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Caroselli Design
214 Main St., Unit # 15-B
El Segundo, CA 90245
(310) 322-2767

© Copyright Caroselli. No images or text located anywhere on this site may be reused or republished without expressed written permission from Rodster, Inc., d.b.a.: Caroselli Design. The Rodster Street Rod design is protected by U.S. Patent # D450,284. "Rodster®" is a registered trademark of Caroselli Design.
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The Tale of Two Blazers

Michael Gannaway’s Rodster

-- By Eric Geisert

Remember when retiring meant the company gave you a gold watch? That’s how they used to do it back when companies showed the same respect you gave them for 30 or 40 years. Nowadays, you’d be lucky if they opened the door for you when you walked out of the building for the last time!

After 35 years of service writing software for big business, Michael Gannaway from Pflugerville, Texas, decided he deserved a nice gift, so he bought himself a Deluxe Rodster—a little convertible roadster with a body (with a ’40 Ford nose) that sits on an S-10 chassis. Rodster Street Rods out of El Segundo, California, come in three versions (convertible, pickup, and sedan delivery), all using the S-10-type chassis as a base.

Michael wasn’t interested in building the car himself (he was traveling out of the country at the time), so he contracted Jim Crabtree (Cumberland, Maryland) to do the build to Michael’s specifications. Gannaway drove a donor S-10 to Maryland and, three months later, picked it up finished and painted and drove it home, and continues to drive it all the time. (He even installed marine material inside the cockpit so rain doesn’t hurt the interior!)
But by 2004 Michael was ready for another project, so he decided to build another from Rodster’s line—this time the sedan delivery. He located a pristine ’89 S-15 Jimmy, both it for $1,000, called Henry Caroselli at Rodster Street Rods, and ordered a kit. The original concept on Gannaway’s ride was to make surf wagon: painting it green and adding a big surfboard to the roof (remember, this car was going to be driven throughout Texas). But by chance Michael was looking through a copy of Truckin’ magazine for ideas and found a late-model Suburban that had been painted in two-tone tangerine and raspberry. He knew that is how he wanted his new delivery to look.

After receiving the parts, Michael didn’t rush the build process, working on the car one day a week or when he had any extra time. The job took 18 months to complete. Michael was aided by his neighbor, 9-year-old Kyle Mercier, who helped handle some of the larger jobs, such a hood alignment. The kits are pretty basic, and much of the original chassis, drivetrain, and cab section are left intact. The new nose went on, as did the rear fenders, plus a few new custom additions (visor, rear rolled pan, side mirrors, electric door openers, Euro taillights) Michael wanted after checking out advertisements in both KIT CAR and Truckin’ magazines.

The bodywork done, it was off to Texas local Pio at B&A Auto Body and Paint in Dell Valley who, at first, didn’t think the two-tone was going to work. HE painted the delivery anyway, and was pleasantly surprised at how good the color combination looked when he was done! Since the delivery was in such good running shape (the electric door locks worked, as did the cruise control and air conditioning), the only things Michael still needs to address are the interior (the truck did have 217,000 miles on it when he bought it!) and a new stereo system.

But as for how it turned out, he couldn’t be happier, and he drives it all the time (when he isn’t driving his convertible). In fact, he calls his roadster his “good weather car” and the delivery the “bad weather car,” as all he has to do is look out the window in the morning to figure out which car he is going to take! But Michael’s car-building days aren’t over—he’s eyeing a Rodster pickup as a possible future project, but he’s run out of garage space to build one. But like they say, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and we’re confident if Michael wants another project, then we’ll be seeing him driving it in the not-too-distant future!

CAPTION: Michael can choose between two Rodsters when he wakes up any given morning—all he has to do is listen to the weather report to find out if he’ll be taking his convertible or his sedan delivery!

The interior of Michael’s S-15 donor was in great shape, even with 217,000 miles on the odometer! Future plans call for a new stereo system as well as updated fabric for the seats and door panels.

When it cam to customizing his ride, the nose section was left alone, including the twin driving lights located on either side of the chromed grille. The taillights are Euro versions available through Dogfather’s Truck Parts, and the rear rolled pan came from Superior Custom. Aim Industries supplied the lighted mirrors, which bolt on to the existing mounting points without any trouble.

The stock engine was used, mostly because everything (including the air conditioning) still worked. The flip nose section attaches to the cowl via folding belt—one located on each side of the cowl.

Here’s Michael’s delivery halfway through the construction stage. The wheels are on, but haven’t been painted yet, and the rear fenders haven’t yet been attached.

Michael Gannaway won three trophies at the ‘32nd Annual Custom Car and Hot Rod Show’ (Austin, TX, Jan.’06). He is fond of calling his two Rodster Street Rods “the most popular cars in Texas.” Guess he has a point, as his Open Roadster won 1st place - Custom Hand Built and his Sedan Delivery won 1st place - Custom Full Mini Utility Wagon. But the pleasant surprise was that his beautiful Roadster won the coveted award for Street Achievement Design –– an award judged against every one of the 300+ street-legal cars at the show. Congratulations Mike! See Mike’s build-up story.