Most Improved Car

Here are the candidates for the Gents end of year MOST IMPROVED CAR award. Scroll down to see what our Gents sisters and brothers have been up to.

Have your special project hiding in the garage? Let us know and we’ll share it with our membership. As your project car progresses, we’ll update your entry with any new photos you send our way. Before and after shots are always good. Submit photos to d.carriveau@att.net

Rick Sawyer’s Corvette

Rick is hard at work making some serious modifications on his Corvette and wants to enter the mix.

Rick concentrates as he makes the critical skim adjustment on his Corvette’s beefed up sub- frame.
Proper tire clearance to wheel opening is especially important and must be maintained for maximum benefit under road racing conditions.  Rick had considered tubbing his Vette but wanted to maintain the classic’s originality. 
Rick welds in the new and beefier axle shafts ensuring torque without twist.
After a punishing run on the test course, Rick signals his satisfaction from a job well done. The best part…his ’63 looks totally stock at first blush, but watch out! 

Tony Whitcomb’s Custom 1991 Chevrolet S10 Tilt-Bed

Tony has provided the following information on the details of this build. One thing’s for sure, Tony’s finished S10 will be a unique head turner. The finished truck will have the ability to tilt its bed 45 degrees. Tubbed five inches to accommodate thirteen inch wide tires. Bored frame, tilt bed, custom engine cover with intake tube, two-inch rise hood, smooth front bumper. Next projects are interior and paint completion.

Engine block in place.
Sub frame and rear end added
Engine appliances and cooling system components in place.
Front clip aligned and assembled.
Tilting bed will be a unique feature of this truck.

Curt Donner’s 1965 Griffeth Ford 289 400 Coupe

Jack Griffith was a Ford dealer on Long Island, N.Y. in the ‘60s.  He received Shelby’s Cobra bodies and chassis from the U.K. and then loaded up trucks and sent them out to Shelby.  Griffith also raced Cobras and one of his employees drove for him.  That driver was Mark Donohue.  So sitting around the shop with these small European AC bodies stuffed with American V8s, Jack was presented with the idea of doing something similar with the T.V.R. Grantura car.  A U.K. fiberglass bodied, tube framed coupe with independent suspension on all four corners, but a 4 cylinder engine.  He got T.V.R. to send “roller” bodies on the chassis and convinced Ford to send the Ford SB V8 engines.  Jack created the Griffith 200 with the 200 h.p. 289 V8, Toploader 4 speed and Salisbury rear end.  A real rocket.  A similar setup as the early Cobras.
Jack then addressed some of the complaints about the “200” and came out with the “400”, better suspension, the HiPo 271 h.p. K code 289, Toploader 4 speed and the Salisbury rear end, and a re-worked rear body shape, actually similar to the Cobra Daytona.  The Griffith 400 became instantly successful, but scary if you didn’t know how to drive it.  They are NOT very well known because Jack was only able to produce 59 Griffith 400s due to a dock strike that paralyzed the ENTIRE EAST COAST!  He could no longer get his “roller” T.V.R.s from the U.K. and his Griffith Motors Co. died, killing the Griffith 400 production as well.
But that was NOT before the Griffith 400 had earned the nickname of “the Cobra Killer” due to it’s lighter weight, excellent suspension and high performance Ford V8 in a 2100 lb. car compared to the 427 Cobra that weighed in at 2355 lbs..
Routine Griffith 400 numbers include:
0 – 60 4.2 seconds165 m.p.h. top speed (notice the rod connecting the top of the windshield to the top of the dash to keep the windshield and top of the roof connected at top speed!)13.3 Qtr. mile103 trap speed

My Griffith 400 is #31 of the 59.  The “project” for this car consists of me deciding to pull out the original # matching engine to preserve it and installing a Blueprint 302 SB Ford with 370 h.p.  It should be done in a few weeks.  In time for car show season.  It has been restored and I have quite a few awards and trophies the car has won prior to my ownership.  These pictures show original engine in the car.  This first picture is the day it arrived at my house last Spring and got unloaded.

Curt Donner’s Superformance 427 “Street” Cobra Replica

I ’m having some work done to it down in Irvine, CA.  As you may know, companies like Superformance are NOT allowed to sell you a completely assembled car here in the U.S.  So you have them build you a “roller” and then you get to install the drive train.  This whole “build” has taken quite a long time.  Starting with ordering the build at the factory in Capetown, South Africa.  That took about 5 months before I got some “inspection” pictures.  Then getting it in to a shipping crate (see pictures) and loaded on to a Cargo ship for the trip to Long Beach, CA.  That took about 5 – 6 weeks.  THEN, as you may know, many of the world’s ports were and are closed down or at least backed up for many reasons.  My Cobra was on the container ship anchored off of Long Beach for about a month.  I should finally get it shipped up to me within the next month.  Here are some pics.

