What's new

BOB TINDEL'S ORANGE CRATE

#2
Iconic “Orange Crate” Hot Rod
By Lindsey Fisher March 23, 2012
Back in 1959, a Portland Oregon man by the name of Bob Tindle set out to get himself a hot rod. He bought a ‘32 Ford Sedan that already had some traditional rodder touches, like a chopped roof and molded rear fenders, but the car was quickly changed into something a bit more unique.

After the hot flat-head engine was exchanged for a late-model Oldsmobile unit with six carburetors, originally built and run in a ’57 Corvette that belonged to Dave Bell, the ‘32 hot rod was raced. Though the car was tuned by Keith Randol, who later went to Indy with a RollaVollstedt-owned racecar, and the car gave quite a show on the track, Tindle decided he wanted to get into the show circuit.
A custom chassis was fabricated for the car out of hand-bent 3-inch Shelby tubing to start off the new build.

The hot rod also received an adjustable suspension in the front and a Halibrand Sprint Car quick-change setup in the rear, as well as wheels, from an old Sprint Car. The Olds engine was rebuilt by Dick Maris and enlarged to 417cui.

The new engine build also brought a Potvin blower and Hilborn injectors, as well as a new B&M Hydro transmission. The entire setup was good for 600+hp and made the car an incredible show car as well as fierce track competitor.

The new build got its fair share of chrome, which lead to the unique design used under the Orange Crate name. Wanting all that chrome to be shown off instead of hidden, Tindle asked that the entire body be built so it could tilt up for show displays. With the help of anti-flex support members, Randol created the unique tilt feature you see today. The body of the car was then finished in Naples Orange paint after it was completely smoothed by Von’s Body Shop, giving the car its well-known Orange Crate designation.

In just two short years, the hot rod went from traditional to extraordinary and the show circuit took notice. In 1961, the car won the Best Competition Car award at the Winternationals and took home the America’s Best Competition Car award at the Oakland Roadster Show.



In 1962, the car made its way onto the cover of Hot Rod magazine in February and went on to once again win at the Winternationals. By the end of 1962, the car was widely known across the country, so much so that the Revell toy company created an Orange Crate 1/24-scale model car kit based on measurements taken from the actual hot rod.

Orange Crate once again took home the title of America’s Best Competition car at the 1963 Oakland Roadster Show, but the car was retired from the show circuit shortly there after.

Just like many iconic cars of the pre-muscle car era, Orange Crate then sat in storage and virtually disappeared for years. By 1965, Tindle had sold the car that was later picked up by drag racer Ted Gord in 1975. Although plans to restore the car were discussed the car remained with Gord virtually untouched until now, though the car has been shown by Gord several times.

Orange Crate is now up for sale on RacingJunk.com in its unrestored condition for $150,000. This seems a bit steep but we are talking about one of the most well-know and innovative hot rods of the early 60s, so Gord might just get his asking price. The ad for the car expires in June, so you’ve got at least a little time to mull the six-figure price tag over and convince your significant other that the memories the car brings back are worth the expense.
Bob Tindel's Orange Crate  (3).jpg
 
#3
THE ADVENTURES OF THE CUSTOM '32 FORD THAT COULD HOD ROD
By Paul Duchene
Bob Tindle's '32 Ford "The Orange Crate" might be the most historic American hot rod in existence.
And thanks to Ted Gord, it still exists in rural Washington State, though few people have seen it in 25 years.
It's a far cry from the horsepower-crazy '60s when The Orange Crate capped a win at the 1961 Oakland Roadster Show with a cover story in Hot Rod Magazine and a yearlong nationwide tour.

Collectors may claim other "all-time best" hot rods exist in Southern California, but we're talking popular vote here.
And how more popular can you get than a best-selling model?
Generations of kids grew up making Revell-Monogram's one-twenty-fourth scale, tilt-bodied, chop top, '32 Ford sedan, marveling at the intricacies of its design. The plastic kit has been around for more than 30 years.

