a 375 bhp 440 engine, 727 transmission geared by a 323 posi-traction rear end. Mike's fastest time at the drag strip was 14.10 at 98 mph. And yes, Marilyn also raced it also.They are hooked on the 60s muscle cars. New this car sold for about $3,178 or about $1.12 per pound.
Mike Hicks & Marilyn Moe Joliet, Montana
1956 Ford Thunderbird
Dick & DJ Rosekelly purchased this beautiful 1956 T-Bird in 1980. It had been kept in its original condition factory condition. This red Thunderbird has both tops, a hard as well as a soft top. Jim Schmid, a professional mechanic, rebuilt the power train to Ford factory specs. Don Lennick completed the upholstery and replaced the soft top.
This V-8 with an automatic transmission will produce about 225 bhp. Production began in 1955, however the idea was born in October of 1951 at the Paris Auto Show. That was when Ford General Manager Louis Crusoe and styling consultant George Walker encouraged Frank Hershey who headed the team to put the T-Bird into production.
This car sold for $3,151 and weighed 3.038 pounds. Their were 15,631 produced in 1956.
Dick & DJ Rosekelly Red Lodge & Billings, Montana
1936 Ford Sedan
This 1936 Ford four-door sedan was truly a work of art, designed for the working man. Rollie & Dee Dee purchased this sedan in June of 2006. They wanted a classic that they could enjoy now, not in later life. This car went through a complete frame off restoration. Knowing that the old power train would not be the best for long drives the decision was made to do some up-grading. They added a 350 cid small block along with a 350 Turbo automatic transmission and a 8 inch rear end. A Mustang front end was added which gave it all the modern front driving components along with a smooth ride.
They were now able to go to car shows that they only read about or were told of by their friends. This was the way they choose to relive their youth and just be able to reflect back on the cars they owned in their youth.
Rollie & Dee Dee Topp Billings & Baker, Montana
1962 Chevrolet Corvette
The owner of this 1962 Corvette made a tongue-in cheek remark ... this is the one with the trunk. Indeed it is. When the final 1962 Corvette rolled off the line, along with it went the last externally opening trunk lid. many things were put to rest with this model year. It was the last year for exposed headlights and side cove molding and narrow white wall tires were on their way in.
Jon found this car in Aurora, Colorado in 1983 and purchased it from the second owner. The car was in very good condition. He loved the Sapphire Blue color, but the finish needed help. He gave it six coats of hand rubbed lacquer along with several layers of clear coat, giving it a professional show car finish.
This 'Vette has a 140 bhp engine with a solid lifter cam giving it a 11:25.1 compression ratio. The transmission is a four speed with 3:366.1 Positraction rear end. A new add on was a 2 1/2 inch exhaust pipes with dumps behind the front wheels.
There were only 14,531 'Vetts made in 1962. They sold for around $4,038 at just a shade under 3,000 pounds. This car has been driven to ahows in Idaho, Colorado, the Dakotas, Montana and to our neighbors to the north.
Jon Bourassa Park City, Montana
1955 Chevrolet Bel-Air 2 door post
When the '55 Chevy came on the scene, the image that Chevrolet was saddled with in the earlier years became moot. This blue-ribbon car carried with it the excitement the designers so desperately needed to jump start their sales. The Bel-Air was the greatest success story of all time. It was lower, longer and had a two-tone interior to match the outside colors. When Ernest and Myrna purchased this car back in 1986, they never dreamed it would become the icon it is today.
Andy Anderson, the former owner of Frontier Chevrolet in Billings, Montana, was retiring and decided to sell his collection of cars. This one only had 22,000 miles on it and still had the original tires on it. A 235 Blue Flame engine provided good fuel economy while using the 3 speed manual transmission.Gasoline prices when this car was made averaged only $.28 per gallon. They have only driven her 4,800 miles in the past 22 years. This car is considered a true survivor as it remains in its original condition. There 168,313 of this model made and sold for $1,888.00 or about $.60 per pound.
Ernest & Myrna Henschel Billings, Montana
1963 Ford 1 &1/2 Ton "Navy" Pickup
Old Navy trucks never die, they are re-born as classics for our future generations to enjoy. The early history of this Ford 1 1/2 ton stake truck was to lend support to our military. After they served their time, they too are returned to become a part of our past. Mike's father purchased this in 1970 to use as a farm truck to haul hay. They lived in Washington state and always parked it behind their barn. As everyone knows, Washington gets a lot of rain fall. When Mike got it from his father in 1994, their was moss growing an inch thick under the box and on the floor boards of the cab. He used it to haul freight for about a year before placing it in to storage where it remained until 2005.
Restoration began with custom made box and a rear bumper that will hold about 30 gallons of water for the horses when they pull their horse trailer equipped with living quarters. The engine for this F-500 was built by a speed shop in Washington as a high performance 312 V-8. This is one heavy hauler that can cruise at 100 mph. Mike did all the body work and paint with Charlies Paint & Glass of Lewistown, Montana, doing the interior. Mike kept this a secret project from his wife 'til the time was right. The dash still bears the nameplate of the "United States Navy."
Mike & Jean Little Lewistown, Montana
1973 Dodge Challenger
One of the most interesting aspects of acquiring a classic car may be how we obtained it. Darrell was looking for parts for a current restoration. He answered an ad offering a large collection of Dodge parts for $3,000. He called the seller and found out the parts were for a 1973 Dodge that had been dismantled with the idea of restoring it. Darrell knew he could use most of the parts and offered him a deal.
The fellow car buff took Darrell to another garage where he saw the shell of a '73 Challenger looking much worse for the wear. The man commented, "get it out of my garage and you can have it." Darrell held his breath and said, "I'll take it."
The Challenger underwent a rotisserie restoration. It was an original Challenger with a 440 six pack magnum with 289 bhp, a 5 speed transmission with 81/2 inch 323 gears for the differential.Its three carburetors were sent into Dodge to be refurbished at a cost of $1,200. Two years later with the help of Ross Campbell for body and paint and Darrell on the upholstery, this '73 has become an award winning show car.
Darrell & Jan Otteson Huntley, Montana
1969 Chevelle Malibu Convertible
Paul & Debra purchased this car from its original owner in 1978. The original owner drove this beauty off the show room floor at City Chevrolet in Great Falls, Montana. They started a complete frame-off restoration in 1995, which became a very lengthy process. They finished it in 2005. During that time, they installed a new, crated 454 big block engine along with designing new interior. The color is retained from the factory and is a stunning yellow. In 1969 Chevelle, still with its split-wheelbase, the A Body was restyled to look more like the full size Chevy's. This car is one of the most coveted collectibles among all of the classic cars.
Production of the Chevelle Malibu's convertible with a V-8 in 1969 totaled just 27,300 and sold for $2,743. Freight would add another $275. this would be delivered in Montana. If you were to look at it another way it would be $1.14 per pound.
Paul & Debra Nardella Livingston, Montana
1955 Chevrolet 2 Door Post
This is a 1955 Chevy that anyone would want for a daily driver ... that is if you have the nerve ! This beauty is equipped with a 350 cid fuel injected engine using twin turbo's and delivering 500 plus horsepower to the rear wheels. Take note of the special valve covers that read "Bill's Toy" and the remote tail light assembly that folds away for fueling up. The craftsmen restoring this '55 are all from Butte, MT: Wally Norley, body work; Burts Upholstery; Grey O'Leary, paint. The power train is rounded out with a 700 R4 transmission and a 9 inch rear end. Bill drove a car like this to high school and has been in love with cars like this ever since.
Chevrolet had a major body change from the '54 model. A sweep side windshield and twin-cove dashboard design with a central glove box added. Tubeless tires were just coming out on the market and dealers wanted customers to know they could be repair them. Now you know why Bill enjoys this Chevy as his daily driver --- it has power, speed, performance all in one. This car sold new for $1,888 new or about $1.66 per pound.
Bill Dickinson Butte, Montana
1961 Chevrolet Impala 2 Door Hard Top
The lines of the 1961 Chevrolet Impala were smooth and not as pronunced as earlier models. Taut new finless styling had arrived. Chevrolet followed the marketing strategy of Ford for several years during the 60s and yet continued to out pace their production each year. They did this with a winning team of designers who came out on top every model year except 1966. The era's most beautiful big Chevy might just be the 1961 hard top with its sculptured lines like a raised convertible top. Starting with 1966, all the automakers were trying to make a car that would appeal to every market they could think of.
This car was purchased new in August of 1961. Tim & Mindy became the second owners in 1998. Even though the car was in very good condition, it under went a frame off restoration. This original looking hard top has a 348 cube big block and a four speed transmission. The rear end is still the original that was in the car. Body work and painting was done by Kevin VanLarrshoven who is the owner of Trackside Auto Body of Billings, MT. Don's upholstery did a top quality job which adds to the beauty of this Chevy.
Tim & Mindy Brocopp Billings, Montana
1964 Ford Falcon Sprint
In 1964, the Ford Falcon Sprint came into its own when it appeared in the Monte Carlo Rally and finished second overall. Another Ford Falcon won the GT Class. In 1964, with a 109.5 inch wheelbase, the Falcon got its first major re-styling. This sporty two-door hardtop has a 302 cid, V-8 racing engine.
Bret first spotted this car at a show in August of 2000. It had so caught his eye, it felt like it was the only car at the show. Indeed there was a lot of work to be done, however he knew it had a lot of potential and knew it was the only car that he would ever want. The engine had to be rebuilt. The body rust needed to be repaired along with everything else. The factory 4-speed and 3.08 rear end were in good shape. Kevin's Customs of Billings painted it "Night Train Red." Mangum's of Laurel, Montana completed the upholstery.
