Ford made a lot of cars from 1949-51 (over 2.5 million) and therefore, they've been hot rodded and customized a lot. I want to build one bad. Not a smooth, candy coated sex pot either. I need to scratch my Bonneville itch and a shoebox with a heavy nod to Joe Walden's '57 Thuderbird (http://www.jalopyjournal.com/?p=1522) seems just the cure.
I 1st saw Joe Walden's Tbird on The Jalopy Journal and was taken back by how tough the car looked. It's rare to see an early T-bird evoke so much attitude and Joe's had plenty of it. I don't remember how a shoebox came into my mind, but I quickly combined it with all the mojo from the Walden 'bird. Now, shoebox's have been chopped, dropped and sectioned more than car out there (arguably). All of this is done in the name of style, I do this to my car in the name of racing. Cheating the wind is the name of the game on the flats and who doesn't like to cheat? Business coupes have the best lines of any shoebox, so we'll start there. A 4" section seems to fit this body the best, then that's followed by a 4" chop and a raked windshield. To bring the rockers closer to Mother Earth, a channel job the height of the frame is in order. After we get the body shaped up, black lacquer makes the shiny side up...well, shiny.
Suspension is lo-buck as we score a jaguar front clip (whole cars can be picked up for under a grand) and a 4 link connected to a 9" Ford until the funds exist for that handy quick change. An early 331 ci Hemi is the heart of the beast with a crank mounted supercharger and Hilborn injection. Shifting duties are handled by the factory 3 on the tree with 1st gear removed for the salt (perfect reason to build a push truck....fuck, here comes another sleepless night). All this is covered underneath by an aluminum bellypan because we're cheating, remember?
The interior is functional but loaded with style. Garnish moldings are chrome laden pieces and the factory dash remains in place. A bright red floral headliner is the only thing I envision thanks to a seed planted by Union Speed and Style (http://unionbrotherhood.blogspot.com/). Aluminum panels match the racing seat and red carpet makes you kick the salt off your shoes before you get in.
Other details include using most of the stock trim but cleaned up. Nosed and decked, frenched headlights/taillights and mild shaving exist, but I keep the beltline trim. The stock rear bumper has its bolts shaved and is pulled in tight to the body. The bullet in the grill is removed to become the air intake and a custom air dam influenced by Walden's 'bird finishes off the front end. Rolling stock is provided by real mag Halibrands.