1934 Chevrolet Master Cabriolet Right Hand Drive Project

1934 Chevrolet Master Cabriolet in New Zealand.

    H i Doug,
                       My name is Dan . I notice that you have been restoring a 1934 Chevrolet Master  Cabriolet, I have just found and purchased a right hand drive car that needs work. I am having trouble finding information on them  to help with the restoration, I live in New Zealand. any info on were I can buy parts and technical books would be appreciated . also are they a rare car , and any idea what they would be worth restored.  my car has been in storage since 1966 and has the dickie seat in the boot, and side mounts.
                         hope to hear from you
                                                       cheers Dan


Naturally, the condition of your 1934 Chevrolet Master Cabriolet would dictate the value of it. There were quite a few of them made but survival rate was not very high, just as it is with any wooden bodied car.

The 1934 Chevrolet Master Cabriolet is one of the most desirable Chevrolets of the 1930s however, if your wood needs replaced, which it likely does, you have a real project ahead of yourself. This is not a project to be taken on by someone without a lot of skill with body fitting and wood working.

My client did acquire a wood kit for the car that we did. Being a nice kit, between his son, himself (both very talented individuals) and I, having more than 40 years in the auto body and restoration industry, it was still a big project. I don't give you this information in an attempt to discourage you but rather, to inform you that you need to find the necessary skilled people to tackle the project, if you expect to end up with respectable fit when finished.

One of the reasons that Ford was so much more popular than Chevrolet is because they were made from metal starting in 1932. Chevrolet didn't give into metal until 1937. Of course the V-8 engine had a big part in capturing the popularity as well.

I'll be in touch with some important information. I'd like to see some pictures of your car that I could post on my site here.


1936 Ford Sedan Delivery Project Ask Doug

Chad wants to contact another 1936 Ford Sedan Delivery restoration project gentleman who wrote an ask Doug

Hi Doug

Was just reading your blog. Do you happen to have the contact for the gentleman named Bill that wrote in about fixing his Delivery with a 4 door? I may need to do something similar. Thanks!



I expect that he won't have a problem with me giving you his contact info, but I will check with him first and get back to you.



Rat Rods can be fun and humorous. Getting a little carried away sometimes with the ridiculous is not uncommon either, but this one made me chuckle. I had to stop and take a picture with my phone camera.

This Rat Rod was at this year's Shake The Shack rockabilly ball, car, hot rod and motorcycle show at the Shanty Tavern in Seattle.

Normally when you talk about a rat hole, you are referring to cash you have put away in your rat hole account. It's not a good idea to put it in an actual rat hole cause the rats will likely shred it for you. It's just a figure of speech.

There was a good showing of street rods, hot rods, rat rods, vintage cars and trucks, and a lot of nice motorcycles. I don't normally burn my tires on my 1937 Chevy Truck, but the mood was right when I left the show that day. It's sometimes kinda fun to hear that six cylinder, dual exhaust cackle along with the sound of the squealing tires.

Traditional Hot Rod Turn Signal Custom Installation

1958 Style Hot Rod with turn signals that aren't offensive or cluttering. Some use the Guide 682-C headlights on their hot rods and those are in my opinion the least offensive turn signal lights for a traditional hot rod if you don't already have separate park lights on your original vehicle. If you have, you can easily install dual filament sockets in place of the singles.

Some install an amber dual light bulb inside the headlight where the original park light is, or install lights inside the horn. I however chose a different route on this 1936 Ford that I built in the 1958 theme.
I chose to use turn signals only on the back, figuring that you can see what's going on in front of you and really don't need the lights up front, especially on a car that didn't come with turn signals in the first place.

On the back however, we improved the visibility of the lights by using vintage period correct aftermarket Night Owl lenses. They were produced for trucks and acted as side marker light,as well as the tail light, prior to actual separate lights specifically for that purpose. These are quite rare and hard to obtain, however.

If you know how turn signals operate, you are probably wondering at this point how I was able to make turn signals work on just the rear. It's another little trick I thought up in order to overcome a relativity simple obstacle in the whole picture of this fabulous car. I took the flasher apart and just did a little tweaking on the flasher until it started flashing with just one light drawing juice through it.

General Jumbo Wheel Restoration Clev Weld Wheels

I call these General Jumbo Wheels Because that is what they are most often called. The reality of it is that these are Wheels that were made by Cleveland Welding Co. and these eleven spoke wheels were produced for Goodrich Tire Co.

Because the 11 spoke wheels are more of a refined look than the 9 spoke wheels that General Tire Co. used, we are modifying these to take the General caps. No one that I know of ever reproduced the Goodrich caps which were made to snap onto a clip ring that was spot welded to the rim center. The caps for Goodrich were larger in diameter too.

These wheels are far more complicated to restore than the 9 spoke because of the way the center was constructed.

The rivets were drilled out of the rims and a large portion of the rivet fell inside the spokes. That was when we realized that we would have to cut the center out of the spoke section. They had a bit of rust inside them making them hard to press apart after the centers were cut at the weld on the lathe.

We had all the pieces sandblasted and installed 1/4 inch nutserts in each spoke so we could refasten the spoke section to the rim without welding after the center section is chromed. Originally they just burned some of the chrome off the back side after riveting them into the rims, and just painted it with some silver paint to cover the burn.

