If you were to take one of Henry Ford’s most elegant body designs, add to it a combination of traditional and contemporary street rod styling elements, mount it on a pro touring chassis, and execute it with show-winning attention to detail, you’d have Landis Chisenhall’s stunning ’36 Ford three-window coupe. Landis is no stranger to cool cars, they run in the family. His dad, Jack, is not only president of Vintage Air but has built a number of noteworthy street rods, including a 200-plus mph Studebaker and his well-traveled ’39 Ford sedan.
The ’36 at speed on the Harris...
The ’36 at speed on the Harris Hill road course in San Marcos, TX, where it showed its taillights to a number of Pro Touring cars.
Growing up, Landis spent a good deal of his summers traveling to events in his pop’s Tudor, and it was during those trips that the basic design of the ’36 that had been stashed away began as sketches on countless napkins at diners and ice cream shops across the country. An avid go kart racer and veteran with lots of cross-country rod runnin’, Landis knew he wanted a car that was competent on a road course or a 2,000-mile cross-county trip while retaining the look of a traditional hot rod. A pretty tall order for the kid’s first build.
With their goals established the Chisenhalls began construction by boxing the original framerails and fitting a Pontiac Solstice front suspension with C6 Corvette hubs and 14-inch Baer rotors with 6S calipers. A Woodward power rack was added along with coilovers from Detroit Speed and a Schroeder antiroll bar. All of those components mount to a unique cradle that is welded to the frame and also ties into the structural rollcage, making for a very stiff chassis.
A ’40 Ford dash holds a trio...
A ’40 Ford dash holds a trio of gauges from Classic Instruments, steering wheel is a Budnik GT on top of a custom column. Adjacent to the shifter are the activation handle for the on-board fire system and the adjustable brake-proportioning valve.
Mast Motorsports was asked to supply the power, so they responded with a fuel-injected 416ci LS3. Inside are Calles forged rods and crank, Mahle pistons, and a Mast hydraulic roller cam that all combine to make 595 hp at 6,200 rpm and 550 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 revs. A McLeod Racing RST Street Twin clutch sends all that power through a C6 Corvette Z06 driveshaft to a C5 Corvette transaxle. The IRS is equipped with a limited-slip differential, LG Motorsports coilovers, and 14-inch Baer brakes.
While the coupe’s chassis is truly high tech, the exterior has undergone more subtle modifications. The original grille had the crank hole filled and under the nose a panel has been added to direct air to the engine oil, power steering, and transmission coolers. Lowering the stock headlights 1-1/2 inches and fitting them with ’35 bezels and lenses is a small change that makes a big impact. Generally going unnoticed are the original horn grilles that now deliver cooling air to the front brakes through aluminum ducts and high-temp hose. Further alterations include a three-piece aluminum hood with louvers by Eric Vaughn replacing the original, the top has been filled with an insert from the Walden Speed Shop, and Dodge taillights that perfectly complement the shape of the rear fenders have been added. With all the refinements completed, the coupe was turned over to Danny Zoller for final bodywork and paint.
Those cool taillights are...
Those cool taillights are ’51-52 Dodge mounted upside down and flush-fit in the fenders. The rear pan has been reshaped to accommodate the nerf bar.
One of the most unique features inside the coupe is the 4130 rollcage. It’s part of a mounting system that secures the body to the chassis with a series of vertical crush tubes welded into the boxed rails. With the body and rollcage bolted in place, the chassis became extremely rigid, which allows the suspension to work as it should.
Despite the race car rollcage, the coupe’s interior confines are plenty comfy, thanks to lots of Dynamat insulation, leather trimmed Recaro bucket seats, and of course, a Vintage Air heat and cool combo. When he’s not listening to the mechanical melodies the coupe produces there’s an alternative sound system that includes Kicker speakers in the doors and a COMP C-84 free air woofer.