Latest happenings at FantomWorks

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 Boat Shop.  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.


New Addition to Dan’s Office

Hey everyone, this week we check out a beautiful handcrafted addition to Dan’s Office. This walnut and glass display case was created in the wood shop here at FantomWorks. Designed to fit within the original windows that separated Dan’s Office from his personal entrance into the Malt Shop, they hold Dan’s favorite from his collection.  Holding over a hundred models from small matchbox size cars to the larger C1 Corvette, this wonderful addition allows the models to be displayed but not get overly dusty in this shop environment.  The glass display case include a bookshelf bottom that hold Dan’s collection of automobile manuals and various automobile related books.  Still in the process of being completed, these glass cabinets will have overhead lighting that will illuminate each shelf, allowing the beauty of each model to be shown. So if you ever come down to the shop for a Friday tour, peer through the glass to check out this excellent example of the work we do here at FantomWorks.


W.F. & J Barnes Co. Camelback Drill Press

Hey everyone, this week we showcase something we partially refurbished with the intent to display in our  upstairs “museum”. 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 tour.  Until then we will post some of these every now and then so please sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss out.

This is a 1890’s 20″ Camelback Drill Press from the W. F. & J. Barnes Co out of Rockford IL, USA.  W. F. & John Barnes Co. was established 1869, made a formal partnership between William F. Barnes and John Barnes in 1872, and incorporated in 1884. This company was an early manufacturer of pedal-powered equipment. (By 1881 they were also making powered machinery.) There were many companies making lightweight foot-powered equipment, but Barnes and the Seneca Falls Co. were the only ones to also make professional-grade machines. From the beginning of their existence, they focused on pedal-powered machinery, especially scroll saws.  This one features an overhead drive set up and from what I have heard was probably used in a industrial setting with multiple machines set up in-line.  All the machines would be set up to one large drive overhead with belts coming down to power each machine.  This one has been cleaned up and partially restored with a fresh coat of paint and a thorough cleaning of parts.

Service Writer/ Lead Mechanic Wanted

Seeking an experienced Service Writer who can also function as a Mechanic, who understands maintenance sequencing for a full-time, day position.

 Dream job working with antique vehicles in a 52,000 square foot facility.  Knowing classic automobiles and muscle cars is a requirement.

 Work schedule would include Service Writer management of the three-man mechanical Division doing the mechanical portion of beginning-to-end restorations, sequencing / prioritizing jobs and logistics assistance.  The other part of the work schedule includes actually being a Mechanic, assisting in the restorations of antique vehicles from turn of the century to 1973.

Computer skills required. Must understand basics of computers and typing.

 Pay is negotiable and highly competitive in this industry. Pay is based on experience, knowledge, and performance.

No one will be considered without a resume. Submit resume here.

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