Truth be told, there is nothing easy about building a street rod. Typically, the hardest part is deciding what you really want-not just the general type of car, but all the little details that go into making the car reveal your individual expression of personal automotive taste. When you roam through the car shows, you will see many vintages and models; all too often, these versions are not quite executed the way we would do them ourselves, as it is rare to hear an enthusiast say, "That's perfect-just the way I would have done it." Car guys are universally expert in their opinions, if not in their ability to perform.

Jim Schablein, of West Harrison, Indiana, is a lifelong hot rod enthusiast and all-around car guy. Jim's dad was a motorhead and did a lot of drag racing in the 1960s, while Jim grew up to be the NSRA Indiana state rep these past 20 years. After his retirement, Jim found the idle life was not for him, and he now works for SoffSeal managing the street rod department-he's in charge of keeping the inside of your ride dry and quiet.

Jim has owned a number of cars, ranging from Vettes to roadsters, but he was in the market for a '33-34 three-window after selling his last Deuce. He viewed the prospect of starting a build project with mixed emotions, and he happened upon the black three-window pictured here during the course of making the decision about how to proceed. With the idea of a long project looming over his head, Jim opted for the easy way-buy one that was already done, personalize it a little, and drive the thing.

Jim and his wife, Cindy, most certainly fell in love with this bad black Ford the moment they laid eyes on it. "The first thought I had when I saw it was, that is a bitchin' hot rod," Jim said. With a paltry 400 miles on the odometer at purchase time, Jim and Cindy set out to have some serious and instantaneous fun, promptly putting 2,500 miles on the coupe. The second most fun thing they did was to employ a large inventory of SoffSeal products to ensure dry and quiet cruising.

The cruising did the double-duty of working out the few new car bugs that needed attention and providing the fine enjoyment that comes from driving a street rod. Jim said his toughest challenge was getting the car ready to pass the stringent safety inspection at the '05 Nats in Louisville after only having it in his possession for a month prior to the event.

The Schableins are quite happy with their decision to buy a finished car instead of building one from scratch, as they have done in the past. "Some say buying a finished car is taking the easy way out," Jim mused. "Well, I'm 60 years old, and, at that age, the easy way is the better way!" Well said, Jim, and there are probably builders of all ages who would not hesitate to agree with you.

FACTS & FIGURES
Jim Schablein
West Harrison, Indiana
1933 Ford three-window
CHASSIS
Frame / Manufacturer Just-A-Hobby / Lobeck’s V8 Shop (Cleveland, OH)
Modifications Model A Ford front crossmember
Chassis plumbing steel tubing by Gary Maney (Dalton, GA)
Rearend Currie Ent. (Anaheim, CA) 9” Ford w/ 3.70:1 gears, limited-slip, 31-spline axles
Rear suspension Pete & Jake’s (Peculiar, MO) triangulated four-link w/ AFCO coilovers & Chassis Engineering (Riviera Beach, FL) panhard bar
Rear brakes 11” Ford drum
Front suspension Chassis Eng. I-beam axle, ’48 Ford spindles, POSIES Rods and Customs (Hummelstown, PA) spring, P&J’s tubular shocks & Chassis Eng. panhard bar
Front brakes Wilwood (Camarillo, CA) two-piston Super Stopper
Master cylinder Corvette, power-assist booster, Chassis Eng. pedal assembly & Wilwood proportioning valve
Steering box Flaming River (Berea, OH)
Front wheel make, size Wheel Vintiques (Fresno, CA), 15x6
Rear wheel make, size Wheel Vintiques, 17x10
Wheel paint type / Color House of Kolor (Picayune, MS) / Flame Red
Front tire make, size Cooper, 165R/15
Rear tire make, size Cooper, 305/60x17
Gas tank Tanks Inc. (Clearwater, MN) steel 11-gal
Other chassis items rolling chassis handbuilt by Gary Maney
ENGINE
Make ’90 Chevrolet 350ci, 350hp crate
Displacement 350 ci
Machining / Assembly GM
Water pump Edelbrock (Torrance, CA) aluminum
Cooling fan SPAL electric
Radiator Walker Radiator Works (Memphis, TN)
Alternator GM
Heads GM aluminum
Valve covers 327 Chevy 350hp w/ adapters
Manifold / Induction Chevy Bow Tie / 680 Holley Street Avenger carburetor
Ignition / Wires GM HEI / Taylor
Headers DynoMax (Monroe, MI), coated
Exhaust / Mufflers DynoMax / coated two-chamber
Other engine facts painted & ’striped Olds-Cad–style air cleaner & engine trimmed to look like a 327, totally billet-free
TRANSMISSION
Make GM 700-R4
Converter Phoenix 2,200 stall speed
Clutch disc
Shifter Gennie Shifter (Denver, CO)
Trans mods shift-kit trans built by Phoenix Performance Transmission (Weatherford, TX)
Driveshaft Inland Empire Driveline (Ontario, CA), aluminum
BODY
Body style ’33 Ford three-window
Body manufacturer Windsor Fabrication exclusively for Eddie’s Rod Shop (Kingsport, TN)
Body mods 11/2-inch top chop
Hood Hercules steel
Grille / Insert Valley
Bodywork Jeff Hibbs (Dalton, GA) WS frame, hinges & door handles retained as stock
Paint type / Color Spies Hecker / deep gloss black
Painter Jeff Hibbs
Headlights / Taillights ’34 Ford commercial / ’41 Chevy blue dots
Outside mirrors Valley
Other body items final assembly by Eddie’s Rod Shop
INTERIOR
Insert / Gauges custom-built / Auto Meter (Sycamore, IL) w/ beige face
Stereo / Speakers Sony AM/FM CD / Sony, 5x7 front & 6x9 rear
Air conditioning Vintage Air (San Antonio, TX)
Wiring Ron Francis Wire Works (Chester, PA), installed by Eddie's Rod Shop
Steering wheel LeCarra (Oneida, TN) banjo
Steering column ididit inc. (Tecumseh, MI)
Interior mirror stock-style by Vintique
Seats Wise Guys Seats & Accessories (Elkhart, IN) '33 Ford
Upholsterer Wesley Mitchel, Mitchel's Trim Shop (Cleveland, TN)
Material / Color Ultraleather / no-sheen black
Carpet cut wool, black
Seatbelts Wise Guys
Other interior items stock '33 handles & door pulls
  • «
  • |
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • View Full Article