Wooden Buck for 37 Ford Phantom Part 4

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The front has been causing me a few design issues – so I’ve moved onto the side.

I have been having a few problems getting the shape of the front fender below and around the head lamp assembly right. So as a break, I’ve started on the side of the car.

The decision has been made to make a solid buck, sanding it smooth to the exact shape required, then drill a load of 30mm holes all over it once complete. When laying a sheet of metal over the frame, these holes could be used to check how close the metal is to the buck.

The whole buck will be sanded, and covered in a skim of body filler. This process will actually speed up to process somewhat, as the wood cut for the buck will not have millimetre perfect and the whole assembly doesn’t need so much care. It’s at the filler stage when the measurements and care kick in.

When the filler is added the buck instantly becomes much more solid and I find it much simpler to sand to the correct shape. I found that with a open buck, I found it very difficult indeed to get the shape correct. The long sanding blocks didn’t flex evenly and I found myself sanding just one board when I should have been sanding across many. Even when I did get a rhythm, I’d stub the block on the frame and I’d lose the flow. Maybe it’s a brain thing with me, but all I know is, I rubbish at sanding open frames.

I think a lot of trust has to be put in the CAD file when building, as proportions can look totally wrong during certain stages of the build. Yet you oonly have to add a couple more boards or stations and things just fall into place visually. I am not using the CAD file as the holy grail, as many parts have been changed by almost 10mm, but it has been a invaluable starting point.

OZE Rod Shop produce 37 Ford Phantoms with many of the original’s lines sharpened. This had a huge impact of me when I first saw one, yet as time pasts, I tend to prefer the originals rounded and softer lines. So don’t let the sharp joints on this model fool you. I’m not a body-shop professional, but I find it much easier to sand things to a crisp, sharp line then smooth that line later. Therefore, I’m am leaving many of the radii to once the whole car is completed. I can then cut special radius’d filler spreaders and profile gauges. I will know the flats are correct, therefore my attentions can be purely on a much smaller and uniform area.

When creating a ‘Phantom’, the shape has to look like it should belong the the original range, yet only be similar in style. Let me try to explain….
I’m sure there are some of you can that could name a few kit cars that are truly awful copies of the originals. Does anyone remember those hideous Lamborghini replicas built on VW Beetles in the late 70’s? Yikes!
The trouble is, they had many of the original features, yet somehow missed the mark ‘badly’. As Eric Morecombe would say ‘All the right notes, not necessarily in the right order’. That’s my fear. My chassis has completely different proportions to a Ford. If I try to replicate things too closely, I will create Frankenstein’s monster. So my aim is to produce something that looks like an old car, yet has carefully selected elements of a Ford. I want people to think it ‘that looks like a chopped, channelled and sectioned Ford Hot Rod’, and not ‘that looks like a bad Ford replica’.

To expand my point, the headlamp are is causing me issues. Take these two pictures of phantom 37 Fords, from some angles the first car looks cross-eyed with the headlamps pointing to the skies like search lamps, yet from other angles the same car can look great. From another angle again, the Mini lights can look enormous and too big for the car. It’s a tricky balancing act.

Phantom 37 Ford

Another OZE phantom, from another angle – possibly with remodelled lights (see the shape below the headlamps)

Phantom 37 Ford

Here is an original, with teardrop lights. Note the smoother, more radius’d, lines.
Original 1937 Ford

My aim is to get something much closer to the black car, but until I get proximate, I shall hold back on loads of photos as what I have is obviously wrong. The Front profile needs flattening quite a bit yet. That the plastic headlamp ring from a modern shaped mini.

37 Phantom Ford

So that the glue has dried by the time I have finished sanding and shaping the front, I briefly turned my attentions to the side section.

1937 Ford Phantom body

The top of the running board is normally flat and joins the wing with a butt joint, but take a look at Baron Von Kuhl‘s all steel work of art. See below or the link for a shot of it in bare metal. I’m loving the Baron’s car so much right now, I might even make mine a Phaeton hardtop.

Baron Von Kuhl - 37 Ford Phantom Phaeton

The arches flow into the running boards much more like that of the 1934 Ford.

Oiginal 37 Ford Slantback
I’m tempted to follow the Baron’s lead on this one – until I change my mind again!

37 Ford Phantom - side

As you can see, I have only done up the the bottom edge of the swage line and to the beginning of the rear arch.

My aim was to use headlamps from a 2002 Mini One, the reason being they have all the E marks that are needed for the IVA exam (+ they are cheap!). If I was to find some old 1937 Ford Headlamps the only markings on the glass are a small Ford Logo. Although expensive, they would look great. The trouble would be passing that exam!
However, I was having one of those bored lunchtime surfs when I found that you can now buy (from America) replacement headlamp glasses with and without the originals’ ribbed pattern. The un-ribbed option gives me the chance of putting 7″ standard round halogen units behind the clear glass. The only trouble is, this ebayer has really bad reviews and a couple of forum sites say ‘stay away from this seller’. The original shaped ones are a about an inch smaller than the Mini units and I’d also have the option of re-angling the glass so that they’d sit better against the fender. They’d make the car look 50 years older into the bargain.
I think I might take the risk..Hey, it’s only money.
Update: I’m having real problems getting these lens as nobody will ship internationally. Even items advertised on ebay.co.uk with shipping to Europe are not available to Europe?!?
Here is a scaled picture of a 1939 Ford Deluxe Headlight ring behind a modern Mini item.
Ford Deluxe 1939 and Mini Headlight rings

1937-1939 Headlight Glass

Anyway, back to the garage….. Plenty of sanding and filling left to finish not just around those Mini headlamps but along the side of the car.

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