Classics This Owner-Built 1957 Olds Is A New Tribute to an Olds Classic

21:37  29 january  2018
21:37  29 january  2018 Source:   hotrod.com

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Bill O’Connor in Horse Shoe, North Carolina, submitted this custom 1957 Olds , which he built as a tribute to automotive designer Harley Earl, R.E. Olds , and Oldsmobile and America’s rocket era.

There is a sign on the fence that reads “CARS, ART, NATURE, HISTORY.” That sums up Dean’s approach to his 34-acre vintage car scrapyard pretty well. This Owner - Built 1957 Olds Is A New Tribute to an Olds Classic .

Bill O'Connor in Horse Shoe, North Carolina, submitted this custom 1957 Olds, which he built as a tribute to automotive designer Harley Earl, R.E. Olds, and Oldsmobile and America's rocket era.

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Jim built a curved pan behind the grille to direct air to the Be Cool radiator. The transmission is a 4L60E with a shift kit and 1,800-stall converter. This Owner - Built 1957 Olds Is A New Tribute to an Olds Classic .

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Bill was 13 when he tried to persuade his father to buy a particular 1957 Olds 98 four-door. "I didn't understand that the car cost about what my steel mill worker dad made in a year," he says. A few years ago, while paging through the car classifieds, Bill came across this one. "I was shocked to see a photo of what looked like the car that sent me begging my old man to buy. The next day I was dragging a trailer behind my truck headed for Florida. After paying probably half again too much, I brought it back and set about getting its suspension and braking up to at least '90s standards. When I realized there was no maintenance history, no chain of ownership, no paperwork at all, I decided to follow my real dream to have an absolutely one-off custom.

Meet Evie, the Electric '57 Ford Fairlane

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Up front, Steve wanted an old Econoline van I-beam axle and brakes. He didn’t want a new tube frontend with discs, feeling they are expensive and don’t look right. This Owner - Built 1957 Olds Is A New Tribute to an Olds Classic .

For an engine, an old Hemi, J-2, Nailhead, or Caddy would be just fine. He started gathering parts for the build and came across a 331 Caddy engine so he bought it. This Owner - Built 1957 Olds Is A New Tribute to an Olds Classic .

"Many believe that the designs of the cars of the '50s represent the highest achievement of automotive art, with the 1957s at the top of the rock. Harley Earl exercised a growing influence on the look and popularity of all GM cars and, indeed, all automotive design the world over. This absolutely one-of-a-kind custom car is a tribute, mostly, to Harley Earl, but it is named 'Eli' for R. E. Olds, another car pioneer and the namesake of the Oldsmobile Division.

1957-oldsmobile-starfire-98-three-quarter© Hot Rod Network Staff 1957-oldsmobile-starfire-98-three-quarter

"'Eli' includes elements of design from all five of General Motors' cars of the '50s. The base car is a four-door 1957 Oldsmobile Starfire 98. The outside mirrors are from a 2003 Aurora (the last Olds). The hood ornament is from a 1951 Pontiac Chieftain. The oval fender vents honor the 'ventiports' of the '50s Buicks. The seats are from a 2006 Cadillac STS, cut down to '50s size. The 1959 Cadillac taillights support the rocket theme. The rear fender antennas are from a late-'50s Chevrolet.

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Edd Hopper's '48 Ford F-1. Finding a clean, one-owner truck is pretty much all of our hopes and dreams on four wheels, but that’s few and far between these days. This Owner - Built 1957 Olds Is A New Tribute to an Olds Classic .

The extreme natured 1957 Chevy Gary has had under construction for the last 4 ½ years isn’t his first attempt at building an over the top radical ride. This Owner - Built 1957 Olds Is A New Tribute to an Olds Classic .

"The exterior was largely dechromed, saving just the iconic front fender spears. The Pontiac hood ornament is lit, along with the fender rockets, which are drilled and wired for LEDs—amber in front and red behind. Door handles were replaced with flush flippers from The Silent Hand. The Buick-honoring fender vents were built up from welded copper coils creating a lip and wing-like low pressure to draw out engine heat when at speed. The headlights are LED. The front and rear light bezels were cleaned up to receive the body color: two-stage PPG Vibrance pearl 'Money' in front and cream two-stage urethane in back. The first time I saw a 1957 Olds, I thought it needed a contrasting color on the roof ridges, but I never saw it done until I did mine.