Bret Ortgies Billings, Montana
1967 Chevrolet Camaro Super Sport
The dream of a lifetime came true when Sky got his classic completely restored in 2004 - a Camaro Rally Sport SS. It was factory equipped with a 350 cid small block producing 295 bhp, a turbo 400 automatic and 4.11 gears. This makes for one sweet ride. Although it was exclusive to Camaro for '67, it was soon to become Corvette's most popular engine. The only way you could have this engine was to order the Super Sport package, which was comprised of stiffer springs & shocks, D70-14 Firestone wide oval and SS emblems. Also included were the modified hood with extra sound insulation and the "bumblebee" nose stripes.
GM added excitement to the Camaro line with their introduction of the 1967's. General Motors chief designer, Bill Mitchell, watched over every aspect of design and production. Styling was perfect with its long hood, short deck and its chiseled profile added enhancement to the low-flowing body lines. When you add in the Rally Sport package, you got a grill with hidden headlights, tinted glass, air and cruise control. Other performance items, sintered-metallic brake linings, power front disk brakes, power steering and more. Base price on this car was $2,572. Options could add several hundred more to the delivered price.
Sky Dykema Manhattan, Montana
One-Off Tin Jalopy
While completing the book "Classic Cars of Montana & Wyoming" we turned down quite a few cars for this book because they weren't up to our standards. Somehow, this jalopy slipped past the review committee. It is truly a work of art and was built by David H. Masters of Joliet, Montana. It has its own permanent parking spot in front of another classic ..... the "Quick Stop Drive-In" located on highway 212 in Rockvale, Montana
1967 Pontiac Firebird Convertible
When Mike & Frieda located this '67 Pontiac Firebird in 1992, it was in running condition.
However, a lot of long hours were needed to bring it back to its pristine condition. The long winter that was to follow proved to be just what was needed to complete the transformation into a show car. This Firebird 400 convertible came with Tri-Powered carburation, automatic transmission and a 3:23 posi-trac rear end. It was equipped with factory air conditioning, power top, windows, antenna and a hood mounted tech, all new to this era. Added factory equipment power steering, tilt, spoiler and a console, all part of the 400 package.This car would do 0 to 60 off of the assembly line in 6.2 sec. with a top speed in the quarter mile of 98 mph in just under 14.4 sec. It sold for about $3,800 with only 15,528 produced.
Mike & Frieda Tyler Moore, Montana
1968 Chevrolet Pickup (Convertible)
The major transformation of this 1968 Chevrolet pickup started when a Yellowstone Park ranger truck was sold to the GSA through Whiting Motors in Livingston, Montana. It saw some very hard use in this law enforcement agency for 10 years. It was purchased at a public auction by a friend Gordon Williamson, who drove it for another 10 years. Roger purchased it in 1992 for $250 in fair condition after selling his 1969 Firebird convertible. Once again he felt the need for the wind in his hair and he knew he needed a new project. After he removed the top from a perfectly good cab, he welded the windshield panel from a Chevy Blazer to the side posts. he then installed a tuned port fuel injected 350 small block. After placing the computer under the dash, he installed a Doug Nash 5- speed transmission.
1992 Chevy truck bumpers were cut and scribed to fit the front and rear. He built a front tilt hood by using the stock hood latch and rollers in the rear with guide plates. A reverse latch tailgate was made out of conduit and tubing with a steel skin. The gas tank filler was welded shut on the cab and gas tank, installing the gas tank between the rear frame rails. An aluminum tube framework was built for the removable gas cap cover. Another aluminum frame work was built for the bi-fold box cover. He covered it with the same material as the top.The seat was made from a late model Chevy truck with a power amp and speakers located in back of the seat. An old Pontiac gave up the tilt along with a Vega donating the steering wheel. The 16 inch wheels added yet another touch.
All the work was completed at his home except for the engine top work, upholstery & aluminum welding. After 14 years in the making, and lots of smiles later, Roger and Debbie have the wind in their hair again.
Roger & Debbie Boom Bozeman, Montana
1932 Ford Sedan Delivery
This '32 Ford is truly a gem that can compete with the very best at any car show in this great nation. I would simply describe it as perfection at every level and is only one of twenty six known to exist in the United States. The last "Deuce" Ford body to go into production was the sedan delivery, only 400 units were ever built mostly for commercial use. There are very few that remain today. Henry Ford built the delivery sedan by converting the very popular two door sedan by removing the quarter glass, adding a large rear door with window glass and a drip rail.
Don & Marilyn Brocopp Billings, Montana
1956 Ford Thunderbird Dick and DJ Rosekelly purchased this beautiful 1956 Thunderbird in 1980. It had been kept in its original factory condition. This red Thunderbird has two tops, the hard top as well as the soft top. Jim Schmid, who is a professional mechanic, rebuilt the power train to Ford factory specifications. Don Lennick was chosen to refurbish the interior and redo the soft top for the car. The battery, tires and even the carpet meet factory specs.
This V~8, with its automatic transmission, produces 225 bhp. This car sold new for $3,151 and weighed 3,038 pounds or about $1.04 per pound. Only 15,631 of these cars were produced in 1956. Dick & DJ Rosekelly Billings & Red lodge, Montana
1932 Ford Tudor Coupe
In 1976, Steve traded their just-completed 1949 Mercury Coupe for this 1932 Ford Tudor sedan, which was in excellent condition. It still had the original '32 flathead and all the stock running gear. They kept the car original for four years before installing a '59 AB Flathead V-8 and a '39 Ford tranny along with a '40 Ford rear end. From 1985 through 1987, they completed a full rebuild using a small block 350 Chevy, automatic, air, disc brakes, etc.
At that time Butch Adams and Chuck Burns of Sanford, Florida, helped with the body and paint. They have driven this car to several NSRA Nationals and other events throughout the southwestern United States. They have logged over 140,000 since the summer of 1987. In 2006 they moved to Montana. Then in January of 2007, they drove to Pomona, California, for the 75th anniversary of the Deuce Celebration. This car is now in the early stages of a complete rebuild again featuring a 1966 Buick Nailhead Engine and a four speed transmission. This remains a great fun car for all of their family to enjoy.
Steve & Judy Sorg Bozeman, Montana
1966 Buick Skylark GS
Dale started out like many of us searching for a car that would bring back the memories we cherished in our youth. He found it in this 1966 Buick Skylark, which was in very rough shape, yet all the parts were there to aid in the restoration. The problem arose when he could not locate a front fender anywhere in the country. He made a lot of phone calls; weeks turned into months. He just knew there was one out there with his name on it.
That's when lady luck smiled on him.
A friend told there was a Buick Skylark in an alley just 12 blocks from his home. Dale's search had taken him everywhere but under his nose. Much to his surprise, it turned out to be a 1966 Buick grand Sport, one of only 308 ever produced with a 4 speed transmission. The condition was, in his words, " barely salvageable". As of that day work stopped on the first car and started in earnest on the Grand Sport. During the next year, two cars were transformed into one with only a handfull of parts left over. A stunning black finish was created by the paint Doctor of Billings, Montana. Ken Metzker added his touch of class to the upholstery. Factory equipment included a Wildcat 445 cid with dual quad carbs, BW-T-10 4 speed transmission and 3;53 rear end gears.
Dale Ebersviller Billings, Montana
1961 Chevrolet Corvair Monza 900
The 1961 Corvair Monza 900 was among the most popular cars produced in this year. As the years went by, it was evident that small cars were here to stay. One of Corvair's main selling points was that one never had to buy anti-freeze, the car would heat up very fast when the weather was very cold. The Corvair was the only car to out sell the VW Beetle in the '60s.
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader intensely disliked the Corvair and sparked many angry protests when he penned, "Corvair unsafe at any speed." A 1965 exposé of the safety flaws of the Corvair. Many loyal owners showed their disdain for Nader by altering their cars after the fashion of Ferrari.
GM only made the Corvair from 1960 to 1969. The body style was only in production for four years. The air-cooled engine is a 145 cubic inch producing 80 bhp, and came with two single barrel carbs.
When Leighton & Sherri purchased this car in 2005, it needed a lot of work along with tender loving care. The restoration took two years. Kelly's Customs did the body and paint, Harold's Upholstery crafted the interior; both are from Billings, MT. The manufacturer's suggested retail price as about $2,200 and approximately 109,945 rolled off the production line. Detailed for show, yet a great car for fun.
Leighton & Sherri Petersen Billings, Montana
Dan & Carol are simply a couple who enjoy their time together cruising in their '49 Packard. They revel in the smiles it puts on the faces of strangers. We have all dreamed of winning the lottery or finding a gem of a car under a haystack in a long forgotten barn. While this story isn't quite that romantic, it is interesting nonetheless. This old car was hidden under an old khaki army tarp and buried under 50 years of junk.
Dan thought their might be something interesting under that tarp while he was looking at an old building for his business. He knew it was a vintage car, but wasn't certain about its condition. He carefully and thoughtfully negotiate building with the following stipulation, "if I have to take the trash, I get to keep the treasures." There were worn out trucks and debris from years of construction. After many contentious meetings, Dan got his way, the building and the Packard.
