Posted in Custom

Watch a Master Chop the Top Off a 1937 Ford – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings

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It seems most videos on YouTube that show the procedure for chopping the top on a custom or hot rod are either far too short, omitting important steps and context that help viewers understand the process, or belabor each point with a lot of blabbering about what makes this difficult. Cutting the top off a vehicle requires skill and competency with various metalworking tools, sure, but it also takes a keen eye, not just for the overall package but for the details that make a chop flow. Each chop is unique, made up of thousands of individual decisions, hammer strokes, and beads of weld.

Despite a minimum of dialogue, this time-lapse video of Mike Bello of Bello’s Kustoms taking three inches out of a 1937 Ford’s roof doesn’t gloss over any details. You can see Mike’s thought process as his hands work over each piece. It’s evident he’s done this many times before from every step that seems incongruous at first but later proves prescient. Though rendered in steel, the work here is far from cold and emotionless. It’s well worth the watch, even if you never plan to chop a car.

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Posted in 1961, Ford, Hemmings, station wagon

The luxurious 1961 Ford Country Squire contributed to Dearborn’s dominance in the station wagon segment – Matt Litwin @Hemmings

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Without question, Ford was once America’s biggest builder of station wagons. From Ford’s station wagon debut in 1929 through 1960, the automaker sold 1,970,785 wagons in total. Concurrent to this family hauler’s rise in popularity, its market segment went from 2 percent of the U.S. industry in 1950 to 18 percent in ’59. It kept rising through ’61, thanks to Ford’s 256,597-unit output, including this Country Squire.

While use of “Country Squire” first surfaced in Ford’s 1950 ads, the emblems weren’t secured to sheetmetal until ’51. It instantly became the division’s top-tier wagon, furnished with equipment that was otherwise optional on lesser models. Further setting it apart, the Country Squire was adorned with faux wood paneling in homage to its origins without the expensive upkeep.

That exterior trim remained on the updated 1961 model, decorated with mahogany-look panels framed with fiberglass maple woodgrain strips. The rest mirrored the upscale Galaxie series, including the concave grille, crisp tailfins, and circular taillamps. Cabins were equally Galaxie-based and, for the first time, the Country Squire was offered with six- or nine-passenger seating.

Coachwork and cabin were supported by a 119-inch-wheelbase chassis, the critical element being Ford’s “Wide-Contoured Frame” that offered, “more flexible inner channels for less harshness and a more gentle ride.” Bolted to it was a “swept back, angle-poised ball-joint” front/rear leaf-spring suspension system. Hydraulic shocks, drum brakes, and 8.00 x 14 tires fitted to 6-inch-wide steel wheels completed the ensemble.

Country Squires came with a 135-hp, 223-cu.in. Mileage Maker Six, or the Thunderbird 292 V-8 rated for 175 hp—power from either was sent through a column-shifted three-speed manual. Two V-8 powerplants were optional, beginning with the Thunderbird 352 Special; its high-lift camshaft and 8.9:1 compression helped produce 220 hp. The other was the new-for-’61 Thunderbird 390 Special, which was essentially a fine-tuned 352 enlarged to 390-cu.in. Equipped with a true dual-exhaust system, higher 9.6:1 compression, and a Holley four-barrel carburetor, it made 300 hp.

A three-speed manual with overdrive was optional, as was the Ford-O-Matic two-speed automatic, available with all but the 390. So, too, was the Cruise-O-Matic “dual range” automatic, offered only against V-8 engines. Other options included power steering and brakes, A/C, radio, electric clock, hood ornament, spotlamp/mirror, and a power tailgate window.

