Made Man

Ty Reoh’s ’66 Lin­coln Con­ti­nen­tal

Street Rodder - - CONTENTS - BY CHRIS SHEL­TON• PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY JORGE NUÑEZ

Meet Ty Reoh. He’s not a car guy—

his words. But he saw a car her liked in a movie. “It’s not re­ally a car movie,” Ty says, al­most apolo­get­i­cally.

Ac­tu­ally Hit and Run kind of is a car movie. In it, Dax Shep­ard plays a for­mer get­away driver who escapes his old part­ner by Tokyo drift­ing a mid-’60s Lin­coln Con­ti­nen­tal. The Con­nie’s low. It’s black. It sits on big wheels. And ac­cord­ing to the an­tics that play out, it has suds. But come time to pitch the dream, few shops bought the idea of a hot rod Lin­coln like the one Ty saw in the movie.

In fact Ty found just one truly sym­pa­thetic ear. Divers Street Rods isn’t afraid of the un­con­ven­tional. A decade ago it can­ni­bal­ized a Fer­rari Mo­dena 360 to make a Ram­bler great again. Or I sup­pose just make a Ram­bler great, pe­riod (Fer­rambo won the 2008 Don Ri­dler Me­mo­rial Award).

But this deal wasn’t nec­es­sar­ily a slam-dunk. “What he de­scribed was kind of an old-school hot rod: It had a hood scoop, big­ger tires, and a big ol’ mo­tor so they could go out and burn rub­ber with it,” com­pany co­founder Tim Divers says. “You know, like the cars that we built in our back­yards when we were kids.”

Ouch!

“A guy like [Ty] isn’t go­ing to be happy in a big old boat that doesn’t do any­thing ex­cept burn rub­ber,” he ex­plains. “He’s got sandrails and bikes and snow­mo­biles and all. He plays hard.” In­trigued, Tim re­solved to work up a plan with Ty.

That plan dis­pensed with the rear sus­pen­sion al­to­gether for one of Mob­steel’s four-link kits. The com­pany made the front’s lower con­trol arms but Ja­cob Strain fabri­cated the up­pers. And it’s for a rea­son: Wil­wood spin­dles.

“You can get disc brake kits for the stock spin­dles but they’re only 11 inches,” Tim says. “Ty wanted to run th­ese big wheels and this car’s re­ally heavy.” The an­swer: 16-inch Wil­wood ro­tors pulled from the medium-duty truck mar­ket. “The calipers alone are like 13 inches long!” Tim en­thuses. “So it ac­tu­ally needs those big wheels.” (In case you’re won­der­ing, they’re 22x8 and 22x10 Bon­speed Vin Speeds with 245/30ZR22 and 285/30ZR22 Con­ti­nen­tal Ex­treme Con­tact hides.)

Scott Divers and Ian Richards fabri­cated an in­ner struc­ture that ties the body into the cross­mem­ber and mounts the QA1 dampers in­board and ahead of the en­gine. Why? A 5.8L Ford, the su­per­charged beast from the ’13 Mus­tang GT500. It’s

equal parts portly and pow­er­ful (730 lb-ft of torque and 750 hp at 6,000 rpm af­ter over­driv­ing the blower). Ford de­signed that en­gine to work ex­clu­sively with a man­ual trans­mis­sion but Com­pushift fig­ured out how to make it play with a 4R100 trans­mis­sion.

The movie car prob­a­bly didn’t need a hood scoop but this car could’ve used one. “If you go back into the pic­tures on the Divers website, you can see where we had the hood mocked up with a scoop,” Ty notes. “But we got away from it as the car got more elab­o­rate.” Tim notes, “Sure, on a Ca­maro or Mus­tang or what­ever (a scoop) is cool. But that scoop re­ally didn’t go with the lines on this car. And a scoop sure doesn’t fit the per­son­al­ity of a lux­ury car.” In the end, the Divers crew lit­er­ally built the car around the en­gine, which meant rais­ing the cen­ter of the hood.

Re­duc­ing weight com­pares to in­creas­ing power, but with the ben­e­fit of bet­ter han­dling. The low­est-ly­ing fruit was at the ends. “I should’ve weighed the fac­tory bumpers and brack­ets,” Tim says. “They weighed hun­dreds of pounds.” Af­ter nar­row­ing and tuck­ing the bumpers, Scott and Wig­gins Cus­toms pulled molds and fabri­cated ones from car­bon fiber.

Divers hid Easter eggs through­out the car, like the Kindig-It door han­dles. But the most dra­matic change is ac­tu­ally be­tween those han­dles. Lin­coln never pro­duced a hard­top Con­ti­nen­tal sedan but its con­vert­ibles have no pil­lar. So af­ter re­in­forc­ing the body, Tim out­fit­ted the doors with con­vert­ible glass, a chore that re­quired re­shap­ing the sail panel since the con­vert­ible frames drop off a lit­tle dif­fer­ently.

The “flat black” fin­ish is ac­tu­ally a House of Kolor pearl with a Gla­surit satin clear. And it wasn’t easy. “To keep that same sheen when you’re paint­ing is re­ally dif­fi­cult,” Tim says. “If you get a speck of dirt in it, you can’t cut and pol­ish it out the way you can with a shiny car. If you get a dry spot while you’re shoot­ing you’re fudged (only he didn’t say fudged). Get a run? Dam­age any­thing while you’re as­sem­bling the car? You’re re­paint­ing the whole panel.” Ku­dos to Sig Schott and Rich Thayer for do­ing it (and do­ing it over).

Divers found ad­di­tional ways to keep weight down within the in­te­rior.

Ty liked the dash in an­other Divers car so Scott fabri­cated one from alu­minum and car­bon fiber (it mounts Dakota Dig­i­tal VHX gauges). He also made the con­sole like all the oth­ers, only Scott pulled a mold and made the fi­nal one from car­bon fiber. “It’s not like we were try­ing to make this thing light—it’s never go­ing to be,” Tim says. “But we wanted to at least make it closer to a per­for­mance car. We went to­ward road-course stuff but with a boat.

No­body’s telling what the seats started as but they now wear black Al­can­tara. Scott hid a host of Alpine and Fo­cal gear through­out the in­te­rior. CON2R made the steer­ing wheel.

“I think we did the right thing go­ing to all that ex­tra ef­fort,” Tim con­tin­ues. “Ev­ery time you give a car to a client you know that they’re go­ing to find things to fix. He tells me when you stab it, it has prob­lems when it hits third. Well at that point you’re well over 100 mph. That just tells me what kind of cus­tomer he is. He never would’ve been happy with a boat with big wheels and a hood scoop.”

“The thing is sim­ply amaz­ing,” Ty sum­ma­rizes. “I mean I still like the car from the movie and all but there’s no com­par­i­son.” One could make the case that they built the car that could’ve in­spired a di­rec­tor like Dax Shep­ard—you could call it a pre­quel. Call it what you want but Ty calls it the car he re­ally wants.

If Ty Reoh started this jour­ney not a car guy, he sure ended it as one. No way in hell can a non-car per­son com­mis­sion such an in­cred­i­ble car. For good or ill, you’re one of us now. Con­grat­u­la­tions. (I think …)

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