A frame-off restoration by Bill Leslie of Rocky Mountain Autobody was followed by a trip to Harolds Upholstery. Dan & Carol kept the original straight eight engine with the 3 speed transmission. They added a new battery and a few seals. With that she purred to life. A very special thanks to the craftsman who brought her back to pristine condition.
Dan & Carol Austin Billings, Montana
1967 Chevrolet Nova II
Few of us have had the same family car from our childhood. This story was relayed to me from the daughter and son-in-law who care for a lovely lady in her 90s. In 1967, at the age of 41, Priscilla Streeter purchased the car of her dreams, a Chevy Nova II. This car has become a member of the family and will remain so for years to come. It was this car that Jackie learned to drive on during her high school years. When her mother reached the age when she could no longer drive, she gave it to her son-in-law. This car is a true classic, yet it was nothing more than transportation to the family. A frame off restoration evolved with Butch & Jackie, and took 2 1/2 years to complete.
Everthing had to be taken apart, cleaned, sanded and made to look like new. After the frame came the powder coating and new parts. They installed a crate 350 small block GM engine producing 370 bhp and a 5 speed transmission. The power train was enhanced with the addition of a 3:08 posi rear end. Brian Schmidt provided the craftsmanship for the body, paint and upholstery. This is an award winning car. It became part of many car shows, parades and the "Burn the Point" in Billings. New this car sold for $2,435.
Butch & Jackie Renner Billings, Montana
1972 Chevrolet Cheyenne
The truck that was named after a famous western town that was made famous by the great cattle drives of the 1800's.
On their way back from Las Vegas, Alan & Sharon drove thru Sheridan, Wyoming, they spotted this beautiful 1972 Chevrolet Cheyenne pickup. They fell in love with it and purchased it on the spot, largely because it was in such great shape. Ther power train has a 402 big block, coupled with a 400 automatic transmission and a 323 rear end. They hired Triple T Inc. to paint their classic this stunning black color. Although it may be in top shape they intend to do a frame-off restoration. This will result in a major up-grade in the near future.When they arrived home with their new purchase, Allan asked his wife to pull it into the garage. A very loose cam had allowed it to idle at 13 - 15 hundered RPM. By the time she got it running and in gear she was headed for the garage where she got half way in before it stalled. The long and narrow of it is, he had 2 black marks on the floor where the truck went sideways and almost hit the garage door opening. She doesent drive it much anymore.
Alan & Sharon Bull Billings, Montana
1971 Pontiac LeMans
Tom purchased this 1971 Pontiac LeMans December 31, 2005, in Great Falls, Montana and the work began. Here is a list of what he did to make this his dream car.
Shaved door handles Custom made dash Painless wiring system
Autometer gauges Aluminum radiator B & M Shifter
Ididit steering column Flexite cooling fans March pulley system
Air Conditioning Full Roll cage Procar seats
389 gears Turbo 400 transmission Crane 8 mm wire set
Coil over rear shocks,150 lb pound rating Electric exhaust cutouts on 3" exhaust
Interior: Miller's Upholstery, Great Falls, MT Original Parts door panels
I had the car painted in Pennsylvania. Ninety-nine percent of the work was done in our shop north of Joplin, Montana. Future endeavors: Tunes & a 700 R4 transmission.
Tom Wood Joplin, Montana
1950 Chevrolet Deluxe 2 door post As with any project, restoration of an old classic can be a challenge. This car was no exception. It sat in a grove of timber for more than a quarter century waiting for someone like myself to come along. It never was on a paved road, never had a radio, and a half bale of hay was still in the trunk. There were no brakes and needless to say the tires were all flat. A home made trailor hitch hung sadly from the bumper.
Our goal when we started this project was to keep this "old school" like we had it in the 50s. We replaced every component. We installed a GM small block 305 cid, turbo 350 transmission and a nova rear end. Without any rust the body work and paint were relatively easy. The interior was done to reflect the 1950s. We added disc brakes, air conditioning and seat belts for safety.
In 1950, gas was 21 cents per gallon and the license plates were only $3.50. A drive-in-movie was just $ .50 per person. Many a teen would hide in the trunk to get in free. Often times, entertainment during the intermission involved a rabbit running around on the big screen while the cars with spotlights would try to "catch it". Like many teenagers, Joanne and her girlfriends would put $ .50 worth of gas in her dads car and cruise the drag for a couple of hours!! Off the show room floor, this Chevy sold for $1,523 ... you can hardly buy a TV set for that today.
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Hard Top The car-buying public gave this 1957 Chevrolet their greatest compliment with the words "sweet, smooth and sassy." When this car came off the production line with Ed Coles Turbo-Fire V8, it became the first production engine to make the horse power per cubic inch. The Bel Air became the king of the street with the production that broke the barrier of 1.5 million cars made and made Ford run to try to catch up. These are among the most coveted cars by collectors because they reflect the mid-fifties for all of us. General Motors produced 166,426 Bel Air 2-door hardtops, which they sold for just $2,299. At 3,360 pounds, this car cost $1.46 per pound.This restoration was completed in 1998 and has been driven about 3,500 miles per year to car shows through the western United States. Don & Marilyn Brocopp Billings, Montana
1956 Ford Sunliner Convertible
This 1956 Ford Sunliner convertible, acquired in 1986, has provided the best enjoyment they could have asked for. They found it in an area that a local rancher used for his junk yard. Not thinking it would ever run again he left it to just rust away. The 292 Thunderbird engine produces 200 bhp, the automatic transmission is a three speed. A frame off restoration was the first order of business. This was completed after spending many long months ... and many dollars. Larry Baumgartner did a masterful job painting their dream car. Ford's facelift in 1956 included a few safety features like a dished steering wheel, break away mirror and crash prof door locks. If you wanted a padded dash and sun visors you would pay an extra $16; seat belts cost another $9. Only 20% of the 1956 production had seat belts, performance on the road had a much higher priority. Ford made 58,147 Sunliners, which sold for $2,395 and weighed 4,384 pounds. Cost per pound was $1.41 to build.
Paul & Barbara Etchart --- Mitch & Donna Etchart Glasgow, Montana
1932 Ford Victoria "Perfection" Completed in the summer of 2004, it was painted by Jerry Gray and Bret McGinler. The body work was completed by Down's Mfg. using a fiberglass body with extensive support on a TCI "rolling chassis." Interior was installed by C & B upholstery in Spokane, Washington. During the building of this Street Rod, a 350 Chevy Ram jet engine was installed using a 700-R-4 transmission. A Currie 9" posi rear end with 3.70:1 gears, 11" front disc and 10" drum in the rear were added. This car was built with all the amenities to produce an award winning show car. The paint is Vermillion Red/Harley and Vivid black and custom pin stripping by Von Rago of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. It was chosen to be shown at "Hot Rod's and Harley's" an invitation-only at the Tacoma Dome. In 2005 it wan 15 awards in 15 shows/events including "Gotta Drive Em" category at Good Guys West Coast Nationals in Pleasanton, California. Jerry & Suzy Gray Belgrade, Montana
1955 Ford Fairlane Sunliner Convertible..... This '55 Ford Fairlane Sunliner convertible was purchased in 2005 in great shape. The former owner had spent hundreds of hours to make this the show piece it is today. It has a custom convertible top with the rear window of a 1940 vintage era. This car has the original 272 cid with tri-power set up to produce about 185 plus bhp. The black paint is in very good condition due to only 40,077 actual miles on this beauty. With a cost new of $2,224 this Sunliner out sold the Crown Victoria to the amazement of top management. The continental wheel kit, fender skirts and dual exhaust gives the impression this car is long on style with power to spare. In 1955 only 8% of the households had more than one car. Ford set out to change this with an add campaign of "Fords By The Pair". They suggested a station wagon and a convertible as a perfect match. Ford produced just 49,996 cars with an average weight of 3,315 pounds during this model year. The average price was just $2,224 or to look at another way it sold for $.67 cents per pound. Dick & Diana Anderson Great Falls, Montana
1954 Chevrolet Pickup When Mark and Heide purchased this truck back in 2002 at an auction, they never dreamed it would become what it is today. They paid $4000 for it and for the next year or so it remained parked in their barn getting driven very little. One day Mark decided it just wasn't that much fun. There was not much excitement in doing 55 mph tops ! The work then began in earnest with a frame off restoration, adding a 350 blown small block, turbo 350 automatic and a 9 inch Dana rear end. Thanks to Loran Chase of Billings, Montana., this interior is one of the finest and will compete with the very best from coast to coast. Mark and Heide also wish to thank Kevin of Trackside Auto Body for an unbelievable paint job. A painter for many years, he has become a true professional with the ability to produce top quality show cars and trucks. In 1964 this Chevrolet pickup received its first major re-styling with a large triple row of horizontal grill bars bisected with a verticle bar. Chrome grills were rare due to the increased cost, most all were just painted. The parking lights were incorporated in the new grill and were the same ones used on the GMC of the same year.
