Lane & Pam Laugesen
1934 Ford phaeton
New Castle, Colorado

Hot rodders have always been dreamers, often looking past what others can't see and envisioning something great. There is no doubt that anyone who sees Lane and Pam Laugesen's 1934 phaeton would envy owning it, but when the car was lying at the bottom of a 150-foot ravine in the hills of Colorado a few years back, only a glutton for punishment could see the hidden potential.

After paying a local rancher $100 for the rusty hulk and having it towed out of the ravine, Lane spent the next two years reshaping and creating a unique ride in his three-car garage.

Wanting a safe and square chassis, Lane opted for a Total Cost Involved Engineering frame, to which he added a four-bar suspension he found on eBay to the front and a 9-inch Ford in the rear. He had won a 350 crate motor at a local raffle, so the drivetrain was figured out, and a basic TH350 trans was bolted up, too.

The idea was to build a good-looking car on a budget, so some of his homemade tricks not only saved money but were inventive, too. One such item was the engine overflow tank, which Lane fashioned from an antique fire extinguisher. The wheels are basic 15-inch steelies, wrapped in 640-15 Firestones up front and BFGoodrich 820-15 rubber out back.

Most of the work went into the body that, besides the removal of lots of dents, was highlighted with a chop, adding a recessed firewall, installing hidden hinges, and capping the window channels in the doors. He also added a hidden internal truss system that acts as a lower rollcage and boxed areas of the body to make it much more rigid.

Lane completed the metal and bodywork himself as well as the primering before turning the project over to Crabtree's Auto Body where they finished the body off with suede blue paint and a satin clear. If you look close, you can see the pop of red found inside and out, which was laid out by Jim Hetzer of Muscatine, Iowa. Powdercoating of some suspension parts, wheels, and other pieces was handled by Monument powdercoating in Fruita, Colorado.

Most of Lane's friends who saw the project at its start thought he should have left the wreck in the ravine, but we believe they may have since changed their tune after seeing the finished product drive out of Lane's driveway.