I have owned many Deuces over the years including the Roadster and Phaeton which have very little leg room for a man six foot or more in height. That is one reason why I switched to the Wescott Phaeton body with the three inch set back front seat in the 80’s. My friend Gary built his Phaeton in the 80’s with the set back seat and there is all the room you need in his Phaeton. In the roadster, there have been many changes to the stock configuration including longer doors and seats set back under the rear tulip to gain a few extra inches. I have found that the stock firewall provides a little extra room for your left foot, whereas the flat firewall really forces me to drive with the left foot on the firewall, especially on long distances. Not all people are uncomfortable in the Deuce but for me the lack of leg room really is not comfortable to drive other than to the local drive-in.
How do you fix that problem? One way is to move up to a later model with more leg room, like in a Forty Ford. The current Boyd car has limited room but the design of the seat provides a real comfortable position for my bad back and driving for a couple of hours. The contour is just perfect for my structure even with the flat firewall in the Wescott body. Setting the seat back under the tulip really gives you the extra room but sometimes the steering column drop becomes really low and looks out of place in the small cockpit. I have some examples to show you today of some I thought were done right. You might as well be comfortable for that drive when you head out on the highways.
click on photo for a larger image
A Phaeton is one of the cars that can have the seat moved back and still look correct. This beauty is now for sale and is shown in the For Sale Section of my blog. Price is $75K.
The late Don Broyles had this one in inventory as he was a dealer for Wescott. The seat was in stock position.
Al built his Phaeton with the set back seat as shown above. Note the distance from the front door post to the seat back.
Gary did a drawing showing how Wescott set back the seat. The 16 1/2″ is the correct measurement for the set back. I had Karl make me a new seat back for my last Phaeton. Not hard to replace if you brace everything prior to cutting out the old stock seat back.
Note how far the front seat intrudes on the rear passenger compartment. Fortunately, there is a footwell in the front seat back.
From the side profile you can see the set back ends at the middle of the rear door. Al is a big man but fits nicely in the front enabling him to drive all day long.
This is a stock Deuce front seat. Notice the side panel compared to Al’s above.
On a metal car you can simple ad a piece to the existing back by cutting the back and welding in the extension. Make sure to fully brace the body prior to removing the back as it holds the body together.
I traded a forty convert for this years ago and the stock seating was impossible for me to drive any distance. Karl made me the extension but the new owner never installed the part.
I favor the hiboy style like this one. I like everything about this Phaeton except the name on the title.
If your buns can take it these seats set way back and provide leg room.
SO-CAL sets the seat back under the tulip as shown in this photo.
Here is the finished product. I have set in this car and I fit fine with the seat set back.
Here is another version of the set back.
Gabe built this one and added arm rests which come in handy on long trips.