World of Wheels 2017 – Part 1

It’s inevitable. Every winter I start to get antsy, waiting for spring to return. It’s not only the nicer weather that I miss but also the events that take place – be it a small meet or massive show, I look forward to when the calendar starts to fill up for a new season and we have things to do. As we now find ourselves at the end of February we have had some small meets and gatherings take place but more recently, the first big show of the year was also held – World of Wheels.

This is only the second time that I have covered this show for the site as I didn’t attend for a few years; after returning last year for their 50th anniversary event I knew that I had to make this a regular trip and so when dates were announced for this year’s show, I took note and made sure to keep a day free. The show ran from Friday the 24th through to Sunday the 26th and instead of attending on the weekend as I figured most people would (because weekend), I was fortunately able to go on Friday in an attempt to avoid most of the crowds.

As soon as I entered the hall I knew that it’d be a good show because I was already seeing plenty of cool metal. As always I did my best to resist the temptation to run around like a kid in a candy store getting distracted by everything I saw because I didn’t want to miss anything, and making myself follow an orderly route – and one I could remember – was the only way to ensure that. Every car had a story, every car could hold inspiration or ideas for my own projects, and I didn’t want to skip over something by accident. Due to this, the photos you’ll see will not be sorted by make, or era, or style, or anything of the sort. As I usually do they will be shown generally in the order in which they were taken, meaning that today we’ll be starting from the entrance, moving over to one end, and then we’ll carry on down through all of the rows.

Another note is that somewhat understandably – but also very unfortunately – most cars and displays were surrounded by ropes and bars to protect the vehicles; but they did a more effective job of getting in the way while taking photos. Occasionally it would mean I couldn’t get the angle I would have preferred but it’s just part of attending a show like this I suppose.

Speaking of photos, I took a rather alarming amount this time so that I had plenty to go through following the event – not just for writing the articles, but also so I could take in the details; to do so at the show wouldn’t have been possible as it would have taken too much time to read every spec sheet fully and so on. This way I have it all in my folder and I can go through at my own pace and read up on the various cars if I want to know more. I always enjoy learning about the vehicles as they often have cool stories, and also just so I know what makes each vehicle unique.

And with all of that out of the way, why don’t we begin with the photos? I hope you all enjoy this look at World of Wheels 2017:

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Upon walking into the show this was the first car I saw and so this is where we will start. This one deserves a long explanation to fully grasp the ‘why’ behind it, and to avoid someone having a heart attack when they find out what I’m about to share; if you look closely you’ll see side stripes ghosted in the paint that read “GT500” – and that’s because this was a REAL 1967 GT500.

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Now, before you freak out about the fact that this rare piece of history was heavily customized and reworked, this was not some untouched, original car that was then modified and altered. I flipped through the photo book (and actually did some googling on it afterwards because I wanted to know more) and this car had wound up at a junkyard but was saved from it some decades ago, and while it was rebuilt it was not done accurately to original spec. So while it was since heavily altered, because of the hard life it had apparently had, no originality was actually undone when it was turned into what you see here. Even if it had been fully restored to original condition, it would be just that – restored to original, not original or numbers matching ever again. It did not lose original paint, its original drivetrain, or anything of the sort to be turned into what is now known as Kardiac.

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Frankly, I say if you want to modify and alter a vehicle such as an original GT500 or something along those lines (rare, historically significant, etc), this is the way to do it; find one that otherwise would be lost to time and bring it back from the dead. Find one that had already had its originality destroyed and needs work to repair damage. This car could have been crushed into a cube decades ago but it’s still here today – and it looks absolutely insane.

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Next up was this 1967 Pontiac Acadian, dubbed Andiamo (which translates to Let’s Go). This was extremely well-designed, especially under the hood. And, as the mirrors were showing off, the undercarriage was finished to a much higher standard than that of a new car’s exterior! I especially liked the subtle pinstriping on the wheels which was also incorporated in the interior to tie things together.

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Still moving down the front row, this 1955 Chevrolet 210 was up next. It had a gorgeous colour combination, and once again a beautiful engine presentation. That’s probably my favourite area to examine on these cars; especially as modern vehicles rely more and more on plastic covers (heh) and the like under their hoods, and have to cram in more modules and wiring and hoses and so forth, a tidy, clean, and immaculately painted and polished engine and bay only become more and more impressive.

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Now we’re back to Ford with another Mustang, this time a 1965 fastback. This one triggered a memory and feeling that I may have seen it before somewhere, and sure enough I had at a show in late 2015 – but I unfortunately was left wanting to know more back then. Having a full spec sheet here and the car up on mirrors was very much appreciated so that I could properly check it out! There were many subtle body modifications on this one (did you notice the Miata door handles?) and that’s another thing I love about builds like this – when you realize that they look different, but you are forced to carefully examine to find out why.

