Garage Sale Find – 1950′s Chevy

You just never know what you are going to find at a garage sale.

I was running some errands this pass weekend that included a trip to my local Ace Hardware store.  As I entered the parking lot of the hardware store,  I noticed a “garage sale” sign outside the local self-storage located across the street.

I don’t often attend garage sales unless I know ahead of time what I need might be there and that I can pick it up cheap.  However, it was beautiful Southern Arizona morning so I walked across the street and wandered around the storage buildings.   It was a good size storage lot a bit more like a swap-meet, with some guy cooking burgers on his small home grill and selling bottled water.  Not much interested me and I was about to exist, when I saw notices some car parts in the far corner.  No self-respecting car gal/guy wouldn’t pass up at least a quick glance at old car parts.


FrntClip1 FrontClip2


There was no one around and no prices, so maybe it wasn’t part of the garage sale.  Looks to be a 1955 Chevy front clip.

It had some re-bar temp braces on the back side to keep it from betting out of alignment.

Never know what you are going to find.

Thanks for reading.



1955 chevy




NCM – Mallett Hammer Update 4/09/14 Part II

So it ends, at least the recovery part of the ill-fated  ”Great 8″ as dubbed by the National Corvette Museum folks.

The Mallett Hammer comes to the surface.

Hammer4 Hammer5

As with a couple of the others – this is how I expected to see them come to the surface.

From the NCM:

The 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 was one of two Corvettes that’s whereabouts were initially unknown after the sinkhole happened. The car was finally discover this Monday, upside down with the nose pointing towards the red Spire in the center of the room. It is, by far, the most heavily damaged of all eight Corvettes.

“It looks like the worst one… a lot of parts and pieces,” said Mike Murphy, CEO of Scott, Murphy and Daniel Construction. “It took a lot of punishment from a lot of big rocks.”

The Mallett Hammer was donated to the Museum this past December by Kevin and Linda Helmintoller of Land O’ Lakes, Florida, Lifetime Members of the Museum and previous R8C Museum Delivery participants. Upon hearing the car had been located, Kevin traveled to Kentucky to witness the rescue operation. “I expected bad, but it’s 100 times worse,” he said. “It looks like a piece of tin foil… and it had a roll cage in it! It makes all the other cars look like they’re brand new.”

Strode had forewarned Helmintoller that the car would be in bad shape and he might not want to watch the recovery process. “Honestly though, I’m still glad I’m here because I would have never believed it was this bad. I’m not positive I would have recognized it – there are just a few little pieces that give it away.” 

Helmintoller added that he sent pictures of the damaged car to his engine builder, who (jokingly) was quick to point out that the motor was not covered under warranty.

Kevin and Linda spent 13 years modifying the Corvette, a car they purchased new in 2001. The Mallett Hammer conversion was completed in June 2002 and since then has had many AntiVenom LSX Performance modifications with the car boasting 700hp with 575 torque at the flywheel. The car’s speed achievements helped it score a cover of GM High Tech Performance magazine.

GM has said they would restore them.  I look at this one and the Spyder and say “Really?”   Same VIN number perhaps…not a lot more.

Although the recovery is completed – other than fishing out the top parts of the “Hammer” there is still a long way to go for rebuilding that part of the museum and restoring the cars.

I hope GM keeps great video records and that they release them to the public to allow us to keep track of the progress.  That ought to be a good History Channel – nearly live - documentary, yes?   For sure a dedicated YouTube channel. (Not sure live 24 hour camera coverage would be of much value.)

I’ve hyped the National Corvette Museum and urging folks to donate and I still do (Here’s the link again. Donate Click Here ) they need the assistance.  But that’s because Corvettes are my thing (one of them, anyway), but there are a lot of car museum’s across the country that are doing a great job preserving vehicles of interest.

Right here in Tucson, Az is the Franklin Museum with a very nice collection of Franklin cars.   Find one near you!!

Thanks for reading.


mallett hammer corvettenational corvette museum

National Corvette Museum – Mallett Hammer Found!!!

The Mallet Hammer has been located in the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum (NCM).

According to the NCM:

The final Corvette… #8 of the “Great 8″ has been found! The Mallett Hammer is upside down with the nose going to the Spire in the center of the room. There are lots of rocks, so the removal process will be more time-consuming that it was with the other cars.

Thanks to Samuel for this photo!


Mallet Hammer at the museum.

Mallet Hammer at the museum.


I’d image it’s going to take as while to pull that out and odds are it won’t be in great shape.

Thanks to all those work hard on the recover.

Thanks for reading.



