Rich and Paige Udell live in Swan Lake, Montana and have been married and virtually inseparable for 37 years. They have 2 sons – Ian Udell, age 29 who is a Urological Surgical Resident in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Ty Udell, age 28 and an executive with Cisco Systems. The family has attended countless indoor and outdoor car shows, and the boys accompanied their parents to Detroit in 2004 when the Udells competed for the Ridler and made the “Great 8”with their 1934 Chevrolet called “Instigator”. Most everybody knows the Udells either by their cars or “Hoochie Mama”, their 8 pound Miniature Pincher with a pierced ear, spiked collar, and toenails always painted to match their cars.
The Udells have traveled in all 48 states and all the provinces of Canada showing their cars, and attending both indoor and outdoor events. Their driver car is a 1963 Plymouth Savoy Post Sedan with a 426 cubic inch Max Wedge, push button drive, radio-heater-power delete, and dog dish hubcaps.
Rich’s hotrodding history goes back to age 14 when he used to sit in study hall and read Hot Rod Magazines instead of working on his core studies. During those years, he dreamt of some day having a car and competing at the Oakland Roadster Show, the Portland Roadster Show, and competing for the Ridler Award at the Detroit Autorama. The Udells competed in the last Oakland Roadster Show held at the Oakland Coliseum in 2002 and not only competed at the Portland Roadster Show, but were inducted into the Portland Roadster Show Hall of Fame in 2005.
They began to design the ultimate piece of automotive art in 2007. They decided that they would like to build a piece of automotive art that would incorporate the entire Hot Rod history from its beginnings through the present trends, and into the 21st century and beyond. They selected the 1932 Ford Roadster theme since it was the root of the entire Hot Rod history as we know it.
Their concept sought to accentuate the 1932 Ford and carry it to the 21st century. They utilized the services of Jimmy Smith to create the concept and concept drawings to work from. Virtually every piece of this unique car was hand fabricated and machined with the utmost attention to detail.
They stretched the original dimensions of the 1932 Ford by 5 inches and narrowed the front to a better proportion of the original 1932 Ford design. They conceptualized a uni-body construction to create one of the cleanest undersides that has ever been built. To accomplish this, they selected the “TIMELESS” theme and incorporated the symbol “HOURGLASS” to make this statement. There is as total of 63 hourglasses in some shape or form on the car.
They selected and hand machined a fully independent rear suspension incorporating the hourglass shape in the center section and machined hourglass shaped half-shafts and trailing arms. They utilized hourglass shaped exhaust tips, and decided to use a 4” oval exhaust system which required over 200 cuts, welds, and fills since it was impossible to bend the oval exhaust. They also chose, in keeping with the “TIMELESS” theme, a front suspension which resembles the old-style dropped front axle, which is a hand machined, fully independent, front suspension.
In keeping with the “TIMELESS” theme, they selected a 1957 Chrysler 300-C, 392 Hemi power plant. Dan Rhodes and Aaron Stauber found this original motor which had clocked less than 40,000 miles and were responsible for building, machining and dyno-ing the power plant for this car. The entire engine block was ground and smoothed, and the Udells utilized CNC’d hourglass shaped motor mounts. They solicited the assistance of Hilborn Injection who provided them with a prototype injection system which will be marketed at some point in the future.
Jesse Greening of Greening Auto Company CNC’d the exhaust tips, the injectors, door sill plates, headlight buckets, and LED tail lights with the hourglass etched in the lens. Ididit created a one-off steering column specifically for this car. Steer Clear designed and engineered a system which allows the steering to be hidden in the fire wall and frame with no visible steering knuckles to clutter the immaculately clean engine compartment. There are no wires or mechanical apparatus visible. Finish Line Transmission provided the Tremec 6 speed transmission which they completely disassembled and forwarded the cases to Advanced Plating in Nashville, Tennessee for show chroming. Wicap in Southern California remachined a Chevrolet big-block bell housing to replace the somewhat ugly Chrysler bell housing. Kris Knutson of Knutson Engineering CNC’d the fuel rails inside a one-piece hour glass shaped injection module. Kris also CNC’d one-piece hourglass shaped headlights. In addition, Kris also CNC’d plug wire boots and valve cover assemblies to create an incredibly unique appearance for the Hemi ignition system. He also CNC’d the valve cover fasteners, shifter knob and gauge cluster ring in keeping with the hourglass shape theme, and in addition, machined the tail light bezels.
Udells engaged the services of Bob Howe of Bob’s Rod Shop to create all of the “TIMELESS” badges utilized in the wheel centers, steering wheel, and all collars for the radiator hoses and steering column. Bob also machined all of the precision fasteners that are visible on the car.
