At 75 years of age, Guy Craig is a lifetime R&C reader, and self-confessed “car nut for life”. Seems he spied the ’47 Chevy on page 90 of our August issue and thought he was seeing things, as it was almost a ringer for his own ’47 from the mid-’50s. The car was a project while he was stationed in Yuma, Arizona, in the Air Force. The ’50 Chevy coupe belonged to his good friend John Knight.
Guy writes, “We lucked out as Tom White, the bodyman at the local Chrysler/Plymouth dealership, was great at frenching, leading, and molding, and we helped any way we could with his everyday work in exchange. All three of us enjoyed the long nights and saw the sun come up many times, as we would get absorbed in the custom work.
“Our cars had the stance, to the extreme, and that great Mexicali tuck ’n’ roll. My ’47 was, for the time, ‘How low can you go?’ and ‘How loud can you rap that Jimmy six?’ I won! Pure white enamel, red wheels, and ’56 caps, and probably the only custom ever with F86 wing lights for taillights. John Knight’s ’50 was current for the day; ’55 Chevy headlight brows, floating Chrysler bumper bar, Buick side trim, molded ’55 Plymouth taillights, smoothed bumpers, and all painted Honduras Maroon. I’d really like to have both cars today!
“Knight was from El Centro, just 60 miles away, but I was from Iowa, and those cars made it much easier trying to get over the shock of living in tents in Yuma!”
As a young boy growing up in a small village, Mark Schwear always admired the ’40 DeLuxe Tudor sedan driven by a neighbor. In 1964 he bought one for $40, complete except for an engine. Another $50 got him a stock Flathead, and he had the transmission converted to floor shift operation. His wife bought him parts as gifts on special occasions, such as the engine, chrome window frames, and headlight rims.
Working on the car as time allowed, in between work, helping raise four children, and remodeling homes, finally in 1980 it could be licensed and driven. In the early ’90s, Mark’s youngest son, Tim, bought a ’37 Ford slantback, so for the next nine years they concentrated on getting that finished. Once done, in 2001 work resumed on the ’40, which was finally painted in 2006, almost 42 years after it was purchased.
The car is 90 percent stock, since Mark likes the nostalgic and old-fashioned features, though the hood and trunk have been shaved, it wears ’50 Ford taillights, and the running boards have been covered in white Naugahyde with chrome strips. The green metallic paint is an ’80 Dodge pickup shade.
Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
John KuyKendall bought his coupe from a fellow in Cumberland, Maryland, on the condition he wouldn’t cut it up. He kept his promise but removed the fenders and running boards, and once it was discovered the chassis was shot, he dropped the body on a ’32 frame from Brookville Roadster, complete with a Super Bell front axle and a 9-inch rearend.
Powered by a small-block Chevy with a TH350, John reports it drives great on those wide whites. He says it needs some paint but he can’t stop driving it for long enough to tear it apart!
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