SPEED COSTS MONEY; how fast do you want to go?

December 25th, 2009 by James Ferris


Does PERLITA have a “supercharged soul”, and did she set a world speed record? stay tuned……..

In the late 1960’s, George Newton, owner of Aircraft Xray Co. in Huntington Beach, CA, purchased Perlita Too from Hollywood producer Roland Reed, who had ordered this very special Riva speedboat directly from Carlo Riva in Italy. George Newton’s plan was to repair her for use at his home in Newport Beach, California. We know that at the time she was not running, and the Scripps motor was in desperate need of an overhaul. This was no surprise, as in 1956 Roland Reed had modified the motor by adding twin McCulloch superchargers to the 900 cubic inch Scripps V12, hoping to boost the power above 500HP. The supercharger installation was done by Sparks & Bonney Automotive in Hollywood, just a 1/2 mile from Roland Reed Productions Studios. This not inexpensive conversion was covered in a couple of the hot rod magazines of the day but so far I have been unsuccessful in making contact with Tommy Sparks.

Perlita with superchargers, sometime in the '70's

Perlita with superchargers, sometime in the '70's

The blowers (superchargers) were a great idea to satisfy Reed’s “need for speed”, but the added cylinder pressures were not kind to a low RPM motor designed in the late 1920’s! The invoices we have from the Scripps Marine Engine Company to Roland Reed Productions, for numerous engine parts, only tell part of the “speed costs money” story of contests between Perlita and the ”Miss Catalina” boats between Catalina Island and LA harbor.

Antique and Classic boat researcher Brian Robinson sent me this video of Doug Bombard, captain of Catalina V, who remembers Roland Reed and Perlita.

George Newton’s prototype machinist at Aircraft Xray, Wayne Koeppke, was in charge of rebuilding Perlita’s motor, and continued purchasing parts from Pete Henkel in Michigan (see below). Henkel had purchased The Scripps Marine Engine Company in the late 1950s, and I spoke with him in 1990 and later with his son Robert several times in the following years, about Perlita’s first three owners’ obsession with “speed”

XRAYPAPER

Last year I spoke to Don Davis, the current CEO of Aircraft Xray and a nephew of George Newton. I also spoke with Wayne Koeppke, who remembers working on the Scripps V12, making parts for the superchargers, and corresponding with Pete Henkel while spending ‘a small fortune’ on replacement parts. He recalled spending hours trying various parts and settings before getting the motor to run again.

Don Davis remembers George Newton boasting of his association with Roland Reed; how Reed was always “the one with the babes”, and how when Perlita arrived in the US from Italy she had already set a world speed record with Mr. Carlo Riva himself driving. A definite selling point for George Newton!

Unfortunately, Newton passed away before the boat was finished, and Perlita then languished for some time in the yard behind the factory. At one time, Don Davis recalls, Americas Cup sailor and racing legend Briggs Cunningham and his mechanic Richie van de Water had come to look at Perlita, and in fact had bought her. Somehow nothing must have of come of it, as Bob Burnand (IN GOOD COMPANY) became the third owner.

Copy of original UIM certificate given to me by Carlo Riva during a 1995 visit to RAM Sarnico

Copy of original UIM certificate given to me by Carlo Riva during a 1995 visit to RAM Sarnico

The old hotrodders query; “speed costs money; how fast do you want to go?” seems to fit Perlita’s image perfectly. There were only four of these Scripps V12 motors ever installed in Rivas, and Perlita is the only one to survive.

Fortunately, when I found Perlita in the barn in 1990, her owner at the time, Alan Furth (the largest collector of wooden speedboats ever) allowed me to purchase several boxes of spare V12 parts, enough to build a second motor. These have been invaluable in restoring our motor.  After two years, the engine restoration is nearing completion.  Jim McNeilly in Seattle has done a complete rebuild to original specs.

Jim had new pistons and rings made, of course new babbitted bearings throughout, new seals, distributors totally rebuilt, carbs ditto, all new oil and water lines, dozens of new gaskets (many of which Jim made by hand from NOS materials), and oil pump rebuilt. During the rebuild process, something that came up more than once is finding that some of “the old guys”, who have been making and rebuilding parts for these motors ‘forever’, are retiring or are no longer around, and in many cases no one younger is taking their places. Many of the necessary skills and experience are disappearing. And YES, we still have parts we did not have to use.

