I retired in 2001 and set out to do what I wanted to everyday. My first goal was to convert my stock 48 convertible into something I could drive in the left lane without worry of overheating or vapor locking. I have built cars from the ground up but never disassembled a finished car and started over. The process was challenging only from the point of having to redo almost everything except the paint and upholstery. I spent about 3 months from start to finish with most of the time spent on taking the car apart. The car was a recent restoration so everything came apart easy. Someone had thought undercoating was required on this restoration but I really don’t like the look so I removed all of it by hand. If you have never tried to do this don’t start now…. what a messy and time consuming task. The wife helped and put up with the mess, but never again will I purchase a car with undercoating. I have the build pictures for you to follow.
Tomorrow I am going to the LA Wood meet in San Pedro even though the Santa Barbara car show is also tomorrow. I have a need to see some woodies and the wife would spend too much money in Santa Barbara. SB is like Newport Beach, a $40 dollar shirt costs $400 just because of the neighborhood. We might see Oprah or Ellen looking at cars and I don’t have time to “do lunch”.
Have a great weekend and take the wife or girlfriend for a ride in the roadster!
The first step was to remove the old flathead, Columbia and closed torque tube. I spent about a week getting everything ready to yank out. I purchased the cherry picker specifically for this task. I found it invaluable during the build.
The chassis was in mint condition so after removing the undercoating I had a nice clean weld surface for the motor mounts. I had installed the Magnum axle and brakes with the flathead and Columbia. This was a 1948 Ford so it had nice tubular shock mounts which bolt to the stud in the Magnum axle just like stock.
My friend Bob likes flatheads and Columbia’s so I sold them to him and turned his dollars into a 327/350 and a new Currie rear axle. I used TCI mounting brackets and springs. So far I was ahead of the game money wise. Labor hours were mounting up and the back was hurting but I kept going. Remember energy follows focus.
The mock up looked good but the Buick drums would not fit the wheels so I saved them for the roadster project I had dreamed of. Fred supplied me with a nice set of disc brakes. This turned out to be a good decision. Trying to stop a huge car with drum brakes can be challenging.
I painted everything in urethane black and it came out very nice. I am a black frame guy no matter what color the car is. Deuces are an exception to my rule.
Here is a close up of the brake, axle and shock mounts. Henry would be proud…no IFS.
I rebuilt a healthy 327 with a Comp cam and a set of Rhodes lifters. The car had a great drive-in idle and the lifters sounded like solids… High School hot rod all over again. I love it.
The wiring was completed using an Enos panel. I had a hose, fire extinguisher and blankets ready when I fired it up. No problems except the transmission fluid ran out to the transmission. Always put a plug or driveshaft yoke in place. Another big mess on top of the undercoating stains. The wife was not happy.
The end result…a reality for a change.
While not a Deuce, I love these cars for their good looks and comfortable ride.
Tom built the yellow one and I drove it for a while during the build. This car had a Heidts IFS and I will admit drove like a Cadillac.