Venus Update #10

15 06 2011

Well, here it is June 14th and it’s already as hot as a firecracker. Has been awhile since I’ve wriiten a Venus Update, so here goes.

The Venus body still awaits vast amounts of money for body and show paint, and I guess it will be awhile until that happens. The economic problems have come to roost for us as well.
Some time ago, I finished installing new brakes on all four wheels, and managed to get all of the brake lines run to/from the master cylinder. I had purchased a set of pre-cut brake lines for this car, but unfortunately, they were not also pre-bent. But for the most part, everything went well with a few modifications here and there.

Despite the heat, I have decided to go ahead with getting the body fitted to the chassis. The front body supports are intact, however, the rear are gone. I had to torch these away and grind off the rivets to get at the metal on the box frames. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem for a good shop. Personally, I’m simply not equipped to make a new set of rear body supports. Sure, it will cost some bucks, but it’s making headway. I was hoping to have the body finished while off the chassis to avoid all of the dust, but I guess painting it while on the chassis will be okay. After all, the underside is painted and finished anyway.

I will also rig up temporary electricals, fuel pump, and cooling just to get the engine started. It is just far too heavy for me to move in and out without the car being under it’s own power. At least I’ll be able to drive it into and out of the trailer when delivering for paint and body. So, the point being, I want to make some FORWARD PROGRESS on the Venus, otherwise the project is simply going to languish in my garage. At least my garage is air conditioned and doing some of this work won’t be too bad.

On a side note, the fabrication of the windshield pillars had also met a stall….mostly my fault.  These are very unique to the Venus prototype, and since there are no others to copy, they were re-created in 3-D by my friend Raffi Minasian. We are now going to send the 3-D machine language files to a shop for machining the right and left posts in aluminum. There will be a lot of hand finishing for me to do, but that’s okay. Raffi is a true artist when it comes to reproducing non-existent and unobtainium parts. Please visit is website, and mentioned you read about him on this blog:  http://www.raffim.com/

It would be great if I could get the car painted in the fall or over the winter months, but we’ll just have to see. As per all the stuff on Update #9, none of the cad, zinc, or chrome plating has been done. I have however, placed the heads back onto the engine, though will wait until start-up to bolt them down.

To shift gears, I now have a “new” photo of another Venus, this one belonging to Granvel Nance (“Tex”) as my Dad used to call him. I may have reported on Granvel on an earlier update, but to refresh your memory, he was one of the guys who apprently did a lot of the drafting / drawing work on the Venus, though not design work as far as I know. It was difficult finding Granvel and his wife, but I was very happy that he was still alive and kicking. We have spoke on the phone several times, though I have not been out to visit them, At one time, he said he had some of the original drawings of the Venus in his garage. I pushed him as much as I dared, but he finally went out to look and didn’t find them. I was heartbroken. But it figures, he as well as my Dad threw out all that old stuff….I guess that’s the way it goes.

So, Granvel sent me what he had, and it included the photo you see below. (Click on photos for a larger version; use back button to return to post)

This photo was kind of a shock becuase I always thought that HE had the Venus prototype as seen on the front of Motor Trend, not one of these “later” styled cars. So as far as the prototype, who knows what happened to it. Hopefully it wasn’t retrofitted with the modifications, and was left as original. But as per the writing on the back of the photo, he bought his in 1966 and sold it in 1970. Perhaps this car is still around somewhere…..or perhaps it just happens to be the only other known exiting Venus today. As usual, there is only ONE photo of this car; no profile or rear end shot. This makes it very difficult to determine whether this is an existing car from other photos, or if it is a “new” one altogether.

Granvel Nance’s Venus sure has a lot of similarities with the Kovar Venus. These similarities include: the ’55 Chevy grille, emblem, and finisher strip; upholstery appears to be same original Navy color; windshield posts are the same as well as the chrome finisher across bottom of windshield; white steering wheel and hub; horn ring is full circle; both had Continental kit (spare tire) on rear bumper. And these are the only photographed cars with front fog/running lights installed. Do these similarities make it the same car? I don’t know. The Kovar Venus is shown below:

The only significant difference between the two is that the Nance car has a clean front bumper where the Kovar car has the two over-riders. So how likely is it that someone installed the over-riders at a later date? Why would someone go to that trouble? How would this person even know that over-riders were “supposed” to be on the front? The Kovar Venus has had some body work, and I did not see any holes for a folding top bracket….perhaps these holes were filled in? It is also difficult to ascertain what color(s ) the Kovar Venus was. There is also no evidence of a side-view mirror, though I do not have any close-up shots of the doors. Maybe Jack Kovar can shed some light on this. There are also some irregularities with the title, but back then, not much attention was paid to title / registration transfers like they are today, especially on a no-name project car like this was. Jack bought his car in 1985, some 15 years after Granval sold his. What are the odds that the same car would show up in the Auto Trader?

So, that’s about it for this update. Many thanks to all of you who have stayed with me as long as you have. If new to the blog, please sign up for instant notification when a new update is posted.

Please feel free to comment on this post and your thoughts on if these are the same or different cars. I would also welcome any suggestions you might have for future posts. I have a HUGE collection of original letters from back then (thanks to Jack Kovar allowing me to copy them), and if not too boring, perhaps I can share a few of the “livlier” ones!

Regards,
Patrick McLoad 


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7 responses

15 06 2011
Richard Daugird

Hey Pat glad youre still at it, why do you need a shop to build body mounts, don’t you have a MIG welder? I have one. Call me if you need a hand 281-216-2775

15 06 2011
mcload

Thanks Richard, I appreciate the offer. If it were only a matter of a welding machine, then yes I would borrow one or even callout a welder with a rig on his truck. But there’s also the matter of fabrication, which I am not set up to do.
I do have an acetylene rig. I made the mistake of buying one of those small crackerjack MIG (wire feed) welders at Lowes, and what a piece of s*** that thing was. You really need 220v and a good Miller welder before you can
get good welding results. I sold that little welder at the last garage sale; glad to be rid of it finally. I just don’t do enough welding to justify the cost of running 220v to the garage and spending 3-5 grand on a machine. I’d rather put that money towards parts.
I’m just a weekend DIY warrior of sorts, and at certain points, you simply need a professional shop for professional results….I don’t wan’t to do a hack job like the last owner of the Venus did.

In addition to metal fabrication, the body needs to be suspended squarely around the chassis and level with the floor. I recall the front tires rubbed slightly on the back inner fender, so if anything the body needs to be moved an inch or two forward before fastening to the chassis. Not saying that I can’t do this, but things like this take me forever to get done. But will give it some thought. I appreciate the reply.

Patrick

16 06 2011
Geoff Hacker

Glad to see you’re making progress. It’s not easy doing one of these cars and I can’t wait to see what the finished car will look like. Museum perfect and all. Great story Patrick and thanks for sharing. Geoff Hacker.

21 08 2011
mickey stifter

to mr.mcloud, from mickey stifter subject; was looking thru garage the other day FINALLY,FOUND THE PICTURE OF THE VENUS.NEED YOUR MAILING ADDRESS TO SEND YOU A COPY.PLEASE CALL ME @ (713-680-0514)or cell 832 -868-5813. THANK YOU MICKEY

21 08 2011
mcload

Thank you for the call Mickey, I can’t wait to see the photo! No continental kit? Hmmmm.

15 10 2012
chris schulgen

Hi I am chris schulgen grand child of frank schulgen the president of Venus corp at one time have some questions to ask please call me 713-609-3666 I gladly appreciate it. Thanks

16 10 2012
mcload

Thanks Chris…you bet I will!

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