Sunday, September 26, 2010

#32 - Reviving The Dead Hot Rod - part 3

Picking up from last week… the little ’34 Ford coupe is painted and suffering from a worn out coil. Run it until it gets warm and it’ll stop working until it cools off. We finally decided to make a homemade adaptor to be able to use a new coil (we didn’t even know enough to realize that somebody, somewhere probably made new ones). So, the car runs and I go into the Navy for a few years. For some reason, dad just never again had any desire to drive the coupe around- so every time I’d come home on leave, I’d charge the battery, drive her around a bit and then park it until next time.

In 1996, dad finally decided to put hydraulic brakes on it. He found a good deal on some parts in Halls, TN that would make the job fairly easy…and guess who got commissioned to do the work? His one and only son, me.

Well, we changed the front end, the rearend, ran hydraulic lines and fabricated a mount for the master cylinder. It did stop better after that.
But after that spurt, she went right back into the garage. It’s really amazing what damage a car can suffer just simply sitting in a garage. Things fall over on it, stuff gets spilled on the fenders and dust grows by the pound. It sounds bad, but it really gave the little car some ‘character’…like it had been used all those years. It’s a secret that only we know.

Well, time does pass and one day in 2001, I was visiting dad and he asked me for a dollar. Sure I asked for what, but he hounded me until I gave him one and he handed me the title to the coupe. Wow. Now I had my own real Hot Rod.

Since then I have tried to make the car as safe as possible and look like it was built in the 50’s. I changed the electric system to 12 volt, split the front wishbone, added tube shocks, put in safety belts, changed to late model wire wheels and radial tires, revived a 2 carb intake that dad used to run on his dirt track race car in the late 50’s, got a new radiator and electric fan and installed a set of finned aluminum heads. Without the hood is my chosen method of running it, and it really looks like it would do a hundred miles an hour.

Keep an eye out for us around the ‘boro and if you see us, honk & wave. We spend a lot of time at our AACA club’s garage down in Cannonsburgh.

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