Ceefa Ford

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Australians, look away. Americans, attention, please. The Australian alphabet:

A fer ‘orses

B fer mutton.

Ceefa cat.

Etc., etc.

Old Australian joke poem. I have been in any number of households that had a cat named Ceefa, and they all thought that they were unique. Nearly right – substitute the letter “b” for the letter “n” in that and you are closer to the mark*.

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I have been trying to research the “C” model Ford and the closest I can get to it is to regard the C as alliterative for the shape of the cabin roof in the models of the “T ” made before the Great War. C may mean “commercial” as well, as these vehicles are also referred to as delivery cars.

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Whatever, they do appear in a number of forms of Model T hot rod – in this case at the Big Al’s Poker Run in 2014 an at the Claremont Showground later in the year. The colour of the car is what first attracted me to it – similar to my own car – and the cuteness of the cabin completed it for me.

Having said that, I must confess to a terrible thing…I prefer my Model T Fords as vintage cars. I do not decry the rodder who wants one, and they are an iconic part of the rodding scene – always have been. And I recognise that they can be magnificently done in lots of different forms. And they are cute. But I like them plain.

Now this is a nice rod. The frame and suspension at the front are visually heavier than some of the more traditional rods, but the engine in there is considerably bigger and heavier than anything Henry ever thought of putting in it, and you must make practical decisions. Or as practical as you can, given that an engine that big means flooring this thing would probably twist you into a light pole three streets over…

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I like the tail light treatment. I like the small delivery hatch at the back. Even the Ali protection box under the tail looks good. And the decision to do it with full fenders and running board is perfect. Mind you, I’ve seen obnoxious spectators in Melbourne use the running boards of vintage and veteran cars as anything from free seats to baby-changing platforms so you’d want to keep an eye on your car if it was out in the crowd. I think Western Australian spectators are better mannered and I KNOW rodders respect each other’s property. They might slap each other on the backs and call each other names, but they treat the machinery with care. They also pick up the grounds after themselves.

* I once visited the Royal Artillery Museum at Woolwich and remarked to the attendant – an old soldier – that the ” Ubique” signs seemed to be everywhere…he avoided me for the rest of my visit…



2 thoughts on “Ceefa Ford

  1. Two thoughts on this-
    I once fitted the engine and gearbox of a BMW K100 RS motor bike into an Austin 7 Special so I could still drive it whilst waiting for a new crankshaft to be milled for the original engine. It was heaps of fun, though it cost me a new back axle as I chewed through the diff and twisted both half-shafts to spaghetti. A fiver for a Morris Marina back axle (with brakes that worked!) brought an enormous improvement. However the point was that revving even such a lightweight and perfectly balanced engine as that caused the chassis rails to flex, and the doors to rattle against their latches. I look upon the green thing above and question whether it is a fibreglass box sitting on a modern chassis – cf: the boxing under the doors?
    I also fitted a worked Lancia twin cam to a Morris Minor convertible, with the result that I could open the doors at speed without touching the door handles. It was quite an exercise to build a hidden space frame to correct that flexibility, and keep the car on the road at the speeds of which it was capable.


    1. I often share your curiosity about the actual construction of some of the rods, kustoms, and specials that I see – good if they will open the bonnet or put a mirror under the thing to let you see what is under there. But still doesn’t answer the question of what the body is made of – particularly if it appears to be a pre-40’s Ford. I should feel like a peasant if I just strode over there and whacked it with a stick to hear the sound. Even then, I might not be able to really tell – and I don’t think the owner would appreciate me whipping out a cordless drill and plunging a 1/4″ hole through the cowling just to satisfy my interest. I suppose one could always pour Aqua Regia over it and see what dissolved…


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