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Cars > hollywoodnc’s Garage > Blog


UPDATE 5/5/12...

By hollywoodnc

Project FRANKENHAWK is 98% complete and just needs a few tweeks here and there.

Working on those custom door panels.

The old plastic that seems to come apart in pieces, when you remove them from the door, has a thick fiberglass and resin makeover (front and back).

If you decide to repair these, as I did, you MUST grind the underside, so that it's smooth, straight and level.

In a few days I will take new pics and show what I've done. Pics won't be available for the front piece though, being that its' covered in leather.

As of 5/4, I contacted Sanderson Headers and was informed that the modified headers (BSV8) to fit the Skyhawk was on its way. They are ceramic coated.
These were custom fit to work in this car with a '66 300 cid.

Originally, so that the Buick Special exhaust manifolds would fit, the steering box was shimmed OUT to bring the steering coupler IN, motor mounts have 1/2 spacers to elevate engine and frame mount bolt holes were elongated to shift motor towards passenger side slightly.

For a great set of Well Constructed, AMERICAN MADE headers, give these guys a call.

The service for me was EXCELLENT and I'm absolutely thrilled at the quality of these headers.
As you can see from my dealings with them, they will custom MODIFY their stock, within reason, so that it fits your "H" body.

Anyway, that's it for now.

Uh, UPDATE on door latch clips...

By hollywoodnc

Forever Classic (in my Dec. 3rd Update) didn't get the door latch clips that I wanted.

Instead, I paid .38 each for those clips from Performance Specialties in Winston Salem, NC.

Persistence pays!.


By hollywoodnc

OK...No more HELP!!!!!! needed for the rod clips that attach the rod from the door handle latch to the door mechanism.

Rodders...There's a New Kid in Town when it comes to getting parts for classics...

Forever Classic Restoration.

They handle classic cars (Ford, GM) and have connections for much needed parts.
NOTE: They MAY NOT be able to get EVERYTHING. I'm not saying that here.

Just call (336) 283-9469

They JUST started this business a few months back and would love to have your business. They DO ship.

OK...more updates on the Orangey FRANKENHAWK...

I apparently did something wrong, when refurbishing the 'transmission' (arms on the Windshield Wiper assy).
When I tested the wipers, they were wiping my HOOD instead? Hmmmmm...this ain't normal?!
Got to look at my Body by Fisher Books again!

Sanderson Headers is custom bending a set of headers for this car. "Jay", who I enjoy talking design with, is bending them and sending them to me just TACK WELDED, to see if they'd fit.

If anyone of you reading this has a Buick 300cid in an "H" body, get ready for a set of headers that will fit.
See: Sanderson Headers for their BSV8.

It may interest you to know that this bolt pattern is available on a multitude of engines. (215, 300, 340 GM) and unsure of the cid for Range Rover V-8, but they to have a "Buick" style exhaust bolt pattern.

Some more updated photos of FRANKENHAWK will be posted tomorrow. I have to put in the hatch glass now!



By hollywoodnc

I must have the following clips... (preferably "NEW")

The metal clips used for attaching the dashpad onto the framework (dash).
Total: 6

The plastic anchors/support clips for holding the rear quarter glass in place.
Total: 8

The metal molding clip w/stud (bottom piece) that mounts under the rear quarter glass. Mine are badly pitted.
Total: 2

If you have them, please send an email to:


Nov. 2, 2011...

By hollywoodnc

DAMN!!!...The Sanderson headers won't fit! Must be modified with recuts/welds and rebends to fit.

The total length from front of header flange to collector flange is 23". For this to fit, it has to be shortened to 21 1/2.

Primary pipes must exit immediately from flange (both sides).

Sanderson makes a QUALITY header. ALL welds are the cleanest that I've ever seen.

Gauge is thick I believe they stated 16 mil. These headers are HEAVY. The Primary flange are thick and HEAVY.

All in all, these are headers that won't wear out after a few years as others do.

The BSV8s are solid headers.

October 21, 2011...

By hollywoodnc

Since I installed this 1966 300 cid in this car, I was wondering if headers were available for it.

As you may be aware, I am running this engine with the original cast iron manifolds that came out of a Buick "Special". Even though I had them sandblasted, repaired (for a crack) and painted (baked), they are showing their ugly side as cast manifolds do...RUSTING.

A while back, I purchased Headers from a '95 Land Rover, the passenger side fits with no problem. The Drivers side will not work, due to the steering shaft.

Recently, Sanderson Headers came out with a 'Block Hugging' header which MAY fit. It is the BSV8.

After MANY HOURS of measuring and staring at both the engine compartment and header image, I decided to take a gamble and order the damn things!

I did so on 10/21/11...and I can't wait to receive them.

Once I check to see if they'll fit, I'll post it here.

Everybody cross your fingers...!!! lol

The Orangy Car

By hollywoodnc

After years of researching, designing, retrofitting, creating, disassembly, etc., the time had come to get FRANKENHAWK painted.

