50th Celebration of the Ford Mustang
Wednesday March 19, 2014
The Mustang Centennial Celebration – April 2014 Heacock Classic Collector Car Insurance
This is an event you won’t want to miss. Heacock Classic is participating in Three Mustang Centennial Gatherings in April. The inaugural event site starts in Norman, Oklahoma – then two tours head out both east and west. One tour heading West to Las Vegas Motor and the other Eastbound Tour culminating in Charlotte, NC .
Along with providing Free Roadside Assistance coverage for all participants, Heacock will be driving the new 2015 Mustangs with a journalists occupying each vehicle. Heacock Classic Insurance will participating side-by-side with the Mustang enthusiasts in the MCA as well as other Ford marques, as they travel city to city to promote the Mustang centennial. The Mustang 50th Birthday Celebrations will be held in two of the most prestigious racetracks in our great country; the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Both of these great racetracks have extensive ties to the Mustang Nation and are in locations that will allow a magnitude of Mustang enthusiasts from all over the world to be able to come and enjoy the Mustang 50th festivities. Plus, they both have all of the amenities necessary for an event of the Mustang 50th’s stature.
As part of our sponsorship, our existing network of Roadside Assistance partners will be available for all tour participants via a toll free number and complimentary ID cards in the event any of the drivers have mechanical issues alone the way. This event will be covered by all national media, the automotive media, newspapers and of course, all club and social media outlets. Throughout the week, the vehicles will be displayed at the MCA and Heacock Insurance booths for all enthusiasts to view. Car shows are interesting, racing is exciting but there is only one chance to honor the Centennial alongside the largest Ford enthusiast group dedicated to one legendary marque, the Ford Mustang. Remember, no matter how you look at it, this is the Mustang 50th and there will not be another Mustang event of this caliper until the Mustang 100th in 2064!
For more information check out http://mustang50thbirthdaycelebration.com
Heacock Classic Insurance is proud to sponsor the inaugural Crossroads Car Show known as “The Benedict Castle Concours” in Riverside on March 29th, 2014. This event is going to break ground in an effort to unite the hobby and present a taste of every major car genre placed all over the breathtaking grounds of a Castle. Heacock Classic and Crossroads invite you to come out and see 300 stunning cars, hear live bands, meet George Barris, the King of Kustoms (showing his original “Munster Koach”), be a part of the filming of Car Crazy TV with host Barry Meguiar, enjoy BBQ Tri-Tip and Burgers in the Heacock Classic Castle Courtyard, visit vendor booths and hear our MC, Dave McClelland (the former Voice of NHRA). If that isn’t enough, for the Ladies, we are hosting a High Tea, Fashion Show and Boutique in the Castle. Public Parking is at the UCR Lot at 3993 Canyon Crest Drive for $5. (Air conditioned shuttles will transport you to the Castle all day) Admission at the Gate is $5 or a Pass may be purchased to the Petersen Automotive VIP Pavilion (which includes VIP Parking) on the Car Registration Page. We still have room for Show Cars. Get your registration in immediately. The best part of all… we are raising money for Teen Challenge. Help us launch what is sure to be one of the best shows in all of Southern California. See you there 10 am!
For more information check out the event website at http://www.crossroadscarshow.com .
The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association and Heacock Classic Insurance are thrilled to announce the renewal of one of Vintage Racing’s longest standing sponsorships – the Official Insurance Provider for SVRA. According to Heacock Classic Insurance President Ford Heacock III, “It was a fantastic year full of achievements for the SVRA in 2013, including expanding their East Coast series from 5 up to 9 races. Under Tony Parella’s leadership, SVRA developed a West Coast schedule – making the club a truly national racing organization. Of course, the crown jewel of the entire season was the inaugural National Championship at the Circuit of the Americas. This year we are especially excited to attend their new 2014 event at The Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Heacock Classic is proud to join with SVRA in providing a safe and controlled environment where enthusiasts can fully enjoy their classic race cars with confidence.”
