Robert A. Radcliffe III's 1950 Ford
1950 Ford tudor sedan owned and restyled by Robert A. Radcliffe III of King Kustoms in Temecula, California. Rob bought the car in 2001 after his other 1950 Ford tudor burned to the ground in a garage fire. When he bought the car it was sitting on a poorly done Camaro clipped frame, so Rob used the frame from the burned car on his new shoebox. The burned frame was blasted and rebuilt from the ground up. During the rebuild Rob installed air bags on the car. The top was chopped 6.5 inches up front, and 8 inches in the rear. The rear window was laid down in the stock location, and the drip rails were kept intact. During the chop, Rob also slanted the b-pillars. By 2003 Rob got the car on the road in primer. He drove it around for a while working out the bugs. In June, 2006, on his way to a cruise night in Riverside, Rob was hit head-on at an intersection in French Valley, California. The car was totaled, and Rob had to tow it back home.
After the crash, Rob used the insurance money to buy a 1949 Ford parts car from his friend Tim Sutton in Long Beach, California. The frame was pulled back out by Dick's Frame and Wheel on Main Street in Riverside. In order to keep the car period-correct, Rob removed the airbags he had installed before. The airbags were replaced by 4" de-arched rear leaf springs in the rear, and cut coils up front. He used the front fenders, valance, and inner fenders from the parts car. He had also planned to also use the hood from the 1949 Ford, but came across a much nicer 1951 Ford hood that he used instead. Rob nosed and peaked the hood. The hood was also extended along the front edge, and all four corners were rounded. The front valance was molded in, and the body seam along the front edge of the valance was filled. A 1950 Mercury grille shell was molded in between the new front fenders, and 1952 Mercury headlight bezels were frenched on to the fenders. The headlight bezels were pulled in slightly. While working on the car, Rob decided to also replace the rocker panels, quarter panels and trunk floor. The rocker panels were molded to the quarter panels and front fenders and the lower door corners were rounded. 1951 Ford trunk hinges were installed, and the lower trunk corners were rounded. The rear fender seams were filled, and Rob handmade a rear splash-pan that was molded to the body. The splash-pan was made to wrap under the front corners of the rear bumper. The rear bumper was dropped on inch, and a 1952 Kaiser rear bumper guard was trimmed to fit the stock bumper. The exhaust was routed through the rear bumper bullets. During the build up, Rob began to hate how the roof on his car looked. It was too flat, and it was chopped too much in the back. In August, 2010 he got the time and guts to cut the roof apart and start over. He opened up the front windshield, shaved the driprails, repositioned the rear window, and pushed the crown up. During a 5 day span, Rob had fixed the top, and installed 1953 Pontiac taillights inspired by Chuck DeWitt's 1950 Ford. The Pontiac taillights were set into 1952 Ford bezels. NOS aftermarket fender skirts, like Barris used on Buster Litton's 1949 Ford, and Appleton 552 spotlights were installed. The car rolls on Goodyear 6.70-15 Super Cushion whitewalls, stock rims, and 1952 Cadillac sombreros. The side trim is stock 1950 Ford sidetrim with a smoothie front fender piece. The dash is painted pearl white with purple and white laminated candy knobs. Power comes from a 1960s smallblock Chevrolet motor with camelhump heads and Edelbrock dress up goodies. All work has been done by Rob, except for the bodywork which was done by Octavio Chavez. Octavio did also paint the dash.
Rob made a grille by 1954 Ford components, similar to the grille in the 1949 Ford that Don Roberts of Bear Custom Shop restyled for Bob Dofflow. It was painted a dark maroon to let the body sit a while, the final paint will be plum metallic, and the interior will be done in black and off white rolls and pleats. A 1949 - 1950 Mercury accessory steering wheel is also on Rob's wish list. He has the steering wheel, but needs to have it recast. The car is powered by a smallblock Chevy, however Rob has also a 1956 Cadillac engine that he hopes to install one day. Rob's goal is to build the car to look as if it left Barris Kustoms in 1954.
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