The Willis Horn Coupe

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The Willis Horn Coupe

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In 1941 Willis Horn from Marysville California purchased a Custom 1936 Ford Chopped Coupe from a Hot Rod Shop. Since 1973 it is owned by grandson Jeff Boone who is now looking to find out more on the cars history for a full restoration.

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Jeff Boone from Live Oak, California, was given this early Custom Restyled 1936 Ford 5-window coupe as a gift from his grandfather back in 1973. Jeff was just 11 years old when his grandfather gave him the car. Information his grandfather might have told him about the cars history back then has been forgotten over the years. “Just a boy with hotrod dreams…”. At 11-12 years old the fact of owning your own Hot Rod, and getting it ready to drive overshadowed the historical facts. During 1973 and 1974 Jeff and his grandfather worked on the car for a coupe of month before putting it away in a barn. In 2017 Jeff is ready to bring out the car and start putting it back together how it used to look. With the restoration work now started he is looking into the history of the car, finding old family photos and asking family members what they remember about the car. Not much is known about it, so Jeff is hoping that sharing the car here on the Custom Car Chronicle might shed some light on the history of this early Custom Car. We will be adding more material and info to this article when we find it. Including some photos of how the car looks now and it being pulled from the bar is has been stored in since 1974.

Jeff’s grandfather, Willis Horn from Marysville, California (close to Sacramento) purchased the ’36 Ford back in 1941. Jeff was told the car was bought from a Hot Rod Shop, but nobody seems to remember which one, or even where, if it was local, or from further away. (Edit: we now know that the car was bought in Los Angeles in 1941, close to a place called Los Angeles Auto Auction, more about that further on in this article) At the time Willis bought the car it was completely finished as a Custom Car, with a unique chopped top with the rear quarter windows filled it, the b-pillars slanted forward, and the top door corners rounded. The car was painted green, and by the looks of the one black and white photo Jeff has found of this version of the car it was a dark shade of green. Jeff also recalls his grandfather saying he changed the hood sides and put the original louvered hood sides on the car cause the engine would put off too much heat inside the coupe… He never knew what type of sides were on the car when he first bought it?

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When Willis bought the car back in 1941 the car was finished in green. He left it that color and added some advertising for his used car lot on the door.ÔĽŅ

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Cropped image shows some more details. Appleton Spotlight point pointed forwards position, a typical early 1940’s feature. Flipped door handles, rear quarter windows filled in after the chop and rounded door top corner with angled forward B-Pillars. I think that this is the earliest sample of a round door corner on a Custom Car I have seen so far.ÔĽŅÔĽŅ

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Stock ’36 Ford 5-window Coupe the Willis Horn coupe started out as.

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Other restyling features on the car are a new grille shell with a 1939 Nash grille installed, double Appleton spotlight facing backwards in the photos we have of the car, a typical 40’s feature. turned around door handles, also a typical 40’s trick to make the door handle look more streamlined. Something discussed in many of the early restyling manuals from Dan Post and others. ’39 Ford tear drop taillights and teardrop bubble skirts, and a chrome plated dash inside. The chop obviously being the most distinctive feature on this car. Very unique, especially for the time it was built, when 3-window coupes much have been relatively easy to find. It was still decided to turn the 5-window coupe into a short door 3-window coupe. Unique about the chop is that the b-pillars are angled forward, and that the top door corners are rounded. Rounded Door Corners on a ’36 Ford are rare, and having them done back in 1941 even rarer. Perhaps the earliest sample of rounded door corners I have come across so far. The belt line fabrication and filled top look to have been done very well, indicating the work was done by a good craftsman.

Willis owned a Used Car lot in Marysville, California, since the 1930’s. He used the ’36 Ford, which always attracted peoples attention because of its unique and good looks, as rolling advertising for his lot. Somewhere in the 1940’s Willis repainted the car in maroon with cream on the main body below the beltline. The car was also used as the lead vehicle in the annual the Bok Kai parade in Marysville.

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“This is my grandmother, Lola Horn standing next to the car after the sign was painted on the door…car was green when grandpa brought it home…”

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The 36 pulling Willis Horn’s race car… This must be around 1949, shortly before the car was repainted.
Close up on the car from the previous photo.

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In the late 1940’s, the car was repainted in maroon with cream on the lower main body.
Willis Horn(right) standing next to the car with one of his salesmen on the left.ÔĽŅ

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According to Jeff his grandfather Willis Horn alway led the Bok Kai parade in Marysville, California. And ideal opportunity to promote his used Car lot. So far this has been the best photo Jeff has been able to locate of the car. It shows the Nash grille, the single bar hubcaps, and teardrop skirts. Notice the loud speaker on top of the car. Judged on the license plate and tag in the photo this one must have been made between 1948 and 1950.

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Willis posing with one of the three race cars he had.

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Willis (with hat) and a couple of his drivers.

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Willis Horn, ready to race…

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Herman Jenkins remembers

Jeff recently spoke with a good friend of his late grandfathers, Herman Jenkins about the ’36 Ford to see if more info could be found about the cars history. Herman remembered that his grandfather, Willis Horn, used to buy his used cars at the Los Angeles Auction Yard. he could not remember where that place was located in Los Angeles, but he did remember that the Hot Rod Shop where Willis bought the ’36 Ford was very close to this L.A. Auto Auction. So, now we need to find somebody who might remember where this Auto Auction yard was in Los Angeles, perhaps that will help find the Hot Rod Shop who built this ’36 Ford. If any of our readers knows more about this Los Angeles Auction Yard, where it was located, please email Rik Hoving.

Herman was in the US Navy stationed at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack and remained till 1947. When he was honorably discharged, he came home to Marysville and remembered that he and my Grandpa drove down to Los Angles and picked up the 1936 ford where my grandfather had a shop put a hotrod flathead motor and Three speed transmission which shifted on the column.
(Herman didn’t recall who or where my Grandfather purchased the car)

He said my Grandfather told him the car was originally black, then green, then blue and lastly, it was maroon.  He recalled the 36 had flat hood sides, but at some point, my Grandpa said it was too hot inside the car. He changed the sides to the original 36 ford hood sides so the engine heat could escape.

He also recalled going with my grandfather, on occasion, to North Beale Road, Marysville California   
(The road to Beale Air Force Base) Apparently it was the choice “drag strip” for my Grandfather!

Herman remembered one story vividly… a guy who drove up from Los Angeles in his ‚Äô49 Ford 2-door, just to race my Grandfather!  Herman said the LA guy says… I hear you have the fastest car in California!  My Grandfather, a bit modest, said my car’s pretty fast and pointed at the 36 custom. The guy looked, started laughing,(customs aren’t supposed to be fast) and said he had $50 to race that car!  Herman said your Grandpa says give me a minute, I’ll take that bet…  Herman says “your Grandpa blew his doors off” (laughingly)!!!

The guy was so upset he wanted a second chance, double or nothing. My grandfather told the Los Angeles guy he would even give him a head start…”when you leave, I’ll start”!  

Herman said…”I waved at the guy when we drove by”!  Your grandfathers car was fast!  When they pulled over, the LA guy handed my grandfather $100… Herman said they had a great laugh!  Herman had shared so many great memories with my Grandfather, that I couldn’t remember them all!  Unfortunately, On August 7, 2018 Herman Jenkins of Yuba City passed.
Not only was Herman my Grandfathers good friend, but I would like to think he was my good friend as well.
Truly yours
Jeff Boone

Herman also remembered that Willis bought new cars from a good friend in Los Angeles, Les Kelley. Les ran the famous Kelley Kar Company and Les Kelly Ford where Willis bought the cars wholesale and brought them to Marysville to resale at his own lot. Les Kelly Ford later moved to the corner of Figueroa and Pico in Los Angeles and becomes the largest used car dealership in the world.

