Thom Metz 1933 Ford Cabriolet

THOM METZ 1933 FORD

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Thom Metz has created a 1933 Ford Cabriolet Hot Rod influenced by it original Hot Rod heritage and inspired by Custom legend Harry Westergard.

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“It was always the intent to preserve the hot rod as it was originally built…”

Just like reading a novel of a different time and wanting to recreate it, Thom Metz’s middle school friends brother worked for a magazine printing company & had access to a free newsstand… Rod & Custom had him hooked, but to everyone in his area a hot rod was a 57 Chevy and mild customs were being restored to their factory glory… Thom’s true quest was a chopped 32-34 Ford like the ones in R&C… but good ones had been used for parts and restorable ones were being built into Resto Rods…

When Thom finally found the 33 Cabriolet in 1973, that was rust free but hacked up beyond easily going back to stock he couldn’t afford it… After parts were sold off, he was finally able to trade his finished 51 Ford for it… He could envision his new Purple Metalflake Rod racing across the pages of Henry Gregor Felton’s novels in black primer and It didn’t matter if no one else understood – the car would go back to the way it had originally been built.

A Cabriolet was a want-a-be roadster in the late forties/fifties… to save embarrassment of a baby carriage top plus weight- the previous owner had discarded the windows and capped and leaded the doors & tossed the top… Repro & original assembly were way out of my price range… So Thom bought a 33/34 Sedan for $50 just to be able to create a new removable top from it…  Thom melted out all the lead that had been used to make the body look more like a roadster. During the stripped the body Thom found out that the car had been purple metalflake and it was painted red, yellow, blue, & black (they didn’t strip the jams)… Plus it had a black roll & pleat interior with padded dash.

Just two of the many sections cut from the 33 Sedan top that would end up creating the Harry Westergard inspired removable hard-top.

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Clamping and tack welding all the parts together and shaping it till the effect was what was needed for the Westergard Style top.

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When the parts were roughly fitted, shaped and cut to fit for the top the paint was removed for final welding.

When Thom removed all the chassis components he noticed that whole frame was twisted, the torque side was three inches higher than the other side. To fix this problem he located stock ’33 cross members and a stock rear end, ’39 toploader with Zephyr gears. These parts were taken to Bill’s Rod & Custom and combined with reproduction Worthington rails on their jig.

The channeling of the body had been done rather crude back in the day, so when the chassis came back the raised floor was cut out completely and the body was positioned over the frame centering the rear wheel wells to the rear tires. Thom had acquired a NOS painted ’33 Ford grille, that had been chrome plated, for a case of beer. And when the frame was away he had found a stock hood, with hood sides. All this was lined up with the body to make sure the new position of the channeled body would fit perfectly, the hood cleared the frame rails and the whole unit had the proper rake

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The front of the Sedan top was heavily reshaped to fit with the new Hard-Top.

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When the cowl position was set and marked a sub-frame was created to support the body. Then a new 12 gauge floor was created and welded in place. While doing this Thom found out why the vertical ’32 Ford grille with no hood (which this Hot Rod originally was) were so popular on channelled ’33/’34 Fords. To be able to use the angled 33 Ford grille, radiator and hood Thom learned that the engine needed to move back 2 inches. Which meant that the torque tube had to be shortened, and that he needed to make new motor and transmission mounts. Originally the car was set up for a flathead but no one had a good Hot Rod motor or wanted to help a kid build one at the time, so an early ‘57 Corvette motor complete with 9 fin valve covers (mold repair changed all covers after April of 57 to 7 fin) filled the bill… The Headman tri-Y headers dump into a van side-pipe mufflers (cone over the front and dump at the rear so it appears as open header pipes…)

The initial build was done by 78 but Thom and his friends who had helped him out, lacked the talent to do the custom metalwork required for the rest of Thom’s plans… After not finding anyone up to the challenge by the mid 80’s, Thom decided to trade or sell the project and just move on… The first person to look at the For Sale project was Harold Duffey… when I showed him the sedan roof I had found during the hunt for ’33 Ford parts, he stated he always wanted to do a Westergard Style removable hardtop… So the project started its second phase..

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Metal top is all welded and ready to be fine tuned. The top of the door line, above the belt-line was slightly angled forward to match the new forward rake of the B-pillar of the Hard-Top.

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Ohio’s fender law/ enforcement led to 55 gallon drums being re-purposed as rear fenders when the car was originally built. Thom kept them on the car. The deck lid originally had 49 Ford hinges when Thom acquired the car, they were retained.