BEGINNINGS

TRIAL ASSY

from a pile of parts to jewelry......

from a pile of parts to jewelry......

Jim loves the Scripps, “like wearing jewelry, they are all dressed up.” Obviously his favorite. I might add, restoring a Scrips V12 costs as much as a very fine piece of jewelry :-) Jim has won many best in show awards for his engines; including engines for master boat restorer Dave Lobb in California; who has been a gracious resource helping Jim (and us) with engine research.

When it comes to the correct color of the Scripps engine, there are lots of ideas. Thanks to the tireless research of people such as Brian Robinson, there is a good body of information relating to pre-war Scripps motors; unfortunately, there is very little info on postwar motors. It didn’t help much trying to define the gray/gray-green/greenish-gray color we needed while looking at the boats at the 2009 Tahoe Concours, as each of the 5 Scripps V12’s was a different shade of gray/gray-green/greenish-gray. At one point I was carefully scraping layers of paint off of my spare motor parts in a search for the elusive color, and documenting it in photos! Can you say obsessed? After a couple of tries, I think we finally nailed it. Thanks to Paul at Holman’s Autobody in Seattle for mixing and shooting (and his whole crew for an hour of frantic masking tape removal;-)

first try on color.......

first try on color.......

color matching for take 2....

color matching for take 2....

2nd times the charm! Thank you

second times the charm! Thank you Paul.....

We know that Perlita had no superchargers when shipped to California (1953). We know when and by whom the superchargers were installed (1956, Sparks & Bonney) and we know Perlita lived virtually her entire life with 2 superchargers. They are such an integral part of the history, and the “soul” of Perlita, that leaving them on the shelf seems to be overlooking an essential part of her character.

When it comes to a historic race cars, modified after leaving the factory, where the provenance (& the investment value) is in the heritage of its actions post delivery….mightn’t the same be true for Perlita? Shouldn’t she be restored to her supercharged glory? Imagine the sound…..

MoTrnd-56-speed

Maybe we should have a poll;
¨ Keep it “original” as Carlo Riva built it
¨ Mount the blowers and put the pedal to the metal! (mahogany)

Your comments and votes are encouraged! VOTE EARLY & OFTEN.

As you can imagine this is a continuing bone of contention with me that so far the decision has been to  follow the judges rules and restore “as factory original” (judging criteria for boat shows is to restore a boat “as new”); yet the gearhead in me says that leaving the superchargers off is a crime. (Just to cover all bets, I’m restoring a couple of my best superchargers……I want to hear the 2 blowers howling over the roar of 12 cylinders as Perlita does a “flyby” of the docks).

Gary Ives at the PROP SHOP in Mukilteo, Washington is no stranger to helping the wooden boat community with their mechanical needs. I worked with him on replacing or repairing where possible, the mechanical systems for Perlita.

The rudder found with Perlita in 1990, bent and misshapen, was obviously not the original shape and size, and this was later confirmed by Bob Burnand. Bob said to me very recently he had cut the rudder smaller, and it increased Perlita’s performance. On reviewing the single design drawing in existence of the Tritone series, Gary suggested we customize (re-size & re-shape) an off the shelf rudder to meet the criteria of the blueprints exactly and custom fit Perlita precisely when the running hardware is installed.

PROP SHOP-1

Earlier this month I returned to Dennison International, and spoke with Butch and Darren (below) on the final points of the steering wheel restoration. Final decisions were made on the color and level of gloss, and the horn ring was approved subject to small rework, ready to be sent to Richard at Queen City Plating.

SPEED-DENNISON

EYE CANDY ~ It’s always a treat to stop in at Queen City Plating and see the progress.

EYE CANDY=1

EYE CANDY-2

Chris Casparis at Sea Sonic Boats in Canada is planking the hull and decks, and shaping plywood for the 2-layer bottom. We did have an unforeseen interruption in Chris’ work, courtesy of Canada Customs; we’ll talk about that someday after the boat is back in the US!  In the meantime, check out the quality of the rough-faired! planking below…….

Pluggin' away.......

Pluggin' away.......

voila....a single VERY wide mahogany plank.......

voila....a single VERY wide mahogany plank.......

Last thoughts…..

An interesting outcome of my researching of Perlitas history of speed, is that according to the Riva Historian Piero Gibellini, the world speed record set in 1953 was achieved by a sister boat, hull # 4 (no longer known to exist); so was Roland Reed’s assertion to his good buddy George Newton just cocktail chatter? Also interesting to speculate on….. why Carlo Riva made such a point of giving me a copy of the certificate in 1995, removing it from its frame on the wall, carefully making a copy and presenting it…….

