Since 1937, Island Fender has been privileged to provide high-quality auto body repairs to Honolulu and the surrounding area. Offering the best in workmanship and service and having OEM certified technicians who will diagnose and restore the safety of your vehicle to the manufacturer's specifications. We use the latest technology in collision repair, frame work, alignment, painting and all other dimensions of your repair needs.
It is our goal to keep a keen focus on customer service and taking time to give each of our customers a unique and hassle-free experience. All of our auto body repairs receive a warranty for as long as you own the vehicle. Our mission is to deliver high quality, cost effective repairs while remaining true and fair to our customers, employees, partners, and vendors.
If you are looking for an auto body collision repair facility with the knowledge and experience to mend any vehicle on the road, schedule your visit today and find out why Island Fender is the best in Hawaii.
The Best Lost Hot Rod
This car epitomizes the difference between a lost hot rod and a barn find. The only criticism I received for my Lost Hot Rods books was from certain people who thought some of the cars looked too nice. They wanted to see dusty, rusty, patina'd relics found in the dar, and dilapidated shed or bards. Well, that can be cools, yes. But I think this is way better. In fact, we've shown you some pretty amazing finds lately, but I'd go so far as to say this is the best lost hot rod I've ever found. See if you don't agree.
This still-shiny '32 five window was last driven in 1964, when the combination of a potent dual-quad smallblock Chevy, Bruce's slicks and a heavy right foot finally resulted in a fried clutch. This was shortly after it had trophied at the Sacramento Autorama. That Titian Red lacquer, painted over a yellow base to make it poop, was painted in Honolulu in 1958. The liberally chromed 265, fitted with '58 Corvette dual quads and cam, replaced an equally built flathead (retaining '40 driveline) in 1959. The car, as you see it here, has been sitting in this nice, clean garage since 1983. Before that , it was stored in Grandma's garage since '64. We didn't clean it for these photos. You can see the cobwebs on the front suspension. We found a mummified mouse in the trunk. It's been sitting just like this more than 50 years.
Of course I didn't find it myself. I was told about it by Sam Strube, who seems to know where every hot rod, lost or found, is in NorCal. He may have been lied by Steve Pattee, who owns a rod-building shop in Modesto, California. The car belongs to Herb Rawlins, who's had it since 1956. And the reason it has surfaced after all these years because Herb's son Shawn, who now runs the family's plumbing supply business in Modesto and has long been promised the Deuce, decided it was finally time to get it out and redo it. Both Shawn and Herb have remained active in the car show scene over the years–Herb has has a '91 Ferrari 348 TS Spyder since new, and Shawn built and detailed a show-winning '72 Pantera that got invited to Blackie's Fresno Autorama–so the plan was, understandably, to take the '32 to Brisio's for the usual updating with all fresh components.
But when Shawn showed Pattee and Strube pictures of the car, they immediately said, "Woah!". In fact, we all met at Herb's house the day I took these photos and, seeing it for the first time, pleaded in unison to keep it the way it was, other than mechanical freshening, polishing and detailing. The next day was Brisio's open house, which Herb and Shawn both attended. They showed Roy pictures of the car, and Roy told them emphatically that he wouldn't touch it. Herb and Shawn were impressed and convinced. So the car is currently being meticulously cleaned, detailed and mechanically refreshed at Pattee's shop. We'll show you a full feature and tell the car's complete story in an upcoming issue. But for a bit more of a tease right now, here are some tidbits.
Herb was born and raised in Hawaii. Hot rods were thick in Honolulu in the early '50s, and Herb had several since high school, including '39s, Model As and a '32. Then he joined the Air Force in 1956, and was stationed in Phoenix. On a two-week layover he visited his brother, who had moved to the Modesto area, saw this '32 with a For Sale sign parked on the street, bought it, and took it to Arizona. It already had Titian Red paint, the white upholstery you see, the custom dash and a dressed flathead.
A year later Herb was reassigned to Japan, so he put the Duece on a boat to Hawaii, where the spent another two-week layover, arranging with a friend who had a shop and a Duece roadster to keep his '32 there. When he got home after another year, the friend said, "Let's put a Chevy in it", so they did. They also added chrome and the brighter new paint job.
Meanwhile Herb's parents had moved to the Modesto area. So when he was discharged in 1960, he shipped the '32–and himself–back to California. Gene Winfield was the go-to guy in Modesto then, so that where Herb got the chromed out rims and baby moons, had Gene paint a fresh '32 hood to match, and let him spray his signature fade and add a bullet to the steering wheel. The sampling of trophies you see in one photo include a 1st place from the '59 Hawaii Motorama, another from the '64 Sacramento Autorama and others from Kingdon drag strip, both for racing and Best Appearing Car. And that's just a taste of this hot rod's short but eventful life. Herb and his wife Marian have plenty of early photos, not to mention receipts and registration slips. Thank the rod gods it all has been, and will be, preserved. We'll show and tell much more soon. Stay tuned. – Pat Ganahl - RJ Times
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