Recently we introduced you to Guy Dirkin’s latest restoration – his 1966 Cannara sports car.
Restoration started earlier this year with one of our tried and true restorers – Ralph Smith. Ralph and Guy worked together to identify issues that had to be solved including ride height, engine placement, structural changes to accommodate lowering, steering column replacement, brake upgrades and more – all issues we must address at any of the restoration shops we work with.
And it’s never the vision of one person – it’s a plan made by a team. In this case the team is led by Guy Dirkin and Ralph Smith. Oh…I may have helped a bit too *wink*. Let’s start out with a few photos of the car when I found it in Detroit several years ago:
When I found the car, it had some very interesting features that helped me track down its history. It was a front mid-engine V8 car with a wheelbase of 94 inches and a track is 59 inches wide. This makes is as long as an MG and as wide as a Corvette – one powerful package. We’ll discuss some of the other features that helped identify it in a future story on the Cannara.
In late 2019 (December 21, 2019), we hitched up the car and with the help of my friend Ray Hansil, we dropped the Cannara off at Ralphs:
So where did we start with the chassis? I thought you would never ask. Here are photos of the chassis laid bare before our work began:
Ralph got working on the chassis just after the first of the year and in the photos below Guy was checking his fit with pedal length to plan for changes. And you can see where we were unloading the replacement engine – an engine we replaced again after it didn’t spec out as we had hoped. Check out the photos below.
Running, Driving, Stopping Chassis Complete – Great Job Ralph!
Last week (7/3/2020) Rob Hernandez and I met Guy Dirkin at Ralph Smith’s shop to pick up the Cannara and begin the next phase of the restoration – fiberglass. In charge of this phase is Rob Hernandez who we’re honored to have on board and look forward to his first project with us. Let’s check out some photos on the pick-up day. After that, we have a bit more to share with you too that I think you’ll like. First….the photos of the completed running/driving/stopping chassis:
And some photo with Guy Dirkin at the wheel:
How ‘Bout Some Video – Yes We Have Them
We have two short videos to share. The first video below is one minute long and is a walk-around of the Cannara by Guy Dirkin. The second video is two minutes long and shows Guy driving the Cannara out of Ralph’s garage and getting it ready for transport on the trailer to Rob Hernandez’ shop. Here are the videos:
Off To Rob’s Shop
Rob Hernandez is taking the helm for the next phase which is fiberglass. We may also ask Craig Johnson to participate – all folks of our Undiscovered Classics team. In the photos below you’ll see our the Cannara being transported to Rob’s shop and two photos with Guy and Rob together with the car.
Renderings By Dan Palatnik Guide Our Restorations
We’ve done this with our 1962 Shark, our 1950 Leo Lyons, the Voodoo Gardner Special and more. Our “artist in residence”, Dan Palatnik is part of our “working team” here at Undiscovered Classics and he is instrumental in setting the standard for how each car will be finished – the Cannara is no different. Check out the renderings below for the “look and feel” of how we will be finishing this sports car.
There’s still much to do but we’ll be tracking the progress and sharing it with you here at Undiscovered Classics. Rob’s shop is the closest to me yet – just a few miles away so this will be a fun watch to watch from so close by. And we wish both Guy and Rob the best of success as they move forward with their project.
And those of you wanting to learn more about Guy Dirkin, his writings and his cars, click on the link below:
Hope you enjoyed the story, and remember…
The adventure continues here at Undiscovered Classics.