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Yesterday's Young Guns
1934 Ford Coupe
Jeff Miller wrote us to let us, and you, know about his dad Wayne’s career as a hot rodder. A member of the ’49ers Car Club in Portland, Oregon, he had many old Fords in the ’50s, though this coupe is Jeff’s favorite. At the age of 17 Wayne built this channeled ’34 three-window (in 1953), which was featured in Hot Rod magazine in May 1954.
He bought a complete and running ’34 sedan as a basis for the coupe project, and in one weekend swapped the bodies with the aid of a cutting torch and the help of his buddy, John Scheewe! The ported and relieved Flathead ran a 1/4-inch stroked Merc crank, Navarro heads, Spaulding cam, and a Sharp manifold.
This all-steel ’34 coupe is son Jeff’s project, which was obviously inspired by his dad’s
The car is pictured here at the drags at Aurora Airport in Oregon during the summer of 1954 just before he sold it. Wayne was lucky enough to have his friend, Bill Wickman, take color slides that day. He and Jeff’s mom live in Vancouver now and he is still building cars, owning a ’32 roadster, ’47 Mercury convertible, and a ’55 Chevy Nomad. He dreams of building a ’32 Tudor for his next old ride.
The other picture here is of Jeff’s all-steel ’34 coupe project, which, with the help of his dad, can be a channeled coupe just like Wayne’s complete with Flathead power and early running gear.
1949 Ford Club Coupe
Steve Dively says it’s difficult to find a shoebox coupe in any condition in Pennsylvania. This ’49 was very roughmeaning lots of repair work was necessary before he could even get started on modifying it. He tackled all the body mods and paint in his two-car garage with his Model A coupe sitting next to it.
Steve reasons that a heavy chop on these cars loses the coupe’s appearance, but also says that left unchopped they look like Russian taxi cabs, so he took out 1 3/4 inches at the A-pillar, leaving the rear of the roof alone. Sounds odd, but it works! Other mods are a ’48 Buick grille, canted taillights, Pontiac side trim, and ’48 Continental door push buttons on the quarter-panels. Why not on the doors? Again, Steve’s reasoning is why push on the door when you want it to open?
A ’51 Flathead was souped with all the goodies, including aluminum heads, twin carburetors, and a magneto, backed by an overdrive trans, and rear gears in the stock axle from a ’51 Ford-O-Matic, which offers improved highway speeds and better gas mileage. Finished in the fall of 2010, the shoebox is fun to drive and gets plenty of use. Steve now has a rod and a custom in his garage, which begs the question: What’s next?