The Orange Crate was featured in a hot rod magazine in England in 1967, and it made you wonder, how could anybody afford to build a car from scratch? And why would they? What's the fascination?
"It was a transitional car," said Portland, Ore., historian Al Drake, who's written a half-dozen books on hot rods and still has his high school roadster.

"It's really a '50s car but with '60s technology. Oakland show cars then looked like something you or I might put together. The Orange Crate anticipates the super-duper show car.

"In the 1960s, hot rods went from being built in people's garages to incredibly complex projects you could only do in a professional shop. I went to Europe for a year in 1962-'63 and when I came back the changes were amazing."

The Orange Crate first turned up in white, embryonic form in Portland in 1952, Drake recalls. It was one of only a half-dozen chopped, closed cars in town, testament to the difficulty of crunching the roof and maintaining the angles.

Drake owned it briefly in 1955. "It jumped a tow bar when it was coming home from the drag races and sat by my house for a couple of months. I sold some pieces off it, then sold it to my sister's boyfriend," he said regretfully.

The car next surfaced in Bob Tindle's hands, first in primer, then painted yellow. The Orange Crate was really Tindle's idea--his 1961 picture's still on the front of the kit box. Tindle was a Portland car collector, drag racer and Chrysler-Plymouth dealer. He died last March at 69.

Tindle had won the Street Roadster Class championship at the 1959 Oakland Show, then the world's biggest, with a tasty red '32 Ford.

"But Bob wanted a show car," recalled his brother Terry, 66. "He had this chopped sedan sitting on '32 Ford rails and with a '57 Oldsmobile engine with six two-barrel carbs. We were racing it at the time, and it was a really fast car. Then Keith Randol got involved."

Randol was a well-known Portland machinist who went on to build engines for Rolla Vollstedt. Vollstedt raced at Indianapolis for 20 years and is credited with developing the first domestic mid-engine cars after scoping out Jim Clark's Lotus.

But that came later. In 1959 Randol was just starting his own shop "and the Orange Crate was my first project," he recalled with a chuckle.

Randol, now 76, designed and built a new space frame from scratch out of 3-inch .120-wall seamless Shelby tubing.

"That was in the days when everything had to be arc-welded," Randol said. "I actually did the frame twice because Bob wanted it so it could be dismantled and plated. I got a tube bender to kick up the frame at the back, but the curves in the center I had to shrink with a torch and cold water."

In the middle of the tube frame is a central driving position with a butterfly steering wheel that'd look at home on a Cessna.

The seat is balanced in a flimsy-looking roll cage, the steering column terminates in an altered Willys steering box and the driver straddles a B&M hydromatic. (B&M is a transmission rebuilder that changes an automatic into semi-automatic with a ratchet shifter, so you hit it once and it shifts one gear instead of going up through all three or four gears like a regular automatic.)

The brake pedal is an extraordinary crossways arrangement with scissors linkage. Underneath, a full belly pan is held in with Dzus fasteners.

"The further along we got, the more I got involved," sighed Randol. "I went out and bought the front and rear end out of a sprint car from a buddy of mine in Sweet Home [Ore.]--all Halibrand wheels, rear axle and disc brakes. That car was built in about 1939, so those parts were all 20 years old."

Upfront, engine-builder Dick Maris punched the Oldsmobile mill out to 417.63 cubic inches with Racer Brown cam, Smith Brothers pushrods, McGurk rockers, Forgetrue pistons and Joe Hunt vertex magneto (according to the Hot Rod story).

There's a front-mounted Potvin blower fed by Hillborn injectors with intakes big enough to suck in jackrabbits. Randol's curved exhausts tuck neatly under just the frame, and the powerplant's probably good for about 600 horsepower.

Von's Body Shop repainted the car Naples orange and Dee Westcott of Boring, Ore., (who went on to built a lot of fiberglass '30s Ford bodies) built the insert in the top.

Painted on the closed grille (there is no radiator) is a crate on wheels. The rear of the car carries the back view under the question "Oregon Oranges?" (Because the Crate is designed just to run quarter-mile bursts and be switched off, and it ran on an alcohol mix, which tends to burn cooler, the engine is generating less heat and does not need a radiator.)

