1931 Ford Model A Tudor Hot Rod Project

Walking thru a local swap meet I saw this straight model A Tudor in the corner of my eye.

I was really there to check out some motorcycle parts but…there is was.

Spending the early part of it’s life as a postal delivery car in North Dakota’s Badlands it had been enjoying a very dry climate. It was stored for decades until the previous owner bought it in 1991. It was then stored indoors until yours truly became the custodian.

Check out this quarter panel…other that being very straight, there is ZERO rust. Even the paint under the fender is instact.

So other than the fact that my welder will be bored, why do I need this car?

Cowl Porn. Again, ZERO rust. How refreshing!

So yeah, it followed me home….and I found a motorcycle tool box for twenty bucks!

One great reason is that everybody should have a hot rod. Unlike an original restoration, you have completely free hand to build and create whatever YOU want.

And the most motivating factor of all:  A ten year stretch of hot rod withdrawals!! There is only one kind of medicine for this!

Let’s get busy!

1957 Chevy Truck project, part 3

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck seat base

I found a pair of aftermarket bucket seats on Craigslist and I built these seat bases for them.  I lost the glove box because of the A/C so I installed this lockable drawer under the frame. I is actually a Bulldog gun vault so it is plenty strong. A perfect place for valuables and paperwork.

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck carpet in

Carpet in place. The rear wall was covered with sound deadener and then carpeting.

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck kick panel

We need tunes and for that we need speakers. The speakers speak the tunes, that’s why they call them speakers. They are permanently mounted in this kick panel made from textured automobile panel. If they were not permanently installed you would call them guest speakers.

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck kickpanel installed

Kick panel in place and kickin’ it.

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck console between

Cell phone fits perfectly behind the rear cup holder and the charging/AUX connectors. Now I need a tripple latte’

1957-Chevrolet-Hot-Rod-Pickup-truck seats in

A throne for a king.

1957-Chevy-Truck-radio-install

The previous owner had a smoothie attack. The dash was filled…for what? Where am I going to put my tunes?? How about right here!!

1957-Chevy-Truck-tach

The radio is vintage looking but with modern guts. The radio offers AM-FM and it is connected to the AUX jack in the center console. Tachometer is a vintage unit from Dixco.

More later…

Crusing Linköping, Sweden, part II

Since ClassicRoad.com is an international conglomerate we have highly trained reporters on all sides of the globe. World Famous Hard Boiled Reporter Lazze Åström in Sweden risks his life to get us the best shots for us. Here is what he found during an infiltration of a car meet in Linköping, Sweden:

Sweden 1957 Chevrolet

The mandatory 1957 Chevrolet that has to be at all car meets. This is a fine example but I feel the Chrysler convertible in the background is more exciting as long as the owner gets rid of those horrible Euro wheels.

Sweden 1957 Chevrolet rear

Trailer hitch tells us that the owner is probably hauling a vintage caravan around when it’s time for the mandatory Swedish four or five weeks vacation. Why do I live in America??

 

1933 Ford Hot ROd

More ZZ Top: 1933? or ’34 Fjord Coupe Street Rod

 

1938 or 1939 Ford truck

1938 or ’39 Ford truck. Very cool.  Note the two blonde hot chicks next to the truck…that’s how all Swedish ladies look like. We do NOT feel sorry for Swedish men! Remind me again…why do I live in America??

 

1955 Chevrolet two door hard top

Since we showed a ’57 Chebby we better show a ’55 as well. This one is tasteful with the American style wheel and small whitewalls.

 

1958 Chevrolet Impala

More Chevrolets: 1958 Impala Sport Coupe

 

1958 Chevrolet Impala rear

Sweden Model A Hot Rod front

1930-1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod. Well done.

 

Sweden Model A Hot Rod

Too low for your Humble Editor’s taste but hey, this is America…ahem, Sweden, land of choices!

 

Sweden Mustangs

My Mustang Fastback is faster that your Mustang…bla, bla, bla…

 

Sweden Chevelle

What is cool with this Chevelle? Well, for one, it is in perfect condition. The other cool part is that it is NOT a bright red Super Sport with a 396 4 speed. It is probably sporting a 307 with a Powerglide. Nice!

 

Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang…like you didn’t know that!

 

1959 Ford Cabriolet

1959 Ford Convertible.

Since we are in Sweden we best check out some Swedish cars:

Volvo Amazon Wagon Combi Estate

Yeah, it’s a bit rusty in the rockers and doors but it does have the mandatory roof rack and fender mirrors. I am sure it will be restored at some point.

 

White Volvo 1800

Jensen built Volvo P1800. Check out the older solid rims that has been widened but they kept the old hub caps. We like.

