Once upon a time there was a ’65 Fairlane sitting in Phil Hale’s brother-in-law’s brother’s garage. Well, at least the roller was inside; the engine had a bad cam bearing, and many other parts were scattered outside rusting away. Phil scored it for $2,500 in April of 2006 as a retirement present to himself. He figured it would be a good, simple winter project, but with time on his hands, plans quickly expanded. The Fairlane was shipped off to Snow Cap Collision in La Pine, Oregon, for body and paintwork. Next step was to overhaul the running gear: brakes, U-joints, new 3.25 gears, and reconditioning the little C4 with a shift kit and a Hughes 2,500-stall converter. That kept him occupied until winter 2007 when the Fairlane got a new interior from Dearborn Classics and a Secret Audio stereo with a 10-disc CD changer. After that came 15x6 and 17x7 American Racing Torq-Thrust wheels with 195/60R15 and 225/50R17 BFG g-Force TAs. Done? Not quite. As a very wise man once said, “An extra 100 hp is always desirable,” so in went a new 302ci roller cam engine topped with an Edelbrock Performer RPM Air-Gap with two AVS 500 carbs. Phil says the Fairlane makes a great cruiser for now, but he plans to keep improving it with time. After all, that’s what hot rodders do with their retirement, right?
Curtis McLachlan Incline Village, NV
What do you do with one of the world’s most iconic luxury automobiles that doesn’t run and costs two arms and three legs to fix? Well, if you’re Curtis McLachlan you build a street rod out of it. Curtis told us he spotted this ’74 Silver Shadow sitting in a neighbor’s backyard and watched it slowly get buried deeper in weeds for five years before he couldn’t take it anymore, and he stopped by to check it out. Though the Rolls had certainly seen better days, it was all there—but it all would have to be completely redone. The problem there is that the cost of redoing any Rolls-Royce is more than the national debt, and the reliability was obviously questionable. But as owner of Curtis Custom Classics, Curtis did a little measuring and had the answer: a 502ci GM crate motor and a 700-R4 trans with 2,800-stall converter would motivate the Rolls nicely. The SS Super Rolls, as he calls it, required custom mounts and crossmember, a new wiring harness, and a FAST XFI system, but other than that everything fit. Inside, Curtis gave his luxury ride on steroids an all-new interior with plush Italian leather and a JL Audio sound and video system. The stock suspension system was kept for that famous Rolls-Royce ride, only altered by a one-off set of 18-inch Rolls-Royce wheels. We think our favorite part would be the look on people’s faces outside a posh restaurant when this Rolls is fired up!