Story By Bob Brace of Cruisin Products www.cruisinproducts.com
Bill has a very unique car and his vision of the car has taken many paths. The frame is a good example . As any builder will testify, changes are made as their project progresses. Bill started with an Alston chassis kit. The basic frame was set up for a small block Chevy, Mustang front suspension and the popular 9" rear suspension with coil-overs. The frame soon became a rolling chassis. The body was fitted, and Bill had himself a roller.
Just about that same time, some major changes in Bill’s life put the Mayflower in the back ground for a number of years. A move from suburbia to the country, daughters growing up and being married, and oh yeah, a 1974 Avanti and a Mercedes kit car all took residence over the Mayflower. Bill also took an early retirement from Ford in 2002. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened ( when one looks at the finished car now ). Bill had contemplated some major changes over those years of many distractions for the Mayflower and now he was again ready to resume building.
With the help of Mike Cook ( also retired ) who Bill credits as a co-builder, Bill resumed work on the Mayflower and major changes were in the Mayflowers evolution. The frame was being updated to accommodate the new engine /trans combination. The chevy was out! The new engine/ trans is a story unto itself and I'll cover that in the next segment. For now, lets check out the frame.
The frame needed some major modifications. Bill and Mike set out and widened the frame 2.0 inches. The "basket handle" cowl support was out for a newly designed horizontal brace. The side rails section height was increased and the rear kick ups were reinforced. A complete inner rail section was added with new cross members. Bill actually ended up with a new frame structure within the original widened frame. The new frame was coming together quite well. Take a look at the pictures.
I must add that this coverage is just lending a taste of the many modifications that Bill, Mike and others did to make this car what it has become. These segments are simply highlighting some of the aspects of this car. Believe me, this car could fill an entire 1,000 page book and probably still leave out many details.
Barb and Bill will be attending several car shows this year. They just returned from the Goodguys Columbus Nationals. Before that, Mile accompanied Bill on a 1700 mile leg of the recent Rod Tour. Bill will be attending many events in Michigan this year including the upcoming Woodward Cruise and NSRA Nats North in September. To appreciate this creation you have to see it in person. Plan on spending some time checking out the Mayflower. And don't forget the beer. Bill loves to spend time talking about the car, but he does get thirsty.