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Taking the project outdoor for an overall look, and see if all the proportions were as intended… Yes.

Harold was influential to maintaining early custom touches, he added the sunken license plate, filled the cowl vent, shortened & flipped the 36 commercial rear bumper, redid the quarter panel lines, and adding a 2” lip to the firewall to allow it to be inset back further in the cowl to clear the motor setback while appearing stock-ish. The Sedan roof was cut up to create the base for the new Westergard style Hard Top. In the mock up stage it became evident that to create more attractive Coupe proportions the windshield would have to be chopped to be able to create side window openings that had similar proportions as the framed frames on a Coupe.

1.5 inches were removed with the windshield posts, and the rear portion of the sedan top was cut down until it fitted the windshield perfect. The sedan reveal and contour of the rear side window opening remained, but were laid forward to create a more elegant feel. The rear window of the Sedan was also used, but was chopped and narrowed to more of the ’32 Ford proportions. With an additional thirty pieces of metal and four 57 Bird latches – Thom now had rain protection.

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Something that isn’t apparent when looking at the car – firewall is inset 2” into the cowl to utilize stock hood… early channeled cars (like Thom’s) typically ran a ’32 vertical shell.

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Mocking up parts including the recessed cowl that had already been painted Washington Blue before the rest of the body was. NOS painted 33 grill that was chromed for a case of beer was considerably cheaper than a rusty ’34!

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Unfortunately, Harold’s health deteriorated and he could not continue to help out on the project. Thom then got the helping hand of Frank Borowicz who ended up hand-forming the lower hood support to frame panels. One item on Thom’s bucket list was having the ’33 in LARS… well the no primer requirement forced him into actually painting the car to meet the criteria for the show. Thom chose a beautiful Washington Blue for the paint, a color that suited the car perfect and gave the car a even more classic appearance.

The 1×2” sub frame is insulated sandwiched between floor and louvered lower panels… Thom also mentioned that the car is pretty roomy inside – Thom is 6’ and he can stretch out his legs… plus the black leather vintage style upholstered seat can be lowered..

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Comparing the finished chopped and narrowed rear window opening with the stock ’33-34 Ford rear window.

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The aftermarket “Hot Rod” headlights were introduced in 58 and didn’t sell well because junkyard one were a lot cheaper… they are smaller than Guide’s and production units. The hood sides were modified and part hand made by Frank Borowicz.

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Attention to detail and fit-finish is immaculate.

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During the course of the build Thom stopped by Butch Tucker’s shop in AZ many times. He kept mentioning that he wanted a “Von Dutch” stripe job when his ’33 was done… He thought it was a simple request since he had Dutch’s original flying eyeball sign in his shop- he must know his work… Thom mentioned it to someone and told me that was an insult to an artist to ask them to copy another artists style (especially since Butch was well know for his own style)… He never mentioned it again… a couple of years later Thom brought the Washington Blue finished ’33 into Butch’s shop for some striping… as Thom started telling Butch what he wanted done – Butch abruptly stopped him & asked “didn’t you want a Von Dutch stripe job?” Thom nodded yes and Butch explained that he could watch if he kept his mouth shut or he had a perfectly good waiting room… then to Thom’s dismay he signed it Von Butchr!

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When Thom bought the car it had a padded dash. He replicated it with a stainless insert with 1882 swirls. This is an old photo but later George Barris Gene Winfield and Jimmy Shine put their signature on it.

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The bright blue Kelsey-Hayes wires were added in the early 90’s when Coker announced the re-manufacture of the Firestone dirt track tire… “K-H well has to have each end of the adjustable spokes welded, lathe cut off the outer rim, roll and weld a band to widen them, lathe cut outer rim from a diner wheel, weld and balance… bet ya didn’t notice the difference from the original wires in the build shots.”

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The rear bumper is a shortened & flipped the 36 commercial rear bumper, taillights are 48 Chevy units.

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Close up of some of Butch Tucker’s beautiful Von Dutch style striping and the recessed license plate created by Harold Duffey.

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Influences…
“late 60’s Rod & Custom Editor Jake Jacobs restoration of the NieKamp roadster & article on chopping the top on his 34 coupe… Sam Foose’s metal work on the 48 Ford full custom… they were the revivalists of trends that were out of vogue – in the early 70’s when I started to resurrect my 33 the Resto Rod movement was the acceptable way to build a car… discarded vintage hot rod parts were cheap and finding support to build the flathead was near impressive – hence the 57 Corvette motor.”

