“I set up the ’32 ’rails on my frame table and pinched the front and rear until the body looked good sitting on top. I cut some 1/8-inch steel and inset-boxed the rear of the frame only. The Flathead mounts were made, along with a master cylinder bracket. I modified a set of ’32 pedals just like Vern [Tardel]. I cut down the torque tube to fit a ’39 banjo rearend with ’46 Ford rear ’bones and I put it together with some stock 3.54 gears so it goes down the highway really nice. I sent the front ’32 axle to Titus over in Minnesota to get a 4-inch drop.
“With the rolling frame done I mounted the sectioned ’32 grille shell. I cut up a stock radiator and had a local shop (Valley Radiator) re-core it and move the outlets around. I cut up a Model A headlight bar and turned it into a stand for the ’29 headlights. I retrofitted some halogen bulbs in the stock reflectors to make night driving a lot easier.
“The engine came with the project; it’s a ’46 59A. I was told it was a runner, but I pulled the heads, intake, and pan just to check it out. It looked really clean and had a recent 0.060-over rebuild. And on top of it all, it ended up being a factory relieved block. I decided to bolt on a set of old Edmunds heads, an original Thickstun PM-7, and hope for the best. I sent the crab distributor down to Bubba’s Hot Rod Shop [Speedway, Indiana] for a full rebuild and had him eliminate the need for a vacuum line. I rebuilt a set of old chrome Stromberg 97s that I had laying around and bolted them up.
“When I tried to mount up the generator and fan I planned on using (no alternators here), I found out that it hit the front carb. This is when I found out I had a mid-rise Thickstun intake. Since the ’36 Ford Flathead generators were smaller front to back than the later models, I had Baylakes Rebuilders in Green Bay tackle the job of converting the mid-rise Thickstun intake ’36 generator to 12 V. In 1936, they had a cutout switch on top of the generator to regulate voltage. Baylakes converted it to use an external 12V negative ground mechanical regulator. It works great.
“I took a ’36 Ford driveshaft and cut it in half to make the headers. There are no baffles. Only chrome looks right on lake headers so I dropped them off at Chrome Plating Specialists in Brillion [Wisconsin]. They did a great job, and I coated the inside with a DIY ceramic coating to keep them from turning blue. It seems to be working good so far because they are still shining like the day I picked them up!
“With the car all put together and everything fitting like I wanted, I tore it back down for paint. I didn’t have a color in mind right away so I just kept plugging away on the bodywork. Once I got the body close I asked my painter friend Tom Salamonski to mix up a sample of a copper pearl. Instead of just shooting a test panel, we shot the tank and fender for my ’69 Triumph. The color looked great and my mind was made up. Everything was offset with a cream white.
“When it came time to lay the paint (I shot it all in my detached garage at home), Salamonski suited up alongside me and watched me lay the paint and clear. He gave me tips as I went, and was a huge help. On top of it all he let me borrow his new Sata paint gun. Talk about being helpful. Painting cars is a new thing for me and I have to say, I really like it. I wet-sanded it down and polished it out, and then bolted it back on the frame.