Corvette powered VW Pickup and an Ed Roth Hot Rod | Barn Find Hunter – Ep. 54

Corvette powered VW Pickup and an Ed Roth Hot Rod | Barn Find Hunter – Ep. 54


(garage door opens) (engine starts) – Oh I miss this old girl. (upbeat music) (engine revs) ♪ Arms opposed and dislocated, ♪ ♪ I just keep on wandering along ♪ ♪ Got this pointed pole of rancids that ♪ ♪ I have been everything you want ♪ – Back in our old friend the Woodie en route to St. George, Utah. We don’t know if any cars exist there, but it looked like a nice
place near Zion National Park. So join us as we try to find
some old cars in St. George. (upbeat music) – We are in the town of St. George, Utah. And we pulled into town,
don’t know where to go. I could go up and down every street, but decided to Google
auto restoration shop, and there’s one we’re going to right now called Troy’s Custom Paint. We’re gonna see if he has any suggestions on where we can start kind
of jump start the system. To see if we can find
somebody that is into old cars who will turn us onto somebody
else, and then somebody else. So this will be a case study
to see if this method works. (rock and roll music) – This was a miss. They said, “Nice guys.” I said, “Well, I guess
we’ll have to just admit that we don’t know
anybody with any old cars. But they advised us to go to
another place in St. George, called Steve’s Hot Rods. And apparently, he’s got all
sorts of projects going on. So that might be a good place
to start, so here we go. Part two. Excuse me, might you know of
anybody that’s into old cars? I’m not looking for pretty,
I’m looking for neglected. – [Police Officer] Right,
not that I can think of. – Alright. Alright, well
you’ve got a great dog. – [Police Officer] Thank you. – See ya. Thanks. Well we tried another
odd type, honored method of finding old cars is
talk to a police officer. This seems to be a high end area. I don’t know, I just
get a feeling everything is real clean, the houses are new. It’s probably not the type of area that old cars organically hang out in. (acoustic music) Oh look at this. Well we
found our first place. So let that be a lesson to you, that if you knock on enough doors, eventually somebody’ll answer. That’s a two-door wagon like my ’53. How you doing? So one of the methods we
use when going into a town where we don’t know
where any old cars are, one thing you can do is
ride up and down every road, looking at people’s backyards. But the other thing you
can do is get on Google, search for businesses that
are restoration shops, hot rod shops, junkyards if you have to. So we Googled hot rod shops,
Steve’s Hot Rod Garage came up, and Steve Neilsen has been
kind enough to allow us to come and look at some
of the cars that he has, and maybe advise us on
some that he knows about in other parts of the town. So Steve thanks for inviting us here. – You’re welcome. – So you’re a hot rod shop.
How long you been in business? – [Steve] About nine years, I guess so. – [Tom] Nine years. Okay. Now do people bring you cars, and you make hot rods out of them? Or do you find cars to spec or how do you? – We do both. But more of
people bringing them in. We find them. We don’t seem
to get our own done a lot. But we’re always working
on everybody else’s. – Well what attracted us here
when you come off the street, when you see, I’m not
looking for pretty stuff, I’m looking for this stuff. – [Steve] Well mission accomplished. – [Tom] So I’m a VW guy. Your
chopped square back here. What’s the story with this? – [Steve] You know, I went
to California to buy a truck and it was just horrible, and we didn’t want to leave
with an empty trailer. We found this. – [Tom] You purchased it the way it is? – [Steve] Yeah. The way it is, yeah. We brought it back. He had tried to chop it but he didn’t have a lot of experience. So we were gonna see what
we could do to save it. It runs. We had it running. – Did you really? – It is a runner. Got a pancake motor. and that in it.
– Yup, it’s got a stick shift. – [Steve] Yeah, the chop
job’s not the greatest. – So will you re chop it somehow? – You know, we’ve been debating. Rather we chop it or maybe we’ll just make it a permanent convertible. We may do that.
