From The Archives #4

16 01 2009
It’s mid-January and winter has finally arrived here in Houston. Although I have a bit of heat going into my attached garage along with a portable propane heater, the ambient temperature still hovers in the 55 to 60- degree range. It’s just too cool to be mixing resin at this temperature, and I don’t want to take a chance on applying a bad batch to the Venus body. Of course, I don’t have snow drifts around my house like those of you in the upper mid-west, so I’m thankful to be in Houston.

I thought I’d review some pics of the only other Venus known to be in existence, not but two hours from Houston. It belongs to Jack and Christy Kovar; a couple of really nice folks. As mentioned in my website, Jack’s dad “Eddie” was among the group that took over the mfg. rights of the Venus, the story of which you can read on the website. I have visited the Kovars a few times, and Jack was kind enough to allow me to borrow the original hood from his car to aide in the re-shaping of the one from from my car. Let me add that the Kovar family are a great bunch of folks, and I greatly appreciate their help and hospitality with this Venus project. My thanks to Jack, Christy, Gary, Edward Jr., and Shirley.

Around 1985, Jack purchased his Venus out of an Auto Trader type magazine. Here is that ad.

auto-trader-kovar-venus

According to documents, this  particular Venus was initially purchased from my Dad by Mr. Everett Carruth (Houston) on April 10th, 1980, or at least, the title is in my Dad’s name, and dated 10/30/79. I would not have thought that my Dad had a Venus in his possession at that late a date. Ed Carruth then sold this Venus to Jimmy Pond for $900 about a year later, on November 15, 1979. (As you may notice, there’s some confusion in regards to the years that this happened, as they over-lap on the documents). Then, Jack Kovar bought this Venus from a Mr. Bob Hill for $800 (not 2 grand) in May of 1985, presumably in response to the Auto Trader ad. 

title-from-previous-owner1

misc-bill-of-sale

 

I don’t think Jack has done much to his Venus from the day of purchase as there is still no engine or transmission in the car (as per the ad). When I first went up to meet Jack and to view this body, I was hoping to find the original windshield posts and grille, but sadly that was not the case. His was a “later” version that had the ’55 Chevy grille, and, the windshield posts were nothing like what was on the early Venus bodies. But this begs a question or two: I had assumed that the change to the ’55 Chevy grille occurred AFTER my Dad had sold the mfg. rights, so what was he doing with a later-version vehicle as late as 1979 (as per the above title)? Could it be that he initiated this design change in 1955? Hard to say.

The photos below were taken on my initial visit in Sept. 2005. The body was in a dark barn and I hadn’t brought any additional lighting instruments with me. Jack does have the doors and hood; they just weren’t on the car when these photos were taken.
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0206957-r1-e010

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This Venus (above) DOES have the same rear tail lights as the very early car that had the convertible top, (which was initially owned by D.Y. Gorman), however, D.Y.’s car had a large vent smack dab in the instrument panel, the other style grille, and different instrumentation (see below). After a very close examination of the tail lights from the two, I have determined that these are two different cars. The spacing of the lights on Jack Kovar’s car is different from the one below (see side-by-side comparison). By the way, I have learned from the good folks on the HAMB that these lights are from a 1955 or 1955 Dodge Coronet or Dodge Royal. 

convertible-top-venus-comp

tail-light-comp

 

 

 

Below are some additional photos of the “other” Venus I took in June of 2007….the body had been moved outside under an awning. Let me state here that this Venus body is NOT for sale, so please don’t go poking around trying to find these people (not that you’d really want a project like this anyway).

The chassis is clearly of the ’49 Ford shoebox variety, however additional motor mounts and transmission supports have been welded in for what must have been a larger engine. A friend of this blog, Pat Johnston, informs me that the motor mounts resemble those used for a small block Chevy. Too bad someone felt the need to yank it back out. It shouldn’t be too terribly difficult to install any V8 onto the frame as there is simply tons of room in the Venus engine bay. Should Jack want to go back to an original flathead V8, then that may prove to be a little harder in finding a good one.

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Last, but not least, it is apparent that the Venus (above pic) had a continental kit on the back. Notice the shaved area in the center bumper area, and what looks like mounting holes for a bracket of some sort. I am almost positive that this is the same car that was in our garage during Hurricane Carla. It also appears that the spacing of the rear tail lights is identical. I do not know the date of the photo below. (The faint line on the rear quarter panel marks the water level from the hurricane’s flood.)

venus-post-carla 

So, that’s about it for now gang. I’ll be back with another update as soon as I can make some progress to report on.
Stay warm out there, and thank you for visiting my blog.

Best Regards,
Patrick McLoad


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