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’34 Ford Coupe: First Time around the Block

by Dave on February 20, 2015

Bill Evan’s car has resided in a number of shops over the years, but when it came to Seabright we committed to finishing it. This month his coupe passed a milestone in its life: a tour of the neighborhood under its own power. Its LT4/4L60E power train combo is controlled by an after-market Howell Engineering computer, our chore now is to get all those little electronic signals cooperating with each other. There are quite a few:

ECM plugsHere’s a good example: The box that controls the Retrotek push button shifter outputs a “Hey, we’re in Reverse” signal that’s supposed to trigger a relay that in turn launches the coupe’s back-up lights and camera. You with me? The problem is this trigger signal doesn’t put out enough voltage or current to fire a relay. I tracked down an ex-employee of the now-defunct company who advised me that “Yeah, that was a known issue.” We have a couple of potential solutions – electronic and mechanical – we’ll keep you posted.

Push Button Shift


You can see the back-up camera and LED lights we mounted in an anodized panel above the car’s molded roll pan.

CA plate in car

For some reason, the entire front side of this roll pan was left open. On a wet day, the two deep cheeks on either side of the license plate would quickly fill with the water flung off the inboard disc brakes. Hey, this would be valuable in drought-stricken Northern California; you arrive home, back in over your wife’s flower bed, and offload three or four gallons of water. You’d be a hero, right? We’re working on a solution.

Bill’s license plate retractor is now wired, plumbed and operating, but as you can see, a modern plate totally fills the recess in the pan. There isn’t even room for a frame. Here we ran into a bit of luck. Arizona, Bill’s state of residence, had a three-year-only (’32 thru ’34) license plate that was narrower than standard and pressed out of copper. Bill scored this example on eBay, you can see how much better it fits the recess.
1934 Copper AZ license plateAZ plate mock-up



Gary is finishing up the Chip Foose-designed door panels he built for the car. We’ve already installed the power door latches and power window hardware, now we’re working on the installation of the window rubber so it can go right in after paint. While the window openings in Gary’s panels are dead straight, the ones on the door sides had a few S-turns. Once we finish building and blocking the fiberglass, we’ll be able to drop an actual flat piece of glass down the slot.

Door Panel

With the addition of a battery cover in the luggage area, most of the trunk tin is done.

Batt Box1 Batt Box2


From → Current Projects

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