– [Tom] (laughs) Really? – Sometimes that’s– – Wow. – kind of a neat thing to do, you know? – And this is a car on spec
in other words you bought it you’ll sell it on spec, or
keep to for yourself? Or what? – [Steve] Yeah. I’ll probably sell it. I’ve got a couple I’m gonna keep. This isn’t really one of them, it was just we didn’t want
leave with an empty trailer after going all the way to San Diego. – [Tom] I agree with you man. – [Steve] We’ll fix it
up and probably sell it. And if somebody comes along that wants it prior to us doing it,
then we’ll sell it too. – [Tom] Alright, well
somebody watching this may like it the way it is.
– [Steve] Yeah. – [Tom] What would you
ask for it the way it is? – [Steve] You know, I don’t know. I didn’t think about selling it. Probably a couple grand I would think. – Okay, this, a big old Chrysler four-door doesn’t have much attraction
to a hot rod or does it? – [Steve] Well this
one’s kind of a neat one, it’s got, everything’s original. All the parts are there. It’s got the Hemi motor,
it’s a smaller Hemi. But it runs, and everything works. – Can I see the motor? Is that a 331? – Come here. He’s gotta open. The cables broke so he’s gotta – Oh, oh, oh, – be a contortionist. – So what year is this? – [Man In Black Hat]
52′. It’s got a 331 Hemi with a built in bell housing. That’s a 750 pound motor. I know it well.
– [Steve] It’s a monster. Yeah we put it on the trailer. We almost didn’t think
we were gonna make it. It was so dang heavy. – [Tom] Really? I’ve got one of these in
a car exactly that motor with four single barrels. Chrysler Corporation of
Detroit. That’s pretty cool. – [Steve] Kind of a neat car. – [Tom] Yeah, it is.
What will become of this? Will it be restored or? – [Steve] We’ve actually
done a deal with a guy here who’s got, a friend of ours,
who has a motorcycle shop around the corner. He wants it to be a shop truck or shop car or something. I don’t really know. He’s gonna just – [Man In Black Hat] It’s
gonna be his grocery getter. – [Steve] Yeah there you go. – [Tom] And just kind of
leave it the way it is? – [Steve] Yeah, he’s got a couple of them that are kinda rat-rotty like this. We are gonna clear-coat it. – So okay, so this is leaving you. So it’s no longer available. – Yeah, this one’s done. – Now this is what I do
when I see a Mustang. I walk over to the left side and I look up the fifth digit, and if it’s a K, I’m all over it. K-code car but this is C-code car, so it’s a 289 but less desirable. – [Tom] So here’s a newer,
another Dodge. Is this a Dodge? – [Steve] Yeah this is one
we saved from the crusher. – [Tom] Oh, wow. – A scrapper, I know, came and he said, “Hey, I got this car. It’s got a bunch of parts in it.” They’re all in the trunk and everything. The dash, it literally looks like almost everything’s here. He just said, “I hate to see this thing go to the crusher.” So he said, “I’ll deliver it to ya.” I forget what we paid
for it, it wasn’t much, a few hundred bucks probably. – It’s got a title or no title? – It’s got a title and everything. – [Tom] It’s got a title? – [Steve] Got a title and everything. Anyway, yeah so we’ve still got storage but we’ll have to drive
there if you want to see it. – [Tom] How about the
’57 wagon back there? Is that worth– – [Steve] Well let’s go look. – [Tom] Yeah that’s the kind of stuff our viewers love to see. – We had a guy, in fact, it’s for sale and everything there is for sale. It’s pretty rough. He’s about my age, and he was brought home from the hospital in this car. – Wow. So he thought it’d be
really cool to do the car up and show it to his mother. – So he took it apart and
that’s where it stopped. – No he didn’t do a thing,
he just brought it to us. And we tore it apart, then
he started looking at it and once we get them apart
then we have a better idea of what we’re up against. – [Tom] Sure. – And once we showed him what was what and kind of how much–
I got a shelter here, so you may get barked at. – Yup, yup. – But he just said, “You know what, that’s more than I care to take on.” So he said, “I think I
want to just part it out.” – Wow. – In fact just today, he
