Pete Brock's 1946 Ford
1946 Ford Convertible owned by Pete Brock. In May of 2021 Brock told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama that the original work on the car was done at Olive Hill Garage in Los Angeles, California. "It was started by the first owner whose name I was never able to learn. I believe he was a young man who went into the Army and was killed in Korea. His family placed the car on a used car lot in San Francisco where I discovered it. I was more into sports cars than customs at the time so I sold my MG TC to buy this car as I could see the potential."
Originally restyled by Art Lellis and Jerry Moffatt
When Brock bought the car, the body was sectioned 5 and a half inches. It was channeled another 5 inches. The fenders were raised, and the wheel openings were reshaped and radiused. The hood was sectioned to fit the raised front fenders. All exterior trim was removed in order to give it a cleaner appearance. The stock bumpers were replaced with 1946 Oldsmobile bumpers which fit the car very nicely instead of the stock slim Ford units. The windshield was chopped 3 and a half inches and fitted with a padded top made by Carson Top Shop. The taillights were relocated to the license plate guard. The car was painted bright red once completed, Moon hubcaps on white walls wrapped up the style.
While studying as an automotive designer at the Art Center Design School of Los Angeles, Pete started sketching new ideas for the car. He brought the custom to Norm's Auto Body to have them carried out. The second time, the rear end was restyled by recessing the license plate into the rear pan. Push bars replaced the Olds wrap-around-type bumpers. Taillights were taken from an Austin-Healey. Aluminum welt was fit in the fenders seams. The unique nosepiece was made from two Mercury grille shells that were spliced together. "I used the nose of a [[[1941 Hudson]] and two 1950 Mercury grill shells to make the radiator intake," Peter recalled in 2021. The interior was re-upholstered by Dick and Dale's Upholstery Shop of Redwood City, California, it was done in white and blue pleated Naugahyde. The tonneau cover was white with dark blue stripes. Once completed, the car was painted Artic white with dark blue Cunningham racing style colors, which was pretty unique those days. A dropped axle was installed and 8.00 x 16 tires were fit in the rear, giving it a forward rake. The Ford was sported by a 1954 Cadillac engine connected to a 1938 LaSalle transmission.
Sold to Jimmy Burrell - Last Seen in North Carolina
Peter sold the car to Jimmy Burrell, who did most of the later work for Peter at Norm's Auto Body. "I sold the car to get some funds to pay for school at Art Center College of Design in 1956. I then went to Detroit to work as a designer for GM. Jimmy drove it “home” to North Carolina where it disappeared and I’ve not heard or seen anything of it since then," Brock told Sondre.
The Legacy of the Fordillac
According to Peter, "it’s interesting to note that Briggs Cunningham was the first to use these “racing stripes” which I added to my car in honor of his participation as an American at Le Mans. I later used those stripes in designing the livery for the Mustang GT350s we built at Shelby American starting in 1965."
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