The Udells met Larry O’Cull of Priio at the Goodguys show in Columbus, Ohio several years ago. Priio builds aeronautical instrumentation for the Space Shuttle and engineered a fully computerized, touch screen instrumentation and control module. The instrumentation is fully touch screen and displays analog gauges, the entire stereo control system, and on-screen rear view mirror and GPS system. Kicker Audio designed a one-off audio system which Priio drives through the touch screen gauge system. Compustar provided the GPS system and a locator and anti-theft system which will identify the car any place on the planet and which is driven through the instrumentation system. When the car is on display, the analog gauge system, audio system, anti-theft system, GPS system, and rear view automatically sequence for the enjoyment of spectators.
To further compliment the hourglass theme, three bars are used on the top of the injection system, the oil pan, top and bottom of the running boards, center console, and inside and outside of the trunk. Kevin Walls of Lokar CNC’d the ovals utilized for the speakers in the trunk, door panels and console, and interior trim pieces as well as the quarter inch windshield molding.
Jon Watts of Lake Placid, Florida has performed all the sheet metal fabrication as well as being responsible for the entire construction of the car, the body work, incredible painting and final assembly. Jon was the fabricator and creator of an incredible show vehicle called The Heroes Truck. Jon is a true fabricator, a body man and has honed his skills on several well-known projects and came on board to share his engineering skills, fabrication skills and the final assembly and paint. This car is truly a labor of love, and the contributors to this car should be recognized for the incredible talents that they have displayed as well.
The majority of the fabrication and metal work was done by three young men who are very talented, but came to the project with personal demons and issues. This project sparked such a passion in these young men that through outreach programs and leadership by Jon Watts, these young men were able to turn their lives around. We received a letter from them thanking us for letting them be a part of this project – and stated that this project literally saved their lives and got them on the right track. They are all doing well today as a result of this challenge and no other award that Timeless receives can match the importance of that letter we hold so dear.
The interior was entirely one-off and artfully designed and created by Steve Holcomb of Pro Auto Interiors in Knoxville, Tennessee. Steve incorporated 10 subtle green LED lights in the cockpit and trunk areas which glow and reflect an incredibly rich green luster to both of those areas. The seats are a one piece design that incorporate a very subtle flow to accentuate the lines of the car. Door panels and trunk are all hand made and three-dimensional to carry forward the soft flow and lines everywhere you look. This car, due to the countless hours devoted by Jon Watts, could well demonstrate one of the slickest and finest finishes that has ever been created. The DuPont paint was specially formulated for this car and properly identified as “Montana Mint” and appears to have incredible vibrancy and depth.
The wheels are one-off three piece creations by Intro Wheels incorporating a progressive spoke design which is highlighted by each spoke being broader on one side of the centerpiece and flowing to a narrow spoke as it reaches the opposite side. The wheels are also rear-mounted and incorporate totally hidden valve stems. They are wrapped in 22” BF Goodrich G Force tires in the rear and 18” in the front. This piece of automotive art is essentially brought to life by 3152 of the finest and most exquisite show chrome plated pieces attainable.
Steve and Sheri Tracy of Advanced Plating in Nashville, Tennessee are responsible for every bit of the polishing, buffing, and plating on “TIMELESS”. Advanced Plating was the total consultant for this entire project and the flow and emphasis of this car is totally attributable to Advanced Plating. Their work ties the entire project together. Advanced Plating also built and plated the exquisite, fully lit chrome display which brings this unique piece to life.
There was a multitude of other contributors to this piece of automotive art which are specifically identified on the www.timelesshotrod.com website.
Every part of this car is done to an equal degree of perfection. Most custom cars will have either a strong engine, a strong chassis, a strong interior or a strong fit and finish. Seldom will you find a car that exemplifies all of these areas and we have achieved that goal with this car. Every aspect of “TIMELESS” is complimentary to the other areas and there are absolutely no weak portions. One judge summed it up best when asked what he liked best, and he replied ‘nothing’, I like ‘everything’. This car is unquestionably the total package.
We have seen both men and women get emotional just looking at the car. We have been approached by men showing us “goose bumps” as they look at the car. One gentleman that we had not even met even forwarded an email stating that he had never before cried in front of a car, but Timeless actually brought him to tears. Can there be any better “award” or recognition than that? Many have complimented that this is the finest and most technologically designed and built roadster ever created. Many of its ideas and innovations will be evident on future builds and set trends for years to come. It is truly AUTOMOTIVE ART.