Editor’s take note: When we introduced our September concentrate on restoration and customization, we questioned the local community to share its tales. And that’s what Mark Wojcik has done. We have faith in you’ll come across it as attention-grabbing as we have. Mr. Wojcik’s photographs and captions adhere to the textual content.
I’ll consider to make this quick. I can be incredibly ‘wordy’ when talking about automobiles! I’ve been an on-and-off subscriber to Hemmings for quite a few years, and I’ve usually believed of it for restoration elements and info. So happy to see the ClassicCars.com Journal is branching out into doing article content on customizing. I’ve been making rods and primarily customs for around 40 yrs, and I also do restoration operate as perfectly. But customs are in my blood.
My very first one particular was a ’55 Olds 98 that I did mostly by myself, at property, but I realized to customise and how to do custom made paint by an aged-timer who designed and showed a custom ’54 Merc back in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. He actually assisted do the chopped leading on the Olds back again in 1982 when I labored for him part time.
Above the several years I have finished a little bit in excess of 100 cars (105 I imagine), practically all were being entire body and paint, some as much as frame off. This is carrying out it in my spare time, as I have labored for Exxon Investigate and Eng. and Engelhard’s motor lab (later, BASF) whole time.
My greatest accomplishment has been the creating of the clone of George Barris’ Kopper Kart. I know you’ve likely listened to of it. My friend, Vic Collins, owns (the clone), and he and I, and several good friends, crafted it in my most current store powering my house, in Howell, New Jersey. I experienced taught the others how to do welding and bodywork, even undertaking guide do the job, prior to and during the develop.
My most current venture is some thing that has been envisioned by numerous artists and modelers. I’ve usually liked Oldsmobiles, but I begun out owning and rebuilding ’55-’57 Chevies, so I still have a soft location for them. The challenge in the back again of my thoughts since the ’80s turned truth when my extended-time good friend, Pete Chasse, gave up hoping to restore his ’56 Olds ‘88’ Holiday break coupe, thanks to health difficulties. I acquired the car or truck, and established about seeking for the components to develop it as a Nomad-design wagon.
I had already acquired two Nomad/Safari roofs, but they were being in really lousy condition. I observed a different on Extended Island, New York, and started the transformation. Vic Collins aided by securing a ’57 Safari from our mate Lou Callisibetta, a extremely very well-known Pontiac restorer. This provided a whole lot of the missing stainless and all the interior moldings wanted.
I have the entire body roughed out, getting to fabricate a good deal of the sheet steel all-around the wagon home windows and tailgate spot. Grafting the Nomad roof to the Olds windshield location was no simple undertaking as the Olds was about ¾ of an inch wider, and I made a decision to do a moderate chop on the prime, exaggerating this big difference even extra. My thought was to build far more of a notion car or truck than a tailor made car, so I’m retaining all the suitable Olds parts, grille, headlights, tail lights, and facet trim (however acquiring 98 tail lights and aspect trim was not effortless).
The body is off the frame while I modify the body with present day elements, ’76 Impala suspension, electric power steering and 12-inch electric power disc brakes, law enforcement-bundle rear drums and an Olds 455/Turbo 400 powertrain.
That’s it for now. I do have far more in depth photos of rust repair, and these kinds of, but holding it to a minimum! I appear ahead to sending you an update when the vehicle is carried out!