There is no carmaker out there with as much influence over the custom industry as Ford. The Blue Oval has been making cars pretty much since cars were invented, and that in itself isn’t spectacular. What is amazing is the fact that, unlike the products the competition had to offer back in the early days of the industry, its cars are much more present in certain segments.
Although not limited to Ford, the hot rod and rat rod builders of today do seem to have a soft spot for the Blue Oval machines of old. We talked about many such creations in January, as part of the Ford Month here at autoevolution, but there are so many other builds out there we’ll probably keep bringing them under the spotlight for a long time.
This February, we’re celebrating Truck Month, and there’s no shortage of hot or rat rods in this segment either. For today, we dug up something titled 1939 Ford F1 Rat Rod, presently sitting on the lot of cars being sold by Gateway Classic Cars.
Took a trip over to strip and inspect the Model B engine, on the whole it was very encouraging. Looking at the stamping on the block it looks as if it’s a 1939 build.
The engine looks in great shape and we think it was overhauled maybe back in the 1950’s and then just stored before changing hands a number of times. The white metal big ends and mains are in reall good shape as are the timing gears. The issue at hand is a number of stuck valves which means we can’t turn the engine fully at this point. So, more soaking in penetrating oil and get back to it in a week or so.
I was re-organizing my library last night and while moving a few books, this 1939 Service Date Handbook fell to the ground. Essentially, this was a publication that Ford put together to show new customers how to care for their cars in 1939. Obviously, this is basic stuff… but I love the way Ford arranged the data and thought you guys might as well.
In lieu of scanning the whole damned book (65 pages), I just scanned some of the more pertinent and usable things.
Here’s an attractive example of how traveling salesmen once visited their clients!
Flatheads forever! Those of a certain age should remember that hot rod rallying cry from gearheads who anachronistically embraced Ford’s iconic side-valve V8s over the newfangled OHV engines. Yes, that was a long time ago. Although, many purists still run performance-tweaked “flatties” in their vintage rods.
Madam X 1939 Cadillac Sixty Special
The Styling Section, and Art and Colour Studio at General Motors were created, and headed by Harley Earl (1893-1969). From the late 1920s, and on into the 1950s Harley Earl headed the design evolution at GM. It was under Earl’s guidance that the utilitarian design of early automobiles evolved into rolling Art of the 30s, 40s, and 50s cars we love today.
The first car done in the Art and Colour Studio under Earl’s direction was for Lawrence Fisher (Body by Fisher). Earl asked for a 1927 LaSalle chassis on which he would build his design. The car would be of advanced design in that the chassis was lowered 4”. The design was aggressive, but not loud, the posts were much thinner than usual, and the windshield was two piece and formed a slight V. There was concern that the thin posts would not be strong enough, so the entire car was made of steel rather than the wood frame construction that was typical of the time. The interior wood decor was a work of art. When the project was nearing completion Earl was asked “What will we call it”? Earl thought for a moment…. Pauline Frederick, a popular stage and film star of the day, was starring in a show called Madam X, Earl had seen the show the night before, and dined with the young Starlet after the show. He said we’ll call it the Madam X
Read the rest of the story over at Chip Foose’s site
This is a truly beautiful car from this amazing builder and designer
(All material sourced from chipfoose.com)
The Detroit Electric (1907–1939) produced by the Anderson Electric Car Company in Detroit, Michigan. The company built 13,000 electric cars from 1907 to 1939.
The Revs Institute in Naples, Florida — with its extensive archives and more than 100 historically significant vehicles in the Collier Collection — chronicles the automobile with pictures, words and wheels. So it may surprise some that it has only just now acquired its first electric car.
In keeping with the institute’s mission, this one predates the Tesla and the Chevrolet Bolt by a ways — about a century. The car is a 1917 Detroit Electric, built in Detroit by the Anderson Electric Car Company (later the Detroit Electric Car Company). Anderson is generally considered to be the most successful of the first wave of electric car manufacturers.
The Revs institute and founder Miles Collier’s history is here
Here’s a pick of the day from a few weeks back by Ben Golfen at Classic Cars.com. It’s a lovely 1939 Ford V8 Coupe rocking the Flathead and a glorious colour scheme from the Swift Premium Co and has been in the same family since 1942!
Interesting from the Jalopy Journal a tour of the Ford River Rouge Plant in 1939. We went a few years ago and F150 trucks were being built on a vastly different line. The visitor centre and tour is good, as is a look at the nearby Greenfield Village