The story on Warren Eding’s Wildfire continues – and it’s a great way to pay tribute to a car and the man who built it. Like so many of these handcrafted cars, it’s a story of what you can achieve on designing and building your own car if you want to make it happen. But what you’re about to find out is that the restoration can be just as inspiring too.
Click Here To Read Stories We’ve Written About The Warren Eding Wildfire And Its Restoration
Last year Brian Meyer found Warren Eding’s Wildfire which he called “Darciedi” near his home in Tomball, Texas. Here’s a photo of what the Darciedi looked like when it was first completed by Warren followed by a photo of the same car when Brian found it nearly 60 years later.
Brian has agreed to keep us up to date on the restoration of his car and he’s lost no time beginning it. The car is apart, the frame newly built….this man, his son and their team is one powerful locomotive! Let’s see what Brian has to share with us – so take it away Brian 🙂
From The Workshop of Brian Meyer
Hope you are doing well during these challenging times. Thought I would give you and your readers an update on the Warren Eding Wildfire. We’re about six months into the project, and I think we are on track to finish the car by October as planned.
Since my last update in February, the Darciedi chassis is nearing completion. It’s back on four wheels, and has the 1955 Pontiac motor and transmission installed. I ended up making a couple of slight modifications to the original design. The original Pontiac transmission crossmember installed by Woodill was rusted out beyond repair.
I could have found a replacement crossmember, and modified it to fit the chassis as Woodill did, however, to me it looked like an afterthought. I ended up making a side mount set up that appears period correct, and as if it was designed for the chassis. The front engine mount is an exact replica of the original Woodill design.
I also noticed the original chassis had several tight inside angles that were not welded out leaving openings in the frame rails exposing them to dirt, water, and ultimately rust. The angles are so tight, they would have been impossible to MIG or TIG weld, and very difficult to properly weld out with a stick. To remedy this, I boxed these angles in, and was able to completely weld them out.
With the exception of the rear leaf springs and shocks, all front and rear suspension pieces are original to the car. The rear end, harvested from a 1955 Chevrolet, is also an original piece to the car. It has a 3:55 gear ratio.
As you can see, the majority of the work done to the car over the past couple of months has been focused on getting the mechanical foundation completed. The plan for the month of May is to install a few remaining tabs, plumb the brake and fuel lines, and install the steering gearbox.
The body will then be fit to the chassis, ride height, etc. will be adjusted as needed, and the body will once again be removed and placed on a fixture for completion of the body work. I’m really looking forward to that. It should start resembling the Darciedi again very soon.
I’ll keep you updated.
Brian K. Meyer
Great thanks to Brian Meyer for sending in an update and we look forward to sharing more progress as he and his team continue their work. They’ve assured me that the car restoration will be completed before the end of the year – sounds like my kind of team. Go get ’em guys! As you look thru the photos you can tell that we found the right owners for this Wildfire.
And for those of you wanting to catch up on previous stories about this car, click this link and have some fun.
Hope you enjoyed the story, and remember…
The adventure continues here at Undiscovered Classics.
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I’d also take a serious look at the front engine mount.
Hi Bob. Thanks for the feedback. As you know, the early Pontiacs (and some other GM’s) had a single center engine mount, and dual transmission mounts. As I mentioned in the update, I copied the original Woodill design for the engine mount. It was made with a piece of shaped flat bar with an angle iron backer for rigidity. Its actually a very strong design. You may have noticed in the pictures I still have to make the vertical welds between the angle and flat. I’ll do that when the engine comes back out and there’s more room to work. Again, thanks for the feedback.
Being an original owner builder,I vwould suggest adding some steel to the frame if he intends to use the car as aroad car. As built, the car will twist to the point you can crack the body. When I rebuilt mine 10+ years ago, I added a second side frame to the center of the frame. It cured the problem and improver the ride.
Ted, Good to hear from you. Feedback from a guy that bought and built one of these back in the daymeans a lot to me. I remember you telling me about the modification you made during your restoration to minimize twisting. I’d like to come by one day soon to see how you did it, and to get some much needed inspiration to get me across the finish line with this old Woodill.
I would agree on the transmission mounting needing a bit more beef.
The restoration appears to be galloping along at great pace, however, the recently made gearbox mountings appear to be a little fragile to me. It might be the photos, or the thickness of the steel being used, but judging by the size of the engine, and the power it will put out, I hope the mountings hold. I’m sure it will be a great car when finished and look forward to seeing more mid restoration pics.
Ken, I hope all is well. As always, I appreciate your feedback on the project. Each time Geoff posts an update on the car, I know I can count on you for your honest opinion. I actually look forward to it as it keeps me on top of my game. You’ll have to trust me on the transmission mounts. They are made of 3/16″ steel, gusseted, and stronger than what the car had for the last 65 years by a factor of at least 2. When the motor and transmission is permanently installed, there will be rubber cushions and a through bolt on each side, and weight will be transferred straight down to frame rails. Thanks again for the feedback, and I look forward to hearing from you again soon.