TED’s made the brackets to...
TED’s made the brackets to secure the re-chromed ‘47 Ford bumpers, and the rear also features mini stop/taillights fit inside the bumper guards.
This all makes for an impressive rolling chassis, but the best was yet to come. Though the roof had been chopped before TED’s got a hold of it, Eric Newman decided to take another 2 inches out of the rear and another inch up front before raising the entire windshield 1 inch (into the roof) before he was satisfied with the lines of the hardtop roof. And since there wasn’t an off-the-shelf answer to the “What are you going to do about the side glass” question, TED’s spent dozens of hours in the fabrication of the one-off curved glass trim edging and subsequent blocking of the copper before the chrome plating was done. Glass for the car came from Oldies Glass in San Bernardino, California, which is a family operated business since 1923.
One of the unique ideas incorporated...
One of the unique ideas incorporated into the chopped Merc’s design are the Firestone-wrapped, copper-coated 15x6 wheels from Wheel Smith, which are nearly hidden by the Dodge caps (accented with chrome bullets).
The hood’s side molding was shortened, too, and front and rear bumpers from a ’47 Ford were added (with taillights added to the rear bumper guards). Ted Elliot helped with the build, too, and Herb Weber and Dan Geiger both worked on the leading before the car was turned over to Jimenez Brothers Customs of Riverside to have the paint applied (House of Kolors Brandywine over a black basecoat).
With the gloss done, the car was coming together nicely, and the attention turned to the interior. Mike Grandaw, from Studio Steel, applied his metal fabricating skills to the column drop, molding it into the dash, and behind the middle glovebox door (there are two gloveboxes) you’ll find the controls for the RideTech suspension, the Old Air Products A/C system, as well as the tiny iPod Nano that manages the headless stereo system.
The portion of the drivetrain...
The portion of the drivetrain that you can’t see isn’t customized or detailed on most other customs, but here it’s not only painted, powdercoated, and outfitted with polished aluminum pieces, but it’s also pinstriped by Riverside’s Wild Bill.
Wanda Wells of Wanda’s Upholstery laid out the HushMat insulation before the burgundy carpet from J&J Auto Fabrics in Rialto, California, went in. Wanda’s also created the split bench front seat as well as covered the door panels and seating with a combination Ox Blood and White Diamond pattern vinyl. Up on the dash a chrome ididit column went in as did a stock Merc steering wheel, which was modified to fit on the column.
TED’s turned to Julia Owen to restore the original gauges, and she augmented the look by adding some copper around the edge of each gauge. (Copper is used throughout the car, from the wheels to the additional firewall piece, to some of the engine’s water and fuel lines). Wiring of the gauges was made easier with a kit from Painless Performance, and Audio Shoppe in Riverside set up the sound system using Arc Audio gear. The power windows, controlled by switches from Hotronics, are from Specialty Power Windows.
TED’s got the right look by...
TED’s got the right look by chopping the roof 6 inches in the front, 8 inches in the rear, and moving the windshield up into the roof an inch before turning the coupe into a hardtop.
With all the work that went into this cruiser, plus the added pressure of having a film crew looking over your shoulder while it goes together, then you might be surprised to hear that TED’s was able to complete the build in five short months, start to finish. The car made its debut at the Grand National Roadster Show in 2010, where it won the Radical Early Custom 1935-1948 class as well as the prestigious West Coast Kustom Outstanding Nostalgia Custom Award, too.
Reluctantly, Tod had to sell the hardtop, but it went to a friend of the shop’s, so it’s OK, and TED’s is working on a host of new projects. We’ll have to wait and see what comes out next—just imagine what they can do when they have more than 150 days to completely build and finish a car!