Mark & Heide Ventling, Laurel, Montana
1965 Chevrolet Impala SS The 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS is in a class by itself when it comes to luxury and style. This '65 has a high performance small block Chevy engine coupled with a 350 turbo 350 automatic transmission. The paint and its many layers of clear coat add depth and beauty to this convertible. Typical features included the SS emblems, leather bucket seats, and a central gear shift console with an optional tach. The SS had stiffer springs and metallic brake liners. The ultra-quick power steering had the best performance in the history of Chevrolet. Of the 1.2 million General Motors made, 46% were Impalas. The SS convertible sold for $3,199 and weighed 3,600 pounds. There are no production numbers available for this SS impala. Jim & Mileen Vanderburg Billings, Montana
1967 Ford Mustang Convertible The best way to describe this 1967 Mustang Convertible when it was found would be "A very broken basket case." In truth, it was just a shell. What a difference a full frame-off restoration made. Bodywork and paint was completed by a master at both, Jim Garretson, who placed ghost Mustangs on the hood, doors and the trunk. The 351 Ford Windsor engine was blue printed and balanced using Chevrolet oversized valves, rockers with an Edelbrock carburetor and intake manifold. The transmission is an automatic coupled with a stock rear end. A deeper grill, revised tail lamps, and sculptured side panels that come together with twin simulated air scoops, mark the 1967 Mustang. When this car was made, there were 44,808 produced and sold for $2,698. They weighed in at only 2,738 pounds which made the cost just $.99 per pound. David C. Anderson
2005 Ford F-350 Harley Davidson Edition Named "Mans Ruin" this is a class act. This 2005 Ford F-350 Harley Davidson Edition #2416 was built for the SEMA Automotive Show.
The equipment is as follows: Kellerman 12 inch Air Ride lift, Super Star wheels by KD with 43 inch Nitro tires. Pioneer Sound System with GPS, DVD with six monitors in dash, head rest and external cased. Sound system done by Rob at Hayloft Auto, fabrication by Steve of Fabcraft, lights by PIAA, running boards and rear step by ATS, push bar by Westin, Banks 4 inch exhaust system, design by Hayloft Graphics & Design. Air brushed by Matt Hubbard, powder coating by Armor Powder Coating, parts & assembly by Hayloft Autobody & Sales.
If you want a high-rise view of a race, the aluminum box rises 9 feet in the air, complete with video and sound recording equipment. Open the door and the step drops down for easy entry. Many of the items featured are specially made of this truck. The murals painted on each side are true works of art featuring the Viet Nam War on one side and the Hayloft Girls along with racing cars on the other. Frank Miller Lolo, Montana
1929 Ford Model A 170-A Sedan This model is one of the rarest of models, primarily because it was first produced in late 1929 and only produced for a few months when the new 1930 models appeared. The model 170-A is refered to as a Blind Back because of the lack of a rear quarter window.
Ford made another four door sedan without these windows that are sometime confused with the model 170-A. These are the "leatherback" model 60-A with a brown simulated leather top produced in 1928 and model 60-C, called the steel back, which also appeared later in 1929 and had no leather on the top, just steel (with the traditional top material in the center, of course).
This Model-A was restored by Frank Politelli of Southern California and first shown at the 1998 Reno National Model A Convention sponsored by the Model-A Club of America. The cars are judged according to how closely they resemble the condition of the car in comparison to the month and year the car was built and would have appeared in the Ford showroom. This vehicle qualified for blue ribbion judging but was entered in touring class judging at Mr. Politelli's insistence. However the cars are judged the same in both classes. This car received 451 points, well over the 400 out of 500 needed to receive the First Place Award. As I recall, it was the 5th highest scoring in this national meet, a very impressive achievement ! This car was later shown at the Southern California Regional Model A meet held in Temecula, California and also received a first place award. Jim Beley purchased the car shortly after this meet. Craig and Karen purchased this car May 22, 2006. Craig & Karen Swenson Billings, Montana
1957 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible Richard & Pat purchased this 1957 Pontiac Bonneville new when they got married from Jim Brooks Pontiac in Helena, Montana. This was the very first year for the Bonneville, all of which were convertibles. The emergence of the Bonneville from the old man's car to a young man's car was made possible with styling that was bolder, and more youthful, with performance that would move it to the forefront. Many amenities; power steering, electric seats, windows, and an electric antenna. Power brakes and longer leaf springs were added for an easier ride. This car was equipped with a 300 brake horsepower fuel-enjected engine, hydraulic lifters and a racing cam. Only 630 of these convertibles left the factory. At $5,782, they were the costliest and fastest Pontiac ever made. This fuel-injected version was timed at 18 seconds in the quarter mile. As strictly private entries, Bonnie cars raced with distinction in NASCAR. Richard & Patricia Proul, Helena, Montana
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtop They acquired this 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-door hardtop in 1982. It was in showroom condition and completely stock. The 283 small block with a four speed transmission and 411 gears make for smooth driving at highway speeds. There were not many cars that had electric windows and electric seats. Like most cars of the '50s era, the '57 Chevrolet would be considered the defining car based on public perception. Only 166,426 of these Bel Air sport coups were made, selling for about $2,299. The car weighed 3,278 pounds on a 115 inch wheelbase. Typically, they were loaded with many extras, adding large profits for General Motors. Seven engine choices were available from the basic 140 horsepower six, all the way up to the 283 CID V-8 "Ram Jet" fuel injection, producing a full 283 brake horsepower. In June of 1957, Chevy became the formidable competitor on the NASCAR track and other stock car events. During the 1957 Datona Speed Week, cars in class 5, (259-305 CID) were able to take 33 of the top 37 places. The fasted car averaged a speed of 137.076 mph. This was in the Pure Oil Manufacturers Trophy points award, Chevy won 574 points to the runner up Ford, with 309 points. When these cars were built, the average worked made $4,230 a year. The average family income was $5,034 with doctors earning over $22,000. If you were the everyday workingman, your earnings were about $2.08 per hour. Work for women beyond the family was limited, their wages were much lower than men and good paying jobs eluded them. Ken & LaDeen Dykema Manhattan, Montana
1957 Chevrolet Pickup
cool ride by any standard, this '57 Chevy half ton has it all. Charlie installed a 350 cubic inch crate motor equipping it with an Edelbrock 600 carburetor and a cast iron crank case. A Durashine manifold with a mild blower cam gives it just enough acceleration. The turbo 350 transmission makes an excellent choice for the road trips, which are quite frequent in this family. Steve Johnson did an excellent job chopping the top and then appling a showroom paint job with flames and graphics.
In 1957 General Motors did a mild facelift for this new model, including a new grill and oval fender badges. They flattened the hood and gave it two longitudinal bulges that many used to install the windspit ornaments that were found on the Chevy cars. A collector will give it "thumbs up." It has enormous cargo and people capacity. Replacement parts are in good supply. Charlie & Eileen Fisch Townsend, Montana
1951 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery Their dad looked for several years trying to locate a 1951 Chevrolet Sedan delivery. He wanted to fix it up to look like the original one that he and his wife started the business with.
Mick spotted it in the rear view mirror of a pickup that he was driving. It was in October of 1978. Unfortunately, his father passed away in June 1978, four months before they found this vehicle. Two doors were welded shut, bumpers welded on, roof and hood caved in. The engine was not running as the oil was like tar. The original 216 engine and three speed column were still in the vehicle. Mick shared the story of his dad's dream with a group of his friends called the Big Sky Street Rod Association, of which he is a member. These guys adopted this project and turned it around in just 45 days, complete with painting, graphics and lettering.
His folks called this car their "Panic Wagon" and his mother was the driver. She handled all the deliveries of flowers daily throughout the community, along with 3 kids bouncing around in the back. The rose etched in the back window was the original logo for their store.
The Gainan's delivery van was presented the 1st Christmas without their loving dad, in loving memory of "The Founder" to their mom, Betty "Gramma G" (Panic Wagon) Gainan. Mick & Lynnette Gainan Billings, Montana
1932 Hupmobile - Model 216-B There are only nine of these beauties registered. Scott found this car in Fort Collins, Colorado in a garage where it was parked for 35 years. He began the restoration by powder coating the frame. All of the original suspension was used. The body, which is all wood, was found to be in very good condition. He treated the wood to retain its original construction. The body remains completely uncut and unchanged. The car has drum brakes, no heater or air conditioner and no windshield wipers. he reworked the wiring and steering column, added new gauges, race seats and more interior wood. There was not any rust found on the body. The engine is a chevy small block with a 700R4 transmission. The body work and painting took only about two months. He is one lucky guy ! Scott Remus Loveland, Colorado
1957 Plymouth Fury Sport Coupe The 1957 Plymouth Fury Sport Coupe was a product of chief designer Virgil Exner of the Chrysler Corporation. It was known for its "Forward Look." Purchased in 2000 by Howard & Rosetta, this original Fury is painted off-white with gold trim, a new production color for 1957. Even the air cleaner had gold color on this new V-800 dual-carb 318 cid. This engine was new to the Fury hardtop, was the biggest in the low priced field. It developed 290 bhp and 320 foot pounds of torque. The transmission was a torque flit push button 3 speed. Designed more than four inches wider and three inches lower with tall "shark fins". It was truly one of the best styled cars of the year. Production was 7,438. Selling at $2,925, built on a 118 inch wheel base it weighed 3,595 pounds. Howard & Rosetta Barrick Bozeman, Montana
1949 Mercury Coupe One of the most beautiful and sought after cars is the 1949 Mercury Coupe. This one is amazing in every way. It is a complete customizied version with a chopped top, suicide doors and flame fender skirts. When Dick purchased this car in 2001, he could only visualize what it would look like in the years to come. The ghost flames are some of the best quality I have seen, and from every angle they appear a different shade of blue. From the reset custom tail lights, shaved door handles to the graphics of this car on the fire wall, you will find an eye for detail. The interior can only be described as striking with its blue and white trim through out. When you find a car in great shape like this one was, building it into a dream car was made much easier. Retained was the 302 cid and the automatic transmission. Building a car like this may take years and it also takes a loving wife to give encouragement when things are not going well. Dick & Diana Anderson Great Falls, Montana
1950 Ford F-1 Pickup - "The Green Lizard" Trucks of the post war years were some of the best ever made. This truck belonging to Jeff Richardson, is no exception. Rugged style and durability are hallmarks of this classic. Jeff restored this F-1 in 1982 only to up-date it in 2000 - to a certain point. It has a 302 cid with a B&M blower, a C-6 automatic transmission with a Ford 9 inch rear end and 3:55 gears. The front suspension is a Mustang II IFS, giving it a lower look and increased road handling ability. He was able to use the original stock seat with crushed velvet covering. This pickup is known to all the car buffs as the Green Lizard. Ford spent $1,000,000 yes one million dollars to design and tool this cab with the comfort of your best arm chair. Ford styling rebounded from the 1948 models with a popular multi-national grill. Ford also used the term "Bonus Built" for their trucks. Jeff Richardson Billings, Montana
1969 GMC Pickup General Motors Corporation has a very colorful history. Included in that history is this 1969 GMC pickup. Founded in 1901 under the name Rapid Motor Vehicle, GMC's very first engine was one cylinder. Two companies decided to merge in 1911. The name change followed in 1912 - General Motors Truck was born. Their first new truck became the star of the New York Auto Show. In 1916, they drove from New York to Seattle in 30 days. GMC made 600,000 of these trucks for World War II. Their solid reputation lives on.
