- Written by webmin
When I wander the aisles at Hershey, I’m like a crow, attracted to all the shiny things I see – especially at a Hershey like this year’s, when the sun comes out in full force, gleaming off the mirrors, grilles, headlamp lenses and other chrome bits. Naturally, I was drawn straight in to this handbuilt roadster in the Chocolate field, advertising the work of Victor Yordy of The Metal Works in Dewart, Pennsylvania.
Victor said he used to take care of all aspects of classic car restoration, but he soon found that resto work spread him too thin and that he really wanted to focus on the metalshaping aspects of restoration, so he’s lately tasked himself just with building and re-building entire bodies. This particular body, which Victor started in May and expects to be finished with in about another month, sprang from the imagination of a customer who wanted the car to look like a cross between a Bugatti and an Auburn boattail. The customer supplied a chassis (titled as a 1928 1929 Viking), an engine (a 300-cu.in. Ford six-cylinder with triple Weber sidedrafts), a drivetrain (Mustang five-speed and rear axle), and some blueprints showing how he wanted the car to look when finished. Victor then went at it with .0062-inch aluminum and a credit line with Rivets-R-Us.
Interestingly, Victor noted that custom bodies and projects such as this Viking don’t cost much more than re-creating stock bodies because both require just as much time to complete. We’re definitely looking forward to seeing this Viking when Victor finishes it – mostly because the customer plans to have the aluminum body left bare and polished rather than painted.
UPDATE (13.October 2010): Just spoke with the owner of the Viking, and the story about its genesis is even more interesting. the current owner actually bought the Viking from the estate of Tord Smedberg, a former engine designer for Ford and GM who, upon his retirement in the 1990s, decided to get to work on a large speedster. He liked the Viking brand, so he went out and bought a Viking sedan just for its emblem and its title and VIN. He laid the engine, seats and differential on the floor of his garage and mocked up a wooden frame for use as a template for building the steel frame. He even went so far as to create detailed engineering drawings of his vision for the Viking. Smedberg worked on the Viking up until just months before he died in 2003, and six years later, the current owner bought it and continued where Smedberg had left off, intending to finish the Viking just as Smedberg envisioned it.
UPDATE (15.October 2010): The owner also sent me Tord’s drawings, which really fleshes out what we see in the photographs above. Looks almost like something Brooks Stevens would have done, doesn’t it? Note the 1929 rather than 1928 model year, oldmertz. I must’ve been given incorrect information about the model year earlier.