I had a similar experience with a radiator out of one of myh V12 Jags, here in Milwaukee, WI there is only one shop and he only does trucks, really big trucks and Caterpillar earth moving equipment. One of guys who has helped me greatly with guiding me through my Shelby Mustang restoration mentioned a guy in Wausau, WI, in the north central part of the state. I called him up and he said "sure, I can rod it out" (rodding out is a lost art where you take a rod shaped like the tube and clean each and every tube of scale). I used many local radiator shops back in the day when I worked for a Jag dealer, it was completely hit or miss, usually miss, that someone would really go through the painstaking process of rodding out the core, couple that with the complexity of removing a radiator from a V12 only to be disappointed it still overheated after re installation!! Bob from Glen Ray Radiators turns out to be the premier Mopar radiator restoration guy and he did a phenomenal job on my XJS radiator, hasn't run hot since. I asked if he could re core my Shelby radiator and he said he's done them for years, this guy is a real craftsman for any model radiator and it's nice to have someone still in the business, even if they're 3 hours away.
It is unfortunate that "progress" has almost replaced the shops and their owners and workmen with hi-tech" businesses which usually have little concern for personal relations. I, too, look for shops which know their trade and who care not only for the "stuff" but who care for that all-important personal contact! Great article, Rob! jay
Guys like them are Gold. And sadly, disappearing. Some retire, some can't survive the competition from aftermarket and off-shore radiators, and I guess there's not enough old-car work in many places. Plus it's hard work & nasty chemicals, two things falling out of fashion...
There was a radiator shop just like that a short drive from me that always satisfied my wacky requests for very reasonable cost. And a carburetor shop near that. Just carb parts and repairs! Both gone decades ago. And yes, the B-52's did indeed say that!
I miss this kind of thing so much you make me want to drive there. ...from Indiana!
We had a shop around here that could rebuild just about any starter, generator, alternator or electric motor. If it needed a bushing he could quickly machine and drill it if it were something he didn't keep in stock or have at that moment. Reasonable prices were the order of the day there, too. It was a small shop run by a single owner/operator and when he retired it was passed on to his son in law. He too did great work, but when HE retired it was bought by some rando and it quickly went by the wayside.
My gearhead friends and I still talk about that shop and how good it was.
I have been threatened with the drive to Carol's in the past. Lucky for me Fusco's in Watertown CT is close and almost as capable, they don't have a radiator shop but they do almost everything else. I was recently able to get a rebuilt alternator, they rebuild them on site, that no one else had in stock from them at 4:53 on a Friday. Normally I hand my money to Danny Fusco so they are the same that way as well.
We have just such a shop here near Milaca MN, Joe Marudas can fix just about everything, did that with my '36 Ford radiator, did magic on my Case 930 tractor radiator and also with several others, a '48 Willys and our Model A, this guy is good and knows what he's doing. Warrene
Does JP Carroll re core old vintage heater cores? I'm working with someone who has searched the net and the rest of the world for a replacement heater core on his 56 F100. No one cores them and there are no new replacements available. We need help! If possible, please post the web address.
It is so nice to hear stories about decent people doing fantastic work at reasonable prices!! I have found most old school radiator shops, and machinists still do great work at prices which would have been acceptable 30 years ago! We have a neighborhood machinist who runs a cottage business behind his house in Beaverton, Oregon. Well recently I was DEVASTATED when I blew a head gasket on my flathead Dodge truck. Well Mr. Hutchins tanked the head, surface milled it perfectly, returned it in short order and gave me change from a “C” note. I think it turns out certain people just have a passion for keeping things going, which is really something worth paying attention to. I bought the gasket from Olsens gasket NOS but clean and perfect and I bought a new water pump from NAPA. I shudder to think how much a new car head gasket replacement would be not including all the headaches involved with doing the actual task, with all the likely mistakes, and older cars start making a bit more sense.
I’ve had several experiences like this and never forget to make them my first call, not my last. Including one shop where a broke, 19 year old me had to take my car because all but a basic set of tools were 1600 miles away in AZ. Hey, I’d love to tip you more, but this is all I got, if you can look the other way about what should be under there and what is NOT under there, I’d really appreciate it. I bought him a 12 pack and a pizza, he did the work after hours. People like that are increasingly rare.