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The Inaugural Seconds Saturdays at Hanzel’s Auto Body Works

Tim Odell July 19, 2011 Car Shows, Friends of Hooniverse 45 Comments


Two weekends ago Hooniverse headed up the East Bay to Hanzel’s Auto Body Works in charming Oakland. With weather more suited for February than July, it was nice to take refuge from the chilly bay winds inside the huge shop, constructed by a more senior Hanzel back in 1946. What the turnout lacked in quantity, it made up in quality. What makes you want to jump more, a big-block Ford swapped Mercedes 220 Heckflosse or a bright orange race-prepped 912?

Sadly, my Falcon was unable to addend on account of the massive oil leak from a poorly sealed intake manifold, so we rocked the WRXagon and hid it in the back of the lot. Enjoying the dreary Swede-grade weather were this rough but awesome Volvo 142 and Nissan pickup from Andrew and Ben of the Huey Newis and the Lose LeMons squad.


Rounding out the lot dwellers were the CNG Crown Vic in great shape (carpool sticker FTW!), a near-perfect Karmann Ghia ragtop and what I’ll just call the Hellflosse. “Heck” is too mild a term for such a ride with its built fuel-injected big-block. This car is no hack job, with a clean install and intact dash.


Coming inside, we were treated to an awesome early postwar garage with lots of light and bays for over a dozen cars. Like most awesome shops that actually operate in the black, Hanzel Auto Body does a steady stream of “normal car” auto-body work in addition to their Francophilic proclivities. Just keep that in mind, should you have a heap in need of some body work. We’ll get to the Citroens in a minute, but first we must stop to appreciate a couple of German offerings: a squeaky clean early (e12) 5-series M535 (basically all the M5 chassis goodies, but a more manageable M30 motor) and this killer 912. Bright orange paint, yellow headlights and a curb weight under 1900lbs make it the most desirable four cylinder Porsche I’ve ever seen. I’d kill for those door handles.


This is a Graham Hollywood. A Graham Hollywood with a Ford smallblock swapped in. Extra points for the FoMoCo “V8” hubcaps.


Ok, Citroen time. Superb DS Convertible? Check. DS Wagon that happens to be for sale? Check. Henry Hanzel’s rally car-turned daily driver (or is it the other way around?) Plush? Check. Horrifically totaled remains of what used to be a perfect DS wagon, crumpled by a hit-and-run driver who managed to leave their plate embedded in the wreckage? Le Check.


Last, but certainly not least, Chris Hanzel was cruel kind enough to pull the shop’s DS Convertible down from from the roof of a perpetually under restoration wagon to let Hooniverse’s own Henry get behind the wheel. “Awwws” were had, pictures were taken. Disassembled Citroens loomed in the background while he smiled and my wallet quivered within my pocket.

So yeah, if you’re in the Bay Area and not attending Seconds Saturdays, you’re missing out. Thanks to hosts Chris and Henry Hanzel, and be sure to mark you calendar for August 13th and September 10th and get on down.

Also, be sure to check out Chris’ pictures on Picasa

  • Paul_y

    …and to think, I spent my saturday assembling a goddamned futon for my girlfriend in the Sacramento suburbs. Next month, perhaps.

  • Awesome stuff…

  • dukeisduke

    A race prepped 912? I'd like to drive that. The only 912 I've ever driven (a bone stock '67) didn't exactly burn up the road.

  • I like it. Its just a shame spin class is Saturday morning. That, and I am, oh, just 1700 or so miles away.

    • vwminispeedster

      We'll be sure to let you know when the NSX group will be the featured car. 😉

  • dukeisduke

    What, no pictures of the mangled DS wagon? Not even in the Flikr photostream. bummer.

    • pj134

      I don't know if they just added it or what but, <img src="http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6143/5941875795_e1a3040c53_z.jpg"&gt;

      • vwminispeedster

        The wagon with the convertible is Dad's "other" daily driver that has been in repaint for a while. It's his preferred ride because of the Citromatic vs. the manual of PLUSH. Thankfully business has been good so the guys haven't had time to get to his car.

