Wooden Buck For 37 Ford Phantom Part 11

In it’s day the 1937 Ford Slantback was revolutionary. The swooping rear lines were some of the first efforts car designers ever made towards aerodynamics. This was an era when huge advantages were being made in everything transport related. When Ford made a 2 door sloping back version of a family car they were essentially making one of the first GTi’s.

Ford 1937 Slantback Rear

This makes the rear of the 1937 Ford somewhat iconic. Creating a rear that embodies that style, yet at the same time, much more modern is proving hard. So far, I have started from scratch 4 times and that’s not including when it was just CAD.

Ford 1937 Slantback Hot Rod Buck
Although it doesn’t look like it from this angle, the bottom edge and indeed the whole boot has a gradual curve. If you laid the boot lid on a table, the centre of the boot will be 30mm different to the sides.

Several things are bothering me:

  • The swage line above the rear arch (too parallel?)
  • The shape of the rear window (too wide?)
  • The swage line below the rear window (too high?)
  • The angle of the windscreen to the curve of the door (too sharp?)

When you see Leepu on the tv, in that London Garage Chop Shop, standing back with his head to one side and his hand scratching his head, add a cup of coffee – that’s me!

Ford 1937 Slantback Hot Rod

I did mess up on one thing – When I cut up and re-shaped the front arch.

Phantom 37

Before I cut it up, there was an optical illusion going on whereby the front arch opening always looked bigger than the rear. I measured and re-measured it so many times before the re-build, I never bothered to measure it until I offered up a tyre.

Oooppsss. It was now 3/4″ taller than before. Therefore, I had to extend the bottom lip of the arch back to where it was.
It still looked bigger, so I took the electric plane to the top of the wing, re-profiling the outer top curve. That seems to have done the trick (almost).

Ford 1937 Slantback wooden buck

You can’t really tell, indeed I’m not sure it was worth the effort, but I not only re-made the roof out of 4 layers of MDF but I moved the windscreen forward an inch.

The windscreen has been moved backwards, forwards, backwards and now forwards again. It isn’t going to move again. I hope

I also found it was 4mm out of place in the middle and 8mm out of place on the far side. I only found this out when I rigged up a pair of x-y lasers in the rafters. One of the next jobs is to make a proper frame that will have 16 x-y lasers shing done onto the wooden buck in a grid pattern. Coupled to that will be a rail that will slide up and down perpendicular to the centre-line. Mounted on this will be a pair of dot lasers shining down on the car in a Dam-Busters targeting system style. I’ll be able to align the two dots on top of each other, move them to their mirror position on the opposite side of the car, then build the bodywork up to a point where the two dots align.
Does that make sense?

How the lamps work

Here, I am doing some sanding on the front wing and along the side swage line. They are both now straight to approximately 0.25mm.
Good enough for me.

Wooden buck - Lasers

This is before I cut the roof off for the 3rd time. I was using the laser to straighten the swage lines on the edge of the side window.
You can see the pink pen marks where I was thinking about the swage below the rear window.

Wooden buck lasers

I’ve had the quotes to laser cut the English wheel, plus I have new gauges and hoses for the oxy acetylene. All I need to do is brush up my welding skills.
It’s been 20 years since my City and Guilds and I’m far more rusty than I thought I’d be. Oh pooo!