UIM CERTS
Comments below and/or email me directly.

comments

14 Responses to “SPEED COSTS MONEY; how fast do you want to go?”

  1. Reg Down Says:

    James,

    After receiving the December Perlita Too update today, I can now consider my 2009 Christmas holiday to be “Complete” – The Tritone restoration project just keeps getting better!

    In regards to the question about re-installing the twin McCulloch blower’s, I have had nine months to think about this since we originally discussed the subject in Mt Dora last March. I can honestly say that I’m nervous just commenting on the subject of the blower’s, so I can only imagine what you are going through. The blower’s represent an essential part of the Tritone’s history, provenance and “Patina”.

    However, restoring Perlita Too to original, as Carlo Riva built it in 1953 trumps any modification’s that were made to the boat later in her life. That’s my take for what it’s worth.

    Reg Down

  2. Paul Harrison Says:

    Hello James-

    Thank you for the oportunity to see Perlita at Chris’s shop last month – it was a great chance to see just how much effort and craftsmanshp is being deployed in this wonderful resurrection. I cannot wait to see her, hopefully at Tahoe next June. Put it this way – I am glad that I won’t be having a boat competing against this one!

    Concerning ther color of the Scripps, as you know I have dropped off the original Scripps 208 from my recently purchased 1948 Chris Craft 25′ Sportsman at Jim’s shop. As you are no doubt aware, the original color of my engine is grey – quite different than the greenish color of your engine. All I can tell from my engine is that the color of the few 208 6 cyl. engines installed in CC Sportsman’s that year was grey, not green. It does not follow that this was the original or correct color for a later Scripps V 12 – it might well have been, but who really knows? One cannot infer that all post-war Scripps engines should be the color of my engine, and in the absence of any contradictory evidence, I think your own research on the engine from Perlita should stand as the reference point.

    Regarding the superchargers, my only comment would be to ask what is the objective for this restoration? If it is to win awards as a restored post-war runabout, the answer is clear – they can’t be installed without expecting to incurr a severe point deduction. However, if you want the boat to be representative of how she was mechanically equipped throughout the majority of her life, then by all means – install them and get ready for some great fun. If it was me, I would show the boat for a year without them, and when the judged shows are done with, I would have them installed at the very first opportunity!

    With regards to the debate over the restoration that was taken up in the comments following your last update, I am now walking the walk. The 1948 CC Sportsman that I purchased in mid-November is an extremely well preserved original, and it is being restored as sympathetically as possible, with retention of absolutely as much original wood, finishes and upholstery as possible. When I wrote my comments in response to Brian’s remarks, I had no idea that within 2 weeks I would be the owner of a unique, quite rare and spectacularly sound boat that would allow me to practice what I preached. It was partially because of the comments, questions and debate from that blog that I was secure in my approach to restoration and conservation (where possible)of antique boats. When presented with the opportunity to buy this boat, I knew immediately that I wanted it, and how I would approach the job. Thank you to you and Brian for the opportunity to formulate and express these thoughts and opinions in a cogent form – it prepared me perfectly for the oportunity I would have a scant few weeks later!

  3. Jim West Says:

    The burning question, as delievered or modified. That would depend on the ultimate out come of what is to be achieved. I have driven several V-12’s and the amount of power is always been a smile producer, but the torque that they produce is even greater. I have also had the pleasure of working on them as well as maintaince. I am curious thought on 2 points of interest?. Are you re-using the old carbs that have been known to have problems relating to fires or the accepted replacements, and 2nd what has been done to the cylinders to accomidate the higher pressures from the “super chargers”?

    Great storie and I really appreciate reading about it

    Jim

  4. Eric Says:

    James,

    After researching this boat for a while when Dirk was interested in a partnership with you… I came to grips with a more global perspective of this restoration than many may be privy to.

    This coupled with much time spent in the smallest details of Riva restoration which very few can be expected to value… and much time inspecting some of the rarest and oldest Rivas in Italy in yards such as Matteri, RAM, Arcangeli, etc as well as private collections … leads me to strongly recommend that you truly preserve the ORIGINAL condition AS Delivered.

