Manky's Pop project. - Part 1

Right, here goes then!
I bought my Pop, (which actually isn't a Ford Popular at all, but a 1953 Ford Anglia), from Neil on Ebay for £450 on the 25th February this year. Since then it's spent it's life being shunted from place to place until today, almost 8 months to the day since we collected it, we finally took the tarpaulin off, stood back & said
-"Hmmm, what're we gonna do with this then?"
I'd always wanted a pick up, but this ol' saloon just seemed too nice to cut up. After lots of hesitating & changes of plans & a Summer of checking out all the other Pops at various rod meets & shows though, I had to agree with PantherShaun that there's bloomin' 'undreds of Pop saloons out there -some very nice, some truly horrible, but very few pickups, particularly reasonably tidy ones. So the decision was made.
Taz & I travelled over to Wales & collected a steel Morris Minor pick up cab back, which Shaun had spotted for sale on the Brit Chopper forum for 20 quid. He assured me it’d be a pretty close fit on the Pop body. I took his word for it!
At the Spring NSRA swapmeet we bought a Ford Prefect bakelite dash, a "banjo" steering wheel, (either original Pop, early Landrover or early Moggy Minor), plus a set of 4 black taxi cab wheels, which turned out to be a pair of 16 inch taxi wheels & a pair of 15 inch unknowns, maybe Austin Devon or similar. I've also got a pair of Sherpa van axles, (same bolt pattern as the wheels, with a vintage looking heavy duty beam front fitted with disc brakes).
The final part in my inventory was a 1700 Ford Consul engine with 3 speed column shift gearbox, but that's now up for discussion.
The MMMotors crack engineering team assembled at Lunatic's rural workshop this morning to assess the build. Loony & PD, Janie & Dave, plus Tazet & I. Dave immediately threw the plans into disarray by telling me he's been offered not one but two engines -a V8 Rover with auto box & Rangerover headers & a Granada V6, 150 quid each. He wants one & I can have the other. Bugger. So what do I go for? I hate being given choices!
First job. Unbolt the body & lift it off the chassis to get some idea of what we're facing.     
The previous owner had already taken the body off & temporarily tacked it back on with a few L shaped brackets & nuts & bolts, so no great dramas in removing it. Before we did though, we took the precaution of hoiking the doors back into line with the bodywork & tack-welding them shut. Then we used some lightweight steel tubing, (an old set of garden gazebo poles!), to brace the interior -2 in a cross shape from corner to corner, plus a horizontal one at the back & another at the front. The 50 year old body's considerably firmer than mine! The chassis ain't in bad nick either, but looks so flimsy. It's made from U shaped channel, so we'll plate the open 4th side of the rails to make a much stiffer square box section.
I plan to drop the centre section of the chassis by 6 inches, by "Z ing" it at both ends. That'll drop the cab unit down, giving it 5 inches of ground clearance -essential in Basingstoke, land of the speed hump & pothole, with the two ends staying at original ride height. Dropping the chassis with the body on it, rather than channelling the bod over the rails, means it'll retain full headroom inside. Next job will be to chop 4 inches out of the roof height. The Sherpa axles will add 3 inches to the width either side, but as we're not bothering with the original front wings & there'll be a new pick up bed on the back, it won't matter.
So that was us done for the day really

...but isn't it tempting to start cutting that body up...

Ha harr!! Cut it! Cut it!!
...oh, alright then.

First cut went to Mrs Manky.
Oooh, bugger. No going back now.
Next, try the Moggy cab back in place. It's about 2 inches narrower than the Pop but nothing that can't be fixed. Looks promising, (we've deliberately cut the Pop an inch too long so we've got room to trim it exactly later). The cab will sit 6 inches lower, with another 4 inches cut out of the roofline. That'll hopefully bring the side windows down to exactly the same height as the standard Moggy Minor rear window. By Z ing the chassis, rather than channelling the body, there'll still be headroom inside. The seats can be moved back 6 or 7 inches to improve legroom. The front axle will be mounted 8 inches further forward to give more engine room & bring the front edge of the tyres in line with the radiator grille. The rear axle will also be shunted back to visually balance things out a little more. The pick up bed will be short & sporty, (to be honest, it's only there for show -I won't be hauling much in it). Might mount the original oval Pop fuel tank in the bed behind the cab. The top of the pick up bed will be level with the bonnet. Tall, skinny 50s style crossply truck tyres with black cycle guards on them. I’m planning on having Lunatic spray the body up in pale green, an original Ford Pop colour, then have the MMMotors logo in black outline on the doors. Most of the detail parts will be powder coated gloss black, as will the completed chassis.
More as soon as we’ve figured out what to do next!