 

Volvo Amazon red

One of the best looking Volvos of all time: Volvo Amazon. Assuming it is stock this would be a 1969 or 1970 model based on the absence of the hood spear and drip rail chrome. Volvo deleted this as of the 1969 model. 46 Red 122 with Minilite or Minilite look-alike wheel. You can’t go wrong with this set up.

Abedeabedeahabedea…That’s all folk.

Photo: Lazze Åström
Text: The Humble Editor

Goodguys, WA 2013

The fairground in Puyallup Washington was once again filled with hot rods from all over the country. The weather was perfect with sun and temps in the low eighties.

Armed with 100 SPF ultraviolet protection goop smeared all over my thin Northern European skin, sturdy boots with clean socks and my Canon shooter I embarked on a photo safari.

GG2013 1956 Chevrolet Gasser

Let’s start with the gassers. These high in the nose ruppety-ruppety cars are seen (and HEARD!) cruising around the fairgrounds all weekend. That’s a good thing as vintage cars and hot rods in motion is far more interesting than static parked vehicles.

GG2013 Willys Gasser

Like this Willys gasser…coming…

GG2013 Willys Gasser going

…and going!

Chev Gasser

The Puyallup fairground offer perfect “roads” for cruising around. You can just pull up a chair and add a cold beverage and enjoy a rolling cars show. You would see this nasty looking Chevrolet gasser rolling by…Cool !

Chevrolet Gasser going

…and there it goes!

Chevrolet 1955 Gasser

Robin Rickard from University Place brought his bad ass 1955 Chevy gasser. Ooops, I said ass. Oh well, it’s just that…bad ass.

Chevrolet 1955 Gasser engine

With a power plant like this, Robin only has one message:

Chevrolet 1955 Gasser RACE ME

RACE ME !

OK, enough of the gasser stuff. Let’s look at some trucks!

1965 Chevrolet C-10 Truck small

Rex Faubion did not have to travel very far since he lives in Puyallup. He did however bring a very nice truck.

1965 Chevrolet C-10 Truck side

This very stock 1965 Chevrolet C-10 is flawless.

1965 Chevrolet C-10 Truck interior

The interior is as nice as the outside.

1965 Chevrolet C-10 Truck engine

The original High Torque 292 six is still doing great as the truck has very low miles. Sixes are sexy!

1953 Chevrolet Truck

Wayne Seeley from Bremerton brought this super clean 1953 Chevrolet pick up powered by the most trusted engine and transmission combo in the world: 350/350. ’nuff said about that!

1940 Ford truck

Trevor from Snohomish rolled in with style in his just assembled 1940 Ford truck. Powered by a Y-block it moves along just fine. Hauling a bad ass chopper did not hurt the look either.

1957 Ford Ranchero hood open

I think we can archive this under trucks as well. I am not a big fan of the blingy wheels but I dig the colors and stance.

I don’t like to see the hood open as it looks like they are broken down by the side of the road waiting for AAA to show up! When I asked the owner (very politely) if he could close the hood for a photo hi snickered at me. Maybe he thought I was stupid, I am not sure.

1957 Ford Ranchero hood closed

Doesn’t that look better? Anyway, moving on…

 Moving on to hot rods

1932 Ford Roadster Traditional hot rod

Dave York from Surrey, BC brought down his 1932 Ford Roadster built in a traditional hot rod style. Even the top was made in stained but nice material and it looks great. In the background you can spot Doug Grande’s equally traditional 1932 Ford five window coupe.

1932 Ford Roadster Traditional hot rod side

Looks good from any angle. Love the aggressive stance.

1935 Ford Roadster

Mike Bach from Ellensburg brought this flathead powered 1935 Ford Roadster.

1935 Ford Roadster front

1935 Ford Roadster interior

 

1930 Ford Model A Hot Rod

Roy Rockwell from Hoquiam brought this very nice 1930 Ford Model A Hot Rod.

1930 Ford Model A Hot Rod small block

If…I say IF, I really mean it…IF…you are going to insist on putting a small block Chevrolet in a Ford hot rod…THIS…is the ONLY way to do it. Make it look like it was just pulled out of a low mileage 1957 Chevy at the junk yard.

 

1930 Ford Model A Hot Rod rear

Very tasteful hot rod.

1939 Ford Coupe Baby blue

Mike Bach brought this flathead powered 1939 Ford coupe. Looks freshly built but it was already for sale. I am guessing he builds these things for a living.

1939 Ford Coupe Baby blue front

1939 Ford Coupe Baby blue interior

Nice…but that’s a lot of blue me thinks…

1932 Ford Five Window Black
Terry Skipple’s super nice 1932 Ford five window coupe

1932 Ford Sedan

Brian Aldridge’s 1932 Ford sedan is a stunner. Brian does ALL the work himself including a professional paint job.

