V8 Staff

I made an “Owner Information Guide” sometime in ‘93. Interestingly, it never contained the info listed on the cover. It held receipts and stuff, but I never got around to finishing all the details.

2 brand-spankin’ new BFG Radial TA’s for $77.99 a piece in December, 1992!

At this point, Jim and I had flown to LA to pick up the ‘62 Galaxie 500 XL convertible for my dad… yes, THAT one, that we still have today. But that’s a different thread entirely. However, that was my first trip to California as an adult – a 20 year-old, anyhow, and I was hooked. Rust free old car parts in junkyards? I’m all in. I bought some stuff for the ‘70 in preparation for my quickie paint job, like a new fender and grille parts to repair the deer hit damage.

Back home, I got the gumption to blow it apart for paint. I’d work all day at my summer job at the insurance company, then spend nights tearing it down, sanding panels, and doing bodywork. Of course, the job escalated far beyond the quick rust repair and paint job, as the deeper I dug, the rustier it got. That’s when I ran out of time and money, and had to drive the primered Riv (with ½ the interior removed) back to school in the fall. The poor car was at an all-time low.

Remember the rear end I swapped from the ‘68 parts car? Yeah, it let go on the way down to school one weekend. The differential went “bang” and basically became a spool. I was able to drive it back home, but that one required a rear axle out of a scrap yard in Oklahoma to fix. At least I had the tree-trunk thing down.

Again, I was out of cash, and my parents handed me down their old ‘81 Lincoln to drive because the Riv was such a mess. I put the Riv in storage until I had the time and money to get back into it… which wouldn’t be for a while.

In the fall of ‘93, I discovered a form of Photoshop and made this rendering, suggesting the mods I wanted to do to the car, including lowering it, smoothing the handles, and some other traditional hot rod tricks. Looking back, I was pretty far ahead of my time by doing computer renderings of modified cars back in the 1993.

The image is in a mock newsletter I created for a class in the spring of ‘95. “Smooth and functional is definitely the outlook for the 1990s”… I really wanted to be a magazine guy, can you tell?

Thank heavens I wasn’t able to adapt the ‘92 Buick Roadmaster Wagon nose to the car as proposed in this sketch. My Dad had a Roadmaster (Roadmonster) wagon as a company car at that point, and I guess that’s where the inspiration came from. It was the early ‘90s, and this would have been pretty cutting-edge, but not very cool.

I also did some sketches of crazy tail-light and exhaust treatments, but my favorite was the pencil sketch of using the open-headlight ‘70 nose on a ‘69 body. The ‘69 had a more open rear wheel radius, more pronounced “shoulders” in the rear quarters, and was an overall tighter design. I sketched this one out in class one day in 1993. I’d still like to build this car:

Other tail-light fun…

I had no idea how to make those lights work in reality, but I thought it was a fun integration of modern ‘90s jelly-bean styling. Not a fan now, but I must have been really bored in class.

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