A father-son project more than a decade in the making was finally rewarded for all the years of tinkering underneath the hoods of their cars.
Todd and his son Joel Blakney each entered a car at the 51st annual Auto Value Parts Stores World of Wheels car show Feb. 24-26 at the BMO Centre in Calgary.
Todd walked away with the best display award, and finished second place in his class for his 1970 custom Psycobird.
Joel earned the Rising Star award for his work on his 1968 Pontiac GTO.
“It’s a pretty cool feeling to both win an award. We have never entered a show together,” said Todd. “It’s been in the back of my mind to create something like this for a long time now.”
Todd, the owner of Muscle Motors, said that Joel has been running around with a wrench in his hand at the shop since he was three years old. For his son’s 14th birthday, he gave him the GTO as a gift and a future project.
“The goal was always to give him the car and use it as a way to help catapult his career,” said Todd. “He could have chosen to stay in the family business, but he chose his own route with welding, and that probably makes me the most proud.”
The custom orange GTO sat in his family’s garage and the garage at Muscle Motors for 11 years, while they slowly worked away on it.
“We started working right away, we stripped it all down; every nut and bolt, the paint and the motor, is brand new,” said Joel.
Building cars from scratch isn’t easy. Aside from the labour needed outside of Todd’s busy workday, the two put a lot of time and money in to acquire the proper parts for their ride.
“I’ve always been around shops and other vehicles,” said Joel, a Strathmore High School grad. “The hardest part was staying motivated, keeping the vision of the end project in mind. I’m happy I stuck with it, put the effort in and now to get rewarded for it.”
Todd’s project, what he calls the Psycobird, has the front end of a Dodge and the body of a Plymouth. His one-of-a-kind car was 15 years in the works.
There was a lot of give-and-take along the way for the pairing. Todd came loaded with years of experience and Joel brought a different perspective for the end goal.
“One of the challenges was collaborating on ideas,” said Todd. “One of the biggest debates was on the paint colour for my car. I wanted more of an old-school colour and Joel thought a trendier colour would be better.”
Todd later settled on a metallic green paint infused with pearl, so it changes brightness going from the sun to shade.
The projects never end for Todd. He has a 1926 International that he has been chipping away at for some time, but admits that it might be another 10 years until completion.
Joel has turned his focus to school. Attending SAIT, he is working on his welding ticket and his millwright apprenticeship. He is looking forward to taking his GTO out on the road once the snow melts and the rocks are removed from the road. He also spotted a 1938 Ford pickup, which he would like to get his hands on one day down the road.