Latest happenings at FantomWorks

1920 Improved Universal Reboring Tool

Hey everyone, this week we would like to give a big thank you to Armand for donating this weeks Antique Showcase item and the newest addition to the future FantomWorks Museum.  Armand was gracious enough to donate his antique reboring tool from the 1920’s and Dan was very excited to get one of these wonderful examples of mechanics’ tools.  Armand’s donation looks pretty much complete and is in such good shape that the instructions for it are still attached to the lid of the box.  This large set would have been a workout to use as well as carry around. The smaller companion box is what we believe to be the special tool designed for Ford engines.  These two items have found a home within our future museum and the aged smell of engine oil has grabbed our heartstrings with fond memories of a bygone era.  So here we will share what we have found out about our newest addition.

This is an Improved Universal Reboring Tool produced the Universal Tool company out of Detroit, MI probably in 1920.  The one we have seems to have been produced at the main production factory in Garwood, NJ.  “This improved type of reboring tool consisted of a pilot head with six cutter surfaces which are universally adjustable.  A bevel expansion ring is fitted into the cylinder which is to be rebored and the bevel pilot head acts as a centralizing device.  There is also an over-sized ring which follows in the new cut thus insuring an absolutely rigid tool and perfect centering device.  This new model will rebore practically all makes of automobile, marine or airplane cylinders of either the open or closed end types.  A special tool is designed for Ford engines.” – The Horseless Age Magazine, Vol 43 – January 1, 1918     This tool was originally hand cranked and seemed to be designed so that the engine did not need to be removed in order to rebore a cylinder.  In the early 1920’s Universal tool company came out with the Universal power drive for the reboring tool that could be operated by a 1/2 hp portable electric or air drill and by a bench drill or floor type drill press.

So thanks for Armand for sharing this wonderful example of Mechanical history and for a good reminder of how tough automobile work was before the days of power tools.  So if you are ever in Norfolk, Va on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday around 3pm, stop by for our tour and you might get to see this item on display.  If we can get it out of Dan’s office, this thing is heavy.

A Hidden Remodel

Good news, everyone, we have a remodeled and much improved bathroom now.  For those that had taken the tour in the past will know that the visitor bathroom here at FantomWorks looked bad.  It was small, dark and cramped with a feeling reminiscent of the gas station bathrooms of old. But not in a good way.  So after much work, the building crew here has completely revamped the bathroom and turned it into something we can happily invite guest to use.

Hidden behind an unassuming bookcase, that most people just walk by without a second glance, is our guest bathroom.  We removed the stall with the normal style toilet and have replaced with a suspended tank style toilet.  The walls have been insulated and dry-walled then adorned with a small sample of Dan’s collection.  The wood wall behind the sink as well as the wood vanity are a luscious dark wood stained that work beautifully with the brass mirror frame and faucet.  So if you are ever here for the tour and need to use the facilities, it’s behind the bookcase and enjoy the history that is hanging on the wall.  Stay tuned as we continue to improve our shop and preserve this great historic building.

Featured Showcase: Judge Tribute

Hey everyone, this week for our feature showcase a really gorgeous 1969 Pontiac GTO from Mark located on the East Coast of the United States.  Mark has owned this GTO for about 15 years now, but has had a long history with the GTO, which began his senior year of high school in 1969.  Back then, his brother had come home from college and his mother was looking to replace her ’65 Mustang, so they all made a visit to the local Pontiac dealer.  First spotting a beautiful LeMans, the two brothers were soon drawn to a Midnight Green, 4-speed, 400 c.i. 350 GTO.  Being immediately sold, the two just needed to convince their mom how much a better and safer car this GTO was then the LeMans.  After a little bit of sales-pitching the brothers accomplished their mission and the GTO was theirs.  Or more accurately, theirs on the weekends as their mother drove the car to her job as a high school guidance counselor.  The next year, the charismatic duo successfully convinced their mother that this GTO would be the safest car for them to drive to college in.  Feeling slightly guilty, for a short while, the boys left off to college leaving their mother with a brand new, bare bones, under-powered Chevelle.

Flash forward a couple of decades and Mark got the bug to find another ’69 GTO.   The one he ended up getting was this Judge Tribute out of Akron, Ohio.  This GTO was built Dec. 13, 1968 in Framingham, Mass. and was originally sold by Jones Pontiac Co. in Lancaster, PA.  Born with Verdoro Green paint with a black cordova top, it has 400 c.i. 350 HP motor with a 4-speed manual transmission.  The owner then decided to make a Judge tribute, so he added the Carousel Red paint with Judge stripes and Judge wing with a new Parchement Interior.  With its power steering, power front disc brakes, Safe-T-Track rear axle, Rally 2 wheels and retractable headlamp covers, it is a fitting tribute.  Not originally looking for a Judge tribute, but once seeing it, Mark ended up having to own this beautiful orange and white interior GTO.  Eventually wanting to repaint it the Midnight Green to replicate his mothers, Mark continues to enjoy his example of the car that hooked him decades before.