    So for this.. I would leave the superchargers off, have them on a static display that will show them (especially if you have a spare “dummy” block to do this with.

    I AM a fan of the McColloch (now Paxton) centrifugal superchargers… especially in such a rare engine…. “WOW factor” to say the least!!

    It would be a shame to have to deduct so many points from this boat in a Concours evaluation… easily taking it out of “Best of show” contention.

    On top of this… the viceral experience of runing that boat, un-enhanced, as Carlo built it is a moment to be experienced, and preserved.

    Plenty of go fast boats out there… NO Rivas with this package.

    I will again be managing a Riva AQ for clients in Europe this summer, attending many different events RHS functions… I can tell you from experence, there is nothing like running a RIVA.. especially one of this caliber on the Lakes of Northern Italy, Switzerland and The Med…. Nothing…

    I hope you will be able to campaign her in Europe after completion as she is sure to be the finest Riva in existence if the restoration is kept “faithful” to a historic standard.

    I hope to see you in Tahoe this spring!!

    Cheers and good luck.
    Eric

  5. Eric Says:

    The hull looks beautiful!

    A question:

    Was the original hullside wood as heavily ribboned as the replacement wood… From some older photos I have…It does not appear to have this heavy ribbon figure to the wood… but photos can be misleading… I understand this.

  6. James Ferris Says:

    ………“THE ANSWER MY FRIENDS, IS BLOWING IN THE WIND…..

    Well, as usual it seems I am in the minority…..the consensus appears to be definitely “keep it original…..as delivered……the way Carlo Riva intended……. such an important boat historically…….blah blah blah……!” (perhaps I should stop posting here in the hotbed of purists….maybe move this over to the HAMB to the ratrod people..)

    Yes, Reg, I have been stewing over it since Mt. Dora, and still am. Thanks for being the first (of many) to attempt to keep me on the straight and narrow……..;-)

    Paul’s suggestion to retrofit the blowers later after an accumulation of awards is clearly the most practical. As regards the color issues; who really knows? Maybe they ran out of their usual paint colors the day yours (or mine) was painted. The right color may just be what the judges opine is right on ‘judgement day’. We at least know ours is correct to one other post-war motor, from matching the original paint of the part very carefully. ~~ however there are simply no guarantees.

    Thanks for sharing your newest sedan project; comparisons are always interesting, and yours certainly appears to have a lot going for it in the way of originality. Great to meet you at Sea Sonic Boats in Kelowna earlier this month to see Perlitas planking in progress.

    Eric, I agree with your idea of installing superchargers on another demo Scripps V-12. I think we have enough spare parts to build the motor, but we certainly don’t have the budget! So I may have to be content with a couple of beautifully restored superchargers as a center piece on my dining table. Plus, I can always tweak the purist’s noses with our modified Super Florida running a Holman-Moody 351 Cleveland Ford of 375HP, in place of the original 177HP SeaVee (which lump I found and purchased last year after 18 years of hunting).

    Jim West, thanks for commenting and joining the Perlita Too community. To answer your questions: yes the carbs are the correct style and vintage, but they have been modified internally to preclude unplanned barbecues….. The pistons/cylinders/valves/heads have not been modified at all. Jim McNeilly does not believe in ‘fixing what isn’t broke’ on a Scripps. My plan if installing the superchargers was to set them to a very low boost level; one that would not harm a stock motor for a very long time if driven “reasonably”. We’re not out to reconfirm the 1953 speed record, so staying below redline shouldn’t be an issue. And eventually, funds permitting, we will build a second motor specifically for the blowers. One which we might experiment on….insert bearings? crossflow heads? the mind reels……
    …..maybe a Falconer?
    …..a Meteor from Ike?
    (….great stuff that Pussers Rum…….∞)

    Our thanks to all who have stuck with us this year, and may the New Year bring you fair planks and glossy varnish!

    James

  7. James Ferris Says:

    Eric –
    Missed your last post re woodgrain…..Chris will have to respond…my recollection is that he specifically selected the planks from our log to best match what was originally on the boat…..hard to tell much from the old pix, as the stain, aging, heavy sun-bleaching, peeling varnish, etc. made it pretty hard to determine very clearly…..Chris had the benefit of stripping planks to confirm species and grain….more to come…..
    James

  8. Eric Says:

    James,

    Sometimes my nit-pickeyness gets in my way of relaying my excitement for a project

    I am so pleased to see this boat coming off in such a faithful way. There are very few people in this world with your attention to detail and desire to follow the blood line and recreate the original grandeur of such a significant boat!

