After much arguing the merits of keeping my '39 Ford Standard Coupe stock, or Rodding it, I decided to compromise and resto-rod the old lady. The basic car is in very good order and so does not need any body work at this stage. Paintwork is not Concours, but is good enough that I can pitch up at a rod meet or even show without embarrassment. We've fitted a Jag XJ6 IFS and IRS, Jag brakes and power steering, a Ford hi-performance 302 and a C4 transmission. The biggest problem encountered to date has been the length of the 302. As the Ford Racing Shorty water pump only gives about 1.5", I decided to do away with the manual fan, and opted for two 12" electric fans fitted in front of a custom made aluminum radiator. A new custom-made aluminum pulley set up was fabricated. I love the original 16" wheels and hub caps and it was important for me to retain these to give the car its stock appearance, so adapters were fabricated to match he wheels to the Jag pattern. All attached pics are taken at the early stages of the conversion - before sandblasting and painting. I live in South Africa, so do not have easy access to a lot of the bolt-on parts available in the US, so a lot of stuff has to be fabricated - adds to the work, but makes the project more interesting.
|Before the project||Jag IRS - side view|
|Jag IRS in position - rear view||Jag IFS in position|
|Rear mountings for Jag IRS||302 in position -Engine mounts fabricated|
|Assembly mock-up with the stooges|
Here are some of the latest pics of my '39 Ford rebuild featured in your Garage Shots section. While the car was stripped, I decided to rebuild the body, so the project is going to take another few months--and more bucks!
|Brake booster & pedal mechanism||Jag IFS complete install|
|Repairs to rear||Body prep|
My '39 Ford resto-rod is making good progress. I decided to paint it a two tone gray, and am very pleased with the way it's turning out. The body repairs were completed and it was flattened, primered, and the dark gray top half (hood, roof, trunk) is complete. The only real body mod is the recessed rear license plate. It's at an exciting stage now, with noticeable progress each week.
|Body primered||Start Paint|
|Start Paint||Start Paint|
The Ford is looking so fine and starting to attract a lot of comments from local rodders who were very sceptical when I started the project. Color-coded (gray) fender welting and all new glass arrived this afternoon. Jag master cylinder and brake booster are back from being reconditioned by specialists. We're starting to plan the upholstery which will also be done in two tone gray leather. Original 16" wheels are at a local engineering shop being widened a couple of inches, so it's all a'happenin...
|Front Left||IFS Looking good|
Both front and rear Jag suspension units have been totally reconditioned and this part of the project is now complete. Brakes are also done up, only the remote reservoir has to be installed. We decided to fit an electric power steering unit, modified from a German Opel - it's fitted in the trunk and hydraulic pipes have been connected to the steering rack - only the wiring needs to be done. The original wheels were widened 2" on the inside, and are mounted on the adapter plates. The glass is in - complete with color-coded (gray) rubber. Today, the assembled engine and transmission were installed (painted Ford blue - kind of bright!). New Dolphin electronic gauges (styled to match the originals) and a Lokar Nostalgia shifter arrived from the U.S. I was hoping to have the car on the road by Christmas, but it's more likely to be end-January.
|Wheels on||Rear view|
|Jag IRS||IRS Anti tramp rod|
|Glass installed||Brake booster, master cylinder, & pipes installed|
|Electric power steering pump installed and plumbed||Engine in today December 1st|
|Front view||Another view|
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