Check out those chrome repro Fuchs (4.5 fronts w/M&H Racemaster 3.5/22-15s, 5.5 rears w/205/65R15 radials).

BIG ISLAND RAGTOP

Israel Hanson’s Keaau, Hawaii-based ’52 Split Window sedan was a six-year project!
By R.K. Smith | July 6, 2015

Photos by R.K. Smith


On the “Big Island” of Hawaii near the town of Hilo is Keaau, the homebase of Israel Hanson who has been a car guy since his teens. He told us, “A friend of mine took me for a ride in his chopped ’57 Oval Window with suicide doors, when I was a kid, and that intrigued my interest in Volkswagens, and other cars.” Some of his V-Dub sedans include a ’58, and two ’59s (one ragtop), not to mention a few ’60s Chevy Impalas and some Toyotas, but his most prized possession is the ’52 Split Window Looker shown here
Roof rack and pop-out quarter-windows add vintage touch. Israel loves to drive his Split, with his woman, Jarusha.
This body-off restoration took six years. and the beginning stages, a rotisserie was utilized to support the sandblasted then epoxy primered body, worked-on by Israel’s good friend, Warren Chamberlin. To get the body in paint-ready condition, Kelden Yagin, Ralph Lee, and Israel took care of it all and once prepped, Kelden sprayed-on PPG Deltron beige paint. To get the pan in order, it was also blasted then painted a satin black, while the trailing arms were sprayed gold. At his home garage/shop, Israel tackled all the suspension work — up front went a six inch-narrowed, polished JT beam with teflon bushings (and adjusters for the ride height), drop spindles, disc brakes with red calipers, and rotors drilled with Porsche 5-on-130mm bolt pattern. Out back, he used 30mm torsion bars, adjustable spring plates, and Doetsch shocks. After the solid-mount Type 1 swing axle (with Super-Diff, bus nose cone, and another pair of disc brakes), was installed, Israel made the pan a roller via chromed Fuchs style wheels, 15x4.5s with M&H Racemaster tires (3.5/22-15), plus matching 5.5s touting 205/65R15 radials.
Nice contrast with Kelden Yagin-sprayed beige Deltron two-stage paint are pleated red leather seats, door panels, and canvas top, all done at Jim’s Upholstery in nearby Hilo.
Also in Keaau town is resident VW drag racer Chris Mantz, of StrayKat Motorsports and....the builder of this Split Window’s powerplant, a 2387cc! This monster for the street sports a flanged Moldex 86mm crank, Carrillo 5.7 rods, 94mm CP pistons, Geers billet cam and tool-steel lifters, CB Performance’s CNC Comp Eliminator heads, and Pauter 1.5 roller rockers. Ignition is MSD, spark plugs are NGK, dual carbs are Geers Engineering’s 52mm converted Weber 48 IDAs, and exhaust is a 1-7/8-inch Sidewinder from A-1 Muffler.
Chris Mantz (StrayKat Motorsports, Keaau, HI) built the 2387cc, using flanged 86mm crank, Carrillo rods, 94mm CP pistons, CB Comp Eliminator heads, Geers 52mm IDA carbs, MSD dizzy, BMD serpentine system.
After the body was back on its pan, and engine in (plumbed and wired), Israel fit the dash OE center pods (KM speedometer and clock), then mounted a couple of AutoMeter gauges (oil pressure, oil temperature) in driver-side glovebox, plus an under-dash AutoMeter monster tach with Pro-Lites affixed. He also hooked-up a Gene Berg shifter and stock restored ’52 three-spoke steering wheel. Once the electrical and mechanical stuff were done, the car was off to nearby Hilo town, to Jim’s Custom Upholstery. There, Jim used red leather (stitched with pleats) to cover the seats, door panels, and rear seat bolsters, laid-down beige square weave carpet around the floor’s black rubber mats, used beige velour for the headliner, and fit a red Stayfast canvas ragtop.
Nestled in driver-side OE glovebox are Auto Meter gauges (oil temperature, oil pressure).
Since Israel finished his ’52, with super rare 1948 decklid, and Safari-style front windshield, he has put a few miles on his fresh ride, and most certainly attracts onlookers, especially when he makes the 52 IDA carbs “bark” via pedal-to-the-metal launches from a stop light. When the car is parked though, many enthusiasts are awe-struck by this custom’s tricks and attention to detail. Even though Israel makes it to few local shows, driving his Split (with his lady Jarusha riding shotgun), he’d rather kick back and enjoy the event, and not worry about a trophy. This early ragtop is nicely put together, has an awesome stance, and will tear-up the asphalt in an instant! It may look show-only, but it’s a go-fast street machine too!
Inside car’s rear is nicely upholstered red leather seat, with matching bolsters by Jim’s Upholstery in Hilo.
Under gas tank is a polished JT beam (narrowed 6 inches) with teflon bushings, drop spindles, CB Performance disc brakes.
Underside of 2387 reveals A-1 Muffler’s Sidewinder exhaust w/stainless Magnaflow muffler, Gene Berg deep sump. Covering powerplant: rare ‘48 decklid!

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