The street rod world is full of amazing cars with wild paint schemes, extreme drivetrains and custom interiors that make most luxury penthouses self-conscious. While those creations are awesome to look at, ten minute start-up procedures and blind hunts for kill switches and accessory controls wear on even the most enthusiastic rodder. Anyone who's been around customs will tell you there is truly something special about owning an authentic, well-built classic that can comfortably carry you across the country if the need arises. This 1946 Ford Super DeLuxe is just that - a completely functional vehicle wrapped in an awesome, old school shell. And, since the car is a former Dearborn Award winner, you can rest assured that it's clean and authentic. Tired of impractical parade pieces? Take a closer look as this all-steel Ford!
Approaching this sweet drop-top, it's difficult not to be taken with its sleek profile. To achieve those striking good looks, the car had to be a solid starting point that benefitted from top notch metalwork. And, once that metalwork was complete, it had to be shot with some of the best Dynamic Maroon two-stage on the market. Now, I know paintwork is often questionable on wartime classics, but this Ford's shine is first rate all the way. Reflections are straight and unbroken. There are no major imperfections visible anywhere. And overall, the car has aged exceedingly well since its 2002 frame-off restoration.
Essentially a carryover from Ford's pre-war days, the '46 Super Deluxe is both ergonomic and attractive. The car's classy design definitely proved its merit aiding the war effort; and today, it's a stunning example of American industrial elegance. Front and center, a red-trimmed, '46-exclusive grille anchors streamlined marker lamps between clean headlights, a sporty "SUPER DELUXE" emblem and a broad chrome bumper. At the sides of that grille, textured stainless spans from NOS fenders and an "8" branded hood topper past dual chrome mirrors and low-profile door handles. Above that stainless, like-new glass seats small windshield wipers beneath a burgundy-piped, power-operated roof. And behind that glass, a stainless-trimmed trunk rides between red-trimmed lighting and a "Ford" branded bumper.
If Henry Ford perfected one aspect of his automobiles, it was the Ford V8. Introduced in 1932 as a durable, torque-rich competitor to more expensive and labor-intensive 8-cylinders, the 'flatty' has established an unmatched reputation as the go-to mill for classic and kustom car enthusiasts. And, in keeping with tradition, this stellar hot rod is powered by a 239 cubic inch 69A. Spinning smooth 6.75 to 1 compression into exactly 100 horsepower and 180 lb./ft. of torque, the throaty engine growls with the help of a roster of vintage parts. Air enters through a correctly decaled cleaner and, juiced by a small Holley carburetor, exits through correct, cast iron exhaust manifolds. Pliable belts turn a traditional generator while a beefy radiator cycles water through big hoses and tight screw clamps. Aesthetically, the block, which perches a correctly-decaled oil canister on 24-stud heads, has been painted a familiar blue hue. Cool details like metal-loomed wires, a Ford battery and a correct horn add enough shine to sit at the show. And overall, this classic's super smooth engine bay is a charming and 100% functional step back into a much simpler, and some would say better, period of American automotive history.
Take a look under this roaring rag-top and you'll see just how much the automotive world has changed when it comes to ride, handling and structural integrity. The car's body-matched floors make a suitable backdrop for a Satin Black frame and factory-accurate suspension. A correct, 3-speed manual transmission sends power to a Columbia electric, 2-speed axle. In front of that drivetrain, a beam axle and transverse leaf spring remain just as they looked back in 1946. And the same holds true behind that drivetrain, where a second leaf and the aforementioned Columbia add integrity and grip. 4-wheel drum brakes are a welcome addition and big performance upgrade. There's a familiar, single-pipe exhaust system which, with the help of a beefy turbo muffler, gives the flathead its unmistakable voice. And everything rides on painted and pinstriped wheels, which spin fresh 6.00-16 BF Goodrich Silvertown whitewalls around stylized trim rings and "FORD" branded hub caps.
Open the car's doors and you'll find a simple but stylish interior. The good looks start with factory-style side panels that combine wood-themed toppers with small armrests and correct chrome hardware. Step in to the cockpit and find your footing on correct pedals, which are framed by clean, stain-free carpet. Your current seating position is provided by a tidy maroon bench that, like its aft counterpart, is wide enough for about three people. In front of you, the factory steel dash anchors rebuilt gauges at the sides of optional heat and a vintage radio. Control is granted through a large, Ford-branded steering wheel, which spins a chrome horn ring around a correct shifter and retro turn signal indicator. And luggage is stowed in a cavernous trunk that features a full-size spare tire.
The sale of this timeless Ford includes a vintage Operator's Manual and judging sheets for the car's 1991 Dearborn Award.
In summary, this cool convertible is the perfect car for someone who wants a fully-sorted cruiser that's more substantial than the latest 'fiberglass fantastic'. The work is done, the money is spent, and the result is a great-looking classic that you can drive home for a fraction of its original cost. If you're shopping for a professional build that features an unbeatable combination of old school style and vintage appeal, your search is officially over!