Rod & Custom Feature Car
John Mearns
Costa Mesa, California
1936 Ford Coupe

Though John Mearns bought a complete, driveable, restored car as a basis for the project, he sold the original chassis and running gear and had Jeb Scolman mount the body on a Total Cost Involved frame, complete with independent front suspension and a Flaming River matched component steering system with variable pressure pump and power rack. Pete & Jakes coilovers suspend the coupe all round, with a four-link at the rear.

Replacing the twice-rebuilt 265 small-block is a Taylor Engines-built 327, based on a stock displacement '64 block. LimeWorks undertook the installation, which meant pulling and realigning the painted frontend sheetmetal. The triple Strombergs were replaced at the same time with a 600-cfm Edelbrock four-barrel for reliability, on a black powdercoated Edelbrock intake. The carburetor is partially hidden under a Scolman-modified $10 eBay air cleaner that's believed to be from a Dodge or Plymouth. Stock '55 Chevy exhaust manifolds were smoothed and Jet Hot coated black. Scolman modified the valve covers by cutting out the tops and welding in those of '50s Lincoln covers, just because the script looked cool. We promised not to mention that he had to do this twice as the first time the lettering was upside down once the covers were fitted! We lied. The 700-R4 trans was rebuilt when the engine came out the last time for peace of mind, while the 9-inch rearend is the only part of the drivetrain that hasn't been touched since the car hit the road!

Wheels & Tires
General Tire 195/75R16 radials from the Whitewall Candy Store have replaced the whitewalls that were on the car during its build, as John wasn't happy with their ride characteristics, though the 16x5.50 Wheel Vintiques '40 Ford-style steelies remain. In our previous article we mentioned John was undecided on hubcap choice; the car still wears the flipper 'caps it had in that 2008 shoot.

Body & Paint
Scolman re-chopped the roof, making an amazing job of fixing the botched attempt he was presented with, as well as adding the '34 Chevy hood side sections, fabricating the grille surround for the '40 LaSalle grille, forming fenderskirts, fitting '37 Lincoln Zephyr taillights and '36 Packard Jr. headlights, and shaving the decklid and door handles. These now operate via solenoids, with remote terminals added for backup. Bob Cole laid on the '48 VW Bordeaux Red, a description which belies the amount of work that went into such a straight finish!

Westminster Auto Upholstery used leather and wool to upholster the car, modifying the foam on the Wise Guys split bench seat, and adding '35 Ford hood side spears as dividers between the different materials on the door panels. The '50 Chevy armrests were added, as well as vintage aircraft-style seat belts from Retro Rods. The '48 Chevy steering wheel dictated the interior colors, and was attached to a modified (Scolman again) '41 Lincoln column, with a custom metal-spun bell between the wheel and shaft. A '40 Ford dash was modified to allow the stock windshield crank to be retained.