Cheeze and rice! Has it really been 33 years since I bought this old hot rod? It has and I don't know where the years have gone, but they have; in the blink of an eye. The Chelsea Coupe was owned by Jack Friend of Memphis, TN back in the early 50s until he sold it in the mid 60s or so. It's had a couple magazine appearances. Once in Rod and Custom July 54. And again in Rodder's Journal (I forget which number at present) Two page spread, no less. Colorized by Rik Hoving (sorry if I mis spelled the last name) The name Chelsea Coupe comes from Rik and the Rodder's Journal article. Jack just called it "The Coupe". He drove it on the street and raced it regularly and was a founding member of Rodders of Memphis. He showed it locally and won awards. Repainted it in the early 60s. (colorized B/W photo by me using patches of color I found on the car) But he eventually sold it and it was driven some years by the next owner, the race flathead was removed and a stock 48 engine was installed. Then it sat for many years next to his house. Until April of 1979 it showed up in Auto Trader. I knew the car (but not its history at that time) and went and bought it that day. I got it taken apart I happened to meet some older (than me) car guys and showed them the picture of it. They knew the car and told me who owned it back then and where he worked. (Chelsea Auto Parts) I stopped there but he was gone for the day. A 20 year old with a low paying job and limited space just couldn't do much right then. So, It got moved to my Dad's barn for 10 years. I found myself in the area of Chelsea again and stopped. Jack had just left but I left my phone number and he called me. He came out to see the car. He wanted to buy it back but I had my heart set on building it. He gave me some pics, told me about the R&C article and other stories about the days when he owned the car. That gave me a boost and I had a better job by then too. So, I got it out of my dad's barn and took it to Jackson, MS to have it dipped. Unfortunately, in those years I'd let the original (unboxed) frame, front axle, wheels and stock, stuck flathead get away. Undaunted and with the help of another streetrodder friend at work, I built my own frame from plans he had let me copy. I'd gotten married by then and living in a mobile home, I didn't get much time to work on it. These shots are in my dad's shop, taken about 1990. In the meantime, my wife and I were having a house built and the next year my shop got built and the car came to its forever home. I did more to the chassis, bought a front axle, crossmember, made a 4 link set up for the rear, installed a front 4 link kit, Mustang steering box and other stuff I'd traded a 55 Chevy for, made my own disc brake brackets and got it rolling. Installed a couple patch panels, replaced the rotted wood with steel and got the doors hung again. Wow, no gray hair! Oh wait....HAIR! I bought a 400 Pontiac engine from a friend and installed it with a Muncie 4 speed. I got a full size grille because the sectioned one just didn't look right. And, Walker radiator in Memphis didn't think that small rad would cool that big Pontiac sufficiently. I do still have the original one though. I made a new firewall, since the 2 x 4 tubing I used for the frame left a gap between the original firewall and the top of the frame. I fabbed up some new headlight mounts as well. Same style, but I brought the headlights down and in toward the grille to cut down on the "bug eye" look (refer to pics at top) and to keep them from hitting the tires during cornering. (there are rubber marks on the headlights) And that's pretty much where I'm starting from now. Regrets: Jack passed away before I could get the car back together. That's about as concise as I can make it. So, after another several years waiting, I'm back to work. I started out by fabbing up some sub frames for the body. (saw that here on the HAMB) Since the entire floor was cut out, there's nothing back of the doors to mount to a frame. They are still in the fitting stage in this pic. I tacked them into the body this afternoon. At the front of the doors I'll install these. Once I have the body mounts on top of the frame, I'll cut out what's left of the original floor under the doors and under the frame. I'll have to cut that off before I can get the body off. But I wanted to use them to get the body straight and even with the frame rails. I've ordered a TKO600, bellhousing, flywheel, clutch assy and all from Keisler. We're going to Pigeon Forge next week to a TriFive show and I'll pick it up then. The Poncho will be coming out and a 351C 4V out of a 72 mid size will be going in with the 5 speed. Future plans are to make it traditional-looking but with some modern features. As if it picked them up through the years. It'll have steel early 16 inch Ford wheels with 29-30" tires on the rear and smaller on the front. The pic above in red with the little boy looking at the car is on my desk top at work. That's my dream. It may be red, it may not, but it sure won't be that chartreuse color. I intend to keep this going this time. Wish me luck.