This has to be HARD work... Over the last several months, I've been getting emails from Marty Martino, who has been toiling away, somewhere in Virginia, building accurate re-creations of some of the lost concept cars that we all love.  Scroll to the bottom, for a full text explanation.


The Pontiac Club De Mer Re-creation...





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The Lincoln Futura Re-creation...
The Chrysler Norseman Re-creation...




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I can't explain all this, so I'll let Marty tell it in his own words:


Wed, 24 May 2006:


Thu 6/08/06:

Hi Kevin, You are more than welcome to put the photos on your website. Here is a little history. (tooting my own horn) I have been building custom cars for over 30 years, both real, and in scale. I have even done cars for movies and TV. In 1983 I  built the copy of JFKs 61 contenental X100 that has been in every Kennedy related movie since then. In the late 80s I took a job at the tooling dept. of Wahoo boats and learned fiberglass construction etc. At that time I decided to build a master plug of the Lincoln Futura, as it has always been my favorite inanimate object! After making molds I built a Batmobile for a record producer who then put it on TV commercials for Ziebart w/ Adam West. I still have the molds but haven't built a Futura yet. Early this year I decided I would build one offs of dream cars that are no longer existant. To do this I get every photo and known dimension  of the car I can and  do a set of 1/4 scale plans. This is where a little art background and understanding of automotive surface development comes in as I have to take into account that a perspective photo has to be used to create a "flat "image. I then loft the plans,like building a boat and construct a wood form that is covered with foam. In the case of the De Mer, I am using the form to male mold body panels as I want this to be a one off. I am also finishing up  the plans for the Chrysler Norseman and would like to do that after the Pontiac. I have also started working on the donor chassis for this car . I'm not sure whether I will use an original '55 Pontiac 287 or a chevy small block customised to look like the Pontiac? In any event I'm planning on building a super nice driveable "recreation" and am calling on my skills as an artist, model maker, sculptor, hotrod builder and general car nut!  

Fri 4/20/07:

Spring greetings!  Thought the Huff report  might like to see current photos of the Pontiac Club de Mer project.  Up 'till recently I just had a foam sculpture body buck for this 1 off. During March I had some $ funding wich financed a month of work on the project. I built the custom frame using the popular GMmetric A/G body suspension with custom rails bringing it to the correct 104 wheel base. I have also cast all of the outer body parts sans gelcoat. That will be applied later after everthing is correctly trimmed mounted and hinged. I have also acquired the '59 Star Chief donor car that will supply the drive train and a ton of other parts including heavily reworked door jams and upper firewall so that underneath the fiberglass outer body is a serious steel inner body. I will then sculpt all of the unique 1 off parts necessary to detail it. As you might guess I would like to sell this car, finished, of course. It's sort of a catch 22.  It would be way easier to sell if it was finished, but somewhat dificult to do without a buyer to pay for time and materials.  Regardless, I'll try to get as much done on it over the summer as I can. I have already done the "prints" and planning for the Norseman and the Cadillac La Espada ,as I plan to do both of them after the de Mer. Have a great summer, all the best ,Marty Martino

Thu 8/30/07

Hi everyone! I'm pretty stoked, as I have found "funding" again  to work on the Club de Mer full time .With that said, I plan to work on the Norseman a bit in the evenings along with Susans "honey do" projects and normal maintenance of everthing else, so hopefully I'll get a lot acompilished including finishing this car in the next year. I'll try to get updates out regularly with progress photos. Here are the current ones..... first is the '59 Pontiac donor car after I got a hold of it with the sawzall and my OSHA aproved "Binford looz-a-limb 2000" (Those are my daily driver parts chasers in the back ground awaiting duty.) I have a friend that wants the remains of this Pontiac, so he can build an open wheel street rod body kinda like the '59 olds that has been in the custom rod magazines. The next photo is of one of the Norseman's fender sides cast in fiberglass.  Looks like my shop attack cat is on full alert mouse patrol, or could it be he smells something "fishy" from the Norseman? And the third photo is of me on the first day back actually working on the car (I just dont think I've got the engine quite lined up with the pinion angle yet?) 'till the next update, All the best to everyone, Marty


Tue 11/27/07:

Hi everyone, Well its been 3 months since the last update on the progress of the dream cars Im recreating. I haven't done much on the Chrysler Norseman,but I have been commiting first degree car building on the Pontiac Club de Mer....Many 12 and 14 hour days wich brings me to about where I wanted to be at the start of December. Gotta tell you, building 1 off dream car recreations aint for wimps! Last week, one afternoon I was laying on the floor (with little more than a high quality 3M dust mask on) grinding fiberglass above me on the bottom of the rocker panels with a 25 pound industrial grinder for over an hour! The shop looked like it had snowed itching powder.  Anyway during September and October I built the steel inner structure using as much of the '59 Pontiac as possible and a mile of square tubing in 3 sizes. I also got the donor Pontiac's drivetrain mounted.  I know the original car did not actually run, as they claimed it had 2X4s and there really isn't room for the single carb that I've got.  I had to lower the drive train 1.5 inches below the frame rails as it is. Any lower and the car would have to be preceded by a ditch witch to dig a trough for the oil pan! This  car will be a fully operational unlike the original "pushmobile" and I have to tell you , it is one solid little car at this point.  The doors, hood and giant trunk lid are all hinged and latched with as much of the original hard ware as posible,  and most of the controls are roughed in.  During November I permanently attached the fiberglass pieces and cut off the casting flanges seen in earlier photos. The next step is to surface the body with gel coat, polyester filler and "House of Colors" epoxy primer with hours of tedius block sanding in between. I will then start scratch building the bumbers, emblems, dash, etc., while the' 59 drivetrain is being totaly rebuilt.  My son will do the engine, and I have a line on someone who loves early hydramatics to do the trans. I'll update everone at that point. I'm still planning on having this baby finished by the end of the summer.  Would like to show it at Hershy in Oct. Wishing all of you a "WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON"

Marty Martino




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