We are putting wider rims on the pair for the rear so the holes for the spokes will have to be indexed by our machinist.

After we install the spoke centers in the rims they will be set up in the lathe again and the lug bolt plate will be welded into place. Also the adapter ring on the face so they will accept the General caps, will be welded at this time.

The next step will be to remove the centers again and copper and file and sand until they are ready to polish for the final chrome finish.

Installing the chrome centers and painting the rims black is the final step in this complex project.

The results will likely be proud ownership of what will probably be the only set of these wheels that have ever been restored.

235 261 Chevrolet Dual Exhaust Header Manifold

A split manifold on a stove bolt Chevrolet 235 or 261 engine makes for a unique sound and increases breathing capacity, therefore slightly increasing horsepower.

The early Corvette came with what was called the Blue Flame Six. It had the dual exhaust manifold and three side draft carburetors.

Through the years, there have been a lot of standard manifolds split, and they were done in a wide range of fashion. Sometimes done with a plumbing elbow, just scabbed onto the side of the manifold with just an extra hole exiting the manifold.

There was a rear section offered for splitting the manifold that was actually a separate cast manifold. You would cut the original manifold just behind the heat riser and block it off at that point, making the process quite simple. These are quite rare to find, but make for a nice vintage correct look and are of pretty nice quality, although they don't really look like they match when finished.

I have an example here of a very nice original 235 manifold that has been split, using an original flange from another manifold. It has also been blocked off just behind the heat riser so as to make two separate chambers. In making two separate chambers, it gives the exhaust a definite cackle. If you have pressure equalizing between the chambers, it softens the sound greatly.

The welding of the cast iron is a tricky process. It is best done in conjunction with an oven for preheating and controlled slow cooling after the weld is done. It can be done by Brazing, cast iron welding or nickel allow welding. Keeping the manifold bolted to a head with the intake in place as well, provides for a great jig to prevent warping.

This example here has a very nice tight shaft for the heat riser, with almost no wear on it. Because it is quite an involved process to do a manifold like this, it is not worth the trouble to split one that is not in excellent condition. This one was welded together with nickel alloy rod. A final finish of VHT cast iron paint was applied. This coating holds up very well. I used it on my 1937 Chevy pickup manifold, several years and 30,000 miles ago.
                 Sold                                           For Sale $325

Seattle Roadster Show Pick by Harley Earl's Grandson

The Seattle Roadster show was a three day event. It seems though that it always worked out that for several nights before the event, you were preparing into the early morning hours. There is always a lot of special preparation and detailing to get your car ready for the white glove treatment. This of course means that you will need to have the entire undercarriage absolutely spotless.

The variety of cars entered in a large indoor show such as the Seattle Roadster Show is quite interesting and usually presents something for just about everyone to enjoy. It's rare to see a true classic car in such an event though. They are usually displayed at shows like the Kirkland Concours d' Elegance or Pebble Beach and Forest Grove Concours d' Elegance.

I personally like the cars that are more toward the restoration side rather than the custom or modified side of the spectrum. Classic Car Shows are always interesting as they are almost always geared toward correct restoration.

Slight modification, sometimes to me is fun and really quite practical when it comes to bringing some of the early cars up to a level that makes them functional on today's highways. This doesn't mean you will need an independent aftermarket front end, disc brakes, and a computerized engine and transmission. You certainly don't need a 9 inch Ford rear end either. It's a strong one but if you're not drag racing with a 600hp engine, it's way overkill, and there are plenty of rear ends out there that will work fine for less money.

To me, there is something to be said about using "real car parts" and personally orchestrating a work of art that is both reliable and highly functional on modern roads. Following a "theme" in building that work of art as though it was built by a true hot rodder from the 1950's is what turns my crank. I also like to make subtle upgrades that are almost undetectable by the average car guy. This is what I did with my 1937 Chevrolet Pickup Truck.

Because I built my truck so different than the majority build their cars, it is something that most people question. I wanted it to look like a 1937 Chevrolet Pickup and not a plastic replica car. In other words I want my outside door handles, hood ornament, original mirrors and all the trimmings that this truck came with. When you open the hood, it still looks like a vintage truck engine, not a modernized kit car. I did use some vintage speed equipment on it but nothing you can buy off the shelf or out of any magazines. When you look in the bed of my truck it looks like a truck bed, not some funny furniture.

In order to make a point, I drove my drum brake, 6 volt, 6 cylinder 1937 Chevrolet Pickup Truck with 1941 running gear and a R-10 modified overdrive from coast to coast and back on a solo trip in 2007. Cruising speed was 70 mph for most of the trip. It handles fine a 80 mph too but it runs real smooth at 70.

Getting back to the Seattle Roadster Show and the point that I was going to share here:
During the show when I and a couple friends were looking at the cars at the show, we were admiring a 1950's open Cadillac that was a very nice restoration, but it had a cut rate parts store battery in it. That stood out like a sore thumb. As we where looking at it, another guy came up and also made a comment about that battery. In talking to this guy, the question came up "what's your favorite car here?" His answer was "that blue 1937 Chevrolet Pickup". Shortly thereafter he shared that Harley Earl was his grandfather. Was his choice based on the fact that his grandfather was doing the design work for General Motors at that time period?