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Les Kelley Ford where Willis bought new cars at wholesale for his Marysville lot. (Photos from www.kbb.com/company/history)

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In 1975 Jeff’s uncle, Willis Horn JR, helped  put a 327 Chev, a t350 trans and a 10 bolt rear end in the ’36. They did some body repairs with bondo in 1975 and the plan was to have the whole car painted 1936 Ford Maroon, but they got it in red oxide primer. At one point Jeff needed a new engine for his race car, so out when the 327. The the car with the fresh red oxide primer, went back to the barn till 5/25/2017.

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This is how the car has been sitting for many years.

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ÔĽŅClearing the rubble around it.

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All cleaned up.

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Jeff Boone on the left and his uncle, Willis Horn JR. on the right with the disassembled ’36 Ford.

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A good look at the main body with the unique chopped top turned from 5-window to 3-window back around 1940 in Los Angeles, California. The treatment of the belt-line behind the doors and the angled forward B-pillar and rounded door top is really unique.

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The bare frame of the ’36 Ford at the Standley Brothers Hotrod Shop.

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Soda blasting at Standley Brothers Hotrod Shop in Yuba City, California.

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The soda blasting revealed the body Jeff and his uncle added to the car back in 1975.

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You can see the lead at the chop and rear quarters in some of the other photos as well. Back in 1973, when Jeff was 11, he used a rosebud tip on a torch to heat the lead and he removed a good portion of it. You can see where his uncle and Jeff tried doing some body work after the majority of lead was removed. “We know better today than we did in 1974!”

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Over the last couple of years Jeff has been working on and off on the restoration to how it used to look, and hopefully he will come across more photos from the 1940’s how the car looked. Hopefully with the help of the Custom Car Chronicle readers he will be able to find out more on the cars original history from before his grandfather bought the car in 1941. If you know anything more about this ’36 Ford Custom ex-5-window Coupe, from pre 1973, then please email Rik here at the Custom Car Chronicle. We would love to add any new historic info to the article and help Jeff with the history of his car.

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The car in bare metal ready for the Sacramento Autorama 2019.

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Jeff Boone with the Ford at the 2019 Sacramento Autorama.

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The Willis Horn Coupe will debut completely finished at the 2020 Sacramento Autorama.

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Channeled 36 Ford

 

CHANNELED 36 FORD

 

Another Mystery Custom is this channeled 36 Ford that probably was restyled by Don Clark. The car has been owned for over 30 years by Doug Hall, and it now in the 3 Dog Museum in Pennsylvania.



This is one of those cars they has been on my mind for a very long time. It clearly is an old Custom Car that was either done in the 1940’s or in the early 1950’s. It is best known from the time it was owned by Doug Hall who drove it around for over 30 years in California and showed it at Paso Robles and other well known Car Shows in the 80’s and 90’s. I have been trying to find out as much info on this one as I could, but most people I asked about the car, do recognize it, have seen it in person, but do not know anything about its history… another mystery custom.

So this is not a complete story… and hopefully with the help of the Custom Car Chronicle readers we will be able to find some more puzzle pieces in the history of this Custom ’36 Ford.

Update May 22, 2018.
With the help of Anthony White and “Stilo 1971” we have been able to add a bit more history to this car. Some parts are still a bit vague, but we are getting there.


The ’36 Ford with ’40 Ford front end how it looked in the early 1990’s.
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At the rear we can see the removal of the character-line that extended from the original belt-line, how the rear fenders were molded to the body, and the use of 1940 Ford bumpers and 38-39 Ford teardrop taillights.
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I first learned about this Custom convertible in the 1990’s, when it was owned by Custom Car enthusiast Doug Hall who owned the car for many years. He drove the car to many California Car Shows in the 1980’s and 90’s, and I had seen it in a few of the magazine features on the shows he drove the car to. To me the car had this beautiful, 1940’s look painted metallic copper orange with white padded top, white wall tires and what appear to be home made large size single bar flipper hubcaps. The car had that nice kind of rough look to it, the pure feeling that those early Customs have. With the sectioned ’40 Ford front end, the removal of the “delicate” ’36 Ford belt line, which made the body sides look more aggressive. Not much was mentioned about the car in the publication I saw it in, only that it was an older custom.

A couple of years later I came across a old photo of a the car in the Don Montgomery book Hot Rods as they were. The car’s features are so distinctive that this must be the same car in the photo provided by Dr. Bob Atol. The photo caption in the Montgomery book did sadly not mention anything about who owned it, or who had created it. Then later I came across a photo of the car in the Spring 1963 issue of Popular Customs magazine. The car has changed a little since the early 1950’s photos, but was still very recognizable. The photo in the Popular Customs magazine showed two show signs with the car, and most likely these would mention the owner at the time, and perhaps even the builder, but sadly I have not been able to read any of the the text on the signs.

The best info on the Ford Custom o far comes from the 2012 published book East vs West Showdown book done by Joseph Alig & Stephen “Spike” Kilmer. In the book it was mentioned that Dr. Robert Atol (the same person who provided the early 1950’s photo for the Don Montgomery book) knew the car very well, had driven in it many times and was good friends with the guy who build the car in the early 1950’s.

According to the book the car was built by Don Clarke a perfectionist from the Pasadena Ca. area. He created the car for his own personal use are regular car. And he later sold it when he moved on to another passion.




The Early versions

The earliest photo we have been able to find of the ’36 Ford is this one from Dr. Bob Atol, used in the Don Montgomery book “Hot Rods as they were”. It shows that the car around 1952-53, was sitting on motor cycle front tires, had no louvers in the sectioned hood, used a ’40 Oldsmobile bumper with what appear to be ’46-48 Chevy bumper-guards, a dark color painted lower hood section, which continues on the two side grilles. the car had small size spotlights mounted on the A-pillars. Sadly the photo caption did not say much of the car, or who owned it, and created it.
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About the Restyling.

The car started live as an 1936 Ford Convertible, or Cabriolet. The body was channeled over the frame, and the body top section was cut off at the belt-line. The top of the cut down doors were reshaped and rolled to become the new, much lower top of the doors. The top hinge had to be moved down a few inches. The rear quarter panel tops were reshaped and the trunk metal welded in the new lower position. The character line from the belt-line all the way to the back of the car was eliminated in the process. The complete front of the car was removed and the cowl, hood and front fenders of an 1940 Ford were crafted on. The cowl had to be sectioned to fit the new lower body.

The hood was sectioned a few inches to fit the cowl, in the process the two hood halves were welded together and a slight peak was added. The belt-line was removed from the rear of the hood so that it would flow nicely with the new body shapes of the rest of the body. The front wheel openings were raised to make sure the front wheels could still turn. All four fenders were welded to the body and molded in to create one smooth body shape. 1940 Ford running boards were adopted to fir the ’36 Ford rear fenders. According Dr Atol all the metal work was done flawless all hammer welded metal, with nearly no lead used. The photo caption in the Don Montgomery book mentioned that the car had a set in license plate back then. Either this info was incorrect, or the hole was later filled. When Doug Hall bought the car there was no set in place on the back.