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Made it to LARS, and looking good.

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“I went to Pleasanton, Ca with photos of the car in paint (not finished) and I recognized Jake from Pete & Jakes… he was with a group of friends and I asked him if he would look at the photos since he inspired the direction of the build… I still remember the look, but he said yes as his body language said no… he started shuffling through them, then going back and forth… I started to point and explain a feature and he said “Son – I know what I’m looking at” and shuffled some more… then ask has P-wood seen these? No clue who he was talking about but since no one had seen them – I said no… he told his friends he had to go and abruptly left (with my photos)… I’m dumbfounded and followed… he finally caught up with Pete Eastwood and he shuffles through them and asked if Ron had seen them… thus began my day of seeing faces and meeting my magazine hero’s…

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Pete of Pete & Jakes with Thom’s Ford at the Pleasanton show. Pete & Jake had inspired Thom to build the car as it was found and not build it as a Resto Rod which was the mainstream trend at that time Thom created it.

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Sam Foose was always an idol to Thom… “Sam was with Chip at a show and I stopped and went over to say Hi… we chatted for a few minutes and he seemed distracted… I cut the conversation short and as I went to step away he asked “what do you have in it”… to my dismay my motor idling was the distraction.. so, he followed me back to the car & I opened the hood… I asked if he would mind a photo & his response cracked me up!”
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Tom driving the car topless in the Football HOF parade.

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Thom’s Ford was invited to be part of a select number of  significant ’33-34 Ford Hot Rods at The 2009 Glenmoor Gathering.

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Ken Gross’s description of Thom’s For for the 2009 Glenmoor Gathering event.

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Thom Metz on the left and Harold Duffey on the right with the ’33 Ford at the Gilmore Museum where the car sat for three years as part of the Hot Rod and Custom Car exhibition. Harold traveled from Phoenix to see the car after 25 years

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Looking good at the Gilmore Museum.

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The Ford is now on load to the Canton Classics Car Museum… where it has been for almost three years already.

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Thom has had the ’33 Ford for forty-five years & it was in the Gilmore Museum for three years & was transferred to the Canton Classics Car Museum… where it is now for almost three as well. So for Thom it’s been an “out-of-site out-of-mind” situation… the CCCM is close to Thom’s home and he can take it out at any time… The car is sitting perfectly fine in the museum, but that is not really why he has created the car in the first place. While the ’33 was on loan to the Musea Thom has been created another roadster so now Thom is looking for a new caretaker of his ’33 Ford. If you are interested, get in touch with Thom for more info and get all the details we could not fit into this article. Email Thom Metz



(This article is made possible by)






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Altissimo 36 Ford Roadster VENUS

 

36 FORD ROADSTER VENUS

 

Brandon Penserini from Altissimo Restoration in Napa California set out to create his ultimate Hollywood Style 1936 Ford Roadster. Starting with an 5 Window Coupe he used his excellent skills to create this award winning Venus Roadster.


( Sponsored Article )

In the summer of 2016 I saw a few photos of Brandon Penserini’s 1936 Ford project for the first time. Brandon owns the Altissimo Restoration Shop in Napa, California and he had recently finished Scott Robert’s beautiful Olive green 1954 Mercury. A Custom I helped pick the color for, which was beautifully matched by Altissimo. So I was really looking forward to see any new projects coming from Brandon’s Shop. The photos of the ’36 Ford Roadster Project really caught my eye because of the combination of Nash grille and DuVall style windshield. An absolutely beautiful combination, which I had never before seen combined on one car. Plus Brandon mentioned several times on his Instagram account that the car would have a lot of Hollywood Style Art-Deco influences…. I could not wait for new updates!


Brandon had some beautiful glamor photos taken of his ’36 Ford with some beautiful Napa area backdrops creating a very much Hollywood style setting. This low angle front 3/4 view shows how beautiful all the styling elements used on Brandon’s 36 Ford come together. The light cream color was very much inspired by some of the ’30’s Duesenberg’s and Cadillac’s created for the rich and famous.
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Over the following month I followed the progress of Brandon’s ’36 Ford online, and saw it getting shaped from once a 5 window coupe parts project to a stunning looking ’36 Ford Roadster with many one off Custom Restyled elements. Slowly Brandon shared more and more details of the car he was creating for himself in his spare time at the shop. The car was going to be created as if it had been restyled for perhaps an Hollywood movie star back in 1937. As if it had been ordered from one of the Coachbuild companies so Bohman & Schwartz, or Darrin, or perhaps from early Custom Car Icon, George DuVall. Brandon mentioned several times that the goal was to debut the car at the 2017 Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona California. In late 2016, just weeks before the show it was clear that Brandon had to work many late nights to be able to get the car finished in time for the show. But he did make it in time, and the car debuted at the 2017 GNRS and was a HUGE success with the crowd.

