This was my 1947 Ford super-deluxe Fordor sedan, bought by me from a guy called Dean Close from Newcastle in about 1996.
It was imported from the States by John Reid and had a couple of British owners before me. When I got it I was told that the car had been in a museum and was bought by the film co. that made “Who framed Roger Rabbit”. It was painted up like a cop car, sign written, badged and fitted with lights and sirens etc. It came with a Camaro front clip which I stripped and rebushed. I fitted new springs, shocks, discs, calipers, pads, bearings, flexies and hardlines. I played about with ride height till I got the car sitting where I wanted it and ruined a couple of sets of new coil springs on the way to getting it right.
The car came with a 4 bolt 350 Chevy from a ‘79 Vette which had been written off after landing in someone’s house. Apparently it was a big media thing and pics of the car in the house were in the local papers. I was told the engine had been rebuilt as stock, but I pulled it apart anyway and fitted forged pistons, an Edelbrock performer cam, inlet manifold, 600 v/s carb, chrome 14" signature series airfilter and matching rocker covers, Mellings oil pump, Pete Jackson noisy geardrive, Coolflex stainless hosing, chrome alternator and timing cover, block huggers, polished alloy water pump etc. I had a rebuilt th350 which went with it. The rear end was a 10 bolt with Lsd of an unknown ratio but it would sit at 100mph + on the motorway and would hardly be revving. The 1000 mile round trips to Billing and the Supernats on a few occasions cost around £170 a time in fuel.
Once it had all been painted body colour, which was decided on right at the beginning, it sort of ground to a halt while I collected the parts I needed to finish it -the seals, glass, mouldings, bumpers, interior trim, handles and all the other little bits that add up to a fortune. In the meantime I had other cars to play with- a ‘55 Pontiac chieftain that was used daily for about 3 years and never missed a beat, taking me to Billing and the Supernats again and the mammoth Isle of Skye tour, which was a great weekend. That was eventually replaced by a prostreet mk1 zodiac and a ‘60 victor with Pinto power. The zody was used daily for a few moths, then got traded for a 100e and some cash. The cash went on a Californian holiday and the rest of the stuff to finish the ’47, (which looked pretty much finished to the untrained eye in it’s new paint). The parts were all bundled into the back and it was sent down to Kerry Tate who did the last few bits n bobs while I sold the 100e. At this point I went into one of my garages for something and discovered the Victor sitting there –I’d forgotten all about it! It was hauled out, MOT’d, taxed, the numberplate retained and advertised and sold that night. A guy came the next day and I never saw it again until it turned up on Ebay a couple of weeks ago.
So I got a call from Kerry -your car’s ready. No work on the Friday so I was up at 5.00am to catch a train at 6.00am down to York. Kerry met me outside York station, money changed hands and off I went. I got about 2 miles up the motorway after filling it up and the trans packed up. A phone call to Kerry was made. He came and rescued me & took the sedan home, then dropped me back at the station I just made the last train North before they shut the line for repair works. Turned out to be an airlock due to a choked filter which was fixed by blowing it out & changing the fluid twice. The following Friday I did the trip again. This time we got home without missing a beat and I grinned all the way home.
From then on it was used pretty much every day right up till the beginning of December. It was then off the road till about April before being used regularly again, It`s only let me down once, when I lost a drive-shaft on the way to Billing at 80mph in the outside lane of the M6. We had to call the recovery guys, then emptied the camping gear out of the ’47, threw it into our Mondeo and headed straight back down again. Never really had any other big problems with it until the ‘07 Supernats, when the other shaft decided to run out on me on the way back from the cruise. This time I knew what it was, so we got my mate to trailer me back to the campsite where it was fixed.
Sadly it was time to part company with the big old sedan and new owner Dave Cox has it now. He’s done a few wee bits n bobs to it to make it his own. It was a sad day when I cleaned it up and headed South to meet Dave one Sunday morning. It performed effortlessly as usual -way into 3 figures all the way to the border. A sad day indeed, but the thought of the steel ‘29 model A pickup that was coming back home with me cheered me up a bit.