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!

 

 

Tech: Vintage Heat for your Vintage Car

This is for our new category: Tech Archives. If you want to read just tech articles you can go to the right side column and click on desired category.

I like to fix, repair and refurbish old things when possible as opposed to buy new stuff.
Old American products are usually of very high quality and all they may need is a cosmetic restoration and some inside updates. Some items look great with original patina and some lend themselves to refurbishing. Only YOU decide what direction to go…not your buddies, not the current trend, just use common sense.

This article is about how to stay warm in your vintage car or truck while still looking old-timey.

Washington state offer some great summers for vintage car cruising but we do get a fair amount of lousy and wet weather as well. While some hardy folks can drive an open roadster in the middle of the winter…I am NOT one of them. I like to be comfortable so a heater is high on the list. You can hide a modern heater unit under the dash or seat but I think a good looking vintage heater is the coolest. (No pun there…) I find these at swap meet and sometimes at garage sales. Up to the late fifties new cars and trucks did not come with heaters but there were many manufacturers that stepped up to produce add-on heathers. Allstate, Firestone, Southwind, HaDees and others made aftermarket heaters and many of them had beautiful designs.

1937 Ford HaDees Heater

This Hadees Junior is sporting some serious art-deco design and it will look great restored.

 

1937 Ford Cabriolet heater grille installed This one is part of a larger assembly out of a Ford and I like the crest and simple design. I just kept this rectangle box and it will contain the element and fan. I am debating what color it will be. In the 40’s brown or black wrinkle finish was used. Another favorite coating is the hammer paint. I found the stainless grid at an elevator interior company of all places. It looks like an old radio cloth. Love it! There will be a tech article on this unit down the road.

Today we are going to restore a Tropic-Aire heater:

1930 Ford Model A heater 1

 

Let’s go to work: 1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater 2 First order of business: Dissasemble.  Most firewall heaters are rather deep because they have the fan assembly behind it and also the tubing usually designed to go straight thru the firewall. I usually eliminate that by installing a compact brushless fan or small cooling fan similar to the ones you see on small transmission coolers.

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater 3 This heater contains a round element with the fan motor in the center. This makes for a compact unit and I will duplicate this set up.

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater 4 I want the heater core as deep as possible in to the unit so I removed this ridge.

 

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater 5 I also flattened out the louvers on the side and welded them up.

 

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater 7

I welded a stud to the outside louver to keep it in place..

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater 8

Test fit…looks good.

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater 6

After some bodywork and hammer coat paint we got ourselves a nice looking heater body.

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater 9

A good coat of a maroon color and some polishing yielded a nice looking louver.
1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater Tropic-Aire

I polished the stainless trim piece and painted the letters in gloss black.

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater Tropic-Aire 2

Hubba-Hubba !! (technical term) That looks pretty snazzy. Let’s attend to the inside components now.

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater Tropic-Aire 10

This is a 12V clip on fan from that big box store. It set me back a whopping ten bucks.

 

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater Tropic-Aire fan

I removed anything that did not look like a fan from the clip-on fan and I made a back shroud based on the diameter of the fan blade.

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater Tropic-Aire11

This is the mesh from the fan I bough. I welded it to the back shroud to protect any toes that may find themselves behind the heater.

1930 Ford Model A hot rod heater Tropic-Aire 12 Here it is, all ready to go together. The fan motor squeezed in very nicely inside the core. I used some silicone glue to keep it in place.

1937 Ford Cabriolet heather valve

I use a stand alone heater valve from any parts house. I like this kind with the cable bracket in the same unit. That way you can attach a remote cable without having to secure the heater valve to anything. It can just be in line with the hoses and cable operated without tugging on anything.

 

1930 Ford hot rod heater

…and here it is. Installed in our latest project build, a 1930 Ford Model A Hot Rod.

Note 1956 Chrysler gauges, custom sub dash and vintage style Euro square weave carpeting. Look for this car at the NSRA event in Ridgefield, Washington, June 28-29th.

 

Sneak Peak at the Roller Nailer

This hot rod is coming together nicely. With chrome offset by shiny black paint it will be a pretty snazzy car and with a stump puller chromed out 425 Buick Nail head, 4 speed and 9 inch limited slip rear…it will be a handfull.

As always, the devil is in the details…so here are some details:

Close up of truck hinge. Slotted screws are used for the old timey feel and the material is polished stainess for the looks.

Trunk handle and Lucas license plate light.

Maybe we will show more of this car…maybe…

Rolle Nailer details

Got the modifications done and the “body work” finished on the heater housing. The gun metal grey hammer paint looks nice. More on this heater project later…

 

This is the down tube on the headers. It will sneak inside the frame and be painted black so it visually disappears.

Custom made weed burners are ready to assemble. The black down tubes makes them pretty much invisible…almost.

Also, the black “hole” in the block off plates makes the header look uncorked…almost.

Mo later…

Harry’s “back in the day” Hot Rod Pictures

I bought a vintage Volvo from Harry and his wife a few years ago. I learned that he has been a car guy and hot rodder all his life and here are some pictures to prove it.

