My 1931 Ford Covid-19 Car – Part III

Anyone that has built a hot rod or restored a classic car knows that it is a lot of hard work. For the most part it is enjoyable, but some of the jobs are just dirty and repetitive. One that comes to mind is the rust repair and the bodywork. We decided to pay someone to come to the shop and strip the old paint from the body and misc. parts. For $800 he blasted both the outside and the inside leaving a nice clean finish ready for body work and eventually paint. This was a good move and saved a lot of time and frustration. But, of course, it also brought out the worst of where the rust needed repair.

Because I chose to set the engine back so far to clear the fan it required  a large setback of the firewall. We made a sample out of cardboard and then fabricated it out of metal. This is a part of building that we enjoyed. We also designed and fabricated our own fuel tank when we couldn’t find one we liked in the marketplace. 

I could go on endlessly about the many decisions and tasks required to actually take a car from frame up to completion. But I will jump ahead a bit. Body work involves lots of priming, sanding and in my case using bondo. Most people frown on body filler (bondo) but used properly it works very well. Early on it became apparent that sanding bondo was something my son hated. He gave it a good try, but all that dust really bothered him. One day he said to me,”I will go and cut the firewood for the year if I can be excused from the bondo work”. Can’t pass up a deal like that! So that is what we did.

We chose to paint the car a color called “hot rod black”, which is a kind of flat looking paint. Some ask me what color it will be when finished, thinking it is a primer. Nope, this is it. Everyone who has built a car knows that they are never really done. I could go on about what we did and what we could still do to this car. But, it runs and we were able to take it to cars and coffee a couple times. So for now it sits in the garage waiting for nice weather.

I realize how fortunate I am to have been able to do this project with my son. Fate gave us the time and circumstance though no effort on our part. But I was reminded of this by something that happened during the build. We had a car-guy friend that would come and visit us from time to time. Sadly, he knew he was terminal and had only a few months to live. We would always stop whatever we were doing and listen to whatever he wanted to talk about. He really seemed to enjoy watching us do the build. One day, maybe his last visit, he said to us,” if I could do one more thing before I die it would be to do something like this with my son”. This tore me up and I thanked God again for this opportunity.  The Covid-19 pandemic was very bad for everyone and also for our country, but it did give me an opportunity I would not have had otherwise. Enjoy your time and thank you for reading this.