Surf Sleds: Michael Gadachy’s 1969 Suburban
All photos by Mark Kawakami
It’s hard not to notice Michael Gadachy’s 1969 Suburban cruising around the South Bay with his Tyler Surfboards “305” model faithfully attached to the racks. The rumble alone shakes windows and turns heads.
“The original drivetrain is a 350 motor with a turbo 350 tranny,” Gadachy said. “The motors been rebuilt twice. The last time, I souped it up and dressed it with Edelbrock.”
He bought the ‘burban seven years ago. It came drenched in turquoise, a paint job that only requires an occasional waxing to keep the shine. The interior was a different story. The ‘burban was covered with universal gray tweed, a style that was in an abundance in the late 80s to the 90s. Gadachy decided for the ‘burban that shit needed to go.
“I scrapped all that tweed off, filled in some holes on the floor board with metal, repainted the interior panels to match the outside paint, bought bench seats at Memory Lane in Wilmington and had them stitched up by Luis Loyola at Loyola Auto Upholstery,” he said. “I got a carpet kit in as well as added bullet accessories that go with the ‘60s motif.”
Gadachy enjoys the functional nature of his ride. With his ‘burban, he can go on a surf safari down to San ‘O, Tyler boards intact, or cruise up north to a car show like the Primer Nationals held at Ventura Fairgrounds every Labor Day Weekend, Tyler boards intact.
“The best thing about the ‘burban,” he said, “I can stop anywhere and grab a beer and lunch while leaving the board inside.”
In years of Gadachy owning the ‘burban, he’s had no gnarly stories.
“It’s very dependable. I’ve never broken down, had a blown headgasket, or even towed my car except when I picked it up in Watts, South Central,” he said. “I guess it was pretty gnarly with homies brown bagging it on the porch staring at us.”
His next project is a 51’ Ford Shoebox.
“I’m building a sweet kustom to park right next to my surf wagon,” he said. “With my wagon, one day my fiance and I plan on towing an airstream with another Tyler, the 777 model, strapped on the roof.” DZ