The windshield of the car was chopped a few inches and a padded top was created for it. Dough Hall, who would own the car from the 1970’s always thought it was an original Carson Top, but there is no proof for that since there never was a interior tag in the interior. The oldest photo shows that Don Clarke finished the car with 1940 Oldsmobile bumpers detailed with 1946-48 Chevy bumper guards. Below the ’40 Ford headlights some parking lights were mounted, which were oddly mostly covered by the ’40 Oldsmobile bumpers, perhaps indicating an earlier version with a different bumper up front? The photo also shows that the car used narrow motor cycle tires in the front, we are not sure why this was done. The rear fenders were dressed up with teardrop shaped bubble fender skirts, and small cone shaped moon hubcaps and small size Spotlights complete the restyling. We have no idea how the interior was finished.



Owned by Doug-McNaughton

Some time in the early to mid 1950’s Doug McCaughton from Alhambra Ca. bought the ’36 Ford. We are till working on the details and exact times, and hope to fill in this part of the information soon. Doug shared some photos with Stilo 1971 that showed that car with the early parking lights below the headlights, and some new 46-48 Ford bumpers added. At that time the car was partly in primer, but the distinctive dark color on the side grille followed over the hood sides is still there.

Doug owned the car for a good number of years, and at one point in the late 1950’s early 1960’s the car was damaged at the front in an accident. Doug redid the front end and ended up painting the car in a nice baby blue.

The earliest photos Doug had in his album appear to come from the first half of the 1950’s. The car is partly in primer now, the bumpers have changed to ’46-48 Ford units, but the dark paint detail on the side grille and hood sides is still the same as we can see in the photo from the Don Montgomery book.
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A bit closer on the above photo shows a ’49 Mercury in the drive way that was owned by Doug’s father. Doug had a sales receipt in his photo album for a ’49 Mercury that was dated Marc 28, 1956. That might mean that this photo was taken around 1956.
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Working on the repair of the front end of the car in July 1960. One day Doug fell asleep while driving the Ford, causing the damage.
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Apparently at this time Doug also decided to create a lift-off top for the car. Looks like he as using a coupe, or sedan top from a donor car. None of the photos we have seen so far shows the top in place. Another things we hope to get more info on soon.
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McCaughton posing with his freshly redone ’36 Ford convertible with ’40 Ford front end. Notice that there are no hood louvers. Those were added later.
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3/4 front view of the baby blue version. This is the same version as how it appeared in the Spring 1963 issue of Popular Customs show below.
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A rather bad quality photo, but it is interesting since it shows the white and light blue interior with dark blue carpets. It also shows that there is no set-in license plate at the back at this time.
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Doug McCaughton proudly showing his scrap-book with the ’36 Ford photos in 2018.
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Photo in the Spring 1963 issue of Popular Customs. By then the car had changed a bit, the bumpers were replaced with 1940 Ford units, the fender skirts had been removed, the running boards upholstered, the spotlights removed as well as the front fender mounted parking light. The car had been repainted.
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Doug Hall owner for 30 years

In the early 1970’s Doug Hall was able to buy the ’36 Ford from an collector in the Pomona Ca. area. The car looked amazing, but did not come with any info on who had owned it before the collector, or who had originally created it, and when. From what we have heard the car was in very good condition when Doug got it in the early 1970’s. But Doug thought it sat a little to high, so he lowered the suspension and did some work on the ’51 Oldsmobile engine that was in the car when he got it. Doug also added new fender skirts and Appleton Spotlights. Since the last photo from the 1963 publication the hood had been louvered, most likely to make it easier for the Olds engine to cool. At this moment we are unsure if the car was already painted bronze, but as far as we know it was. Doug would drive the car frequently and enter it at several California car shows in the 80’s and 90’s.

I have added this photo of a near stock ’36 Ford convertible to be able to compare the Custom version with.
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Side profile shows how low the car is, with the channeled body, the cut down ’36 Ford doors and rear quarter panels, the sectioned ’40 Ford hood and radiused front fenders. The windshield was chopped just the right amount for the optimal proportions with the padded top.
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It is amazing that they were able to get that ’51 Olds engine to fit the super low car.
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This is how most people remember the ’36 Ford… parked with the hood open at the 1980’s and 90’s California outdoor events.
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Doug Hall drove the car regularly, and its low profile looked stunning on the road.
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3 Dog Garage

After having owned the ’36 Ford Custom for over 30 years Doug Hall decided to let go of the car. With the help of a car broker the Custom found a new home at the 3 Dog Garage privately owned museum in Boyertown, Pennsylvania. The car has been part of their collection ever since, and is on display in the same shape as it was when Doug let it go. The car is however starting to show its age. The trunk had a dent, and the peak of the hood on the front is also dented.

This is how the Don Clarke ’36 Ford is now sitting in the 3-Dog-Garaga in Boyertown, Pennsylvania. The car is well used, I guess very much like the Custom Cars looked back in the 1940’s when these cars were the only way of transportation for most owners. (Along the way the front of the hood was dented)
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This photo shows the reshaped rear were the wrap around belt line had been completely removed from the back as well. It also shows how nicely the fenders were molded to the body. And it shows another dent.
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Interior uses a modified ’36 Ford dash with bold white pin-striping. Not sure when the race car type steering wheel was added.
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When Doug Hall bought the car it came without the teardrop skirts that were on the car originally. (but already missing in 1963) Doug added an aftermarket lipped skirt and lowered the suspension for an more dramatic look.
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A closer look to the huge diameter single bar flipper hubcaps. They appear to be handmade units, but I have no idea when they were made, or by who.
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If you have any information on the Don Clarke 1936 Ford, or perhaps some old photos from pre 1970, that would shed some more light on this mystery Custom, please Email Rik Hoving here at the Custom Car Chronicle. We would love to add any new information to the story to make it as complete as possible. Thank you.


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Bob Fairman 36 Ford Restoration

 

BOB FAIRMAN FORD RESTORATION

 

After sitting in a field left to the elements for year. The iconic Bob Fairman Jimmy Summers chopped 1936 Ford with fade away fenders is finally getting restored.


In the Spring of 2009 some photos of the Jimmy Summers / Bob Fairman 1936 Ford Custom sitting all rusted away in a field in Ohio, were shared on the internet. It was big news at the time that another early Jimmy Summers created Custom Car had survived. Even thought it seemed to be in a very poor state, left over to the elements for years, it was still amazing to see. And we all wondered how this once trend setting Custom could have been in such a state all the way on the other side of the US, from where it was created.

How the Jimmy Summers Ford sat in a field in Ohio in 2009.
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In the full Story on the Bob Fairman Ford on the Custom Car Chronicle we did in December of 2016, we have gathered as much information as we were able to find. And it was quite an amazing story. The best part of the story was that the car was eventually pulled from the field and that it was destined to be restored. Good New! But then years of silence about the Fairman Ford, some people said that the restoration had started, others mentioned it was just sitting, but inside, not deteriorating any further. Then in October 2016, the rusted remains of the Ford plus a few gathered parts were offered for sale here on the CCC. Due to legal issues the then owner had to stop the sale, and the car “disappeared” from the radar again. Legal issues sometimes mean, we will never see it again.

This is how the Bob Fairman ’36 Ford originally looked like back in the early 1940’s.
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On October 19th 2017 we received an email from Jim, that he had some great Custom Car News he wanted to share with us. Very excited, we had to wait another day to find out what this Great Custom Car News was. The News was that the Bob Fairman 1936 Ford restyled by Bob and Jimmy summers in the late 1930’s or very early 1940’s has a new owner, and that the restoration of this iconic Custom has started..




We let Jim tell the story.
“So after trying to buy this car for years, I was finally able to close the deal and acquire it. It is rough for sure but very much restorable. One of the coolest things about it is that the car is way more complete than anyone thought.
Included with the car were the original bumpers, front fenders, hood tops and sides, nicely preserved original chrome garnish moldings (apparently stored indoors), and the original fender skirts.