A Mechanics Library

Hey everyone, this week we take a look at a couple of really cool donations from Doug and their new found home, our Mechanics Library.  Doug was great enough to donate his copies of a Winton Six Model 24 Care and Operations manual and White Model 45 Five-Ton Truck from 1920.  These two great examples are in excellent condition and will find a home in our Mechanics Library, that is if we can get them away from Dan.  Currently they are in Dan’s personal library within his office since he wants to read through these examples of automotive history.  Hopefully once he has finished them they will find a good home in the mechanics library where other examples of manuals from a by-gone era are located.

Now for those that don’t know the White Motor Company was an automobile, truck and bus manufacturer in Cleveland, Ohio from 1900-1980.  The company was founded and developed by three sons of Thomas H. White, a sewing machine manufacturer.  Rollin, Walter and Windsor diversified their father’s company by creating the White Steamer automobile in 1900, and ultimately ended up creating the White Motor Car company in 1906.  The company shifted its focus to the manufacturing of trucks during World War I and after the war became the number one manufacturer of trucks and custom vehicles.  During World War II the White company once again converted to the production of military vehicles.  Post war, company mismanagement and mergers eventually led to the company to file for bankruptcy in 1980 and was eventually bought by Sweden’s AB Volvo, who kept the White name until the late 1990’s.

The Winton Motor Carriage company was one of the first American companies to sell a motor car.  A Scottish immigrant Alexander Winton, turned from bicycle production to experimental single-cylinder automobile production.  On March 15, 1897 the company was incorporated and started producing their first automobiles by hand.  Each vehicle had fancy painted sides, padded seats, a leather roof, gas lamps and tires made by B.F. Goodrich.  The Winton company was successfully marketed to upscale consumers through the 1910s but sales started to fall in the early 1920s.  Eventually the company ceased automobile production in 1924, but continued to produce marine and stationary gasoline and diesel engines.  Winton would become Electro-Motive Division of General Motors around 1935, and produce diesel engines for the US Navy and the locomotive industry until finally closing in 1962.

A Look Back at a Long Road

Hey everyone, this week we look back at the long road the shop has traveled to get a “Museum” in place.  Started not too long after the shop was ready, the space that is currently referred to as the Museum, began as a large brick warehouse located behind the

zegarki Shop and the zegarki accessory store.  Many, many years later we are finally close to having a display area for the wonderful Antique Americana that Dan has collected over time.  Hoping to be open to the public soon, we are finishing up the area by cleaning up the clutter and organizing the collection.  The road has been long and indescribably rocky but we have overcome the monumental task of restoring an old warehouse into two working spaces, dealing with the leaky roof of an almost hundred year old building and the damaging effect that had on a wood floor.  So hopefully in the near future, tours will be able to visit this wonderful room filled with the variety of items from the past, that we at FantomWorks fondly refer to as the Museum.

1905 Barrel Scale from Computing Scale Co.

Hey everyone, this week we showcase something that anyone who have been inside the Malt Shop at FantomWorks has seen.  This is one of the pieces from our “museum” that has not quite made it upstairs to the “museum”.  As the “museum” is still under construction, we have decided to post some of the displays here.  Once this area is completed the “museum” will display some more of the antiques and collectibles that Dan has acquired over the years, during the weekly shop tours.

This is a early 1900’s Horizontal Barrel Scale Style #144 from the Computing Scale Company out of Dayton, Ohio.  This one was probably produced between 1905 and 1910, as the last Patent date was in 1904.  The ornate brass, glass and cast iron scale would have been used for computing weight and price cost in a mercantile or general country store during the beginning of the 20th century.  Our model, S/N 334514, still works and only shows its age in the missing flakes of paint around its base and by the discoloration of the paper barrel used to as its display.  The beautiful brass plates are all engraved accenting the glass viewing ports on either side of the computing barrel.  For those not familiar with the Computing Scale Co., later known as the Dayton Scale Company, they built and marketed the first computing scale in 1891.  In 1911, they were part of the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company before becoming a division of IBM in 1933.  Not long after the Dayton Scale Division was sold to the Hobart Manufacturing Company when IBM decided to stop marketing scales to retail stores.

So if you are ever in Norfolk, VA on Monday, Wednesday or Friday at 3pm and have the time for a tour, stop by and check out this and some of the other examples of Americana Dan has collected.

