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Black Widow – Christopher Allison Photography –

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Christopher Allison Photography

The Original Black Widow restored by Richard Riddell
Constructed in 1952

“THE BLACK WIDOW” Builders: Wally Olson (1952), Bill Scott (1954) and Richard Riddell (2005) The garage discover of the century! How extended have you been hot rodding vehicles–given that the 1950’s? A lot of of us got began in the 50’s and 60’s. (For you actual old birds out there that remember hot rodding “T” roadsters with Roto-Faze ignitions, Ruxtell 2-speed rear axles, Riley two-port heads and Laurel lowering kits, nicely what can we say you are a generation before us and we take our hats off to you ‘original’ hot rodders.) BUT for all of us “The Black Widow” is a serious piece of 1950’s hot rodding annals and a benchmark for the sector! In an write-up in Hot Rod Deluxe, July 2008 entitled, “Tangled Web” the complete-story of Richard Riddell’s quest to restore the original Black Widow had its public debut. Hot Rod Deluxe reported the car’s winning the 2008 Grand National Roadster Show which was a dream come correct, taking “Best Early Altered T Roadster”. (See also Rod and Custom, June 2008.) It was also a contender for the Bruce Meyer award at the ‘Grand Nats.’ Why do guys like Richard Riddell (and the rest of us) spend years (3400 hours in Richard’s case) restoring a car we identified in a barn? Answer: ‘For the really like of the sport!’ All of us don’t forget some other vehicles with similar names, for instance the ‘Black Widow’ Monogram model car (“1/24 scale model/Ford ‘T’ Pickup Rod/removable top” by Mattel top quality hobby kits). Also, we don’t forget Basic Motors/Chevrolet coming out in 1957 with their first racing version Chevy referred to as “The Black Widow.” But predating both of these historic cars is the “The Black Widow” built by Wally Olson to help hold his youngsters out of problems in 1952 and initial débuted in Hot Rod magazine, September 1954 in an write-up entitled, “Lil’ Beau T”, which read, “Wally Olson, Fresno, California, automotive machinist, is the lucky owner and builder. Duane Taylor was named in for the physique work.” It added as to why he constructed the automobile, “What with so considerably current upheaval in the teen-age ranks, Wally figured that a certain-fire way to eliminate those free-time, absolutely nothing-to-do troubles would be to interest them (his 9 and 12 year old sons) in a rod. So far the idea has worked like a charm.” In time the household moved on to other projects and Bill Scott purchased the auto and redid it with fenders, headlights and all the stuff to make it ‘street legal’—as we utilised to contact it! The very first documentation of the automobile getting named “Black Widow” is identified in the magazine Rodding and Re-styling, August 1957 problem. That write-up reported Bill Scott’s adjustments to Wally Olson’s car, “The front finish was revised to incorporate a tubular axle and tube shocks. The new owners also equipped the automobile with a new power plant. The original mill is a ’41 Merc bored out .100 inch over stock, ported and relieved…includes eight.5-to-1 Offenhauser heads, a Weber complete-race cam, and an Evans 3-caberator manifold.” [Note: The numerous engines that had been housed in this auto later varied see final Merc develop particulars under.] Do not you enjoy the sound of that “ported and relieved” and “full-race cam”—when’s the final time you used these terms? By the time the 1959 Hot Rod Annual was published the auto-title stuck for all time “The Black Widow.” Riddell’s two-Year Renovation! According to long time race car builder Richard Riddell’s log he states, “Sometime in 1955 Wally sold his roadster to Bill Scott. Bill again called on Duane Taylor to turn the vehicle into a bonified street rod. With the additional of windshield, head lights, tail lings, and fenders it was finally able to jump into his little Hot Rod and go crusin’. The pin stripping was carried out by none other than Dean Jefferies with the familiar cobweb and spider on the turtle deck.” He reports that the car’s 1st win was “…a five foot trophy at the Sacramento AutoRama in 1957 for ‘Best Roadster’. Yes, Bill’s car was having the time of its life becoming a single of the best searching early California street roadsters of all time.” Richard states, “Bill Scott died about 1987…for several years the auto languished…getting worse and worse…as is so frequently the case for old Hot Rods.” The garage uncover in 2005 notes, “At a glance the roadster didn’t look that negative.” But the Naugahyde and carpet had been shot, fenders, original wheels and hub caps to name a handful of issues for the however to begin restoration. Riddell notes, “Under a somewhat decent physique and paint job lurked a mess that went beyond your worst nightmare.” He adds, “I started questioning how I could salvage this small beauty in the rough. Not that many individuals have restored an old Hot Rod but, those who have know what I’m speaking about. It is considerably tougher than creating a rod from scratch. But the roadster was begging to be restored and I’m glad that I was chosen to do it.”and#9472Richard died shortly after finishing the project but happily he was capable to see “The Black Widow” win the ‘Grand Nats’ and have a function center-spread report in Hot Rod Deluxe. Here are a couple of of the Riddell-engineered refinements to this original auto. and#61692 Recessed pockets had to be constructed in the frame rails to accept the front motor mounts which double as water pumps. and#61692 New front radius rods had been constructed out of heavy wall chrome-moly tubing. The original ones had been so poorly created that they were unsafe. and#61692 The right master cylinder banjo fitting was not obtainable so, he fabricated a new a single from scratch. and#61692 The tooling mandral had to be CNC machined to facilitate metal spinning new brass tail pipe finish bells. Hey would you agree? Hot rodding is an art form and some Hot Rod Artists have mastered the craft and Richard Riddell is a single of them!!! Reconstruction points of interest: and#61656 Original steel physique and doors welded shut and#61656 ‘42 Merc 274 c.i flathead (current engine) and#61656 ’39 Lincoln-Zephyr tranny and#61656 ’34 Ford rear with Halibrand swift-alter center and enclosed drive shaft and#61656 ’39 Ford hydraulic brakes all around and wide “5” 16-iunch wheels and caps and#61656 ’37 Ford tube axle and#61656 Engine by RPM Machine and#61656 Chrome by Ace Plating and#61656 Frame carried out by Capps Powder Coat and#61656 Body/paint by Showtime Customs and#61656 Upholstery by Brents Why is the car getting sold? To quote his wife Pat, “Unfortunately, Richard passed away on March 18, 2008 and will not get to get pleasure from seeing the new owner drive away with a piece of automotive history.” Richard’s loyal wife Pat grew up around racing because she was 9 years old. Her maiden name was Rodriguez. If you grew up at Lion’s Dragstrip, as she did, you may keep in mind her father’s rail? He and his brother ran an old prime alky rail under the name “Rodriguez Brothers”. Pat stated, ‘As I was developing up I usually wondered how I would ever meet an individual to marry, because all that our family members ever did was go to the drags. Then one particular day Richard came along and met me at the Winternationals.’ Effectively the rest is history. For Pat right after Richard’s death there are just as well several memories attached to all the memorabilia, race vehicles and hot rods in their storage—she would like to sell “The Black Widow” to some deserving hot rodder. Terms of sale: 5,000.00. Please contact Don Burdge at DreamRodLocator or get in touch with him at 619.804.8033. You must get in touch with me just before Leno does! We have hundreds of additional pictures and many 50’s and existing magazine articles obtainable to seriously interested buyers.