Upon finally getting it in our possession we were able to discover some of the coolness, like the fact that Jimmy removed and smoothed out the body bead that surrounds the rear bustle of the car around the trunk And the way he fabricated the original door poppers which are still amazingly intact. The amazing craftsmanship of Summers work is absolutely outstanding.”

This is how the Bob Fairman/Jimmy Summers 1936 Ford sits in October 2017. All the parts that came with the car put back together for the first time in many years. A set of new wheels and white wall tires mounted give a good feel for how it once looked.  As Jim mentioned there is a lot of rust, and a lot of metal is gone, which will take time to restore. But its not impossible, and the good thing is it is far more complete than he had thought.
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The ’41 Ford bumpers have the chrome plating completely stripped from being in the field for so long. This photo shows how the fade away panels are separate units bolted to the body panels, just like the original fenders, and not welded and molded in like most customs had.
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Close up shows the restyled work from Jimmy Summers and Bob Fairman on the character lines, and how the rear license plate was set it. The plate most likely sat in a small box mounted behind the opening.
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It feels so amazing to see the car back on its feet again, and knowing that the restoration team will do its magic to make it look just like it did when the car was freshly restyled  75+ years ago.
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Close up shows the reworked front fenders and ’37 – ’38 Ford headlights that were added. The front section of the drivers side hood has been completely rotten away, and will need to be replaced.
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This photo of the car that Jim send gave me goose bump all over… It is so good to see the car back again. Most of the lower sections of the fade away fender panels are gone as well, but it can and will all be fixed according to Jim.
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Lots of rust on the drivers side door fade away panel. The lower sections were sitting in the dirt for a number of years. The restoration team will try to keep as much from the original car as possible during the restoration.
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This is such amazing news, to see new photos of the Bob Fairman – Jimmy Summers 1936 Ford now owned by Jim who will completely restore the car to how it looked in the early 1940’s. See the car sitting of four wheels, with all of the remaining parts put back on the car again.¬† We cannot wait to see more progress on this Iconic Jimmy Summers Custom. Jim also mentioned that they found some of the original paint left on the inside of the car… So wild!

Thank you Jim for saving this historic Custom Car for future generations to enjoy, and to share it here on the Custom Car Chronicle.




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Brian Holden 1936 Ford

 

Brian Holden 1936 Ford

 

Brian Holden rescued a Street Rodded 1936 Ford and restyled it into this gorgeous  vintage looking Custom. The Holy Grail of tail dragging Customs.



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Brian Holden is a 67 year old (2017) car-guy from Vancouver, British Columbia and has been interested in Hot Rods & Custom Cars all his life. When he was a kid in the 1950’s and 60’s he spend his allowance on the Little Pages, Hot Rod and Rod & Custom magazine etc. Day dreaming about those cool cars and how he just knew something similar would be his in the not to distant future. And right he was about that, the future would bring Brian many Hot Rods, Customs, Sports Cars and Bikes.

Brian has had several Custom Cars in the past, a full Custom heavy chopped 1941 Ford Coupe, a Chevy Pick Up, Chopped Beetle, mild custom Ford Shoebox. But for his latest project Brian wanted something he was always dreaming about. The Holy Grail of all early style Tail-Dragging Customs, the 1936 Ford three window Coupe. He located his base coupe, disguised as a street rod with large diameter wheels, forward rake, but if you looked past all that, it was a perfect start for his dream project.

Brian’s 1936 Ford chopped 3-window coupe parked next to his colorful house in Vancouver BC.
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Before the car could be Custom Restyled it needed to be de-street-rodded. The wheels and tires had to go, the suspension set-up had to be change a lot to give the car the right stance. Brian bought a set of white wall radial tires from Coker, radial tires that look like bias ply tires (Bias look Radials as Cooker called them). Those with the steel wheels were mounted to make sure the stance of the car was right. During this time the body was taken off the frame, to make work easier, and to check the condition of the body. The body turned out to be in excellent shape with no rust what so ever, the ideal base for his project.

The rear window opens with the factory stock window crank.
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The interior of Brian’s 1936 Ford coupe looks very classic with the all cream colored all custom made dash, the Crestliner steering wheel and the beautiful vintage looking Naugahyde upholstery with white piping and burgundy carpeting.
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Drivers point of view…
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Close up of the beautifully designed and all custom made dash.
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To create a bit more optical space the headliner was done in a light colored material.
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With everything put back together, the car now looked already far better with its black wheels and white wall tires on a much better stance. Now it was time to take the car to Laurie Peterson from Canada Kustoms & Hot Rods for the Custom Restyling. The main feature would be the chopped top. It was decided that lowering the top with 3¬Ĺ inch would work best for what Brian had in mind. Careful cutting and hand shaped filler pieces insured very little filler was needed and it made the top look like it came from the factory this way. Walden Speed Shop created the metal filler piece for the roof insert, and was welded in place by Laurie.

Grille, hood, hood-sides are all left factory stock, just cleaned up and fitted perfectly. Turn signals are integrated inside the stock ’36 Ford headlights. The bumper was cleaned up by removing the bumper guards.
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Stock taillights were used on the rear, and here the bumper guards were also removed for a cleaner, more custom look.
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The trunk is upholstered just as nice as the rest of the interior.
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The car came with glass fenders, which fitted the car perfect, so there was no need to replace them. To make the fenders fit the Custom theme better, the smooth glass running boards were replaced with Bob Drake aftermarket steel running boards with replica rubber covers. And for the ultimate taildragger look Brian added a set of glass teardrop shaped skirts to the rear fenders.

Brian’s plan was to create the ultimate from both worlds. A vintage looking Custom, with modern handling allowing for daily use if needed, long drives, and “easy” regular maintenance. The Street Rod based car turned out to be ideal for his plan. For the interior Brian had a similar plan, all vintage Custom looks combined with some more modern comforts. Brian wanted something special for the dash, so Laurie created one completely from scratch. An all new dash with a beautiful Custom, coachbuilt look, hidden behind the dash were some modern comforts as AC and heating. Another vintage interior component was a beautiful Ford Crestliner steering wheel. The color of the steering wheel rim was matched and repeated on the Custom made dash, which binds everything nicely together.



Brian’s chocolate brown 1936 Ford 3-window Coupe looks perfect from any angle. This low angle front three quarter view makes it look like it is emerging from the water like a vintage speed boat. The Perfect Custom look.
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A profile view of Brian’s 1936 Ford Coupe shows the real beauty of this vintage looking, and comfortably driving beauty.
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The seat is stock ’36 Ford, but completely rebuilt for ultimate comfort, before it was upholstered in wonderful looking burgundy vintage Naugahyde tuck & roll nicely finished with contrasting white piping. The door panels were done with the same material, all in vintage styling. The floor was covered with loop style burgundy carpets, and just as the rest of the interior these were finished in white piping as well. The chopped window garnish molding were chrome plated, and the windows were modified to work electric. To make it all look good the original window cranks activate the electric system. All the glass was replaced with new Coke Bottle Green glass, which gives the car a very nice luxurious look.

Perfect finish and paint.
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Chevy 350 engine.
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Vintage “Coke bottle green” tinted glass on all 4 windows make the car look even more classic.
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Brian has created his ultimate Custom chopped ’36 Ford Coupe, and has enjoyed it for some time now. It handles, drives and looks fantastic, but Brian’s mind is already working on a next project… not even sure what that will be, but he knows it will be a full Custom Project. Brian is one of those guys who wants everything, but he can only manage 2 cars at a time. Brian had his ‚Äė36 Ford and a 1940 Ford DeLuxe Coupe (which is there to stay), so in the summer of 2017 the time had come and the ‚Äô36 had to find a new owner… so that Brian can move on to the next project. The new owner will ship Brian’s ’36 Ford to France where he lives.