1932 Ford Sedan up close

Yup, looks great up close.

1940 Ford Copper

In the never ending parade of rolling iron we spotted this copper 1940 Ford coupe. The beige steelies and thin white walls works well on this car.

1930 Ford Model A Hot Rod inside show small

Your Humble Editor’s latest build was displayed inside. It landed Magnum Axle Top Award, kinda cool for the owner.

Let’s end this report with some hi tech stuff. A 1969 Ford Mustang Fastback called “Mach Forty”

1969 Ford Mustang Fastback Mach Fourty front

With a mid mounted engine from a GT40 car it is very different. Workmanship and quality is bar none. I did hear that the bill ended around 2 mil, I can actually believe that.

1969 Ford Mustang Fastback Mach Fourty

1969 Ford Mustang Fastback Mach Fourty rear

There you have it folks, another day in paradise !

 

Let’s check out the car corral at the swap meet

Some swap meets have an area set aside for just complete cars and this is a walk through one of them.

Let’s take a stroll:

1964 Plymouth Sport Fury

How about an arrest-me-red 1964 Plymouth Sport Fury? With a Hi Performance 440, 727 Auto it should be a fun car.

Buick Cop Car

Drive around and pull people over in this vintage cop car.

1948 Dodge deLuxe 2 door

Best value at the swap: 1948 Dodge De Luxe 2 door.

1948 Dodge deLuxe 2 door rear

1948 Dodge deLuxe 2 door interior

Your humble Editor need another car like I need a hole in my head but I was close to take this one home. I just love the excessive use of chrome in the grille and dashboard.  How can you not love that steering wheel? This is an older restoration but still in nice condition and it would make a great cruiser stock or modified.

1959 Buick flat top rear

How about a Delta Winged Flyer? The 1959 Buick 4 door hard top makes for a very stylish car.

1959 Buick flat top side

I am not feeling the sixties era Riviera wheels on the car but that is an easy fix. Stock Electra hub cabs and wide white walls would make this car pop.

 

1959 Buick flat top

OK, I admin it! I was very close to take this one home as well until I reminded myself that my garage is only 25 feet deep! The GM four door hard top cars from 1959-1960 offers great styling.

That’s all folks…go to a swap and buy a cool vintage car and DRIVE it!

 

Rolf Coupe hits German soil!

So I built this model A hot rod back in 2007.

RCMay2007

I was fortunate to have the car land on the cover of Rod & Custom Magazine. Chris Shelton shot the car and made it look great. I was very proud.

Well, one reader of Rod & Custom in Germany, Marco Wenzel read about that hot rod. He contacted me and asked if it would be for sale. I told him that I already sold it but I will get him in touch with the current owner. The current owner had the hots for my current 1932 Ford Five Window. So the current owner bought my ’32, Marco bought the model A hot rod and I bought Project ’37 Ford Cabriolet. Everybody happy!

A few months later the car arrived in Germany:

1931 Ford Hot Rod in Germany 2

Marco is showing off his all wrapped up hot rod. In order to protect the car during transport it was all wrapped up in shipping wrap. Marco and his family are true car guys, his wife Silvia drives a 1968 Impala. Not bad in a country where gasoline is close to $8.00 / gallon !! Here is some statistic for you:

Per capita daily income in Germany is $113. The share of a day’s wages needed to
buy a gallon of gas is 7 percent. Think about that!!

1931 Ford Hot Rod in Germany

They seemed excited to un-wrap the new present.

rolf coupe, germany 2

Here it is at the first outing. In Germany you have to display a front license plate so Marco has no choice but hanging that big plate on the front spreader bar.

rolf coupe, germany

The German hot rod gang on it’s way to an event.

1931 Ford Hot rod

As you can see, as soon as the car hits the meeting spot, the ugly huge license plate goes in the trunk.

1931 Ford Hot rod in Germany

Marco and Silvia has plenty of like minded folks to hang with.

Marco, thanks for sharing, it is great to see the car getting a good home.

Photo: Marco Wenzel

 

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.

 

Project ’37 Ford Cabriolet, exhaust

Project 1937 Ford Cabriolet came with a stock single exhaust and it was hitting the frame so I had to remove it anyway. I decided to start from scratch.

1937 Ford Cabriolet exhaust flanges

These are the old pipes, they look a bit tired.

 

1937 Ford Cabriolet  exhaust flange new

I kept the flange and went to work.

1937 Ford Cabriolet spagetti

Look, a 1937 Ford exhaust. What, you can’t see it?? Well, let me show you.

