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Projects 53 Ford mild custom build

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Rand Man, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 3,248

    Rand Man
    Member

    I've been thinking about building a custom car for probably 40 years. I've put together all sorts, but finally getting around to this type I've always admired. I had recently been searching for the right project at the right price. Although the price I paid could have (should have) been lower, it was running and driving (at least in the yard), which was high priority for me.

    It has the stock flathead V8. The current carb is leaking from every possible place, one early mod will be to install a vintage Offy four-barrel intake. Please don't shame me for running it. They sold a lot of them years ago, so somebody was using them on hot rods and or customs. I just need to find the right period-correct carb.

    My first plan for paint is to just buff out the existing. This might not work out. What I assumed was original paint is a re-paint and has a bit of fiber and filler. We'll just have to see how the paint situation evolves.

    There's not much left of the interior but some springs. I have a decent low-buck solution in mind and will post about that later. I'm hoping to make steady progress. Let's hope I do just that.

    [​IMG][​IMG]


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  2. Sweet! I'll be watching this as I have a '52 that is in line for the custom treatment.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  3. One of my very early cars was a 53 Vicky. I also had plans to do a mild Custom. I was all over the little books back then. The car did get painted and tricked up including a 4 bbl. carb and that was 1964 so your idea is just fine with me. Looks like a good start from the outside.
    Best of luck to ya and looks like you have a suitable helper.
    The Wizzard
     
  4. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 18,194

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    good looking pr0ject - if buffing out paint does not work sand and spray a good primer sealer on it
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
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  5. What kind of carb are you needing? I have a 1950,s holley tea pot carb for sale. I also have a Mallory dual point dist. I also have a 53 two door post that ive been parting out. Those flatheads where great unless you overheated them. Get them hot and they usually cracked. Im about 200 miles from Rogers. I lived at Gentry for a short time.
     
  6. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 3,248

    Rand Man
    Member

    I may want your teapot. They got a bad rep, but I had good luck with one before.


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  7. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 3,248

    Rand Man
    Member

    Oh that's not me in the photos. I was taking the pics. That was the seller yesterday, although I don't look much different nowadays.


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  8. Ive had the carb more than 50 years. I traded a $50 bay mare for a 55 ford truck that had a 56 Y block in it. The Y block was junk. the oily blow by has preserved the carb. all throttle shafts and linkages are moving freely. It would need a carb kit put in it. I got it in the HAMB classifieds. I will bump the add
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Rocky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 13,574

    Rocky
    Classified Editor

    Looks like a good start. I've always wanted a 52-54 either 2 door or coupe. I think they make great mild customs. I'll be watching this thread.
    BTW, using a 4 barrel on a flathead is an old trick. My best buddy ran one on his 50 ford with a 255 merc. I built a 255 merc for my 50 crestliner and he sold his 4 barrel setup to me. Had a Rochester 4 jet on it.
    All this happened in '63 & '64.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  10. Late to the Party
    Joined: Nov 16, 2015
    Posts: 796

    Late to the Party
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Hi, Randy -- Congrats on getting your new project. It looks like you have a solid car to work with. I've been thinking about doing a custom based upon that body style, but a Mercury or Lincoln if I can find one. I'll be following your progress. Also, feel free to stop by my shop again whenever you're in Fayetteville.
     
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  11. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 3,248

    Rand Man
    Member

    The rear bumper is rough. Does anyone know of chrome plater near the Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri area? Maybe I should be thinking of a custom replacement? I'm not sure might work. I'll throw '56 Chevy out there. Basic shape seems similar. I should get some measurements. Ideas are welcome. I'd like to make this unique, but simple and easy have distinct advantages.


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  12. Ive got one from a 56 ford. it has outlets for the exhaust to exit. Ive seen bumpers that the plating was sanded off and painted and that looked good also.
     
  13. I have one of these with the 215 I6 I love it
     
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  14. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 12,549

    Squablow
    Member

    Neat car, I have a '52 that's pretty much done and a '53 that I've had since grade school. Your front bumper looks really good, and I tell you that is a near-impossible piece to find with decent chrome. '54 front is different so it's a 52-53 only piece.

    Rears will fit from 52-54 though and decent used ones seem to be around, I picked up the one on my '52 at a local Wisconsin junkyard for $30. '56 Chevy might work, and since they're usually 3 piece, if you have to mess with the width you can do it at the seam with miminal damage to chrome.

    '56 Olds 88 tail light lenses fit in the stock Ford rings pretty nicely and are a cool custom trick with no body mods necessary. Early 90's Ford Aerostar minivan front coil springs will bolt into this car and give a 3" lowering and a great ride, can be bought for about $55/pair brand new. The inner headlight rings on a '53 are stainless and identical to the 52-54 Mercury rings, and the bezels are steel ('54 has die cast rings, '52 has chromed steel inner rings) so frenched headlights are pretty easy to do on these and if you make the inner rings removable you can adjust the headlights from the front.