For several months, I was on a quest to find someone to take on doing the job.

For a while, I was visiting body shops that did nothing but buy parts and install them?!
WTF is up with "BODY SHOPS" that don't do BODY WORK?

FRANKENHAWK had some areas of cancer, dents, pits and one was willing to do the job.

Then, there is the REFERRAL game. "Oh...I heard that Joes Body and paint does this sort of work!" OH...PLEASE!... Joe started to just install and paint a month ago!

This sort of excuse is just a BS reason that they don't want to spend the time and effort! Lazy BUMS!

Anyway, I got a referral to this body shop:

Church Collision Center
4729 south Main Street
Winston Salem, NC 27127

Eric Mize and Chris Church run the shop. will it hurt giving them a call?

I called and spoke with "Eric", told him my predicament, told him what I wanted the car to look like, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Eric then, came over and we spent around an hour or two talking about different things and options. Eric was very professional and knowledgeable in the craft of body work.
When we were closing, I asked him how much will this project cost?

I won't say the amount, but I was amazed enough, for all the work that needed to be done, that I was willing to push the car to his shop!

Anyway...the day we arranged on approached in April and I flatbedded the car to the shop.

On occasion, I stopped by to make changes, ask questions, bring a part by, what have you and both Chris and Eric were ALWAYS Professional and Patient. Unlike others, I was NEVER ignored and they always were willing to spend time to discuss the project.

So, in effect, Customer Service is rated as a 5 STAR at this Body Shop.

Both Chris and Eric are personable in their relationship with their clients. They NEVER appeared 'Smug' or disinterested in my project. Even in joking, they were "Professional" and not disrespectful.

Shop Politics can have an effect on good, quality workmanship for your project. When I walk into a business, I can sense if there are bad vibes with employees. Those Bad Vibes can be reflected in the outcome of your project.
In a scale of 1-5...I give these guys a 5 STAR rating for a shop that doesn't seem to give people bad vibes. It's a pleasant work environment and surprisingly clean for a shop!

What can I say about the quality of work done at Church Collision?!
The Picture exhibited on Motortopia speaks a thousand words!!!

This Skyhawk NEVER looked this good, even when it was originally made at GM! All you have to do is look at the pictures.

The ARTISTS at Church Collision went above and beyond, when they took on this project! The car is BRIGHTER and cleaner than I ever imagined it would turn out.
When all the parts are assembled back on this car, it will undoubtedly win trophies for originality, esp. Body work and PAINT!

There's no doubt that this car will get lots of looks and stares when driven, not necessarily due to the choice of color, but the PROFESSIONAL QUALITY of work done to it!

In giving a rating of 1-5, I HAVE to exceed and give it a 10!

Chris Church and Eric Mize are TRUE PROFESSIONALS, in every sense of the word. They originally were employed at the local Mazda (body shop) dealership and I would say, made the RIGHT decision to go at it on there own.

To everyone reading this blog, allow me to inform you of the following:

I am NOT receiving any financial compensation for 'Promoting' this body shop.
I am NOT receiving any special treatment for this blog.
I am NOT getting additional work done to this car for 'Promoting' the body shop.

I AM doing this on a VOLUNTARY basis, being that I'm MORE than pleased with the quality of workmanship by the ARTISTS here.

If YOU want this sort of QUALITY PROFESSIONAL work done to YOUR car, I totally recommend giving Eric and Chris a call for your project and at a reasonable rate!

Contact Info:

Church Collision Center
4729 south Main Street
Winston Salem, NC 27127

(336) 788-7828
Ask for Eric or Chris


EVERYTHING on this blog is absolutely true and in NO WAY exaggerated!

Bruce M.

Just got my seats back from the upholsterer...

By hollywoodnc

...and they look SPECTACULAR!!!

I went to an upholstery shop and purchased 2 hydes (slightly used) brown leather and a 6 yds of saddle velor.

The reason for the 6 yds of Velor is so that I can attach this to ALL the plastic pieces in the car.

I somehow new what the seats would look like when they were complete, but I didn't expect them to look THIS GOOD!
The leather and velor combo looks rich and compliment each other better than expected.

Several months back, I took FRANKENHAWKS seats apart, to find rusty frames. I then took those frames to my local sandblaster and he got all the rust removed from the frame.

I then primed the seats and painted them with Rustoleum paint.

While I was at it, I decided to get rid of the cheesy spring support under the seat and replace them with Honda springs.
(There are 4 springs, and the Skyhawk/Monza/Starfire seats only have 3 coil springs).
I had to remove one of the springs, so that I could hook them to the coils. This is easily done by removing the tabs holding the springs on the wire that supports them.
(I'll take pictures soon to show what I mean)

Anyway, with a little elbow grease they attach fine to the coils that mount on the frame.

OK...Now that I have that accomplished, the frames are primed and painted w/Rustoleum, I have to get the torn Naugahyde removed and those pieces of material sewn together and hogclipped on to the newly painted frames.