Tilting the body posed problems for Randol. He had a ferocious 5-inch channel and 6-inch chop to cope with and the added weight of opening doors.

"The hardest thing was getting the cowl and frame support right so the body would stay over center when it was tilted up and not mousetrap anybody's fingers," said Randol. "That body was not light."

Current owner Ted Gord agreed as three people struggled to raise it for photographs in his garage.

"In this class, a whole car doesn't weigh what that body weighs," he laughed.

Gord should know. His history with hot rods goes back many years, and included some fiercely competitive top alcohol drag racing cars in from 1990-'95; a 7th place world finish in 1993; and 3rd place in 1994.

On the street he's been a member of the the Demonos of Tacoma, an old-time hot-rodders club, since 1962.

The lanky, talkative Gord is about to build a new shop and when he finishes, The Orange Crate will be his first project. It'll take its place with his '65 Police Special Harley, his '32 Ford roadster with the Eddie Meyer heads, his 1,500 model cars, hundreds of magazines and all his race suits and helmets.

"I'm going to do it this year, because I have the resources put away. Once I start, it's going to be a night-and-day project. I don't want it to sit around in boxes. I've seen too many guys take things apart and never get them back together again."
Tindle and his brother Terry ran a high-performance used-car lot until 1963, when they became Chrysler-Plymouth dealers in the suburbs.

A picture of their lot in Fall 1962 can bring tears to your eyes. With the Orange Crate on the street, the front row comprises a red split-window '63 Corvette, red '57 T-Bird, white '60 Corvette, white '62 Pontiac Grand Prix (with 4-speed), and a red and white '61 Impala convertible. The back rows are mostly red and white Corvettes and mid-1950s Chevys.
Terry got his own Mopar dealership 30 miles south in McMinnville, Ore., in 1964 and the brothers drifted apart, with Bob selling the Orange Crate in the mid-60s, Terry recalls. It floated around on the trailer Randol had built for it until 1975, when Gord bought it and parked it next to a barn outside Salem. Gord's been too busy to get to it until now.
"I'm always asked about the car; where is it? Who's got it?... and I had this picture it's in the back of some shop with stuff piled all over it--some dusty, dirty body shop. I'm glad to hear it's in a nice clean garage," said Terry Tindle.
"Bob said he saw the car once at a used-car auction. He said it was rusty, and the front-mounted blower was off it. But he never had interest in wanting to buy it back. Maybe if he hadn't got sick ..."
Meanwhile the Orange Crate awaits Gord's time and energies, now that he's got drag racing out of his system and his fireworks business is prospering.
Gord thinks it'll take $70,000 to rebuild the Orange Crate but it'll be worth it.
"I want it to be right," he said. "Look at this, this is an original '32 windshield. I can't change that."'
After 41 years, the only thing missing is the original instrument panel, which was right above the driver's feet. If anybody knows where it is, Gord would like it back.

Bob Tindel's Orange Crate (6).JPG
 
#4
Iconic “Orange Crate” Hot Rod For Sale on RacingJunk for $150k
By Lindsey Fisher March 23, 2012
By Lindsey Fisher March 23, 2012

If you ever found yourself around the hot rod show circuit in the early 60s, you may remember an innovative ride from Oregon dubbed “Orange Crate.” While it’s been years since this iconic show car was in its prime, the citrus-colored Ford has appeared once again in the hot rod world, this time for sale. As we found out from Bangshift, the curiously unique Orange Crate hot rod is currently available on RacingJunk.com. But don’t whip out your check books just yet. The classic show car comes with a price tag north of $100k.
Back in 1959, a Portland Oregon man by the name of Bob Tindle set out to get himself a hot rod. He bought a ‘32 Ford Sedan that already had some traditional rodder touches, like a chopped roof and molded rear fenders, but the car was quickly changed into something a bit more unique.

