Latest happenings at FantomWorks

Fan Car Friday: 1960 Cadillac

In this Fan Car Friday we will be taking a look at a beautiful 1960 Cadillac. Fan Car Friday is a segment where we want to share with the world the automobiles that our fans restored or looked after. These cars are not for sale and we have absolutely no affiliation/relationship with the cars, the build or the owners, we saw the photos and felt they should be shared with the world to inspire others on their build. Or, simply put, its great eye candy for those of us who can’t make it to car shows or meetups as often as we would like. All posts are made with written consent of the owners.

Jon purchased this Cadillac, known as Lucille, in 2013 with only 60,000 miles as he was medically retiring as an airborne infantryman. He served in the 82nd at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and the 1/509th at Fort Polk in Louisiana. He wanted the biggest piece of American steel, 2 door car with the largest fins he could find. No surprise when the 60 Cadillac was the frontrunner. She’s all original series 62 from his hometown of St. Louis, MO.

Aside from new (stock) exhaust and the usual tune ups, carb and water pump rebuild, she’s bone stock from the day she left the factory.

Jon says this car is an absolute boat. The look is perfect, the fins are sharp, the body panels are longer than any modern smart car, the turn signals are located on the front fenders instead of the inside of the car and the AM radio still works so Jon can listen to the ballgame while on a long cruise. Everything about this car he loves.

If you couldn’t tell, the car has enough room for 4 people, 4 golf bags and still enough room to still arrive in style. Whenever Jon takes Lucille out, every stranger wants to strike up a conversation with him. Jons cons would be…well nothing. He does want some wide white walls, but his tires now are new, maybe the Biarritz trim package would have been nice too. But, honestly he isn’t complaining about either.

Jon’s favorite thing about this car is The unique turn signals, the fins and everyone giving him smiles as he cruises around town.

Be on the lookout for the new season of FantomWorks next Friday, 9/22, on the Velocity channel at 10:00est!

Wounded Wheels Raffle

Hey everyone, if you are a Military Veteran designated disabled and honorably discharged or know somebody that is, then this is for you.  Wounded Wheels is holding a raffle to win a day with Dan Short at the NRA Car Show on September 24, 2017 being held in Fairfax, VA.  Transportation to and from Fairfax can be provided if you are able to meet us in Norfolk on the day of the car show.  For more details please review the flyer below.

Fan car Friday: The 1969 Charger

In our first Fan Car Friday post we will be taking a look at a beautiful 1969 Charger. Fan Car Friday is a segment where we want to share with the world the automobiles that our fans either took meticulous care of from their start of or have restored and now take meticulous care of. The cars are not for sale and we have absolutely no affiliation/relationship with the cars, the build or the owners, we still saw the photos of them and felt they should be shared with the world to inspire others on their build. Or, simply put, its great eye candy for those of us who can’t make it to car shows or meetups as often as we would like. All posts are made with the written consent of the owners.

In Katie’s build the exterior has received the most love, while the engine hasn’t received quite as much attention. While everything has been happening little by little Katie isn’t complaining because its been a very fun experience.

Katie has been Mopar or no car since before she could drive. Her father purchased a 1970 sport satellite before she had even though about driving a car. For years it sat in their driveway while Katie looked on it longingly. She drove it to her job in Disneyland daily, until the power steering belt broke one day. She quickly learned about cars that day, she had no choice.

15 years later she decided to sell her love when she saw a 1969 charger become available. She became the third owner of this lovely car. Every time it changed hands, it was sold to someones neighbor, every time the owner knew it was going to a good home.

The car itself is a 440/727 with power breaks and steering as well as factory air conditioning. Did we mention its all numbers matching too? It was originally purchased fresh off the lot at Crenshaw Dodge in California where it was taken well care of until 2007 when it first changed hands. It wasn’t until 2015 that Katie would become the current proud owner.

On the way to pick up the Charger, Katie had some last minute jitters. She was wondering if it was the right thing to do, she sold the Sport Satellite to buy this and the charger cost more than her current daily driver. That’s when a white 1970 Charger drove past her and her father. It was a sign and she couldnt stop laughing. As Katie said “Thanks universe. I get it… this car was meant for me. ”

Now Katie owns a fully documented Charger with broadcast, window sticker, sales docs, maintenance records and a copy of every fill up. The previous owner only had the car repainted and a new vinyl top installed, while leaving the engine for later. So she is slowly shipping away at it as new issues arise due to old age.

Unfortunately the heater blew a few weeks ago so she is currently deciding if they should pull the engine to paint and rebuild it.