    My Riva friends in Italy are watching this project and are excited to see it finished!

    IMO, T-4 is MOST significant RIVA in private hands. Certainly the most significant in the USA.

    Keep up the High Caliber work, I’m really excited to watch the evolution of this project! Thank you for this “Journal of Perlita”

    I would love to see a vid clip of your reaction as you take the first sea trail at the controls of a fresh V12 Riva… Much the same way that Roland must have felt I’m sure. The rumble that V12 in a mahogany shell will be a feeling few have ever experienced!

    Happy New Year!

    Regards,
    Eric
    Nevada City, Ca

  9. Brian Driggs Says:

    As I was reading through this, I could completely identify with your perspective, James. It appears that you might travel in circles which seek the approval of judges at concours-type events. Can’t say I blame you, given the time, effort, and resources put into this project. Surely, Perlita Too deserves nothing less than the most prestigious of accolades, but I’d offer that anyone who has ever rebuilt a vehicle – land, air or sea – is going to see this wooden boat and get that warm, fuzzy feeling inside and I think that holds more value than the opinions of any hired judges.

    Truly, this is as close to a spiritual experience as any gearhead might hope to have. The thrill of mystery as the missing pieces to the story are found (or discovered missing!), the sweet agony of seeing all those pristine engine components, freshly machined and flawless, knowing they will soon be subject to glorious abuse in the line of duty for years to come.

    Could this be the holy grail of vehicular nirvana? Historically significant cast iron and steel roaring within the heart of a warm, wooden frame sourced from the Earth itself, slicing through the open water and likely capable of flight, even if only for a moment at a time? Could be.

    Back to concours, however, I can see why you might want to keepe Perlita Too as delivered to impress the judges and rightly collect those coveted awards, but who are the judges? Are they passionate Riva owners? Are they true gearheads who understand the way a vehicle can take on a personality and provide that spiritual elation with just a glance? Or are they detail-focused, historians who think only in terms of the original equipment?

    It is noble that you have taken on the proper – and I do mean PROPER – restoration of this boat. I think leaving the blowers off until you’ve cleaned house at the concours is a great idea, but have those at the ready for the day after the nit-picking judges have turned their noses elsewhere.

    I presume you’re building this boat for yourself. You should throw as much boost at that engine (or the forthcoming mad dog engine) as possible. Go big or go home. You’ve paid your dues. You are the one finally caring for this piece of art. You are the one genuinely concered for what is best for Perlita Too – concered with what SHE might prefer. As if you’d suddenly half-ass a pair of blowers? I see no risk in that.

    Do I need to quote Farragut, here? ;)

  10. James Ferris Says:

    Eric – we dug out an original hull plank and cleaned it up. It’s pretty ribbon-y, so I’m feeling we’ve matched the original pretty closely, perhaps marginally better (better than Carlo?????), but we went to some lengths to find the wood; buying from a Swiss supplier who sells to Feadship, Perini Navi, Oceanco, and others in Holland. I’ll try to find a pic and post it next time in the updates, along with the old piece we cleaned up. Thanks for your recognition of our “obsession”; sometimes the details can obscure the big picture, which includes getting the damn thing done, in our lifetime!

    What keeps us going is a vision of Perlita splashing up to RAM at Sarnico, and sounding the horn for Carlo Riva to come out and take the wheel for a spin up the lake…..lovely fantasy…….

    Damn the torpedoes! Four bells! Captain Crayton, go ahead! Joucett, full speed!”

    Careful Brian, I might construe that as encouragement to “blow” the deal……

    You are right in your assertion that Perlita deserves the accolades…of all classic boat lovers. Seeking the approval of the judges at concours events is a part of that however, and for better or worse, we do want the judges to understand and appreciate her authenticity and accuracy. An important note here: I hesitate to use the word “originality” in these discussions; as in my opinion if anything has been repaired or replaced; it is no longer “original”, although it can and should be “authentic”.

    And regarding the judges; yes they are “detail-focused historians”, as they should be in that capacity, and by and larger their regard for “originality” is correctly placed. I do wish the criteria might be broadened to encompass other aspects of a particular boats history; in this case I truly believe that Perlitas essence is her life in California with Roland Reed; and an inseparable aspect of that is his decision to supercharge the Scripps motor. That, combined with her early place in Rivas production history; and the fact that she was the first Riva ever sold to the USA; I think these attributes place her right at the top of list of important and desirable Rivas.

