Brian Snell already had an interest in old cars at age 16. He liked hot rods and was accumulating a collection of "little pages" magazines full of how-to articles when he found this '33 Ford coupe sitting in a field. That was 47 years ago. He thought he had hit the jackpot when he found the car and liked it so much he made it a keeper.
The car was in fair condition but not running, but Brian quickly paid the $50 purchase price and brought the car home. It wasn't long before the coupe received an oldsmobile V-8 engine, dropped front axle, and juice brakes to become a drivable rod. In 1962, other priorities forced Brian to store the coupe in a barn. He joined the Navy, got married, and built a house-a progression along life's normal paths many in this hobby have traveled.
Here's an engine fit for a...
Here's an engine fit for a record album cover. Twin edelbrock carburetors provide adequate aspiration for the Chevy 350 small-block. Chrome and billet trim balance nicely with the smoothed red firewall.
Brian hauled the car out of storage 20 years later and began a rebuild that would take four years. He has done nearly all of the work on the car, and even now makes frequent changes to keep it current. To kick off the rebuild, he boxed the frame, painted it black, and installed a tubular Super Bell axle with a 4-inch drop with a PoSIeS Super Slide spring. a four-bar suspension and front shocks from Pete & Jake's were added along with Mustang drum brakes. everything but the brakes was given the chrome treatment.
Out back, a chromed Total Cost Involved four-bar suspension combined with aldan coilover shocks suspend the Ford 8-inch rearend. The rolling stock consists of Wheel Vintiques chrome steelies, 15x5 up front and 15x7 in back, dressed up with chrome Spyder center caps that were popular in the '60s. Firestone bias-ply wide whitewalls add to the period appeal, with 560x15 rollers fore and 820x15 aft.
Bucket seats from an '84 Subaru...
Bucket seats from an '84 Subaru were covered with gray velour with a darker gray velour chosen for the doors. The leCarra steering wheel is mounted on a Chevy van column and VDo instruments provide operating information.
Powering this nostalgic ride is a '71 Chevy 350 small-block assembled by the auto Machine Shop. With the engine bored .030 over, Brian maintained the stock valvetrain and opted for a Speed-Pro cam. Two edelbrock 500 carburetors provide the necessary breathing for this healthy mill and are mounted atop an edelbrock intake. The air cleaners are copies of the popular Stelling & Hellings units and were obtained from So-Cal Speed Shop; Brian had to make some alterations to have them butt together. Edelbrock valve covers were sent to New England Chrome Plating and are but a small part of the engine brightwork.
Headers from California Street rods route unnecessary gases through a 2-inch HPC-coated exhaust system made by Brian, and Stainless Specialties muffl ers provide the appropriate burble for the coupe. Ignition consists of an HeI distributor and Taylor wires, while a Walker radiator called upon a friend to rebuild the Chevy 350 transmission and had Connecticut Drive Shaft shorten a driveshaft from a '65 Ford.
Brian turned his attention to the body and punched several rows of louvers in the rootlieb hood and rear pan- so many that it takes too long to count them all. The top was chopped 3 inches and a Juliano's top insert was added. Brian kept body modifications to a minimum, wanting to maintain many of the original trim pieces to keep the period look. While the stock bumper was kept in front, the rear bumper is a '33 commercial piece. Halogen headlights were added, and Brian decided to keep the original taillights. The grille came from a '34 Ford.
Once the body was completely smoothed, Brian painted the coupe with DuPont Porsche red acrylic lacquer, which really pops when the sun hits it. Insde, he stitched gray velour to cover the '84 Subaru seats, and covered the door panels in matching material. Carpeting also matches the seats, and tinted glass minimizes harsh rays from the sun. The brake and gas pedals were purchased from Big al's Carponents. a leCarra steering wheel tops off a Chevy van column, and VDo instruments were mounted in an aluminum insert from Carriage Works set in the original dashboard. Cruising tunes are provided by a Sony stereo system and are pumped through Kenwood speakers.
