Chuck Sanders' 1951 Oldsmobile

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Chuck's Olds as it appeared in the souvenir pictorial for the 1958 Hartford Autorama.
The front fenders were extended four inches and modified to house frenched 1953 Buick headlights.
The air scoops in the fender skirts were trimmed with mercury teeth. Solenoid buttons to open the doors were concealed in the scoops as well.
The first thing Chuck did to the Black Panther was to install a fully chromed 1954 Oldsmobile Rocket engine.
90 louvers were punched into the shaved and peaked hood.
Frenched and hooded 1954 Pontiac Station Wagon taillights were installed in the reworked rear fenders.
The interior was upholstered by Tama Seat Cover Shop of Paterson, New Jersey. The seats were rolled and pleated in two-tone red and white Naugahyde with custom rug with beading.
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1951 Oldsmobile owned and restyled by Chuck Sanders of Haskell, New Jersey. Chuck acquired the Olds in 1955, and the first thing he did to the car was to install a 1954 Oldsmobile Rocket engine that he topped off with three carburetors and a Mallory ignition. A Weber cam, solid lifters and headers were installed as well.[1]A lot of parts in the engine compartment were chromed, such as the headers and rocker covers. When it came to the body modifications, Chuck went ahead and molded in a 1949 Mercury grille shell. A 1954 Chevrolet grille with custom teeth was installed in the reworked opening. The hood corners were rounded, and the hood was shaved and peaked before 90 louvers were punched into it. The front fenders were extended four inches and modified to fit a pair of frenched 1953 Buick headlights. The rear fenders were extended and reshaped to house a pair of hooded and frenched in 1954 Pontiac station wagon taillights. Fender skirts incorporating functional air scoops were made from 18 gage steel. Mercury teeth were placed in the scoops along with concealed electric buttons for opening the shaved doors. The trunk was also operated using electric solenoids.The almost dechromed body was lowered 4 inches front and aft before it was fit with 1957 Cadillac hubcaps on whitewalls, dual spotlights and dual exhaust routed through the rear bumper tips. Once the bodywork was completed, the car was covered with 20 coats of glossy black lacquer, hence the name the "Black Panther". The interior was upholstered by Tama Seat Cover Shop of Paterson, New Jersey. The seats were rolled and pleated in two-tone red and white Naugahyde with custom rug with beading.[2]


In February 1958, Chuck's Oldsmobile was shown at the 8th annual Hartford Autorama. By then it had won top award at 4 shows.[1]


Magazine Features

Customs Illustrated September 1959


References






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