No doubt we are very proud to be “Gearheads”, the kind of people who are so in love with cars that most of our families members and friends don’t quite understand us. After all, we can easily forget the date of our wedding anniversary but still have fresh in our memory the firing order of the piece of junk we had in High School.
Most of those stories begin with our father taking us as kids to cars meetings or to the races and even asking for help to fix that old family car. My story is no different than that but don’t you worry, I’m not going to tell it. Unless you are a racing driver, a war hero or a very successful “Don Juan”, nobody really cares about your personal life.
Some of us even found a way to make a living in a car related business, like working in a repair shop or in an auto parts store, but I believe just a few lucky ones actually work with classic cars.
Well, I’m lucky enough to have found a place to work; not only around classics but around race cars also.
I started to work at Powertech in 2008, but this small company has existed since 1993 and it is one of the first Speed Shops in the Brazil.
In order to boost its business, it created the Powertech Drag Race Team in the same year. The team is still alive today, but not as strong as in the beginning.
During the 2000s, the company was involved in Brazilian Stock Car racing, preparing engines for some of the top teams. The car you see here is a Chevrolet (Opel) Astra. Of course it’s just a fiberglass bubble over a chrome-moly frame, with a 350 V8 small block Chevy and a sequential 6 speed tranny. We are no longer in this business.
But the passion of the owner for Hot Rods and classic cars always leads the business toward this direction. Nowadays we may not be the biggest Speed Shop in Brazil, but I doubt if some one else has our diversity of parts for sale.
Mopar, Hemis and Ford Flatheads (the middle one, sporting Ardun hemi heads) are our favorites engines.
But we have some European stuff too. This one is going into a 1939 Lincoln Zephyr coupe. Will it be a nice replacement for the original V12?
After all those years working here, I have sold, bought and traded more classic cars than I can remember, so, now, let’s take a look of what we have in the lot right now.
The boss is fanatic for Cords. This is one of the eight he owns, and the only one we have here at the shop currently; the others are still under restoration or in museums.
A 1969 Mustang equipped with a 351 Small Block with 4 Weber 48 IDA carbs.
A 1936 Street Rod Convertible Ford, equipped with a 302 V8 and an automatic.
A 1931 Tudor with a Chevy 4 banger 2.5 engine. We have plans to drop a Small Block Chevy V8 in to the car, but it’s gonna take a while to put that plan into action.
A retired Pro Mod Ford Maverick. This car is part of the Drag Racing history in Brazil. Even after 10 years of its retirement, the fans still ask when we are going to put it back on the tracks.
Recently we got ourselves involved in Harleys; this one is a 1947. When she came to us, it had been sitting for ages, the engine had nothing but a good compression. No electrical system, no clutch, no carburetor, no brakes…
Our team put the old lady running properly in less than 2 weeks for an annual Hot Rod meeting in 2014.
This 1974 Camaro will be on the Drag Strips very soon, equipped with an all aluminum 400cid and a Paxton Supercharger.
These two Cords were bought to be “parts donors”, but the four door is too nice to be dismantled. On other hand the convertible is doomed; the car was converted as RWD back in the 60s with an Oldsmobile V8 and tranny.
This is a 1934 Ford Victoria. All the fenders are brand new and the top is already chopped. A very nice project; if I had enough dough, it would be in my garage by now.
Same story here… a 1937 Studebaker bought for parts. This car will supply parts for a Hot Rod 37 coupe. Again, the car is in too good of shape to be scrapped.
This is the 37 Stude Coupe. The car will get a Viper V10 engine.
For this one we have plans: Drop a very “spicy” Flathead in it, nice wheels, but not touch the “primer”, and let’s ride.
A 1940 4 doors Willys, just waiting for a new owner.
A 911 Slant Nose
Brazilian Chrysler built a cheaper version of the american Charger based on the Dart. This one is a 1978 model and yes, we do call it Dodge Charger R/T. While I was preparing the post, the car was sold.
I know, the Brazilian “Charger” deserves a CC post.
This 1937 Willys coupe will get a classic 331 Chrysler Hemi to become a gasser.
A 1959 Ford 2 door sedan. Another one I would gladly spend my money on.
A 1974 XJ 12. It’s a little beaten up but it is running fine.
This 1960 Impala was born as a 6 cyl car and a 2 speed Powerglide transmission, but now has a 400cid small block and a TH 350.
The pride of our early auto industry, a 1961 Simca Chambord.
Another example of our domestic industry, a 1969 Ford Corcel GT.
Sure, not all the cars we can see here are for sale, but as the boss use to say: “They are just cars… If someone makes an offer that can make me smile… I can sell everything and start all over again.”
Working all these years here didn’t make me rich, but what can I say, every morning I wake up happy. Not many jobs in this world can do that. But to work in this business means to walk the extra mile very often.
When an important Classic Car Meeting or a Drag Race is coming up soon, usually the hell breaks loose. Working late hours to make the “Ladies” not only look good but to run good as well. Hotel reservations, paying fees, loading and unloading the truck, traveling to the other side of the country and spending a week far away from home.
It’s a “labor of love”… and a lot of labor at that.
But, when everything goes right, we can be proud to be part of the team that got the trophy and share this moment with the co-workers that became very good friends. (the winner ’39 Zephyr is also part of the collection).