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’34 Ford Coupe Part IX: Details, Details

by Dave on October 7, 2013

Bill Evan’s ’34 coupe spent time in a number of shops before finding its way to Seabright. A car that’s passed through several hands presents a number of challenges, especially one like Bill’s. As you know from our previous posts, virtually everything on this car is handmade. From its hybrid tube chassis and front suspension to its highly modified body, aluminum interior and complex electronics, everything’s been designed and built from scratch.

As the car evolved, it became clear some of the early solutions weren’t going to work. To be fair, some never had the opportunity to be road-tested. Others were just bad ideas from the start.

When the coupe came to Seabright, the Vintage Air AC/Heater unit had been mounted in the trunk, on top of the gas tank. This presented numerous plumbing, ducting and air quality complications, none of which had been sorted out. We decided, as outlined in an earlier post, to move the AC unit to the firewall. Gary had this in mind when he originally built the dash/console, so, after a bit of modification, we made the move and completed the plumbing.
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Besides solving a variety of problems, this move liberated a good deal of space in the trunk, space we’d soon begin filling with the coupe’s elaborate electronics.
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As we prepped the interior for detail paint and sound deadening it seemed like a good time to also complete the ducting for the AC/Heater. The unit provides a defroster outlet, all we had to do was get the hot air to the windshield.

Gary began by building a plenum; he then cut out a section of the dash top into which this plenum would be mounted.
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We kicked around the idea of a bezel for the vent opening, but considering the limited height of the chopped windshield and the aesthetics of the dash itself, any kind of raised trim would stick up in Bill’s forward view like a pimple. A simple slot would be much more appropriate.
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The final installation is simple, clean, and doesn’t require more than a few of inches of ducting between the plenum and the heater. Can you imagine how much more work (and how inefficient) it would’ve been driving the defroster all the way from the trunk?
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In our last update, we’d started work on Bill’s power mirrors. Gary has now completed the driver’s side and built a jig for the passenger’s.
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On a less glamorous note, we completed prepping and painting the metalwork in the cockpit and trunk. We also cleaned up the inside of the body and made up patterns for the DynaMat and DynaPad sound deadening material. While all this will eventually be hidden, it will help ensure Bill enjoys a cool, quiet ride.
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