Revamped 1947 Woodie seeks new home…

In Malibu, my job (among many things) is to seek out cool cars, waiting like a cobra in the grass to pounce on awesomeness.

But, sometimes, being the patient cobra that I am, I can get restless and be forced to slither my way around town to scoop curvaceous sheet metal. And one of the places to wind through is Malibu Car Wash and Detail.

Pictured here is owner Justin Silvers with a smokin’ hot 1947 Ford Woodie wagon. Although this car doesn’t belong to Justin, he put me in touch (via email) with passionate owner Gerard Cappello.    

As an investment banker, Cappello has been financing growing companies and energy projects since 1984, but also spent 10 years developing custom homes and running a sustainable real estate consulting firm, specializing in energy efficiency and renewable energy systems. Whoa, that’s a mouthful, and I should know since I’m a cobra in this here article.

But the bottom line is that Cappello’s success has allowed him to acquire coolness of the vehicular sort. But let’s hear it from him, shall we?

“The woodie was originally a junked and decaying 1947 Ford,” starts Cappello. “It took close to a decade to rebuild it to its current state.

“Starting from the ground up (due to the severity of the rusted metal), I started with a new chassis built by Chubby Chassis.”

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say their cars were phat. See, that’s funny, because they’re called Chubby Chassis. OK, whatever.

“All the corresponding sheet metal was replaced (due to rust) as well as the four fenders and hood (which were stolen while being restored and painted at a shop in Lancaster).”


Cappello ordered a wood kit built out of maple and ash from Cincinnati Woodworks and had it fitted to the frame by Accurate Woodworks in Morgan Hill.

“The electrical and final assembly/construction was done by Van Emblem of the Fat Fendered Street Rod Shop,” he said. “It was his last woodie before retiring and his work included A/C, new wiring, install of a Chevy 350 V-8 (I know, it’s a bit of sacrilege), and arranging for a custom hand-painted dashboard that now matches the interior wood doors. Wanda of San Bernardino hot rod interior fame did the upholstery, so it’s basically a new car that looks like an old woodie!”

Bam, done — and nicely done, I might add. But since California is full of woodies in all conditions, the only things that really separate them are the stories.

For Cappello, who was born and raised in Southern California (a third-generation Californian), cars have always been his obsession, and woodies have been an obsession since 1961.

The best part of the car?

“I love sitting behind the wheel and enjoy the chrome and wood grain painted dashboard framing the views of Malibu as I drive down PCH,” he said. “The looks, air high-fives and Shaka Brah signs I get from strangers as I drive by never ceases to put a smile on my face. Hard to have a bad day driving that car around town.”

But alas, as Cappello has owned many cars, he’s putting the woodie up for sale to make room for more dream machines.

“Now that my kids are all grown (my Labrador, Kona, is the most consistent passenger) and I’m alone, I’m looking to sell to someone who may be able to use her to make new memories and perhaps bring joy to another family as she did to mine,” he explains.

As always, let’s wrap up this Ride of the Week with some Malibu love. Cappello expresses it perfectly.

“I love the friendliness of the locals and also think that on most weekends in Malibu (even when traffic is heavy), PCH is full of people looking for signs of the California dream,” he said. “Sunshine, warm beaches, surfing, bikinis and, of course, woodie wagons!

“There’s a lot more smiles per capita here than anywhere in LA, and people seem to appreciate cars like this.”

Want to be featured in Ride of the Week? Send Fireball an email at


CLASSIC 1960 JAGUAR MK IX SALOON – FIREBALL MALIBU VLOG 719 – Being in Malibu, Fireball reveals a ton of cars into today’s episode, including a Classic 1960 Jaguar MK IX Saloon.

CLASSIC 1960 JAGUAR MK IX SALOON – The 1960 Jaguar Mark IX (pronounced mark nine) is a large luxury saloon car produced by Jaguar Cars between 1959 and 1961.

It replaced the previous Mark VIII.

The 1960 Jaguar Mark IX was popular as a ceremonial car for state dignitaries.

When Charles de Gaulle paid a state visit to Canada in 1960, the official cars for the motorcade were 1960 Jaguar Mark IX Jags, rather than Cadillacs or Lincolns.

