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