When Brett & Annetta first saw this truck in 1990, they fell in love with it. They both felt it would be a wonderful Valentine's gift to each other..... something to enjoy for years to come. They have been customizing it ever since. They finished the truck in 2007 with a Ram Jet 502 with factory air, tilt steering wheel and an automatic 700R4 transmission. Tim Thielen did the mechanical work and added a 4:56 rear end. Tod's Custom Paint did the body and paint and TTT Upholstery did the interior. Both companies are located in Sheridan, Wyoming. Brett & Annetta Sayer Sheridan, Wyoming
1968 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible There's nothing like the thrill of the chase! General Motors called it the thrill of the ride. They dubbed the 1968 Camaro the "Hugger" for its ability to give the feeling of a true sports car. GM had to play catch up because Ford had a two year headstart with the Mustang.That being said, the Camaro production figures rose sharply in each of the years '67 to '69. Bill Mitchell was the chief designer of the Camaro and gave it the long hood, a short rear deck, and a chiseled look to appeal to the sports car minded who needed room for the family. Mark and Kathi sold their '62 Chevy and were experiencing that empty feeling that only a car buff knows. They yearned for another classic and had been looking around when a co-worker told them about this Camaro convertible. It had the original 327 engine with an automatic transmission. The person lost interest after failing at the restoration.
After purchasing this car, or shall we say the parts, they began a total, frame-off restoration which took two years to complete. The flaws were numerous and took many hours to correct. Rod Stoddard did a remarkable job on the body and paint; Mark did his own upholstery. This car has won many major car shows throughout the north west. It is one classy convertible. Mark & Kathi Tronstad Billings, Montana
1972 Ford Mustang Boss Mach 1 The last BOSS?! Will we ever know? This 1972 Mach 1 may have been the last Boss 351 engine ever placed in a Ford Mustang. This car has matching numbers and rolled off the production line in early October of 1971. It is also the 181 st car built in 1971. Ford had planned to continue production of the Boss 351 into 1972, but pressure from the insurance industry and rising gas prices put the kibosh on what was possibly the fasted production car ever made. The last four Boss 351 engines were cast and assembled in June and July of 1971. This car has one of those engines. It was custom ordered by a Ford district manager in Cincinnati, Ohio. Nate purchased it in 2005 when it was just partially restored. The restoration took three years at the nation's top restoration school, Wyotech of Laramie, Wyoming, for the body and paint. Nate completed the upholstery himself. The transmission is a C-6 automatic. The value of a car like this will be determined as the few remaining cars become even more rare. New this car sold for about $4,124 and weighed 3,281 pounds. Nate Murphy Billings, Montana
1932 Ford Highboy From the time Bill was just 8, he had this fascination for the '32 Ford. He got his glimpse of the '32 in Pismo Beach, California. 42 years later, he got envolved with cars in earnest. Bill and Karen starter Gold Top Restorations, specializing in building and restoring Corvettes. But in the back of his mind was his dream of owning a '32 Highboy.
In 2002, he purchased a Rod Bods '32 to build using the parts he collected over the years. He just didn't have the time needed to complete it. he realized he was going to have to bite the bullet and purchase a '32. In April 2007, they went to the N.S.R.A. event in Bakersfield, California. He found the '32 of his dreams at the T.C.I. booth. The owner Jerry Schultz, and Bill hammered out a deal. After all these years, Bill & Karen had their Highboy.
The body work was done by Jerry Schultz, paint by Bills Hot Rod Shop, both of Oakdale, California, Sid Chaverz of San Francisco did the upholstery. They installed a ZZ4 350 Chevy engine with a 700R4 transmission and a Currie rear end. They're now having the time of their life traveling the National Parks in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, Riding in style where ever the winds may take them. Bill & Karen Verboon Tetonia, Idaho
1957 Chevrolet BelAir Four Door Hardtop The greatest way to relive our youth is through the creation of one of the happiest moments of our lives. Jerry and Cheryl did just that with their unrelenting dedication to each other by recreating a car like the one that carried their worldly goods when they went off to college. The average person would never think of starting a project of this magnitude, but then you haven't met jerry & Cheryl. They purchased it in the northern city of Sunburst, Montana, where it was stored inside for at least twenty years. A journey of six years started with a rotisserie frame off restoration and required three donor cars to complete the job. You may ask why they chose the two-tone colors of Sierra Gold and Adobe Beige. Simple, it was the original color scheme of their first car. Steve Dahl of Dahl's Auto Body in Three Forks, Montana, completed the body and paint work; Mount Helena Upholstery of Helena, Montana, completed the interior. Jerry installed the 327 cid, which produces 395 bhp, adding a 4-speed Saginaw transmission and topping it off with a Dakota Digital dash. The '57 Chevy was regarded as the defining car of the '50's .... an honor it holds today. Jerry & Cheryl Lehr Three Forks, Montana
1956 Chevrolet Nomad A lady with a sense of humor, flare for life, or simply adventuresome, no matter how you say it, it fits Karen Gray. This mother really didn't want to buy this car. After all, there are more important things to spend money on. This '56 Chevy Nomad was up for sale at a sheriff's auction. On a lark, she asked a friend to throw in a ridiculously low bid as she left for work. The next thing she knew she owned a Nomad.... and did it need restoring! She thought the entire matter would bring about a divorce, the money was needed elsewhere. However, when she took a look at what she had, she fell in love. It's now her driver. Who ever thought a station wagon would be cool. Thoughts of her mothers station wagon brought back many good memories. She recalls her mother cruising at around 60 mph, taking her foot off the gas, and the station wagon just rumbling. After all, it was loaded with Cub Scouts, golf clubs and dogs. It was an adventure, GM said this wagon stole the thunder from the high priced cars. Today it is a true classic to car collectors. Only 7,886 were made and they sold for $2,608. Karen & Zane Gray Billings, Montana
1962 Chevrolet Corvette The right place at the right time ... it happens! So it was when Chris came upon this 1962 Corvette for sale. His father always had a Corvette, so it was natural for his son that he would have one of his own someday. There were only 14,531 cars produced during the '62 model year.
Equipped with a Chevy 327/360 bhp and a four speed transmission and sporting a Positraction 3:36 rear end, this is a true sports car. This car needed a lot of TLC and during the next year, Chris spent many long hours, not to mention a lot of money, giving this car the attention it deserved. His goal was to get rid of all the after market items and replace them with GM Corvette parts.
The car can be traced back to Butte, Montana, where it was originally licensed in 1967. The owner paid $600 for a new '68 Corvette engine from the factory. Later, the car changed hands many times. Each new owner added his own touch to it.
This car predates both Chris & Dillie. They have the privilege of enjoying it nonetheless. The will also enjoy the day to come when it is passed to their children.
The 1962 Corvette was the last to have the solid rear axle, which was typical of this time period. It gave a feeling of handling the later 'Vettes did not have. The quality of craftsmanship slipped a bit with later models due, in part, to increased production runs. Corvette enthusiasts use the term "Classic" on cars made through the '62 model year. It sold new for $4,038 and weighed 2,925 pounds. Chris & Dillie Schaff Worden, Montana
1969 Chevrolet C-10 Pickup
In America, the pickup is a way of life. We have grown up with it and embraced it as a symbol of the American work ethic. Travel to Europe and the pickup as we know it is scarce to non-existent. Ed and Linda purchased this one from a student attending Montana State University in 1998. The student was then able to pursue a degree of her choice.
They drove it to Anchorage, Alaska, where the basic restoration began. Work was incredibly slow until they returned to Bozeman, Montana. That's when Andy Rizdol was selected to complete the body and paint. After installing a 350 cid small block Chevy engine, they added a 350 Turbo automatic transmission. The bed of this pickup was crafted out of a very unique Mountain Ash wood. Red Barn Upholstery of Chino Valley, Arizona, installed the interior completing the restoration that spanned five long years. The truck now lives the good life in Prescott, Arizona, occasionally making the trek north to Montana ... during the summer. Edward & Linda Harter Prescott, Arizona
1957 Buick Special Rivera With its innovative styling, this 1957 Buick Special Riviera became one of General Motors crown jewels. This 2-door hard top model 46R has a 122 inch wheelbase and a 250 bhp nail V-8 to power it. The body lines were longer and lower than previous years. Reliability was considered excellent and featured better gas mileage than the '56. The body is very quite with great attention given to the interior design details including comfort and convenience for driver and passenger alike.
