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Cars > CadVetteStang’s Garage > Blog


I am now in pre production of the movie “I Was Trafficked”

By CadVetteStang

I am now in pre production of the movie “I Was Trafficked”
I’m giving all of my motortopia friends a chance to get involved in the production of this movie which is a police story and human trafficking story kind of like the movie “Taken”. We are early in pre-production and still forming the crew and finalizing the story. This is your chance to help shape a movie in development designed to help protect girls and seed a “wake-up” reaction from the general public so that we can stop the growth of this horrific yet booming business.

I am currently in need of locations in or around central Arkansas and Memphis TN. I need cars, people, equipment, the sponsorships and partnerships by local law enforcement, churches, human trafficking and rape recovery support groups, hospitals, clinics, key crewmembers, and of course actors.

If you can contribute or if you just want to find out more about what you can do to help, then join one of these two yahoo groups:
If you live in Arkansas or a surrounding state, join:

If you live too far away to drive to Arkansas for an Arkansas based low budget shoot, join: http://movies...ght_pictures/

I am working with attorneys now to set up the LLC for the production and arrange for investors. Since the legal aspect is not finished, I cannot yet ask for silent partner investors, but I can bring people into the project at this time as talent, crew or producers who are willing to chip in to cover production expenses. Because the amount of investment cannot yet be determined, I am currently structuring the production the way zero budget filmmakers do (I have experience in that area). In Zero budget filmmaking, you first find your volunteer resources and free locations, and then you construct a screenplay to fit your settings. Then you bring in actors and crew who will work for no upfront money. The project then gets upgraded as more sponsors and investors sign on. This process works. My last 26 location movie with a cast of over 100, was shot for $2500.

This is the time to get involved.

Thanks in advance,
Cody G. Carson

Full Story: My Two Mustangs from the movie “Shelter”

By CadVetteStang

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

Full Story: My Two Mustangs from the movie “Shelter”

In 1997, I was an aspiring actor/film producer, salvage yard manager, and Marine Reservist who drove a 72 Mustang Sprint as a daily driver. I had some experience producing television commercials and was using TV production as an inroad to starting my film production company.

One day while working at the salvage yard, two men came to the window saying that they had a strange request. Working for U-Pull-IT Auto Parts, I said it would need to be pretty strange to top the things I had been hearing. ( As an example, do you remember “Sweet Connie” from the song “We’re an American Band”? http://en.wik.../Connie_Hamzy Well, one day, I bought her Chevy Chevette for the salvage yard.)
The guys said that they wanted to look through the yard for ten to twelve cars, buy them, and then return them in a few days; they would donate them back to us, but they would be shot up and badly burned….

I said, “So what movie are you guys filming? And is it a Screen Actor’s Guild Project coming in from Hollywood, or a zero budget local job by an unknown?”

The two men looked at each other with an “Oops, we got busted” expression and one of them said, “well, we’re really not supposed to let the information out right now.”

“Relax, guys, I’m in the business, too, and if you can hooked up with a small speaking role, or a chance to talk with the director, I have lots of resources that can help you in many ways.”

With some more questioning, I found out that “Bay Watch” actor, John Allen Nelson - a Little Rock native, had teamed up with actor/director Scott Paulin to produce and star in a movie in his home town. It was going to be a SAG production and a full production crew had arrived from Hollywood.

I used my position with the salvage yard to get hooked up with these two guys, who were responsible for moving the entire cast and crew to all of the various filming locations and for the acquisition of local movie cars and props. I negotiated a discount price for the movie cars that would be shot up and blown up in the Little Rock River Market shootout scene, and personally delivered them to the filming location in exchange for a chance to meet the director and show him the latest TV commercial I had just shot and to ask for a chance to audition.