Brian Holden’s 1936 Ford 3 Window Coupe Kustom Specs

The car was built with the look of an early traditional custom, but has the ability to be driven and maintained like a modern car. It shows beautifully, and drives comfortably at any speed. All work is done by skilled professionals. Many thanks to Laurie Peterson from ‚ÄúCanada Kustoms & Hot Rods‚ÄĚ The car has not been shown in any major car show or magazine, so that can be the joy for the new owner.


The Body

  • The body is steel with absolutely no rust, the fenders are glass
  • The roof is chopped 3¬Ĺ inch
  • The roof-insert is steel, built by Walden Speed Shop in Pomona California
  • All the custom work was performed by Laurie Peterson from Canada Kustoms & Hot Rods
  • The paint is polished base coat / clear coat, and shows beautifully with very few and very minor imperfections.


The Interior

  • The interior features a one-off custom made steel dashboard. It has an Auburn style engine turned gauge insert filled with vintage style Autometer gauges.
  • There are two original 1936 Ford round ashtrays, one at each en of the dash. These are used as vents for the Vintage Air + Heat system which is neatly hidden behind the dash.
  • Stock window cranks are used to activate power windows in the doors.
  • The rear window rolls down effortlessly with the stock handle.
  • All windows are in perfect condition and have the vintage Coke Bottle Tint
  • The interior has a stock 1936 Ford seat which is rebuilt, and very comfortable.
  • The upholstery is vintage Naugahyde in burgundy with white stitching and trim.
  • The carpeting is loop style burgundy, with white Naugahyde edging
  • The steering wheel is a Limeworks Ford Crestliner X-type wheel in a cream color.
  • The dash is painted in the same cream color to match the steering wheel, and burgundy to match the upholstery, there is a gold pinstripe to separate the two colors.


Suspension

  • 1936 Ford reinforced frame
  • New crossmember & transmission mount
  • Ford Mustang 2 front suspension
  • Power Rack & Pinion steering
  • 4 wheel disc brakes
  • Posies rear parralel leaf springs
  • 2 inch lowering blocks
  • Ford 9‚ÄĚ differential with 3:55 gears fresh rebuild with disc brakes.
  • The wheels are steel from Wheel Vintiques
  • The tires are new from Coker they are Bias-look Radials they look and handle great!


Engine

  • Freshly built Chevy 350 Cu. In.
  • 4 bolt mains
  • 194 heads
  • Mild cam
  • Edelbrock 650 carb
  • Electronic ignition
  • Block hugger headers
  • Polished aluminum air cleaner, valve covers and air compressor
  • Polished aluminum 4 core radiator
  • Chrome GM onewire alternator
  • Stainless steel exhaust pipes.


Transmission

  • 100/R/4 – 4 Speed Autotrans
  • B+M Hot Rod Shifter
  • Electical
  • All new wiring harness
  • The main fuse panel is neatly hidden behind the drivers side kick panel for easy access.
  • The harness for air conditioning & heat is behind the passenger side kick panel.


When Brian bought the car it was a Street Rod. Big wheels, forward rake, painted smooth glass running boards.
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During the remake of the Street Rod into a Custom Car the body was lifted off the frame.
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This photo was taken after the stance had been adjusted, white wall tires and steel wheels were added… making it already look so much better.
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Chopping the top three and a half inches.
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Careful planning and precision cuts made sure the main work on the top could be done all in metal, only a very thin skim-coat of filler was needed in the end.
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Filler panels were created in the rear corners of the roof. Walden Speed Shop created the roof insert filler panel which was blended into the body by Laurie Peterson.
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Construction of the Custom Dash.
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When it came time for the color Brian contacted Rik Hoving Kustoms to create a few different color proposals. Brian had a few modern color in mind, colors that had a nice vintage look, and could possibly work with what he had in mind. In the end the colors that were chosen for these digital proposals all just did not have the look and feel Brian was hoping for, but the test did guide him into the final color. A custom mixed chocolate brown.

A few of the color samples Brian had in his mind before setting to chocolate brown.
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Body fine tuning and then… paint.
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Cruising time with Brian’s buddy Bob Larson and his Matranga inspired green 1940 Mercury.
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Historic Customs USA Road Trip P3

 

HISTORIC CUSTOMS USA Road Trip Part 3

 

By Ronnie Lindblom & Micke Hedberg.

With most of the problems on the cars now sorted Ronnie and Micke are ready to get the grand tour at Gene Winfields Shop, and prepare for the rest of their amazing trip.



In early July 2016 Ronnie Lindblom and Micke Hedberg left Sweden for their dream road trip in the USA. Both guys had bought an historic custom in the month prior to this trip, and along the way the idea had grown to fix up their cars and make a road trip of a life-time.¬†After 11 long days and nights working on their cars, they finally had them ready to hit the road. You can read about the first 11 days of their journey in Part One¬†and the first time on the road for the cars in Part Two of this series. The guys ¬†worked till late into the night to get Ronnie’s Mercury fixed. They left Ronnie’s ’39 Mercury at Gene’s¬†shop and took Micke’s¬†’36 Ford to drive up to the nearest Motel to get a few hours of sleep. Early the next morning they head back to¬†spend some more¬†quality time with Gene Winshield at his Mojave Desert shop.

CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-01After sleeping a few hours at the nearest motel the guys drove¬†back to the Winfield shop with Ronnie’ s ’36 Ford¬†early in the morning.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-02New day, new challenges. The Merc was fixed late last night and now Ronnie is almost ready for a test drive.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-03Ronnie only has to¬†refill the water and check oil…
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-04The test drive went fine, and it¬īs time to re torque the heads. There¬†was nothing they could do about the crack in the head. So, they did all other things¬†they could do and hope¬†the engine will last¬†the rest of the trip.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-05The both cars are now ready for the rest of the journey. Micke, Ronnie and Mr. Winfield give the thumb up for the rest of the trip!
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-06Gene is 89 years old and still works on custom cars everyday. It¬īs really impressive to see a legend work and still enjoy it all like it was his firs day at the job. That¬īs amazing! When¬†the Swedes were¬†at Winfield’s, Gene was worked on a channeled ¬≠’40 Ford convertible.¬†
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-09Then it was time to take a tour around the shop and inside Gene own little museum. Here Gene shows the unique bed he made from a model-A Ford pickup.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-10Gene sharing memories and stories from dry lake races in the early days while showing the guys old pictures on the walls.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-collageClose up of the early dry lake collage.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-11One of Gene’s old wood shop signs with his famous logo.¬†Gene hold on to it¬†all these years, and now it’s hanging proudly¬†in his nice little private museum.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-12The “Thing”, a¬†’27 model T racer Gene built¬†in the late 1940’s.¬† Well the original is long gone, and this one is an¬†updated copy of the real ‚ÄĚThing‚ÄĚ. Gene told Micke and Ronnie lots of great stories from back in the day¬īs, It was a blast!
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-07Micke had parked his¬†¬ī36 Ford in the shadow inside the shop¬†to cool down.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-08Micke started his 36 Ford, and everything was still working fine, so they are all ready to go.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-13But before its time to go, they took Gene for a ride in the ¬ī36 Ford.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-14here we go…
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-15Can you imagine how many memories this brought back for Gene… and created¬†for Micke.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-16And of course Gene now also had to¬†get a ride in Ronnie’s Merc as well!
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-17Cruising like it was the early 1940’s…
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-18And more memories brought back, and created.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-19Then it was almost time to say goodbye to Gene, a few last photos with the cars and the shop in the background….
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-24Before the guys left Gene drew a map showing how to best get to El Mirage dry lake and to a couple of friends which Gene thought visiting would be very well worth it. 
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-20And on the way to Palmdale, the first stop
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Not long after they had left¬†Winfield’s¬†Ronnie’s Mercury started to get problems again. The engine started to run really crappy and they had to stop. After they had stopped and let the engine cool a bit¬†the engine refused to start again. The guys checked all possible reasons for the engine failure.¬†Condenser, pionts, distributor cap and several more things,¬†but nothing helped to get the engine to start. Finally Ronnie found out that the distributor was flash-over to ground and he was able to¬†fix the problem. Pfff, it was a hot day out in the middle of the desert!… but they were on their way again.


CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-21Finally the guys arrived at the first stop Gene suggested. Dave McCain, one of the worlds fastest Flathead Ford drag-racers.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-22Dave showed the guys around in his shop and they talked about Flathead tune up all night long.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-25This was the first night without working on the cars since they had arrived in the US. It felt like vacation, just having a good time and making plans for the trip to El Mirage tomorrow.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-23The cars early the next morning… all ready and excited for the drive up to the Dry lake.
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Go back to Part 1, Part 2. Or go to Part 4
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(this article is sponsored by)

CCC-Sponsor-KingKustomsTShirt-602Contact Rob Radcliffe at King Kustoms for more info on these T-Shirts Email Rob

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Historic Customs USA Road Trip P2

 

HISTORIC CUSTOMS USA Road Trip Part 2

 

By Ronnie Lindblom & Micke Hedberg.

After 11 days of hard work Ronnie and Micke got their Historic Customs on the road and ready to go.

In early July 2016 Ronnie Lindblom and Micke Hedberg left Sweden for their dream road trip in the USA. Both guys had bought an historic custom in the month prior to this trip, and along the way the idea had grown to fix up their cars and make a road trip of a life-time. After 11 long days and nights working on their cars, they finally had them ready to hit the road. You can read about the first 11 days of their journey in Part One of this series.

CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-00Tuesday afternoon and ready to take off from Squeaks place.
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With the cars now finished, all the tools, supplies and others things needed for the trip was loaded into the trunks of the cars. They said goodbye to everybody who had helped them in Bakersfield and they were ready to hit the road. Yeah!


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The¬†next, exciting phase of their trip was to drive the cars to Gene Winfield’s shop in the Mojave¬†desert. This¬†less than 100 mile trip from Bakersfield, to Gene’s place was going to be a smooth test-drive, so they thought.¬†They planned it would take them around two hours that Tuesday afternoon¬†to get to Gene. Perhaps a little more to take some nice pictures along the way…

CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-01Both cars had their trunks filled to the top with tools, spareparts and water. This made it a little tricky to fill gas!
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-17Bakersfield, California.¬†Ronnie is driving his ’39 Merc and snaps a picture of¬†Micke¬†in his ’36 Ford across the street.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-03 With the cars on the highway for the first time. Exciting and it feeeels good!
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-16What not the guys had realized¬†was the steep mountain-pass right outside Bakersfield.¬†Afterwards they remember¬†Squeak telling them all about this, but who had time to listen to these “small”¬†details when they¬†were too excited and focused to get¬†the cars ready to¬†drive? It was really going uphill here, and both cars were really struggling.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-04Half an hour from Bakersfield the temp gauges were hitting¬†maximum. Pretty soon Micke¬īs radiator started to steam and the¬†winshield started to fog when the steam came thru the louvered hood. It was definitly time for the first stop. Both cars was boiling.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-05The cars had to cool down a bit and it was time for the radiators to get¬†filled with fresh¬†water. It could have happened on a worse place though. While waiting Micke and Ronnie enjoyed the view, and probably dreamt of making this drive in the early 1950’s
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When the cars had cooled down enough they took off, desperately in need of flat roads or even better downhill… But¬†the only way to find a downhill was to look in the rearmirror, so not before long the cars got hot again. While the cars were cooling down again Micke was trying to get some work done on the car, perhaps to solve a bit of the cooling problem. After a while he started the ’36 and it sounded really crappy.

At first they thought the floatlevel was wrong as the hill was so steep, but adjusting it did¬†not¬†make the old flatty run any better. After some contemplating¬†they figured out it¬†must¬†be¬†the condenser… mmm could be worse, they had brought an¬†old spare condenser. They packed it in the trunk… but which trunk?! and where?? Finally they found the spare¬†condenser and while¬†Micke was installing it he lost a¬†screw in the gravel.. Great! Eventually they found another screw they could use and fix this problem.

CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-20The steep hills and the over 100 degrees temperatures was brutal, and too much for the cars.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-14¬† While working on Micke’s¬†36 and waiting for both cars to cool down,¬†3 modern cars also had to stop at¬†the same hill because of overheating.¬†
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-02To drive those historical customs on those old roads is an adventure, but to do it without gps and with partly hand-drawn map is something else!¬†It really took them¬†back in the days. Here¬īs the guys sitting in a crossroad trying to figure out the right way to Mr Winfield.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-11Sometimes you have to drive miles and miles to find a roadsign out there… This was¬†‚Ästas they¬†found out later¬†‚Ästthe wrong way!
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Arriving at Gene Winfield

Even after the guys had left the steep mountain pass behind them the Merc maintain to have overheating problems. After many stops with boiling engine and some minor problem to find the right road it was a real relieve when they finally saw Gene’s huge shop space in the distance. They arrived at Gene Winfields shop shortly before it started to get dark. Gene knew the guys were coming as Squeak had called him 5 hours earlier and told him they had just left Bakersfield. So he was getting a bit worried about the guys.

CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-21Gene’s place… they finally made it.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-22The gate was open and they drove right up to the shop area. Excited to meet Gene, and also knowing they could hopefully figure out the engine problems and solve it for the remainder of the trip.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-27It was a long hot day… finally parked at goal¬†number one… Gene Winfield’s shop.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-23Where the hell have you been guy¬īs“, was¬†Gene first response.
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Micke and Ronnie talked to Gene about the trip, and how they had spend the last 11 days in Squeaks shop. Then told him the trip from Bakersfield had taken so long due to the heating problems.
The guys hoped for a blown headgasket, they had already tried to get a pair at a local car supplies along the road, but most of the stores had sold their last flathead parts 50 years ago.


Gene told the guys that he might have a pair that was ment for a -49 merc project he had in the shop, Gene went into the shop and searched for the new pair of head-gaskets while Micke and Ronnie drained the water and prepared for pulling the heads off the engine.


CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-28By now the un was set, and it was time to get to work on the Mercury, to see if the problems could be fixed.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-24

CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-25The guys and Gene working together on the Merc. What can be better than becoming friends this way? Its intresting how a big problem and frustrating work can result in such a great time.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-29Micky cleaning one of the heads.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-26Sadly the old head gaskets looked good, but under the right head of Ronnie’s ’39 Merc engine the guys found the reason of overheating. Big cracks between cylinder and valves in two cylinders. They only had one spare engine, and that was already mounted in Micke’s ’36… there was no other choise than to put the heads back on and hope that the engine would make the trip till the end! And so they did… and then finally it was time to get some sleep. [divider]



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Go back to Part One or ahead to Part Three of the Historic Customs USA Road-Trip.