Katie’s favorite part about this car is going to car shows with her father (And his 1970 roadrunner) to have people ask him “is this (my charger) your car” and he just points to me. He always ends up winning the shows (his car is fully restored) but it’s a fun hobby to share with him!”

To reiterate, we have absolutely nothing to do with these “Fan Car Friday” vehicles and are simply sharing the photos and story we saw, with the written permission of the owner.

1905 Century Camera

Hey everyone, if you have been on a tour or visited our gift shop then you have probably noticed this lovely wood and iron camera sitting in the corner.  Well today, we are going to delve deeper into this mysterious relic of photography history.

This is a Century camera made by the Eastman Kodak Co probably around 1905, as the Eastman Kodak company purchased the Century Camera company in 1903.  This one is probably the Grand Studio model and used glass plate film.  For those of us that don’t remember this photography medium, glass plate film also called photographic plates, used light-sensitive emulsion of silver salts coated on a thin glass plate.  Glass plates were far superior to film for research-quality imaging because they were extremely stable and less likely to bend or distort.  Photographic plates declined in the consumer market in the early 20th century as more convenient and less fragile films were increasingly adopted.  Our Grand Studio Century camera sits on a Semi-Centennial #2 wood and iron frame, and was probably from around the same time if not earlier then the actual camera that sits upon it.  The camera stand was sold to professional photographers as the “Camera Stand of the Future”, as it allowed for maneuverability of the camera to be raised or lowered, the use of quieter rubber casters and coil spring counterbalances.  This lovely wood camera comes with a possibly even older brass lens from the French optical company, Darlot, which was founded in Paris by Jamin-Darlot in the 1850’s.  These types of lens saw a boom during the end of the 1800’s as the burgeoning field of photography was becoming more wide spread.  Possibly this historic camera has taken millions of photos from a professional photography studio within a large city at a time when the field of photography was firmly taking a hold on our country.

So if you are ever in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia on Monday, Wednesday or Friday come on by for a tour and get your photograph standing next to this lovely piece of photographic history.

As, Belgium

Hey everyone, Dan really gets a kick out of seeing his FantomWorks T-shirts at locations around the globe, so we thought you guys might like it as well.  For this one we go to As, Belgium which is a little village of 8200 individuals located in the northern portion of Belgium.  We are very grateful to Dexters who is the gentleman in the photos for sharing these with us.  So come on and lets all learn a little about him as well as what exactly this monument is.

Dexters is a 60 year young car lover who has been this way since his father took him to a race at Zolder Terlaemen for his 12th birthday.  Zolder Terlaemen is an undulating 4.011 km (2.492 mi) Motorsport race track in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium and was the location were a popular Canadian Formula 1 driver, Gilles Villeneuve lost his life during qualifying for the 1982 Belgium Grand Prix.  As Dexters grew older, he participated in numerous rallies in Belgium and abroad as a co-driver eventually making it up to the Works team of Datsun.  Datsun eventually changed its name to Nissan around 1982, when that team stopped rallying.  Dexters became a member of the official Scuderia Ferrari Fan club of Belgium and has been an active member of the board since the mid 80’s.

The monument that Dexters is photographed with is a dedication to Andre Dumont, professor at the University of Louvain and discoverer of the first coal in the Campine region in 1901.  This lead to the industrialization of the region as well as the opening of 8 coal mines, some of them were still productive until 1987.

So thank you again to Dexters and to answer your question. We don’t have anything against Ferrari’s at the shop and hopefully in the next couple of seasons will have one on the show.


Summer BBQ 2017

Hey everyone, in case you didn’t know FantomWorks closed early last Friday, August 18, for a team event.  Well, we figured that we would share a small inside view into this event, our annual End of Summer BBQ.  This year our good friend Dave let us have this event at his lovely beach house in the historic Willoughby Spit area of Norfolk.  Most of the whole FantomWorks team with their families showed up and and all were welcomed by Dave and his lovely wife. Cornhole and beach horseshoes were set up and played by those daring to stay in the sun. All the kids thoroughly enjoyed the beach as well as the mist fan set up to help cool off the guests.  While the adults enjoyed some beverages and good conversations, Dan introduced all the kids to his “Asalt gun”, which was a fun little gadget that shoots salt at flies.  Everything went exceedingly well, even though we had a small fire while trying to clean the grill.  The burgers and hot dogs went as fast as the grill could cook them and went great with all the side dishes that everyone brought. After everyone filled their bellies and while we lounged around discussing various conversations, the sun began to set on our BBQ.  Once the sun disappeared over the horizon, the games and food got cleaned up and everyone made there way home, we all said goodbye to yet another summer 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.

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