hauled off the fenders and he’s coming next week to get the body. – [Tom] What a shame. – [Steve] If you look at the– – [Tom] I’m looking at this here and it looks pretty good to me. Well this is a 1957 Ford Wagon. And as you know, I’m a wagon guy. It’s called a country Sedan, which was the non-wood sided model. The Country Squire was the
one with the fake wood siding. And this car’s not so bad,
I’m looking at the floors. It’s got some Bondo back here, but I’m looking at the rocker panels, the foot boxes, fire wall. Unfortunately the owner of
this car is parting it out, which is really too bad
because it was a complete car. Somebody would love to have this car to Hot Rod, Rat Rod, restore or whatever. So this is a sad case of a car that will ultimately wind
up in a junkyard probably. I can see, it’s red and white,
but originally it was blue. I’m not sure, it was
probably blue and white. You see the blue up in here. So the gentleman who owns it came home from the hospital in this
car when he was born. So it had a sentimental value to him, but he’s decided it’s
probably more trouble than it’s worth to restore it. So he’s just selling the
parts, which breaks my heart. (dogs barking) Now Steve said he’s got a
couple of storage buildings. We’re gonna ride over
there in the Woodie now, and see what he’s got there. (car engine starts) (upbeat music) – [Steve] So we’re at
storage unit number 11, and now we’re going down
to storage unit number 16 to see what might be there. – [Tom] So this was your high school van? – [Steve] This is my high school van. – [Tom] Isn’t that a blast? – [Steve] Yeah this has
been sitting back there for 20 something years. – [Tom] No. – [Steve] I’ve had it 42
years. Last registered in ’88, yup up in Salt Lake. – [Tom] Wow. That’s some interior. – [Steve] Yeah, I used to
work, there was a company called Custom Van of Utah and that was back in the 70s and 80s when vans were the thing, and I did the upholstery, and the body work and paint. Of course, we need to do
a bunch of that again now. – If this van’s a-rockin’,
don’t come a-knockin’? – Yeah. And this was an
old, I was a big Prince guy, hence the name. – [Tom] Yeah. No kidding. – That was one of his songs. It’s funny. We wanted to put
’59 Cadillac tail lights in it, but back in the 70s– – [Tom] Nobody reprogrammed them. – [Steve] No, you couldn’t find them. You had to buy a ’59 Cadillac. – [Tom] That’s funny. – So we took and bought some acrylic and made them, put them in a lathe, in my buddy’s dad’s lathe. He was really happy about
it when we got done, because there was plastic everywhere. – This was when you were in high school you did all this work? – Just out of high school,
I was about 19 probably. – [Tom] And what did you do for a living? – I worked on vans for a living. I was in the upholstery
shop and the paint shop, and we used to do all
those graphics, you know? So I did this whole thing inside, and it’s all biscuit tufted and (mumbles). It’s pretty nice. It won a
couple Autorama’s in its’ day. – [Tom] Ah, cool. Shaved door handles. – Shaved door handles,
gull-wing door on that side. – Alright, I’m gonna tell
you something right now. Do you know the brand of that? Don’t tell me, but do you
know the brand of that? – [Steve] Uh-huh I do. Do you? – [Tom] I do indeed. – [Steve] Do you know who designed it? – [Tom] I do, I wrote a book about it. – [Steve] Oh you did? I have the book. – Dean Jeffries. – Yup, Dean Jeffries. – That’s the Kyote.
– That’s the Kyote. – Isn’t that something. – Yup. – [Tom] You know, he passed away, but his son still has got the molds. – [Steve] Yeah I heard that. – [Tom] And I said, “Man,
why don’t you just come out with like a limited run of bodies, because I’ll it. I’ll buy one.” How long have you had this? – [Steve] I’ve had it
couple years probably. – So this a Dune Buggy, that
was built by a guy named Dean Jeffries and a guy
who I knew really well, and was a good friend. This was called a Kyote, and it was a result of
the Meyers Manx coming out which was the first kind
of fog res Dune Buggy, and Dean came out soon there after with this style,
completely different style. Actually he built the Monkeemobile. He and Mike Nesmith, who was
