The guys at JR’s Speed Shop in Venice, Florida are making good progress on several American Specials that they are working on including one of the Woodill Wildfire’s that starred in the 1954 movie “Johnny Dark.” We checked in with them last week and progress has continued nicely both on the chassis and the body. Let’s review.
- The exhaust system has been fitted and routed with nice cutaways (plated to add strength) to allow the pipes and mufflers to be as high as possible when factoring in the floor.
- Nicely framed and supported gas tank with 360 support and strength
- Narrowed rear axle slightly to fit perfectly with side bodyline
- Strengthening and re-welding chassis throughout
Still much work remains including pedal placement, shifting placement, brake lines, fuel lines and more, but progress is good. Check out the progress and more in the photos below.
Since last fall, the body has been stripped, repaired and strengthen. Woven roving has been used throughout to give a bit more rigidity to areas where needed. Next, prep work will begin soon on getting the surface ready for paint. You can check out the progress in the photos below.
We’re looking forward to seeing progress on the Johnny Dark Wildfire as they continue work at JR’s in Venice, Florida. For those of you wanting to learn more about this car and/or the movie, click on the links below:
Click Here To Learn More About The 1954 Movie Johnny Dark
Click Here To Learn More About the Johnny Dark Wildfire #2 (Black)
Hope you enjoyed the story, and remember…
The adventure continues here at Undiscovered Classics.
That is some beautiful fiberglass! Not a crack, break, or blemish anywhere. As a bonus, it’s never been wrecked!
Great Job reworking and Fabrication of the Original Chassis. Really like the detail of the exhaust being tucked up as much as possible.
You Guys are doing an outstanding job on a piece of Movie History.
This article made me watch my CD of the Johnny Dark Movie.
Great film of the first film ever made using a Helicopter for overhead action shots.
Regards, Dennis Gerdes G2
Looks like its coming along nicely, tho of course, never as fast enough as one would hope.
Having a fiberglass project car myself, I know how difficult it is to get the mechanicals
and linkages to fit exactly right onto or inside the body. There’s a lot of “on and off” of the body. (I installed
a couple of electric winches in my attic to do just this).
Looking at the resto photos, I was surprised to see the single leaf spring in the rear mounted high as opposed
to the traditional placement of one per wheel on each side. Surely this isn’t the way the ’55 Corvettes did it.
Custom? Or was this one of the purpose-made frames for the G2?
I can also relate to how far forward the hole for the shifter is in the body. Personally, I went through TWO darn
T5 manual transmissions to find one where the shift box was far enough back to actually land inside the car!
Ultimately, I sold both of those and decided to go back to 3 on the tree column shift as it was originally
Nice work being done. I only wish mine was a short car like the Wildfire. Interesting story, thank you.
Looks fantastic !! Such a cool project with so much history
A true labor of love ?? ???
Thank you for the work you have doe and the way you have engendered in me a love of those things that should be held