After the hot flat-head engine was exchanged for a late-model Oldsmobile unit with six carburetors, originally built and run in a ’57 Corvette that belonged to Dave Bell, the ‘32 hot rod was raced. Though the car was tuned by Keith Randol, who later went to Indy with a RollaVollstedt-owned racecar, and the car gave quite a show on the track, Tindle decided he wanted to get into the show circuit.
A custom chassis was fabricated for the car out of hand-bent 3-inch Shelby tubing to start off the new build.
The hot rod also received an adjustable suspension in the front and a Halibrand Sprint Car quick-change setup in the rear, as well as wheels, from an old Sprint Car. The Olds engine was rebuilt by Dick Maris and enlarged to 417cui.
The new engine build also brought a Potvin blower and Hilborn injectors, as well as a new B&M Hydro transmission. The entire setup was good for 600+hp and made the car an incredible show car as well as fierce track competitor.
The new build got its fair share of chrome, which lead to the unique design used under the Orange Crate name. Wanting all that chrome to be shown off instead of hidden, Tindle asked that the entire body be built so it could tilt up for show displays. With the help of anti-flex support members, Randol created the unique tilt feature you see today. The body of the car was then finished in Naples Orange paint after it was completely smoothed by Von’s Body Shop, giving the car its well-known Orange Crate designation.

We don't need to count the trophies Orange Crate has won to see just how special this iconic hot rod is
In just two short years, the hot rod went from traditional to extraordinary and the show circuit took notice. In 1961, the car won the Best Competition Car award at the Winternationals and took home the America’s Best Competition Car award at the Oakland Roadster Show.

In 1962, the car made its way onto the cover of Hot Rod magazine in February and went on to once again win at the Winternationals. By the end of 1962, the car was widely known across the country, so much so that the Revell toy company created an Orange Crate 1/24-scale model car kit based on measurements taken from the actual hot rod.
Orange Crate once again took home the title of America’s Best Competition car at the 1963 Oakland Roadster Show, but the car was retired from the show circuit shortly there after.

Just like many iconic cars of the pre-muscle car era, Orange Crate then sat in storage and virtually disappeared for years. By 1965, Tindle had sold the car that was later picked up by drag racer Ted Gord in 1975. Although plans to restore the car were discussed the car remained with Gord virtually untouched until now, though the car has been shown by Gord several times.
Orange Crate is now up for sale on RacingJunk.com in its unrestored condition for $150,000. This seems a bit steep but we are talking about one of the most well-know and innovative hot rods of the early 60s, so Gord might just get his asking price. The ad for the car expires in June, so you’ve got at least a little time to mull the six-figure price tag over and convince your significant other that the memories the car brings back are worth the expense.
 
#6
The Revell kit of the “Orange Crate” first appeared on hobby shop shelves in 1963.

The Crate was included in the same Revell series that featured the SWC Willys, Mickey Thompson’s Challenger, Tommy Ivo’s 4-engine dragster, and some of the early Ed Roth customs.

The kit was and is a very faithful 1/25th scale replica of the full-size car and, for most young modelers, that made it a very difficult build and the biggest challenge in assembly was all the chrome!

Styrene cements would not hold the chrome and very few of us knew enough to scrape it at the glue joints.

The original kit issue was molded in a dark orange that most builders would typically just leave unpainted.

Decals were very simple and included the graphics for the radiator shell, rear valance, and the A/A class marking.

The B&W art for the instruction sheet was by none other than Dave Deal of Revell "Deal's Wheels" fame, the inimitable Deal art style included speed lines streaking away from all the Crate's shiny parts.

Deal's rendering of the Orange Crate at speed would mesmerize many a young would be drag racer!

Deal's depiction of the Crate also would have made for an extremely cool box top but Revell went instead with the image of the actual Deuce posed with its Oakland trophy.

Revell re-released the Crate in the early 1970's with different box art depicting an actual assembled model; truth-in-advertising had officially hit the hobby shops!

The 1970's issue was also molded in a lighter orange body color but was otherwise the same as the '63 original.

The car was released generically in the late 1980's - molded in bright yellow and including the Potvin blower - for Revell's 'Street Demons" series.

The Crate hood mold was subsequently modified for a generic Deuce custom issue in the 1990’s, the dreaded mold mod!

