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Carbonear tattoo artist revitalizes rare Ford car

Williams’ car parked outside the tattoo shop earlier in 2017.
Williams’ car parked outside the tattoo shop earlier in 2017. - Submitted

Three-year passion project closing in on completion

CARBONEAR, NL — Drivers in the Carbonear area may want to keep their eyes peeled for a unique ride in the coming months.

Danny Williams of Carbonear is proud of a personal project that’s sure to grab the attention of those with a knack for vehicles – a completely rebuilt Ford Mercury Meteor, a vehicle produced in the early 1960s for only a short time to appeal to the excitement surrounding the space race.
The mid-size cars were produced for only three short months in 1964 before being discontinued and have hardly been seen since.

Williams is reintroducing the ride to Carbonear’s roads, building a Meteor from scratch and giving it his own unique flare.

“This has always just been a little side project of mine – something for me to work away at in my spare time. I mean, it’s such a cool car, and I’m super happy with the way it’s turned out so far,” he said.

The car was built over the course of approximately three years by Williams and a couple of friends using three different cars for parts, as well as a usable donor car. The crew picked away at the Meteor in William’s driveway, using a 1977 Ford Ranchero for most of the underbody of the vehicle, with the classic outer appearance of the Meteor and some of Williams’ personal touches to make the car really stand out.

Now, the car is in working condition and driveable. Except for a few finishing touches he hopes to add to help the car run a little smoother, his project is coming up on final completion.

Already the vehicle has garnered significant attention, and Williams says it’s formed a bit of a fanbase in the community.

“People really love her. Everywhere I go, I see people turning their heads to look my way, and that’s kinda what I was going for with her in the first place.
“Not only is it a project of mine, but it’s also a way for me to advertise for the shop,” he explained.

The shop is Williams’ tattoo studio, Von Stytch Studios, located in Carbonear. He says the attention the car gets serves as a unique and successful means of advertising for his business.

Williams’ car before (top photo) and after he added his own style to the body.
Williams’ car before (top photo) and after he added his own style to the body.

Having started out the project as a budget build, Williams estimated he’s put approximately $8,500 into the car thus far. With his vision nearly complete, he doesn’t see the price soaring too much further.

Despite the relatively low price associated with the car, tracking down all the parts was not an easy task and explains the three-year timespan of the project. With the car being produced for such a short period of time, the proper pieces were a rarity. Williams said if not for the dedication of his friends, the project would not have come together as smoothly.

The unique paint job was also a part of this pricetag. Williams took to the outer body of the car with an airbrush and spray paint, making sure his rig truly was one-of-a-kind.

“I’d say it’s about 25 hours of airbrushing gone into it so far. She started out as an all-white car, but clearly that’s changed,” Williams said. “I’m thinking another 25 or so hours and I’ll be happy with the way she looks.
“It’s a high-quality paint, and I did it all with an airbrush – the flames and all that. That part alone is a ton of work, but I just love doing it, you know?”

If all goes well, he says he expects to see the car finished and on the road by the summer season. He plans to use the rig rather than leaving it in a garage to collect dust.

“I see a lot of people with unique or antique cars, and they just sit behind their house in a shed somewhere. I don’t agree with that – I put all this work into this awesome car, then hell yeah I’m going to drive it, and I’m going to love every minute of it,” Williams exclaimed.
“Life’s too short – our lives, and the cars’ lives – to just have these things collecting dust. I wanna show it off and be proud of it, and that’s exactly what I plan to do. I want to take this thing out 365 days a year.”

When Williams get the Meteor back on the road in the coming months, car enthusiasts are welcomed to come visit his shop on Columbus Drive to take a look at all of his hard work, which will be parked in the parking lot daily.

chris.lewis@cbncompass.ca

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