The “Rolf Coupe” still going strong

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod in Germany

I sold this coupe back in 2010 locally but a year or two later it found itself in Germany where it lives an active life in the hands of Marco and Silvia Wenzel. They are in to American cars of all shapes. I get regular up-dates from Marco and I felt it was time to share.

 

1931 Ford Model A Crusing

It is used the best way possible: By driving it!…a lot.

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Germany

The hot rod is a frequent guest at many events in Germany with likeminded guys and gals.

Ford Model A Hot Rod

Staging in at the drags.

1931 Ford Model A Drag RacingHere is Marco ready to abuse it in a drag race. Yes, of course he won!
1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod

The car was sporting black walls when it left the States but now it is back to wide white walls and I think it looks much better.

 

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Finland truck

The hot rod was invited to a Finish Hot Rod show and Marco was quick to oblige, It was tucked in a trailer and off to Finland it went.

 

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Finland

Marco’s hot rod was listed in the show programme the Guest from Germany. That is what “Saksan vieras” means. “PAKKO NÄHDÄ” means don’t miss! So don’t miss the Guest from Germany!

 

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Finland show

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Finland visitor

One of the show visitors was Mika Kari. Mika lived in Washington state for a year and I met him several times. He did a feature of the car for the Finish magazine Primer at the time. Mika stopped by and visited with Marco. Mika on the left and Marco on the…you get it.

Thanks for sharing your adventures with us, Marco.

Photo: Marco Wenzel

High (and Low) Tech: High and low fog lights

“High and low fog lightsHuh??

I think I am being incredibly witty here, follow along and let’s see if you agree.

I admit it: I am a light junkie. I like to see well at night as well as being seen. Washington state offers incredible summers for cruising but the winters can be soggy and dark especially on those two lane black tops.  Also, driving a classic car makes me a bit more paranoid when it comes to other drivers. Being seen early can be a matter of life and …well, not so much life.

I usually upgrade all the lights equipment on my vintage cars to halogen headlights and new reflectors but you can’t really add modern auxiliary lights to a vintage car as it would look out of place. Here is America it is legal to run fog lights with your low beams. I know that is not the case in some countries.

So what do we do to improve a vintage car? How about adding some vintage fog lights? Great idea but yesterdays fog lights are usually powered by a weak incandescent bulb.

How do we fix that?

Here is my solution:

1937 Ford Vintage Fog Light
This is fog light made by S&M Lamp Company in Los Angels. It is a Model 570.

1937 Ford Vintage Fog Light lens

The lens is easy to separate from the old reflector. As you can see, the old reflector is nothing to be proud of. Also, it hosts an weak incandescent bulb. Double Dim!

IMG_2363This is a 5 1/4 inch Hella eCode headlight. Unlike the horrible Sealed Beam lights it has a removable H4 halogen bulb and a very high quality reflector. The H4 bulb has two filaments, high and low beam.

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The plan is to remove the Hella lens from the nice reflector. The H4 bulb only goes in one way so we need to make sure the reflector is clocked correctly.

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The glass is attached with a strong adhesive sealer so in order to remove the glass I have to brake it. Other than fixing things we do like to smash a few things as well. It is also quick and cheeper than seeing a psychiatrist! I filled the light with clean paper towels to protect the reflector.

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Then I put the light in a plastic bag and then…

IMG_2367Ka-Boom!

Some Euro guys with an Alfa or Volvo would probably think this is blasphemy but these lights are from current production and not obsolete by any means. As you can see, the plastic bag prevents any glass chards from flying around.

NOTE: Gloves, protective clothing and safety glasses is a must when performing this part of the job. Safety First!
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I applied some heat to the seam with a heat gun and pried away the rest of the glass. Keep gloves and safety glass on! Clean up the area well afterwards.

IMG_2369With very light pressure I used a clean cloth towel to remove any remnants of the glass.
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A screwdriver or knife is helpful to remove the last of the sealer.
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Halfway there…here is a nice reflector ready to be married to a vintage lens.
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Luck has it that the Hella lens have a notch right at the top. Even though we have marked the top position this will help when installing the glass with precision.
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More luck. The old lens also had a notch marking the top position.