Revell would later re-issue the “Orange Crate” in the 2000’s as a nostalgia piece with the original box art, they, unfortunately, had to use a resin casting from the Czech Republic for the hood due to the previously modified mold.

Sadly, the orange plastic of the 1960’s was also long gone and replaced with the industry standard white.
Bob Tindel's Orange Crate (24).jpg Bob Tindel's Orange Crate (36).jpg Bob Tindel's Orange Crate (37).jpg Bob Tindel's Orange Crate (25).jpg Bob Tindel's Orange Crate (27).jpg Bob Tindel's Orange Crate (35).jpg Bob Tindel's Orange Crate (12).jpg Bob Tindel's Orange Crate (23).jpg
 
#7
The Ultimate Dual-Purpose Hot Rod
The Story of the Orange Crate
By Calvin Mauldin
Photography: The Rod & Custom Archives
As any rodder knows, a '32 Ford of any body style never gets thrown away. Short of being run over by a freight train, a Deuce will just keep coming back in one configuration or another. Owners may change, engines may be swapped, but once this ever-popular Ford model has been hot rodded, it stays that way.

Such was the case when Portland, Oregon's Bob Tindle bought a solid, albeit modified, '32 sedan in 1959, and over a period of five short years, dazzled the difficult-to-impress car-show faction as well as magazine editors. Bob's '32 came complete with such rodder's touches as a radical chopped top, a gutted interior, and rear fenders that had been bobbed and molded in for that mean and hungry look that could intimidate the competition just by standing still. Bob's younger brother, Terry, remembers what his brother purchased. "Man, that was a long time ago," he says, "but I remember the body was in excellent shape and covered in light-gray primer. It had a real hot flathead bolted in, but the guys Bob bought the car from wanted to keep that engine. Dave Bell had built a heated late-model Olds engine with six carburetors and put it in his '57 Corvette, and that engine would really run. Bob bought the Olds and had it put in the '32. We ran a Cadillac/LaSalle transmission with Second and High gears. I'll never forget sitting at the starting line, ready to go. The whole car shook, and really took off when the flag dropped."

Keith Randol kept the '32 tuned to a razor's edge for drag racing so the Tindles made a good showing at the strip, but Bob wanted to get more into the car-show side of the hobby. As Terry tells the story, "The car was painted lemon-yellow. It looked nice when it was entered in the Portland Roadster Show in 1960, and it did well. Then Bob decided to create an all-out show car. Keith Randol had just started up a shop, and Bob took the '32 there for a drastic rebuild. I should mention that Keith was a machinist, and years later went to Indy with a rear-engined racecar owned by Rolla Vollstedt. This was a short time before all the teams made the big move to rear-engine cars. Keith was a real pioneer. I don't know if Bob intended to go all-out with the sedan, but he would dream up an idea and Keith would take that idea a step or two further, making the '32 very innovative and far ahead of what was being built at the time."

The reconstructed show 'n' go Tudor turned out to be a quarter-mile, straight-line competition sedan riding on a Sprint Car-style chassis. The chassis itself was almost jewel-like in construction, having been fabbed from 3-inch-diameter, 0.120-inch wall seamless Shelby tubing, bent at curvaceous angles by Randol with a torch and tube bender. Adjustable suspension was added, along with a complete front axle assembly and Halibrand quick-change setup pulled from a 20-year-old Sprint Car that also gave up its Halibrand wheels. Obviously, Randol was honing his skills for future forays on circle tracks, but the blending of the two styles gave Bob's '32 an unquestionable "Wanna race?" attitude.

Dick Maris rebuilt the Olds with meticulous attention to detail. Case in point: After hours of porting and polishing the heads, the combustion chambers were slicked up and given a final polish with jeweler's rouge.
Enlarged to 417.63 ci, the mill was equipped with Hilborn injectors, using a front-mounted Potvin blower. A B&M Hydro trans capably handled the 600-plus horses that Marris concocted with the trademark wham/bang shifts.
The chassis/engine package was treated to a liberal dose of chrome plating and polishing, which made it a shame to cover it up with the body and hood panels. Therefore, Bob gave Randol another engineering puzzle: make the all-steel body tilt for display. Keith, the wizard machinist, went through the body, adding anti-flex support members. It was a strain on the average muscleman to raise the body, but the extra grunts and groans were worth it when the eye-popping engineering was revealed.