    • vwminispeedster

      It was actually a DS Sedan and it's the one with the Concours d'LeMons "French Legion of Horror" trophy sitting in the rear. Here is a vid at the event when it was still in 1 piece. Don't worry, the reason it doesn't look anything like that anymore is the frame was beyond hope for straightening and being made roadworthy again. The interior has gone on to live in our bodyman's DS, the engine in Dad's PLUSH and the gearbox into a 3rd. Trust me, everything of useful value is being re-purposed on other cars to keep as many LHM leaking beauties on the road.

      [youtube Lo6zjKaprjE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lo6zjKaprjE youtube]

      • Which other car got the Vise-Grips?

        • vwminispeedster

          Those go back in the roadside tool kit of PLUSH just in case a similar fate is met.

      • clunkerlove

        I spoke to the owner (you?) about the modifications perpetrated upon this car by the hit-n-run Infiniti. Supposedly this link makes my archive of 2009 Concours de LeMons photos publicly viewable. The Citroen is a few dozen pics in: http://tinyurl.com/concourslemons
        For the record, I really feel your pain. Did they get the driver that took off?

        • vwminispeedster

          Yeah they got the jerky who left his license plate behind. We weren't the ones in the car when it was hit. The then current owner was and it probably was the best/safest car in his fleet to get hit in. The other were an old Land Rover (I'm guessing the steering wheel would have caved his chest in) and an Isetta (they would have just buried him in the ground in that thing). We got the car after and put all the good bits to use in other cars.

          Thanks for the link to the photos. They are great and that was a fun event!

    • They're in there:
      <img src="http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6018/5941880123_d86f66e3d1_m.jpg&quot; width="240" height="161" alt="DSC_0121">

      <img src="http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6139/5942441892_d0f8cbee54_m.jpg&quot; width="161" height="240" alt="DSC_0127">

      • dukeisduke

        I saw those, but I didn't think they looked like a wagon.

  • "…my Falcon was unable to attend on account of the massive oil leak…."

    I've stared and stared at those words and yet cannot fathom how that observation led to that conclusion. You've stumped me. You know they sell oil by the case pretty much everywhere, right?

    • pj134

      Maybe oil leak means kaboomed oil pan?

    • P161911

      And it was on the intake, so it should only leak when it is actually running.

    • Massive oil leak off the back of the intake manifold = whole underside and exhaust coated in oil = Valdez-level spills when parked and Kuwait-circa 1990 levels of smoke while running.

      • I call that condition "driving the MG."

  • vwminispeedster

    Like Ferrari's Clienti program Hanzel's will gladly keep the yellow DS convertible in pristine pedaling condition to allow for "fly-in" drivers to come and tear up the "track" within the shop. Prospective driver must be ~10 yrs old or less. Adults that act childlike need not apply.

  • OA5599

    As I recall from the announcement a few days back, the event was larger than the shop itself, and the outside cars had to deal with the parking charges atf the neighboring pay-lot. Were inside spaces reserved for anyone who gave the secret Hooniverse handshake, or was some bogus method like first-come, first-serve used?

    • vwminispeedster

      Dad and I had visions of grandeur where the 60 car lot would still be too small to hold all the greatness that would descend upon the shop. Instead the group was much smaller but the range of cars was better than I could have imagined. The 912 and Graham got their fairly early and the Citroen Acadiane is a friend who needed some air in the tires so he snuck his way in. (Secret handshakes and LeMons-like bribes for premium parking indoor accepted but not guaranteed.) Next time I want to corral the cars front and center in the lot like where the Hellflosse was parked so I can get a sweet photo from the roof. That way too people can congregate in the shop without worrying about other cars driving in and mowing them down. If we end up getting so many folks showing up I'll talk to the lot owner to see if he can cut us a deal, but in order to do that MOAR cars need to show up.

      However, I will leave the inside open for a certain MGB with a single wheel trailer to show off it's racing pedigree so long as the driver doesn't succumb to illness again. (Stay away from those damn trees Pete!!)

      • Might be over-scoping it, but one solution to free parking is to get a food truck to show up, and have them "buy out" the lot for the morning for some reasonable sum.

        Parking overlords win, as they guy more money than they'd likely otherwise collect on a Saturday AM. Food truck wins because they can probably cover the $50-100 in lot price in margin on whatever they sell. Attendees win, as parking's free.

