Early days of the Chelsea Cruise

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tahirs
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calling woodie- where are ya?

Dinsdale Piranha
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tahirs wrote:

calling woodie- where are ya?

Isn't he normally just behind you? :-)

Dinsdale Piranha
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I was thinking exactly the same thing

mikeyboy
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The Chelsea cruise in its heyday 75-85  spawned a lifestyle for many of us. It was basically living for the last saturday of the month. Many friends were made back then and most of them are still 'hanging out' today.

V-8 Woodie
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Hi Mikeyboy, I was wondering if you would stumble onto this site, welcome aboard! I have to agree with you, the early years of the Chelsea Cruise was a very special time for a lot of us. The weird and wonderful cars that we drove back then was a way of expressing our individuality, nobody could describe our cars as dull. Many friendships were formed with other like minded ‘custom’ car owners, incredibly, most of us still keep in touch, meeting up at car shows and still enjoying a car scene that brought us together thirty five years ago!

Mikeyboy, you were certainly instrumental in getting the Chelsea Cruise going in 1975, even before the Cruise officially started, you were driving your flamed ’55 Chevy around Chelsea with a few other cruisers and it didn’t take long after for the cruising scene to explode.

Here’s a tribute to some of your amazing cars, most of which were featured in the top ‘custom’ car magazines of the time and were a regular sight at the Chelsea Cruise in the 1970s.

 

1974- Mike Halls with his first American Car, the 1955 Chevy 4 Door Sedan with a stock 265 cu in engine and three speed manual trans. Mike applied the 'Custom' flames himself, all done in the street outside his house in Wandsworth no less!

Mike owned the Ex John Bonham (Led Zepplin) 1954 Ford Coupe, the car was customised in Los Angeles, it ran a 427 Cu in motor with a 4 speed trans. In true West Coast  fashion the interior was trimmed in black pleated 'Naugahide' and the whole under carriage was chrome plated including the rear axle!  The photo was taken on Chelsea Bridge, circa 1976.

Here's another shot of the '54 Ford taken in Battersea Park, the 427 motor was real monster, Mike often delighted the crowds on Chelsea Bridge with the occasional 'snakey' burn out!

Mike discovered this super straight 1955 Chevrolet 2 Door Sedan in New York, it's probably fair to say, that this was one of the very first 'custom' '55 Chevies to be imported into the UK. The black beauty will always be remembered by many as the finest 1955 Chevrolet to land on these shores!

1978- Mike grabs a prime spot outside the Chelsea Potter in the Kings Road, fellow cruiser Pete Leddy (with cap) chats with Mike, Pete's stunning 1956 Thunderbird was regular sight along the Kings Road and Pete was also one of very first guys to get the cruise up and running. The freshly imported arrow straight '55 Chevy is still wearing it's New York plates, luckily the car's mile deep black lacquer escaped any scratches or dings on the trip over from the Big Apple!

Here we have Mike's 1956 Ford F100 Pick Up truck, Mike bought the truck in Whittier California and shipped it back to blighty, the truck was equipped with its original 272 cu in V8 motor and 3 speed auto. On arrival in the Uk, the truck lost its sun blistered brown paint and was treated to a repaint in Positano yellow, it certainly stood out on cruise nights!

ticktock
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Welcome back Woody! Lot's of rambling in your post, now we know where you've been!

V-8 Woodie
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Much appreciated ticktock!

GBt
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Great post, glad you're back

V-8 Woodie
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Cheers GBt, very kind of you sir!

GBt
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Lovely cars all those early YBlockEarly(little)Birds, and still relatively good value even now. I do however like the big FE block jobs.