Tag Archives: Martinez

Shortened, Channeled and Tubbed – Studebaker Champ

This month I’m taking a break from Maserati Monday’s to return to a short run of pick up Monday’s featuring some interesting highly modified pick up’s.

A couple of weeks ago Johnny “Wicked in Suede” Martinez posted today’s first photo taken by his wife Linda, of himself and his friend Barry Buchanan standing next to Barry’s ’62 Studebaker Champ Pro Street Rod, my first excited reaction was to find out more about it and to see if I could get some more photo’s for today’s blog.

Studebaker, Champ, California,

The Studebaker Champ was a pickup built between 1960 and 1964 with a cab based on the Lark compact and is probably most notable for having a novel, for the time, sliding window at the back of the cab.

Studebaker, Champ, Dodge 383, California,

Early champs had a choice of motors including; a 170 cui flathead 6 the design of which dated back to 1939, 259 cui V8 or 289 V8, sitting in front of the recessed firewall of Barry’s ’62 Champ is a ’67 Dodge Coronet big block 383 good for an easy 335hp in unmodified form when it was manufactured.

Studebaker, Champ, California,

Modifications to this Champ include lowering the body on the chassis by 4″ a process known as “channeling”, it has also been “tubbed” meaning that large interior wheel arches have been welded in to accommodate the 295/50/15 rear BF Goodrich tyres which are fitted to American Racing 5 spoke rims.

Studebaker, Champ, California,

The Coronet 383 is fitted a an A727 transmission which I believe is better known as Chrysler TorqueFlite the original push button variations of which were first seen in 1956, the custom interior easily accommodates Barry’s 6′ 4″ frame.

Studebaker, Champ, California,

Barry has shortened the pick up bed, which houses the 12 gallon fuel tank, by 18 inches, mounted on the back of the bed is a spoiler sourced from a Pontiac Fiero .

Studebaker, Champ, California,

The rear axle is a Ford 9″ which would orginally have been used in; Fairlane, Mustang, Falcon, Torino, F100 and F150 applications.

Studebaker, Champ, California,

Linked here is a youtube clip of Barry talking about his Champ and some wonderful footage of him driving it on a California cruise.

My thanks to Barry and his girlfriend Kathy Junge who also worked on the Champ and took all but the first of today’s photographs.

Thanks for joining me on this “Shortened, Channeled and Tubbed” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a vehicle with an aero engine that had a reputation for catching fire when in operation. Don’t forget to come back now !


Congratufreakinlations® – Grand National Roadster Show.

The last week of January saw neighbours Gary L Wales and Johnny Martinez attend the 64th Grand National Roadster Show at the Fairplex in Panoma, California. Johnny Martinez has kindly agreed to share his photographs of the event with us today.

La Bestioni V, Grand National Roadster Show, Fairplex, Panoma, CA

Gary L Wales was showing his 1919 American La France based La Bestioni V, the chains of which are spun by a 14 litre / 854 cui 6 cylinder motor. Gary was awarded the Novelty Vehicle Trophy for his creation.

Queens Last Revenge, Grand National Roadster Show, Fairplex, Panoma, CA

The Queens Last Revenge a triumph of the art of low riding.

Ford Model A Coupé, Grand National Roadster Show, Fairplex, Panoma, CA

I’m sure this colour green would not have been available in 1932 when this Ford was originally built but it is nicely set off by the white soft top panel in the roof.

So Cal, Grand National Roadster Show, Fairplex, Panoma, CA

So Cal so low some of us might need the sun roof to see where we are going.

Ford Woody Monster Garage, Grand National Roadster Show, Fairplex, Panoma, CA

Jesse James and his West Coast Choppers is probably as well known in this country for yomping across Lord March’s Goodwood Estate in his Trophy Truck as he is in the USA for his television show’s which include Monster Garage in which this 1950 Ford Woody was resurrected, I love the old school 1/4 mile dirt track style bumper on the front.

Volkswagen Type 2, Grand National Roadster Show, Fairplex, Panoma, CA

While California is by no means the home of surfing it is associated with much surfing activity so the presence of a couple of split screen Volkswagen Type 2 campers can be no surprise, these two appear to date from somewhere around 1964.

Ford Pizza Van, Grand National Roadster Show, Fairplex, Panoma, CA

It’s not every day I see a Pizza Wagon with two Rootes Superchargers and outsize slick tyres, this example is billed as a 1919 Ford C Cab and was built by Bob Schoonhoven and is said to feature Dan Wood suspension, unfortunately the Pizza Van is a show car and not street legal.

Cruel Intentions, Chevrolet Impala, Grand National Roadster Show, Fairplex, Panoma, CA

Johnny reckons the Cruel Intentions Chevrolet Impala convertible above is probably the only car you would get away with displaying upside down.

2BSOLOW Lincoln Bubble Top, Grand National Roadster Show, Fairplex, Panoma, CA

The curious amalgam of Johnny “Lunchbox” Cash parts above started life as a 1955 Ford and sits on a 1988 Lincoln Town Car chassis. 2BSOLOW is also known as a 1955 Ford Beatnick Custom it was built by Gary “Chopit” Fioto as a tribute to Kustom pioneers Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and Darryl Starbird. The the 350 cui Chevrolet powered Bubble Top has won numerous awards and was recently estimated to be worth a high $125,000 at auction in 2011, but did not sell.

Ford Model A Pickup,  Grand National Roadster Show, Fairplex, Panoma, CA

Finally we come to Johnny’s ’29 Ford Model A pickup which I featured a couple of weeks ago.

After four months of meticulous preparation Johnny is seen here with the Rod Pickup – pre-1935 award which he won at the show, as his friend Merritt Sanger trade marked on facebook “Congratufreakinlations®”.

But that is not quite the end of Johnny’s story as some of you will remember I spent a couple of weeks at the end of last month to vote for Johnny’s ’29 Ford Model A pickup in the Gold Eagle Cool Ride of the Month contest. After a close fought battle with daily swings of less than 1% making the difference in the lead over several weeks Johnny’s friends including several GALPOT readers finally pushed his ’29 Ford clear on the last day to win the 2013 January Gold Eagle Cool Rides on line contest by just over 1%. On behalf of Johnny I’d like to thank every one who participated. Johnny will be receiving a $150 dollars worth of Gold Eagle products to help him keep his Pickup in top condition.

Johnny’s Ford has now won 28 awards in 31 months.

My thanks to Johnny Martinez for sharing his photo’s from the Grand National Roadster Show and congratulations again on another two well deserved wins.

Thanks for joining me on this “Congratufreakinlations®” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !