Rod & Custom Feature Car
1950 Ford Convertible
Since Jim had plans of driving this '50 Ford as often as possible on long-legged outings, he opted to remove the fresh Flathead the car came with (don't worry, he reused it in another car) and install a reliable brand-new Chevrolet ZZ4 350ci in its place disguised by an original '53 Oldsmobile air cleaner and matching valve covers. Cruising was made easier with a 700-R4 automatic transmission.
Jim upgraded the original chassis with a pair of dropped spindles, disc brakes borrowed from a Ford Torino, rack-and-pinion steering from a Chevy Cavalier, and a Jamco front sway bar. With the front suspension fully freshened up, Jim sent it over to Kevin Erisman in Germantown, Ohio, for the addition of an Air Ride Technologies system to control the ride height of the nose. The rear was brought up to snuff with a pair of new springs from POSIES and fresh shocks to smooth the bumps encountered by the Ford 9-inch rearend.
Wheels & Tires
Jim wanted to stick with a factory look for the wheels, but added his own twist by widening a set of optional 16-inch '50 Ford wheels to an 8-inch width and then shod them with a set of 225/60R16 Michelin rubber. Final dress-up is a set of factory rings and caps.
Body & Paint
Starting with a nice body made things a lot easier for Wayne Crew in Springfield, Ohio, where after a few tweaks to line up everything, he was able to spray the original '50 Ford light green paint color-matched to a N.O.S. wheel Jim found at a swap meet. After the paint was dry and buffed, all the restored original factory trim was returned to its rightful locations from end to end.
Unlike most over-the-top creations, Jim's subtle ride saved most of its tricks for the interior. Original seats were modified and wrapped in dark green leather by Rick Futrell of Dayton, Ohio, complementing the restored dash that has a '54 Ford column topped by a matching vintage Mercury steering wheel. Modern tunes are supplied by an Alpine system hidden behind a factory radio delete panel and throughout the interior, and a contemporary A/C from Vintage Air has been disguised as a factory heater with custom knobs handmade to replicate original dash knobs to blend it in perfectly with the rest of the dash. Vintage N.O.S. Ford accessory fender star emblems were used to add some period flash to the door panels, and early T-bird power window and door lock switches give a modern accessory without looking out of place.