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(This article is made possible by)

CCC-sponsor-ad-vintage-kustoms-01


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Art Deco 36 Ford

 

ART DECO 36 FORD

 

Billy Powell’s Amazing Art Deco 1936 Ford Coupe is styled like it came from the 1940’s, but with the amazing quality finish of a modern Super¬†Car.

 
 

CCC-art-deco-36-ford-06-billyThe 1939 LaSalle grille, Packard headlights, and modified hood side give the Ford a much more exclusive look. The speedboat stance created instant speed. Everything visible gives the impression Billy’s Ford just rolled out of the 1940’s.
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Billy Powell from Texas owned this 3 window since 2007. The plan always was to create an beautiful 1940’s style Art Deco styled custom from it. From a distance the car looked pretty decent, but upon close inspection Billy saw that the car might need some extra care to get up to his standards. When he started to take the body to bare metal he quickly noticed that the car must have had a pretty rough life. A lot of bad body work followed by heavy layers of plastic filler. Especially the top was in bad shaped and the chop needing so much work that Billy figured he needed to find a second ’36 Ford to replace the top. Until he discussed the project with David Martinez, from Martinez Industries Co. in North¬†Palm Springs, California. David assured Billy that he could save the top, as well as the rest of the body. Of course he would need to do a huge amount of metal reshaping, aftermarket and home made replacement panels… but it could be saved. In 2014 Billy send the ’36 Ford to Martinez who would rework all previous bad body work, replace the rotten metal an perform more customizing.

 

CCC-art-deco-36-ford-01-billyThe 1937 Lincoln Zephyre taillights are the perfect units for Billy’s Art Deco Coupe. They echo the shape of the Packard headlights beautiful, and the low mounting position makes the rear of the car look even lower. Notice the perfect reflections!
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Billy had been collecting parts for his dream Art Deco 1936 Ford Coupe for a long time. Hard to find parts like the 1939 LaSalle grille, 1937 Packard headlights, 1937 Lincoln Zephyr taillights, 1936 Chevy hood sides, Single Bar Flipper hubcaps, 1948 Lincoln steering wheel¬†and a set of Foxcraft teardrop shape fender skirts.¬†Inspiration for Billy’s 1936 Ford came for the Jack Calori 1936 Ford, Westergard styled Fords in general, and the John Fisher 1936 Ford. But Billy’s Ford was¬†was going to have many unique details, all based on the rocket / teardrop shaped Art Deco theme. When Billy bought the car the original flathead engine had already been swapped for a 350, and it drove perfect, so there was no need to replace that.
 

CCC-art-deco-36-ford-02-billyNew hood sides were created to which two 1936 Chevy hood louvres per side were added. The original grille was replaced with a home made surround to with a 1939 LaSalle grille was added. The stock Packard trim piece on top of the headlights was kept since it fitted the Art Deco theme so well.
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-interior-01-billyDavid Martinez created the wonderful styled interior in real leather. The dash was hand made with an Oldsmobile gauge cluster an the transparent red 1948 Lincoln steering wheel is the icing on the cake.
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-interior-02-billyClose up of the restored Lincoln Steering wheel by Dennis Crooks at Quality Restorations, who also made the custom dash knobs to match the steering wheel. 
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-interior-06-billyBehind the folding seat backs David Martinez created storage space with Art Deco styled doors giving the interior a very luxurious feeling.
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-interior-04-billyThe trunk space was reduced a bit because of the modified frame, but it looks amazing completely upholstered. This used to be a rumble seat.
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-interior-07-billyBefore David installed the seat he took this photo showing the perfectly styled upholstery.
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David Martinez did an great job saving as much as possible on Billy’s 1936 Ford, every inch of the body was worked over till perfection. The already chopped top had a lot of bad things going on, which were all redone or replace with fresh sheet metal. When all the body work was done at Martinez Industries, the body was prepped for a¬†super gloss, super smooth black paint-job applied by David. One of Davids other specialities is creating Art Deco interiors, and for Billy’s Ford he created an hand made dash styled around and Oldsmobile gauge cluster and he added wonderful shaped storage compartments behind the folding seat backs. A detail you normally only see in high end coachbuild cars. The upholstery was also done by David in real leather and matching mohair and wool for the headliner and carpets.
 

CCC-art-deco-36-ford-04-billyBilly’s 1936 Art Deco Ford Coupe looks fantastic from any angle, but this rear 3/4 view is perhaps my most favorite of them all. Everything seams to flow so well and the car looks like its going 100 miles an hour standing still.
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Metal work and Custom touches

  • ¬†3-1/2‚ÄĚ chop
  • Rumble seat converted to a trunk
  • 1939 Lasalle Grill
  • 1937 Packard Jr headlights
  • 1937 Zephyr taillights
  • 1936 Chevy hoodsides
  • cut down 1940 Chevy bumpers.
  • New HOK black paint ‚Äď work by Dave Martinez
  • New rubber on running boards, all new door seals and hinges
  • New glass all around
  • New wiring harness, all electrical works great, lights, blinkers, dome light, dash lights, etc- all have been gone through and redone with new wiring
  • Yankee 360 turn signal
  • Handmade dash with 1939 Oldsmobile¬†gauge cluster and dual glove boxes
  • 1948 Lincoln Wheel with knobs that match steering wheel made by Dennis Crooks at Quality Restorations
  • Leather interior by Dave Martinez- stunning!
  • Mohair headliner to match deep red wool carpet, oxblood

 

Drivetrain

  • SB 350/350 tranny
  • 3-1/2‚ÄĚ Bell dropped front axle
  • Rear of the frame C-notched
  • Ford 9‚ÄĚ rear
  • All new Posie springs, rides like a dream!
  • Great running and driving car with no mechanical issues

 
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How the Art Deco Ford Coupe was created

CCC-art-deco-36-ford-martinez-01This is how Billy delivered his 1936 Ford coupe to David Martinez in North Palm Springs, California. From a distance it still looks ok, but up close it was evident the car had a very rough life.
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-martinez-02When the car was chopped by a previous owner the body was was done very poor with loads of plastic filler covering the poor workmanship. David took it all off and metal finished the complete car as these door photos from before and after show.
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-martinez-03The roof and upper sections of the door jambs we so bad it was easier to redo them from scratch.
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-martinez-04A lot of work was needed to get the top door jambs and A-pillars up to the standard Billy and David were looking for.
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-martinez-05A large section of the A-pillar had to be replaced.
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-martinez-06With most of the chopped top reshaped and looking good it was time to create a new filler panel for the top.
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-martinez-07All fender s were in pretty bad shape as well as these photos of the passenger rear fenders show. David handmade most of these replacement panels.
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-martinez-08Finished rear fender with a reshaped Foxcraft 36-40 Ford teardrop skirt.
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-martinez-09The rumble seat was converted to trunk. The trunk panel reshaped to fit much better than it ever did, all gaps adjusted and a complete new inner structure and lip shaped.
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-martinez-10A lot of work went into the rear of the car to make it all fit together perfect, and super straight. All poor body work and bad metal was replaced.
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-martinez-11The 1939 Oldsmobile gauge cluster was the center point for the interior. David restyled everything around it. 
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-martinez-12The complete dash panel was handmade.
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-martinez-13Freshly painted Olds Gauge cluster on the left and the finished dash on the right with the two glove boxes and hand made knobs matching the Lincoln steering wheel.
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-martinez-141937 Lincoln Zephyr teardrop shape taillights mounted low on the Ford  rear deck. The cut down 1940 Chevy bumper was mounted on cut down bumper brackets to get them close to the body.
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-martinez-15Some nice photos from David showing the work needed on the hood to get the LaSalle grille to fit, and the freshly metal finished body.
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-martinez-16Hand shaped body panels to make the bottom of the LaSalle grille with the For front fenders.
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-martinez-17Almost done with the body work… getting ready for paint.
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-martinez-18Hood sides with 1936 Chevy hood side louvres, and Packard headlights. Everything flows together on Billy’s Ford.
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CCC-art-deco-36-ford-05-billyBilly’s Art Deco Ford shortly before it was shipped from California to Billy’s home in Texas. The reflections on this car are stunning.
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1936 Mercury Concept