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The marriage. After cleaning the inside of the lens we are really to marry the two.

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Fits like it was made for it. Only 60-70 years between the two items!

 

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I have used latex or silicon sealer to install the glass on the reflector in the past. There is always a chance that it can get messy as the sealer can get pressed in to the reflector. In this case I used tightly applied electrical tape. It worked very well and it is easy to remove if I have to replace any part.

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This is when we say: “Ta-Da” or “Look at me!”…or “Damn I’m good!” Well, you get the idea. Vintage look with modern power.

Output

1937 Ford Fog Lights Low

Here is the cool part. In low beam mode (above) it functions as a regular fog light and you can run it together with your low beams. (As always, check your local laws and regulations of course)

1937 Ford Fog Lights High Beam

When you hit the high beam in the fog light will aid your car’s high beam by increasing the output while still looking vintage.

Model Y Hot Rod Truck, part V

In the fifth installment of the Ford Model Y Hot Rod Truck project Mike is focusing his attentions on the bed.

As  the bed is rather noticeable, Mike spent a lot of time ensuring the wood fits well.
To keep the vintage look to the project Mike opted to use stained recycled wood and it’s safe to say his work looks great.

1935 Ford Model Y Truck 2

Drilled brackets are ready for the wood.

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Looks good.

 

1935 Ford Model Y Truck 4

All the inserts are now cut, fitted and bolted to the frame.

1935 Ford Model Y Truck 5

The bed was test fitted to the frame and body.

 

1935 Ford Model Y Truck
In keeping with the vintage style of this build, the tried and true 1939 Ford tear drop tail lights with blue dots were used.

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The project is taking shape and a hood has been test fitted as well.

If you have any questions you would like us to ask Mike then please get in touch via CVI’s Facebook page and make sure you visit CVI’s blog to ensure that you are kept up to date with the latest news on this project.

Stay Tuned…

Ford Model Y Hot Rod Truck, part IV

Part 4 of the UK restoration project sees Mike Hill this week welding the pick-up bed frame and repairing the doors on the Ford Model Y. The English Fords had a lot more wood in them than the US counter parts so Mike replaced the rotten wood with steel. Wood worms HATE steel!

Next week there will be an interview of Mike at Survivor Customs about Hot Rod background and more importantly, what are the final plans for the Ford Model Y Hot Rod.

If you have any questions you would like us to ask Mike then please get in touch via CVI’s Facebook page and make sure you visit CVI’s blog to ensure that you are kept up to date with the latest news on this project.

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The bottom and rear facing panel is all wood so out it goes. The pieces were used to create a template for the metal that will replace it.

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As you can see, originally the tin was just nailed to the wood. Now it will be a steel structure.

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After installing the steel the door was stripped and ready for test fit.

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During the process the doors were test fitted to make sure of proper gaps.

blured-out-768x1024Mike fabbed up a bed frame that will covered with repurposed wood.

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Mike added gussets in the corners that will serve as attachment points for the wood.

Stay tuned!

Model Y hot rod truck, part III

We continue the report on the Model Y hot rod truck taking shape in the UK.

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This week Mike turning his attention to fitting the gearbox and shortening the drive shaft to fit the Ford Model Y Truck project.

For more about Mike and Survivor Customs, check out his Facebook page. And watch this space. The project will also be shared on Cherished Vehicle Insurance’s Blog

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Fabricated gearbox mount fitted to a modified Model Y Ford crossmember.

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BMW E30 drive shaft shortened by 4 inches and now connecting the BMW 5 speed  m60 transmission to the rear axle which is from a Kia Sportage.

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The BMW alternator had to be relocated underneath the engine to create more clearance with the chassis. A custom mount and tensioner took care of that.

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Original model Y Ford brake and clutch pedals were reused but relocated and modified to fit the Nissan Micra brake booster and cylinder.

More later…

Mark Anderson’s Pre War 1931 Ford Hot Rod

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod lights

Mark is a card carrying, astute and highly respected member of the World Famous Beggers Car Club in Washington State. As such he drives an appropriate car…daily. Yup, this is his daily commuter.