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Posted in Designers

The Benefits of Bearing Down: My Career in Car Design – Rod Williams

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I was a car designer with Ford and Chrysler in the 1950s, a time of powerful, classic cars. What made my employment as a designer unique is that I was a 23-year-old farm boy from Millinocket with no formal art training, and in the U.S. Navy, at the time Ford hired me. I still had a year before my enlistment discharge a year later in June 1954. I began work at Ford just a few weeks later. At that time Ford, GM, Chrysler, and American Motors all had a hiring policy that required new designer applicants to be art or design school graduates. How did I manage to slip between the cracks? 

Back to the past. I was just a typical young car nut in my high school teens, and I was good at drawing, so I did just that, doing drawings of cars . . . mostly my own designs.  After graduating from high school, I wanted to continue in art and design as a professional career, but I could not afford to go to art school. However, when the Korean war broke out, the GI Bill benefits were re-instated.  I joined the Navy to obtain the college benefits upon my discharge in 1954.  

Unfortunately, I never got to use or need the benefits.  Ford Motor Company had made me a design job offer while I was still in the Navy. This unusual situation took place because a national car magazine published some of my car designs in an article titled “Dream Car Sailor.” During my Navy enlistment, I had continued designing cars in my spare time. This was the totally unexpected, surprising result of that spacetime activity. 

I began employment with Ford in July 1954, just two weeks after my Navy discharge. I began work in their Advanced Design Studio, which was composed of a dozen or more newly employed design school graduates.  However, I was not a design school graduate, the only one without that qualification. It was an exceptional opportunity, but it presented many challenges to my novice art and design talent. I quickly realized I was “behind the eight ball,” so to speak, and that it would be a daunting task to succeed, compete, and advance in the situation I found myself

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Posted in Electric Car

Ford’s crate electric motor tease doesn’t mean much without a crate battery – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings

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Even a year ago, when Chevrolet announced its eCrate motor via an electrified Blazer, we noted that the move was inevitable. More than at any other period in history, classic car owners have been electrifying their vehicles using whatever modern EV powertrains end up in junkyards and for cheap on the secondary market. Dozens of shops have popped up offering classic car electrification services. Now’s the time to make crate electric motors available, and as we saw in a tweet from Ford recently, the Blue Oval is soon going to announce its own crate electric motor – the Eluminator – at this year’s SEMA show.

Awesome, really, but this all makes zero sense if Ford and GM can’t also offer crate battery packages to go with those crate electric motors.

Yes, I know, batteries are not sexy. They don’t even having any moving parts, ferpetesake – they just lay there, all shocks and zaps if you touch ’em wrong. Automakers tend not to introduce new battery systems at SEMA – heck, sometimes automakers barely release any information about the batteries in their electric vehicles. Take, for instance, the electric Mustang Cobra Jet that’s up at the top of this article. When Ford announced it last year, the company boasted all sorts of stats on its performance (1,502 peak wheel horsepower, quarter-miles in 8.27 seconds at 168 mph), but nowhere in its press releases did the company mention the battery supplying all that power. (All we’ve been able to find with some quick googling from other sources is that it has three 60kWh battery packs of some sort.)

Motors, on the other hand, they at least spin. They’ve got some torque. Ford absolutely gushed about the electric Cobra Jet’s “four PN-250-DZR inverters coupled to a pair of DS-250-115s, giving four motors total and spinning at up to 10,000 revolutions per minute (and running) at 800 volts and up to 700 amps, with maximum output of 350kW per motor.” According to Carscoops, which spoke with Ford’s Hau Thai-Tang, the Eluminator should put out 210 kW. Roughly, in terms of SAT question format, the electric motor is to the internal-combustion engine as the battery pack is to the gas tank. Motors are relatively easy to bolt up top existing transmissions and to fit in places where internal combustion engines once went. Far, far more articles have been written about building and modifying engines than gas tanks.

On the other hand, that’s not a fair comparison. Batteries have far more to do with the performance of an electric vehicle than a gas tank has with the performance of an internal combustion vehicle. The major reason electric vehicles have even become a hot topic of conversation over the last decade or so is because advances in battery technology have made them feasible alternatives to internal-combustion vehicles for a wider variety of use cases. Without a good battery, that spinny spinny motor’s not good for much beyond windshield wiper duty.

