Monday, June 14, 2010

New Seat, part 2

Here are the long awaited photos of the restored seat in Daytons. It really turned out well. Marc did a fantastic job using the old photos I provided to get it looking just like it used to.
The leather isn’t a 100% match to the elbow & door panels, put I’m just happy it’s done!

Look at the comparison of new & old, identical!

Below was the work I completed by Sunday night. I had the original vintage seat belts in, and has made a board for the package tray to which I then glued a shaped length of running board rubber -as it had long ago.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Power Plant Preference

What scores highest in power plants for traditional hot rods?

In my opinion, the best engines to power a 1932 Ford roadster are:

10 out of 10 is the Ardun OHV conversion on a flathead
9 is a hopped up 24-stud flathead Ford
8 is a stock flathead 24-stud, OR vintage early race engine; Offy OHC for instance
7 is souped-up 4-banger Model A or B
6 is an ‘other’ brand vintage V8 engine, ie; Nailhead, Rocket 88, Chrysler hemi, Ford 292
5 is lesser Ford flatheads
4 is a vintagly dressed-up early Chevy V8
3 is a less-then vintage V8; Ford 289, FE, 429, Mopar, or anything late 60’s & newer
2 is a plain-jane Chevy 350 or Ford small block V8, or anything fuel injected
1 is any import engine

At the top, only one engine deserves to score a 10 out of 10, honestly it isn’t even really the engine but an add-on; It is the historical Ardun overhead valve conversion for the Ford flathead V8. No part can deserve as much respect from hot rod guys; its presence alone is awe inspiring, even to well-seasoned parts junkies.
Numbers 10-7 are all early Fords due mostly to tradition. But number 8 included race engines from the 30’s to the 50’s, because I couldn’t think of a better place to put it, and they can be some of the coolest looking things you ever did see.

At the bottom, numbers 3-1 are the least desirable, least imaginative choices for engines. If you are bothering to build semi-nostalgic ’32 roadster, steel or even fiberglass, and are considering any engine at the bottom of my list, Stop Now! You are wasting your time, nobody want to see a Ford 302 or a LS1. It just shows poor planning, a lack of imagination, and come with sorry excuses. Vintage engines are still available and worth any extra effort to use them, plus make great conversation pieces.

Here is what a legitimate Offy race engine looks like in a Model A. It's just so rare to see. Owned by Bob Anderson.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New Seat, part 1

My special ordered leather finally arrived. While on holiday in Florida visiting my in-laws, Ron & Dottie, it came to the house after an 11 week wait.
Dayton’s interior leather isn’t made commercially anymore, 50 years later. And there aren’t too many places to get dyed-to-match custom leather these days. But SMS Fabrics of Oregon is one of them, specializing in automotive upholstery replacement materials. After a sample arrived for me to sign-off on, I was told it would take another 6-8 weeks to complete the order.
Well it took a little longer, but I’m happy I finally got it. A few days later I was off to Mark at Rudy’s Upholstery in Hollywood. Rudy’s was recommended to me but my friend Rey, who had taken several GTOs to Mark previously.
Last week I spent some time building a foundation for the new seat. I build the slats you see using Poplar wood from Loews’ Hardware on top of some old wood already there. I fashioned the slats after what is in a stock ’29 roadster. The 3/4” plywood panel in the subframe tilts up to access the battery. Not pictured is the 1/2” plywood seat base & backrest base, nor the foam I bought. Mark is stitching the leather and tacking it to the plywood bases. The bottom seat comes out, but the backrest is tacked to the beltline wood at the top.
And finally, rather then the bottom seat just sitting on the floor (the car is missing a stock seat frame), I used dowels secured into the plywood floor to lock the pad base in. My friend David and I worked on that, it turned out well.