A Day in the Life: Heidi – Shop Dog

Hey everyone, this week we feature a day in the life of Heidi, the FantomWorks shop dog.  Anyone that has stopped by unexpectedly or come for one of our tours have probably been greeted by Heidi.  This 6 1/2 year old German Shepard has found her niche and performs her duties as if she was born for this job.  Able to be fiercely protective one moment and the friendliest dog you’ll ever meet the next, Heidi amazes everyone that witnesses her let herself in and out of every door by popping the handles to open them.  She has free run of the shop and knows every aspect of the building almost as good as Dan does.  Heidi starts every day with a short walk around the building with Dan, then its sitting at the garage door waiting for Melissa to come in.  After morning duties are done Heidi takes Melissa for a brisk walk around the block before lunch.  Lunch is spent either eating with the fellas in the Malt Shop or waiting for Dan’s scraps when he does take the time for lunch.  Afternoon naps under the desk, following Dan around the shop or just chilling on the concrete floor of the ShowRoom finishes out the day.  Once everyone has gone for the day, then its a relaxing bone chew on her bed to finish off a day in the life of a shop dog.



Featured Showcase: Aussie Muscle

Hey everyone, this week we feature a showcase of a couple of great builds from a kindred soul from the opposite side of the world.  These are a couple of prime examples of Aussie Muscle cars built by Andy from Queensland, Australia.  First up is technically not a muscle car but still a great example of Australian Vintage Vehicles, this ’58 Holden FE Utility, affectionately known as the Ute looks original but is 2 inches lower, has deep dish 13×7″  and 13×6″ wheels, a 1960’s 186S six cylinder race motor, 5 speed manual gear box, disc brake front end and a chassis kit.

This ’72 Holden GTR XU-1, ex-race car was brought back to 1973 original factory/Bathurst race homologation specifications.  Andy painted in the original acrylic colors and with the factory 202ci, triple CD175 carbs, 4 speed M21 manual gearbox it is more then capable of reaching 125 mph very quickly.  The Holden Torana GTR XU-1, referred to as the Giant Killer, was designed to compete against the Ford Phase III GTHO Falcon. This little six-cylinder car was a very successful sports car in rallies, hill climbs, rally-cross and circuit races as well as becoming extremely popular with privateers due to the competitiveness and the cost of maintaining it compared to the Ford Falcon GTHO.  The XU1 proved itself and won championships in 1971, 72, 73 Winning Bathurst in 1972 and was winning Bathurst by several laps in 1973 until the car ran out of fuel late in the race and eventually came home second after being pushed uphill into the pits.

Here is a ’77 Holden SLR5000 Torana which Andy has just finished, this fierce little gem features a 308ci V8 not out to 314ci, M21 manual 4 speed gearbox.  Restored to the original A9X sedan/Bathurst homolagation specification including body kit, wheels, engine and interior this one includes a custom induction cowl rather then just the factory scoop.  The under publicized introduction for this car was mirrored by the absolute dominance that it maintained for a number of years on the local racing circuit.  The pinnacle was Bathurst 1979 when an A9X (hatchback) driven by the late Peter Brock and co-driver Jim Richards demolished the entire field winning by a never to be beaten 6 laps and smashing the lap record on the last lap (lap 163).

Andy does recommend a YouTube video of NASCAR’s Darrell Waltrip being driven around the Bathurst track which is found here (YouTube video).  So finally a big Thank You to Andy for sharing these great examples of Australian Muscle cars and for keeping automotive history alive and running fast.

Another Opportunity to Tour our Shop

Good news everybody, due to overwhelming response, we are adding a FantomWorks shop tour on Mondays and Wednesdays.   The first Monday tour will be held on July 10th.  To ensure everyone enjoys the tour, we will limit to 40 people.  The tour is $10 person regardless of age.  If we are at capacity and you must attend the tour that day, the charge will be $15, with overage limited to 10 people.  The time of the tours start promptly at 3:00 pm so please, try to arrive 15 minutes early to get a good seat as the tour is first come, first serve. Thank you for the great show of interest into our world and we all look forward to seeing you in the future.

Work Continues on the Shop

Hey everyone, this week we check out a recently completed shop project here at FantomWorks.  This is a built from scratch stairwell that has been erected in the “Apartment” within the shop.  The steps were designed, created, cut, fabricated and painted all by the great team we have here.  Each step features the Fantomworks logo and was cut out of 1/8″ steel on our plasma table in the MachineShop.  Each post foot also features the FantomWorks logo with each one containing a letter that spells out FantomWorks.  Designed around an already in place post, the stairwell steps were the brainchild of Dan and our CAD designer.  Working together they have created a one of a kind stairwell that is both useful as well as beautiful.  So if you ever come down for a tour on Friday @ 3pm, make sure Audrey shows you this working piece of art.


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