the lead singer of the Monkees, drove Kyote number one in the Baja 1000. That’s the car he still has. – [Steve] Yeah I know Mike
Nesmith pretty well too actually. – Do you really? – [Steve] I had a limousine
service for 20 years, and did the Transportation Director for a concert company up
in Salt Lake for 20 years. – This one is the car that Ed Roth did. Oh we don’t think he did
the whole car actually we think he just did the strips.
– This is not radical enough. – But this is all, you know,
you can see his name in here. – Yeah I’d say he pinstriped it. – Yeah. This is fiberglass. We actually wanna take this
off and put a steel one on, and hang this on the wall because we’re gonna change
the color and everything. – Yeah, yeah, yeah. – But I don’t wanna see that go away. – So this belongs to your friend’s wife. – This is my daughter. – Oh that’s right. Your daughter’s. – Yeah, my daughter.
– Yes, you did just say that. – She wants it done black and teal, but we want to keep that. So we’re gonna buy a new everything here and do it in steel. – So take a look at this. This pin striping was done by a guy named “Big Daddy” Ed Roth who some of you who are
old-timers that are watching this, might remember the Rat Fink, and a bunch of custom cars that he built. And he did the pin striping on this. – And you know, he lived here in Utah. He lived in Manti.
– That’s right. Didn’t he become a Moron or something? – Yeah, actually he did and he lived right by the
Moron building out there. Or temple or whatever. – Yup, yup, yup. Alright so don’t tell me, is that a ’35 Oldsmobile? – [Steve] No. – Buick. – [Steve] Nope. – Really? – [Steve] Keep going, you’re
headed in the right direction. Just keep going up, and
don’t look up on those boxes above your head to the right
there it might give you a clue. – It’s not a Chrysler is it? (Steve laughs) – A Caddy? – [Steve] A ’35 Caddy. – That’s a Caddy? Wow. – [Steve] Yeah. ’35 Caddy. That was a guy here. All these cars, they always
have a story don’t they? – [Tom] Well that’s why
we’re talking to you, we want to hear the stories. – [Steve] A guy here in town,
and he lives up on a big house in the hill, and he’s
got a nice little shop. He was building these
Cadillacs, and what he would do is he’d take them and put
them on like a ’60 frame and motor, and make them
runners and really nice. He’d restore them back to what
they should have looked like. And this was one, and he got
this far on it and decided he didn’t wanna do this anymore
and now what he’s working on is the biggest bronze in the world, of the like Wells Fargo
Stagecoach and Horses. I’ll have to show you a picture. I have a picture of that
sitting next to the horse and it comes to about its knee. That’s how big the horse
is that he’s building, but – Man. – [Steve] He sold these to
us and we got all the parts, and the spare tire covers
and everything up here. – [Tom] You’ll try to
sell that to a customer? – [Steve] No, you know I
really wanna keep that one. – [Tom] Do you really? – [Steve] I really wanna keep that one. – [Tom] Wow. – [Steve] Yeah, that one is, I don’t know. You know how everything is.
It’ll probably get sold. I wanna finish it that’s,
one I do wanna do. – [Tom] Does it have
wood inside of the body? – [Steve] Yeah. – [Tom] GM cars had a
lot of wood in the body. – [Steve] They did. It’s still got– the doors all have the
wood and eveything in them. He replaced the top with metal because he liked to do the whole roof metal. – [Tom] Alright, so you’ve
got a VW pickup here. – [Steve] Yeah. A friend
of mine sold me that. There’s a guy in California.
He’s like the Volkswagen guru. And I guess his boys
still run the company, if you’d said his name I’d remember it. But apparently it was built
by him back in the day, and it has a Corvette rear
end and motor, mid engine. And all he did was weld the Corvette– – Corvette not Corvair. – [Steve] Corevette, yeah. He
welded a Corvette back half and motor to the middle of that and back. – [Tom] Oh man. – [Steve] So it’s got the transaxle. It’s got all the stuff that the Corvette had back in the day, and the motor. He drove it around Vegas