Heacock’s support goes back to 1981, when former Sebring resident Ford Heacock III founded the organization – not a stretch for a kid who spent a lot of time at Sebring Raceway in the garages of some very big names. SVRA’s headquarters soon moved from Lakeland to Summerville, SC, back to Florida, and then from South Carolina to New Hampshire, each move a result of a change of ownership. Today, prominent businessman and racing enthusiast Tony Parella of the Parella Group has ownership of the organization and acts as President and CEO – at least, when he’s not out racing himself. Parella states “The SVRA is extremely pleased to have Heacock Classic as a partner again in 2014. Their comprehensive line of insurance products and high level of personal service meet the needs of our members both on and off the racetrack. It’s great to continue a relationship that goes back to the very beginning of the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association”.
In support of Parella’s efforts Heacock Classic Insurance has stepped up to become the Official Insurance Provider for the organization and all the events the SVRA will host. Ford Heacock says, ”Our business got started insuring race cars, so we understand what the racing enthusiasts need. From a guy fresh out of driving school with his first MGB to the most sophisticated multi-car team efforts – we have the right insurance products for your race cars, classics, and hot rods.”
For more information on the SVRA Race Schedule or Heacock Classic Insurance, contact: Sportscar Vintage Racing Association at www.svra.com , on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. For Heacock Classic call 800-678-5173, or visit us on the web at www.HeacockClassic.com or join us on Facebook.
AU 12 Ref 119 – 1953 Woodill Wildfire Series II
Postwar America saw a number of attempts by would-be automakers to produce new – and often novel – sports cars. They all failed: Bobbi-Kar, Davis, Playboy Keller, Kurtis, Muntz, and others. To that list must be added B. Robert “Woody” Woodill’s two-seater sports car, the Woodill Wildfire.
Woody was always a car nut, and eagerly went into partnership with his father at the family Dodge Agency after World War II in Downey, California. In 1948, he bought out his dad’s share, and with buildings available, he soon added a Willys franchise.
With success in the car business, sports car fever soon afflicted Woody. He wanted a Jaguar, but his service manager talked him out of it as an undependable and costly to fix choice.
Undaunted, he decided to build his own, and to do it largely with Willys parts — an assembly plant was nearby. So was Glasspar, a pioneer in fiberglass technology, who also was busy building bodies for the Kaiser Darrin. Also close at hand was the Post Body Shop, which built a frame out of “angle stuff,” as Woody put it. Thus, Woody ended up with a car with a custom-built frame, Willys engine, and a Jeepster front axle and bumpers, and called it the Series I. He later modified the original Glasspar body with a higher hood, rear deck, and doors, as well as a dummy hoodscoop and neatly integrated Aero-Willys taillights, and created the Woodill Wildfire Series II.
The Woodill Wildfire was first seen at the November 1952 Motorama in Los Angeles — not the General Motors show, but one put on by Petersen Publishing Company, of Motor Trend fame. Interest ran high, so Woody set about getting his sports car into production, both fully assembled and as a high-quality kit car. A rectangular steel frame was devised, with the idea that it accept Ford engines and running gear, although other engines and transmissions could be — and were — fitted. With the motor pushed rearward in the chassis, most any engine chosen still left the Wildfire with close to 50/50 weight distribution. The fiberglass body kept weight low — only 1620 pounds with the Willys engine — so performance was brisk, even with the little Willys six in Wildfire #1.
Soon, Ford Flathead V8’s were used for more power, which proved to be a potent combination. Our auction car today has a well-built Ford V-8 with the best period speed equipment, including Offenhauser heads and intake, an Isky cam, and twin Stromberg 97 carburetors. It features a 3 speed column shift transmission with a Columbia 2-speed rear end. This rare example wears new 72 spoke outside laced 2 bar custom Dayton Wire wheels and proper wide whitewall tires. The car runs and drives well, with brutish power and impressive acceleration, and is one of the fastest sports cars of the era.
Brock Yates believes there were 15 Series I cars built in the factory, and just 9 factory assembled Series II cars. The 1953 Wildfire seen here is #23 of the 24 factory built cars, with the factory VIN plate in place on the passenger side door jam. It features the authentic Woodill chassis, and is one of just 2 Series II factory built vehicles known to exist.