The British Queen Mother had a 1960 Jaguar Mark IX which was progressively upgraded to be externally identical to the later Mark IX. The Nigerian government bought forty Mark IXs, painted in the Nigerian state colours of green and white. 

The large Jaguars of the 1950s were sufficiently popular in western Africa that “Jagwah” survives as a colloquialism for “smart man-about-town”.

In the luxury car market, the 1960 Jaguar Mk IX was very competitively priced, selling for ₤1995 with manual gearbox, ₤2063 with overdrive, and ₤2163 with automatic transmission, which was less than half the price of similar competitors.

A car with automatic transmission tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1958 had a top speed of 114.4 mph and could accelerate from 0–60 mph in 11.3 seconds.

A fuel consumption of 15.2 miles per imperial gallon was recorded.

In addition, the Mark IX attained 30 mph in 4 seconds, and 100 mph in 32.5 secs.

It covered the standing mile in less than 31 secs.

Autocar magazine tested a 1960 Jaguar Mk IX Automatic in its Used Cars on the Road series, number 200, published in the edition dated 14 December 196

What’s it like to drive a 1957 DODGE CUSTOM ROYAL LANCER?

What’s it like to drive a 1957 DODGE ROYAL LANCER?

Shooting a daily Vlog Show can be a challenge sometimes as not all days are filled with car shows, premieres or cool activities. But fortunately for me, I live here in the Bu, where there’s a wealth of amazing cars that are revealed as you poke around town.

Now, there’s no way to know what you’ll come across, but if I need some quick content to wrap up my show, I just drive through town and always spot something cool. Case in point: Justin Silvers’ 1957 Dodge Royal Lancer.

There’s a few hot spots in town that I can peruse in about 10 minutes and one of them includes Malibu Car Wash in Malibu Country Mart. Justin started MCW about 26 years ago in 1990. That’s a lot of washes. A handy array of car coolness where owners get their dirty rides gleaming again. And owner Justin Silvers and his team do a great job at keeping these puppies glossy and ready for the Oscars — a Car Wash to the Stars, you could say.

So I frequently scoot by and do some snappy drive-bys. But this past week, I stopped in as Justin had an amazing classic, just washed and ready for a photo shoot. So I did my thing and asked him where he managed to wrangle this beauty?

“I sell motor yachts and cars,” Justin began to explain. “But this 1957 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer had a factory installed D500 Hemi and dual 4 Barrel Carburators which pumped it to 315hp from the factory. It has an original torque flight push button transmission, too. So, I bought the car for my father as a birthday present and have been restoring it for the last three years.” 

But there’s more. 

“I purchased the car on the East Coast and had it shipped it to California.” 

The reason he bought it? Here was the diddy.

“My dad had this car in high school and it brings back lots of great memories for him and his twin brother.” Justin went on further. “The best part of the car in my opinion is the Hemi and the rear tail fins.” 

An amazing touch and a clear sister to Hollywood’s “Christine,” having come out the same year as a Plymouth Fury. 

“The car will be used by my father to drive in Palm Springs and take to car shows.” 

A very cool gift indeed for a car guy. His original high school ride. If my son did the same for me … it’d be a 1981 Lemon Yellow Volkswagen Dasher. Not a cool car at the time by any means and it even had four doors. But I kicked the crap outta that car, drew a Van Halen logo on the back with a sharpie and let ‘er rip. It’s where I learned to drift a front-wheel drive and wrangled my first tickets. So proud.

And finally, why Malibu for Justin? 

“I love driving here in town to see the beautiful scenery and to visit with good friends that I have grown to know and love for the last 26 years.” 

Simple. Either you get it or you don’t. 

If you don’t, there’s always the Valley and it’s calling to you. Big thanks, Justin, for the introduction to Della (my name for Christine’s sister). She’s a sweetheart and will be your dad’s new squeeze. But if I head to Palm Springs, I’ll be expecting a ride …

The most AMAZING DODGE you’ll ever see! – FMV462

Fireball Malibu Vlog 462! Fireball gets a new Camera, then checks out the new 2017 GENESIS G80, a Classic DUCATI and an amazing 1957 Dodge Royal Lancer! SHARE Today’s Vlog!