Bob Bissell's Street Scene

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An old color photo of the car from an indoor car show. At the time the car was shown as "Street Scene." Photo courtesy of Elaine Macleod.
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A photo of Bissell's roadster at an indoor car show in Canada. The photo was published in Car Craft June 1961, and according to the story, Bissell won trophies for long haul, Best Engineered Sports Car, and Hand Built Sporter. Photo courtesy of Car Craft Magazine.
A photo of Bob's roadster with a top on from the souvenir program of the 1962 Ram Rods Rod and Custom Car Show.
The old roadster as it appeared in 1993, after Craig Holland had restored it for current owner John Calp. This photo was taken just after Craig had painted it. Photo courtesy of Craig Holland.
The car came to Craig with bolt-on wire wheels. He liked the look, but John swapped to the steelies after the restoration. Photo courtesy of Craig Holland.
Photo courtesy of Craig Holland.
The roadster as it appeared when John Calp sold it in the mid 1990s. Photo courtesy of Elaine Macleod.
Photo courtesy of Elaine Macleod.
Photo courtesy of Elaine Macleod.
Photo courtesy of Elaine Macleod.
The new owner repainted the car dark blue before he reupholstered it in brown and installed aluminum wheels. This gave the old custom a more European sports car look. Photo courtesy of Elaine Macleod.
Photo courtesy of Elaine Macleod.
The roadster as it sat in September of 2017. Photo courtesy of Roger Willatt.
Photo courtesy of Roger Willatt.
Photo courtesy of Roger Willatt.
Photo courtesy of Roger Willatt.
Photo courtesy of Roger Willatt.
Photo courtesy of Roger Willatt.

Custom built street roadster owned by Ram Rods member Bob Bissell of Tacoma Park, Maryland.


Coachwork by Coppick

Named "Street Scene," Bob's roadster was built on a 1939 Ford frame. It featured a hand-formed steel body by Roy O. Coppick. Power came from a modified Oldsmobile engine, and it featured racing-type suspension and hydraulic brakes.


Hanover Rod and Kustom Klub Car Shows

In November of 1960 Bob displayed "Street Scene" at the first Hanover Rod and Kustom Klub' annual rod and custom car show. Approximately 1,500 persons and 30 cars attended the show. Bob wan the "Sports Car" class at the show with the roadster.[1] In 1961 Bob displayed the car at the same show, taking home a first in the "Special Hand Made Cars" class.[2]


West Virginia

A title from West Virginia shows that Bob owned the car up until at least 11/12/1986. At the time Bob lived in Harpers Ferry.


Sold to the UK and Restored

Bob's roadster was eventually sold to the UK, where it ended up in John Calp's possession. John is an antique dealer, and around 1992 - 1993 he commissioned Craig Holland to restore the car for him. At the time John had a shop in Newark-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire, and he lived in the small village of Tuxford. In 2018 Craig told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama that John gave him a rusty old car to restore; " I think the car came to John as a debt he was owed around 1990." It sat in his garage for two years. "The chap was a friend of my late father in law. He told him I restored cars, so he eventually turned up on my doorstep. The engine looked brand new with roller rockers and a new magneto ignition. The shell was very rusty and no paint on it at all, but the metal was about 2mm thick so I just sanded it all back. It took three weeks to get it back to good metalwork. I primed and painted the car with cellulose paint as he didn't want modern paint on it." Craig then spent 3 days buffing it back up. "The bonnet wouldn't fit as the carburetor was too tall, so I had to make the scoop taller. I think the carb was a Holly with an Offenhauser manifold. We didn't have an alternative, so that's why it was altered. The grill was brass and most of the other fittings were chrome on brass. I had a little bit of wiring to sort out but most of it was ok. I put oil in the engine, fitted the Magneto, put in fresh fuel and new fuel pump under the fuel tank, and bingo, it fired up!" The car came to Craig with bolt-on wire wheels. He liked the look, but John swapped to the steelies after the restoration. "I did have a drive when I got it running," Craig told Kustomrama. "It had a 3-speed manual gearbox. It was quite powerful for an old car. Not sure, but I think it was a 350 chevy engine. The interior was then fitted. Lots of white leather and leatherette." Craig believes John sold the car about 12 months later.[3]


The new owner repainted the car dark blue before he reupholstered it in brown and installed aluminum wheels. This gave the old custom a more European sports car look.


Magazine Features and Appearances

Car Craft June 1961


References



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