Gotta love this stuff:

A Mopar 413 Ramcharger powered this red hot rod. The stick figure in the front is Harry himself.

With a ride like this it was not a problem to atract the ladies.

Just love the stance and look of old hot rods.

The hot rod started life with a different color. Check out the two color top insert.

 

More evidence that the ladies dig guys with hot rods…

A completey restored 1937 Dodge truck was the ride of choice for a while.

One of the earlier cars Harry owned was this 1926 Ford Model T. Bought it for $150.00 and sold it for $300.00. They only car he made money on!

Thanks Harry for sharing your time machine with us.

Roller Nailer Engine up-date

This is the FOUR-HUNDRED-TWENTY-FIVE-CUBIC-INCH engine going in the Roller Nailer chassis:

Lonely chassis waiting for POWER !!

 

 

Let’s go to the swap meet…

Swap meets are great. Parts and vehicles for sale with something for everyone.

 

Here is a very manly 4X4. All of the truck was powder coated. Very nice. Displayed by a powder coat company.

 

1948 Chevrolet sedan delivery. Total restoration and for sale for $16,500.00. You could not restore one for that.
Model A truck project
Another manly truck.
There is that word again. I wonder if it’s a complex issue?? I may have to talk to my psychiatrist…or bartender…they do the same thing.
1973 Fart…ahem, Fiat convertible
Super clean model  A roadster
Street Rod thingie
Very clean 60’s Chevrolet truck
Straight and complete model A roadster pick up. You can haul stuff and get a tan at the same time!
.
This swap is one of my favorites. Here are some two wheeled reasons:
1907…something-something. Forgot the brand. Cool bike, though…
Cool Indian project
How about a Harley Davidson for $500.00? Pretty decent and could be a runner.
Like new 1974 Kawasaki 900. Mint condition. Love that color!
You meet the nicest people on a Honda…or?
1974 BMW R-90 with side car. That seat and the Hella light looks a little out of place but a beatiful bike and color combo.
Ariel. Don’t know the vintage.
Very nice 1946 Indian
If one carburator is good three must be better! For a Chevrolet small block.
There you go, another swap in tha bag. Looking forward to the next one.

So I met this guy…

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!

The 1932 Ford Roadster is now owned by LeMay Auto Museum but the builder Lenny was there to show off his engineering masterpiece. 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, dropped axle and split wishbones on my hot rod.

He said: That what we did in the “old” days !

Not just the average 350/350 combo, huh?

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

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

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

 

Gotta love those shocks !

Once he learned that Your Humble Editor 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 appropriate language. As he walked away, he turned around and saw the Swedish 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 !

 

1932 Ford hot rod: The fendering is finished

1932 Ford Five window Coupe fenders

After all the fenders had been test fitted I shot the inside of the fenders with etching primer and then applied a rubberized undercoating. This prevents “tneds”  That would be “dent” backwards as the rock would leave the tire and make an “outie” Get it?

 

1932 Ford Five window Coupe fenders

Also, the wheel wells got a shot of the undercoating as well.

 

1932 Ford Five window Coupe fenders

I made these simple upper shock mounts that clears the fender.

 

1932 Ford Five window Coupe fenders

Then it was time to squirt some paint on the frame rails as well.The rear quarter panel was not painted when I originally painted the cowl and doors to remove the ugly lettering so this was a good opportunity to make sure everything match.
Puh, that was a long sentence!

 

Back in the “showroom” for assembly. The Volvo wheel is just temporary until I get new rear rims. I ordered new 16’s with 5 on 4.5 bolt pattern in order to solve the axle width. This way I can eliminate the adapter and save an inch. Hopefully it will be enough as I really don’t want to tear down the rear axle this year.

 

Yup, the whole damn shop is red. My interior decorator is going to be sooo pissed!

The white paint on the headers was peeling badly and now would be the time to fix it.

As I will not run hood sides and the fenders and top hood with sort of picture frame the engine it better look good. This looks cleaner.

So how did it come out? Pretty damn good I think, It certainly changed the look and feel of the car.

 

The OE frame horn covers fits better than the repop

 

I was concerned that there would be too much red but the chrome acorns and adding a chrome license plate frame it looks pretty balanced.

 

The not so faux Olds engine is nicely framed between the hood and fenders.

I plan to change the top insert to black and also the dash and steering wheel should be black. For right now I just plan to drive the crap out of it.

1931 Ford roadster parts chasing

A hot rod should have it’s own personality and you don’t achieve this but installing mail order components. For example, I am always on the look-out for interesting guages for my hot rod builds. Usually something comes along that grabs my attention at a swap meet or in this case, my friends garage.

This 1947 Volvo PV 444 instrument cluster was doing service as garage art but now it will once again do what it was designed to do: report speed and other vital information about the engine.

The model A roaster will use this1932 style dash. I did not waste any time testing the fit. I approve. Volvo cluster it is.

Now I best get back to the ’32 Ford and the issues with the rear wheels.