 

1936 MERCURY CONCEPT

 

What would have happened if Mercury had started production in 1936 instead of 1939. Imagine 3 inch longer wheelbase 36, with more streamlined top…



This Digital project started when Palle Johansen came across a nice 1936 Ford three window coupe project car. We started to talk about what could be done with the project. Palle wanted it to be a period Custom, but he was also interested in doing something a bit different. We started to discuss the chop of the coupe. And decided that unlike most chops this particular one should start with the actual window opening. Once that was right the rest of the top would need to be shaped accordingly. I had a few very nice side view images of Jon Fisher’s amazing 1936 Ford coupe chopped by Scott Guildner, so it made sense to start with that. The chop on Jon’s 36 Ford is perfect the way it is, but both Palle and me wanted to try something just a little different.

CCC-digital-restyling-36-mercury-base-01This is the photo that I used as a base. Jon Fisher’s 1936 Ford coupe chopped by Scott Guildner.
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However along the way… I started to think some more about what we had talked about, doing something different with the 1936 Ford. On one of my early morning walks with our dog I came up with an interesting though. What if Mercury would have started producing cars in 1936. Then the wheel base of the car would have been 3 inches longer, the nose could be made longer, which always helps the looks on Custom Car. I did a quick Digital Restyling to show Palle, and he loved the idea. At first I worked with the basic shapes of the 1936 Ford, with extended front end including the front fenders. But soon I had added flush fit Lincoln teardrop skirts, which Palle wanted to incorporate, smooth running boards, longer GM headlights and smooth hood sides.

CCC-digital-restyling-36-mercury-01The first version of the Concept 1936 Mercury was rather “simple”. The hood, hood sides and front fenders were extended by 3 inches. I used an 1938 LaSalle grille and the feners where extended down a little at the end for a better flowing line. The chop has been modified with a reshaped side window opening and a few inches extended behind the B-Pillars, to compensate for the longer hood.
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CCC-digital-restyling-36-mercury-02Similar as the number 1, but now with Lincoln fender skirts, side trim and Black Wall tires.
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CCC-digital-restyling-36-mercury-03For version number 3 I added the Nash grille and used 1937 Ford hood side inserts.
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After that I started to think about replacing the door window frames with units shapes similar to an 1939-40 Mercury, and raking the windshield back a little, just as the 39-40 Mercury has compared to the same year Fords. When I added the new door side window frames the coupe belt line did not look right anymore, so I changed it to look more like a 1936 Ford roadster, and convertible combined. At the time I was doing this Digital Restyling I had been very much in love with the Nash grille Kipp Winward was using on his 1936 Ford 5-Window Ford. So I found a picture of that which I could use. The nice rounded shape of the grille extended the nose a little more, which looked really good with the longer wheel base. Next phase was trying out a few different tire and hubcap variations and side trim and hood side options.

 

CCC-digital-restyling-36-mercury-04For version number 4 things really started to look like the concept Mercury I had in mind. A lot of work was needed to make the new door window frames work with the top. The top itself was chopped some more to get in balance with the rest of the body. Auburn hubcaps were added.
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CCC-digital-restyling-36-mercury-05Variation of the hood sides.
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After having done a few variations, I wanted to take the car one step further. I leaned back the windshield a little further, and thinned down the rather heavy 1936 Ford top. I found a nice side view photo of a 1939 Mercury and used a new window frame to create even smoother and more streamlined side window openings. I also reshaped the front fenders to make them a little more bulbous and shaped them a bit more like the rear fenders, or perhas like the 1937-38 Ford fenders look like. But the section where they meet the running boards would still remain very much 36 Ford. I used a modified 1939 Ford Standard side trim on the hood sides.

CCC-digital-restyling-36-mercury-06For the number 6 concept I changed the whole top once again. Leaned back windshield and completely reshaped side window opening. The front fenders have more bulge added at the rear section and a nice u-turn side trim styled after a 1939 Ford was added. I also added 1939 Mercury bumpers to fit the theme a little better.
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Digital-restyling-36-mercury-07aThe last idea I wanted to see for myself was a 5-window body styled with elements of the Matranga 1940 Mercury. I wanted to keep the longer coupe doors instead of the shorter 5-window doors which required an extended and reshaped top, with a smaller trunk opening. Interesting, but perhaps not as elegant as the three window coupe version from number 6.
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Not to long after receiving the project 1936 Ford at his home in Denmark, Palle decided that it would be better to concentrate on the projects he already has going. 1947 Cadillac convertible and the Jack Stewart Ford restoration, so the hard decision to let go of the ’36 Ford Coupe was made. The car is now in Sweden and will be turned into a period Custom Car, but not as the 1936 Concept Mercury as we see in this article. Perhaps at one point Palle will find another 36 Ford, possibly a 5-window coupe, or sedan that could be turned in the 1936 Mercury Coupe Custom…

 

Rik Hoving


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Are you day dreaming about your own perfect dream custom?

  • Do you wonder what your precious car would (or could!) look like, even before you start cutting on it?
  • Would you like to see different paint variations and styled on your custom car before you even start to mask the car, or order that expensive new paint?
  • Or would you like to see the difference of a 2, 3 or 4 inch chop and see the impact it will have on the rest of the car?
  • Maybe you want to see any other modification done to your custom car, without having to actually perform that modification and find out a different modification would have worked better with the rest of your car?

Do you suddenly see all the possibilities? Perhaps now is a good time to contact Rik Hoving and ask him about the possibilities of his digital Restyling options. Request are free of any obligations.

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(this article is sponsored by)

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’36 Ford in the Magnificent Thirties – Forties

A DEFINING ERA

A special era for custom cars is the late 1930’s till the late 1940’s. In this particular period the custom car style was really developed which ultimately lead to the famous early 1950’s customizing style.

These early years produced inspirational wild and originally styled customs. There was a wonderful mix of coach build influences, combined with factory accessories, aftermarket parts and splendid streamlining. The 1936 Ford 5-window coupe shown above has been published before. The inset photo has appeared in many articles that Dean Batchelor was responsible for.

This car is extremely inspiring. It sits higher than we are used to nowadays. It even has a slightly less chop than what we mostly see these days and the single spotlight is also something that we are not used to anymore. But this car is just as good as they get. The styling is just perfect. The grille is one of the best on any 1936 Fords ever. And it looks like a simple narrowed unit until you start comparing. The top radius is larger than on a stock grille. Most likely the whole outer trim piece is hand made. The combination of the removed running boards and addition of trim pieces on the frame cover and rock shield on the rear fender is just so classy! The trim pieces on the frame covers might have been inspired by the 1939 LaSalle… or could it be the way around?

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A fairly unknown looker

The colorized photo was taken in Santa Monica in 1941 and it has been described as being painted maroon with gray. We have a strong feel that the customizing on this car has been done (or at least partly) by George DuVall. George was working on many dress up items during the time this car was built. And the grille changes are something just up his alley. The large photo shown here was found on ebay and the new owner of the photos was happy to share it with the Custom Car Photo Archive. (thank you!)

This for sure is one of our favorite custom car photos ever. So, what’s your favorite custom car photograph?

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