"The wheels were upped from 14 inches to 15 to accept front disc brakes, but kept to steel reversos and baby Moons with beauty rings, honoring the '60s custom vibe. The tires are Coker's bias-looking radial whitewalls.

"The chassis features a Fatman Fabrications front clip (mainly for the rack-and-pinion), married to the stock frame and modified to avoid eliminating interior space for the transmission. A four-link and airbags at the front and rear replace the leaves and coils. A Panhard bar keeps back following the front around corners, with just a hint of oversteer when the giddyap is engaged. The 3.42:1 differential is bulletproof and fine for a cruiser. It is great in a parade and can still light it up at the stoplight with the Borlas laughing (very) loudly away.

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“Rat Fink,” as this tribute bike is called, was built during Discovery Channel’s Great Biker Build-Off competition in 2003. This Owner - Built 1957 Olds Is A New Tribute to an Olds Classic .

There, Marty straightened the frame and installed a new Alston four-link and Currie rearend. I then ordered a Pro’s Pick bed, roll pan, and tailgate. This Owner - Built 1957 Olds Is A New Tribute to an Olds Classic .

1957-oldsmobile-starfire-98-rear-three-quarter.jpg© Hot Rod Network Staff 1957-oldsmobile-starfire-98-rear-three-quarter.jpg

"The engine is also Chevrolet—a modern GM Performance ZZ383 stroker wearing Oldsmobile clothes and painted a '50s-era Oldsmobile green. The cold-air intake is assembled from stock Spectre Performance components, adapted and welded, bodyworked, and painted rear body color—above a Holley 770-cfm carb. A spare fender rocket decorates the air cleaner cover. The engine makes more than 440 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. The front-runner system is from March Performance; a 16-inch fan on a triple tube radiator serves cool cruising at 170 degrees. The 700-R4 transmission provides cruise economy.

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Rare Find: 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass S W-31 Hides in Original Owner’s Garage for 34 Years

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Public Nuisance Order Inspires Truck Owner. The neighbors thought the old ’46 Divco walk-in milk truck sitting outside Fred Hayes’ home in Vallejo, California, was an eyesore. This Owner - Built 1957 Olds Is A New Tribute to an Olds Classic .

This Owner - Built 1957 Olds Is A New Tribute to an Olds Classic . This beautiful 1966 Chevy Nova was left for dead as an old drag car before… Read More. Hot Rod Featured.

"The interior is as modern as can be (with a few old touches). The leather upholstery design combines a 'sunrise' interpretation on top, with a 'moonlight on the lake' below. The dash is shaved, but the oval speedo frame design is honored and holds the Speedhut GPS-powered speedo/tach plus the battery and fuel monitor. The console holds the oil pressure and water temp gauges in the same Speedhut set, as well as the Pioneer display screen for the audio system. I installed a tambour door to cover the console, which opens to show three matching gauges monitoring the front and back air tanks. There are four switches—for the air tank front and back controls, and for a small 'steam' whistle, tied to the bag compressors and mounted in the front bumper for an alternate horn. Six additional system switches were added (three required to start, along with a secret switch). Additional controls operate the electric door locks and windows, and the Vintage Air system that provides year-round cruising comfort in the Carolina mountains. The banjo steering wheel tops a tilt shifter column. I drilled and tapped a 1-1/4-pound chunk of malachite—almost the same color as the car—for the gear shift knob."

Bill is rightfully proud of his custom 1957 Olds, and we believe that Harley Earl and R.E. Olds—if they were around to see it—would be honored by the tribute.

Classic Instruments Tech Tip:

Classic Instruments gauge clusters with ZST technology have programmable speedometers and tachometers. These gauge clusters differ from your car stereo in that, once calibrated the gauge cluster does not need to have constant power in order to "remember" the calibration. Removing power to the gauge cluster (including the use of a battery disconnect switch) will not cause the gauge to lose its calibration.

Traditional Hot Rods, Gassers, Customs and More Go Extreme at the 2018 Detroit Autorama .
Autorama blends traditional hot rods, street rods, customs, coach-built cars, and street machines—something for everyone and anyone interested in modified and performance cars. Autorama is also home to the Ridler Award, traditionally chosen from a group of outstanding custom cars known as the Great 8. The Ridler is one of the most coveted prizes among custom and hot rod builders, and for 2018 the award went to Greg and Judy Hreshovesik for their custom 1957 Chevy 150 hardtop called "Imagine."(Check out the full story on the award-winning Chevy by Street Rodder magazine's Tim Bernsau here.

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