FantomWorks Blog

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SEMA 2017

Most of the FantomWorks team joined Dan down in Las Vegas for the annual SEMA show.  It was a week of cars, fans, meet and greets and other miscellaneous adventures.  The whole team enjoyed the sights at the Hoover Dam as well as Red Rock Canyon getting to enjoy the grandeur and magnificence of what man and mother nature can create.  We all got to enjoy a huge group dinner and most of us tried to make it to breakfast together, some days making it to breakfast was an event in itself.  In between Dan signing autographs at the Por15 booth and doing live events for Velocity, Dan did get drive a Lamborghini Aventador around the city.  Instead of manning a booth and showing a car, Dan was able to walk around SEMA for business purposes. He found an incredible 3D printer, CNC machine and a scanning system that would be invaluable for the shop.  We brought back some good stories and a ton of pictures, to see more check out our Facebook photo album here. Dan signing autographs at the Por15 booth SEMA – Velocity Live Event with Dan, Joe Martin and Christy Lee Concept car design of a 4 door Barracuda 1962 Custom Corvette by Doug Thorley 1966 Ford Boosted Bronco by Vaccar Thanks for sharing the love and support you guys and gals give us and we look forward to next year at SEMA, when we once again will attempt to bring an epic build and hopefully achieve another speeding work of... read more

Flashback – SEMA 2015

All car people have heard of Eleanor and Bullitt, almost all have heard of SEMA, few have gotten to go to SEMA and only one guy has a car that combines all three.  If you have seen the Season 3 episode for this build then you know whom we are referring to.  Join us as we look back at that agonizingly wonderful build that produced a beautiful piece of handcrafted moving artwork.  Since we have a build page for this already we decided to share the other aspect of this build and share some of the SEMA experience.  If you would like to see the build page click here. Thanks for sharing the love and support you guys and gals give us and we look forward to next year at SEMA, when we once again will attempt to bring an epic build and hopefully achieve another speeding work of... read more

Back to the Earth

Everyone has seen them, you might even know where to find them or even have some on your property as well.  These are the unwanted carcasses of vehicles that have been abandoned by their owners.  Sometimes it starts as for just a bit until we can afford to work on them, then life happens and they get forgotten or reclaimed by plants and lost.  Here at FantomWorks where we know every car has a story, seeing these we often wonder how many life stories have been lost and reclaimed by the earth as the metal rusts and the paint fades. So if you ever see one of these forgotten monuments to our vehicular history, maybe stop, snap a few pictures and think about the lost stories these cars take with them back to the Earth.  If you happen to have one of these in your life, share the story with us so that maybe we can preserve it online in the... read more

A New Sign

Good news, everyone, we have a finally finished the new sign.  Our wonderful maintenance team here have finally been able to install and completely wire in the new DRS FantomWorks Sign.  It has been a long road to get here from the initial idea of Dan’s, to creating in our CAD system and then cutting out the individual letters on our plasma table.  To the tedious task of cutting a groove in Plexiglas to hold the lights and the drilling of “a whole lotta” holes to bolt the metal letters together.  The engineering and mechanical work that went to actually getting this sign working was immense but our dedicated team put the time in to get it working correct. So if you are ever in the Norfolk, VA area and happen to be traveling down Hampton Blvd then you will be able to glimpse this impressive sign.  And if you are lucky enough to be doing this at night you just might be able to see it all lit... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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. Dave in his super-sized beach chair. The gang’s all here, now lets start cooking. Dan fly hunting The crew telling stories Segway on the beach Children in... read more

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... read more

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. There’s a door there… New toilet goes in Toilet is in The vanity and sink are in Left side of the wall Right side of the wall 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... read more


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