Delahaye Lockhart Boattail

From Delahaye USA press: The black and orange Frank Lockhart STUTZ |BLACK HAWK inspired boattail is the fifth in a series of speedster creations by TERRY COOK of Long Valley, NJ utilizing his DECO RIDES body as the basis of the car. Several years ago Terry saw a red scale model of a boattail streamliner built and designed by Mike Ball of VELOCITY ENGINEERING in Fort Wayne, IN. Ball had been inspired by the famed Lockhart land speed record attempt car from 1929. When Terry saw Mike’s red model, it in turn inspired him to build this car, which is distinguished by four pontoons cloaking the wheels.

Built over a period of several years, the car was constructed by Gary and Dillon Brown at BROWNS METAL MODS in Indianapolis, IN. Ironically this is the same town where the original STUTZ BLACK HAWK was built in the late 1920’s. Starting with a fiberglass body at FAT MAN FABRICATIONS in Mint Hill, NC, Mike “Bubba” Craig and Brent Van DerVoort fashioned a custom 130 inch wheelbase frame that featured a “suicide” style tube front axle suspended by a pair of quarter elliptic springs, The goal was to position the front axle out in front of the nose and enclose the Radiir 18 x 3 12-spoke spindle mount front wheels with small Hearst spot disc brakes within a pair of slim fiberglass streamlined wheel pants which DECO RIDES also manufactures. The shape of the trailing edge of these small pontoons was changed to emulate the design of those on Frank Lockhart’s car. Not only do the front wheel pants swivel and turn with the car’s steering, the headlights turn with the steering as well. A small set of aluminum “pie plates” with a screened mesh opening to both cloak and cool the spot brakes were fashioned by panel beater Denny Jamison of AUTOMOTIVE HAMMER ART on Gasoline Alley in Indy. He also built the aluminum rear pontoons that mount directly to the rear axle housing. Because you can’t see the wheels or tires, when the car is move, it appears to be levitating or floating above the ground! 

The custom nose, hood and side panels were hand fabricated from steel by Gary Brown, and the side panels feature unique reverse cut sweeping curved louvers by metal shaper Rex Rogers of CUSTOM AUTO in Loveland, CO. Most people take the louvers for granted, but have you ever seen reverse curved louvers anywhere on any car in history? Plotting out the pattern for the louvers required a flotilla of e-mails between Cook and Rogers to arrive at the final layout, followed by a challenge of extreme dexterity by Rex to achieve the final result. Thanks must go to noted car illustrator/artist Darrell Mayabb of Arvada, CO, Art Center grad John Caswell of Detroit and veteran custom painter Don “The Egyptian” Boeke of Dayton, OH for their “two cents” worth of opinion and input advising Cook on the design of this project. One aspect where that particularly applies is the shape of the small dorsal fin on the decklid. The custom taillights in the trailing edge of the rear pontoons were hand hewn from red plexiglass stock.

The engine in the House of Kolor Tangello orange pearl and black boattail is a 4.6 litre Mustang V8. Because Cook likes to incorporate humor in his creations, a set of chrome plated Ferrari V-12 valve covers sit atop the engine cloaking the Ford single overhead cam engine. Cook jokingly explains to people that it is a rare “FORDRARRI” engine. Another name for the engine is FRORD (i.e. “Fraud”). Twelve stainless exhaust pipes peek out from under the boattail in keeping with the V-12 joke. The automatic transmission is a 41279W Ford overdrive. Another touch of Cook’s constant desire to have fun with his cars is the rubber Jivaro shrunken head hanging from the rear view mirror. 

The interior of the car was done in black tuck n’ roll leather by Mike and Gary Griffey of Muncie, IN, who also fashioned the black Hartz cloth top over a Dick Rodwell metal frame that was fabricated to final shape by Gary Brown. The rear window is a LeBarron Bonney item. Rodwell also supplied the subtly curved Stanley Wanlass windshield, and Brown custom built the smooth A-posts that hold it in place. The side spears were chrome plated by FINISHING TOUCH in Chicago and the front end by SHERM’s CUSTOM PLATING in Sacramento, CA.

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