Long Trip Home

"Bankamericar" AA/FD Restoration - Page 2
(Another One Saved)



The body freshly anodized awaiting paint. In the back ground is Don Purdhomme's Pepsi Challenger F/C being restored at Paint-N-Place. Kenny Youngblood is in the process of lettering the car as he originally did.



The Hanna cowl awaits Jerry Severs final prep for painting.


Paint-N-Place 2

Prior to paint all parts have to be taped off to protect the gold anodizing. Jerry Severs has a large crew of employees but shows the best way to lead is to be able to do every aspect of the body/paint work himself. He's shot more race cars over the years than he can remember.


Paint-N-Place 3

The Paint-N-Place paint library. It's no wonder the best of the best are painted here as they have everything!



Jerry carefully makes the blend of Pearl he has chosen and records the mix for future reference.


Paint-N-Place 5

Painters Brew: Of course after the paint is mixed a great professional painter such as Jerry downs a "Painters Brew" (Miller Lite) to get him in the creative mood!


Paint-N-Place 5

In the paint booth Jerry Severs gets ready to load the gun with the pearl white paint that was the base color of the car originally.


Paint-N-Place 6

As Jerry lays on the layers of Pearl on the seat back the color comes alive.


After a base coat has been applied Jerry starts shooting the pearl.




Crew chief Ronnie Rapp and Alex Michelsen Get the block ready to fill with Hard Block, the first step in the




The American "Bearpaw" wheels have been glass beaded to clean up the years of abuse and now are in Al Reed's polishing plant to polish the outer rim.


UPDATE 8-21-03


master cylinder

The master cylinder all mounted with custom brackets.


drive line

Bruce Dyda fitting drive line parts. Jimmy Boyd's "Red Turkey" Nostalgia Top Fuel car behind him. Bruce is raising the seat location and building a new roll cage for Boyd.


front end 1

The completed front end


front end 2

Chromed, anodized and plated the front end is perfect.



The can, now polished and controls all finished (except brake handle), after final fitting the handle will be chromed.


can 2

Bankamericar on jig - Jimmy Boyd's NTF car in background.


cockpit 1

The rear ready for the seat and rear end to be installed.


cockpit 2


Ronnie - pan

Ronnie Rapp fits the trick pan which was donated by Dave West to the now filled block. It was the first pan he had built for the Beebe-Mulligan car.


UPDATE 9-13-03



Barry Barber of Baer's Canvas & Upholstery crafted a perfect replication of the original upholstery. He he used less padding than ordinally for more "older butt room".





Cockpit is done except for the wood on the steering wheel and some chrome.







Drive line is ready (except chrome).









Unique Buttera steering back in shape.





Bruce Dyda making sure "The Wallet" fits in the car - its tight!



Jerry Sweeney from BRC spent plenty of time going through all the old M/T rods, stress testing, grinding the tops, setting them up for the bearings and putting in the pins.



Alex Mikkelson had to mill the small end of the rods to fit the pin bosses of the modern style Arias pistons as the old M/T's had a wider head for the old style pistons with less material in the bosses.



Crew Chief, Ronnie Rapp is a happy camper with this new project to play with.



Ronnie and John ring the pistons. John with a piston? That's scary!!!



The Arias Pistons and refurbished M/T rods ready to rumble.



Alex Mikkelsen and Ronnie do the final prep on the block.



392 Ready for internal organs.



Ronnie installs the Chet Herbert cam with Jim Davis cheering him on.





Ronnie and Rick Kepler fitting the crank.


pistons in

Alex and Ronnie fill the holes.


short block

Short block ready to have the pan installed and then its off to Dyda's shop (below) for final linkage adjustments and fuel tank fittings.




American "bear paw" wheels ready for the Firestones.



Every team needs a mascot - this is ours - "Indy".


UPDATE 9-17-03


Valley Head Service

Larry Ofrea of Valley Head Service proudly shows off the 392 heads he prepared for the project. Larry also did the original heads for the car in 1969. Of course his hair was a lot darker then.


cowl paint

Jerry Severs who owns Paint-N-Place lays out the blocking for the final paint on the cowl and side panels. John is looking at, what?



Prepped cowl and side panels.




392 in car 1

The short block is in the car at Dyda's shot so he can do the fuel tank and control adjustments.