When Gary purchased this car in 1986, it was sitting on a K-Mart parking lot for sale. He drove the car as-is for two years before putting it in storage for the next 14 years.
Wives being what wives are, they have a way of making a point. Gary wanted to buy another car. Patti agreed, but with the stipulation that he had to complete the Buick. Note: Gary's newer car is still unfinished. The Buick, although in fair condition, needed restoration. American Auto Body did the body and paint. Gary had the skills to do the interior by himself. A friend Clark Elliot, rebuilt his nail head engine. All-in-all, the restoration took a mere two years to complete. The black paint has a heavy pearl, which shows off very in the bright sunlight. It sold new for $2,704 and was one of 64,425 manufactured during the '57 model year.
Gary & Patti Ugrin Billings, Montana
1967 Chevrolet Corvette You've probably heard the one about the 'Vette found in a barn ... yep, that's the story with this gem. When John & Ann purchased this 'Vette in 2006, they became the fourth owner. There was still a speeding ticket in the glove box from 1974.
This 1967 split window coupe is a true survivor with all matching numbers, a 327 cid, 350 bhp engine with an M21 4-speed transmission and a 3:70 Positraction rear end. The paint code is 988 -- Marlboro Maroon with a black leather interior. the starbust aluminum wheels were an option, made for only one year to accommodate the new wider tires used for this years Corvette.
John added some safety features such as power steering and brakes and spiced it up with an impeccable paint job by Rimrock Collision Center of Billings, MT
The 1967 Corvette became a car that never should have been built. Chevrolet had plans for an entirely new body, which got delayed by a year. The new body did appear on the 1968 model. This delay resulted in the '67 being regarded as a premium collector ca among sports car enthusiasts. Most of the emblems were left off of the '67, which made it the most appealing and sleek of all the Sting ray bodies.many of those who opted to wait for the 1968 model regretted their decision later on as the '67 became regarded as one of the "best of the best." The GM Mark of Excellence appeared only on the '67 Vett's door jamb and was exclusive to this model year. John & Ann Peycke Billings, Montana
1966 Mustang Convertible This car was purchased in Glendale, Arizona, in 2007. The 55 year old grandmother who owned it referred to her Mustang as "Sally." She mentioned that her little "girl" was kind of shy, but once she was out in the sunlight with the top down, she warmed to everyone. "Mustang Sally" had plenty of sunshine living in Arizona.
This car is an original C code with a balanced 289 cid V-8, C-4 Cruisematic with a 2:80.1 posi traction rear end. It was professionally restored by Chandler Auto Body Restorations of Chandler, Arizona. It has a Pony interior, factory air and allow street wheels.The dual Valance Trumpet exhaust tips provide a mellow tone to the pipes. With the GT package, it has firmer suspension, power front disc brakes and a wood trimed steering wheel. There were 72,119 convertibles made in 1966, with a total Mustang production of 197,190. The show room price was $2,653 ... or about a buck a pound. In 1966 the median age buyer for the Mustang was 31 as compared to 42 for the full sized cars. Craig & Karen Swenson, Billings, Montana
1955 Chevrolet half Ton Pickup Chevrolet pickups were at the top of their game when they made the '55 Chevy Half Ton. Its styling was innovative with the first wrap-around windshield in the industry. There were many features for the '55 like the egg crate grill and the unique hoods that covered the headlights. Visibility was enhanced with a full size rear window that was also a trend setter. New creature comforts included power brakes, a key start ignition complete with a 12-volt electrical system. Dennis purchased this Chevy in 1993 in very good condition. He was, however, not totally satisfied by it and began his own customizations. He started with a frame off restoration. He added a 350 cid small block, a Camaro 3-speed with a Camaro differential. Jim Vannoten did the body work and the very talented Kevin VanLaarhoven added the masterful ghost flames. Both men are from Billings, Montana.
The tombstone in front of the "Hot Rod Garage" serves as a testament to "Friends Building Hot Rods." Three good friends, Ed Jensen, Terry McConnell & Dennis Kaercher are in the process of building a '67 Camaro 502, a '55 Chevy Convertible 502 and a 1930 Chevy delivery van. This 6000 square foot garage was built by Dennis and his friends. it has an 1800 sq. foot luxury home at one end, complete with a pool side hot tub, which is great for parties and invitational car shows. Dennis Kaercher, Billings, Montana
1951 Ford Woody Country Squire The 1951 Ford Woody Country Squire will forever be remembered form the films made on Malibu Beach --- a surf board strapped to the top or hanging out the tail gate. The mystique of that era is still fresh in our minds when we see one of these beauties driving down the road. The Country Squire had very low production numbers (29,017), making them highly collectible today. Most are found in museums. The automatic transmissions were called a "Ford-O-Matic," and cost an additional $159. New for Ford was the Safety Glow Control panel with "Chanalited" instruments and recessed dash controls. This car recently went through a frame-off rotisserie restoration in California. As an homage to its surfing' history, this car features a unique surf board inside mirror and a few other amenities; Tan leather interior, bucket seats, 460 ci Ford engine, louvered hood, 10 inch front disc brakes, 9 inch rear end, maple frames, panels, 3-speed "Ford-O-matic" power steering, air conditioning, smooth fire wall, mahogany wood doors.
Also new wood on the wooden tail gate and a signed outside mirror complete this restoration done by Heiden Woodworking of Southern California. Milton & Rebecca Nickel Polson, Montana
1973 Pontiac Firebird Formula 400 The previous owner decided to take this Firebird Formula 400 apart, then he lost interest in the project. After a ten to twelve year hiatus, he probably forgot how it went back together. It was literally was packed into boxes. Nathan had always loved the '73 Firebirds and vowed to own one someday.
As a Master body & paint specialist, Nathan had a perty good idea of what needed to be done. After many long hours -- and the help of a friendly neighborhood banker-- Nathan built the car. It took him one grueling year.
This black beauty runs down the road as smooth as it looks. Of course it is helped down the road with a 400 ci block, a Tremec 5 speed transmission and a 3.08 differential. Nathan did all the body work and paint by himself. This award winner is a true testament to his skills and abilities.
These cars have a great history. John "The Duke" Wayne used a car like this to shoot McQ. This film put the Firebird through its paces chasing the bad guys. The Formula 400 gives the impression it's a fast car even while its parked. Only 10,166 were ever made and they sold for $3,276.00 Nathan Hale Bozeman, Montana
The Tank Car The man who owns this car refers to it as his "Outrageous Hot Rod." Randy Grubb originally built the car for a friend. It was crude by most standards and needed work done in all areas. This was a project with potential beyond what any man could ever wish for. Its fate was placed in the hands of a trusted and talented friend, Bernard Juchli, who has built many winning race cars throughout his illustrious career.
The guts of this car comes from a 2,100 pound, AV-790-5B tank engine originally designed for a M-47 Patton tank. This V-12 engine cranks out 810 horse (equivalent to approximately five 350 cid Chevy engines). Juchli installed an Allison 6-speed transmission geared to generate 800-900 rpms at 80 mph. The torque on this beast is monstrous ... more than 1,500 ft-lbs requiring heavy-duty torsion bars to prevent the body from twisting upon acceleration. They also added a new electrical system and massive brakes to rein this beast in. This air-cooled, 16 foot long, 10,000 pound machine is truly the ultimate hot rod ! The man pictured with Jay is none other than David North of Billings, Montana who designed the world famous "Toronado." Jay Leno, Car Guy
1961 Chevrolet Impala Finding a piece of junk. That's how Don Myers described this restoration project. With his knowledge of body work, Don was able to restore this '61 Impala in just two short years.
The restoration included a 350 crate engine coupled with a 3 speed overdrive, which makes for some great fuel economy.
A masterful paint job by Ron Henly and stunning interior work by Carol's Upholstery has made this an award winning show car. A rare bowtie hood release located just above the front license plate adds a special touch.
The Myers limit the amount of miles put on this beauty each year. They travel about 300 miles per year attending shows. it will never be in danger of becoming a "trailer queen." Don wanted a driver, something he and his wife could enjoy. Their delicate handling is sure to keep this car in showroom condition for years to come.
The bubble top Chevrolet is popular partly because its smooth lines give it both style and grace.
The car added a few inches and pounds beginning with the 1959 models. They were seven inches wider and about 300 pounds heavier than their predecessor. In 1961, the Impala's styling went in a new direction under the leadership of William L. Mitchell who replaced the retiring Harley Earl in 1958. Don & Georganne Myers Billings, Montana
1947 Nash Coupe The Nash automobile has had a very colorful past beginning with its debut in 1918. A man known as "Crusty" Charles W. Nash was president of General Motors, when he retired to build his own car, the Nash. The company he purchased in Kenosha, Wisconsin, produced a lackluster car called "Jeffory."
During 1947, there were 101,000 cars made. The Nash was the 10th in the nation. Profits were considered high. The decision was made to drop the 8 cylinder and concentrate on their proven 6 cylinder engine. George Mason, Nash's successor, knew a merger was the only way to guarantee their survival. Companies mentioned for merger were Hudson, Studebaker and Packard ... all now relegated to history and kept alive through restoration.
