Our Projects

The ACME Van

1961 International Metro Van

This van was originally purchased by the US Air Force in 1961 and grew up at Fairchild AFB in eastern Washington State.  It, like many of its kind, was part of a bulk purchase by the military and was used for on-base duties ranging from shuttling laundry, mail, and moving personnel.  There was some yellow and blue paint under the old baby blue color it was wearing when we got it; both are Air Force colors.

Sometime around 1995 it was sold to a guy in Idaho who used it for tool storage on construction sites for several years. You can see his name lettered on the van in one of the following photos. It was then sold to another guy in Idaho but he never did anything with it until we bought it in 2009. As far as I can tell we are the 4th owners.

I called on a long time friend Bruce Stedman of Street Machines by Stedman to do the majority of the build for us.  Bruce has built a handful of cars and trucks for us over the years and is always great to collaborate with.  The timing was perfect as Bruce’s shop was a little slow plus he shared my vision of what this truck needed to become.  We did some of the detail stuff at our shop (ACME) like seat brackets, interior panels, engine cover, but the bulk of the work was done by Bruce.

The build list:

350 GM crate motor (basic 290 hp model)
700r4 transmission
9” Ford rear with 373 gears
Jim Meyer Racing heavy duty IFS with 12” disc brakes
New wiring
New Fuel and Brake lines
Moon Gauges (by Classic Instruments)
1956 Ford-o-matic steering column (retrofitted by Charles Franklin at V8 Restorations)
1948 Ford steering wheel
Paint and Body by bob Cole at Cole Automotive, Long Beach
Seat frames with integral 3 point belts by Wise Guys
Upholstery by Pete Engel of Westminster Auto Upholstery
Signs by Me (John at SignSource / Acme Speed Shop)

This is the first photo I saw of the truck.  Love at first sight.

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Delivery day.  The truck arrives at the shop.

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Trans and engine out. Ready to start the clean-up before installing the new drive train.

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Rear end  and drive line out.

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The underside of the truck before we did the “clean-up” and undercoating.

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Engine and trans installed.

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Independent front suspension installed.

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Wiring under way.

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Close-up of gauge panel / dash and steering column.

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New seat and Steering wheel mock-up.  We plan on driving the snot out of this truck so it needs to be comfortable.

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Close-up of engine – “all dressed up”.

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Bottom end of steering column.  Needs to be shortened about 6″ to match up with rack.

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Steering wheel and gauges installed.

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Articulating seat bracket in mock-up stage.

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Seat Brackets all fabricated and ready for a little clean-up before a final trial run in the truck.  Note the cardboard template in the background.  This was the story board to make sure it would work.

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The new V-8 was a little wider than the old international straight 6 so I had to modify the engine cover.

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Almost Done.  This is the first time seeing it with the new wheels and tires installed.

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Bruce Stedman delivering the newly rebuilt truck back to my shop.  Note that there were no seats in this photos – he is standing up.

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Prepping for primer at Bob Cole’s shop.

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Primer and block sanding.

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It is almost ready for paint

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We painted the interior with Rustoleum White and Hammer tone silver.

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Interior almost done.

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Just got it back from Bob’s paint shop.  Now it is time to get it lettered.

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Mrs. Acme’s first drive, aint she cute!

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Here it is with the signs painted sitting by our ’36 Ford.

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The signs on the rear doors.  I barely got the signs painted in time for this show.

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Close-up of  back door lettering.

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1932 Ford 5W Coupe

This is an old beater that is going to be brought back from the edge by Jeb Scolman of Jeb’s Metal and Speed. Stay tuned.

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1950 Mercury Coupe

This little beauty belongs to my friend Doug.  He is the General manager at our sign company SignSource. Doug is doing most of the work himself.  Judging by the reference photos pasted all over his office, this is going to be a nice one.

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1937 Lincoln Zephyr 3W Coupe

Well if you like early customs, you like Lincoln Zephyr 3-window coupes. The build plan on this one is pretty straight forward. Lower it to a “tail dragger” stance with wide white walls. A Lincoln MEL motor or some other early Lincoln engine, auto transmission, highway geared rear end, a simple and elegant interior.  No cutting or shaving needed in my opinion because I think these were about the best straight from the factory customs ever built.

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