The two guys had been tasked to find a 69 Dodge Charger that the script called for, but were unable to find one at a reasonable price since the film called for its destruction. I asked if they could use a non-running double to destroy, and they said they had tried to find one, but were unable and were running out of time. I told them that they should ask the director if a rare 72 Mustang Sprint could be used instead; I also explained that I knew of a Mustang salvage yard that could supply a shell and that I could paint it to look exactly like my car. That way, I could rent them my car, and they could destroy its “stunt double”. After a few more days of searching for the elusive Charger, they said that the director agreed to rent my car and to use my connections to purchase a Mustang shell to be painted to look like it. I bought one from the “Mustang grave yard” in Rosebud, AR and took it home. The fastback I took home was green with a black interior and had huge dents in the doors and fenders. I used about two gallons of Bondo making it smooth, then painted it (inside and outside) in the driveway; I mapped each small area of grey primer that was on my Sprint and duplicated it on the clone; I also found matching Cragar SS wheels in the salvage yard that happened to have the same BF Goodrich tires. The car’s only difference in appearance was that it did not have rear window louvers, it sat higher in the front, and there were no exhaust tips. I heard that the double was so close of a match externally that the film crew got the two cars confused on various occasions.

My “driver”, was used in all of the scenes where you see the exterior of the car. The clone was wired for sound and used in the interior scenes; with no motor or tranny, it was lighter and tied down on a trailer for driving scenes when the actors were talking. It was also shot up at the rail road track scene with an air powered shot gun. John actually sat in the car with a second bullet proof windshield bolted in behind the Mustang’s stock windshield when they fired the blast. Radio controlled blood bags were timed with the blast and burst on his shoulder. The thin bullet proof second glass held and he was not injured by the stunt.

Speaking of stunts, the scene where the clone was supposed to be launched off of the Arkansas river bridge was canceled because of insurance and pollution control reasons, so the production company decided to blow one of the tires on my driver and run it down an embankment by the river. (No one told me it was going to wind up in waste deep water). My brake lights never worked again after that stunt, no matter what I tried. I replaced the switch, bulbs and sockets.) The film crew also clipped the cables on my drivers remote mirror when they mounted a door camera for the shot of the tire getting blown. I wasn’t happy with that at all.

As far as celebrities go, I’d work for John and Scott again, any day; they are great guys. But I have learned a hard lesson about a second unit film crew’s blatant disrespect for the well being of rare and classic cars. I’m very glad my Mustang was not a pristine show car.

I have since heard other horror stories about California film crews that come to Arkansas and use/abuse antique and classic cars. In one such move filmed back in the 70s, (NOT associated with John or Scott in any way) two or three 55 Chevys were painted as police cars without the owners’ knowledge. According to the story, at least one was damaged and all were left with police paint jobs when the film company left town. The owners were unable to sue for damages because -like with most films- a specific corporation is formed for that particular movie and can dissolved after shooting if legal issues arise. So remember, it is very cool to be watching a movie with friends and to be able to say, “Hey, look; that’s my car!” But it also another thing to be left with damages that have not and never will be compensated for. Consider that if you get a chance to put one of your better cars in a movie.

My overall experience with the production company that shot “Shelter” was positive, and I’d be willing to rent out another Mustang or classic car for use in any film coming to Arkansas (but next time with stricter control of the car and very specific “not to dos” in writing.

As for my part with the movie (on and off screen), Through the salvage yard, I not only supplied the cars for the River Market shootout, but also I supplied the 55 gallon drum of varnished gasoline that made the huge mushroom cloud in the barn scene explosion (opening action sequence), and supplied the Cadillac that gets wrecked in Down Town Little Rock by the Fire Station at the small restaurant scene (which wasn’t really a restaurant). I also played as “Wayne” the leader of the bad guys (opening action sequence) and that was my “break” into the SAG film industry. And Scott Paulin used me to help with “firearms safety” on the set at the barn scene.

That’s me as “Wayne”

To me, the Mustang Chase in Shelter is the best part of the movie (not because it was my car). However, there is not enough there to call it a “Mustang movie” or “Car Movie” in my opinion.

Also, this “B movie” has way too much profanity and sexuality for my taste. Before you try to buy or rent it, be aware that it is NOT family friendly. However, I did make a few life long friends during that production and used one of my fellow “barn scene bad guys” as the co-star of my first (and so far only) full length feature film which is a Christian movie.

