I assembled the car and took it to the ASRF Street Rod Nationals in April 2013, click the photo below or the link at the bottom of the side bar for more photos:

I started on this project in 2001 when I lived in Shepparton Victoria. In the first incarnation it was going to be unchopped and running a Statesman supercharged V6 just to be used as a wedding car, but as time went by the new Hemi was released and I set my sights on getting one. Then of course it had to be chopped to make it a proper Hot Rod, and also to make it look lower and longer. The stretch is 40 inches and the chop is 1.1/2 inches. This car is a rare CB series 1934 Chrysler which started life as a 4 door sedan. About a dozen of them were fully imported from the USA in 1934 and these were all-steel Chrysler bodies, no wood. Total build for these cars was 950. The original wheelbase was 121 inches and it is now 161. The Airlfow was also released this year but Walter hedged his bets by producing conventional bodied cars as well. The CA was a shorter version at 117 inches, both had independant coil front suspension whereas the Airflow had a tube axle and leaf springs.

I built the chassis in Shepparton in 2001 and had the body dipped and primed. I cut it in half and mounted it with a 40 inch gap in the middle on the newly stretched chassis and sent the lot off to Antique Auto Works in Thomastown. It was supposedly a 4 month job but when I moved to Qld in 2003 the car was still at Antique Auto Works because Graham Marshman had let his staff run out of hours on my car, even though I had pre-paid him the total amount of more than $14,000. In 2006 Graham said the car was ready for filler work and paint, and the agreed amount of filler was "less than 2mm" so I bought a container and shipped the car to Qld. When I started to prime the car here I found HUGE errors, like the LH qtr panel welded on 17 mm too far back, and the RH body line being 6 mm up from the right line at the centre, so much that I took legal action through VCAT and we reached an "undisclosed" settlement which made neither of us happy and did not fix my car, and it cost us a nice friendship.

The car was then ripped apart by another panel beater at my house and most of the faults were rectified and the top was chopped but work stopped due to lack of funds. I spent the next 3 years on moving a house and renovating that, and now am back working on the car.

The only things that remain from the original car are the body shell, guards etc, and the front and rear parts of the chassis, and of course, the hardware items like lights etc. The floor was really badly rusted and is now all new. These 34 Chryslers are all steel bodies so I didn't have to deal with wood anywhere. Very few repro parts are available so almost everything on this car is made from scratch. It has front and rear A/C units and a fabric electric sunroof at the rear. The centre seat faces rearwards, the front seat is original bench converted to 6 way electrics.

Most of the pics on this page were taken in 2012 after I bought the Hemi.

As I lived very near the ocean on the Sunshine Coast until mid 2013 the salt air and humidity took its toll on bare steel as you can see from the photos below, everything rusts quickly. It will all come clean in the sand blaster one day soon. As you can see from the photo at the top I gave it a coat of black primer before taking it to the Nats at the Gold Coast. I guess I go tired of missing out on a lot of events and also I wanted to opportunity to display what I was working on as it is often hard to explain.

This photo (below) was taken after I got the car home in 1976. The doors in the background are off a sister car that has a body no 1755, this one is 1756, both from Bendigo.

as found

In Oct 2011 I was looking on the web and found a 5.7 Hemi advertised from a burnt car in Brisbane. I snapped it up for $2,200 as I realised that it was actually the 425 HP 6.1. The block still had coolant in it and just the plastic stuff was burnt off. Interestingly the car had been sold with 38,000 klm to a car dealer who sold it a week later with just 25,000klm. 6 weeks later it mysteriously caught fire. These figures came from Qld Roads records so it should have flagged a fraud to police.

Below is the RHS of the 6.1 Hemi engine showing headers, PS pump, and how I fluked finding a Holden Radiator hose that fits perfectly.

The trans is a 5-45 from a Dodge Ram. These trans are a 6 speed that operate as a 5 speed skipping 3rd on the upshift, but using it on the downshift and skipping 2nd. (they call it 2nd and 2nd prime). Everything is electronic and uses a 2005 Dodge Ram PCM to control engine and trans, and a Statesman body control unit doing everything else. Rear end is 9 inch. Front and rear suspension are of my own design, hand made wish-bones up front using the original coil locations.

Steering wheel is Juliano's 35 Ford repro but I had to add a 1 inch spacer to it to fit the VS column, bolted on then machined, can't see the join !!!

Wheels are 33 Chrysler wires with the rims machined off, then 16 x7 and 16 x8 rims welded on. Wide whites are 225 R60 x 16 fronts and 265 R75 x 16 rears.

Note that the CB series has a totally different rear shape, more like the cars of 1935, and also has no rear qtr window. Car will come down at least an inch when it is finished. Sits on 4 coils custom made for a soft ride.

Car will run 6 wheel equip. Alloy box is air filter drawing cold air from in front of radiator.

Running boards are HUGE. RH centre door is a fixed panel, LH side both doors open without a pillar. (using catches from Mazda RX8)

Drip rails were a nightmare, made a copy of originals in a CNC press in 4 ft lengths and then had to curve them two ways.

