The little blower project has been going on for about 17 years, since the original pattern and copyrighting was done. The idea grew from all the blower cases Larry was polishing for Dyers Machine Service. Dyers shipped 6-71, V6-71, and some 4-71 cases, end plates, and manifolds from Chicago out to Oregon, because of the quality work done in Larry's shop. Eventually, some 8-71s showed up, both Blower Drive Service (BDS) and Dyers own castings. Larry had done some blower pieces for Weiand, when he was in Los Angeles. As the son of a hot rodder, and builder of cars himself, there just was the mystique that surrounded GMC style blowers for Larry, and having blower cases and manifolds laying around all the time (sometimes 20 at a time) added to it.
A foundry moved to Medford, Oregon, that specialized in lost foam casting, and an article about the work they did prompted a visit. The foundry owner was a car guy as well, and said if Larry built a pattern, he would work with it. An original GMC 6-71 still on the diesel engine was measured, and scaled down, to keep the proportions correct. Well, a pattern was built, and attempts were made to do a lost wax casting, and a lost foam mold was in process of being built. One sand cast prototype was done, before the foundry moved. Lessons learned from the mold pulls and sand casting prompted revisions and finally a totally new pattern design, which cuts casting thickness (and therefore weight), and was actually easier to incorporate the draft so the pattern will pull from a mold or sand. There have been long periods of inactivity in this endeavor, but there are a ton of hours involved.
The final pattern needs final sanding and a shellac finish. We have built flasks, and a propane fired burner with adjustments and blower fan, to possibly try and cast some ourselves. We're looking into having a match plate built and having some units cast, so we have the facility to do quantities at a time. The polishing and assembly would be done here in our shop. We'd like to get this into production, as everyone (rodder) who has seen the prototype said they wanted one. But, life happens, and match plates cost money. Hopefully we'll get some more done this year. Meanwhile, enjoy the pictures.
Note: April - June 2011. The match plate is done, and we have the first production units. Kyle, Larry's son, took over the project and has these ready to go. We have a website set up for this project - www.Mini-Blowers.com. Kyle's cousin is doing the milling, drilling and tapping on his CNC machining center, and for now, we are doing the polished units here in our shop. It took a while to get the polishing lathe uncovered. Check them out on the site.
Biscayne dash molding (Ignition, etc), short aluminum piece over the ignition switch
Radio delete plate
The following don't have to be perfect, just straight:
Biscayne trim molding on top of the fenders, L & R
Biscayne trim molding on top of the doors, L & R
Biscayne trim molding on top of the quarters, L & R
Steel 'A' pillar inside covers, sedan
Interior steel pieces that extend back from the post ('B' pillar) at the top
The following can be Bel Air or Impala pieces:
Upper and lower eyebrows (I know reproductions are available)
Outside heater box
Hood lip molding
If you have any of these or can suggest a source, I would appreciate it. Anyone who has done a rack and pinion steering or a Gen III/Gen IV LS series engine install on a '58 to '64 B body Chevy, let me know. I'm just thinking. I'll never find or be able to afford the Z-11 parts (I know they were Impalas). Thanks.