(from Deco Rides)
The DECO LINER Zephyr Sedan Delivery and matching DECO SCOOT custom
Harley Sportster were auctioned at the Bonhams & Butterfield
Motorcycle Auction May 9, 2009 at the Quail Lodge in Carmel, CA
where the bidding reached $100,000. The bid was refused as too
low by owner Terry Cook. The car and bike remain FOR SALE.
Interested serious buyers can call 908 876 9100.
Both Liner and Scoot
will go on auction together at Kruse Auctions in Indiana on
Studio Photography by Hotrod Portraits in Lancaster, PA
DECO LINER & DECO SCOOT
The DECO LINER 1939
Lincoln Sedan Delivery took three years to build and is the
realization of a dream owner Terry Cook of Long Valley, NJ has had
since 1999. The unique front-wheel drive chassis was designed by
Gary Brown, who owns the firm that did the majority of the
construction of the car. Starting with a new DECO RIDES fiberglass
Zephyr sedan delivery body, the car and bike was finished for the
2008 summer season in a six month marathon thrash by Gary and Dylan
Brown and Robert Winningham of BROWN'S METAL MODS in Indianapolis.
Cook conceived the concept of tucking a '92 Harley Sportster inside
the delivery after designing the car's body shape with artist Frank
Nicholas of Illinois. It required the use of a front-wheel drive
platform to eliminate the rear differential so a minimum height rear
floor could be attained to house a 39.5 inch tall motorcycle.
Because a low cross member was required for a 9-foot long ramp
holding a lowered bike to fit inside, for rear suspension Gary chose
a Fat Man Fabrications front suspension setup with Air Ride
Technologies air bags. Short tie rods attached to the frame prevent
the spindles from steering in the rear. A nine foot long aluminum
U-channel ramp, powered by an electric motor that turns an equally
long threaded screw, moves in and out of the back of the car at the
touch of a switch. The bike is rolled onto the ramp, strapped in
position, and the ramp is electrically moved into the car.
Several FWD platforms were considered including GM's
Eldorado-Toronado-Riviera and Lincoln's 1996-'98 four door
Continental. Brown selected the mid 90's Chevy S-10/Blazer or GMC
Jimmy/S-15 four-wheel drive, partially because they are plentiful
and inexpensive in wrecking yards. The rear half of the S-10 frame,
the driveshaft and the 4WD rear was eliminated, the rear of the
transfer case sealed off, and the V-6 replaced with a 350 Chevy
small block V-8 that bolted right up to the Chevy 700R4 automatic
Cook feels this car presents two new concepts to the rodding world.
He insists it is not about the bike, it is about the concept of the
bike in the car. The second is the decorative metal trim. Actually
this is not a new concept as mid-30's Paris coach built cars used
ornate metal trim. Flame jobs and other multi-color paint treatments
have been done to death, and the concept of chromed metal trim
designed to decorate the exterior is a breath of fresh air in an
otherwise stale and boring world of street rods, Terry is an
admitted junkie of the work of the late Jacques Saouchik and
Guiseppi Figoni, and the brightwork on this car reflects their art.
Pro panelbeater Tommy Caruso of CONTOUR METALSHAPING in Plainfield,
NJ hammered the majority of the steel that decorates the exterior of
the delivery. Cook and Caruso worked together to lay out the designs
in masking tape. It was then transferred to chipboard patterns and
then to sheets of 19 gauge .040 cold rolled steel. Tommy hand-shaped
the contour of each piece. Despite the trim bridging the botttom of
the front fender wheel well openings, the tires are able to steer
lock to lock.
Another metal man involved in the project was Denny Jamison of
AUTOMOTIVE HAMMER ART in Gasoline Alley in Indianapolis. After Juan
"Motyme" Rice of Chicago started the '92 Harley Sportster
construction, Denny hand-shaped both the streamlined aluminum body
for DECO SCOOT as well as the metal trim for the bike and the back
door of the delivery. Chrome plating for the trim was done by The
FINISHING TOUCH of Chicago. Prior to this project, Cook never
realized how much work and artistic talent is involved in achieving
a really top quality chrome finish. As is the case with a great
paint job, surface preparation is the key to top quality plating.
Juan Rice also fabricated the three matching tail light lenses for
the car and bike by hand from 2 x 2 x 12 pieces of clear Lucite.
STRADER'S AUTO INTERIORS of Greenwood, DE used silver and black
naugahyde to do the panels below the beltline. The bucket seats are
from a Viper and the front fender of the bike serves as an armrest
when the bike is tucked inside the car.
Brown used one pair of linear actuators (electric screw jacks) to
raise and lower the hood while a second pair operate the rear door.
Brown's Metal Mods not only engineered and built the entire car and
had a hand in the bike, they also did all the bodywork and paint
using RM Carizzma True Violet pearl pearlescent purple. The
headliner is painted suede Matte Uno Fed-X purple by RM. Because the
fiberglass DECO RIDES fiberglass sedan delivery body comes with a
smooth inner fiberglass liner, the upper rear quarter panels and
headliner do not have to be upholstered and can be painted. One nice
design feature of the inner body is the streamlined shape of the
inner wheel well humps. Another point of interest is the 1960-'62
Chrysler 300 "goldfish bowl" instrument cluster.
Because of the 8-inch chopped top, DECO LINER is limited in interior
height to a 39.5 inch tall bike sitting on a 9 foot long ramp, DECO
RIDES is contemplating building a similar body with a 5 inch taller
roof so production Harleys without a windscreen or high bars can fit
inside. They are also investigating the use of a Porsche G50
transaxle up front with the gear carton forward of the front axle so
a 11.5 foot long ramp can be used to hold a longer motorcycle. The
raised roof delivery body with front wheel drive could also allow
people in a wheelchair to roll in the back door, secure their chair
behind the wheel and drive the car using hand controls. For more
information contact www.decorides.com or call 908-876-9100.