Today, I went to REVELS AUTO TRIM SHOP here in Winston Salem, NC and was TOTALLY BLOWN AWAY at the finished product!!!

The leather and the saddle combo look so good, the new gimps bringing the two different materials together, and the overall appearance is breathtaking!
The seats look BETTER than if I had purchased it directly from General Motors!

Not to take credit for the work, but even the plastic pieces that are located on the different parts of the seats, match PERFECTLY in color and coordination to the new upholstery!

I took those pieces, cleaned them real good, removed any imperfections (with file) and painted those pieces with Valspar plastic paint.

To finish off the project, I purchased stainless steel screws and stainless steel washers to compliment the job.

In short, these are brand new seats and it was well worth the money on this restoration project!

NEXT job, is the newly recovered dashpad with the same leather used on the seats. No more Naugahyde garbage on this car!

NEW PURCHASE made on 11/17/2010...

Fiberglass hood w/5" Cowl from
I cannot wait to receive this.

'76 Buick FRANKENHAWK project...

By hollywoodnc

As you can see, this is an extremely slow going project. And that's the way it's going to stay!

I do not bow to pressure from others to "When is it going to get done"?.

Response: When I FEEL like it!

Some interesting things that I am doing with this car...

This is strictly a Two seater.
The above was done, because the roll frame stiffener cage wouldn't allow for passengers anyway. Why waste space?!

The speaker box is installed where the rear passenger seat used to be.
On the lid, I installed 2 280ZX Nissan (glove?) boxes, which are located behind the occupants in that car.

WHY? There is a 10 CD changer in the existing glove box.

Another and extremely unusual thing that I am doing, is I'm not installing a headliner (as you know it) in this car.

I'm custom making my headliner out of Luan! Yes...I said LUAN!

It's a B*TCH, to get the pieces custom cut, but I finally got the pieces cut, filed/sanded, stained, and I'm in the process of applying 2 maybe 3 coats of polyurethane.

It looks beautiful installed and the joints are somewhat tight. They are screwed into place with very short stainless steel phillips screws.

To cover the seams, I am gluing "Gimps" (as they refer to it a material store), which is a roping of sorts with a glueable band, so that it can be installed on the headliner directly.
A gimp is similar to what is used on furniture, your auto seating, etc., to make two joints appear as one continuous piece of material.

Pictures will be submitted when I'm FINISHED! (hahaha)

I recently purchased a new sunroof. What makes this sunroof unusual, is that it not only opens from the back, but it also opens from the front (not recommended during hi-speed driving though). You can also removed the glass, so it is like a T-Top.

I believe the name of this is Remove a Top. It's 16x30, which is the maximum that should be installed in an H body. I purchased this on ebay for around $100. It is brand new.

The almost IMPOSSIBLE purchase of body Rubber...

It may interest all you H body owners to know, that rubber parts for your hatch, drip rail, and the hood seal are easier to get than you think...and a lot less expensive to boot.

At last check, softseal offers the actual door seals, so that's good.


On one of my walk arounds in my local Junk Yard, I decided to change my hatch rubber. I took a small piece of my hatch rubber with me.
I opened up a lot of hatches, and discovered a 1995 Camaro had a similar design. I took it off, and installed it on Frankenhawk. Aside from the longer length, it fit flawlessly!!!

Now...I haven't installed the hatch door yet, but the height of the seal is very close to what I had brought with me.

Now, the drip rail rubber...

I found door seals from a 1995 Grand Am (4 dr) which slides on the drip rail, and aside from making that bend at the top, drilling a hole for that attachment screw and cutting to length, this is also very similar to the stock (Unavailable) drip rail rubber.
Again...I did not install the doors, but it appears very close to what was originally installed.

The Hood seal rubber...
Same car; 1995 Grand Am rubber fits flawless. It's slightly longer, so cutting is necessary. The rubber (when installed) has a slight wrinkle around the bend, but won't effect sealing.

At a locally run swap meet, I found the window channel rubber which is also used for (I believe) a Dodge Dart! If memory serves me right, I believe the guy told me it was from a "B" body? Regardless... It fits!!!

Aside from the 90 degree bend, it fits in the channel and stays in place. I might cut 2 - 45 deg. cuts to allow it to fit perfectly in the corner, and then apply hi strength glue & silicone for sealing purposes (like it is done with channels from manufacturers).
DO NOT CUT THE BACK!!!! Just BEND it to fit channel at 90 degrees. Cut the sides @ 45 degrees before and after the 90 deg. bend ONLY. I'll most likely install lite dabs of Henrys Glue, on the actual rubber, to keep it in place in the channel.
Special care required while doing all of this here!!!

So, as you can see, my Skyhawk, name to FRANKENHAWK is fitting. In fact, I WILL have custom made metal body labels made with this name in script, as you see Skyhawk.

Pics will be available in a week or so, so hang in there.

That's it for now...

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