Car Craft Dream Rod

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A construction photo of the Dream Rod taken in February of 1963. Photo by Dick Day, courtesy of Petersen Photo Archive.
Bob Larivee and the Dream Rod
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Robert Larivee, Jr in the Dream Rod. Photo taken December 22, 1963. Photo from the Kustomrama Photo Archive.
The Dream Rod at the 1964 Detroit Autorama. Photo from The HAMB.
The Car Craft Dream Rod November 1964
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The Car Craft Dream Rod at an indoor car show in Toledo, Ohio in 1965. Photo from the Phil Alloy Photo Collection.
The Tiger Shark version of the Dream Rod at the 1967 Detroit Autorama
The Car Craft Dream Rod/Tiger Shark when Mark Moriarity bought it in 2005
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Photo provided by Richard Fuerholze.
Photo provided by Richard Fuerholze.
The Car Craft Dream Rod as it appeared in primer in 2007.
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The finished frame in gold metalflake, Mark did also chrome the front control arms, steering linkage and backing plates. 2008
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The Dream Rod December 2008 - Mark has just finished the last coat of paint on the car
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The first pictures of the restored Dream Rod, January 2009
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The Car Craft Dream Rod was designed by the staff of Car Craft Magazine in 1961. The first drawings of the car appeared in Car Craft October 1961. In 1963 Bob Larivee of Promotions Inc with the approval and help of Car Craft Magazine commissioned Bill Cushenbery to build the Dream Rod. Bob approached Cushenbery to build the car after he had seen the Silhouette at the 1963 Grand National Roadster Show.[2] The car was completely custom made using some production car pieces. Bill built the car on a 1952 Jowett Jupiter chassis using a VW torsion bar in front. The frame was originally done in gold metalflake. The front fenders and doors were taken from a 1960 Pontiac, upper rear quarter tops are from a 1960 Chevrolet Corvair, the windshield and top are from a 1953 Studebaker, and the rear window is a rear window from a 1957 Borgward Isabella Sedan turned upside down. Inside, the car featured a 1958 Mercury dashboard restyled with a 1959 Lincoln ashtray. The car got its power from a 289 Ford engine. The Dream Rod was completed late in 1963, and went on from Bill's shop to tour the custom car scene. Bill had preserved the flavor of the original drawings during the build, but had also felt free to vary many of the details. As only two dimensions can be shown on paper, things began to look different when they were tried in the three dimensions of sheet metal, so Bill felt he had to do some modifications in order to make the car look as good as possible. The Dream Rod carried the electric control system that Bill Cushenbery had developed for the Silhouette a step further into the future. On the Dream Rod they were operated with a remote control "black box". The remote control led to a bit of sport, and while the car was under construction Bill would occasionally slip across the street to a coffee shop, taking the control box with him. As he enjoyed a sip of black brew, he'd casually flip a switch and punch a button. All sorts of havoc would go on back at the shop. A workman sanding down a body panel would suddenly be confronted with a popping hood or a flapping door.[2]


The Tiger Shark

In 1966 the Dream Rod was sold to the ISCA which commissioned a substantial revision to the car's styling. Called the Tiger Shark, the car wasn't as successful as the first iteration. New alterations on the car included a hood scoop, the side roof scoops were closed, the trunk lid was eliminated, the rear was stretched 6 inches, the rear window, grille opening and front fenders were also modified.


Mark Moriarity

In 2005 Mark Moriarity bought what was left of the Tiger Shark from Dennis Pallen of Milwaukee. Mark decided to restore the car back to the first version. After 3 years of hard work, Mark could finally present the fully restored Dream Rod in January of 2009. The car made its debut on the HAMB.


Magazine Features

Car Craft October 1961
Popular Customs Winter Issue 1963
Modern Rod february 1964


References


Sources

The HAMB - More Car Craft Dream Rod Pics
The HAMB - Car Craft Dream Rod Update
The HAMB - Show Rods
The HAMB - Car Craft Dream Rod
The HAMB - Car Craft Dream Rod progress pics
The HAMB - More dream rod progress
The HAMB - Customs Dream rod progress
The HAMB - Dream Rod Paint!!
The HAMB - The dream rod is finished
www.showrods.com
www.customclinic.com






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