Tucci started with the chassis, using a tubular chassis built by Mike Adams, and then built everything off that platform. Stance is a big part of any car to come out of Tucci's, so they then came up with the wheel and tire size that would fit the overall design. Next was the grille, which needed to be laid back and curved, but by doing so the hood became too short, proportionately, for the rest of the car, so the grille was moved forward 3 inches and the wheelbase extended (now 118 inches from the original 112). The floor, made with 1/8-inch plate, allowed for body mounts that would be bolted from the inside of the car (into the tubular chassis) that effectively eliminated any exposed body mount hardware underneath the car. The drivetrain that was chosen-a '99 Corvette C5-also helped as they could make a smaller tunnel, giving them more room for the interior.
Tucci's then channeled the body 3 inches and fabricated a rocker panel in the door opening. Originally, the '35 Ford had no body line on the underside of the door, but Tucci's created a rocker panel that extended from the bottom of the door to the running boards, which helped with getting the correct stance for the wheels. To accomplish this, Tucci's also extended the front edge of the rear fenders approximately 3 inches.
After getting the lower portion of the doorjamb complete and the body mounted to the floor, Tucci's wedge cut (3 inches at front axle centerline to 0 inches at rear axle center line) the body, which gave them the desired rake. They put a straight 2-inch chop in the roof, but retained the original size of the rear window (and the movable window is still in place, too). For the custom windshield, they created a rough template of the shape they wanted and took it to a salvage yard and put it up against any windshield that fit the curve the best, and found that a Ford Ranger had the best shape. They then made another template from the Ranger windshield and transferred it to the coupe to see if it would work. Once satisfied that it would, the Ranger windshield was cut to size. A metal template was fabbed from the new windshield and put in the desired place with bracing so Tucci could determine its exact location. Once figured out, the A-posts and cowl could be built around the windshield's new location.
Here's what the Schraders bought at the estate sale: a pretty nice '35 Ford, which they we
Mike Adams built a tube frame chassis for the coupe, and Tucci's modified it further for t
As with most any hopeful Ridler contender, nearly every other piece on the car was handmade or modified. Door structures were made, hidden hinges from Rocky's were added so they operate suicide, and new skins shaped. New running boards were made, and the rear fenders were also made to attain a more sweeping look to the backside of the car. The rear section of the body below the trunk opening was reshaped to match the new rear section of the fenders. The original rumble seat opening was removed and a bigger opening was created in order to have a full-size trunk. A new trunk skin was hammered out at Fay Butler's and then welded to the inside trunk structure. Tucci's then removed the louvered section from the hood sides, cut them down on their leading edge to follow the hump of the front fenders, added them to new hood sides that now extend rearward, ending at the leading edge of the doors.
The new grille surround was hand-fabricated to sweep rearward and, after it was complete, a stainless tube structure was made for the grille bars. Tucci started with 1/4-inch stainless tubing, flattened each length in a press brake, and fabricated a tool that would bend the lower section of the grille bars identical to each other even though each bar needed to have a different curve from the bottom of the grille shell to the top. Once complete, Sherm's Plating took care of chrome work on the grille shell and other components.
You can see how the front edges of the doors were extended to create a rounder shape, plus
Inside the doors are a set of Specialty Power Windows that will move the 1/8-inch gray tem