2017 Talladega Spoiler Family Reunion: Part 4

This is the fourth and final report on the 2017 Talladega Spoiler Family Reunion. The afternoon of the second day was the final leg of the driving tour.

We had a long lunch at a nice little restaurant where the food was great but the service a little slow. As a result we were late for our arrival at

These are the tools used to create many of the body panels and bumpers required for the cars being restored or recreated.

Chalfant Motor Company and its owner/craftsman James (Jim) Hery. He uses his artistic mechanical skills to save and create some of the World’s most beautiful cars. He is truly an artist and master of metal shaping. His shop is full of metal working devices and tools. However, his brain and his hands are the most valuable tools in his shop.

Here is a buck for the RF fender of the Bugatti.

On our visit to see what new cars he might be working on everyone was blown away by his ambition and dedication. I have included a large number of photos of various projects that were underway at the time but I was most intrigued by the 1935 Bugatti T57 Stelvio with a body by Gangloff. Katrina and I have always been in love with the 30s Bugatti, Delahaye, Talbot Lago cars and similar art deco vehicles.

More tools and another buck.

James is not only restoring the 1935 Bugatti T57 cabriolet but he is also building a prototype and five exact replicas of the car that will be for sale! This is all had work just like the coach builders back in the day.

 

This is the front end of the Bugatti that is being restored and the model for the new creations. On a previous visit to James’s shop I watched as he hammered out one of these bumpers by hand!

Take a close look at this bumper. It is hand formed, it has not yet been sent out for chrome but when it is, it will require next to no additional work to make it perfect. It is near finished excellence when James is done with it. I think it could be simply polished and satisfy many of us.

The next time you are installing a quarter panel or patch panel on your Spoiler II or Talladega stop for a minute and think of the skill and patience it would take to hand make that panel. Then think a little harder and consider hand forming the bumpers, frame and suspension components from raw steel! That is the skill it takes to restore, never mind create one of these cars!

 

Take a good look at the Bugatti’s engine and then look down and see the cross member/engine mount at the front of the engine. Even these parts are pure art by the original builders.

 

This the transmission.

This is the body for the Bugatti T57 Stelvio.

This is not the same car or exact model but is as close as I could find.

 

The badge “Bugatti” says it all!

 

I find even the brake drums to look like sculpture, they are beautiful by them selves.

 

Here is another view of the engine mount in the Bugatti.

This is the first frame for the prototype Bugatti recreation being built on the table.

Other projects in his shop.

He built this extra grill shell as a future clock for the wall.

This is a car he built from the ground up. Everything on the body is of his own design in the style of the coach builders of the day.

This is a front view. It is a concours winning car!

 

He even has a rare Minerva in the shop for restoration.


This officially concluded our 2018 Talladega Spoiler Reunion but there was still fun to be had. Everyone was on their own to find their way back to their hotels or do a little more antique shopping along the back roads of TN. No one wanted to say good by just yet so we planned one last activity. We all gathered at a fine restaurant in Saturday night to remissness and talk cars and future events. It is surprising how fast two days can go yet how close strangers can become in such a short time.

There will be another Reunion in 2018 but no plans or date have yet been set. However, in 2019 we will not have our regular Reunion because we will be supporting and attending the 50th Reunion at Talladega Speedway for all Aero Cars. This event is put on by Tim Wellborn and is a must not miss activity. Tim and Pam do an excellent job including the track parade before the race at the Fall Talladega NASCAR race. Tim has stated that this will be the last one he does, so don’t miss it.

Following up on that major event; in 2020 Katrina and I will be hosting the annual Winged Warriors (this Club includes the MOPAR “B” body cars as well as the Daytona and Superbird but not the Fords) and Superbird/Daytona Clubs (this club includes all Aero Cars including Daytona, Superbird, Talladega and Spoiler/Spoiler II cars) reunion at our home. This will also include all of the typical Talladega Spoiler Family Reunion folks and fun. With the large variety of cars this could be another really large event and because we are just outside of Nashville expect some different fun activities. We are going to have a great time with our cars over the next three years. Make sure you save some vacation time to attend one or better yet, all of these events!

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About the Author: Some of my first and strongest memories from my childhood relate to cars. I still remember when things happened based on what car I was driving at the time. I grew up and lived in Iowa for nearly 40 years before moving to Southern California and now live in Tennessee. I was a Corvette fanatic for years but then re-discovered vintage American Muscle. My wife, Katrina, and I decided we wanted to focus on unique and rare muscle cars. After a lot of research we fell in love with the Ford Blue Oval Aero Cars. These were only built in 1969 and and aerodynamics became an important part of winning races. The only purpose of these limited production cars was to win NASCAR races using the Boss 429 and 427 power plants complimented with a special, wind cheating, aerodynamic body. The Ford Talladega and Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II are terrific and historic cars. This site is devoted to these car and their owners past and present. We provide an Online Registry for recording the long term history and ownership of every remaining Talladega, Spoiler and Spoiler II.

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