Rod & Custom Feature Car
1949 Crosley Hot Shot
Crosley based the Hot Shot's frame on a 2x4 open channel, which split in half by the time Rich bought the car. Stan Connolly reassembled the pieces and, to improve its rigidity, boxed it from stem to stern. He also constructed an X-member to give it considerably more integrity. Stan modified a Ford pedal assembly and equipped it with a dual-circuit master cylinder. It feeds steel Bundy tubing, Wilwood proportioning valves, and rubber brake hoses. Hot Rod Works in Nampa, Idaho, narrowed the 3.54:1-geared '47 Ford housing to a scant 42 inches. It also converted the input to open drive, modified the gear carrier to take more conventional plug-in semi-floating axles, and swapped the axle ends to accept 11-inch Galaxie drum brakes. Stan Connolly fabricated the rear crossmember, four-bar, and Panhard rod specifically for the application. It rides on Aldan Eagle coil over dampers with the company's lightest springs. Up front Stan whittled a Mustang II crossmember down to narrow the front track to 42 inches. Race car manufacturer Appleton Rack & Pinion fabricated a similarly narrower steering rack to fit. Considering the car's 1,900-pound curb weight, the 9-inch rotors are more than adequate. Like the rear, the front rides on Aldan's lightest-sprung coil over dampers.
Bill Ross based the engine on an iron-side '39 Ford V-8/60. The Offenhauser heads, Ken Austin manifold, and Stromberg 97s withstanding, it's basically stock and makes 76 hp. Rich robbed the radiator from an Isuzu lift truck and the alternator from a Mitsubishi. A Mallory distributor fires the charge. Considering the tight packaging, there was no way to route pipes under the car and still maintain a comfortable cabin. So Rich ran pipes from the stock manifolds to a single 1 1/2-inch-diameter Flowmaster and ultimately to two side pipes.
With triple the horsepower than the Crosley engine, Rich's Hot Shot is a lot more road worthy. But with two more gears on tap, thanks to the Borg Warner T-5, it's a lot more fun to drive. A Ford 9-inch clutch couples the engine to this Aamco-rebuilt transmission; Yakima Driveline built the driveshaft that transmits the load to the rear axle.
Wheels & Tires
The stock 12-inch wheels are hardly capable of much, but with triple the power and the nearly infinite better handling and braking Rich's car has, they're downright dangerous. So he commissioned Wheel Vintiques to build a set of 15x5 Gennies. They wear 165R-15 Coker Classic radial whitewalls and smoothed '46-48 Ford caps and stainless rings.
Body & Paint
Keith Hallauer at Vintage Autobody methodically cut the fenders from the body and removed the entire deck to install the scratch-made floor, transmission tunnel, and wheel houses. Before reassembling the body, he and Rich fabricated an inch-square cage upon which the body mounts. Above and beyond, giving it considerably more strength, it defines the body's edges, including its new wheelwell and door openings. Keith finished the grille opening for engine cooling, fabricated the front and rear roll pans, eliminated the body seams, and molded the cowl for a sleeker boat-type windshield. Rock Valley crafted the diminutive 7.4-gallon stainless tank to fit inside the rear bustle.
Rich replaced the Crosley's modest seats with modified '94 Mitsubishi Galant buckets. Yakima's Joe Britz trimmed them and the side panels and door inserts in white and red leatherette and the floor in maroon nylon loop carpet. Keith Hallauer wood-grained the steel dash and the stock Crosley wheel. Rich had the stock Crosley-specific Stewart-Warner instruments restored and had the stock AM radio reconfigured as an AM-FM unit. He installed it and the 4-inch Infinity Kappa marine-series speakers, and wired the car with a Painless Performance kit.