1937 Ford Cabriolet exhaustThese are the smallest Thrush glass packs I could find.

Thrush had an ad in the sixties that said: Put a Thrush on your pipe and…smoke it! I doubt we can smoke anything with this stock flathead but I am counting on some good flathead sound emanating from the dual pipes.

I could not resist adding for the electric cut-outs. I am sure with these small glass packs I will have a nice rumble out the rear but there might be a time when an uncorked flathead will be music to ones ears. Off road of course. They come with wiring and one switch that opens both simultaneously. Yes, I did test them, they work on 6 volts as well. The switch looks like a modern power window switch so obviously I would have to hide it under the dash.
1937 Ford Cabriolet Exhaust work 3

The angle iron: Your best friend when making exhaust.

1937 Ford Cabriolet Exhaust work

It is great to line up tubes when you are going to weld them together. I tacked everything together first and then did a test fit on the car.

 

1937 Ford Cabriolet exhaust cut outs

The exhaust cut-outs are designed for 3 inch exhaust pipes. The dual system I am building is based on 1 1/2 inch pipes so we have to be a little creative.

1937 Ford Cabriolet exhaust set up

The mufflers and exhaust cut outs needed to be compact so I came up with the idea of cutting down the muffler and insert it in the Y-pipe.

 

1937 Ford Cabriolet exhaust set up finished

Here is the compact solution, the world famous Super Sonic Muffler Cut-Out Device.

1937 Ford Cabriolet exhaust tip polish

The last 36 inches of the exhaust is stainless so I polished it to chrome finish. Now I don’t have to worry about adding chrome tips.

1937 Ford Cabriolet exhaust paint Once all welded up I coated everything with high temp paint. Yes, I wear a respirator even when painting with spray cans. Most paint spray cans contains nasty stuff. You only have one pair of lungs.

1937 Ford Cabriolet exhaust finished

Here it is. A complete 1937 Ford dual exhaust system.

1937 Ford Cabriolet exhaust insulation

It is tight on the drivers side because of the steering box. I have to dip down below the frame and that makes part of the exhaust close to the master cylinder. I added insulation to the pipe to keep the heat away from the master cylinder.

1937 Ford Cabriolet dual exhaust Here is a side view of the exhaust.

1937 Ford Cabriolet exhaust tip

Well, here we are. All done. A drive around town confirmed a nice mellow note. Also the restored plate is in place and a vintage frame adds the finishing touch.

Ready for the up-coming Ford Meet.

Let’s continue on Project ’37 Ford

As spring is fast approaching the pressure is on to get the Cabriolet ready.

Whitewall, dual exhaust, side mirror, full service and other small things will make this a nice cruiser. So let’s get started:
1937 Ford Goddies

Santa came early…or late…depending on if you are a glass half full or half empty kinda person. As much as I like things with a little patina and some history I also have a soft spot for nice new chromie thingies!! Outside mirrors, glove box, radiator cap, tank lid, battery holder downer (technichal term) and more.

1937 Ford Cabriolet Torpedo with mirrors

Mirrors installed. The enclosed hinge pin did not fit these hinges so I just made a pin. With the small back window in the convertible top the mirrors will be a welcome addition. The glass in these reproduction mirrors are not wide angle so they are still limited in what you can see. We will see how well they work once on the road. BTW: Check out that super cool torpedo hood!! This baby is sporting some LINES !!

1937 Ford Cabriolet Whitewalls.jpg

Man, Santa came again. He is a busy man…in the middle of April. Probably bored…

This time he brought snow white colored white wall tyres. How nice! As much as a car like this is predictable with white walls I still think they will be the cat’s pajamas on this maroon cabriolet. I plan to powder coat the wheels black and add a nicer Mercury style cap. I will keep the trim rings as well. Reliable sources tells me that more chrome and shiny stuff makes the car run better, faster and smoother. Honest!

1937 Ford Cabriolet tank lid

 The lockable filler cap is a nice option but what an ugly contraption, eh?
I opted for a smooth new one.

1937 Ford Cabriolet new tank lid
Mo betta! Strange reflection, though!

 

1937 Ford Cabriolet glove box

 There would not be a place to put my gloves unless there is a glove box.
I got this snazzy reproduction part but I realized quickly why the restorer/builder did omit it. They worked really hard on making the car look original. The original car did not have a voltage regulator but the more contemporary ABA flathead came with a generator that uses the more reliable but separate voltage regular. By now you have figured out where they hid said voltage regulator. Yup, where the glove box goes.

I have to move the regulator, maybe even to the engine compartment as it is not a big deal to me if the car looks totally stock. I do however like a place to put my gloves!

 Mo later…