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Builders Showroom "Pick of the Week" - Divers Street Rods

This week's Builders Showroom "Pick of the Week" is coming to you from Divers Street Rods in Startup, Washington.  A shop that is well known around the world for finely crafted custom builds.  Suffice it to say a shop earns some pretty serious cred when they have a Riddler winner in their stable.  It all started back in the early '80's when Tim Divers found his nirvana volunteering at a Street Rod Shop and he has never looked back.  "Why follow the pack when you can be the leader?" was the founding principle behind the opening of Divers Street Rods.  Soon there after Tim added "Think out of the box" and "Dare to be different" to his mantra.  Rounding out the four principles Tim Divers follows in life as well as in hot rod building, "If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much room".  So the builds coming out of a shop founded on those principles are incredibly unexpected and over the top.  This week we're bringing you their 1950 Willys Jeepster, a pristine example of a hard working hot rod.  So, here's the skinny on this bad to the bone backcountry cruiser.  It's powered by Chevy 502ci big-block V-8, that was dyno’d at 502 horsepower  at 5,100 rpm.  Those wild horses are married to 4L85E automatic trans with a NP 263 transfer case.  It'll take what the backcountry has to offer with a custom Y link front and custom 4-link rear suspension with King 2.5 remote-reservoir coilovers.  The axles are Currie RockJock 60's with 4.88 ARB Air Lockers.  It has custom steering with a Chevy Silverado 2500HD box and a King stabilizer.  It rolls on 20x10.5 Trail Ready aluminum six-lug wheels with General Grabbers 35x12.50R20LT tires.  It has a custom interior that includes a scratch-built console with a makeover done to all the vintage stock gauges and instruments.  The seats are covered in black leather and have seat heaters and five-point harnesses: comfort and safety first.  The build if full of custom additions; “Willys” insignias scattered throughout the interior, a four-point interior roll cage made out of 1-5/8-inch steel tube and a custom rear hatch with a storage cabinet inside the tail.  The finishing touch on this radical rock crawler, the PPG Porsche Seal Gray base coat and Glasurit satin clear coat that was artfully applied by Divers finest.  This is one heck way to take on off roading.  Talk about cruising in style!

Now cast your eyes at one of Divers Street Rods finest.

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Till the next time - Keep on Kruzin!

Just Because It's Dang Cool

This is a sight you don't see every day, that's for sure.  Cast your eyes on this blazing beauty I saw at GoodGuys PPG Nats this year and I think it's the bee's knees.  In fact upon further research I found out I  was in good company with my thoughts about this rare ride because it was once dubbed the "Coolest Street Rod Ever" and spent a record breaking 8 months on the cover of Hemmings Motor News magazine.  Bob Merckle from Akron, OH is the proud caretaker of this iconic ride.  She's an all-steel, all-real 1937 Cord Westchester 810.  Starting life as a 4 door sedan, after 6 years of blood, sweat, tears and a hefty dose of incredible design she was transformed into one of the best-looking Street-Rods ever made.  Originally designed and produced by the venerated Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Company, the Cord was one of the most sophisticated and technologically-advanced vehicles of its day.  It featured such innovations as front-wheel-drive and hidden headlights, unheard of in the '30's. Oh and they were standard on the Westchester model.  Even the original transmission on this beauty was an early Automatic design.  All that and looks too, talk about the total package.  Now have a look-see for your self at this one of a kind rarest of rides.  

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By the by, the proud owner of this one of a kind ride, drove away the 20th GoodGuys PPG Nationals winning a Rodders Rep Pick award.  Well done Mr. Merckle, that's one sweet ride. 

