Timbs Special and Hudson ItaliaFeb 27, 2020
there's just nothing on the planet quite like this hi i'm dennis gage and welcome to my classic car ok this week we're in the mountains above malibu to take a look at a couple of gary and diane cerveny's cars these folks have a lot cars and his tastes run the gamut from rolls-royce silver ghost to vintage dragon indie cars but today we've brought out a couple that are truly studies and elegance in design, the 55
italiaand the one and only 48 tim's
specialnow these babies are completely off the charts from a design standpoint and i think they will blow your mind hey gary how are you hi dennis so glad to get to know you well to finally meet you but i've heard so much about you and your cars and you know here we are at a beautiful sunny day in southern california but you brought some fabulous cars today tim's
specialuh it's like nothing i've ever seen and me and i can't wait to learn a little more about it but also we've got this
italiaover here which has always been one of my favorites and i've only ever seen one other of these in my entire life there's not a lot of them as we understand it was originally supposed to be a 26 production but i think that there were six brought to the US five that are together one that is in pieces supposedly some of the others were finished in Turin and sold to the car company could get their money there because Hudson wasn't paying them anymore so Hudson had gone under in the meantime, I mean while they were being built in 55 is when Hudson filed for bankruptcy right after the first of these showed up in the US Well all those now orphan brands like you know kaiser and nash and
hudsonwe're trying this radical stuff towards the end kind of a last ditch effort to stay alive you know i was looking at this and i love the windshield i love the wrap that and everything and i was looking at the chrome trim embedded there on the weather stripping and the seal and now take a closer look i mean it's this bx conduit yeah sure it is again the italians you know were pretty creative so they used electrical conduit.
I pulled the wire out chromed it well I also love how the wipers go down you know the windshield goes up right here they sit right on top of that duct and on top of this vent and again just the design elements it's just the Italians no one it does it like the italians do it what a wild interior i mean it's so spacious very easy very george jessen it is and now this car is completely original it's original paint original interior original carpet the dash is interesting is i mean is it padded or what is it that, no its an aluminum dash and then it was painted with a fancy wrinkle finish steering wheel you just know its beautiful but the lettering on the gauges is a little hudson yeah the gauges may have been theirs they are more pedestrian but you notice even the surroundings there though they did some kind of metal with louvers everywhere you look you'll find it's just built in details on the car but these taillights this rear end is one of the wildest things I've ever seen .
Seen it's a bit of, uh, I don't know, the jet propellant, obviously it was the rocket thing and these are the taillights, the turn signals and the backup lights are all built in there, well, another thing that's interesting about these cars is uh, how bulky is the body. about the wheels, especially from below and to the rear, it's like these wheels are deep inside the body, it's like the body is swollen and a little narrow, I think that's due to the fact that they use their jet chassis, which was the chassis of his compact car. I probably should have used the bigger chassis but that would have cost them more and I think it was probably a price consideration and they may have had a lot of planes they couldn't get rid of so these were all plane platforms that are . they are powered by the six cylinder jet engine all but this car really this car started that way but it didn't end that way well let's take a look and see what's in there okay gary that It looks like a uh, Chevy engine and it's a 265 55 Corvette engine, why did you make a change on this one? because the rest of the car is a six volt but the engine of course had a 12 volt starter and a 12 volt generator and since it was installed by a dealer it was legit that's how I see it and like it the rest of the car.
Completely unrestored, undisturbed, yes, that's why it's a little tarnished here and there, but I just can't run that perfectly and with only 12,000 miles, I'm just not going to take it apart. I like the patina. I like to maintain cars. as original as possible now she runs and you drive it well it runs great we drive it regularly you know it's a beautiful day here in socal and i was wondering if we would take it out i think we should you would you don't mind right? I think you probably should gary thank you so much come on ok so gary this is a really rare car have you always looked for an italian or how did you get to know italians? the first time i saw one was at the peterson museum a few years ago we went in for dinner and here was this italy sitting there i spent about 20 minutes squatting there looking at it from all angles and my wife finally had to drag me away they were going to miss dinner and I asked the director of the museum to give me the name of the owner and I called him, he gave me a list of all the owners, uh, he was not, he did not want to sell his, that is a very short list, although five correct.
People and I write them all the letters offering to buy their cars. Got no response from anyone after a few years. One showed up about 40 miles from my house. He was a lawyer to whom she had sent a letter. I drove there right away. I paid him. The car didn't even question anything so I said you know I wrote you a letter about a year or couple years ago and he says yes I vaguely remember throwing it away I never planned on selling it. he said ok why did you sell it now? well i got married again my wife said get that ugly thing out of the garage so i put my mercedes in there so he says i have to sell it well you know these are segmented cars to some extent.
To some extent some people don't think this is a nice car I think it's beautiful I've always had it good my wife used to think my ivani was the ugliest car in the world even though she bought it for me as a gift birthday but uh this car is according to her the ugliest car in the world however it is one of my favorite cars of all time so its just a difference of opinion but you either love it or hate it There's no middle ground, yes, yes, you can't. No? Aren't you a fool? You are lukewarm with this car.