During the creation of “Venus”, which is how Brandon named his project ’36 Ford Roadster, he tried to use as many vintage and period parts as possible. All in an extreme high concourse quality manner. He sourced the perfect color braided wires for all electric wiring, he hand made wire looms, and the all hand made wood dash with hand machined brass dash knob bases is absolutely stunning.



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FOR SALE

Brandon has decided to let go of his dream car 1936 Ford Roadster “Venus“, so that he can concentrate on a next project.

This is your chance to own a totally unique, extremely well crafted Hollywood style Concourse Quality ’36 Ford Roadster Custom.

Asking Price: $60,000 obo

Contact Brandon Penserini for more information and offers.

Phone: 707-225-4714
Email Brandon

Altissimo custom paint & restoration
120 Tower Rd. #3
Napa, CA 94559

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Lets hear from Brandon Penserini in his own words how he created this stunning Hollywood Style Custom ’36 Ford.

Venus started her life as a 1936 Ford 5 window. The body was neglected and was partially disassembled, presumably abandoned for a parts car until my friend picked it up for a project. He accumulated many original parts- many original FoMoCo. But plans changed when I convinced him to trade the car to me, as it was destined to become an Early Custom Car, resembling what would have been done during the 1930’s.

Rear quarter view by Trent Sherrill shows the extended rear fenders, hand made early style fender skirts, reshaped De Soto bumper, the “gentelman’s trunk above the regular trunk, and the spare tire cover which also houses the gas filler.
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Beautiful bird’s eye view photo showing the cockpit with the hand made wood dash, the home made V-Windshield and the Plante upholstered interior. PearlCraft in Australia did their magic on the pearl finish on the ’37 Ford Banjo Steering wheel, the gauge cluster and dash knobs.
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Some of the styling of this ’36 Ford was inspired by its bigger cousins, namely Packard, Duesenburg, and the larger Chryslers and V16 Cadillac Roadsters of the same era. In the 1930’s owning a full time “open car” was a pure luxury. Most Custom Roadsters did not have tops, as they were intended to be a fair weather only car and were likely one of many in the owner’s collection. The body of the ’36 Ford was very short in comparison to the Packard or Cadillac roadsters, which would prove to be the biggest challenge of the build. The result of Venus is a stunning, Bohman and Schwartz inspired 30’s styled roadster-a believable example of what would have or should have been done when coachbuilding was at it’s peak.

All of the sheet-metal, body and paint was done at Altissimo Restoration– an award winning shop, who does well at both a concourse setting and Custom Car Show scene. They win top honors every year and are especially praised for their paint work. They have won the highest honors, including the Bailon award, Custom of the Year and countless other awards including best of show, best paint and high scores at Pebble Beach.

Chris at Plante Interior did the beautiful in style upholstery in mahogany leather. The trunk of the car is done in the same style.
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Pearl wrapped 37 Ford Deluxe steering Banjo steering wheel and dash knobs. The dash’s instrument cluster was inspired by a ’36 Mercedes and has a pearl insert and utilized a 1934 Plymouth gauge cluster. The dash itself was handmade from Claro black walnut burl by Brandon. All of the bezels were made in house as well out of brass stock and turned and polished to perfect.
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Altissimo chopped the top off and created a Packard/DuVall style Custom Roadster windshield frame, which was hand made. The cockpit area was created by ending the body at the first style line, which lowered the profile and gave a sleeker silhouette and creating an illusion of a longer body. Essentially, the body line rolls into a bathtub style surround and a beautiful and seamless entry into the interior of the car. There is no channel, seal or glass to disrupt the flow of the body. Also, added was a second truck, which in 35 Cadillac called a “gentleman’s trunk”- a small trunk behind the cockpit, where the gentleman might store his ladies coat and purse.

