Mad Mod GalaxieWe've been pleased to bring you some of Brian Stupski's artwork in our "Stylines" column over the past couple years. You may recall in the January 2006 issue, Brian sketched several versions of a '63 1/2 Ford Galaxie. As always, we thought the images were cool, and apparently Jeff and Jason Allen agreed, because they commissioned Brian to visualize a '63 Galaxie that will be the next project at their shop, J2 Speed & Custom in Omaha, Nebraska.
Starting with an extremely pristine, low-mileage original car, the Allen brothers say they plan to restyle the Galaxie as closely to Stupski's rendering as possible, with tucked and reshaped bumpers and bold front and rear grille bars being primary visual mods. Underneath, Jeff says a '93 Lincoln Mark VIII will donate its independent rear suspension, possibly its front suspension, and its modular V-8 engine. A T56 six-speed and four-wheel disc brakes will help maintain a performance edge, while the interior will blend vintage flair with a few modern twists. From what we've seen, the Allen brothers work quickly, so don't be surprised if you spot this slick Galaxie at a show sometime soon.
Ruiter's WinnerCustom Rodder magazine may be going away, but it looks like the custom rod concept will live on, at least within the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association. In fact, it appears competition for the Goodguys/Eagle One Custom Rod of the Year award was as strong as ever last year, with Richard Ruiter's '55 Chevy convertible ultimately earning the honor.
Richard has built several '55 Chevys through the years, but none like this drop-top. The smoothed body features custom headlights and taillights, flipped bumpers, a custom grille, and DuPont Silva paint. It's built on a custom tube chassis that Richard designed and crafted, which sports a C5 Corvette front suspension, exotic Vette LT5 mill, 9-inch rearend, and Budnik wheels. A wraparound dash and yards of gray leather upholstery greet riders inside. Perhaps the coolest thing about this top custom rod, though, is the fact that it was built mostly in Richard's garage with the help of his two sons.
Other finalists for the Goodguys CROY were Larry and Barbara Loeck's '64 Cadillac, Ken Sarbo's '62 Chevy Bel Air, Brian and Charlene Baker's '55 Chevy, J.F. Launier's '51 Kaiser, and Kirby Wilcox's '63 Chevy Bel Air.
Time For A Merc?The concept of a pre-customized reproduction Mercury body has been marketed before, but perhaps never as boldly as Merc-N-Time is now doing it. The company's new '50 Merc is about as original as they come.
Designed by Donald A. Johnson and built by longtime Washington customizer Dean Arnold, the car's body features frenched headlights, rounded hood corners, and lengthened front fenders that move the cowl and doors back. A dramatic 37-degree-angle windshield flows into a radically redesigned top with distinctive dogleg-shaped rear pillars and heavily leaned rear glass. The lengthened decklid is flanked by reshaped quarter-panels with sharp creases leading down to a combination rolled pan/'57 Cadillac rear bumper.
Merc-N-Time will actually produce two versions of this bold new Mercury. One will be fiberglass, and will be available as a body only or a body-and-chassis package. There will also be 50 turnkey Signature Series models built in conjunction with Gene Winfield, with bodies made from aluminum. The Signature Series Mercs will have 4.6-liter Ford engines, Mustang II-style front suspensions, 8.8-inch Ford rearends, air springs, specially designed 18-inch wheels, and, of course, Winfield paint. Production of the fiberglass bodies was slated to begin in December 2006, with the aluminum versions arriving in the spring of 2007. For all the details, be sure to check out www.merc-n-time.com.