Street rod success is an easy recipe that's tough to get right. In the case of this 1946 Ford club coupe, the ingredients are a super clean, rust-free body, a gorgeous interior, and a highly detailed chassis that includes a 302 Ford V8, just to keep it 100% Ford. Nicely built and fully developed to be a pleasure to drive on the road, this brilliant rod demonstrates why “fat fenders” are totally cool: lots of room, timeless styling, and ripe for customization.
Like most automakers, the 1946 Fords were facelifts of the pre-war models, but they sold well to a public with more than four years of pent-up demand. One of the most popular was the Ford club coupe, which offered a full-sized back seat and rounded styling that still looks great today. This one offers a host of traditional hot-rodding tricks, including molded-in rear fenders, frenched headlights, flush-mounted tail lights, and shaved handles. None of that detracts from the ultra-straight sheetmetal, however, which was incredibly solid to begin with as the construction photos show, and was prepped and finished to an extremely high standard. Dig the subtleties like the molded-in relief lines on the fenders, stripped of their chrome but still there in the steel. The finish is two-stage urethane, and the two-tone treatment emphasizes the original shape, especially with the multi-colored graphics that begin just ahead of the cowl.
Modifications weren't just limited to the body and paint, either. Dig those slender bumpers and fillers, which surely took hours and hours to fabricate, and the subtle upgrade to the grille, which was formerly 100% chrome. In back, the slender bumperettes frame a recessed license plate frame, and the entire body is covered in stylish pinstriping that matches the car's personality extremely well. All the glass was tinted, adding to the modernized feel while providing a lift for the A/C inside.
Ford fans will be thrilled to find a vintage 302 cubic inch blue oval V8 under the hood, and finally there's a hot rod with the distributor up front where it belongs! The wonderfully detailed engine bay contrasts with the bright exterior paint, tying in with the graphics and pinstripes perfectly. In fact, it's hard to talk about the detailing of the engine bay without addressing the entire chassis, which is bathed in matching lavender paint from front to back. Of course, appropriate amounts of polished aluminum and chrome dress it up, from the Ford Motorsport air cleaner, to the finned cast aluminum valve covers that have been painted to match. It's obvious that someone invested a good amount of time making sure that the hoses and wires were neatly tucked out of sight as much as possible, including those for the powerful A/C system. With a smooth firewall and a matching power brake booster, the yellow paint provides the perfect background for the brightly colored engine, and you'll be anxious to park and get the hood open at any show you attend.
As I mentioned, the chassis is equally well detailed and painted to match. The original frame was retained, although the front section was modified with frame stubs from a full-sized Chevy, and it includes an independent front end, disc brakes, and power steering. The transmission is a C4 3-speed automatic, spinning a Ford 9-inch with easy-cruising 3.00 gears inside. And as I said, every square inch of the chassis, including the frame, suspension components, driveshaft, and even the rear end, was bathed in more of that cool lavender that just pops against the satin black underbody. A custom dual exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers was fabricated to tuck up close to the floor and out of sight, terminating in a set of slant-cut tips that are vaguely reminiscent of a Mustang 5.0. Four wheel power disc brakes are a nice surprise, giving this vintage Ford modern stopping power that will inspire confidence on the road. Billet wheels from American Racing stuff the big wheel wells, and wear 195/70/15 front and 225/70/15 rear BFGoodrich T/A radials.
Tan tweed is the dominant theme inside, and for a long-distance cruiser, you'll probably find that the cloth is a lot more comfortable than leather because it breathes better. The custom work is extensive and the detailing is very well done. The front buckets are obviously out of a late-model and offer plenty of adjustment so that just about anyone can get comfortable behind the wheel, and deep side bolsters are supportive without being constrictive. Scallops adorn the door panels and headliner, lending the interior a symmetry that suggests someone spent a lot of time in the planning stage. The rear seat has been upholstered to match with a folding center armrest, making this a true 5-passenger car, and even back seat riders will be comfortable on those long cruises. The original dash has been filled and modified to accept a complete array of VDO white-faced gauges, and eyeball vents have been professionally integrated into the design. A separate panel has been fitted below the main dash to hold secondary controls for the HVAC system and the powerful Sony AM/FM/CD stereo system with speakers scattered throughout the interior. Other thoughtful upgrades include seat and shoulder belts, a bunch of OEM-style courtesy lights, and a vintage Ford style “spoon” accelerator pedal. In back, the trunk has been fully upholstered to match, with removable panels hiding things like the battery.
This car includes a stack of build photos as well as a stack of receipts for all the components that went into its construction.
If there's one thing we've learned in all our years of doing business as both a dealer and as a custom car builder, it's that it is always cheaper to buy a finished car than to build it yourself. This lovely Ford has been extremely well built, and our hats are off to the builder for keeping it Ford powered. All the modern conveniences are included, the interior is as comfortable as any modern piece, and it looks like a million bucks. Give us a call today!
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What Customers Are Saying
After hearing good things about the people at RK Motors, I contacted them regarding consignment of my street rod. I found Tony Klein to be a pleasure to work with. He was very professional and forthcoming in our communications. He evaluated my vehicle and made suggestions of enhancements which would help ensure the desired result would be achieved in the marketing of the vehicle. We agreed on an acceptable sale price. Following the completion of the recommended items, I brought the vehicle to RK for consignment. After a thorough inspection and correction of some minor issues at what I considered a fair price, the vehicle was offered for sale. It sold quickly with me receiving the agreed value. I would have to repeat the recommendation that I received. RK Motors does what they say they will do, and obtains for the seller a fair and agreed value. What more could you ask for?Doug C.