The rear fenders were lengthened and both front and rear fender peaks were accentuated. Custom fender skirts were made, as well as Cadillac inspired louvered hood sides. The grill and surround is a ’40 Nash, the fender halves were molded to create a one piece nose, like the Duesenburg. The taillight are ’37 Chrysler on Plymouth stanchions. The exterior trunk handle was fashioned by hand. The wheels were finished with custom made baby moon flippers, similar to a 1934 Cadillac V16 roadster. The ribbed bumpers are original DeSoto, re-arched to match the 36’s contours and custom brackets made to sneak them close to body. The spare tire cover has a flipping hubcap that accommodates the fuel filler neck to disrupt any external body lines.

Stunning stitch work in beautiful leather by Chris Plante at Plante Interiors. Notice the beautiful finished wrap around section on top of the doors and dash.
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Brandon wanted to have as much Custom made as possible for the unique Coachbuild feel. He hand made the walnut dash and hand turned brass switch bezels for this unique one of a kind “Venus” dash.
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1937 Ford Banjo steering wheel beautiful restored, re-plated chrome and with that sparkling pearl detail finish by PearlCraft.
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Moving to the interior, one instantly notices the pearl wrapped 37 Ford Deluxe steering wheel and dash knobs. The dash’s instrument cluster was inspired by a 36 Mercedes with a pearl insert and utilized a 1934 Plymouth gauge cluster. The dash itself was handmade from Claro black walnut burl. All of the bezels were made in house as well out of brass stock and turned and polished to perfect.

The interior seats panels and all of the trunk areas were custom made and covered in a mahogany colored Italian leather. On the floor, you’ll find Lebaron Bonney’s wool, with edges bound in the same leather and custom floor mats. Both trunks are finished to the same quality as the cockpit. All interior work completed by Chris at Plante Interiors.

Photographer Trent Sherrill has the perfect feel to capture each car he photographs in its essence. Model Adriana Modabber poses with Brandon’s Hollywood style Custom ’36 Ford to give it the just perfect movie star feel.
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Brandon found a pair of ’37 Chrysler taillights and mounted them on Plymouth stanchions to create the perfect taillights to fit to the extended rear fenders of his ’36 Ford.
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The narrow 1940 Nash grille was flipped upside down to work better with the lines of the ’36 Ford. The grille surround was hand shaped and welded to the fenders for a much smoother look. The enhanced peak on the fenders, the v-shape of the Nash grille and the V-Windshield all work together for the well balanced Custom. The headlights are stock ’36 Ford, but mounted a little lower on the fenders.
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All of the bright-work and chrome plating was done by Sherm’s Custom Chrome and Plating, in Sacramento. Venus rolls of BF Goodrich Silvertown bias plies and is powered by a beautifully balanced and restored Ford Flathead 8BA in front of a Ford C-4 Automatic Transmission. Under the hood, you’ll find a Power-Gen alternator, a single black Stromberg, custom cloth wiring loom and ignition wires- everything is tidy and in show condition. It has a functioning choke, lots of copper and brass accents and a unique ignition wiring loom wrap.

Venus is stunning inside and out. She can be driven, shown or displayed in a winery, showroom or collection. While she was intended to be a custom from the 1930’s, using all period parts where applicable, she was built at a concourse level. Venus has been featured in Kustoms Illustrated, Traditional Rod and Culture, on the cover of Gasoline Magazine and shot for two others. In addition, she has won Best Paint, Custom D’elegance, and finalist for Custom of the Year.

Extended rear fenders, custom early styled fender skirts, Chrysler taillights, re-arched De Soto bumper and home made brackets for the just perfect bumper to body gap.
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Beautifully balanced and restored Ford Flathead 8BA. Power-Gen alternator, a single black Stromberg, custom cloth wiring loom and ignition wires- everything is tidy and in show condition. Not shown in the photo is the Ford C-4 Automatic Transmission.
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The Venus in its natural habitat. (Deadend magazine photo).
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This photo shows how the rear De Soto bumper was reshaped a little to work better with the spare tire cover and extended rear fenders. The new Roadster like body line created by Brandon flows perfectly around the cockpit.
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Any angle on “Venus” is breathtaking, but the front 3/4 view like this is my personal favorite view of Brandon’s ’36 Ford. Everything just works so wonderful from this angle.
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This dead-on front view shows how elements work together, from the v-shaped flipped upside down ’40 Nash grille, the ribbed De Soto bumpers, the Custom hood sides and the V-Windshield with the custom hood trim. Notice the turn signals sitting behind the horn grilles.
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Venus at its 2017 Gran National Roadster Show debut.
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Eric Reyes Lettering, Striping and Custom Painting created the stylish Show Sign for Venus.