Eventually, I’ll get more pictures of the Sprint hosted online and will post them. I’d take more pictures of the car (cars), however, I had to sell the driver a few years after production due to a financial hardship (the break lights were still not working) and the clone was stolen by the man who was storing it for me. I had planned to keep the clone for use as a drag car or to build for my step grandson who had fallen in love with the car at age 4.

Appearance and performance of my “driver” movie car:
The car was stock when I got it except for dual exhaust, glass packs, and 14” Cragar SS wheels. The previous owner had paid for a cheap re-paint of the car. Reproduction Olympic side badges were not available at that time and were not on the car during filming (however it is a true Sprint and is listed as one on the title). The hood and rocker stripes were left unpainted. When I got the car, the original stripes were badly faded and peeling. Not knowing what Sprint was when I bought it, or how rare a fastback Sprint was, I changed the color of the rocker stripes to Regal Blue and changed the single Mustang Hood stripe to Twin SS style stripes. I changed the 14” wheels to 15 X 8” Cragar SS wheels, 265/50 R 15 front and 295/50 R 15 rear tires. I tuned the 2 BBL 302 for gas mileage because I was driving 6 hours one way to Reserve drill after Clinton’s infamous military base closings of the 90s. The car had the FMX transmission and 2.73 highway gears. I was able to get 20 MPGs on the interstate at 75 MPH regularly. It was very reliable transportation; however, it always smelled like gasoline because the fuel neck did not fit properly into the gas tank because of previous rear end contact with a telephone pole and an incomplete repair job. The only evidence of that collision in the movie is an imperfection on the rear bumper where the dent was pulled out.

I really liked the car and it handled well; I wouldn’t mind owning it again someday. I’d keep it looking just like it did in the movie except for the back bumper dent and small patches of grey primer which really did not show up in the movie anyway. The exhaust note was perfect.

I’d love to hear from the current owner of the car and find out its condition.
Cody G. Carson

Wheel Offset Chart (Easy To Use, Wide Range, covers high positive offsets & wide wheels)

By CadVetteStang

I just finished making this wheel offset chart. I was not satisfied with the information I found online and I wanted something that could be printed out on an 8.5” X 11” sheet of paper and put into an award frame and hung on a shop wall or kept in a folder for quick reference.

I also wanted one chart that should cover most every custom wheel need from 5.5” to 15” wide and from “deep dish” negative offsets to the very high positive “flush” offsets used in C4, C5 and C6 Corvettes, late model Mustangs and Antique FWD Eldorados and Toronados. I covered wheels with backspacing up to 10” because that is how much clearance is between the wheel mounting surface and the rear spring of the 67 – 70 Eldorado. These high offset numbers will also come in handy for any C5 or C6 Corvette owner who wants to tub the rear end and order custom built three piece forged wheels. I have checked the accuracy of the numbers and all figures are rounded up to the nearest whole millimeter.

This chart is copyrighted, but you are welcome to upload it into your own website, print it out to display in your shop or business, and you may distribute it freely on the web and as a printed hard copy. Contact me if you want to produce and sell this chart or a slightly altered variation of it.

Note: when using this chart, keep in mind that it does NOT show tire clearance. That will vary because of tire size options for each wheel. Also: I am not responsible for any miss measurements (or lack of measurements) on your part when ordering custom wheels. This chart is meant to aid in the understanding of wheel offset and to be a general guide in custom wheel selection. If you like it, post a comment. If you find an error or omission, please inform me.

If you have a wheel size not covered in the chart, you can follow the pattern of the wheels already listed, and expand it to fit your needs; just follow the same increments until your wheel is covered.

Cody G. Carson

Both of my Eldorados were crushed!!!!!!!!!!

By CadVetteStang

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

Written August 18th, 2009 ..
“To make a long story short; my cars were caught in a family feud and were crushed…” If you want the long version, read the rest of the post.