A Look Back at Two Significant Corvettes | bowmanchevy

When the Z06 was introduced in 2001, Mallett quickly grabbed hold to engineer and develop the “Mallett Hammer” Z06 Corvette. Historically, this Z06 is significant because it was one of the first Mallett Hammers engineered to …



Mallett Hammer Corvette – Found in the NCM Sinkhole! NOPE!!!

Looks like previous reports of finding the Mallett Hammer Corvette was incorrect.

Looks like we have the reared body for the PPG Pace Car.

Looks like we have the rearend of the body for the PPG Pace Car.














Seventh Down, One Mallett Hammer Corvette to Go:   In less than a week, the 1.5 Millionth Corvette…

Mallett Hammer Corvette – National Corvette Museum







Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading.






1,500,000th Corvette 4/2/2014 – C6 Convertible

I watched part of the day (stupid budget meeting!!! Cry)  as they dug around the 1.5 millionth Corvette.Currently it is lays at the bottom of the of the sink hole.


1.5 Millionth C6

1.5 Millionth C6














One of the best looking Vette paint scheme wise.

One of the best looking Vette paint scheme wise.



















Enough said.

Thanks for reading.









National Corvette Museum Update 4/2/2014 – Spyder’s Hood

National Corvette Museum
Liked · 7 mins

The Spyder hood has been found! Thanks Timmy with SMD for taking this pic. They also found a badge that had come off the car that was also autographed.

That's Great!!!  Look at all the signatures....HEY...LET'S NOT RESTORE THIS HOOD!!!!

That’s Great!!! Look at all the signatures….HEY…LET’S NOT RESTORE THIS HOOD!!!!


Update from the Construction Managment company, Scott Murphy and Daniel from yesterday afternoon: We are continuing to carefully excavate around the 1.5M Vette. With the limited space, heavy rock boulders, and its position with the…See More
Thanks to this guy and all the workers.  NICELY DONE!!!   Can't wait for the beautiful 1.5 to surface!!!

Thanks to this guy and all the workers. NICELY DONE!!! Can’t wait for the beautiful 1.5 to surface!!!







Thanks for reading.


1.5 Millionth Corvette Pre-Sinkhole

If you’ve never been to the National Corvette Museum, you should put that on your bucket list.  If you are a car gal/guy  you’ll love it, even more so, if you own or previously owned a corvette.

Here are my pictures I took of the 1, 500,000th Corvette on one of my trips to the NCM.




One of the best looking Vette paint scheme wise.

One of the best looking Vette paint scheme wise.

Awesome look!!!

Awesome look!!!


I actually thought about getting a decal for my C6 with the number on it!!



Current location of the 1.5 Mil Corvette

Current location of the 1.5 Mil Corvette Sad to see it here.























Thanks for reading.  Drop me your comments.

National Corvette Museum Sinkhole Update 4/1/2014 – Spyder and 1.5 Mil

From what I can see at this time the 1.5 millionth car is being uncovered as it was laying beneath the Spyder.  Here is an update from NCM:
“When we started digging around the Black Spyder, we found a piece of white fiberglass underneath it and we continued to expose that until we saw that it was the 1.5 Millionth car,” said Mike Murphy, CEO of Scott, Murphy and Daniel Construction. “We had no idea where it was, we just happened upon it. We hope when we move the white car we find the red car that way, because we’ve just not had any luck detecting where it is.” Murphy indicated that they have utilized metal detectors as well as probing rods, and that they remove layers of dirt as they probe but have not had a lot of luck so far.

On Monday, the team worked to continue removing dirt from around the Spyder, then in the early evening decided to carefully pull the car out of the remaining dirt.

“It was free everywhere except underneath there was a concrete slab wedged. We felt we had it in the best position, just like pulling a gun out of a holster. Everyone felt like it was best to take it so it wouldn’t bend and break if we’d had it exposed more,” Murphy said.

The team resumed recovery efforts early Tuesday morning, removing a large boulder that was lodged in the cabin of the Spyder and collecting bits and pieces of the car to help with any restoration or preservation efforts. The Spyder was removed from the depths of the hole around 9am CT, and is in worse shape than even the PPG Pace Car.

ZR1Spyder - The only ZR1 covertible...EVER!!!

ZR1Spyder – The only ZR1 convertible…EVER!!!


ZR1 Spyder and the location of the 1.5 Mil



Current location of the 1.5 Mil Corvette

Current location of the 1.5 Mil Corvette



Thanks for reading.





Hemmings Backfire – Auction Ads

I was just reading one of my favorite automotive periodicals “Hemmings Motor News” (April 14th) last night and I stopped by the letters to the editor section called ‘Backfire’.  I usually just skim that section, I don’t normal care about someone else’s whine…I’m an IT guy, I get that all day.  However, one letter caught my interest (maybe just because it was long).  A reader had written a letter blasting way at “the publisher and advertisers” for promoting our hobby (car collecting, selling, restoration, etc.) in such a way as to ‘…pander to the individuals who take the interest in the industry only because of the financial gains that may be made through sale or investment in collector cars’.  Which according to him was in direct philosophical opposition to many of the writers at Hemmings who complain about “…the fact that the collector-car industry has become so money driven.”  To that I say “poppycock” and “balderdash”!! I’m not even British!!

