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No Joke Upholstery's Adam Howard Talks About HRIA Builder's Challenge Vehicle


No Joke Upholstery PinewoodThe inspiration for the design of No Joke Upholstery's pinewood was to maintain a core hot rod theme and incorporate some leather, making a traditional-style '27 Ford Salt Flat racer a perfect fit. 


The vehicles featured in the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) Builder's Challenge during July's SEMA Pinewood Drag Races will soon be made available for auction through ebay. Proceeds raised through the auction will benefit Childhelp and the Victory Junction Camp. But before these carefully crafted masters of the metal dragstrip find new homes, SEMA eNews talked to several of the builders to uncover their motivation for making these pinewood cars special. Featured this week is Adam Howard of No Joke Upholstery.

All of the vehicles featured in the Builder's Challenge will be on display in the HRIA booth at the 2011 SEMA Show.

SEMA eNews: Why did you decide to get involved and become a HRIA Pinewood Builder’s Challenge participant?

Adam Howard: We actually just joined HRIA this year at the Hotrod & Restoration Show. While signing up as a new member at the booth we saw the poster of 2010 HRIA Pinewood Builder’s Challenge cars. So we inquired on the spot about becoming involved with this year’s build and we left the show with our block of wood. We remember seeing the cars at last year’s SEMA Show and thinking that it was a clever idea which supported such a great cause.

SEMA eNews: Did you race pinewood when you were younger?

Adam Howard: We never raced pinewood cars growing up; however, we were very involved in dragstrip slot car racing from junior high through high school years at a local track. We actually went back to our childhood slot car track when we were faced with this build; to tackle the engineering side of our initial design ideas.

SEMA eNews: What was the inspiration for your build?

Adam Howard: The inspiration of our design came from the fact that this event is hosted by the HRIA, and we wanted to maintain that core hot rod theme. In addition, we are also an upholstery shop so naturally we had to incorporate some leather into the project. So the traditional style ’27 Ford Salt Flat racer with the leather speed top was the perfect fit.

SEMA eNews: What was the major challenge in completing the build?

Adam Howard: We went into this build with a focus on the keyword “traditional.” Our traditional hot rod style could only be united with a traditional pinewood car; meaning that the body had to be completely made of pinewood. The challenge then became creating a true-to-form scale vehicle out of a solid block of wood. After staring at a set of wood files and the block of wood for a couple days, we determined that there was no way we could accurately recreate the body by hand. We then recruited our good friend Mike Evers as our body design engineer with his CAD and machining background. With a resin body of our desired final shape in hand, he was able to take a multitude of measurements and build a program to mill the pinewood body from the solid block of wood. 

SEMA eNews: What are the details of the build that you would like potential bidders to know?

Adam Howard: Our pinewood body was mounted on a laser-cut spring steel chassis with incorporated oil light bushings and stainless steel axles. Just forward of the firewall is an accurately built Flathead featuring aftermarket heads and three-carb setup. The motor was detailed down to the spark plug wires, which if you look closely are actually made from thread straight from our sewing machine. The exhaust includes lake pipes that feature the more modern-to-time ceramic wrap. The interior features a bench seat, a steering wheel, a shifter and carpet that are partially protected by the leather button on the speed top.