Chryslers (and Dodge) had a boofy section above the windscreen so I raised the top section 22mm. Looks better and I can see out, and the wipers were easier to fit.

The look I have been trying to achieve is one that at first glance appears to be a car that was actually built in 1934, not a sausage car made out of an old car. I have seen a few Hot Rod Limos that have really bad proportions, wrong wheels, and just don't look authentic. I guess it is a matter of choice but I want it to look like it "coulda been" built in 34 and thats why I have stayed with all the genuine Chrysler parts including wheels, hub caps, lights etc and have gone with a fabric roof rather than fill it in.

Guard clearance is zero so I will have to take a slice out here. The white line is the bonnet edge so it will clear by an inch eventually.

I had to move the power steering pump to the other side as the original alternator hit the steering box. I built a new bracket for the alternator and added an extra idler.

Not happy with the belt wrap on the A/C pump but it is same as factory. I had to take a nick out of the chassis to clear the pump. First shot is of original hemi.

This engine came out of a burnt 2007 300 SRT8, you can see the fried valve cover. It still had water in the block and I have taken the heads off, looks good inside.

I had to make a new bracket for the rear of the sump as the Mercedes trans has a different bolt pattern. Also had to reshape the front.

I made a new adjustable gantry to lift the engine and trans.

I polished the manifold and matched the ports to the gasket, same on the head. Lots of metal had to be removed so will flow well now.

Plan view of front end. I designed it will a low roll centre and made new upper and lower control arms. The centre idler is original but beefed up.

Steering has 3 unis to go around the huge hemi heads. box is Toyota Crown variable pressure ( pressure drops through servo valve as speed increases)

Heat shield on PS box

Centre console attaches to front of seat. 6 power window switches and central locking. Also the equaliser controls all 11 speakers and has input from radio, USB, SD card or iPod (or MP3 player)

Sound system has 4 amps mounted near each set of speakers.

Bench seat is original beefed up and new wood around edge to tack leather.

New seat base made from ply. Will have springs attached.

power seat base 6 way.

Drip rail profile was difficult to make. !! I borrowed a CNC press and a clever operator and made it in 4 ft lengths.

Clamps were modified to hold it in place.

Profiles were made from an original car to get the roof shape correct.

The drip rails had to be curved in both directions and also match the original end sections.

Rh front header pipe was altered to clear box.

Brackets made to bolt onto Hemi with GM mounts.

These were welded to chassis but I intend to make them bolt-on with a crossmember joining them together. Then iI can remove them making it easier to install and remove the engine.

Crappy S& P header gaskets will surely fail.

Swivel thermostat housing is a Chev aftermarket item. Note the laser-cut 3mm alum plate underneath to seal the o-ring and thermostat. Bolts do not line up but will be ok.

Cruise control is drive-by-wire supplied by Hotwireauto.com and talks to the Dodge Ram PCM. I had to make a circuit board to make it work with the Holden cruise stalk as this has momentary buttons whereas the US GM column has positve switches.

I found these miniature PCB relays that handle 12v 10 amp at http://australia.rs-online.com/web/ and printed out the footprint, made a metal template, drilled out a bit of board and soldered it all together. Amazing reduction in space !

Pete the panel beater finished my wheelarches this week. I got him to add a 1.1/2 inch strip (38mm) so that the tyres had clearance when one wheel dipped into a hollow. You can see the skid mark from the tyre near the top.

You can see the paint line on the side of the chassis showing where the panel came to before we cut it. It now sits above the chassis.

Rear end is disc brake 9 inch on 4 bar and custom coils. Sway bar is custom made also.

Shock towers hold VS Holden statesman shocks. Long and soft >>>>

This is my oxy torch cut-off valve, just hang up the torch and then relight it from the pilot light.

Working on the exhaust again ! I decided to added these two flexible joints as things did not line up after I fully welded it all. It is a very long system without a lot of clearnace so hopefully this will help.

This is the Dodge Ram 5 speed auto.

Steve Thornes Murray paddle steamer

I had a V6 in this car before I woke up and ripped it out and put the HEMI in.

Gantry sketch below: The adjusting rods should not take the weight, just for adjusting height.

Wheels are 200 mm dia, flat, not radiused, they go where they are pointed and swivel easily when loaded. All locking. I welded plates to the bottom SHS, then after it was powder-coated I ground off an area and welded the wheels on.
Adjusting Rods are 20 mm gal. I welded nuts under the top plate and then used a lock-nut. I made sure the top surface was flat, free of anything sticking up. That way it does not protude upwards and hit things like fluro lights, air hoses ets.
Adjustable height from 1900 to 2600. I can lift out an engine and trans at 2200.
Shortened the chains heaps to keep it sensible.

 

 

 

 

Now I get to pack it all up and move to Victoria. Here is the car sitting in the container, welded to the floor and end wall so it will not move. Just an inch clearance all round.

link to other stuff