After several phone calls, I have finally leaned what happened to my Eldorados. They guy who owned the body shop where my cars were being stored has a wife who was in the hospital in January and February of this year. He would come home for the night and then go to be with her during the day. It was on a weekend in late Jan. or early Feb. that he noticed two of his trucks and both of my Eldorados were gone from the field that they were stored in – a field by his body shop that was owned by his uncle. His focus was on his wife at the time, but he did enquire to his uncle about what happened; The uncle explained that his kids had the property cleaned off in preparation for his death. My friend is not on speaking terms with his cousins and after his wife came out of the hospital, he was behind on work, so he had to catch up. Also, he was trying to make as few waves as possible because he wants to buy the property from his cousins when the uncle dies – however, he believes that they will sell it to anyone except him due to their feud.

When I called to let him know I was getting ready to come after one or both cars, I got the bad news that they were gone and he called his uncle to find out who took the cars and where. His uncle got the name of the man from the cousins and my friend called him. However, he was only able to talk to the man’s wife because he was out of state contracting another job. It was a waiting game for a week until the guy returned.

When he did return, he said that he had been hired to take both of my cars and my friend’s two trucks to a scrap metal yard. I got the number of the yard they were taken to and called them. The owner remembered crushing two Cadillacs in the late Jan. early Feb. time frame.

To make a long story short; my cars were caught in a family feud and were crushed.

I know I may have some legal options, but going to court would cause me to make a dying man to testify against his own kids. The uncle never minded my cars being there. My friend has apologized dozens of times in the phone calls we have had. I don’t know what to do- I can’t get the cars back.

I just wanted to race my 70 Eldorado again in the autocross (after a pro touring conversion)….. Sure I can build another one, but it just won’t be the same. I know the car is only metal, but the sentimental part is much more than that. I am so connected with the memories I had in that car (stupid I know) but I feel like a friend has died. I don’t want to put a dying man on the witness stand I think despite my feelings, blood should be thicker than oil – they were after all, cars …

I am glad that still have the original engine in my garage. Maybe I’ll feel like some of that car carries over to the next one… And maybe that’s just plain silly, because its only a car…. No, I’m lying to myself. That car is ----- was--- the anchor point in my past memories. There are over three hundred collective stoplight drag race and autocross victories in that car with a kill list that includes; Camaros, Trans Ams, Chevelles, Novas, Mustangs, Monte Carlos, Cutlasses, 240Zs, 280Zs, a 6o’s Jag convertible with a V-12, just about every year and kind of truck… the list just goes on an on.

I had quit racing on the streets years ago. The track is only what I had in mind. When I do build another car, I hope I like racing as much as I did when I was behind the wheel of my 70 Eldo. But with my last few low income jobs, a good quality car project may be out of reach for a while; it just seems to loose priority when bills are due….. Maybe I’m just down right now…. Or maybe I have missed so many years of racing that I have forgotten what it is like.

I had over 500 hours of research and over 500 hours of work in the 82, but it had never raced. I could replace the 82 easily with enough money and enough time. But my 70 Eldorado is gone and it is not coming back…. Nothing can replace my 70 – my first, my fastest, and my best car.

Cody G. Carson

Both of my Eldorados Hauled off as junk??? Not my 70! I’m devastated!

By CadVetteStang

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

Written August 5th, 2009 ..
Five years ago, all of my time and resources were being channeled into the pre-production effort of a low budget movie called "Culture Wars". I had recently sold the “Shelter” movie Mustang (one of my daily drivers) and my 82 Eldorado’s 472 had started knocking.

Both of my Eldorados were on my property in non-running condition and the neighbors began to complain. Having non-running autos is a violation of my “bill of assurance” and was why my 500 powered 72 Mustang fastback had been stored at a friend’s house. That friend’s yard was full of his own project cars (and parts cars) so there was no room to add the Caddys. I did not have time to fix my 82 before the movie’s filming and my 70 would no longer fit into my garage because of things we needed to store.

I had another friend who owned a bodyshop 120 miles away who supported my filmmaking efforts and who had thought about investing in my movie, but was unable at the time. I asked him if I could keep my Eldorados in the field behind his body shop where he stored his projects and told him it would at least be a year or more – depending on my filming progress. I also told him that when I could do something with them, I might hire him to do the work. He agreed.

