He cut 1932-34 tie-rod ends across the ball opening and welded the sockets to the wishbones' ends. He trimmed wishbone balls, the threaded end of a Ford tie rod. Those screw into the tie-rod ends on the wishbone legs. Wishbone clamps bolted to each framerail capture each wishbone ball.
Model 40 perches mount horizontally in crush sleeves welded to the wishbone legs. Deuce perch bosses welded to the perches link to smoothed and extended 1936 Ford dampers that Logan Asher donated to the cause. John and Tim Hein extended the steering arms to make the tie rod land behind the crossmember. John drew the drag link arm in Adobe Illustrator graphics software, had it laser cut, and bent it to clear the axle. A lengthened Deuce drag link connects that arm to a Deuce steering assembly.
John relocated the spring ahead of the rear axle, something usually achieved simply by swapping Ford axle housings side for side. But the Columbia two-speed John intended to run doesn't do that. John severed the right side axle end from the Columbia housing and grafted a left one in its place. Friends Mike Robison and Tom Carnegie at Spokane's Antique Auto Ranch assembled the axle.
John and coworker Justin Merrill made the overdrive linkage during lunch breaks. "He was great because he was so open to my crazy ideas," John praises. He adapted a 1932 brake cross shaft as one of those pivots to give the linkage the same approximate axis as the driveline. A modified parking brake mechanism on a Deuce shift tower activates the linkage. Billy Johnson built a gearbox with 1936-39 gears to work with the Deuce tower's forks.
Family friend Dave Swenson rebuilt a desirable late-1936 LB block and heads as a stocker. The engine boasts the only manufactured speed parts on the whole car, a housing for two WICO magnetos and a modified Navarro intake manifold. Chris Swenson rebuilt the Stromberg 81 carburetors. John and Darrell fabricated a filter housing in the likeness of a 1936 Ford's.
When Ford curled the base of the cowl line forward it opened a triangle at the base. "I always hated that," John admits. In the end John removed the cowl sides, spread the body, and lowered it until the frame came up to the top of the triangle. The trimmed cowl sides land on top of the frame.
John removed the windshield header and squared the A-pillars with the door tops. The tank top rolls into the cockpit as a 1936 pickup dash top. To maintain the manufactured look he seamed all of the joints. "That was a nightmare," he says. "I bet we did the upper corners 10 times just to keep the seams."
The 1938 Ford grille sounded implausible but looked great if you squinted. That and the eternally optimistic fabricator and friend, Darrell Peterson, is all he needed. "I'm telling you it was a bitch," John says. Peterson split the hood top and merged it to parts of a 1936 hood. John imposed again. "I wanted an uninterrupted spear for a hood hinge but the Ford hinge wouldn't get out of the way of itself," he says. Inspiration appeared as a 1938 Chevy.
They fit the Chevy hinge to the car and then grafted its hood's flanges to the Ford hood. John sent the hinge to Russ Meeks at Finish Line Coatings to have him build up the surface by flame spraying it with silicon bronze. "Dan Weaver took over the plating process for that piece," John says. The spear boomeranged from Tripleplate Chrome Plating for filling and Weaver's shop for filing. "I bet we have 120 hours in that spear alone," John marvels.
Peterson and Rob Kisler flush-fit the doors and made the door and rear quarter reveals consistent with the cowl shape. They also wrapped the lines around the back of the cab as a radius. "Once we got the nose into shape we finally had a chance to push it outside," John remembers. "I told Darrell, 'I'm cuttin' it off.'" So the rear panel that took three months to build lasted 15 minutes. Within the hour he met Jeff so they could fight over a solution.
Steve Galloway and John slip-rolled the new panel. The bow interfered with the frame kick-up, so Jeff extended the cab as a tiny turtle deck. "That's the genius of Jeff," John says. "That little shape closes the gap that would open up between the body and tank."