West Melbourne, Florida
1934 Ford Coupe
"Here's my '34 coupe from the '50s. I bought it as a project car in 1957. It was channeled rather badly but I never tried to fix that. I chucked the original 21-stud Flathead, kept the odd stretched and reshaped dropped axle, and added a 265 small-block Chevy engine, a '37 Buick Roadmaster floor shift trans (I could never find the preferred LaSalle trans), and an F-100 steering column. I ran it in C-Altered at the old Montgomery, New York, dragstrip where I was also the flagman. I turned a less-than-stunning 16 seconds flat with three Strombergs, a Corvette distributor, and no other mods. In 1958 and 1959, these were fun times.
"I soon added the requisite street equipment and it was one of the very few rods on the roads of northern New Jersey at that time, owing largely to the state's arcane and seemingly arbitrary motor vehicle inspection rules. About 1960 I gave up fighting the state and advertised it for sale in Hot Rod magazine. Dozens of enquiries came in from all over the country. I eventually sold it to a guy from Brooklyn, New York, who told me he was going to make it into an all-out drag car with center steering. I never saw or heard of it again.
"I'm now retired and living in Florida. I'm still a rodder but my world is now the street. The last time I went to the drags they started with flags!"
Terry B. Jevne
Minot, North Dakota
1932 Pontiac Coupe
"In the heyday of muscle cars, you were hard pressed to find a coupe or roadster in Riverton, Wyoming. There were the usual early '60s cars, plus Camaros, Chevelles, GTOs, and even a Corvair with a small-block Chevy in the back seat. In 1971, I sold my '69 Super Bee so I could buy a house, but I still craved a hot rod.
"My buddy, Levi, acquired this '32 Pontiac coupe without an engine or tranny. I happened to have my brother's wrecked '61 Chevy hardtop with a 348 and three-speed, so I transplanted them into the coupe. Then I replaced the rear leaf spring that mounted the 9-inch rearend with coils and mounted a slave cylinder clutch. Hot rodding was alive and well in the Rocky Mountains. Drag races were every Sunday on the Paradise Valley Road."
Rib Lake, Wisconsin
1950 Mercury Coupe
There are all kinds of surprises on Leon Long's big black Merc. The project was a five-year, complete body-off rebuild, and the final result is part lead sled, part street machine. Custom modifications include the 4-inch chop, shaved door handles, lowered stance, molded bumpers (painted to update the whole theme of the exterior), frenched headlights, and welded body seams. The body was completely stripped before being shot glossy black (those lines have to be perfect 'cause there's no hiding any dings). Underneath you'll find a Fatman Fabrications subframe. Peek inside and wow! That's not the '50s! Not with that completely new performance-oriented interior, featuring Dakota Digital gauges, high-tech buckets, custom console, ididit steering column, and Grant wheel. The drivetrain is every bit as up-to-date, from the LS1 engine to the 4L60E transmission. The rearend is a Ford 9-inch with 3.50:1 gears and a locker. We can already hear the hard-core traditional custom crowd crying, but if "custom" means "modified" and "unique" then Leon's got a true custom.
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