Well, the filming of that movie was sabotaged and the footage is so wrecked it will take extensive CG work and some very creative editing to fix it, so I was unable to finish the project. That botched filmmaking job has robbed me of the credibility to get more investors for other filmmaking projects. Therefore, I have had to live “as a fish out of water” working various jobs (sometimes two or three jobs at the same time) just to pay the bills.

Then as some of you remember, there was my mom’s death, my wife’s breast cancer, and my 72 Mustang getting “stolen” or hauled off. My friend with the body shop understood my situation and said the cars were just fine where they were.

So Recently, I found out that my wife had sandbagged just over $500 for my upcoming birthday and wanted me to fix my 82 Eldorado. I started a budget for it and found a guy at work who would overhaul the engine for free labor. All I would have to buy was parts. I got excited and was working out a temporary place close to home for one or both of the cars and called the guy to ask about their current condition and to see if I would need a chainsaw to cut brush away from them…..

Then he “dropped the bomb”. He said that he had lost my number and was being pushed to get the cars off of his uncle’s field. Apparently the uncle is about to die and the uncle’s kids don’t want anyone else’s vehicles on the property when he passes away. My friend took his wife to the hospital a few months ago, and when he came back, both of my Eldoraodos were gone.

I’m talking about my 1970 Eldorado (my first car- and one that I have owned for 28 years and have raced in the SCCA autocross)

… and my 1982 Eldorado with TBI injected 472 and a half-finished pro-touring suspension of my own design.

I am currently trying to find out if they went to a crusher or a salvage yard. Either way, they have been gone for a few months and it doesn’t look good. I once had three Big block Caddy powered projects… and then I got poor. Now I have no project cars…

The loss of my 1970 Eldorado hurts deep because I never wanted to sell that car. It is the best car I have ever owned and would out accelerate, out corner and out stop both of my 72 Mustangs. Even if I get another 70 Eldorado, the history I have with that one can’t be replaced.

Cody G. Carson

Restoring & Racing my 70 Eldorado in 1986 SCCA autocross in Arkansas (old pictures)

By CadVetteStang

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

written July 6th, 2009..
I found some old pictures of me restoring and racing my 70 Eldorado in the SCCA autocross. Most of these pics are in very bad condition. They had been cut up and placed in a collage on a cork board that hung above my bed in my college dorm room. I found that cork board last year in storage, but it had water damage. These are the pics that I could salvage (they are not the best pictures- only the surviving ones) - I am still looking for the negatives to make another set.

My Driving: Brief Background- We had a large back yard (see picture above). My father had access to a supply of pylons. Before I got the Eldorado (or had ever heard of an autocross) I learned to drive with a Datsun pickup truck, and practiced my maneuvering in a homemade pylon course setup in the backyard since age 14. The better I became, the more difficult I set up the course and the faster I drove. I eventually put broom sticks in the pylons and set them to one inch clearance between the side rearview mirrors. When that got boring, I started driving the course in reverse. (I really tore up the yard).

1970 Eldorado: Brief background- I got the car when I was 15 (back in 1981) It was a gift that my dad had bought for my mom for $600. It was Turquoise, dented, and scraped up by a 16 year-old girl who got it from her parents but said it was too big to drive. My mom did not want the car because of the gas mileage. I asked if I could have it- and it became an early 16th birthday present. (How many kids have ever been lucky enough to say that their first car was the legendary 70 Eldorado?)

We painted it White because the A/C was going to be too expensive to fix and it was the only color that looked right with the Turquoise interior. My uncle (now deceased) is the guy without a shirt who is painting it. He learned how to paint while in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. He was in the motor pool and his unit used to steal Army Jeeps and re-paint them with Air Force colors and numbers. Air Force “creative acquisitions”?

It was the third fastest car at my high school and I street raced it while I was in college. My favorite opponent (victim) in 1986 was the ‘86 IROC Z because I could beat them in the drags as well as in the corners. My first autocross, however, was not until 1985, and it was at the U of A in Fayetteville. I had only mild success- beating half of the Camaros, Trans Ams and Mustangs. I was told later by observers that my front wheels were folding over; when the race was over, I had asphalt scrapes on the outer lips of the hubcaps and the whitewalls were deeply scraped. I was running BF Goodrich 235/75 R15s on the stock 15X6 rims. However, In 1986 I still had the stock rims, but was running Pirelli 215/75 R15s that had tread which folded over onto the sidewalls and had recessed whitewalls between two flat racing slick-like areas on the sidewall which allowed the tire to grip when folded over during hard cornering (performance tires for soft suspensions).