It's a love or hate me. Now this. You occasionally drive this car. to wear uh two and p paper sacks on her head in case one flies she's not over this yet it's so ugly for her no she doesn't have the weird ones uh ceiling lights are actually functional right those are uh real scoops going to little tubes that carry air to the front brakes and there are also ducts in the side of the car near where the skirts are that take ducts to the rear brakes to cool the brakes if they are that effective I'm not so sure of course this is four wheel drum brakes yes this car actually is a very practical car to drive but i don't think design has anything to do with practicality well it has such a european interior i mean it's it's just beautiful and it feels like you feel euro in this car yeah I think that's one of the things I like so much about the car is that it's completely different from anything you see today let alone what you would have seen in 1955 well gary that italia really works pretty well that engine swap i think it was the right thing i think it helped i always wanted to drive one of those they are so unique but nothing compared to your tim's special i mean this this is unique on steroids 1947 48 true yeah what by a guy named tim's norman tim's what's the story about him well he was an aerospace engineer and indy car designer and he decided he wanted to build a car for himself and he got a lot of his inspiration from it according to his family from the pre ww2 uh auto union land speed record car which was a mid engine car of course it had a v12 and this is a buick straight eight it's just amazing and so which obviously was created one time you know by hand and it's all it's aluminum it's all aluminum body the body was really beaten up by emil dietz who was an indycar body man from that period you know which is cool from behind and if you did pull up here huh its almost auburn speedster a bit but then that kind of goes away with all this craziness going on and these look like ford taillights yeah used some ford parts , some from packard huh and of course the buick engine and transmission uh everything else that was hand built is amazing and you know the other thing is huge cars how long 16 17 foot 10 inches pretty close to 18 feet but this little passenger compartment really small and it's only two people and you can't be too big no you guys are good together I wish I had this in high school girls couldn't have gotten away from me they would have been trapped close and very yummy lots of instrumentation motor spin dash and a gauge for just about everything all stewart warner uh mostly stewart warner post mount with a few echo gauges even went to extremes of pressurizing the tubes in the frame for two purposes, one to supposedly make them a little stiffer, I'm not absolutely sure about that, but there's also a very small electric pump that pumps 110 pounds of pressure into those tubes and that's what makes it work the air horn, so it was actually this air horn reservoir, exactly the chassis was the air horn reservoir.
I don't have to worry about running out of air out of my way this leather around the dash and all that was all that was the way it was originally done even this little stitching detail around the front was an awesome steering wheel is that rosewood, I think we actually had to fabricate this steering wheel to get it exactly right and it's a three speed column shift is it uses a Ford column here of course now all the shift is clear at the front of the car from here From now on they're all Norman parts, they're all tall man rods, cranks, ball bearings that run all the way down the body to run both the carb and the transmission and of course this transmission unfortunately doesn't just shift on this shaft , but also on this axis so these levers have to move both ways I don't think so Shane they're covered but it's just an insane amount of rods and levers then of course the radiators in the front , etc. the other side or the water from the engine and it goes back into the engine and what a weird nose i mean the front end you know this is three quarters back and then a quarter of here goes down real fast for uh the grill is very similar to your sea otter but the only thing up front here besides the link and the column and the little air pump and the air horns is the radiator is that metal flake i mean they have a lot of shine on the paint not there it's actually real gold uh real like gold gold gold norman one of the things he did uh really wanted to spray gold flakes a big flake no one had done before he took a big spray gun he designed a a set of whisks in the cup which were like an old air powered ice cream machine yeah so it could keep the real gold suspended in the paint to paint it that's how it did right now so it's mid motor how do you get it? well you have to lift the whole rear end to get to the spare tire to get to the fuel tank to change the rear wheels or to repair the engine that seems like a two man job no actually it's a one finger job it's power and you guys did that or it wasn't originally that way in 48 put a power lift on this that's right let's open it up and there it is wow and that's wow that's a buick straight eight right it's a buick straight eight it was a 1947 crate engine with transmission behind now norman wanted composite carb due to his racing pedigree they didn't make composite carb in 47 anymore but did in 40 41 so norman got one of the earlier manifolds with the dual split exhaust installed them on this engine to make a little bit more power and then of course the exhausts that you notice come together and slide and come out here like a duesenberg now that you've done all this work it works true I mean you actually created this to work , even though we changed and decided to do a full make driver only contest restore i still need all my cars to be driving and when we finish showing it it will be a regular driven car like the hudson wow and but she races today she races now you absolutely know which we thought we cut out the italian it was really fun maybe we should take this one out maybe you know maybe i could drive this one tooyeah I don't know you're going to talk to me about it a little bit that might take a little more time let's drop this we'll chat okay touch touch and she starts what a feeling what an amazing feeling there's just nothing on the planet that looks like this, uh, it's become the, you know, our favorite car, you become the gem of our collection and this was created in 48.
It started in 47. Did it create a stir back then or I mean what It seemed from the articles that were written among the car people and among the race car people, it was the cover track in 49 wow, did you have that problem? Do you have that problem? Oh, that had some copies. second issue that was right at the beginning road and track second issue yes it was a cover card what not a great item but it was a cover what a cover however what a cover card for your second issue how was your paperwork on I mean , did you document the creation of this?
Yes, luckily your son is still alive in central California and he had his father's original picture book, 140 pictures of the original car and he was kind enough to let us use that book so we could do an accurate and honest restoration. needless to say at this point you probably noticed you never put a new mirror on it yeah i knew i noticed it before i guess it went through the italian huh saying uh what's behind you never mind man It was probably entirely a design consideration, TRUE? And of course obviously no windshield wipers plus all those things are unnecessary for a true sports car in Southern California it wouldn't work very well in Michigan no that's a serious problem yeah so up to our Next meeting. remember to honor the timeless classics i am dennis gage happy motoring
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