    That’s why she wants to be seen and enjoyed by the maximum number of enthusiasts, and why authenticity is so important to us. I could say we’re doing this for her fans…..rather than for ourselves. Regrettably, by the time she is touring the lakes, we may not even be her caretakers any longer……sniffle…… Even if thats to be the future, we’ll still be happy, knowing we did the best for her.

    Brian, I have to mention this; you are a really terrific writer! And you’re doing a tremendous job with your new online magazine http://www.gearboxmagazine.com/. Someday when we wind down Perlita’s Blog, perhaps I will do a hotrod-related feature for your new publication. In the very broadest sense: hot rod cars, trucks, boats, bikes and planes, in all their wild and sometimes crazy glory!

  11. Brian Driggs Says:

    “Give me a ping, Vasili. One ping only, please.”

    Authenticity is critical, given the level of involvement with this project. I agree wholeheartedly. At the same time, I feel your conundrum. Authentic, as in how Perlita Too was originally delivered, or how she spent the bulk of her life?

    On the one hand, I love the idea of “going back to stock” as we call it in Gearhead Land. When one purchases a lower trim level of vehicle, there are strong incentives to improve it. This applies to the top-of-the-line models as well. The aftermarket has ways of providing for the improvement of an already premium model. When there are tens of thousands of specimens on the road, upgrades can help set a particular car apart from the masses, adding value.

    The personality and reputation of the owner plays a major role in the value of the customized vehicle, though. The brand new Ferrari 458 with the aftermarket wheels, custom upholstery, and performance upgrades could be worth more than its stock counterpart, but how many modifications were made to the 61 250 GT SWB California Spyder that Chris Evans bought for over $10M last year?

    Perlita Too walks both paths. (Which is a poor metaphor, since she’s a boat.) She was a top-of-the-line, premium model when she left the factory. She was customized by her famous owners. Now you’ve got yourself a real pickle! The more I, personally, try to sell you on one direction or the other, the more I find myself right back at center, unable to choose either!

    To me, the most qualified judge is one who can consider both sides of the equation. Confirming authenticity, appreciating the dilemma, recognizing attention to detail, and being a passionate member of the community are qualities I would expect in a proper judge. The risk you take is entering a modified boat in a comepetition which caters to a community focused on authenticity, or the other way around, authentic, as-delivered, in a contest catering to her history or pedigree.

    In the end, it stands to be the most challenging aspect of the entire project. Regardless of concours or honorable mention, Perlita Too will sail as a benchmark of all things desirable – history, craftsmanship, art. I don’t envy the fork in your road nearly as much as I do the privilege of laying your hands on something so ethereal.

    Thanks for the compliment on Gearbox, James. I am not this wordy in my daily routine, but creative subjects such as this tend to turn up the burners a bit. The greatest thing about Gearbox is that I actually write next to zero content over there. Aside from minor spelling and grammar touch ups, the words are those of the people we interview. Their stories are what I hope inspires others. I am just the guy who sends them questions and shares their answers.

    By all means, though, let me know if you’d like your own Gearbox. I think a hot-rod channel would be outstanding. You’ve bigger fish to fry at the moment, but do drop me a line whenever, sir.

    Cheers!

  12. Alex Noke Says:

    I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that I really have enjoyed your well-written articles. I have bookmarked this site and will definitely be checking back for new posts.

  13. James Ferris Says:

    Thanks all for contributing your opinions and thoughts, and for really understanding the dilemna we’re in. Now that the decision is (probably) made to pursue authenticity, rather than fun, it is back to focusing on the tasks at hand. Dropping nicely into place, Jim McNeilly just sent me a couple of images of the Scripps (sans superchargers….) ready for its first test run. It looks so good, I can (almost) forget the twin McCulloch superchargers which were installed…blah blah…… so how can I be anything less than ecstatic with an accurate, authentic, restoration of the engine to original (without the bl…….).

    Thanks to everyone.

  14. Rick LaFleur Says:

    James, thanks for cronicaling this great effort, as far as I can say as current guardian of 1934 Hellzapoppin, she came with the McCulloch blower, hard to seperate the two after all this time. Having said that I do understand the need to be historically correct, I give you a big thumbs up either way. Best of luck and enjoy. Rick LaFleur