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RPM PROJECT CAR

1: After getting it raw and in pieces, George Norovich (left) and Tim Braddy (right) turned in a Hurculean effort to not only get our horse’s hood and fenders mounted, but also into an initial coat of primer...all within the span of just 10 days while waiting for us to come get the car!

A VILLAGE story by

PART 26 >>Project aPocalypSe Horse gets rescued by Norovich’s Pro Street Customs & Braddy Custom Auto Body

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e’ve been working on this project car for a very long time. And during that time we’ve learned a thing or two. In particu-

june 2016 | RPM Magazine

Toby Brooks

lar, when progress stalls, it is a sign of trouble. Well, progress on our car’s paint and body had stopped. And when it became clear that our expectations and those of the shop’s owner were

photos by

George Norovich

decidedly different, we knew it was time to make new plans. However, we had a problem. Namely, the car was over 1,000 miles from our shop and we needed it out of the

place it was at pronto. Thankfully, it’s good to have friends. Even more, it’s fantastic to have great friends. And George Norovich, Tim Braddy, Rod Bollini, and Ben Brewer are great friends.


2 4 & 5: Norovich trimmed sheetmetal to fit and tack welded it to the body from the outer edges, leaving the edges toward the chassis-mounted scalloped pieces unwelded. This allows the body to be bolted in at the firewall using button-headed fastners, meaning that the body and cage can be pulled apart if needed without cutting—a feature that will come in handy when it is time to paint the chassis.

2: This is how the car arrived to Norovich’s shop, and the original intention was just for him to store it for safekeeping for a couple of weeks until we could come get it. However, he and longtime friend Tim Braddy had other plans. 3: In our haste to get the car from the chassis shop in Virginia, the shop didn’t have the time to complete some details on the build like the inteface between the removable body and the chassis mounted firewall, leaving a large gap. Norovich addressed this issue first before attacking the hood mounting location next. Norovich is a self-taught fabricator, engine builder, and jack of all trades for pretty much anything with wheels. He already came through in the pinch for us a couple of months ago when our project car was delivered from Virginia to that first paint and body stop in Illinois, taking delivery and fi xing a few small things prior to hauling it an hour up the road to the other shop. However, when we mutally agreed to part ways with the other shop,

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Norovich volunteered to go another two-hour roundtrip to grab the car for us and store it for safekeeping in his West Frankfort, Illinois shop until we could get there two weeks later. In the meantime, the car was in pieces, so Norovich and close friend Tim Braddy decided to pull out all the stops to try to get the front sheetmetal and hood sorted out by the time we could get there. In the span of just 10 days, Norovich, Braddy, and

the Braddy’s Auto Body and Custom Paint crew were able to get the hood hinging properly and the fenders looking fantastic. The first chore was to fabricate suitable mounting points for the Ringbrothers billet hinges and tie them in to the front core support. Norovich whipped up two solid mounting points, then used some small diameter chromoly tubing to both firm up the radiator mount and provide extra support to the fenders.

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RPM PROJECT CAR

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6: With the filler panels finish welded in place, Norovich then fabricated a rigid mounting box at the base of each a-pillar. These boxes were then drilled to serve as a mounting point for the Ringbrothers billet airframe hinges.

7, 8, & 9: While Norovich finished up the hood mounting, Braddy (right) and Braddy’s Custom crew member Randy Gray started working on getting the fenders together. Each side consists of two 2005-2009 fenders toward the back to provide the stretch along with part of a 2013-2014 fender up front to accomodate the new style bumper and hood. After slowly and methodically stitching the pieces together to minimize warpage due to heat, Braddy had two fenders complete.

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10 While he was at it, Norovich also addressed the firewall, where sheetmetal work had not yet been been fully completed. As Norovich was finishing his task, the car was hauled to Braddy’s Custom a short jaunt across town, where Tim Braddy and his crew tore into the car with incredible effort. With the fenders in six pieces, the stretched Harwood hood a long way from finished, and not a drop of primer on the car, the crew quickly made use of Norovich’s work, mounting the hood and hinges and welding up the fender pieces. After meticulously stitching together parts of three fenders on each side to provide for a 5-inch stretch and a conversion

to a 2013-2014 nose, Braddy then began the tedious process of fi lling and sanding for a seamless look. Even Braddy’s dad Terry Podschweit got in on the action (Terry’s incredible 1967 Mustang was featured in the March 2016 issue of RPM). “I can’t ever get him to sand on my stuff, but he wanted to pitch in on this build,” Braddy laughed. And pitch in, he did, as did the whole Braddy’s crew. Blocking and prepping continued for days on the entire car, with the hood receiving some extra attention. Braddy then sprayed our well-traveled Ford using Axalta’s URO Prime primer. It was the first time the car has been all

10: Even Braddy’s dad, pro street legend Terry Podschweit, got in on the effort, helping the crew hit the body with an initial blocking while Tim finished up work on the fenders and hood and inched the car ever closer to its first coat of primer.