        Hanzel's ABW wins as more people show up b/c there's more people showing up due to the availability of tasty breakfast burritos and free parking, leading to increased awareness and business.

        Minor complication: there's really no way to grant "exclusive" rights to any given food truck on the premises.

      • GAH!! I was DETERMINED to make it up there but it was not to be. I tried to come anyways but the wife put her foot down. She is much smarter than me.

        That was the first time I was laying down in a bed, and felt like I was going to fall off the planet while I was sober!

      • Eggwich James Dio

        I'll be there next time, but I'll be parking my car as far out of the way as possible.


        I hope there's a reminder on here about the upcoming events, because I am very, very stupid.

        • vwminispeedster

          All cars are welcome, the more the merrier. I just wish mine ran (or had all four wheels still attached… https://picasaweb.google.com/christopherhanzel/Ch

          And I will be sure to spam the hell out of Mr. Odell to post about the upcoming Second Seconds Saturdays on August 13th. If you want an email reminder just shoot me a request at christopherhanzel@gmail.com and I'll add you to the list of other folks I constantly badger about bringing their cars out to play.


          Chris Hanzel

        • vwminispeedster

          email me at christopherhanzel@gmail.com and I'll put on the list of other folks that want me to spam them with reminders to come and hang out with cool cars/people. And stock Mustangs are welcomed and encouraged. The more the merrier.

  • charlie

    That's my Karmann Ghia and "near-perfect" is quite a stretch. None the less, I appreciate the compliment. The First Second Saturday was (I thought) quite a success with a very interesting mix of cars and people. I look forward to it becoming a Bay area tradition.

    • vwminispeedster

      Thanks for coming Charlie. I hope we can keep the momentum going and see you and the Ghia at another event!

  • dwegmull

    I will have to make the trek up the East Bay to test the limit of the "bring anything you want" policy with my Tesla Roadster. Unless my Volvo V70R would be preferred…

    • MrHowser

      A "bring anything you want" policy is pretty useless if it doesn't actually mean to bring whatever you want. I would bet that most attendees would love a chance to look over a Tesla.

    • I want you to bring both.

    • vwminispeedster

      Bring the Tesla to August and the Volvo to September. 🙂 Problem solved. 🙂

      • dwegmull

        Sounds like a plan! By the way, if someone needs a ride, I will be driving up 880 from, and back to, Fremont. Electric cars tend to not suffer from catastrophic oil leaks…

        • Hello fellow Fremonter!
          (or do you just work at the Tesla plant on Saturdays…or both?)

        • I received a notice from Intense debate that MadScience posted the following answer to my comment:
          "Hello fellow Fremonter!
          (or do you just work at the Tesla plant on Saturdays…or both?)"

          Clearly this comment never made it to this page…

          To clarify, I work in Fremont, live in Palo Alto and often comes to Fremont on Saturdays to visit a friend with whom I build model steam engine locomotives.

          • vwminispeedster

            SWEET!! We need to add live steam to Seconds Saturdays! My uncle who is also a fan of model steam trains would flip!

  • Tim…an excellent write up for what seemed to be a fantastic time that was had by all. I would loved to have been there… @vwminispeedster: Your inaugural event looked like a blast and despite the somewhat lacking in numbers show up, every one that did brought something special. This longrooffan believes this event is going to grow to epic proportions. Hang on for the ride and have a blast. And that yellow DS pedal car should never leave that shop…ever….IMHO…

  • Oops, realized I forgot to include shots of the M353i. Probably no one but me cares:
    <img src="http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6026/5941909001_432f2911cd_m.jpg&quot; width="161" height="240" alt="DSC_0234"> <img src="http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6147/5942455262_55c8a23ef1_m.jpg&quot; width="240" height="161" alt="DSC_0176">

  • bzr

    Hanzel, he's so hot right now.

    • Luckily there were no freak gasoline fight accidents.

  • Patty du foie gras

    Felicitations Henry and Chris. I'm here in France now for almost a month and a half and, I assure you, there seems to have been more DS action Saturday in good old Oaktown than here on the mothership. Go figure!
    Vivez les Citroenophiles americains!