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Posted in Autoevolution, Engine, Flathead V8, Flathead V8 Block, Ford, Ford Flathead V8, Ford Flathead V8, magazine

Dare to Cruise Above 55 MPH in This Restored “Coca-Cola” 1946 Ford F-1 Flathead – Aurel Niculescu @AutoEvolution

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Officially, the F-Series kicked off its legendary adventure starting with the 1948 model year. But the original generation is also known as the Bonus-Built series. Meanwhile, previous trucks were largely unchanged since the start of WWII for America, that dreadful 1941.

So, do we hold it against the good folks over at PC Classic Cars in Sherman, Texas for potentially confusing the F-1 name with a truck that was created before the age of the F-Series? Purists might, but we are going to be as reconciliatory as possible, considering the very nice Coca-Cola-like paintjob. True, we might have a soft spot for crimson and creamy white combinations…

Now that everyone has finished ogling at the pristine exterior details, let’s get down to the classic pickup truck business. This 1946 Ford was probably restored sometimes during previous ownership – there isn’t much background to go along with as far as its historic whereabouts are concerned. We did catch the dealer’s reference that “extensive records and photos from restoration” are also available.

And this time around, we paid more attention than ever to what the consigner has to say, considering the laugh we had after reading the proud statement that we are dealing with a “truck (that) will cruise at 55 mph.” That’s just 89 kph for the Old Continent fans. But, then again, even after a full restoration, it’s still a very old truck – and well within pension rights at 75 years of age

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Posted in 1997, Ford, Overlanding

Project Artemis is go! Introducing our Ford F-Series Overland build – @Hemmings

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Here comes the Hemmings venture into the world of Overlanding! Wikipedia describes it as “self-reliant overland travel to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal.” Yeah. So, like, what we already do with cars but now with less pavement. We partnered with Ford Performance and KTL Restorations to reimagine a classic truck as the ultimate Overlanding rig that’s as much fun as it is accessible. We combined the monstrous power of Ford’s new 7.3 liter Godzilla crate motor with the timeless good looks of the 9th-gen F-Series, kitted with the latest overlanding gear and a perfect set of custom wheels and earth-trekking rubber.

And we’re about to take you on that journey, the way that only Hemmings could. Project Artemis is go! And if you’re wondering, we named it after the Greek goddess of the wilderness, which seems appropriate. Stand tuned for more articles and videos that tell the story of bringing this truck to life. And if you want to see it in person, we’re targeting the Overland Expo East and 2021 SEMA shows as the first public appearance

We’re well into 2021 – the year after a very strange one. And what have we learned? Well, among other new skills like customizing the background for all our videoconference meetings and learning the Renegade, we figured out how to reinvent travel and get outside in the midst of a global pandemic.

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Posted in Engine, Ford

Secrets of the FORD 427 SOHC The MIGHTY CAMMER!!! – Unity MotorSports Garage

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Today on Unity Motorsports Garage. We take a look back at the secrets of the Ford 427 SOHC cammer and how even in its short lifespan it made a lasting impression on the Hot Rodding and Racing world! The Cammer paved the way to the Modern Ford Mod Motors, 6.2 SOHC and Coyote engines! I hope you enjoy this video #427Cammer #ConnieKalitta #HubertPlatt #DynoDon #FordDragTeam

Posted in Engine, Ford, Straight Six

What Makes the Ford 300 Inline-Six So Unique? – Powernation

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It’s hard to deny the respect a Ford 300 Inline-Six commands all over the enthusiast world. If you’re new to this engine stuff, go ask one of your friends about it and wait for their reaction. It’ll likely warrant a positive response.

