1928 Ford Model A Coupe
This is my personnel car . - 1928 Ford Model A Coupe - All steel except trunk , grill shell , and dashboard – these are fiberglass
Here is how it all started. A lot of rust and a lot of work! This is the early stages of the mock up for the frame. As I said before – I build my frames on a plywood table now and not on the floor. The accuracy is much better and I can see what I’m doing a lot clearer and easier .
I’m running a quarter elliptic rear suspension with a single lower radius rod and a panhard bar to keep everything from going side to side. Works great! The car has been on the road for about five years now and has close to three thousand miles on it. Handles like a charm and has been basically trouble free.
Inside showing the fiberglass dash, Cadillac steering column, floor mounted brake pedal ( hand made ) , master cylinder, trans mount with turbo 350 trans.
I took the entire body apart , spot weld by spot weld, and rivet by rivet. I even unfolded the lower edges where necessary.
More disassembled body ready for sand blasting. Did it all outside the shop. Built a PVC frame and covered it with heavy clear plastic and duct tape. Used a small sandblaster and then reused the sand after straining it until it was almost gone and just added more sand from bags. Took about 8 or 9 bags as I remember.
Front end assembly all home made except for the dropped axle: Radius rods, radius rod brackets, shock mounts, spring pivot , headlight stand , front crossmember, steering mount , engine mount – these last three things aren’t shown well but are shown in my DVD from Streetrod 101.
Body after sand blasting and some new sheet metal patches – 20 ga , cut from a large sheet and welded in place. Not ice the cart on wheels – this makes it easier to work on, move around , and clean up.
Frame built and mounted on engine stands ready for final welding , grinding, priming, sanding, etc.
The top was filled in with three pieces of 20 ga. Sheet metal clamped and pop riveted to metal tubing top bows. Use steel pop rivets . When all is tacked in place, drill out the steel rivets and weld up the holes. Don’t be afraid to use a lot of clamps. Weld small areas , let cool, and be patient. This will help prevent undo warping and a lot of hammer and dolly work. I am not good enough to make the top out of one piece nor do I have an English wheel or the skill needed. S o I went the other way – plan B.
Here all three pieces are in place along with the visor. I had to build a front top piece out of tubing to weld the top to and fit the visor ( removable ) . Take your time and it will all come together – one piece at a time. Skim with bondo, sand, prime, fill – you know the drill by now!
I also replaced the front cowl panels ( after market ) and built a new firewall out of 14 ga. Sheet metal. The bondo work is coming along quite nicely and the whole body is coming together very well.
The license plate is frenched using sheet metal and a lip put around the outside using 5/16 inch steel brake line bent and attached with bondo. Works great. Have used this method to do accents on lots of cars. Never had any problems.
Notice how the front end and rear end are supported. I can rotate each one to work on them and complete the welding and finish work. This is also one way to support these two awkward components in order to prime and paint.
Here is the way I supported the front end and rear end along with radi us rods, spindles, and all the other pieces that make a rod function when I painted them. Be creative and use what you have available. Just remember that you have to be able to get to all the surfaces with the paint gun you are using.
The use of some type of stands is almost imperative for final assembly. I’ve shown two different types that I have used over the years. Both are inexpensive to build and will save you time and your back!
She’s coming together quite nicely – thank you very much!
Back tracking jus t a little. This shows that I like different! I frenched the turn signals into the grille shell just to be different. Easy to do. Grill bars are stainless 3/8 ths tubing , polished at home and installed the same way I do all my 32 grilles. Aluminum solid stock can be used also and is much cheaper!
The trans tunnel was made from fiberglass. I laid ½ inch foam over the transmission – to give me some clearance between the trans and the floor. Then I took posterboard and cut small pieces and used masking tape to gain the shape I needed / wanted. The tower is a coffee can or plastic butter tub, or peanut butter jar or whatever you can come up with. Tape everything in place and then cover everything with 2 inch masking tape, smooth out the wrinkles, apply automotive paste wax liberally and leave on – do not wipe off. Apply fiberglass in small strips , approximately 2-4 inches by 4-6 inches . I always put on three layers. When set , remove , cut sand and fill in the imperfections with bondo. Prime and paint as usual. Use lacquer thinner to clean off the wax residue on the underside prior to painting. Slick ,easy, and pretty cool alright !
Seat frame made in two parts – bottom and back. Hinge on each side out of ¼ inch flat stock, attached to the back and pivots with one 3/8ths bolt on the bottom. Just make sure you use a piece of metal to give the support to the pivot. This is also one of my home grown upholstery jobs. Not real show quality , but inexpensive and I did it myself. Also pretty comfortable and it fits me.
Interior shot showing wood dash made from ¾ inch poplar. Attached to the dash with chrome button heads and the wood is stained and then clearcoated with automotive clearcoat. Looks great and wears real good !
Final shot. Painted front end with lots of chrome bolts. If you are thinking of putting lots of chrome bolts on your ride – plan on at least $1000.00 for bolts, nuts, washers, fittings, etc.! The trick headlight wiring covers are also home made and are shown in my DVD. I also like to paint all the brake lines , fuel lines, and vacuum lines – kind of gives the car a more professional look and personnel touch.