How Venus was created

The Brandon Penserini Altissimo ’36 Ford Roadster was created from an ’36 Ford 5-window Coupe. Designed and build by Brandon as if it could have been restyled at one of the famous Coachbuilders in the later part of the 1930’s. Possibly for an Hollywood celebrity who wanted something ultra classic and stylish to cruise the beautiful sunny California roads back in the day. Brandon’s 1936 Ford Roadster named Venus was created at Brandon’s Altissimo Shop. It was Brandon’s personal project worked on mostly by himself in his spare time at the shop. But Brandon likes to thank several people for their support and help during the project. Special thanks go out to; Scott and Holly Roberts, John Aiello, Chris Plante, Rich Olivier, and the rest of the Penserini family.

This is how the project started, a ’36 Ford 5-window parts car project. Nice, but not really what Brandon had in mind.
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The project started with some frame work, and then it was time to remove the 5-window coupe top from the belt-line up. Brandon hand shaped a new roadster style cockpit surround.
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The cockpit surround was hand made from sheet metal styled after the ’36 Ford Roadster, but also at more high end roadsters which had a more wrap around surround. Notice the nicely finished door ends. In this photo the cowl section still had to be shaped.
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The flipped upside down ’40 Nash grille, new surround, Chevy hood sides and home made v-windshield mocked up.
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The hand made v-windshield with matching hood trim, and lots of vintage details thru-out the creating of Venus.
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All body work on Brandon’s ’36 Ford was metal finished till perfection before the primer was added.
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During the light cream paint process.
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The baby moon flippers, inspired by the early v16 Cadillac roadster are all made in house and beautiful plated at Sherm’s Custom Chrome.
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The engine in Brandon’s ’36 Ford is beautiful detailed and period perfect and painted dark brown to match the interior color
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Fresh plating from Sherm’s ready to get installed on the freshly painted Roadster. Each car created by Brandon’s Altissimo’s Shop gets an unique plaque installed on the firewall.
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Brandon completely hand made the ’36 roadster dash. Custom walnut burl, chrome and brass bezels and a 1933 Plymouth cluster.
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Perfectly styled and balanced ’36 Ford Roadster… VENUS.
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FOR SALE

Brandon has decided to let go of his dream car 1936 Ford Roadster “Venus“, so that he can concentrate on a next project.

This is your chance to own a totally unique, extremely well crafted Hollywood style Concourse Quality ’36 Ford Roadster Custom.

Asking Price: $60,000 obo

Contact Brandon Penserini for more information and offers.

Phone: 707-225-4714
Email Brandon

Altissimo custom paint & restoration
120 Tower Rd. #3
Napa, CA 94559

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Paul Barrow 31 Ford Sedan

 

PAUL BARROW 31 FORD SEDAN

 

Paul Barrow created his 1931 Ford Sedan with a Custom Restyling approach resulting in an perfectly proportioned Rod.


(Sponsored Article)

Paul is a big fan of the cars produced by Valley Custom Shop , and when he found his Model A body in Atlanta in 1996, he knew the perfectly restyled look from this shop would be the direction for his new project. He wanted to blend the Valley Custom Shop style influence with a Lil Coffin style sedan, but in an early fifties way. When he came across pictures of Roy Desbrows 1932 Ford pickup he knew that was the style of front end he wanted for the car. A few decades earlier, Paul’s father Bill Barrow had started to built a customized rod based on an 1935 Hillman. He chopped, two-doored en sectioned that car in the chicken coupe behind the house. This car had similar styling influences that Paul used for his ’31 Ford. The Hillman was later sold and finished by Bob Welstead.

ccc-paul-barrow-31-ford-progress-01This is how Paul brought the Sedan body home to his shop in the UK in 1998… after the body-parts had been shipped in from the US.
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After having shipped the body to Farnborough, England, where Paul lives, he started collecting ideas, making sketches and starting to cut up photos of Model A-Sedan’s. It took Paul some design work to end up with the perfect style he was after. He realized that with everything he had in mind for his sedan, it would be a lot of work, and some of the work he had planned would perhaps almost go unnoticed. But Paul remembered the work by his legends Neil Emory and Clayton Jensen,who operated the Valley Custom Shop out of Burbank California. They would sometimes go into the extreme to get just the perfect lines, where most people might not even have noticed what they had done, only that it looked so perfect.