 

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod rear side R

A lot of folks builds traditional style hot rods and some try to use only era correct parts. Some builders are more successful than others in this effort. There is not a single component that is made after 1940 in this car.

 

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod side right

It’s all in the attitude! As you can see the car is not ridiculously low, it sits just like a car from that era should sit. Stance and attitude is everything. This original 1931 body rests on an original 1932 Frame. There is not one single reproduction piece on this car.

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod hood side

Chevrolet (Ooops, sorry about that, Ford Fans) …anyway, you get over it!…Vintage Chevrolet hood sides offer these factory louvers for a great and different look. It also offers a practical solution as it helps with cooling of the flathead.

 

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod engine

The flathead is equipped with two leaky Strombergs mounted on a vintage Weiand manifold. Mark did some thinking about the exhaust manifolds. What would the 1940’s hot rodder do for tubing? Well, a home built hot rod could very well have used flexible tubing and that’s what Mark went with. Looks great. Also, note the liberal use of copper tubing adding to the “right” look.

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod interior

The office: Lack of door stops offer easy access. Seat belts are vintage aircraft units.

 

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod attitude

Yup, it’s all in the attitude!

Thanks Mark for sharing your cool ride with us!

 

 

Jet powered 1932 Ford Roadster!

So I met this “old” guy…

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I went to the LeMay open house, to attend the old car auction. On my way to the auction site, I stumbled across this cool looking ’32 Ford. It stopped me in my tracks, and it didn’t take long to notice that the car did not have an ordinary engine.

It was powered by a jet engine !

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Lenny spent a fair amount of time with me, showing the various features of the car. He was fascinated when I told him that I used Ford F-1 shock mounts, split ‘bones etc. on my hot rod. He said: That what we did in the “old” days !

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We dig those shocks !

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Before embarking on the jet build, he spend lot’s of time racing his car.

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Lenny also spent several years racing on the salt flats in the early fifties.

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Lenny worked for Boeing in Seattle, so the jet engine solution was probably close to home.

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He obviously got a bit of attention from the car magazines at the time.

Once he learned that I was born in Sweden, he told me he worked in Sweden for Volvo Airplane Division in the sixties.

Funny story: Most of the engineers in Sweden at that time spoke good English, but most of the mechanics did not. There was one air plane mechanic that really wanted to learn English, especially the name of various engine parts. So every time Lenny pointed out a part, the mechanic would pull out his note book and write it down.

One day they were working on an engine that was just run, and Lenny leaned in on the exhaust pipe and burned himself. He said “Hot Mother F…..he stopped abruptly, realizing that was not very nice language. As he walked away, he turned around and saw the mechanic mutter to himself while he wrote “Hot Mother” for the English name of the exhaust pipe.

We can only be grateful that Lenny did not complete the sentence !

Hollywood Hub Caps…or, do these caps make me look fat??

It is amazing what a difference wheels and tires can do on a vehicle.

1937 Ford Cabriolet with stock caps

This 1937 Ford Cabriolet was found with black wall tires and cheesy (technical term, really!) reproduction 1937 one piece hub caps. The original caps were actually a two piece cap.

They should be called wheel covers as the hub cap is really just the little cap covering the bearing in the center. But we will go with the popular description.

1937 Ford Cabriolet with 1939 caps

OK, moving along…Here is 2.0: These are 1939 caps and trim rings. They look great and the ripple design adds to the art deco look on this car.

 

16 inch Hollywood hubcaps

I found these on that auction site. These are rare 16 inch “Hollywoods” one bar caps and it looks like they have never been installed. They do have some shelf rash but I can live with it for now and it actually adds to the authenticity. They don’t reproduce 16 inch Hollywoods so I am thrilled to get my hand on these.

1937 Ford Cabriolet with Hollywood caps up close

3.0: Up close and personal…I like!

1937 Ford Cabriolet with Hollywood caps rear

It changes the whole look and feel of the car. I really like it.

 

1937 Ford Cabriolet with Hollywood caps front

It went from grandpa’s stocker to cool custom in three minutes flat. I am thinking a tasteful lowering job and maybe a spot light would really add to the looks. Some other project is due first but we will continue to work on this. In the mean time, I will drive the wheels off it!

Now get in the shop and build something!