for a couple months. Somebody broadsided him on there.
– I see that. He put it in a field and
it sat there for 30 years until my buddy who sold
it to him originally, went back, hauled the
thing back to Provo, Utah. Then I found it sitting out in the field, and I said, “What are
you gonna do with that?” He goes, “Sell to you.” He made me promise to never sell it. – I wouldn’t mess around with that Beetle, I would work on this thing. You could do wheelies down
main street with this. – [Steve] With a motor like that, you bet. And you know what’s cool? The
guy never, he had the fender. There’s the fender. He had the fender the whole
time and never fixed it. – Isn’t that something? – [Steve] Just parked it in the field and let the sun rot away
the rest of the plastic. – That’s pretty cool. This is a good unit right
here. There’s a lot of stuff. – [Steve] Yeah this is
the one that somebody doesn’t want you to pay on. – Right, right, right. – [Steve] So they can have
Pawn Stars do it, or not them, who’s the other guys? The Storage Wars. – Storage Wars one of them. – [Tom] Now how about this pickup? That’s a GMC Apache?
– [Steve] This is, yeah kind of a sister truck to the one I got in the showroom. This is a ’55 GMC. It’s not the automatic. Mine has the hydromatic four speed, like the one in the shop. This one’s a manual. It does have the V8 which
is the Pontiac motor. I bought this from a guy out of Texas who was getting ready to restore it, and then had the
opportunity to buy a house and couldn’t spend the money on the truck and needed money. So we bought the truck and
he shipped it up to us. We’re just gonna put
it together or sell it. One or the other. These trucks are real rare, well you know, the ’55 GMC is a rare bird. There’s not many of them,
and we will sell this one. – You will sell. Okay. – [Steve] The difference
between this and mine, is this is a big window and
mine has the small window but I have the different tranny in it. – So what will you ask
for this, the way it sits? – [Man With Black Hat] This
one had everything for it. It has every single part for
it to get back to running. And it was a runner, so I think we were asking
for like eleven for it. – Eleven grand, and it’s a runner. You can pull it out of
here put air in the tires. – Well the motor’s not bolt–
he set everything back in because he had it torn apart. But I had a video of it running, prior to. – What motor is that? – And I don’t know if its true or not, but I need to check it out, but I’ve heard that the V8
plant in Detroit burned down. So if you wanted the V8 motor that year, you had to have the Pontiac V8. – [Tom] Now this must
be some kind of deluxe because it’s got trim around here. – [Steve] It is. – [Tom] It’s got chrome
trim around the windows. – [Steve] Right. – [Tom] That’s a nice truck.
– [Steve] That I think is with the V8. – [Tom] Ah, is that right?
– [Steve] Maybe it made with the deluxe. – [Tom] Now is that a half ton? – This one is. Mine,
it’s weird because mine was special ordered. Mine is a half ton to the back of the cab, and a three quarter ton from there back. Even the break lines change, I
don’t understand that really. – From the factory? – From the factory. – All these boxes in the
back are all the parts. They’re all crated. – So it’s all complete? – Yeah we have pictures of
everything that he put in them. It’s all complete. Everything’s there. – Yeah everything’s there. – He even says the glass
is there, I suspect that, well there’s a window right there. – Well that’s pretty darn cool. – This is our truck with the
LT1 like your motor in it. And we just, I think my daughter
found this one actually. – [Tom] Oh this is the
one that had a big block that was taken out. – Yeah. We’re gonna use this as kind of a promotional kind of a
truck for the shop, you know. And me because I’m gonna drive it. – This, this was a good stop. We’re so lucky to have stumbled
upon you guys. That’s cool. – Well I appreciate that. Now if I can just get my
wife to think the same thing, I’ll be styling. – Get her on the phone.
Get her on the phone. I’m gonna tell her how
cool her husband is. (engine starts) (tires screech) (engine starts) (engine starts)

