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Bill J

The Kookie Kar

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Some time back there was some discussion about the terrible fate of the original Norm Grabowski Kookie Kar. Seems that it has been saved and restored to it's original beauty. Ross Myers paid a lot for the car at Mecum auction and has had it restored by Roy Brizio. Hats off to Ross and Roy and his crew for bringing one of the most important street rods back to life. Now, if we could only get a kit of this classic car/TV car and perfect street rod.

http://www.roybriziostreetrods.com/progress/myers_22/index.htm

 

Edited by Bill J
spelliiing

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I used to watch the TV show 77 Sunset Strip and really loved Norm Grabowski's street rod. A few years ago I was lucky to buy a Danbury Mint Kookie car to add to my die-cast collection.

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The television version was clearly the most evolved version of the car when it was still in Grabowski's hands. But I'm glad that the later owner's take on the car has been well documented before it was "restored" to the TV car. I put restored in quotes because when it comes to hot rods and customs, the notion of restoration is always up for grabs. Which version do you restore to? While I agree that the last version was really quite horrible, it made sense at the time it was done, and who is to say that things wouldn't have evolved so we that all thought it was the best version?

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Oh, tastes do change, and I can see how in the days when your typical car show had stuff like this vying for the public's attention, I can see why you might want to jazz up what is seen as just another old hot rod.

1969-Bathtub-Rod-Bob-Reisner.jpg

Now, maybe people will start appreciating that over the top period of hot rod style.  If some of the articles in Hemmings are any indication, it looks like it might already be happening. 

 

However, there is more to this than just aesthetics.  We've had a few people here offer their opinions on how they'd improve the "Kookie" version of the car, which itself is not the original version.  The Grabowski roadster is a big deal because it redefined what a hot rod should look like, and I suppose the TV version is the one everyone knows.

One of the great things about modeling is that you can recreate any incarnation of any famous vehicle.

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3 minutes ago, iamsuperdan said:

Not my taste at all, but the workmanship looks fantastic.

Only a V6?! That surprises me.

It's not a V6, it's a 331 Cadillac V8. They had a shared center exhaust port and therefor only 3 outlets.

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14 hours ago, Bill J said:

Some time back there was some discussion about the terrible fate of the original Norm Grabowski Kookie Kar. Seems that it has been saved and restored to it's original beauty. Ross Myers paid a lot for the car at Mecum auction and has had it restored by Roy Brizio. Hats off to Ross and Roy and his crew for bringing one of the most important street rods back to life. Now, if we could only get a kit of this classic car/TV car and perfect street rod.

http://www.roybriziostreetrods.com/progress/myers_22/index.htm

 

Thanks for posting the link with all the great pictures. One of my future builds will be to duplicate the original as much as possible 

One of the hardest things to duplicate is the front half of a 22 Model T Touring car. From what I can find, no one has kitted a T Touring suitable. The exhaust will also be a challenge  

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53 minutes ago, Jon Haigwood said:

The exhaust will also be a challenge  

Revell Outlaw kit engine and exhaust would be a start.

outlaw (2).jpg

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b0a47027672590c10d087c68571648fd.jpg.807e142a66710d5f52fb7ed7994c1753.jpg

17 hours ago, STYRENE-SURFER said:

As documented on the Jalopy Journal(HAMB).

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/driving-the-kookie-kar-back-to-1958.1110832/

Lots of good pic's for those who might try to recreate it, including some shameful fab work😜

Great history, though I prefer Tommy Ivo's T. bucket. 

Story goes that Tommy snuck into Norms garage and got the measurements from the Kookie T  so he could build his T. They had a good rivalry going that ended in a drag race. 

Edited by Jon Haigwood

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The car in 1955, and I think this is my favourite version.

grabowski%E2%80%99s-t-lightnin-bug-1024x

The frame photos on the HAMB look pretty scary.  Not something you'd want to replicate on a real car, but that would be an interesting exercise to model, rough welds and all.

Edited by Richard Bartrop

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29 minutes ago, Richard Bartrop said:

The car in 1955, and I think this is my favourite version.

grabowski%E2%80%99s-t-lightnin-bug-1024x

The frame photos on the HAMB look pretty scary.  Not something you'd want to replicate on a real car, but that would be an interesting exercise to model, rough welds and all.

I have never seen this version, I like it better than the later ones too. 

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6 hours ago, Richard Bartrop said:

The car in 1955, and I think this is my favourite version.

grabowski%E2%80%99s-t-lightnin-bug-1024x

The frame photos on the HAMB look pretty scary.  Not something you'd want to replicate on a real car, but that would be an interesting exercise to model, rough welds and all.

That's before it became the "Kookie Car", then it was the "Lightnin Bug

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If you have Amazon prime there's a documentary about Von Franco's (a custom culture artist) recreation of the Lightning Bug version of Norm's car called "The Car That Ate My Brain" Definitely worth a look.

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What would be interesting would be to see either the Roth or AMT's T modified into a Ivo/Kookie Kar kit. It seems with a few parts swapped and decals and you could do both.

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14 hours ago, iBorg said:

What would be interesting would be to see either the Roth or AMT's T modified into a Ivo/Kookie Kar kit. It seems with a few parts swapped and decals and you could do both.

That would be interesting, Main problem would be making the front half of a 22 Touring body. Not sure if they could use that in any other kits. A resin body would be very helpful but again would the market be there to justify the cost.

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18 minutes ago, Jon Haigwood said:

That would be interesting, Main problem would be making the front half of a 22 Touring body. Not sure if they could use that in any other kits. A resin body would be very helpful but again would the market be there to justify the cost.

How much actual difference is there between that, and the front half of a '23 roadster body?

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3 minutes ago, Richard Bartrop said:

How much actual difference is there between that, and the front half of a '23 roadster body?

T Touring body is basically flatter across the back  where it was cut off behind the seat back . My plan is to add sharper corners to a roadster body

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18 minutes ago, Richard Bartrop said:

How much actual difference is there between that, and the front half of a '23 roadster body?

The cowls and front of the '22 and '23 T buckets are virtually identical in appearance. Though there were differences between '22 and '23 fenders, , windshields, hoods, grilles, etc, they didn't affect the body shell much.

The '24-'25, however, is an entirely different shell.

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16 minutes ago, Jon Haigwood said:

T Touring body is basically flatter across the back  where it was cut off behind the seat back . My plan is to add sharper corners to a roadster body

Yup. That's the solution.

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This gives you a rough idea of what the shape is. Front half needs the sides blended into the back. The back has the general shape of the roadster .32499.jpg.834a7c95153c763990a258d90b8bd074.jpg

 

Roy Brizio's build of the Kookie T

54513066_1235764766597840_4664463417886249117_n.jpg.c8e834b6d819c150bd16ebc4106f6700.jpg

Edited by Jon Haigwood

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I remember seeing it at the Mecum auction on TV and feeling disappointed by it's condition.  Nice to see it back to it's former glory.  Thanks for the link.

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On 10/23/2019 at 1:28 PM, magicmustang said:

Revell Outlaw kit engine and exhaust would be a start.

outlaw (2).jpg

Okay, I am going to attempt a replica of Norm's Kookie car. I have an Outlaw kit and a Tweedy pie kit. Between the two of them I should have most of the parts needed. "We shall see" said the blind man..   

tweedy pie.jpg

Edited by magicmustang

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