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.
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