    There's a lot of custom tricks that these cars take easily and don't break the bank.

    If your hood opens and closes, very carefully and thoroughly lubricate every hinge point on the hood hinges and be careful raising and lowering it, the hinges break easily, replacements are like $500 and require removing the front fenders.

    Here's my '52. I look forward to seeing more of yours.

    garage.jpg
     
  15. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 3,248

    Rand Man
    Member

    Yeah cool '52. I have already ordered the '56 Olds taillights. They make 'em look a bit more like jet exhaust. I ordered some '56 Ford headlight buckets. I'm hoping they are more or less a bolt-on they're already hooded and look or can look Frenched. Anybody tried that one?


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  16. I set the 56 rear bumper I have behind my junk 53. It 52 ford56 bumper 001.JPG would fit with minimal fab work. the with is ok the 53 frame is a couple inches narrower than the 56 frame.
     
  17. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 12,549

    Squablow
    Member

    I tried the 55/56 headlight bezel on the '53 fender but it's quite a bit different, the later bezel is like an inch and a half taller than the '53 bezel, they're more oval shaped where as the '53 bezel is almost totally round. You'd almost have to graft a section of the 55/56 fender onto the '53 to make it work, or do some serious rework of the '53 fender.

    I like the rear bumper that Old Wolf shows there, it does look like it would fit without too much messing around and the exhaust ports are a cool touch, would look like it was factory on the car.
     
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  18. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 3,248

    Rand Man
    Member

    Cool. I could go with that. I've always had a thing for dual exhaust out the bumper tips.


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  19. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 3,248

    Rand Man
    Member

    Thanks for the info on the headlights. I need to force myself to focus on stuff that makes it stop and go first. Boring stuff like brake job and gas tank flush. I don't know if there is a hole in the tank, a bad fuel pump or what. He was using a garden sprayer for a fuel tank/pump. Pretty snazzy setup.


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  20. The original bumpers on the 53 where pretty good. I sold them to a local guy that has a 53 htp. I bought the junker at a estate auction for $5. and when I went to get it my wife came along. Rusty rusty sheet metal. Debbie asked me what I paid for it. I told her $5 she stated I will give you $15 to leave it here. I told her theres a lot of good parts on the car. She gave me the horse laugh. First thing I sold was the air box hood hinge assemblys to some one on the west coast. Ive sold a lot of parts from the car and there are still some goodies left on it.
     
  21. Bennyrin
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 2

    Bennyrin
    Member
    from Illinois

  22. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 7,106

    Tim
    Member
    from Raytown Mo

    Man the 53 I had is the only car I regret letting go. There's a chrome place up here in KC send me a message if your interested and I'll find you info.
     
  23. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 5,700

    JeffB2
    Member
    from Phoenix,AZ

    Best bang for the buck fix: http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/1955-gas-tank-in-a-54.985110/
     
  24. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 5,700

    JeffB2
    Member
    from Phoenix,AZ

  25. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 3,248

    Rand Man
    Member

    Hey Jeff, that link isn't working on my phone app. That's like half price of the 53 tank. Could you summarize any modifications I might need to make? Thanks.


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  26. lanny haas
    Joined: Nov 1, 2008
    Posts: 561

    lanny haas
    Member
    from Phoenix AZ

    Hey Im Back! (its been a while)Ill be watching this also. Squablow's 52 looks great. I like the side chrome. and stance
     
  27. I have a 53, cheapest car I own and also one of my favorites to drive. It was fixed up in the 60's and I bought it at a swap meet a couple years ago for 5,500.00. Had it running about 20 minutes after getting it home. Did brakes, gas tank, tune up and had the top done. Mines a mild custom, has been nosed and has a tube grill in it. I put Olds tail light lenses in, skirts, lowered it and added the wheel covers and accessory steering wheel. I love love love these cars. Cheap to work on and find parts for.

    I will be selling the tube grill from this car if anyone is interested. I have another grill I'm going to use. I also have a few 53 parts if you are looking for anything. Great project!

    IMG_1937.JPG IMG_3620.JPG IMG_2274.JPG
     
    i.rant, lawman, catdad49 and 7 others like this.
  28. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 5,700

    JeffB2
    Member
    from Phoenix,AZ

  29. My first car (1966) was a '53 Mainline. Rebuilt Flathead V-8 from Sears, '56 Olds tailights, '54 DeSoto grille, '56 Ford wheel-covers, de-chromed deck and hood. Paid $35 for it! Wish I still had it. Good luck with your project, they make for pretty darn cool mild customs. 03222016.jpg
     
    i.rant, lothianwilly71 and Squablow like this.
  30. Chris, I'm not much of a convertible guy but, your '53 is a very sweet ride.:)
     
    lothianwilly71 likes this.

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