Swindler’s 17th annual Poker Run

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So…it was that time again…time for the 17th annual World Famous Swindler’s Poker Run.

 

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With fuel tank full of decomposed dinosaurs and high expectations we started at the usual spot: Conway.

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Since I am hot-rod-less currently (horrible situation!) I was able to get a ride in this pile. The driver, my friend Chris insisted that the 327 small block should be approaching 6000 rpm before shifting to another gear. OK with me.

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Conway is a nice sleepy town with lot of history and lends itself to a great back drop for old cars.

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The surprise of the day was this 60’s style 1930 Ford Model A Sedan hot rod belonging to Mike Thompson. It was powered by a diesel! Why not, it’s a driver. The 4BT engine offers 265 ft lbs of torque at 1700 rpm! In other words, you shift at 2K !

 

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Traffic was really bad, old cars everywhere!

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Co is my Dog Pilot?? Hot Dog is my Pilot? Whatever…

 

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The Pacific North West is rather scenic. With the Puget Sound as a back drop, we stopped for a break along the shore.

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1932 Ford 3W coupe by the sea.

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Riviera by the sea…and a sign.

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Hot rods by the sea

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Refrigerator truck by the sea.

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Sam’s most excellent shoes box rollingin style.

 

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Model A Hot Rod truck by the sea.

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Rich’s 1957 Chevrolet truck.

 

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They don’t make hood ornaments like this anymore…well, they don’t make hood ornaments at all these days.

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I think they call this patina.

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No patina here…super nice 1940 Ford.

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Cool sedan.

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The day was ended at Paul’s upholstery shop for some show and tell. Great day.

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod Build

The Model A build is still sitting on static pages but I have made this directory. These links should be all pointing to the build pages. If you find any bad links feel free to ping your Humble Editor.

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Frame and suspension

Frame Part II

Frame, part III

1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod frame
1931 Ford Model A Hot Rod frame pinch
It is not necessary to pinch a 1932 frame to accept a ’30-’31 body, but I think one should, and here is why..

To pinch or not to…

Engine and Transmission

Including carburation options and accessories

Wheels and Brakes

Including pedal assembly

Exhaust

Dashboard

Including gauges and steering column

Interior

Electrical and Heater

Various Mock up stages

 …this one being an early one!

Body and sub-rails

Body Part II

Body, part III

Body, part IV

Roof Insert

Firewall

Including floor, trunk with gutters, and tank

Well, how did it come out?

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 !

Rolf Coupe 2.0 to be at the NSRA meet in Ridgefield, WA Jun 28-29th

June 28 – 30, 2013, at Clark County Event Center in Ridgefield, Washington.

Very subtle car with 500 horse roller-cam nailhead, Tri-power, Muncie M-22 four speed, Ford nine inch limited slip rear axle, cheater slicks, pro leather interior, 1956 Chrysler instruments, Lincoln brakes, Buick brake drums and shiny paint.

How ’bout some teaser shots:

1930 Ford model A hot rod glass

 

1930 Ford model A hot rod radiator clamps

 

1930 Ford model A hot rod rear slicks

Rolf Coupe hits German soil!

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

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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

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Test fit…looks good.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

The evolution of a hot rod

As I was looking through my digital photo album I ran across some older pictures of your Humble Editors 1932 Ford five window coupe.

I have not done a ton of things to this car but it is amazing how the look and feel of a hot rod can change with rather simple modification. As a hot rod can be an extension of your personality so it is important to make it the way you like it.

Here is how it looked at one point:

1932 Ford rear

 Fenders made from ’36 Ford spare tire covers in the front, home made in the rear.

Olds motor in 1932 Ford

 1956 Olds power plant.

 1932 Ford Five Window Coupe

OK, those slicks has to go and so does the drag race “high in the nose” look.

 

1932 Ford Five Window Coupe Firestone 2

Dropped original heavy axle and Firestones pie crust tireas changes the car completely.

 1932 Ford Five Window Coupe no lettering

Loosing those silly numbers on the side certainly helped to clean up the car.

At this point I started to like the car but something was still missing…

1932 Ford 5 window hood

 Aha! A hood! Yup, that added greatly to the lines. It completes the car and it flows great. Mmmm…something is still missing!

 

1932 Ford 5 window rear

 Yes, that’s it. Fenders. It puts the old back in to the car. This just shows how versitile the 1932 Ford is. It can be built in many ways and look great.

This car is now sold and Your Humble Editor is looking for something new and fun, Well, something old and fun. Like a 1937 Ford cabriolet. Know of any? Let me know.

 

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…