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Little Feature: 1 March 2014

A Classic Ford Transformed: Part Two

A Classic Ford Transformed: Part TwoFollowing our introduction to this 1935 Ford Model Y restoration project, we bring you the second instalment of cutting, welding and fabricating from Mike Hill, restorer extraordinaire.

We left the transforming classic last time with a new bespoke chassis in place, and much fettling to shoe-horn in the 3.5 BMW M62 engine, alongside upgraded running gear. The next phase moves the aesthetics on to a new level and adds a little carpentry to the mix.

The most obvious lump of progress for Mike in this classic car project is the addition of the wooden cladded pick-up bed, now fully welded and giving a new and obvious custom pick-up feel.

A Classic Ford Transformed: Part Two wooden flatbedThe custom wooden bed is not just some wooden box, but a tricky piece of work involving Mike having to ensure all metal brackets are expertly welded in place (Fig. 1) for exact placement of the boarding and ensure all wooden panels were properly treated and fitted (Fig. 2) to deal with the rigors of their mean little host. Then it’s just a matter ensuring everything lines up with the chassis – exactly.

The combination of materials and finishes, with those rear lights (Fig. 4), gives an awesome quality feel with a rough soul; largely explained by the ingenuity of Mike, who chose to reclaim the wood from old pallets, stained with used motor oil, giving its unique vintage vibe.

The wheels were given a meaner look with a new black coating (top) and the bonnet was fitted, giving the first idea of the finished look. The overall stance of this custom classic just looks right somehow, with a deliberately aged look that expertly hides much of the new shiny stuff.

Mike said: “Whilst we’ve really enjoyed some of the obvious improvements to the restoration project, the practical elements are taking as much importance as the aesthetics”.

Mike tackled the tricky, but essential, task of fabricating a new fuse box underneath the chassis, keeping everything neat and hidden. It’s a fiddly job, but this is where planning ahead pays off, ensuring all the little bits are accommodated for.

A Classic Ford Transformed: Part Two battery box10mm stock round bar formed the initial shape marked out on a template (Fig. 5), carefully measured for the chassis. This allowed for a less painful process of tack-welding the bar in place - flush with the top edge of the rail and crossmember to create a seamless look (Fig. 6).

Once in place, 16inch gauge sheet steel was cut and formed to create the sides of the box, carefully tack-welded in position (Fig. 7).

It's jobs like these where cardboard templates can save a fortune in both wasted time and materials. The simple, yet effective approach, helped maintain the same shape and ensured everything came together neatly. It also made for a stronger weather-proof box to hold the battery, fuse box and a few other electrical components.

Now fully welded and flushed off, you can see the battery fits perfectly (Fig. 8). All that is left is to incorporate the lid for the box with the floor when it’s fabricated. This will create an almost hidden trapdoor type hatch with a flush fitting lid.

The vision of Mike has always been to take on something different and challenging, which he certainly has here. However, with a clear vision in mind and a planned and methodical approach this little classic car is becoming one mean custom hot rod.

We’ll be providing our next update soon, but if you’re interested in more updates and in-depth analysis on each phase, then head over to CVI’s blog and Facebook page.

Have you got a restoration project you want us to follow as it comes to fruition? Whether it’s as ambitious as Mike’s classic transformation, or bringing back a little classic to its former glory, we would love to hear from you.



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