Till the next time - Keep on Kruzin

Killer Kustom

Another killer kustom up for a kloser look.  This time "The Golden Empress" from Ryan's Rod & Kustom.  Now you might remember a little while back we did a Builders Showroom "Pick of the Week" on the build of this stunner.  So imagine my delight when I came across this aurulent knockout at KKOA Leadsled Spectacular and I got to get real up klose and personal with the her majesty.  While researching this ride I have come up some pretty fantastic deets about this royal ride and the stellar shop she came out of, Ryan's Rod & Kustom with one Mr. Chris Ryan at the helm.  I was informed that at the onset of this build her creation took on double duty.  First and foremost this cream of the caddy crop was built for Mr. Ryan's wife Lori, you see there was a smidge of sellers remorse after the sale of her '48 Caddy Convertible, replacement needed post haste.  Secondarily as the "Empress" started taking shape, Ryan took a shine to the idea of debuting her majesty at the Detroit AutoRama, where she ultimately earned three awards including The People’s Choice and Street Rodder Top 100.  But before that great end Mr. Ryan had to find a ride to work with.  He found one that was a pristine example of rust and neglect.  As in no floor pans, no rocker panels, and weather-beaten rot across the entire body.  Rust, rust and more rust.  Hit up the Builders Showroom "Pick of the Week" to take a peek at her starting point.  That condition of decomposition meant Ryan and his crew had to fabricate many, many new pieces for the body, in addition to custom headlight bodies, fenders and bumpers.  To get her royal self down the road Mr. Ryan chose a '59 Caddy 6.4L V8 power plant married to a GM 4L70E  tranny.  Those 390 cubic inches crank out 345 hp with a healthy dose of torque.  Befitting Royalty the "Empress" sports an ultra-rare Jot Horne 4×2 intake and Stromberg 97 carburetors.  According to her creator, there were only a handful of those intakes made in 1952 making it the perfect one of kind crown for this "Empress".  Both the outside and inside of this ride are done to perfection.  Not sure if you remember those leftover leopard print pieces in that rusted out interior?  With brilliant insight and very capable hands, the Empress now sports new front seats from a '64 thunderbird, custom built rear seats coated in alabaster awesomeness, as well as repositioned instrument cluster, center console totally tops!  Last but not least a custom blend of PPG's best that Mr. Ryan applied himself gives the Empress her liquid gold finish.   

According to Ryan, “.. the Caddy mill with the rare Horne intake and the chrome Strombergs are just kool as hell.  We were trying for a nostalgic look and I think we pulled it off.”  Friends, he pulled it off and then some and what a gas to be able to see this ride in person.  Now take a gander for yourself at her majesty the "Golden Empress", the Queen of Kustom Kool!

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Now take and even KLOSER look .......

Till the next time - Keep on Kruzin!

KKOA '35 Ford Panel Truck

This Kat thought outside the box and the result is a one of kind '35 Ford Panel Truck.  I told you there was so much going at this year's KKOA that I would have to take a "Kloser" look, well kast your peepers at this ride.  Talk about an original.  Brent Hollaway out of Golden Colorado knocked it out of the park with this build, which he did himself.  Panel truck you ask, well those panels were replaced with crank windows and the cargo area now houses a righteous bench seat.  And I know that interior caught your eye.  No fenders here folks.  And you know old Henry is smiling down from hot rod heaven and drooling over that Hemi Brent stuffed between the rails.  He did the all fabricating himself.  The firewall, the fender wells, the back window and tailgate.  From grille to taillights his stamp and clear talent are all over this homebuilt true original.  One look at this ride and yours truly wanted to grab her nap sack, cooler and tent, hit the open road and rustle up a clam bake or hoedown.  Talk about road trippin in style.  This Kustom treatment really floats my boat now kast an eyeball kause this baby's kool!   

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An even "kloser" look at this beauty.

KKOA's got going on and this show has chock full of KOOL.  Mark your calendars for next year.  Salina the last weekend in July be there or be ...

Till the next time - Keep on Kruzin!

"Pick of the Week" - Jeff Lilly Restorations

The Builders Showroom "Pick of the Week" is brought to you by Jeff Lilly Restorations, one stunner of a station wagon a '71 Chevelle four door wagon.  I must admit I have an extremely soft spot for this "draggin' wagon" because as a young filly I was carted around the greater Chicagoland area in one of these babies, although Mom's had faux wood paneling and maybe didn't pack quite the punch of this one, none the less this beauty brings back many fond memories.  This project is the manifestation of a customers desire to drive his family around town in style.  Mission accomplished in the very capable hands of Mr. Lilly!  This hot hauler was stripped down to the rails and every original factory nut, bolt and panel were removed, redone and and in some cases reworked to perfection.  The parts in need of repair were all custom-fabricated and the metalwork done by Jeff and his crew.  The only exception was the cowl hood, which is an aftermarket reproduction.  The bench front seat of my childhood was replaced with two bitchin' SS buckets and SS style door panels were made for all four doors.  Getting the fam to the fair one time, well probably with time to spare is a GM Performance Ramjet 502 married to a 6 speed Richmond tranny.  The crowning glory to this two year project was super boss coat of BASF Flyin' Purple.  Thank you very much Mr. Lilly I now have another vehicle on my wish list!  

It's been dubbed the Ultimate Family Sleeper, the Purple People Seater, Wonder Wagon and Way Gone.  Whatever the name this baby goes by this rides got it goin' on.  The ultimate non conformist Chevelle, it will never get lost in the crowd.  Feast your eyes on Jeff Lilly Restorations creation, the Ultimate Grocery Getter!   

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Be sure and check out Jeff Lilly Restorations All in one Gallery, their photos are as incredible as their rides.

Till the next time - Keep on Kruzin!