The license plate "B" is indicative of the car's Model B heritage. Brian and Donna Snell make their home in Colchester, Connecticut, and enjoy driving the coupe as often as possible. We liked it so much, we chose it for a STreeT roDDer Top 100 award at the Syracuse Nationals.
The rear pan was given the...
The rear pan was given the louver treatment, all part of the nostalgia trend popular today. The original taillights were retained, and the bumper from a '33 commercial vehicle was added.
|F A C T S & F I G U R E S |
|Brian and Donna Snell |
|Colchester, Connecticut |
|1933 Ford coupe |
|Frame / Manufacturer ||stock / Ford |
|Modifications ||framerails boxed |
|Rearend / Ratio ||Ford 8" / 3.25 |
|Rear suspension ||Total Cost Involved four-bar & Aldan coilover shocks |
|Rear brakes ||Ford (drum) |
|Front suspension ||Super Bell axle 4" drop, Pete & Jake's (Peculiar, MO) four-bar & shocks, POSIES (Hummelstown, PA) Super Slide spring |
|Front brakes ||Ford (drum) |
|Steering box ||Ford / Mustang |
|Front wheel make, size ||Wheel Vintiques (Fresno, CA), 15x5 |
|Rear wheel make, size ||Wheel Vintiques, 15x7 |
|Front tire make, size ||Firestone, 560x15 |
|Rear tire make, size ||Firestone, 820x15 |
|Gas tank ||Tanks Inc. (Clearwater, MN) 13-gal. steel |
|Make ||'71 Chevrolet |
|Displacement ||350ci |
|Machining / Assembly ||Auto Machine Shop (South Windsor, CT) |
|Camshaft ||Speed-Pro |
|Radiator ||Walker Radiator Works (Memphis, TN) |
|Alternator ||GM |
|Heads ||Chevrolet, iron |
|Valve covers ||Edelbrock (Torrance, CA) / aluminum, chromed |
|Manifold / Induction ||Edelbrock / (2) Edelbrock 500 cfm |
|Ignition / Wires ||HEI / Taylor |
|Headers ||California Street Rods (Huntington Beach, CA) |
|Exhaust / Mufflers ||2" / Stainless Specialties (Cleveland, TN) |
|Make ||'71 Chevrolet 350 Turbo |
|Converter ||GM |
|Shifter ||GM van |
|Driveshaft ||shortened '65 Ford / Connecticut Drive Shaft (Milford, CT) |
|Body style / Material ||coupe / steel |
|Body manufacturer ||Ford |
|Hood ||Rootlieb (Turlock, CA), louvered |
|Grille ||'34 Ford |
|Bodywork ||Brian Snell |
|Paint type / Color ||acrylic lacquer / DuPont Porsche Red |
|Painter ||Brian Snell |
|Headlights / Taillights ||halogen / stock |
|Bumpers ||stock front / commercial rear |
|Other body items ||3" chop, Juliano's Hot Rod Parts (Ellington, CT) top insert |
|INTERIOR || |
|Dashboard ||stock || |
|Insert / Gauges ||Carriage Works Billet & Accessories (Grandview, MO) / VDO |
|Stereo / Speakers ||Sony / Kenwood |
|Steering wheel ||LeCarra (Oneida, TN) |
|Steering column ||GM van |
|Seats ||'84 Subaru |
|Upholsterer ||Brian Snell |
|Material / Color ||velour / gray |
|Carpet ||wool / gray |
|Other interior items || tinted glass |
|Insulation ||Dynamat (Hamilton, OH) |
|Wiring ||Painless Performance (Fort Worth, TX) |
|Steering Wheel ||Billet Specialties (La Grange, IL) |
|Steering Column ||Flaming River (Berea, OH) billet |
|Interior Mirror ||Billet Specialties |
|Seats ||custom-made buckets |
|Material / Color ||leather / red |
|Carpet ||red leather |
|Other interior items ||red leather door panels; custom-made center console, shifter ring & boot |
|Material / Color ||vinyl & cloth |
|Other interior items ||double-lined vinyl top by Ricki's |