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11: Thankfully, George Norovich snapped this pic before Terry could make off with one of our Visner Engine Development billet Boss Nine valve covers!

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RPM PROJECT CAR 12: The Harwood cowl induction hood had only been partially prepped and needed a few coats of filler and heavy sanding to smooth the seams where it had been stretched. With the additional five inches of length, there was barely enough room in the shop for it!

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one color in over four years. Short on hours, the crew was able to wrap up their work just in time for another pro street pal, Rod Bollini, and his friends Steve Yates, Josh Yates, and Joe Maltimore who had driven down from their homes in central Illinois. Their objective was to pick up the car and all its many parts and to haul it all nearly half way from Braddy’s

shop in West Frankfort, Illinois to our shop in Texas. Meanwhile, preparations were being made in Lubbock, Texas at 13 Sins Garage to take delivery of the car and continue the build. However, we needed to get it there first. Using 13 Sins’ Co-Owner Ben Brewer’s “Big Black” tow rig, we powered through morning, noon, and night to meet up

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13: After prepping, the hood was trial fit to the new mounts and Ringbrothers hinges.

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14: Braddy & Norovich then added a small chromoly support to firm up the front end.

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june 2016 | RPM Magazine

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15, 16, & 17: With the fenders sorted and the hood finally hinging properly, Braddy’s crew started prepping the front end as he began to apply a first coat of Axalta URO Prime primer.

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18: After the rest of the car was sprayed, it was unmasked and rolled out of the booth to be reassembled.

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19: The Braddy’s Custom crew pauses briefly to catch their breath after a solid week of long hours. Left to right: Tim Braddy, Randy Gray, Terry Podschweit, Brian Podschweit, and Derrick Webber. with Bollini and crew somewhere in Oklahoma where we loaded the car out of one trailer and into another before grabbing a bite and getting back on the road headed west. A mere 22 hours straight later, the car was safely tucked away in the 13 Sins shop. You may be tempted to wonder why our monthly tech installment is so light on tech and so heavy on people. The answer is simple: it is the people

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RPM PROJECT CAR 20: We headed east in Ben Brewer’s tow rig to get the Stang.

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21: Meanwhile, our friends from Illinois got the car from Norovich and Braddy and headed west. Left to right: Joe Maltimore, Rod Bollini, Steve Yates, and Josh Yates.

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who have made this project such an unforgettable and incredible experience so far. In a time of high stress and uncertainty, Norovich and Braddy came to our rescue, pinch hitting and getting things back on track. Similarly, Bollini and Brewer helped us transport the car over 1,000 miles. The car is now in a local shop where we can not only more closely watch progress but actually participate in it again. It just doesn’t get better than that, friends. Whether it is our build or yours, we sincerely hope that you have the good fortune of having true friends like we have who have been there every step of

the way. Whether it is tangible assistance like the folks specifically mentioned here this month, or just moral support offered by the likes of Mark DePriest, Jerry Gary, Jr., Jef Fern, and a host of others, the point is that an impressive collection of businesses and individuals have stepped up to assist us in seeing this project through to completion. It’s been said that it takes a village to raise a child. We’re here to tell you that the same could be said of our—or any—project car. If you find yourself in the midst of a build, we hope your village is as good as ours, because they are helping us raise this pony right!

SERVICES Norovich’s Pro Street Customs 618.923.3555

Braddy Custom Paint www.braddycustompaint.net 618.937.1936

13 Sins Garage www.13sinsgarage.com 806.683.9076

SOURCES Ringbrothers www.ringbrothers.com 608.588.7399

Harwood Industries www.eharwood.com 800.822.3392

Axalta Refinish www.axaltacs.com 855.547.1461

1606 part 26 it takes a village  

Part 26 - It Takes A Village

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