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ccc-paul-barrow-31-ford-09The wide white wall tires and ’41 Ford bumpers give the Sedan that early 50’s custom feel. 
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The overal design of the car would be something that could have been created in the early 1950’s. A customizers Hot Rod. One other thing Paul realized was that he did not really have the skills to pull off all this work he had planned. But over a period of 8 years, Paul was able to get most of the work on his car done by himself, learning along the way. Paul started with a Model A-Frame which he stretched one inch, and kicked up 4 inches in the front, and 11 inches in the rear. It has a flattened ’37 Ford rear cross member, ’57 Chevy rear axle, and dropped Magnum front axle.

When all the chassis work was done, Paul could start on the body. He replaced all the rotten wood with steel boxing. The body was braced, and then the customizing could start. The rear wheel wells were moved up 6 inches into the body to make the top of the fenders just hit the belt line of the body. The body was then channeled 4 inches over the frame. The rear fenders had to be stretched 2 inches to meet the running boards. The front fenders had to be stretched and the firewall was recessed into the cowl. The bottom of the cowl was modified to flow with the fenders. Paul created his own three piece louvred hood to match the modified cowl and cut-down ’32 Ford grille shell. To get the the perfect proportions Paul had created with his cut photos he decided the top needed to be chopped 1 1/4 inch. Something that might go unnoticed to many viewers, although they all will experience how perfectly proportioned the body is.


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ccc-paul-barrow-31-ford-03The hood and hood sides were all home made by Paul, while the original ’32 Ford grille was filled, peaked and cut at the bottom to fit the low new front of the car. The dropped headlight bar needed a lot of tweaking to get the headlights sit just as Paul had in mind.
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ccc-paul-barrow-31-ford-02A good view of the dropped headlight bar and splash pan that flows from the front fenders around the frame rails.
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With all the body customizing work completed the body was stripped completely and everything was metal finished till perfection. Then it was time to paint the car, Paul had chosen to stay with his early 1950’s theme and picked a 1952 Chevy Metallic green for the color. For the roof Paul was inspired by Art Chrisman’s sedan, which had a white vinyl insert. But Paul went a step further, and created the roof trim from D section brass which was chrome plated. The chrome trim was a nice offset from the green painted body to the white vinyl on the top. The finishing touch for the body was a set of 1941 Ford bumpers, not easy to find in the UK, but Paul found a set… which was in need of a lot of repair work, but Paul got them to look perfect. He also installed two 1938-39 Ford teardrop taillights on the rear fenders, added big and little wide whites mounted on body color rims with beauty rings and smooth moon hubcaps.

ccc-paul-barrow-31-ford-19Rear quarter view shows how the new 6 inch higher location of the top of the rear fenders flows with the belt line molding. The simple Ford teardrop taillights and reshaped ’41 Ford bumper give the car a perfect custom touch.
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Graeme “Whiff” Smith did the upholstery on the Ford Sedan in bottle-green and off-white pleated Lionella seats over steel tube and sprung base frames created by Paul. The ’40 Ford steering wheel is mounted to a LimeWorks column mounted on a ’36 column drop. The dash is stock 1931 Ford with Stewart Warner gauges in the original cluster.
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Paul created the body colored steel transmission cover, it is detailed with rivets and stainless screws. Upholstery was completed and green carpets added in the summer of 2017.
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The whole interior has just as the outside, the perfect period look.
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The white headliner gives the car some extra optical space inside.
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Inside Paul had to redo the floor completely and built a new raised transmission tunnel that he finished beautifully and painted body color. The interior is very basic with only the seats upholstered in white and green naugahyde with a beautiful early 1950’s feel to it. For Engine Paul stayed with the theme of the car, and chose an 1956 Chevy power pack plus V8 engine. The red painted engine with silver Chevrolet scripts on the valve covers was a tight fit, but Paul made it work perfectly.

