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Family Owned 1957 Chevy
In 1973, Jim’s father purchased this 1957 Chevy from the original owner with only 21,000 miles on it. The car was in great shape other than the turquoise paint. The ivory paint on top is still original, along with the interior. When Jim was in high school, he took this car to prom. Eventually, it became his own. Today, Jim drives his 57 Chevy daily throughout the summer months. After nearly fifty years in the family, Jim is upgrading the car so his teenage boys can carry on the legacy of taking it to prom.
The car was originally a 283, with 3-on-the-tree manual transmission. Today, it is equipped with a new, 350 Chevy crate engine with nearly 400 hp, a TH350 transmission with a 3,000+ stall speed converter, posi traction rear end, and custom 2-1/2” dual exhaust. Along with rebuilding all of the brakes, steering, and suspension, he also added front & rear sway bars.
Jim's car features the following AutoMeter gauges:
- 5" Pro-Cycle Tachometer/Speedometer Combo (Model #19466)
- 2 1/16" Traditional Chrome Water Temperature (Model #2532)
- 2 1/16" Traditional Chrome Fuel Level Gauge (Model #2517)
- 2 1/16" Traditional Chrome Voltmeter (Model #2592)
- 2 1/16" Traditional Chrome Oil Pressure (Model #2522)
- Shift Light, Amber LED, Black, Quick-Lite (Model #5330)
- Shift Light Controller, Digital Pro Shift (Model #5312)
Jack Gilbert Jr. and his 1965 Chevrolet Van go way back. In his words, “I have had it longer than I've had my wife of 40 years!” He started to revamp everything when he was young and decided to chop ten inches off of the roof and move the engine to the center. It was a labor of love he shared with some of his closest friends. Unfortunately, the friends that were there in the beginning have all passed away. It was hard for Jack to start working on it again. Marriage, children, and work all came first before the van and it sat in the back of his garage for years.
A few years ago. Jack’s son urged him to get it out of the back of the shop and move it to the front where he could work on it between paying jobs. He got to work on it, which brings it to where it is at today.
Jack has had AutoMeter gauges in his vehicles since he was sixteen years old. He first installed them in his 1967 Camaro, then his 1969 Camaro, and finally in his van. All these gauges have provided the look he was after in his van. “I like the fact that the size of the gauge and the large numbers on the gauges make it easy to check them at a glance to see if all systems are functioning as they should. They are old school gauges and they are very racy looking and fit my era,” says Jack.
Jack also runs the liquid-filled gauges in their sprint car and modified midget race cars. They use the oil pressure and water temperature, which is all that is needed in the race car since you’re too busy while racing to look at any additional gauges. He also built an S-10 with AutoMeter gauges shown below.
At a local car show, a SEMA veteran suggested that it would be a "great people draw to take to SEMA". Jack had always dreamed of going to SEMA but had never thought that he would take his van as part of a display. He set Jack up with a sponsor and off he went to SEMA, which was an amazing experience for him.
Jack still has more big plans for the van. While at SEMA, many people came up and told him that it would be a great Hot Wheels vehicle. Unfortunately, the 2020 Hot Wheel Legends Tour was canceled this year, but he still plans on trying again next year.
Jack is also now building a 1986 Chevy C-10 with a dash with carbon fiber panels from his son’s carbon business. His plan is to get it completed for the Hot Rod Power Tour in August.
1965 Chevrolet Van
- Full 2x4 tube chassis
- 1966 Corvair front suspension
- 1968 Chevy Nova front disc brakes
- Ford Pinto rack and pinion
- Saturn Vue electric power steering
- Chevy Big Block 430 CID 6% underdriven
- 671 blower sitting under two Holley 600 carbs
- Custom built billet aluminum blower plate with three idler pulleys and their brackets
- High flow stock appearing water pump
- Tri-flow aluminum radiator
- Electric fan from a 1994 Lincoln Mark VIII
- Mild RV hydraulic cam
- Roller rocker arms
- Big port open chamber stock heads and stainless steel valves
- 427 Big Block Chevy Steel Crank and Stock 7/16 rods for the rotating assembly
- Flat top 30 over pistons
- Everything is balanced assembly
- Special built oil pan for clearance issues
- Full tilt power glide transmission
- Deep pan and a 3000 stall convertor and trans brake directly connected to a narrowed full floating 4-link Franklin quick change rear end
- Two indicator lights
- AutoMeter 5” Tachometer (similar to Model #3900) with two shift lights (similar to Model #5334)
- AutoMeter Pro Comp Fuel Level Gauge (Model #5415)
- AutoMeter Fuel Saver Gauge (similar to Model #9105)
- AutoMeter Pro Comp Speedometer (similar to Model #5153)
- AutoMeter Sport Comp Voltmeter (similar to Model #3592)
- AutoMeter Sport Comp Oil Pressure Gauge (Model #3422)
- AutoMeter Sport Comp Ammeter (Model #3586)
- AutoMeter Pro Comp Fuel Pressure Gauge (similar to Model #3411)
- AutoMeter Sport Comp Oil Temp Gauge (similar Model #3441)
- AutoMeter Sport Comp Blower Pressure Gauge (Model #3402)
- AutoMeter Sport Comp Nitrous Pressure Gauge (Model #3428)
- AutoMeter Sport Comp Transmission Temperature Gauge (Model #3451)
- AutoMeter Sport Comp Water Temperature Gauge (Model #3432)
The Caballo Del Diablo (or horse of the devil) is a 1968 Ford Bronco that has been turning heads and breaking records over the last decade. Competing in the Pioneer 4x4 category of the annual National Off Road Racing Association’s (NORRA) Mexican 1000, this team comprising of Boyd Jaynes and Brian Godfrey has the best record of any team at NORRA with 7 class wins out of 10 starts, as well as being the 4th consecutive Pioneer era “Steve McQueen” trophy recipient, awarded to the oldest, fastest vehicle.
