December 30, 2017

The Truth Behind the Trans Am Restoration

1977 Pontiac Trans Am Restoration: Metal Repair

At first glance, this 1977 Trans Am looks solid. It's well cared for, driven frequently (only in the summer), and any minor body damage or mechanical repairs were always done promptly. But there was a dirty little secret hiding under the whopping 5 layers of Brentwood Brown paint(see the video tour of paint stripping on Facebook)Old repairs left the rear wheel housing, trunk extension and quarter panel with rust eating away at the sheet metal.

In the photos that follow, we show you the rusty consequences of incorrect metal repairs and how we fix it at Driven Restorations LLC, using fresh sheet metal on this 1977 Pontiac Trans Am.


November 6, 2017

A closer look at the 1949 Buick Special Series 41 Sedan

There are numerous unique characteristics of every vehicle whether it's a classic car or your daily driver. It's not until decades later that any of these design details become very interesting. 
  • Power windows: Once an innovative luxury item and the reason your kids/grandkids don't know what "roll up the window" means. 
  • 2 sun visors: That was once an extra feature
  • Power steering: Now the only reason anyone can park in a city thanks to the design of the seemingly shrunken parking lots.
  • Turn signals: Can you imagine using hand signals on congested roads? Ouch!
Seems like a pretty basic list right? At first glance, it definitely is B.A.S.I.C. Things get's more complicated when replicating the early versions of these "options". Digging into the wire routing, mounting brackets, bulbs, wiring, wiper blades, specialty hardware, trim clips....well you understand. It's a different ballgame altogether when attempting to create a classic automotive time capsule that looks better than show room new. Oh and there's that minor detail of ensuring the old technology can safely carry people on today's busy roads.

Meet our latest challenge: 
1949 Buick Special Series 41, straight 8, 248 CI, 4 door sedan

The hood latches double as decorative trim on either side of the hood. The telescoping antenna has a knob above the rear view mirror to turn it from it's resting position, laying on the center strip of the windshield, to it's "on" position, upright and 4 ft tall!


We thought the interior of the car was tan. It appears to be tan. Even the headliner is tan! However, the body tag(discussed later on this post) and the smallest parts of the interior that escaped sun exposure tell us that the interior was in fact gray wool broadcloth with a dark gray metallic dash. The seat foam was so rodent damaged that the blankets on the seat are in place to cover the springs and the door panels are nearly missing all together. 

For the passengers, each seat has it's own ash tray and the glove box has a large clock front and center. Perhaps to allow well timed nagging of "are we there yet?" Sliding rear windows are a unique style and include a drain tube in the structure of the car to direct the rainwater from the window well , over the rear inner fender and to the ground through the rocker. 

January 15, 2017

Dyno Test: Re-built Small Block Chevy 350

This Chevrolet Small block isn't stock any longer!

Our customer wanted just over 400hp under the hood of his 1968 Chevy C10 show truck currently in our restoration shop getting a frame off restoration. We discussed the truck owner's goals, planned the build, had the block machined, assembled it, and painted it a high gloss Chevy orange. The results will get him to the shows in a hurry and he can do some burnouts on his way home!

A few details about the engine shown on the dyno in the video below:

  • Small block Chevy 350
  • Bored .060
  • Roller rockers
  • Roller cam
  • Aluminum intake 
  • Aluminum heads

Dyno test and block machine work performed at Advanced Engine Concepts in Green Lake WI.

Dyno test results: 432HP  460lbft torque
Assembly on the left, fresh paint on the right. The 350 looks great!
The SBC is now mounted on it's freshly refinished chassis and is backed by it's new 5 speed Tremec transmission with a more goodies on the way.


See more details and photos at the link below