Apart from the upholstery, wiring and engine machine work, Paul did all the work on this car himself over a period of 8 years. Since it was Finished it has seen many road miles as well as many local, and foreign shows, were it won many awards. But after having enjoyed it for a good number of years Paul has decided to let it go, find a new owner for it that will enjoy it as much as he has done. And start a new project again.

ccc-paul-barrow-31-ford-06A good look at the 1952 Chevy fine metallic green paint.
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ccc-paul-barrow-31-ford-07Modified dropped Magnum front axle and 1940 Ford drums.
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ccc-paul-barrow-31-ford-11The bottom of the cowl was heavily modified to flow with the new location of the fenders. Paul Handmade the hood sides and made sure the new bead on the cowl would flow nicely around the fender line. 
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ccc-paul-barrow-31-ford-20Side view really shows off the super low and well balanced lines on the Sedan. Paul used Firestone 7.10x15s with ’50 Chevy rear wheels on the back. On the front he used BFG Silvertown 6.70x15s on ’48 Ford rims.
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ccc-paul-barrow-31-ford-14Graeme “Whiff” Smith was also responsible for the white roof. that has the stitches matching the body lines. Notice Paul’s wonderful chrome plated trim separating the body metal from the vinyl top.
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ccc-paul-barrow-31-ford-17The 1956 Chevy engine was a tight fit, but Paul was able to get it in, and makes it all work perfectly.
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ccc-paul-barrow-31-ford-15Just a few of the magazines that featured Paul’s Sedan.
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FOR SALE

This award winning 1931 Ford Model A Sedan has been built by Paul Barrow over a period of eight years in the style of the California coach builders turned customisers of the late 40’s and early 50’s. Concentrating almost purely on the lines, the sedan has had extensive modifications to its original chassis in order to make it sit 6” lower.

Almost every panel on the car has been massaged to accept these new lower lines including modifications to the lower front quarter panels which now sweep up into the custom made 3 piece hood.

New rear wheel reveals have been raised up into the belt line. A complimentary 1 1/4” roof chop and alterations to all four fenders due to the now deleted side aprons.

The running gear continues this early to mid fifties theme by employing the use of a fully rebuilt and rare 1956 Chevrolet Power Pack Plus engine which was one of the first high performance V8 engines produced by Chevrolet. This includes a rochester 4 barrel carburetor and power pack heads. The engine is finished in the correct, for 1956, red with silver script. A T5 gearbox and hydraulic clutch linked to a 1957 Chevrolet rear axle riding on early Ford front and rear springs and 1940 Ford hydraulic front brakes.

The styling is reminiscent of Roy Desbrows’ 1932 Ford built around 1952. The original 1932 ford grill shell which has been filled and peaked, is flanked by the cars custom made front apron, including 1941 Ford bumpers and heat dropped head lamp bar.

All this makes for well balanced silhouette finished in a 1952 Chevrolet metallic green. This car has been featured extensively in magazines all over the world and is regularly cited as an iconic car in the world of nostalgia hot-rodding.

Asking price ÂŁ40,000 or near offer.

(Lowered price July 2017)

(English Pounds)

For more information, and offers, please email Paul Barrow.

(The car is located in Farnborough, England)

 

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How the Sedan was created

Below are a few of the construction photos Paul took over the period of 8 years it took him to built his dream rod. He also shows the two cars that influenced him the most when creating his ’31 Ford. The 1935 Hillman four door sedan turned into a chopped, sectioned two door sedan by his father when paul was just a kid. And the perfectly proportioned 1932 Ford pick-up created by Roy Desbrows in 1952.

ccc-moulin-rouge-01Original inspiration for Paul was a car his father started and was later sold and finished by Bob Wellstead. It is a 1935 Hillman which has been chopped, chanelled, sectioned, 2 doored, 2 windows removed etc. (Images from: www.rodsnsods.)
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ccc-roy-desbrows-32-ford-inspirationAnother major inspiration source was Roy Desbrows 1932 Ford pickup built in 1952.
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ccc-paul-barrow-31-ford-progress-02The basic frame, stretched 1 inch, with a 4 inch drop in the front and 11 inches in the back.
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ccc-paul-barrow-31-ford-progress-03New cross-members all hand made with the raised tunnel sections.
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ccc-paul-barrow-31-ford-progress-041957 Chevy rear axle in place.
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ccc-paul-barrow-31-ford-progress-05The rear wheel wells raised 6 inches up into the body, so that the top of the fenders sits now level with the bottom of the belt line trim.
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ccc-paul-barrow-31-ford-progress-06The mostly completed car in bare metal at the first car show it attended in 2004. 
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ccc-paul-barrow-31-ford-progress-07Paul’s Sedan compared to a ’31 Ford Hot Rod which body is mounted on the regular position on the frame. Notice how the subtile chop on Paul’s sedan brings everything even more in balance.
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FOR SALE

Asking price ÂŁ40,000 or near offer.
(Price in English Pounds)

For more information, and offers, please email Paul Barrow.

(The car is located in Farnborough, England)





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