For Chad Folkema of Dorr, Michigan, it was definitely like putting the cart before the horse when his latest build began to take form. Chad was influenced by a nasty Model A coupe that used to terrorize the local streets when he was growing up, so it was obvious at some point he’d have to step into the deep end and get started on his own Model A project.
There’s plenty of attention to detail with the perfectly laid out spark plug wires and han
The easiest way of locating a body was through the Internet so he began to scour everything from eBay to the local Craigslist ads. His original intent was to use a vintage engine in the project since it would be an early-’50s–styled build. The focus was on everything from a Flathead to an early Olds, Caddy, or Buick Nailhead V-8. One night while cruising the web he came across an ad for an original running ’46 Lincoln V-12 being offered for sale. It was an engine he had never even considered, let alone ever thought he would come across. He wasted no time in checking it out and once he heard it run he bought it on the spot.
The stock ’51 Ford gauge cluster was updated to 12 V and add a particular tasty vibe to th
With the V-12 in his possession he began redesigning the car to accommodate the new pulse. Throughout his search there was always one particular seller offering plenty of Model A parts for sale but never a body. He took a chance and called the seller to see if he knew of any available bodies in the area. Fate many times has an interesting way of pulling people together. The call brought Chad to Mike Boerema, owner of the Gas Axe Garage located in Allendale, Michigan, and things began to happen. Chad explained his search for a body to Boerema, and also told him of his recent engine find and pending build. Boerema not only offered to help on the search, but also invited Chad to visit the shop and bring the V-12 with him.
All of the controls housed within the ’51 Ford dash look right at home.
When Chad finally made it over to the shop the two fast became friends, sharing an equal vision for the coupe’s design. Having the opportunity to inject a serious amount of vibe into a build anchored by the Mount Everest of vintage engines provided plenty of fuel for the meeting.
Finding a builder and car owner working together, each utilizing their skills to reach the completion of a project is not something you see every day. It wasn’t long before a coupe body was sourced locally, and although it was pretty rough, it was a starting point and a deal was made.
For the ultimate in power, a ’46 Lincoln V-12 was bolted to the ’rails and treated to a fu
At this point Boerema began to lay the groundwork on a suitable base from which the coupe would rise. Starting with a set of ’rails from JW Rod Garage, a 1-1/4-inch tubular centersection was added along with a Model A rear crossmember moved rearward 1 inch while a mild pinch was set at the firewall with a Model A front crossmember moved forward 2 inches creating a 109-inch wheelbase. The ’rails were then C-notched and boxed for additional strength. In keeping with the post-war theme of the car, out back a vintage Frankland quick-change rear packed with 3.73:1 gears was suspended in place by a pair of ’39 Ford split ’bones combined with a Model A rear spring and tube shocks to soak up the bumps. To add plenty of attitude up front, a Magnum 5-inch dropped axle linked to a pair of ’39 Ford spindles and split ’39 Ford ’bones gets the job done while a Speedway Motors reverse-eye leaf spring and tube shocks seal the deal. To dial in the stance, nothing says hot rod better than an original pair of ’35 Ford 16-inch wires wearing big ’n’ little Coker/Firestone all-black rubber.
A triple threat of Holley 94-series carbs flow plenty of fuel to keep the old Lincoln happ
While the coupe’s unique ’46 Lincoln V-12 was in good running condition when purchased, Chad wanted to freshen it up and add a few hop-ups to it before settling it into the chassis. To get started he had Kenowa Auto Supply in Allendale massage the block and heads while C-Tech Performance in Wyoming, Michigan, reground the crank. Boerema got the nod to assemble the mill using stock replacement internals with added thump from an Isky cam. Chad then modified the stock intake to accommodate three Holley 94-series carbs while a stock Lincoln ignition lights the fire with spent gases exiting through a set of Gas Axe–designed lake-style headers. Power finally moves rearward through a ’49 Mercury three-speed trans with overdrive updated by Gas Axe and Chad with a ’48 Lincoln tailshaft.
The color theme of the coupe was carried to the undercarriage as well with a combination o
It’s often said that nothing good comes easy, and this was the case with the body. While Boerema was busy on the chassis, Chad was hard at work at his home shop finding out just what a challenge he had. Henry’s original steel was about as far from its original birthright as you could imagine. As he tore into it with grinders and sanders, he revealed a virtual sea of body filler almost 3/8-inch deep in places. Once stripped to bare metal, it was brought to Boerema to address replacing the bottom 6 inches of the body as well as the missing subframe and rotted wheelwells. He then followed by adding a removable ’51 Ford dash, which he shortened 15 inches to fit. While the body was previously chopped at some point, it wasn’t holding the test of time very well. Chad re-chopped the car to a well-balanced 4-1/2 inches while also replacing the hacked A-pillars, removing the filled roof panel, and replacing the missing roof driprails. He completed the metalwork by finally converting the rumble seat to a trunk.
A flowing wood headliner by Chad complete with a classic dome light adds plenty of allure
With the metalwork complete, the car was blown apart for finishing with the chassis and driveline heading off to Joe Boerema at Heavy Metal custom paint in Wyoming, Michigan, while the body was delivered to Ted Aguilar of Walker, Michigan. With all the steel massaged and blocked to perfection, a dramatic coating of custom blended DuPont green vibe was laid down, adding yet another signature to the coupe’s dramatic good looks. If the devil is in the details, Chad’s coupe knows him on a first name basis.
When it came time to trim the interior more design elements from Chad and Boerema were set in place. First, Chad installed a custom flowing wood headliner accented by converted stock gauges in the ’51 Ford dash with a ’39 Ford banjo steering wheel setting the course. For comfort, Nick Hardy of Hardy Upholstery in Wyoming, Michigan, reworked a Model A seat and covered it with a combination of honey and chocolate-colored leather in a traditional rolled and pleat pattern accented by matching door and kick panels. Real hot rods don’t need carpeting and Chad opted for ribbed black rubber on the floorboards.
All we can say is that the coupe is a testament to traditional design elements with outstanding attention to detail infused by the owner and Mike Boerema of Gas Axe Garage, whose reputation for building inspiring hop-ups continues to grow with each new build.
A cut down ’51 Ford dash filled with a restored ’51 Ford gauge cluster and all related con
The blend of honey and chocolate leather in a classic pleated pattern wraps into the side
With a killer rake, the coupe is all business, thanks to a combination of split ’39 Ford ’