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Bob O’Bryant's Garage - This Guy’s Garage

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Bob O’Bryant
Simi Valley, CA

If diversity is the spice of life, then Bob O’Bryant’s home shop is downright tasty. Beyond the cars in his shop at the moment, another garage alongside this one houses a ’30 Model A powered by a Yamaha SHO DOHC 24-valve V6, and sitting undercover outside the shop is a ’40 Ford Deluxe with a traditional small-block Chevy and a not-so-subtle Muncie four-speed. Add to this collection a lifetime of boats and other means of vehicular conveyance, and this retired electrician’s life has been as eclectic as it gets. If there’s a common theme it’s that there is no common theme other than having fun with cars.

While we were getting the guided tour, Bob showed us a storage bin that housed what looked like a V8 Camaro T5 we were looking for until we discovered it was actually a V6 trans with the not-so-desirable 4.03:1 First gear ratio. Nuts!

A. Back in the corner is a large chunk of machinery that everybody wishes they had: an old yet still very serviceable mill that Bob uses all the time. Alongside it is a Cut King lathe that comes in handy when it comes time to trim all things round.

B. The TCI chassis sports a more conventional small-block Chevy and a TH400 trans pushing power to a Jag IRS. The independent front suspension and coilovers are from Kugle. The ’31 Model A body is what will dress the roller when it’s time to assemble this rod.

C. At one time, this ’64 Falcon Ranchero was Bob’s daily driver. He thought it would be cool to power it with a Pinto four-cylinder as an experiment in fuel economy. The result, Bob says, was “underwhelming,” so he ditched the four-banger and opted for a two-barrel ’70s vintage 302 small-block Ford backed with a C4 auto and a Granada rear axle assembly with a matching Granada disc brake conversion up front. He’s currently installing a Flowmaster dual exhaust system. He also found three cool five-spoke wheels at the swap meet with a Walnut Creek casting mark. He’s looking for the fourth to complete the set.

D. The shop is 30 wide by 40 deep with a plenty tall ceiling, leaving more than enough room for the Hydro Lift symmetrical two-post hoist from Hydraulic Industries. Bob bought it used from a shop that was going out of business.

E. We mistakenly thought the Model A ’31 body was a typical but excellently finished ’glass repro when Bob instantly corrected us: “That’s all steel—a Brookville, fenders, and all!” We stand corrected, Bob.

F. His ’64 Buick Skylark Sports Wagon is often mistaken for its more plentiful Olds Vista Cruiser wagon cousin, but Bob’s cruiser is all Buick, right down to its 455 and TH400 trans. Bob even stuffed a 12-bolt under the back. The front discs were donated by a ’71 Buick, and the wagon rides on a set of 215/60R15 front and 255/60R15 rear tires and a set of 15-inch Wheel Vintique five-spoke Buick repops. The interior is all leather and sports a center console out of a Taurus that looks like it belongs there.

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