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Carl Urbaniak's mild custom 41 Ford Coupe

Carl Urbaniak's mild custom 41 Ford Coupe

It's crazy sometimes when you think back to how you met a close friend.  For me and Carl Urbaniak, it was due to a blown radiator hose.  My buddy Dave and I had been hearing a buzz about a traditional hot rod event in Milwaukee, WI put on by the Cheaters car club.  The show is known as the Cheaterama, which makes sense, and is put on by a great group of dedicated hot rodders.  Dave and I arrived at the show early before any of the car club members had even arrived, but soon Carl came rolling in with a killer T-roadster so fresh the paint was still wet.  Carl made a grand entrance with a smoky burnout that resulted in the top radiator letting lose and dousing the flatty with coolant.  It was a fine mess, and the club had a show to prep for so Dave and I volunteered to tackle the T.  While the club prepped the show grounds Dave and I cleaned up the little hot rod, re-attached the hose, and filled her with fresh fluids.  What may have seemed like a simple act of kindness by strangers really left an impression on Carl, and launched a friendship with one of the coolest cats I know.
Carl didn't grow up in the car scene, but his Dad was in the Army which resulted in him being very mechanically inclined, and having “an ultimate set of tools.”  Carl's Dad was always very supportive about what he and his older brother Rome were interested in...which started with skate boards and BMX bikes, and eventually evolved into a love for cars.  Carl states that his eyes were opened to cars early on due to the fact that he hung out mostly with Rome and all of his older friends...mostly due to the fact that Carl could hold his own at a skate park despite being the youngest kid.  As Rome and his friends gravitated towards motorcycles and cars, so did Carl.  Car's first real mechanical undertaking was an old Harley sprint that his uncle had lying around.  Carl's uncle told him he could have the bike if he could get it running...Carl was up for the challenge.  After dialing in the sprint, Carl wanted a car of his own which came in the form of a 1965 Coronet he spied at a dealership on the south side of Milwaukee.  Carl and his buddies added a 2-4bl manifold and slipped in a 4 speed out of a hemi car.
The Coronet was Carl's introduction into the idea of hot rodding, and resulted in a long list of car builds to follow including; 2 model A roadsters, a 50 Ford sedan, a 55 Buick Roadmaster, and a righteous red model A coupe.  In fact it was the sale of the coupe that resulted in the purchase of the 41 you see before you.  Carl had some money in his pocket, but no ride.  He decided he wanted a 1937-41 coupe as knew a 35-36 was out of his price range, but he figured if built “right” a later coupe could be bitchin.  Carl told a friend what he was after, and he put him in contact with a guy who had several cars that fit the bill.  The gentleman asked Carl was he was looking for, and what he could afford to spend.  Carl stated that he wanted a really clean car, but that he was not concerned about drive line as he already had that on hand.  The choice was then obvious and Carl became the new owner of a 1941 super deluxe 3 passenger Ford coupe last painted in was perfect.
Carl's vision for the 41 was a mild custom straight out of the spring of 1949 in Burbank, CA.  The transformation from bone stock to mild custom included many impressive, but very subtle mods.  The hood was made a one-piece, note the lack of trim down the center of the hood.  The hood side trim was shortened by 4 mounting holes.  The rubber was removed from the running boards, then painted, and accented with Studebaker trim.  1940 LaSalle hub caps were welded to 16” trim rings, and are a perfect look, and accent the white wall beautifully.  Moving inside the 41's cab we find wide pleated seats, and a Lincoln Zephyr steering wheel given a two tone treatment.  The bakelite was removed from the dash and replaced with std trim that Carl had chrome plated at the same time he had the garnish moldings plated.  Finally the 41's radio was removed and the opening welded shut.
The 41's motivation comes in the form of a bone stock, but well tuned engine.  Carl states the heads were machined slightly, then all the normal tune up items were addressed .  Carl did rebuild the 3 speed trans though, primarily because he really enjoys going through them.  Once done, Carl enjoyed 3 years of cruising the 41 nearly every day...rain or shine.  The Ford has been sold since my photo shoot with it, but it didn't go far.  Brain Alborn...a fellow patch holder of the Cheaters is now the care taker and putting his own twist on the 41, and creating new memories.  So what's next for Carl?  Well, there's been a roadster pick up build in the works for several years, and rumor has it that it's nearly trigger finger is itching already.