85 Replies to “Corvette powered VW Pickup and an Ed Roth Hot Rod | Barn Find Hunter – Ep. 54”

  1. Your woodie is super sweet! One of the finest I've ever seen and, the good part: You're not afraid to drive it. Great! Keep the Faith. Tom

  2. Omg yes ..the "Rat Fink" …my oldest brother Mark used to draw those crazy cars just like that. with the shifter coming out of the roof with a big arm. Lol…..awesome days awesome memories…I agree with the next commenter….engines running ideas ALWAYS a good thing. 👍👍

  3. I was watching the movie Deliverance and the 67 Country Squire the guys were driving looked like it had the 428 badge on it.

  4. Hate these usa horders. Sell it to someone who will get it in the road again.
    Mothballed wrecks are no good to anyone.
    Sell to lovers 9f them who will use them

  5. How about taking the 'vette motor out of the Kombi and putting it in the Koyote buggy? Yeeha!
    Jeffries had a great sense of style and his buggy design was one of the better looking alternatives to the Manx. That Roth stripe job is a real piece of history too. Now Roth has gone to Hot Rod Heaven all his stuff is highly collectible. He was a real character and did things his way rather than following the trends.

  6. Takes away credibility when you call it an Ed Roth Hot Rod and it turns out he probably only did the pinstriping.

  7. That Woody Tom drives is so amazing, looks like the perfect car to enjoy on a cross country trip.
    Also great episode, these truly never get old!

  8. Don’t know why I find woodys ugly sorry I guess we all can like what we like I want to seethe Volkswagen a tubbed out pro street Volkswagen s are awesome the truck style

  9. Steve tells him he worked on vans paint and body + interiors at that time, then Tom asks…"what were you doing at that time?"….WTF!

  10. Steve tells him the GMC pickup has a Pontiac motor then Tom asks…"what motor does it have in it?"….WTF!

  11. funny thought…he will tell you he looks only for ugly cars but he never seems to drive an ugly car in the show. just that nice woody and that 65 shelby and such

  12. I guess that sweet VW Pickup is junk then. I have a '79 VW Van somebody put a 350 chevy engine in and chevy rear end. heheh. Its for sale cheep.

  13. Damn that chevvan is cool, but that Ed "big daddy" Roth pin-striping is freakin gorgeous!! Thanks for sharing, love the Barn find hunter!!

  14. hate to see cars collect dust decade after decade, so hope this y have the time to get em back out there again:-)

  15. I remember Big Daddy Ed Roth from the 1960 , I think every Kid from the first grade threw highschool had the old pencil trinket of Rat Fink .
    I had a shoe box full of Rat Fink . Im 63 now .my G, mother gave the shoe box away .

  16. 14:37 …………………….. Oops! The Closed Captioning text at the bottom of the screen says "Moron" instead of "Mormon".
    LOL! What Moron typed that?

  17. if i hear someone causally throw out the "rat rod" term one more time i'll power vomit blood. the only thing i hate more than rat rods are people who don't know what they are.

  18. Deleriois is my favorite simply because its a serious throw back to my twenties in the 1970s when everyone who was anybody had a custom van,i didn't have a van because all my $ went into saving Harley Knuckleheads which was the start of a 50 year collecting binge of Harleys and Mcintosh hifi tube electronics made in NY .

  19. RIP Dewayne Neilson of Saint George. Thanks for all the help. You were one hell of a body man and a good teacher!!

  20. dang what a waist all these folks sitting on these cars/trucks ive seen hundreds probably thousands rust to the point of no return. Or the dude dies and his kids sell everything. or they end up sold for scrap metal.

  21. Interesting,, What would happen if you searched a town for business's that might have cars, Then look on Google Satellite or Streets to do a drive by on What history has saved on google?

  22. Oddly enough I worked with a gent who took a vw bus and put a chevy v8 behind the front seats. He lived in Longmont CO, we worked in Boulder CO back in the early 80's, and his dad lived in VA so I'm not sure where he wound up. But it was very similar to the one shown on this vid.

  23. Okay, I had the wrong idea about Steve. I saw the script on his van, and thought "No way…", then he confirmed it. The only complaint is that you don't have to airquote "Prince Guy". Just say it, and let the judgement roll in. You can handle it if you are one.

  24. You drive a long way to a town in the hopes to find a car. Internet would help you BEFORE you drove a long way off first.

  25. I love the other car you drive the Ford wagon 4speed and all..my dream. Car. Robert c. Harden Muncie Indiana

  26. ether a broke guy wating that car fixed or a lazy shop ill bet shop being lazy as its not bad at all from what i can see silly floors may need done and that way to see

  27. Pity about that ford wagon parted out…restored stock appearance with a coyote motor and quiet exhaust…what a cool ride

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