Skip to content

’34 Ford Coupe: Heading for the Finish Line

by Dave on February 19, 2015

It’s been awhile since we posted progress photos of Bill Evans’ coupe. It’s not that we haven’t been busting ass – we promised Bill delivery this Spring – it’s just that the details on which we’ve been laboring, taken individually, didn’t seem especially newsworthy. Taken together though, they add up to a boatload of work.

The aluminum hood sides Gary built needed stiffening at the trailing edge so they’d match, and maintain, the contour of the cowl. We started by fabbing a pair of beaded stiffeners and riveting them to the hood sides. Gary then edge-welded the assembly, taking care to maintain the contour.

Hood_1 Hood_2 Hood_3Hood_5
Gary had built a pair of separate, lower side panels to fit around the front struts. These had to be tuned up to accommodate the final shape of the hood sides.


Bill’s VintageAir system in the coupe includes a defroster, which required a vent to be let into the top of the dash console. Like the hood sides, the dash top has more shape in it than appears to the eye and the installation of this vent turned out to take quite a bit of labor.

Defroster_33 Defroster_2 Defroster_1

We finished the aluminum panels in the trunk and Gary fashioned a pair of over-center style supports to hold up the deck lid.

Deck Lid_0 Deck Lid_1 Deck Lid_2 Deck Lid_4 Deck Lid_5

Bill’s coupe arrived at our shop with a third brake light mounted in a custom recess molded into the deck lid. It looked cool — but presented a problem when it came to routing the wiring. We’ve tried to keep the trunk clean and simple and we didn’t want any wires hanging loose., so we decided to run them along the edge of the deck lid hinge. We clearanced the top of the hinge where it enters the slot in the aluminum panel, then added “two walls and a top” to fashion a channel that directs the wires, unseen, to the electrical panel behind the trunk tin.

Wire Router_1 Wire Router_3 Wire Router_4 Wire Router_5

The original fiberglass body of Bill’s coupe had been extensively modified, including re-hanging the doors so they hinge at the front, rather than the original suicide-style. Unfortunately, nothing had been done to reinforce the jambs and they’d begun to crack.

Door Jamb_1

We built up the backside of the jamb with several layers of fiberglass mat, then fabbed up a pair of plates that tied the jamb to the steel cage inside the body and to the wooden door surround. These plates were bolted through the jamb on the front (you can see the countersunk holes in the photo), and epoxyed to the backside.

Door Jamb_2 Door Jamb_3 Door Jamb_4

We then cut back the jambs, filled the countersunk holes, and built it back up with a couple of layers of fiberglass mat. With all the fiberglass reinforcement, plus the new steel tying everything together, these jambs shouldn’t go anywhere.

Door Jamb_5

To say we’ve had issues with the Engine Control Module is an understatement. The ECM that arived with the car wasn’t even the correct one for the engine/trans combo. Our only communication with this unruly box is through an OBDII interface. Instead of face-mounting this OBD socket somewhere on Gary’s beautiful dash console, we decided to hide it inside. I built and mounted a bracket and Gary cut a panel that also provides access to the shifter and VintageAir controls.

Console Panel_2 Console Panel_1

The grille insert had been custom made, but needed a little dental work. Gary squared it up. The window slots in the reconfigured doors had too much arc in them to ever seal against the car’s flat glass, so I filled and squared them up, too.

Gary Grille Insert Window Slot

The rear end needed a lot of tuning. We clearanced the body to give the four-bars ample room to travel, machined spacers to keep the four-bars from kissing the tires, then replaced the coil-overs to get the fenders up off the tires and soften the ride.

New Shocks

We’re in the home stretch, but there’s still much to do before the car goes to Bill’s painter in Arizona. We’ll keep you posted.

From → Current Projects

Comments are closed.