In the container with another Cobra.  Mine is in front.
Seeing the light of day.
Ready for engine.
Engine installed here in the U.S. in Irvine, CA recently. . . . Everyone wants an original side oiler with huge horsepower.  As you know, that engine was cast iron and HEAVY and made the 427 harder to drive.  The originals came with 410 h.p. which is what my Roush 347 SR is rated at.
I am going for that “Street version” look how Shelby built them at his facility at LAX.  From there, customers could order all the “other” stuff . . . bigger engines, roll bar, hood scoop with rivets, side pipes, SC dash layout, Hallibrand wheels, etc.  Notice that I have sourced a guy that makes the original style Sunburst wheels that I have mounted on the original size tires.  All four tires were the same size giving that extra space in the rear wheel well.  Just about everyone wants to fill that up with big fat “meats”.  Not me, keeping it original if I can.
No shifter or e-brake installed yet.

Rick and Gayle Milward’s 1925 Ford Tall T

Two years ago when this Covid-19 pandemic started and everything was shut down including all our car shows, Gayle and I pinched every dime we had and put a new set of Hoosier tires on the car. We tried to get them broke in a little and put some miles on them, and that’s when everything started, one thing after the other. The T started back firing through the carbs really bad, gauges stopped working and even my flood lights didn’t work anymore. We started with new flood lights and while installing them, smoke started coming out from under the dash, and I figured, where there’s smoke there’s soon to be fire. We cut all the power off, pulled the battery, and it was time to leave it parked and start doing some new improvements. Over the winter we had it completely re-wired from all old tube fuses, and all the old wiring, to all new wiring and wire harness, and new fuses, and then had the new flood lights installed. With my little melt down I lost all my stereo, including speakers , and my ahooga horn stopped working too. Thanks to a raffle the club had, I won a new set of speakers and installed them and purchased a new Bluetooth compatible stereo to be installed in the T by Car Toys, and I even had a new Ahooga horn installed.  Then we took the T in to have it completely tuned up with the carbs being totally rebuilt and new kits installed in them and timing reset to where it’s supposed to be set to run property. After having that done, Gayle thought a new look to the carbs would look great so she purchased a set of new K&N air cleaners for the carbs, the tall ones, for our Anniversary. Wow did it make the motor look so much bigger and tougher. We’ll after the T has been absent from car shows and the calendar shoots for the last two years, we are really excited about the 2022 season. 

Thanks for viewing,                 Rick and Gayle

Before Covid-19 2019 
New Hoosier meats
New Hoosiers
New Flood Lights
Old tube style fuse board and harness
New wiring, wire harness&fuses 
New stereo installed by CarToys
New K&N Air Filters10”TallOnes 
After improvements 2022

Jason Williams’ Charger

Looks like the competition is getting tough for most improved car. So I’ll throw my hat in the ring. My Charger is undergoing some major upgrades I’m the power train department. Currently it is down in Kennewick with kaizenspeed where it is having the factory 392 rebuilt with all new forged pistons and rods along with upgraded camshaft and hellcat valve train components. Once that is complete the edelbrock eforce supercharger will be installed and it will get a custom tune on there dyno. Once it’s back in a few months it will also be reviving a set of electronic exhaust dumps for on demand noise. Factory dyno numbers had it just under 440hp to the tires. With theses upgrades I should see numbers in the 600hp range. Pictures attached 

Looks fast even when parked!
Hang on!

Mike Pringle’s Ford F150 4X4 Tribute Truck

Mike’s completed 1995 Ford F-150 4X4 XLT Xtra Cab 5.8 Tribute Truck
At any angle Mike’s truck looks clean and ready.
Looks comfortable for that long haul.  Mike and son Rockne did all of the work themselves.
Nap Time
Mike’s restored truck wears these plates to honor his Uncle Marvin.

Gerry Esminger’s 1929 Tudor Model A Ford

Gerry found a “driver” ’29 “A” and has been doing a number on it. Jerry’s words: ” It was a driver when I got it and already had the flathead in. I’am putting a dropped axel and have a column and Vega box.” I’ts going to be interesting to watch this project progress.

The ’29 Model A Tudor as found
Gerry sandblasting on a cold but sunny winter day.  That’s dedication to his hobby.
Looking pretty clean, Gerry.
March 2022 Update:  Gerry has completed his ’29’s chassis, wiring, brakes, suspension and fuel system.  Next step, body and interior.
Looking clean and neat!
Seats installed and ready for a brake testing spin.
Looks like the chassis is nearly ready for the body drop.
May update: Wheels are on and body is painted and ready to join the restored chassis.
Gerry prepares to lower the body onto his A’s restored chassis.
Body in place and according to Gerry, “Not one scratch” in the process.

Jim Larson’s 1952 Ford 8N Tractor & 1956 Ford F100

Jim has been restoring this beautiful little Ford 8N tractor back to factory specs. He’ll be pulling it with his stunning 1956 Ford F100 stepside.


Jim Larson’s 1952 Ford 8N tractor and 1956 Ford F100.
Jin Hauls that little 8N around with his 1956 Ford F100.  A perfect match!
A perfect gentleman farmer combination.
Clean shop, clean restoration1
Pretty but all business!