Being a Cadillac, my car was the obvious underdog and some spectators laughed when they saw me entering it. However, my first practice run followed the second practice run of a teenager-driven Porsche 944. When I put up faster numbers, I received a standing ovation from a “wowed” crowd that realized my entry was no joke.

I had also cut the exhaust off of the car a few days before the race in 86 because the dual wall pipes had collapsed on themselves. The final part of the autocross run was a 300 foot straight stretch that opened up coming out of the hair pin turn and ran right in front of the bleachers. The spectators got all 500 cubic inches through straight pipes at close range under WOT as I would go through the finish. I heard reports that the car shook the windows on every building at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. The SCCA officials said it was the biggest and loudest car to ever compete in one of their events. (Pictures were taken at the parking lot of Razorback Stadium)

The night before the 1986 autocross, I spent hours practicing in a vacant parking lot. I showed up at the competition with a mission: That morning, I was able to beat the Camaro, Trans Am, Mustang crowd and had my eyes set on the Corvettes. I was on the heals of the new C4 Vettes and gained local notoriety from that. Unfortunately, there were no C3 Vettes there; only 25 total cars showed up because of early morning rain that had most people convinced the event was canceled. When my last and fastest competition run beat the slower first three runs of an 84 Vette, the other Vette drivers got together in a group and schooled the 84 driver in a few lessons. They also gave him a lecture about how he, “had better not let a Cadillac make them all look bad”. After some expert coaching, he improved his time by over a second and a half and his best run was a full second ahead of mine (which was a second behind the slower of the other three C4 Vettes). In the end, I did not beat any of the C4s and the teenager did improve his Porsche’s run times so that they were faster than mine. However, I do have the bragging rights that I beat the Camaros, Trans Ams and Mustangs while giving C4 Corvette owners (and a Porsche 944 owner) some serious competition in a bone stock, lead sled, Eldorado with 6” wide wheels and whitewalls. Also, my car was the only one that got a standing ovation after every competition and practice run. The crowd could not believe that an Eldorado was “kicking butt and taking names” in a competition that is dominated by sports cars and muscle cars.

I finished 12th out of 26 total cars that year. Because of the low turnout, they ran F, G and H classes together. I finished 5th out of 12 in that combine class. I’ve been trying to find official SCCA time records for that event, but have so far been unable. This is a link to SCCA classifications:

Unfortunately, I arrived too late to compete in 1987. And then in 1988 they had us all drive a Dodge Daytona in some type of “Daytona Challenge” (What a letdown). Then later that year, I blew the engine in my 70 Eldo in a road race with a Porsche 911. We were side-by-side as he was slowly passing me, when at 85 MPH, a lean fuel mixture disintegrated half of a piston. [I was still able to drive it home- (max speed 50 MPH). Not that driving a car with a blown engine is a good idea, but my mechanic said if he didn’t see it, he wouldn’t have believed it.)

The car was almost fixed three different times (and there is a story behind each failure). The last time was when I pulled the car out of storage to modify my garage for its restoration getting it ready for my 20th high school reunion. The day after I moved the car outside, a large Oak Tree limb fell on it denting the hood, busting a hole in the windshield the size of a basket ball, and ripping the rearview mirror off of the door. It has since sat in a field awaiting a full restoration and during the past few years has served duty as a condo for squirrels, birds, snakes and who knows what else….. Someday, I’ll put it back together…… Someday. And when I do, It won’t be a stocker. Then, the “Battlecar Cadillactica” with a stiff road racing suspension, 20 X 9.5” wheels, Z rated tires, and an additional 100 horsepower will have another autocross appointment with a few (now antique) C4 Corvettes. It will also be interesting to see how the car does against Camaros and Mustangs of the 90s and today.

Cody G. Carson

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