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> 1933 Pontiac Coupe Street Rod
post Sep 6 2010, 03:12 PM
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This '33 Indian is Rhapsody in Blue
From the January, 2006 issue of High Performance Pontiac
By James Miles

Finding the right Pontiac is never easy. If you have an idea in your mind's eye about what your ride should be, settling for a lesser example just isn't enough. Edward J. Roskey, a sign fabricator and installer from Barnegat, New Jersey, knows the trials and tribulations of searching for the perfect Poncho, but his determination paid off in the form of this '33 Pontiac four-door sedan.

Edward spent five years scouting car shows far and wide looking for a prime example of vintage Pontiac stock. Hunting for this elusive all-steel street rod eventually put him in the presence of Barry Monberger at the Hershey Pennsylvania, show in 2003. Barry had brought along a pristine '33 coupe, which had become a Seniors winner. "I told him I was looking for a street rod," Edward says. "I have owned many cars throughout my 44 years of driving, but never a street rod." As it turned out, Barry had more than a few, two of which he was restoring and a third waiting in line for the same treatment. When Barry showed Edward photos of this particular Pontiac, Edward knew right away he had found the street rod he had been looking for. The downside-it wasn't for sale!

We love that Wheel Vintiques and Silvertown wide whitewall combination. Up front, you'll find 215/70-15s wrapped around 15X6s with a 3-inch backspacing, while in the rear Edward chose 255/70-15s and 15x7 wheels with a 3.25-inch backspacing. Behind the rubber, front disc and rear drum brakes provide stopping power.

Edward explained his situation and Barry decided there was something he liked about the cut of the would-be owner's jib. After all, he had two other vehicles to work on, what was one less car in the stable? The two agreed to a time and place to view the project car, and soon this prospective buyer was showing up for his appointment in Boyerstown, Pennsylvania. Edward reflects on his love-at-first-sight experience. "When I saw it, I instantly had to have it. There was no Bondo on this car!" A deal was struck, and soon Edward was beginning a frame-off buildup on his new street rod.

Inside, Classic Instruments gauges keep the driver in touch with the Poncho's performance, while Vintage Air A/C and heat keep the environment regulated. Other creature comforts include an ididit steering wheel and telescopic column with cruise, an in-roof AM/FM/CD player, and seatbelts.

Cracking open his project, the new owner was blown over to find only light surface rust throughout. While some may cry foul and claim this to be a fictional tale, the previous owners had taken tremendous care of this now-rare beauty, and their attention to detail had paid off in preservation.

Kowalski's Custom Body Shop in Redding, Pennsylvania, split the frame and body apart, and gave both a bead blasting to remove the previous years' paint. Afterward, Eastwood self-etching primer and sealer was used to coat everything until the body was sprayed with three coats of Sikkens Indigo Blue Metallic (the fenders in black) and shot with clear using product from the same company.

A '73 Firebird played donor for this project. Its balanced, blueprinted, and bored 0.030-over 350 features '66 GTO Tri-Power induction, No. 16 400 heads, and Ram Air exhaust manifolds

With the frame and body apart, the suspen-sion build could begin. Steering is handled by a rack-and-pinion bolted to an ididit telescoping steering column with cruise. With a turn of the ididit banjo-style wheel, a Fatman independent front-end points 215/70-15 BFG Silvertown wide whitewalls wrapped around 15x6 Wheel Vintique Series 73 wire wheels in whatever direction you need to go. Out back, a Pontiac rear-from a donor '73 Firebird-with 3.08 gears responds whenever Edward is pulling the '73 Turbo 400 trans out of Park and into gear. The rest of the rear suspension is made up of custom coilovers and leafsprings. A tap on the brakes sends front discs and rear drums into action, while stepping on the gas could send the rear 255/70-15 Silvertowns wrapped around 15X7 Wheel Vintique Series 73 wire wheels into a white fury.

Speaking of originality, the factory Tin Indian still sits proudly on the hood of this straight-as-a-rail sedan. Would you believe this '33 didn't require any serious rust or dent repair?

When it came time to find an engine that could burn that sort of rubber, Tom Snyder of Hydavilla Machine Shop in Hydavilla, Pennsylvania, scared up a potent combination. Starting with a 350 out of that '73 Firebird donor, the block was bored 0.030 over, and the rotating assembly was balanced. Tom retained and polished the factory crank, and the cast rods were refurbished and mated to TRW forged pistons. Hydavilla dressed up the underbelly with a chrome oil pan and a pump with a 60-pound spring. Crane's hydraulic cam takes care of business with 204/216 degrees duration at 0.050 and 0.427/0.454 lift when combined with the 1.50 ratio of the Harland Sharp roller rockers. Aiding in producing a compression ratio of 9.54:1 are the 72cc chambers of the No. 16 '68 400 heads that received a valve job and 2.11/1.77 valves.

Edward's '33 came intact with the original interior. Thanks to the fine preservation, the original upholstery color and texture were able to be re-created with Dorchester Medium Beige Mohair

A '66 GTO Tri-Power unit mixes the air and fuel, while a stock Pontiac points-ignition system keeps the fires lit. Ram Air Restoration Enterprises exhaust manifolds connected to 2-inch stainless steel pipes and Midas mufflers send the spent gasses out the rear.

With all the major details ironed out, Stumps Upholstery in Leola, Pennsylvania, was contacted for the interior recovering. Weaving their magic across the still-intact cabin, the company remade a near perfect representation of what it had been some 72-odd years ago, down to the color and texture of the Dorchester Medium Beige Mohair. Rounding out the cockpit of the '33 is an AM/FM/CD in the roof, Vintage Air A/C and heat next to the firewall, and Classic Instruments gauges in the dash. For safety sake, an additional modification-seatbelts-have been added to keep everyone seated in case of a sudden, unsuspected stop.

With the last bolt turned and the final tuning completed by Tom at Hydravilla, the '33 was declared ready for the road. What does Edward think? Well, if mileage equates to satisfaction, we'd say he found the right Pontiac. He has already racked up 14,000 miles. If that's not rhapsody in blue, it's got to be close!

Body by Fisher, rectification by Ed and friends nothing like a good history lesson!

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