Rice County, Kansas, 1957.
My $15 purchase.
My father was not happy.
New Sharon, Iowa
1932 Ford Coupe
In 1957, Ole Irwin of Little River, Kansas, had a '32 Ford five-window coupe for sale-asking price of $15. It was a tired, farm chore car, minus its B engine. The fenders were rough, there was rust in the rockers and tail panel, and the interior was in shreds. My brother Arden and I towed it nine miles on rural roads to our farm near Geneseo, Kansas.
I could have planned the build, but I was a high school freshman and wanted a hot rod. I channeled the body (deep in front-no money for a dropped axle) and after four years had it on the road with a $10 '48 Mercury V-8 and a '39 transmission, installed using a frontloader on a 2-cylinder tractor. Dave Haddix plumbed the three 97s and wired the car using cloth covered wire from a neighbor's '41 Hudson. It had '49 Lincoln instruments, Renault Dauphine bucket seats, a Baldwin wheat combine gas tank in the trunk, and a firewall arc welded and smoothed to the frame with a flexible shaft sander. I rolled the rear pan (in lead) using the hood off a '49 Pontiac that also gave up its taillights. The chassis and engine were painted black and my mix of gold color. The body never got past the dark gray primer stage.
If the car still exists, it will have traces of white enamel inside the body and a filled spotlight hole at the top of the A-pillar. I used lead over steel wool.
Along with mistakes made, there were some skills learned on that old Ford. I studied industrial arts in college and am now in my 43rd year of teaching. After years without a hot rod, I put together a late-Forties-style T roadster (which can be found in the Featured Cars section of www.rodandcustommagazine.com) and am collecting parts for a three-window. This time the plan is to bring one back.
L. Jan Childers
Wilmington, North Carolina
Full Custom Pickup
A cartoon provided the inspiration and an '80 Toyota pickup provided the raw material for Jan's truly unique homebuilt C-cab pickup. He built the body in his own garage using everyday hand tools. The rear of the cab was created from angle iron, square tubing, and fiberglass-covered plywood. The rest of the body (except for the hood) was pulled off the donor truck sheetmetal, such as the firewall built from the rear of the original cab, the cowl top built from the Toyota roof, and the cowl sides built from the doors. The chassis was completely modified, and crossmembers were all rebuilt and relocated, because the 20R engine was moved rearward 16 inches. Five-gallon buckets were cut down to make the headlight housings, and a pair of handmade barrels serves as a battery box and tool box. As wild as it is, Jan's hauler is street legal and roadworthy, and has been driven all over North Carolina.
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