Dale's acquisition of this car was pure serendipity ... Dale had land for sale and a man had this Nash. The swap was completed in 2007 making both men very happy. The restoration was accomplished using a chassis, engine, transmission and rear end from a 1965 Rambler Station Wagon. Frank Momenson of Sheridan, Wyoming, did the conversion including body, paint, upholstery and mechanical. New, this car sold for $1,415. Dale Milligan Columbus, Montana
1967 Ford Galaxie XL A couple of years after Sandy and Roy got married, they bought a '68 Galaxy XL GT 428 cid, 4 - speed, white interior with bucket seats and a console. The car was all red with a gold stripe at midline -- full length. It is a gorgeous car and fun to drive. They kept it until the twins were born and then, with three girls in tow they jumped into life.
Looking ahead in time when their kids were on their own, they got to thinking how fun it would be to have a car like that again. Many sales and shows later, they came across this car at a weekly Saturday McDonalds Car Show (billed as the longest continuous weekly car show in the nation) in Scottsdale, Arizona. They looked at the car and thought it wasn't quite what they wanted (a '67, not a '68) and left. A few miles down the road, they looked at each other and decided they better go back and get serious! IT WAS GONE.!
The following Saturday, they returned to the show on the chance the car might be there again. IT WAS! After looking at the car again and getting as much info from the sellers they could, they told him they wanted to look at it in the daylight and if it looked as good as it does at night, they would take the car. It did and they did.
Their car was purchased new July,1967 in Winsted, Connecticut, and was passed to a son in Alanta, Georgia. It was then purchased by a collector in Phoenix who specialized in Fleetwood cadillacs (his parents had a Galaxie XL exactly like it) and they were in the right place at the right time when he ran out of space.
They got a lot of enjoyment from showing the car. Most people just look and then walk on. From time to time, however, it registers with someone that less than 1000 miles per year of it's life and is completely original with the exception of the top of one fender that had to be repainted due to an unfortunate incident with battery acid.
They have received many trophies, but the one they liked the most is the one they received from the Sports Depot Cruise in Manhattan, Montana. Of all the cars in the show, it was chosen "most likely to experience a romatic encounter." Roy thought Sandy might be upset about this, however her and her girl friends keep wanting to take the car out for the evening.....hmmmmmmmm
There were only 18,174 manufactured. They sold for $3,243 new and weighed in at 3,594 pounds. Roy R. & Sandra Rose Livingston, Montana
1970 1/2 Chevrolet Z 28 Camaro Beauty and the Beast best describes this muscle car of the '70s. Scott found this car in 1998 on a back street in Laurel, Montana. This is the 17th, 1962 to 1970 Camaro Scott has restored. The comical part is that he is a Lincoln automobile dealer, which makes his friends ponder his magical attraction to the Camaro. he simply replies, as so many of have before, "it's just an old love affair."
Every Wednesday evening for the past 16 years, you can find Scott working on a Camaro restoration. A lot of close friendships have evolved around the barbecues hosted on Restoration Wednesday's. They have chewed up tons of ribs -- and scraped a few knuckles -- all in the interest of the Camaro and camaraderie.
A close friend, Jimm Greer, did the body, paint and upholstery. The Z28 has matching numbers with an LT-1 350 cid engine producing 360 bhp. The transmission is a M-21 4-speed with a 12 bolt Positraction rear end. the ultimate sports car for GM was the Camaro Z28. Production figures reached 112,323 and the list price was just under $2,900.00 The car had a curb weight of around 3,190 pounds. Scott & Marcie Smith Billings, Montana
1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS GM produced just 63,006 of the 1967 Chevelle Super Sport (SS) muscle cars, creating a legacy that carries on to this day. Chevrolet marketing coined the phrase "quick size" when they referred to the Chevelle. Its handling ability made it nimble in the corners and it would stop on a dime, as they say. The 396 cid SS had many new safety features like a new shock absorbing steering column and push button seat belt releases for both front and rear. They also created smooth contoured levers and dash knobs to prevent injury in an accident. The face lift kit for the '67 was subtle and refined for a lean aerodynamic forward look. Tom found this car in Missouri for sale through a Classic car Sales office in Nebraska. It's 100% stock and in excellent condition with the ID/Warranty plate intact. This car is a driver, yet it's super clean. Only a hand full of cars out there have never been driven in the rain--this happens to be one of them. When this car was new, it sold for $2,825 ... or about $.83 per pound. Tom Lala Sheridan, Wyoming
1934 Ford 3-Window Coupe When we look at a street rod, we all have a different picture in our mind. It usually relates back to the time when we were young. Maybe this is what really keeps us young at heart. Ken is a car guy through and through. Time doesn't diminish that feeling just because a gray hair may show up. Perfection would be the way to describe the work Ken does.You see the details when you look at his collection.
The Street Rod you are looking at is a 1934 3-window coupe, one of the most sought after classics of all time. It has a Kugel independent front suspension with disk brakes. As an added touch Ken upholstered Ford Bronco front seats.
This, by the way, was the first car Ken ever owned. It was his main form of transportation for his first two years of college. many of us have wondered what ever happened to our first car.....Ken knows.
Ken is a professional automotive painter who started back in the days when he was a teenager. He painted this 1934 red and then added orange pears for a stunning appearance. It runs down the roar with a 427 Chevy engine, turbo 400 transmission and a Corvette rear end. The restoration took years --- not uncommon timing when you build a dream. Ken & Dilys Neibauer Billings, Montana
1970 Plymouth Magnum Cuda Ed Randash is a true Mopar guy who has a flair for perfection when it comes to the restoration of his favorite Dodge cars. What he has done for this 1970 Plymouth Magnum Cuda is nothing short of the impossible. He has taken this Cuda to an entire new level of excitement. "Famous Dave Frank" of Bunzie's Rod Shop in Billings, MT had accrued 1800 hours of build time for this project. It was built from a 2006 Dodge Magnum SRT8 6.1 Hemi 5 speed automatic.It has an Altercation tubular front end. It has Custom Wildwood powder disk brakes on all wheels.The rear end is 8 3/4 inch with 4 link and adjustable coil over shocks. It uses 20 inch Dub wheels and directional tires with TPMS. Both the front and rear glass has been flush mounted with the drip rails shaved, the bumpers both front and rear have been narrowed.
He installed a Dodge Magnum dash, seats, center consol, climate control with electric windowed and door locks. In addition to the intermittent wipers it has a tire pressure monitor system and air bags. All of its electronics and wiring were transferred from Magnum to the Cuda. A custom engine cover, front and rear spoilers were added. This Cuda is an award winner with "Goodguys". Ed & Linda Randash, Billings, Montana
1930 Model ACoupe Close friends and co-workers often can be the best source for locating the car of our dreams. This was true in the case of the '30 Model A Coupe. Vern wanted an old car to fix up. Perhaps his father or grandfather had owned one in the past. His co-worker's mother had a '30 Model A that, much to her dismay, none of her children wanted.
When he first saw the condition of the car, he shook his head. He knew the car was worth less than he offered, but he wanted it. His offer was rejected outright. His desire out weighed his concern for the cost. He upped the offer and trucked the car back to Montana.
The frame off restoration took more than four years to complete. Vern wanted this car to be as authentic as possible, right down to the 24 1/2 horse power motor and the three speed transmission. He was able to find everything that he needed. It was as if Henry Ford was handing him the keys to a brand new car.
Vern did the upholstery and trusted the paint to Everlast. This stunner has appeared in dozens of shows and has won a total of 60 trophies to date. Style was key to the designers of the '30s. They reduced the size of the wheels by two inches and added larger tires to lower the car. The gas filler remained on the newly designed cowl in front of the windshield for a smoother appearance. Vern & Irene Johnson, Bozeman, Montana
1965 Chevrolet Corvair Ron Hill, a GM designer, made major changes to the '65 Corvair. The lines he applied were sleeker and highlighted the pillarless hardtop as in the Italian sports cars. This Monza has a true independent suspension that allows for superior driving performance. Years ago, Mark and Kathi owned a Corvair. They loved it. That affection lingered for years. On a warm Sunday afternoon they were on a typical afternoon outing. They spotted this '65 Corvair that had been parked in one spot for so long, it was taking root. The paint was faded, the tires were flat and the sun had destroyed the interior. They really wanted this sweet thing.
With no one home, they took a chance and left a note on the door. When the owner returned home, he told them to come back and pick it up. They were truly surprised. Three years and a total restoration later, the car is a gem. Mark did the body and paint. Harolds Upholstery of Billings did the interior. It still has the flat, 6 cyl engine 110 bhp with a factory automatic. Only 88,954 of these cars rolled off of the assembly line in 1965. They retailed for $2,347.
Mark & Kathi are thrilled to have this beautiful little car that's fun to drive and has so many unique qualities. Mark & Kathi Tronstad, Billings, Montana
1963 Mercury Comet Convertible
This 1963 Mercury Comet Convertible remains completely stock dating back to 1962 when it was new. Like many owners, Robert Eggebrecht traded it for another car. In the spring of 1991, he was looking through a local junkyard for parts and found this old convertible. That's right. It was the same convertible he had purchased some thirty years earlier. It showed the ravages of time, but was still in one piece and, more importantly, it was restorable. He took it home and started to work on it. Soon it became apparent that the restoration was going to cost more than he could afford.