When you think of iconic engines, the Ford flathead V8, Ford 300, and the Chevrolet small-block V8 likely come to mind. These engines are considered by the majority to be some of the best in history, and Ford’s ability to craft excellence is an achievement that continues living on today. With that said, you may wonder what makes the Ford 300 so unique? Why is it a global icon?

For those on the opposite side of the spectrum, you might be wondering why it ranks so highly among enthusiasts. To answer that, it’s part of American truck culture. Those who have owned a Ford 300 know that it’s legendary due to its durability, impressive torque outputs, simplicity of design, and longevity. Simply put, they’re just hard to break.

It’s 300 cubic inches of raw, low-end torque that doesn’t break even when you try, and it helped build much of this country by always performing at optimal levels in so many types of work trucks. When Engine Power was given one to fix up, they jumped at the opportunity to make it shine. Let’s take a look at some of the history and other tidbits that make it unique.

WHEN DID PRODUCTION OF THE FORD 300 START?

It’s hard to imagine the engine was developed back in 1965 and still commands the same respect today, but here we are. The Ford 300 is part of the fourth generation of Ford six-cylinder engines, and it had a great run of 31 years.

This engine was responsible for powering Ford F-series pickup trucks until 1996. However, you could find it in anything from wood chippers, tractors, dump trucks, UPS trucks, generators, and in the case of ours, a water pump.

Production of this engine ushered in a new era of the unthinkable – a workhorse that could perform incredulous tasks without breaking a sweat. It became highly sought out, which is why companies like UPS trusted it in their trucks.

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Posted in 1970's, 4x4, Dodge, Ford, GM, Jeep

Which one of these 4×4 trucks from the early Seventies would you choose for your dream garage? – Matt Litwin @Hemmings

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Believe it or not, the ancestral lineage of the modern four-wheel-drive system dates to 1893. Bramah Joseph Diplock, an English engineer, patented a four-wheel-drive system that year, designed for a steam-powered traction engine. The concept was then adopted by would-be dignitaries in the self-propelled industry, including Ferdinand Porsche (in 1899), Daimler-Benz (1907), Marmon-Herrington (1931), and a host of others, including American Bantam, which designed the prototype general purpose vehicle that famously became the jeep built by Willys and Ford during World War II. Three decades later, the 4×4 drive system – offered by multiple corporations – had attained a long-established reputation for uncompromising off-road durability. In our latest edition of This or That, we’re celebrating 4×4 vehicles from the early Seventies. Let’s take a closer look at four examples for you to ponder, all of which are currently available in the Hemmings classifieds.

Arguably, Jeep made the 4×4 vehicle both fun and affordable for the masses with a contemporary system that was truly battle-tested. Its proliferation beyond what became the CJ was hard to miss, offered in larger platforms such as this Commando-based Super Commando II from 1972. This was one of but a couple years in which the Commando line did not include the Jeepster name, and convertibles, like our featured vehicle, came standard with a removable hardtop, V-8 engine and, of course, the four-wheel-drive system. According to portions of the seller’s listing

The Commando had its own new front end and unique sheetmetal that made it one of the most distinctive Jeeps in decades. What makes this one even more distinct is it’s done in range-topping Super Commando II trim. While we don’t have the paperwork to confirm an SC2, the appearance absolutely shows the premium feeling correctly…The darker blue streak highlights the power bulge in the hood, and the full-length stripe is a reminder that these had flush-fitting front fenders…The sea of blue continues inside, and it shows off quite a comfy interior. You have high-back bucket seats with a velour pattern, and the door panels were even done to match…the dash has a great classic look with a clean pad, factory speedometer, heat/defrost controls, and even the locking hub instructions are still affixed. You’ll also notice well-integrated upgrades for more confident driving, including the auxiliary gauges…This optional 304 cubic-inch unit looks authentic and authoritative under the hood…A three-speed automatic transmission, power steering, and Goodyear tires make for a good all-around cruiser…Plus, don’t forget as a true jeep you have a proper two-speed 4×4 transfer case.

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