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September 5, 2017

Ralph Weflen Sectioned 56 Ford




Ralph Weflen a very skilled Custom Car enthusiast from Canada created this perfect proportioned Sectioned 1956 Ford Sedan in the back yard of his house.

One of the great Custom Restyling techniques used by Customizers to enhance the lines of the cars is sectioning. Sectioning is where an horizontal strip of metal is taken out of the body sides between the bottom of the body and below the windows. It is a technique often much more involving than the other major Custom Restyling technique Chopping the top. Chopping tops was and still is used much more frequent on Custom Cars than restyling by sectioning. When performed right sectioning a body can achieve ultimate body proportions. Often much closer to the design sketches done by the car designers and the artists who drew up illustrations of the cars for the magazine ads and sales brochures. Some of the most iconic Customs in history were sectioned, like the Ron Dunn Ford Shoebox, sectioned by the Valley Custom Shop, or the Jade Idol Mercury, restyled by Gene Winfield.

Jim Appleby has been sharing some really fantastic photos of mostly Canadian built Custom Cars from the later part of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Photos from his own collection shared on the Facebook Canadian Hot Rod history pages. He shared a number of photos of a sectioned Custom car that really grabbed my attention. It was an unusual car to section, a 1956 Ford Sedan. Jim mentioned that the car was owned and built by Draggins member Ralph Weflen from the Saskatoon, SK. area.

Draggins Spring ’62 car check showed Ralph’s Sectioned Ford parked next to a stock height ’56 Ford for comparison.


This photo shows how much sleeker Ralph’s sectioned Ford looks compared to the ’56 next to it. Ralph’s Ford is partly in primer, and partly wearing a custom paint job showing the car was a mild custom prior the section job.


This photo was taken in the Spring of ’62 at the Draggins car check. This photo gives us a good look at the great proportions of the Sectioned Ford. The car was lowered, but not to much. The hood and trunk were shaved and the door handles removed to keep the focus on the main body lines. Ralph had created a new custom grille created from drawer knobs.


Notice the chrome tape on the scalloped and outlined top from an previous Custom version before the car was sectioned.


It turns out that Ralph Weflen built his perfectly proportioned sectioned and further Custom Restyled 1956 Ford during the winter in his back yard. The work started around 1962 when Ralph had the car all together and in primer. Over a period of time the car was painted in blue and gray shades with stylish scallops to further enhance the body lines. More changes were made along the way, which included quad headlights and custom tunneled taillights. The full custom interior was also done at home, by Ralph… talk about a talented guy.

The first finished version of the sectioned Ford was photographed with Ralph holding the trophy at the Draggins 1963 car show. Notices how the well designed scallops enhance all the body lines. Ralph was not only a very skilled body man, and upholsterer, but he also had the eye when it came to design and overall proportions and themes.


Side view taken at the 1963 Swift Current show. It shows that Ralph added upholstery to the wheel wells, and plated some of the suspension parts. Since the hood was open it is save to say the engine bay must have looked stunning as well. I really like how Ralph used medium wide white wall tires with simple Moon hubcaps and beauty rings, they work perfect on the car. The taillights look to have additional bullets added.


The previous photos did not show the other new items for the car at this show, quad slightly canted headlights with peaked eyebrows. Another stunning addition to the already perfect custom.


Close up of the chrome plated brakes and upholstered wheel wells.


Ralph’s Ford at the 1964 Regals show sporting some new interior elements, oval headrest on all four seats, and the underside of the hood is now upholstered as well.


For the 1964 Road Knights show Ralph made some more changes. The car was repainted completely, now with a more simple two tone paint job. on the main body. It looks like the roof, hood and possibly trunk remained in the paint from the previous versions, but the main body was redone.


Nice rear quarter view show that this later version also has new Custom recessed taillights most likely based on 1961 Ford Fairlane units. The photo was also taken at the 1964 Road Knights show.


According to Jim Appleby Ralph evetually sold the car and the subsequent owner decided to further modify the car. He wanted to widen the car, which he did, but when it came to fitting the windshield he could not get it done and the project was abandoned. What happened with the remains of this once stunning Custom is unknown at this moment. we hope to be able to find out more about it. Ralph Weflen’s Sectioned 1956 Ford Sedan is one of those so well baanced Custom Cars, it is amazing it never has been featured in any of the magazines (as far as we know). We are very glad Jim shared these photos so that the car can be enjoyed by all Custom Car enthusiast around now. The car was very popular locally, and now with the help of Jim Appleby the whole world can enjoy Ralph Weflen’s 1956 Ford in all its beauty.


Special thanks to Jim Appleby, Pat O’Connor, David Snell and Glenn Thomson



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About the Author

Rik Hoving
Rik is the CCC editor in chief. As a custom car historian he is researching custom car history for many years. In 2004 he started the Custom Car Photo Archive that has become a place of joy for many custom car enthousiasts. Here at CCC Rik will bring you inspiring articles on the history of custom cars and builders. Like a true photo detective he will show us what's going on in all those amazing photos. He will write stories about everything you want to know in the realm of customizing. In daily life Rik is a Graphic Designer. He is married to the CCC webmaster and the father of a 10 year old son (they are both very happy with his excellent cooking skills)



  1. Yet another cool but fairly (or unfairly) unknown custom!
    Shows what can be accomplished by someone that has the desire and talent. And done in his back yard as well.
    These guys were fearless….:)
    Love it.

  2. Very nice car and well done by the owner, but in my opinion a car which is sectioned needs also to be chopped to make the proportions right. Still he deserves alot credit for the work he has done.

  3. That has a great look to it…almost T-Bird-like. The paint job and later quads really complete the look. Very nice kustom

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