In 2001, Dan Koch bought the '63 from Robert Eggebrecht and began the daunting task of a full restoration . Dan rebuilt or replaced everything on the Comet. It has the original 6 cyl. ,170 cc engine with the Dagenham 4-speed transmission and factory 3.50:1 gears. Custom interior, carpets and a convertible top combined with all new chrome was just the start. The paint color was kept the original "Carnival Red." Dan added electronic ignition, a Holly carb, baby moon wheels and many extras to make it his own. Dan and Jeanette enjoy driving and attending car shows in their iconic 60's Comet. K.Dan & Jeanette Koch, Laurel, Montana
1971 Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport This 1971 Chevrolet "Chevelle Super Sport" was a mean muscle car developed during the 1970s. This car was in the category of "I just gotta have one." The man or women who lived for and loved extreme performance, felt right at home behind the wheel, whether it was on the drag strip or burnin' the point on the main drag. It was all about the horse power.
This car has a 383 stroker with a 100 shot of nitrous that can be applied if ever needed. The transmission is a tubro 350 coupled with a 12-bolt posi traction rear end. This power train has less than 600 miles on it. It has a "rev" limited with a BNM shifter complete with a lookout on the front. There is a computer chip installed to regulate the engine along with the Nitrous Oxide. The interior is in excellent condition with a rust free body. More than $34,000 was invested with this frame off restoration.
It's an age old story. A person puts in their blood, sweat and tears into a car and then must sell it for personal reasons. This is how this car landed on the block of a classic car auction in 2005. It has been an award winner at many shows throughout the country. Seanesy Gray, Billings, Montana
1931 White Bus A piece of our history has been preserved for others to enjoy with this 1931 Yellowstone Park Bus. This would have to be termed 99% original for those who study the past. Bus # 361 was repainted to its original yellow in 2004 for the Centennial Celebration of Old Faithful Inn. Historical records show this bus delivered passengers in 1931 when the Inn was only 27 years old. Eight buses were made for the Yellowstone Park Company, all still exist today. The new enclosed buses proved so popular that the wealthy would pull strings just to ride in them through the park. This 14 passenger bus has four long brown real leather seats, four doors on the passenger side and only one door on the drivers side.The floor and running boards are covered with tan linoleum. The tan canvas roof was designed to roll back, giving tourists an open view of the park. North Star Body & Trailer Repair completed the new paint job and Jerry Weitz crafted the upholstery. We owo a lot to people like Bruce Austin who understand the value and importance of preserving the treasures of Yellowstone National Park. Bruce Austin Nye, Montana
1929 Ford Highboy Roadster
A Highboy 1929 Ford Roadster like this one is meant to be driven. That is exactly what Rich & Sue enjoy doing. They live in a part of Montana surrounded by tall mountain peaks and lush green forest. The only problem they encounter is that the summers are just not long enough !
This Highboy was built during the winter of 1989 -90 in southern California by "Magoo", a respected car builder who is retired and enjoying the good life.
This car was bought and sold five times over a span of just a few years. Rich was able to contact all five previous owners and document his car's history.
It traveled the nation ... from California to New York, back to California, on to Minnesota, North Dakota and finally, Montana.
She's had a few modifications to the fuel and electrical system, and louvers were added to the hood. Of course paint chips are always an issue on a "driver", but that's a small price to pay. This Highboy is equipped with a Chevy 350 cid and a Turbo 350 automatic transmission.
1936 Buick Sedan Did you ever wonder what the neighbors may think when they see you dragging an old car home with the lower four inches rusted away ? Ask jay, that was the condition of this '36 Buick when he brought it home in 1985 - a recommendation from their local paperboy.
Restoration was a daunting seven year task. He did all the work himself. When you tackle a frame-off restoration and have to fabricate you own metal, you learn the hard way. Body, paint and everything but the interior, which he farmed out to Sea-Tac Auto Upholstry of Seattle.
The 350 small block Chevy with an automatic transmission came from a Nova that had plunged over a cliff. When you promise something special, she won't let you forget it. jay told his daughter that if he ever won a first place trophy, the car would be hers. He was chewing on those words as he watched his daughter, Nikki, load up his prize winning Buick in the back of a trailer and move it from his home in Seattle back to Montana. She loves the car and it has become a part of the family. "Thanks owed" to a loving Dad who kept his word.
1972 Chevrolet C-10 Pickup The year was 1969 when Brian's father was growing up. Like many young men, he was cruising around in his prized possession - a Chevy pickup. He told his son that someday his old truck would belong to him - it happened sooner than he thought. One day his "pride and joy" was driving his "pride and joy." A few years later, Brian spotted a 1972 short box Chevy in Nashville, TN. Someone spent many thousands of dollars and countless hours in a frame off restoration. When you examine a classic in depth, the trained eye looks for flaws in the most unlikely places. There were none. This pickup is not just for show, it's for a driver to enjoy, which simply adds to the fun. Power comes from a 350 small block with an automatic transmission and a 373 rear end. The Chevrolet short box pickup remains a collector's top choice for both investment purposes as well as personal appeal to the true truck enthusiasts. When the first V-8 was introduced to the Chevrolet line of pickups, the year was 1955. American culture was changing at a rapid pace. Shops specializing in restoration and customizing had become a big business.
1957 Chevrolet BelAir 2 Door Post One of the most popular cars of the '50's has become the classic of choice for many enthusiasts. These cars have activated the lure and appeal of a generation that today has made this one of the most popular classics ever. Who knows just what it is - the classic fins, bullet nose cones on the bumper or just overall styling in general. Perhaps it is a combination of style and performance. this beauty has a big block 454 with a 750 Holly carb. Couple that with a 6-speed and 373 gears and you are pumping out over 425 bhp, so fasten your seat belts and hold on for the ride of your life.! This car retained its heavy chrome bumpers and trim that it came with. Bill commissioned a fantastic flame job to J&C Body of Butte, Montana. A beautiful interior was added by Gotcha Covered Upholstery, also of Butte, who designed it to match the outside flames. Bill's youngest son has laid claim to his dad's car. No wonder!
1937 Ford Slant Back The 1937 Ford was a real trendsetter. It led the way by streamlining the body to reduce air resistance for better gas mileage. This car was pro-built by Sam Foose, father of Chip Foose of "Foose Wheels" and the popular "Overhaulin" television program. This is an excellent "driver" hot rod. The car is all steel with the exception of the hood sides. The body is pin straight and painted with a late 1990 Cadillac green. The original frame has been fully boxed in with square cross members added. They installed a Mustang II sub frame with 11 inch powder disc brakes for added stopping power. The engine is a ZZ4/350 with aluminum heads producing 350 bhp. A classic brass radiator was added for cooling along with powder coated headers and a Flomaster for the exhaust system. The transmission is a turbo 350 automatic with a Currie rear end. The electrical is supported by a 160 amp alternator with dual batteries to run the doors, windows, hood and trunk. Additional power was also needed for the 400 amp equalizer with its 14 speakers (mostly hidden) and the AM/FM Cassette 6-CD changer. Rounded door corners, Bear Claw latches and '48 frenched tail-lights add beauty to this stunning machine. The interior is leather and tweed and features 6-way power seats from a late model T-Bird. The steering column is from GM. It has a beautiful hand-painted wood grain dash with VDO gauges and a power retractable license in the rear. This car is a professionally built, turn key and just plain gorgeous.
1961 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Ron purchased this 1961 Corvette in Huntington Long island, New York, in 1963. It was in excellent condition. Now that he had this beautiful car, all that was missing was the beautiful women to ride around in it. Ron asked Maureen to marry him in the 'Vette ..... she agreed and the picture was complete.
After their marriage in 1965, they drove the car to Miami Beach, Florida, for their honeymoon. The Vette and their marriage are both classics of today.
The car is a true survivor ---- everything is original, including the Jewel Blue paint, which was only used on the '61s. It is equipped with a 283 cid 230 bhp engine and Powerglide transmission. An optional power top was added when it was purchased new. this car in considered a first generation Corvette. This year was the last with the external trunk and solid rear axel. The sports-car feeling is enhanced "elbow out the window" seating. '61 was also the first year for aluminum radiators and transmission cases along with a temperature control fan. The quality was at its peak in 1961, but started to slide in later years as GM started ramping up production to meet demand.
Only 10,939 were made and sold for $3,934. Ruppe's Corvette is truly a member of the family after 49 memorable years together. The family now lives in Hudson, Florida.
1966 Ford Thunderbird Convertible The 1966 Thunderbird became a proud moment for Ford. The styling was superb with its full width tail lights, cruise control and steering wheel buttons offered as a new option. In 1965 Clay and Joyce purchased this car sight unseen in Fayetteville, Ohio from its original owners. It was advertised in a newspaper by the Heartland Thunderbird Car Club.
Ford produced only 5,049 convertibles. Unique to this car was the 428 cid engine offered by Ford as an upgrade for a whopping $64. But the desirability of this car doesn't end there. It has red leather seats, Candy Apple red paint with a three tone red-on-red interior, and -- most important of all -- it has matching numbers.
It was a cold December day when they made the drive to Ohio to bring their new "honey" home in a trailor. A frame off restoration started in 2000 revealed major undercarriage damage from an earlier accident. This challenging restoration took a full five years to complete. Procraft Carstar did the body and paint work, Miller's Auto Interior did the upholstery; both business are located in Great Falls, Montana
Clay and Joyce have driven their honey to several Vintage Thunderbird Club Invitation Events where it now has senior car status. It sold new in Gary, Indiana for $4,734.23 and weighted in at 4, 496 pounds or about $1.05 per pound.