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Now we step back in time a bit further with a 1940 Ford Deluxe. This is an era of vehicle that I’ll admit I don’t know enough about, but frankly you don’t always have to be up to date on the ins and outs of a certain of era of vehicle, or the styles and techniques that builders apply to them, to be able to know that a car just looks good. I like how the wheels’ colour tied in to that of the interior and overall it featured a very reserved but elegant colourway.

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This ’70 Challenger had a rather cool story behind it. The owner met his wife (now of almost 30 years) thanks to a ’70 Challenger that he once owned. They decided to try to find that car a couple of decades after selling it and actually did, but it was already undergoing restoration in the hands of another owner. They decided then to buy another and build a clone – enter this car – but upon teardown they decided to keep it Plum Crazy Purple as was it was originally instead of going Hemi Orange. While it was restored to original spec, it was over-restored in terms of quality and condition and so everything was absolutely spotless and perfect.

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Another of the many Mustangs on display at the show was this Shelby GT example to showcase the package to potential buyers. The options list had some pretty impressive stuff (some of which was fitted to this car) – a roll cage, 670 hp engine package, massive brakes, more and more and more carbon fiber – but the equipment that comes as standard on this package admittedly felt a bit underwhelming, seeming to favour branding and dress-up over performance. Fully optioned though, this would be a very serious machine.

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One option that this car in particular did feature and I want to point out was the “Carbon Fiber Hood Extension” – note the continuation of the carbon fiber onto the top of the front bumper. This would lead in to the carbon fiber hood quite nicely when it was closed and give the effect that the hood reached out over the front bumper instead of ending where it does.

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At the same booth was this 1963 Corvette ‘Grand Sport’ (it’s fairly safe to assume it’s not a real one as there were only 5 made and all are worth a fortune. Haha) with a 505HP LS7 under the hood. I liked the blue on blue exterior/interior combo here.

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Vex’s booth will be seen more in later coverage, but as these two were along the front wall I stopped and grabbed photos as I made my way across.

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This ’99 R34 GT-R looked largely stock and it was awesome to see one that way, especially in this colour. Nice to see a bit of ARC goodness under the hood as well – and the RB has always been an attractive engine in my eyes. This one maintained the twin turbo configuration but I’m afraid I can’t quote any power figures as I don’t know!

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This blue ’94 Supra RZ is a car that regular readers will probably recognize from other event coverage, such as last year’s World of Wheels photos. It’s gradually evolving and progressing, and will be (/is already?) a 1000+ HP monster.

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Builds in progress are always something I enjoy seeing so I was drawn to Highwood Rod and Custom’s booth, though as cool as this pickup was, I was more focused on what was beside it…

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This particular car immediately caught my eye and frankly, became one of my favourites of the event the moment I saw it. This is a 1966 Mercedes 220SE in the very early stages of receiving a modern AMG powerplant – though I’m afraid I couldn’t pinpoint what powerplant exactly. One reason I really enjoy seeing projects in progress like this is because I find it’s so easy to get lost in wondering what will come next, and my mind will start to wander with ideas. In many cases you can also get to see fabrication and details that will ultimately be covered up by paint, powdercoat, or other components later on as well.

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Note how the interior looked – actually scratch that. Note that there was no interior – or floor even – but this definitely gives you a clear idea of how serious of a build this will be. All of the welded in bracing was a clue that I’d probably not find much of a floor or structure left as I took a closer look and it was certainly the case.

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Again, I can’t identify the engine (I’m not as familiar with these as I am with the RB family or B-series engines for example) but frankly the three letters A-M-G say enough. Perhaps I should go back and amend the caption for the first photo because it looks like when this is done, it won’t be a 1966 220SE but a “1966 220SE”. Lots of the original car will be gone by that point!

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Moving on now, this 1957 Chevy Fleetline DeLuxe was another car (there were many) with lots of subtle and carefully-crafted body modifications. Similar to how I mentioned earlier that I enjoy cars with those subtle body tweaks that make you wonder why it looks different, I also find great enjoyment in looking at a car like this; one I don’t have much knowledge about and therefore prevents me from picking up on the changes made. Alter anything on the body of a Mk3 Focus and I’ll spot it – change anything on the body of this and I won’t know because I don’t know what it’s supposed to look like from factory. It all flows so well and because I have no pre-existing knowledge of how it’s “meant” to look, it’s nice to read more and find out exactly what is not factory and what was changed to make the exterior work as nicely as it does.

