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Phildaupho

1939 Ford Convertible -sectioned, channelled, chopped, nosed, decked

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I have always been attracted to the look of sectioned, channelled and chopped 39/40 Ford Convertibles. With very little other customization they have a very well proportioned and elegant look like the first generation Lincoln Continentals. The most famous 39/40 customs were built by Valley Customs a 39 for Gary Emory and a 40 for Ralph Jilek.

Revell of course never released a ’39 Ford Convertible and Ford never made a 1940 Standard Convertible. I previously used the Deluxe front end from the ’40 Convertible kit to built a ’40 Deluxe Coupe from the Revell Standard kit so now the nose from that kit is being used with the convertible body which will give the look of ’39 Convertible. To complete this masquerade, I will incorporate headlights from the Revell ’37 Ford which are very similar to ’39 headlights.

I have had a set back with painting the ’40 Coupe so restarted this project waiting for paint to dry you might say. The Coupe lent its chassis for the photo shoot.

There were three ways customizers back in the day built sectioned and channelled 39/40 Fords which can also be done by car modellers. The first and most complex and difficult is to cut a longitudinal section out of the body near the belt line and then the entire body is channelled. The second simpler and easier method is to channel the body and rear fenders the height of the running boards and cut off the bottom of the body and rear fenders by that same amount.  The third method is similar to the second but the rear fenders are not channelled rather the body is sunk lower on the fenders with them being attached higher up. In all three methods the hood and cowl have to be similarly sectioned and the cars retained their running boards with methods 2 and 3. With a possible fourth method, the cars were channelled and the rear fenders maybe or maybe not raised but only the hood and cowl were sectioned. I am going with a modified version of method three.

For all my cuts I used the width of narrow Tamiya masking tape which including the width of the cuts work out to about 4 scale inches. My first cuts were the cowl side body ahead of the doors and below the belt line. I cut along the forward door line, took a section out of the top and moved the whole thing up. The hood was sectioned at the same height as the body sides. I then cut an equal amount off the bottom of the side body. With the hood taped to the front fenders the whole forward part of the body was glued onto its new location. The forward edge of the rear fenders were glued at the new bottom point of the body sides, at the bottom of the unsectioned rear pan below the trunk and along the body beside the trunk. The roof and windshield frame were also chopped the same amount.

I plan to use wide white wall tires with Cadillac Sombrero hubcaps and the wheel wells will be radiused to the arc of the tires.

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Wow! You put a ton of work into that car! It looks fantastic! I can't wait to see pix of it finished. Please keep us informed on your progress too.  Thanks & Best wishes.

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20 hours ago, hack-n-whack said:

Wow! You put a ton of work into that car! It looks fantastic! I can't wait to see pix of it finished. Please keep us informed on your progress too.  Thanks & Best wishes.

 

19 hours ago, styromaniac said:

Long....and Lowwwwww.

 

17 hours ago, cobraman said:

Looks great already !

 

17 hours ago, doggie427 said:

Loving this! It’s beautiful already.

 

41 minutes ago, slusher said:

Great stance and project!

Thanks guy - I am going to glue a bunch of stuff together this morning and also get to work on sectioning and fitting the inner structure. My goal is to try to keep things totally traditional meaning flathead power,  transverse springs, drum brakes etc.

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An amazing amount of work done to this and it is simply amazing! Love the look. I'll be watching this one for sure!

Later-

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Wow, that's ambitious but seems to have worked out very well so far! Well done. I like seeing heavily customized '40s every now and then to balance out all the stock-bodied hot rods. It's a beautiful design and hard to modify safely, but your approach keeps the best features of the design and trims the fat out!

 

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On 5/13/2020 at 9:33 AM, Modlbldr said:

An amazing amount of work done to this and it is simply amazing! Love the look. I'll be watching this one for sure!

Later-

 

19 hours ago, Spex84 said:

Wow, that's ambitious but seems to have worked out very well so far! Well done. I like seeing heavily customized '40s every now and then to balance out all the stock-bodied hot rods. It's a beautiful design and hard to modify safely, but your approach keeps the best features of the design and trims the fat out!

 

Thanks guys - Going to post an update regarding chassis and interior

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The ’40 Ford Convertible kit was identified as a Pro-Modeller kit and as such could be built in stock or street rod configuration. Because of my desire to build this model as a traditional custom but get it low, modifications were required to the stock suspension. Up front I did use the dropped I-beam axle assembly but was surprised when I noticed it was narrower than the stock axle. I suppose this was because of the wider tires used for the street-rod version. This turned out to be to my advantage due to the modifications I had to make to use the wide whites and Cadillac Sombrero hubcaps from the Revell ‘49 Mercury which have a pin mount arrangement. In back I flattened the cross member and c-notched the frame. I noticed couple of other interesting things regarding this kit. I the stock rear-end appears to incorporate what looks like maybe a Columbia two-speed differential. I assumed the frame was the same for the ’40 Deluxe Convertible and ’40 Standard Coupe but they differ at the leading edge so some material will need to be trimmed from the Deluxe chassis for it to properly mate with the standard chassis.

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Sectioning the interior was easier than I thought and only minor trimming was required to fit the floor and inner rear wheelwell assembly.

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2v2H6mqvdximYT.jpg

Getting closer to the look I am after

- 37 Ford headlights

- Radiused wheelwells

- Opened up side window area a bit and fit vent windows

- Added splitter to windshield

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Rolling chassis now complete. Will move onto finishing the interior next.

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Chassis looks outstanding Phil. This is coming together beautifully.

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LOVE IT!!! Im an early custom fan in both !:1 and in scale and youre hitting all the right boxes. It says Valley Customs to me so far

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1 hour ago, doggie427 said:

Chassis looks outstanding Phil. This is coming together beautifully.

Thanks Wayne

5 minutes ago, chris chabre said:

LOVE IT!!! Im an early custom fan in both !:1 and in scale and youre hitting all the right boxes. It says Valley Customs to me so far

Thanks Chris. Yes I definitely got my inspiration from Valley Customs.

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I got the interior finished. I used some thin real white leather on the seats and dashboard trim items from the excellent Model Car Garage photo-etch detail set designed for AMT kits. Also used is the included ’39 grill with optional ’40 Standard center trim. I am sure I will be able to get the hood to fit better when completely finished.

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The Carson style top looks perfect on this. 

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really nice look, just enough altering to really add to the appearence. nice rod

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