What the completed showpiece chassis needed was an equally exquisite body, and Von's Body Shop was assigned the task of getting the panels straighter than Henry ever made them. Reproduction fiberglass Ford parts maker Dee Westcott was given the job of building the top insert. When the metal was deemed worthy to paint, Von's covered the panels in Naples Orange (minus the peel), and thusly, the tart, tangy Orange Crate was officially born.
The fresh Orange Crate blitzed the '61 Winternationals, handily took the America's Best Competition Car trophy at the '61 Oakland Roadster Show, and graced the Feb. '62 issue of Hot Rod magazine. This was quite an accomplishment for the Orange Crate Gang from Portland, Oregon, considering that at the time, California was considered the leader of the pack when it came to hot rods.

For the 1962 show-business encore, the Orange Crate was treated to some additional, point-gathering details (as if it needed any more). It also competed once again at the Winternationals before Bob sent the wild, trophy-winning sedan on a whirlwind tour of car shows throughout the U.S. Afterward, Revell sent an engineer to Bob's high-performance automobile dealership, where the Orange Crate was diligently measured inch-by-inch for a model-car kit that would become a solid seller.
In 1963, the hot rod celebrity made what was to be its final showing at the Oakland Roadster Show, once again winning the coveted America's Best Competition Car trophy. Then, the Orange Crate was retired from show business and touring to a space at Bob's hot-car emporium. The details of the story after that become vague.

As Terry says, "One possible thing that led to the Orange Crate being retired was the fact that we opened a Chrysler/Plymouth store that year. That took up a lot of extra time." Being a competitive dealer also meant there was less time to keep the Orange Crate in tip-top show condition.
Terry continues, "In 1964, I bought my own Chrysler/Plymouth store in McMinville, Oregon, and moved there. I sort of lost track of what Bob was doing with the Orange Crate, and by 1965, he'd sold the '32 to a couple of guys he knew who were in the used-car business. That's really the last time I saw the Orange Crate, though people still ask me about it. That's how famous that car was, and still is."

Could the decision to sell have been a response to a gentle nudge from officials at Mopar? After all, here was a famous Oldsmobile-powered Ford sedan on a lot where stock Chryslers and Plymouths were being touted as the latest Michigan giant-killers. No one will ever know.
Over the years, the Orange Crate could be seen occasionally, whizzing by on the custom trailer Keith Randol built for it, or on hand at a used-car auction or swap meet, each time its once-dazzling appearance a bit more tarnished. Terry states that Bob looked at the sedan a few times, but never expressed any interest in buying the Orange Crate back for old times' sake. Besides, nostalgia drag racing hadn't been born yet, and few of us were very nostalgic about anything in the early '70s. An old competition sedan was virtually useless. Shortly after, the Orange Crate disappeared.

Over the last two and a half decades, rumors have abounded about the whereabouts of the Orange Crate. Paul Duchene, an enterprising writer for the Chicago Tribune, recently found the missing Crate. It's alive, if not too pristine, and living in rural Washington, owned since 1975 by drag racer Ted Gord. Gord knows what he has, as well as what needs to be done to get the old warrior back in show condition. He plans to build a shop for just that purpose and have the venerable sedan ready by the end of this year. Wouldn't it be a stupendous comeback if Gord took the Orange Crate back to the Oakland Roadster Show just one more time?

Sadly, Bob Tindle wouldn't be there, as he passed away recently, but we're sure Terry could be coaxed into coming to Oakland. He might even sign a few Revell Orange Crate kits (recently re-released from Revell-Monogram) for old fans that remember the unforgettable '32 from the early '60s or for new fans taking their first look at this resurrected classic.
Bob Tindel's Orange Crate (16) .jpg Bob Tindel's Orange Crate (15) .jpg
 
Top