Author: RodSwapper

Meet our friend Rob Radcliffe and his 1950 Ford tudor sedan.

This is my 1950 Ford tudor sedan that I restyled at my shop – King Kustoms in Temecula, California. I bought the car in 2001 after my other ’50 Ford tudor burned to the ground in a garage fire.

When I bought the car it was sitting on a poorly done Camaro clipped frame, so I used the frame from the burned car on my new shoebox project. The burned frame was blasted and rebuilt from the ground up. During the rebuild in 2003, I installed air bags on the car but later they would be removed.

The top was chopped 6.5 inches up front and 8 inches in the rear. The rear window was laid down in the stock location, and the drip rails were kept intact. During the chop, I also slanted the B-pillars. In 2003, I had the car on the road in primer and drove it around for a while working out the bugs.

In June of 2006 on my way to a cruise night, I was hit head-on at an intersection in French Valley, California and car was once again totaled. I had no choice but to tow it back home.

After the crash, I used the insurance money to buy a ’49 Ford parts car from my friend Tim Sutton in Long Beach. The frame was pulled back out by Dick’s Frame and Wheel on Main Street in old town Riverside. In order to keep the car period-correct, I removed the airbags and replaced them with 4″ de-arched rear leaf springs in the rear, and cut coils up front. I used the front fenders, valance, and inner fenders from the parts car. I had also planned to use the hood from the parts car, but came across a much nicer ’51 hood instead. I nosed and peaked the hood while extending it along the front edge. All four corners were rounded.

The front valance was molded in, and the body seam along the front edge of the valance was filled. A ’50 Merc grille shell was molded in between the new front fenders, and ’52 Merc head light bezels were frenched on to the fenders. The head light bezels were pulled in slightly for a cleaner look. While working on the car, I decided to also replace the rocker panels, quarter panels and trunk floor. The rocker panels were molded to the quarter panels and front fenders and the lower door corners were rounded in the process. Hidden trunk hinges from a ’51 Ford were installed, and the lower trunk corners were rounded.

Around back, the rear fender seams were filled, and I handmade a rear splash-pan that was molded to the body. The splash-pan was made to wrap under the front corners of the rear bumper. The rear bumper was dropped on inch, and a ’52 Kaiser rear guard was trimmed to fit the stock ’50 Ford bumper. The exhaust was routed through the rear bumper bullets.

During the build up, I began to hate how the roof on my car looked. It was too flat, and it was chopped way too much in the back. In August of 2010, I had the time and guts to cut the roof apart and start over. I opened up the front windshield, shaved the driprails, repositioned the rear window, and pushed the crown up. During a five-day span, I had fixed the top, and installed ’53 Pontiac tail lights inspired by Chuck DeWitt’s ’50 Ford built by Barris Kustoms. The Pontiac taillights were set into ’52 Ford bezels.

NOS aftermarket fender skirts, like Barris used on Buster Litton’s ’49 Ford, and Appleton 552 spotlights were installed. The car rolls on Goodyear 6.70-15 Super Cushion whitewalls, stock rims, and ’52 Cadillac sombrero hubcaps. The side trim is highly modified ’54 Dodge, inspired by the Gaylord Kustoms-built Don Carroll ’50 Ford convertible.

The dash is painted pearl white (by Octavio Chavez) with purple and white laminated candy knobs. Power comes from a 1960s smallblock Chevrolet motor with camelhump heads and Edelbrock goodies. All work has been done by Rob, except for the bodywork which was done by best friend Octavio Chavez. Chrome was done by Buena Park Chrome and the interior was done by Ernie’s Auto Interior in Colton.

Continuing the historic kustom theme, I made a grille by blending ’54 Ford components with ’51 Ford end bullets, similar to the grille in the ’49 Ford that Don Roberts of Bear Custom restyled for Bob Dofflow. It was painted a dark maroon in 2012 to get it on the road before the final dark metallic plum was applied. The most recent addition to my period-correct’50s kustom attempt was an original ’50 Merc accessory steering wheel. My ultimate was to build the car to look as if it left the Lynwood, California Barris Kustoms shop in late ’53-’54.