He goes on to say that the ads promoting auctions and the articles that show the results of those auctions have value only to the ‘high roller’ segment of our hobby.  Again – poppycock!!! (Oh…if you go to reprint/publish this {permission granted} and ‘poppycock’ is not in your lexicon of acceptable words – just replace with “BS”.  I’m cool with that.)

It was good to see, however, that he understood that publishing such great works such as Hemmings Motor News isn’t free and you have to chase the advertising $$$ where it’s found.

Although he brought up a valid point, there are a lot of auction related ads/results/information/articles in Hemmings’ offering. For instance, 20 of the 53 most recent Hemmings Daily email messages either directly stated “auction” or had high-end priced car values – right in the titles.   But I like reading that ‘stuff’!!!

Needless to say I disagree with the man from Menominee, Michigan that promoting auctions is evil and that there is something inherently damaging to the car enthusiast hobby by publishing the results.  I’ll explain why in a minute but I have to set up the basis for my opinion.

I’ve restored a few cars, completely or in part (1966 Impala, 1969 Dodge Dart, 1971 Thunderbird, 1970 Chevelle, 1970 Mustang coupe – trophy winner, a 1984 C4 Corvette – 2 time trophy winner and working on a 1966 Bridgestone Dual Twin – my first attempt at a motorcycle ) and sold them, but I never made a profit – well maybe on the C4, I got that one in a title for title trade for a 1995 Celica – yes that did happen (see the story here….) and sold it for a good price.

Additional, I attend, in person, at least one “big guy” auction a year (most often it’s the Barrett Jackson in Scottsdale, AZ – just up the road a piece).  Now, I have never purchased more than a hat, t-shirt, or some other trinket at these types of auctions, I just have this little blog and a lot enthusiasm, but not a lot of ‘free range’ cash. You have to attend at least one of these auctions to understand that there are some big dollar cars that pass in front of the auctioneer, but there other beautiful collectible cars that sell for reasonable prices.  Just walking among some of the iconic classic vehicles is rewarding and I come away inspired!

I enjoy the auction information and their results in the Hemmings’ magazines for a couple of reasons.  First, it is great to know where and when they are being held and what cars are worth getting an up close look at and photograph.  Having a schedule helps with travel planning. (Get a Hemmings Calendar they are listed there.)  Second, call me a “starry eyed optimistic, to the point of being delusional, car guy” (wife would just say “delusional”) but this type of information, in part, makes me see the potential in all kinds of cars.  Just dreaming about taking something that is rough and creating something that others want or appreciate is very cool.  It also gives me a threshold to try to obtain during a restoration – one I’ll never match 100%  – average guy, with average skills and a below average budget – you know how that goes.

This inspiration would be dead on arrival, if I knew there was no way that a car could be restored.  The big guy auctions and the high end restorers help keep the market for reproduction parts going and doors to salvage yards open, either by their purchase power or just by creating the want (need) to take that old VW bus setting on blocks at grandpa’s house and get it road worthy or airing up the tires on that Ford Mustang coupe sitting in the garage with a rod sticking out of the hood and creating a clone. This helps the hobby. It keeps it publicly visible, shows that there is value (even if it’s not always attainable by everyone – what is?) and promotes preservation of history by restoring to factory specs (or close) or creating history by customizing it.  How many customized cars go on to be historic (try Ring Brothers Mustangs or a George Barris creation)?

There is one more over-looked area where these big auctions and car shows benefit the hobby. Size matters. If the industry is big and it makes money on the local, state and/or national level, two things are accomplished.  First, a fan base is created that will reject the legislation trying to be passed to limit our hobby. Second, generate enough ‘horse power’ (pronounced ‘revenue’) to lobby politicians (pronounced ‘showing them the light’) to prevent passage of laws that restrict our hobby. Both very helpful.

So guys and gals at Hemmings (the best automotive periodical publishing company, ever!!! OMG!!!) I don’t care if you have to sell ads for ‘work at home schemes’, as long as you can keep Mike McNessor writing, Richard Lentinello pontificating, the other contributors submitting articles and make Daniel Strohl stop doing whatever that thing is he does with abandoned cars (just kidding – love those too) I’ll always be a happy subscriber!!

Thank you.

Tim Sweet

Tucson, AZ

1970 Mustang

1970 Mustang

1984 C4

1984 C4