I was delighted to find this Ford Bucket at Gillam Drive 2014 because I knew it would allow me to say something in a positive light. I had been looking at a trend in hot rodding and did not know how to approach the topic respectfully.
The thing is the front suspensions found in many modern rods. I am not speaking about the fully-fendered post-1948 vehicles that one sees – vehicles of all makes. The ones that hide the suspension inside – I am interested, of course, to see what has been done in these cases to restore, beef up, or replace front suspensions to cope with larger and heavier engines. I might add that my interest does not extend to the various schemes devised to jack up the fronts of low-riders.
Well, if the thing is hidden by a lot of metal, it can be whatever it needs to be. Factory axles, wishbones, springs, air bags, lengths of railway iron or bits of 2 x 4 timber salvaged from the Bunnings off-cut sale*. It really only concerns the owner and the police licensing branch and they can fight it out between themselves. I am concerned with the open display of axles and suspension that might be seen in an open-wheeler roadster or coupe.
I’m torn between admiration for builders who can sandwich a fighter plane engine into a Model T chassis and horror at how they do it. In particular I am sometimes dismayed at the appearance of the front suspension if it has been taken from a very much later car and clapped onto the shapely and delicate iron of a pre-40’s rod. I do understand the need to support the weight and not roll over or fracture when the car corners…but sometimes the more agricultural installations are hard on the eyes.
Well, to put a short story long, this builder seems to have devised a very good solution to the business. Thats a big engine in there, and declares itself so – all the way to the Ford racing covers and bug collector. And it is heavy – hence the wise decision to put a wishbone suspension on rather than a thin transverse axle. But what a wise decision as well, to cover the mechanicals of that suspension in as far as possible with a fairing under the radiator grill. The fairing is deliberate and stylish and makes the front of the car look right.
The interior is good – looks as comfy as a bucket can be. Wouldn’t want to be seven feet tall driving it, but then that would be a problem in my Suzuki as well. Amusing to see the break in the upholstery on the sides to suggest opening doors. No roll-down windows, however…I wonder how the driver gets any fresh air into the interior…
The bed cover is interesting. I can only surmise that it was available and pressed into service. The moulding that suggests head rests may have another function of which I am unaware but at least the thing locks down and you could put your watercress sandwiches and copies of The Tatler under cover safe from interference.
- A shameful episode from WA used-car sales history back in the 1960’s. It lead to all sorts of official notice and private nuisance.