If you would like to check out more of Robs amazing work or would like him to build you a one off badass custom, like him on Facebook and follow him on Instagram by clicking on the icons.

Or contact him directly by giving him a call.

Meet our friends at Untouchable Metal Works, master metal fabricators

Since its inception back in 2006 the Untouchable Metal Works philosophy has always been about the extra attention to detail in fabricating unique one of a kind custom pieces of art and functionality.
UMW’s owner Jose Rodriguez had his beginnings at Metal Crafters, Fountain Valley CA where his skills in precision metal fabrication were forged and polished. Metal Crafters is known world wide for manufacturing concept cars and prototype vehicles.The skills he took with him inspired Jose to open up a shop of his own to further hone his craft and start his legacy.

Untouchable Metal Works specialises in automotive restoration, whether it’s original factory spec or a full custom one-off build. UMW has established itself as the Inland Empires premiere custom metal fabrication shop.
Services include:
• Frame straightening
• I.F.S & rear four link kit installation
• Air ride installs
• Rust repair
• One-off Panel fabrication & existing panel modification
• Top chops

Several of UMW’s handiwork has ended up in the pages of magazines such as SPORT TRUCK, MINI TRUCKING & STREET RODDER. The ladder being one of the more labor intensive projects UMW has worked on that was featured on the volume 23 number 8, August 2014 issue of STREET RODDER where on the cover you’ll find Ken Thurm’s 32’ Ford B’ville Tudor. The customer wanted the interior to be fully custom fabricated to have a riveted aluminium aircraft “bomber” aesthetic. All of the interior panels were meticulously shaped & fitted to conform to the sedans “cockpit.” What also makes this interior unique is its ability to be entirely removable as it is “dzus” fastened and not welded to the structure.

UMW was contracted by TED’S HOT RODS, Riverside CA for the creation of a unique custom engine bay panel set (AKA Inner fenders) for a showroom quality Caddy. UMW was left to its own devices in visualizing the concept & fabrication of this one-off piece.

UMW’s most recent project has added to their long list of full builds in the shape of Fernando Flores 34’ Chevy Truck. This project was placed entirely in the hands of the shop to oversee all the metal fabrication that was built atop a complete 34’ Ford chassis from CLASSIC STREET ROD Mfg. in Ontario CA. The floor was built from scratch out of steel tubing and 16ga cold rolled sheet metal, using the factory Ford mount locations to accommodate the chassis. After the floor was finished, the cowl was set in place, firewall recess was then cut and widened 9 1/2” to accommodate the 1960’s 327 Chevrolet motor. Aforementioned recesses was then modified for distributor clearance, the distributor pocket was buck riveted to the widened original recess. Prior to the installation of the widened recess UMW created a transmission tunnel to fit over the mid 90’s Camaro 5 speed transmission. The recess was buck riveted to the original firewall and TIG welded to the toe boards and transmission tunnel. All of the wooden structure was removed and recreated in steel (cab, doors & roof). The cab was assembled on the new floor and aligned for consistent gaps then welded and gusseted to the floor structure. Satisfied with the cabs placement on the chassis (channeled 1 1/2” over the Ford rails) the truck was chopped 4 5/8”, starting with the doors. In the process the top door hinges were removed leaving only two per side, also the doors were leaned back and finally the cab was chopped and all panels were meticulously cut, file fitted & hammer welded (TIG/Heliarc). All weld seams were hand planished & block sanded to work out low spots. The aftermarket bed was shortened down 11 1/4”, then a custom set of side skirts with bead to match the bottom of the cab were fabricated out of 18ga, along with custom roll pan with license plate recess. Once UMW was pleased with he panel fit, all these panels were buck riveted onto the bed, finishing off this unique truck build.

To check out more of their builds or inquire about having some custom work done, like and follow them on Facebook and Instagram by clicking on the icons.


Or simply give them a call or Email.