This example was purchased in 1976 by a noted Corvette restorer, who had been searching for one for years. He knew the history, and knew fiberglass cars, and paid the then-princely sum of $7,000 for the car – more than any new sports car of the day. It was stored and lightly driven for decades, and the car remains in highly original condition, including the original white body paint and dashboard. The leather seats were re-created recently, and only sympathetic and essential repairs have taken place to the mechanical systems. It’s easy to see why it survived is such intact condition, as the car shows only 1,602 original miles.
The Wildfire is believed to be the first production fiberglass sports car, predating both the Corvette and the Kaiser Darrin. Woodill received a lot of publicity in movies like Knock on Wood, Written on the Wind, and Johnny Dark, – a racing film starring Tony Curtis and Piper Laurie where the Wildfire is prominently featured in the racing segments. The Wildfire also received publicity in Time, Life, Newsweek, and of course, all the car enthusiast magazines were enamored by the new technology.
No matter, the Wildfire never really did become a major production car, as only about 25 were built, plus an estimated 100-300 kits. Part of the challenge was the new Corvette, which did not sell in large numbers in 1953, but make no mistake, the Vette was here to stay, as it was backed by a national dealer network and had a lower retail price than a Wildfire.
Though it certainly deserved a better fate, the Wildfire can be appreciated for the pioneering role it played in using fiberglass bodywork, and like hundreds of small manufacturers in the early 20th century, it came down to Woody Woodill’s drive to simply build a better sports car. He produced a bona fide, high-quality, handsome, and competent sports car that today is considered to be a landmark vehicle, with performance on par with anything in the world. Today, you can become the caretaker of a piece of automotive history, and enjoy owning a fast and very rare American sports car.
1,292 cc 4 cylinder engine, 4 speed manual transmission, front beam suspension, rear leaf springs, 94” wb
In June of 1936, The Motor ran an article announcing the new MG T Series cars, replacing the venerable P types. By early 1939, Abingdon had produced the last of 3003 TA’s, which were the genesis of the entire T Series that ran until the late 40’s. This beautiful example, #0510, was completed on September 2, 1936, and survives today with just 58,000 original miles.
The new TA of 1936 featured the Morris 1292cc overhead valve pushrod 4 cylinder engine, but fitted with twin bronze-bodied SU carbs, producing around 50 HP with plenty of torque. Also new to the marque were hydraulic brakes and a synchromesh 4 speed transmission.
#0501 was delivered new to Anstey’s Motors, and the car still carries the medallion fitted when new. It was exported after WW II, first to New Jersey, then Florida, and eventually to the garage of Jack Spaulding, before purchase by the consignor in 2001. It was completely rebuilt from the block up by noted specialist Lee Johnson, with the transmission done by John Twist. In 2005 a correct new wiring harness was installed, and the car converted to the more user-friendly 12-volt system in place today. New brake lines, brakes, and tires were fitted in 2009. The car runs well, starts easily, and literally everything functions perfectly at this time, including all gauges, the original clock, and even the factory trouble light that plugs into the dash.
The car is presented today with many spares straight from the UK, as well as many manuals, articles, receipts, and trophies from the past 12 years. There are 2 car covers included, custom-made lamp covers (the headlamp lenses are original and impossible to find), and both full and half tonneau covers. The top and side curtains are in excellent condition. All the original tools are included, and even the original key to the car.
The paint on the car is believed to be original, although there is no proof, but many experts have verified the quality of the vintage lacquer, which survives with a nice shine and few flaws. The original red leather interior survives in fine condition, with just the right patina, with only the carpets needing replacement. The owner has added just over 8,000 miles on the odometer during his 12-year ownership, and has literally never allowed the car to get wet. The ash frame is excellent, and it is clear that the body has never been off the frame.
This is a real find for an MG collection – an early, documented car that is numbers matching, highly original and exceptionally cared for. It represents the beginning of the entire T-Series, which is widely credited with bringing sports cars to the attention of America, and is certainly one of the iconic designs to ever come out of Abingdon.