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On the flip side however, the downside to having no pre-existing/substantial knowledge of older models is that, such as with this 1951 Ford Pickup, I’m afraid I can’t share much on it. I’ll wager a guess and say that with the engine and bay being in such good condition, chances are the patina will ultimately make way for bodywork and paint on the exterior? Even as it sat though with the contrast between the two, it was really cool.

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Another that I cannot share much about unfortunately is this ’27 Ford T-Roadster, but this had some really cool and fun details like the striped driveshaft (imagine how that’d look when spinning!) and the pistons integrated into the front suspension.

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Behind it was this 1929 Ford Speedster which looked absolutely wicked. I enjoyed the contrast/juxtaposition of the obviously modern interior gauges (and GPS), and the Hoonigan branded handle against the weathered and old-school exterior.

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Across from the Speedster was this 1928 Model A Phaeton, powered by a 1949 flathead V8. Never underestimate the impact a few vintage accessories can have when showing a car! While very mild in terms of a ‘display’ seeing them alongside the Phaeton added a lot to it.

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Standing out against the last few cars, thanks in part to the incredible paintjob and shining chrome, was this 1965 Chevy C10.  The colour, somewhat similar to that of the Fleetline DeLuxe – suited it oh-so-well. Yes, I pay attention to (and seem to be discussing) colours a lot but they naturally have a huge impact on a build!

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There was no denying that this 31 Ford 5 Window had a ton of presence. As has been the case with a few cars this is one that I can’t start dissecting and calling out specific modifications or features from, but do I really need to? It grabs your attention and looks mean. End.

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This ’51 Ford from Drumheller had what appeared to be a combination of satin and gloss paint, with the white and purple respectively. The satin white not only made the chrome really pop – more than it would have – but made the scallops that much more pronounced; which you’d think would be hard, given that they’re bright purple. I love it when different finishes are used together for extra contrast.

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While I’m the furthest thing from an expert on this particular genre I want to say that the style of build you see here with this ’32 Ford Roadster is somewhat of a classic approach? I say this because I have seen it before on others and even seen it recreated in model kit form multiple times, but please chime in if you happen to know more. Regardless, it works – and works well.

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I’m sure that if you had told the original owner of this 1947 Mercury Panel Truck that in 70 years it’d be in pristine condition and turning heads at a car show, they’d think you were absolutely crazy. Also, as I was typing this caption I very nearly wrote in “60 years” instead, only to stop and realize that no, ’47 was indeed seventy years ago. Imagine what this truck has seen in those seven decades.

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Typically at shows I’ll wear muted colours to avoid noticeable reflections in the cars…so naturally when going to World of Wheels – a show filled with tons of cars that feature tons of chrome, I wore a bright freaking green hoodie. At least it matched this hubcap. First show of the season – I guess I was rusty?

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My award for “best overheard comment of the show” goes to one I heard while looking at this 1969 GMC 3500. Essentially, it was along the lines of “it is finished?”. It’s safe to say that not everyone gets the patina/fauxtina style.

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Keeping on the topic of patina/fauxtina and going back to different finishes and contrast and all that, this 1948 GMC pickup’s chrome stood out especially well because of the aged finish, but did you notice the heavy (heavy) metallic flake in the bumper, grille, and other accents of the 3500 in the last photo?

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This 1927 Model T sedan had a beautiful wooden interior and again featured that satin black/gloss red colourway. There are probably a ton of cool little touches that I’m missing on this one, which is unfortunate. I should make a point to read up a bit on this genre and culture to better understand what I’m looking at when I come across these builds.

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Now, a 1928 Ford Roadster pickup. I would say that in this modern era of niche-hunting someone should do a proper convertible pickup, but on second thought, emergency stops could be painful depending on what cargo you have and how well secured it is. Still though, it’d make as much sense as many of the other new models we’ve seen in recent years. Haha

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The final car for today’s post will be this 1969 GTO, finished in what I had assumed was a custom colour but after quickly chatting with the owner discovered was actually its original factory shade! Granted it was apparently very rare, which explained why I had never seen it before, and even the owner commented that he hadn’t seen many. Its name? Expresso Brown (In the debate of eSpresso vs eXpresso, it seems to be spelled with an X for the paint).

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The inside meanwhile was Gold, with a capital G because that was the actual name. Not only had this car retained its rare paint colour, but it even had its original engine under the hood. This is one that I definitely would have liked to discuss more with the owner but it was a big show and I didn’t want to run out of time!

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And last but not least for today, we have “Jarhead”, a customized 2005 Harley Davidson XL1200C. This received styling cues and features to resemble an older style of bike, even receiving a custom patina-inspired paintjob to stay on that theme. Very cool!

With that, I will now resume the editing of these photos and hopefully be back soon with part 2! Thank you for reading!

-Bill

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