392 in car 2


392 in car 3


push car 1

Da push car is nearly done and like the digger, photos don't do it justice.


push car 2



Bottom end of the 383 Chevy engine in the push car shows the trick headers from Dean LaPole and the chrome powder coated pans.



UPDATE 9-25-03


Blood Did It

Moving right along, with the body painted, Kenny Youngblood spent two days recreating the graphics he did 34 years ago. These were taken at Paint-N-Place on 9-22.


Kenny 2


Kenny 3

Prepped cowl and side panels.


Kenny 4

Kenny shows off his finest work - the cowl. As memories do fade with age, he through my name was in red - it was in black. He fixed it.


Kenny 5



Back at Dyda Engineering, Bruce labors over the replication of our one-of-a-kind steering wheel.



The driveline became complete when Dyda installed the shaft cover.



Prior to polishing, the fuel tank was fitted to the pump.



Phase two of the lettering moved Blood to Dyda's shop where the car and seat were.


seat 2



The "crew" gets the trailer ready to accommodate the car.



Kenny tries out the seat.



Back at the shop (John's garage) Ronnie gets the heads ready.



After its incredible makeover, the car left Dyda's and returned to John's garage. Here Ronnie Rapp, Larry Mersch, Kenny Youngblood and Alex Mikkelsen take a break before the heads go on.



long block

With the heads seated, the business end of the car takes shape. The headers are not what we wanted but will have to do as time is running out. At least no one will get a face full of nitro on a cackle.



Ronnie and Alex set the rocker assembly in place.


push car

The Bankameripushcar is done and ready for the CHRR. It was featured by Firestone at the Route 66 bash in San Bernardino on 9-20 & 21.


push car 2





helmet bar

Bruce Dyda puts his last touch on the car - the helmet strap in the cage.


Donnie 1

Taking nothing to chance, Donnie Johansen himself (from Chet Herbert's) degrees in the cam as Ronnie supervises.


Donnie 2

Prepped cowl and side panels.



Ronnie and Rick start the top end while Alex, Bruce and Dave look on.



With engine completed, Ronnie adjusts the valves.


car 1

John checks out the seat of the now complete Bankamericar!


car 2


car 3

She's all dressed up and ready for the dance. Next stop the CHRR! Hope to see a lot of you there.



Another One Saved Page 1

Another One Saved Page 3

Fan Fire-ups Page 1

Fan Fire-ups Page 2

Fan Fire-ups Page 3


The Restoration

Thank You List
The people who are making this happen - either by contributing parts (big or small) or giving us deals that are too good to be true......

First and foremost: John Ewald - "The Wallet". Without him this never would have happened, period. His means and desire to see this car saved are appreciated more than he'll ever know.

Bruce Dyda - Dyda Race Engineering: A superb fabricator who took a pile of photos and perfectly restored the Buttera chassis and Hanna body. Although he had access to Buttera for collaboration, he didn't need any help other than the pictures. If you have any fabrication or restoration in mind call Bruce at 310.768.3163

Lynn Kane - stepped up "just because he wanted to be part of the project".

Larry Steinegger
Kent & Evelyn Fuller
Darrell Tedford
Rick McGee
Frank Genco
Jim Murphy
Howard Haight
Bill Pitts
Dan Kaplan
Doug Peterson
David Pace
Mousie Marcellis
Gene & Dorothy Mooneyham
Dave Sammons
Bob Barry
Dave West
John Jennings - Outlaw Garage
Leroy Shaver - Centerline Welding
Larry Ofrea - Valley Head Service
Arias Pistons
Pete Jensen
Pete Jackson
Dale "The Coyote" Smith
Don McManus
Ronnie Rapp (crew chief)
Chet Herbert Cams
Bob Brooks
Jerry Severs - Paint-n-Place
Dick Gaylord
Troy Cagle
Rod McCarrell
Al Schramm
Bill Turney
Littlefield Blowers
Baer's Canvas & Upholstry 310-324-4591
Alex Mikkelsen - American Roadster
Jerry Sweeney - Brooks Rods
Rick Kepler
Dean LaPole - LaPole Headers
Dennis Fenstermaker

Ken Rappaport - Race Car Research
McLeod Clutches
Velasco Crankshafts
Firestone Tires
K&N Filters

WDIFL Racing

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