The NORRA Mexican 1000 and the Baja 1000 both take place on the Baja peninsula in Mexico, but there are also many differences. The race is formatted as a stage rally over five days with overnight stops covering the entire Baja peninsula, whereas the Baja 1000 is a nonstop sprint, most years starting and stopping in the same place doing a “loop”. The NORRA Mexican 1000 provides the challenge of testing yourself and the vehicle you built versus the unforgiving Baja landscapes over 1300 miles from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas. The multi-day format adds excitement because every morning is like a new race with a chance to improve from the previous day.
The Caballo Del Diablo races in the Pioneer 4x4 class, which is characterized by vehicles from 1967-1975 with solid axles and four-wheel drive. Rules include a maximum tire size of 33 inches and a 2-inch diameter maximum for shocks. Vehicles aren’t allowed to change any of the geometry or to use bypass or coil-over-shock technology.
For Caballo Dei Diablo, it all started in 2009 when Boyd Jaynes heard there was going to be a race in Baja specifically for vintage vehicles. At the time, early Broncos were reasonably priced and it seemed more accessible than an expensive, modern race car. Boyd was inspired by the Bronco’s well-known off road status and legendary drivers like Steve McQueen, Parnelli Jones, and Rod Hall. In 2011, Brian Godfrey came on board and the Caballo Del Diablo team was born.
The first few years didn’t go as well as they had hoped. The truck wasn’t sorted out and they weren’t sure how to fix things yet. The first year, the entire front clip with the hood and fenders detached from the rest of the truck. Luckily, they were able to get repairs made at a muffler shop during the race that are still intact today.
“We are fortunate in that we have had chances to learn from mistakes without dire consequences and always come back with solutions the following year,” says Boyd. Slowly but surely, the Bronco was transformed from a capable vintage 4x4 into a proper race truck.. The biggest change yet was in 2019 when they swapped their old 351 Cleveland V8 for a new Ford Performance 347 stroker motor, which added power and shed weight for the race built Bronco.
They plan the entire year, but the actual turning of wrenches takes a couple of straight months depending on the previous year’s damage to the truck. “It’s a lot of miles to not make a mistake. Around every corner is the ditch that is waiting for you to drive into it or the cliff you could fly off. The biggest challenge is finding the right balance between speed and not breaking the truck or crashing” says Boyd. With 7 class wins, the Caballo Del Diablo has done an amazing job of finding the right balance so far!
The Caballo Del Diablo was built to compete in the Pioneer 4x4 class at the NORRA Mexican 1000. The class is characterized by Stock chassis, stock suspension, solid-axle 4wd, maximum 33" tires, 2" shocks with no coil-overs, or bypass.
- 1968 Ford Bronco (U13 4x4 Roadster) built on March 26th, 1968 Wayne Mich.
