Sunday, July 06, 2008

Jerry Colvin...Sa-lute

Jerry Colvin of Jerry's Valley Radiator Service in Spokane, WA hand built our radiator. We provided him with a decent, stock '32 Ford and he did the rest. He figured out what the mounting brackets were from (hint: truck) and put them right where they should be for the grill shell. He located an old Chevy filler neck and did a great job setting it in place. And, not being a computer guy, spent hours pouring over photographs of the Coupe's cooling unit to make sure we came as close as possible. And it wasn't like those dim pictures were a step-by-step manual. They were from weird angles, poorly lit, and printed out of our office scanners. But Jerry proved himself more than up to the challenge.

The Coupe's grill shell support rods bracket is split and spread apart. Jerry even noticed that they weren't installed evenly and called to ask how we preferred them done. He also did some cool 'radiator guy' tricks to the bottom pan to make sure we had a quality unit when we were done and not one that just looked right. I don't know if we could have done better even if we had the Coupe at our disposal for comparison. I suspect not.

This is the last summer for Jerry's Valley Radiator Service. The county is widening the road and by this time next year the shop will be just a memory. Jerry has decided to retire and pursue his life long hobby of photography. With his attention for detail, the hot rod world may be gaining a new great photographer and not just losing one of the best radiator fabricators in the business. We're proud to have his work represented in our car. Like the headers, the radiator is something the cloners rarely get right. Jerry always does his best and it shows.

Merle's Boogie Woogie - Merle Travis