- Ford Performance 347 Stroker V8 - full specs here
- MSD distributor / ignition / coil
- K&N air filters / oil filters/ breathers
- Powermaster starter
- Culhane Ford C4 transmission / 3 spd manual valve body / TCS torque convertor
- Ford D20 transfer case
- CBR dual-pass radiator / transmission cooler with electric fan
- JAZ 32 gallon fuel cell
- Currie "Rock Jock" D44 front end. Trutrac differential. Warn manual locking hubs
- Currie 9" custom rear end. 31 spline axles. Detroit locker
- Yokohama 33" DOT Geolandar M/T G003 tires
- Method304 race wheels
- Wilwood front/rear disc brakes
- FOX 2" smooth body shocks with remote reservoirs
- Deaver front coil / rear leaf springs
- Rigid Industries 6" 360 series / 40" SR-Series Pro / Truck-Lite headlights
- Mastercraft Safety seats / Belts / Window nets
- Safecraft PB5 fire extinguishers
- FK rod ends on all steering linkages
- AutoMeter gauges / RPM, oil pressure, oil temp, water temp, trans temp
- Lowrance 5200c GPS
- PCI race radio / intercom
- Finishline Racing mil-spec wiring
*** Additional details
Dual redundant Holley fuel pumps, Starter solenoids, ignition boxes, and coils all dash switchable
Dual Odyssey batteries in Camburg Racing mounts
Stock Radius arms. All original steel bodywork except Fiberglass hood
Floor mounted Pelican case with an emergency satellite phone, cigars, and whiskey
You can check out more on the Caballo del Diablo on their Instagram.
Throughout Josh’s childhood, his dad, Larry Pena, always had a classic car in the garage that he would be wrenching on. His dad was never able to finish any of the cars because he would always put his family first when it came to finances. In November 2016, Larry was diagnosed with terminal stage 4 Glioblastoma brain cancer. At the time, Larry was in the process of restoring his 1964 Chevelle. The Chevelle had a new motor but was only about 30 percent restored. After receiving the news that his dad was terminal, Josh knew that he wanted to finish the Chevelle for him before he succumbed to cancer. His dad’s long time buddies from Visalia, Kirk and Derek McCowan got together and held a gun raffle to raise money to put towards finishing the car. He then had his dad bring his car to Huntington Beach, CA so that he could finish the restoration process.
In February 2017, Josh met Perry from Perry’s Auto Body located in Westminster, CA and told him his dad’s story. The story touched Perry and in return, Perry told him that he wanted to help him finish restoring the Chevelle. Perry and his crew went to work and throughout the process, he met Kenny Iseri, who he calls “Kenny the Mechanic,” who also wanted to help with the restoration process. Additionally, Josh met Jon Nyberg from Rides by Jon located in Anaheim, CA. He donated wiring for the car and the air ride suspension installation. Throughout the restoration process, Josh’s son, who was four at the time, was diagnosed with a rare blood disease, which created some hurdles to overcome. He had to find a balance between work, taking his dad to his radiation appointments, taking his son to his doctor’s appointments, and working on the Chevelle. As you know all this can get expensive and he had to start selling stuff around his house because he was destined to get his dad’s car finished.
Unfortunately, after a hard fight, his dad succumbed to his cancer. His dad was able to see the Chevelle painted but never got to see it finished. Josh hit a wall once his dad died and lost the drive to finish the car because he felt that he had failed in the aspect that he never got to see his car finished. Josh ultimately got back on track and finished the Chevelle in May 2018. He debuted it at the Pismo Classic Car Show. The Pismo Classic Car Show is a show that his dad and the rest of my family attended every year since the early ’90s. Larry had a dream to have a car in the show and Josh was able to fulfill his dream.
Josh keeps his dad’s OPGI Chevelle hat (containing grease and sweat stains) on the floorboard underneath the dash. He was able to take his dad’s thumbprint prior to him succumbing to cancer and he transferred his thumbprint to a necklace that hangs from the rearview mirror.
- House of Kolors Sunset Pearl Paint, Painted by Perry’s Auto Body, Westminster, CA
- Ride Tech Air Suspension
- Wilwood Disc Brakes
- 1- inch American Legend 3 Piece Wheels
- Dapper 575 Headlights
- AutoMeter Phantom Speedometer (Model #5893)
- AutoMeter Phantom Tachometer (Model #5897)
- AutoMeter Phantom Voltmeter (Model #5791)
- AutoMeter Phantom Water Temperature (Model #5737)
- AutoMeter Phantom Oil Pressure (Model #5791)
- AutoMeter Fuel Level (Model #5714)
- AutoMeter Air Pressure (Model #5720)
- Billet Steering Column
- Billet Specialties Steering Wheel
- Custom Black Interior with Orange Double Stitch
- Turbo 400 Transmission
- Blue Print Chevrolet Big Block 496 Stroker (Hydraulic Roller Cam .566 lift, Blue Print Aluminum Heads, Hypereutectic 10.1 Pistons)
- Holley 750 Double Pumper
- Edelbrock Polished Intake Manifold
- Weiand Polished Valve Covers
- B & M Serpentine Belt Pulley System
- Currently saving up to finish rebuilding the convertible top
You can see more on Josh's Instagram. Josh's family also created Courage Socks, which was formed as a collaboration of Larry, their superhero in heaven, and their two courageous boys, Carson and Colton, who are supporting each other through their rare immune disease. Courage Socks' goal is to provide courage through the power of socks to children, adults, and patients who are going through a stressful situation