C & J Engineering in Whittier,...
C & J Engineering in Whittier, CA, tuned and adjusted the Holley 750 carburetor for the blower motor.
One of the big guns, Donny...
One of the big guns, Donny Hampton, built a 671 blower for the 350 Chevy.
Tom Flenniken is one of those guys who has been involved in hot rodding clear back to the mid-'50s, when he built a '31 A roadster strictly for the strip. Since then he has churned out hot rod after hot rod, including his latest, this '48 F-1 Ford. Tom is also a retired police officer, which means paperwork is part of his game, so it's no surprise to us that when we asked him to fill out a tech sheet for the Ford, his passion for the hobby and years of experience in paperwork resulted in a multi-page essay! Being that we here at CCT aren't ones to see hard work go to waste, we figured we'd just let Tom go ahead and tell you all about his '48 instead of regurgitating what he concocted.
"I found my truck abandoned in a back field in Santa Fe Springs, California, and after locating the owner, he explained it had been sitting in the field for over 10 years. The drive gear had been stripped long ago, and the interior was gone, except for some mismatched junkyard bucket seats. I found the hood lying upside down on the truck's bed; it looked like it had been run over. The truck's bed was metal and in terrible condition, with most of the bed rusted out. The cab was all there, but it, as well as the fenders, was plagued by the rust bug. I opted to take my wife with me to buy the truck, mostly to convince her that the truck and I could help her with her hobby of buying and selling antique furniture. She saw the truck and could only say, `Good luck.'
"I talked to my friend of 40 years, George Britting, an old-school fuel dragster builder, and told him what I wanted to do. He immediately suggested I take the truck to his shop in Baldwin Park and get things rolling. We started by tearing the truck apart with a pneumatic chisel, because the rusted bolts would not break free! Once apart, all the body parts were taken to be media blasted while we worked on the frame. We cleaned up the frame and installed a Heidt's Mustang II front end kit with 11-inch disc brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, tubular A-arms, and coilover shocks. In the rear, we installed a four-link system with coilovers mated to a 9-inch narrowed rearend. We replaced the ring-and-pinion gears with a set of 3:70-ratio gears and a locker carrier. The rear brakes are 11-inch Explorers, with all the cables and brackets supplied by Control Cables in Santa Fe Springs. We then installed a small-block Chevy 350 with a 700-R4 built by California Performance Transmission with a 2400 stall torque converter.
"We got the truck parts back from the media blaster, and the real work began. We started on the cab first by removing the door handles and replacing the factory hinges with a Hagen hidden hinge kit. The top was then chopped 2 inches, and we did all our cutting under the rear window to keep it stock for better vision. At this time we also shaved the driprails. I looked around for another hood, but I could not find anything better than what I had, so we went to work on the hood and filled in the front where the hood release was located. Next, the fenders were straightened and the seams were filled in. The grille was replaced with aftermarket grille bars, and a Hagen's '40-50 French headlight kit was installed.
"As for the bed, it was clear the truck had been used as a work truck due to its bent side rails. We used a torch and some pry bars to raise the side rails up to their original position. The dents were then removed from the bed sides, and the rear fenders were straightened and attached to the bed sides. Sheets of 18-gauge steel were mounted on the insides of the bed to cover the fender mounting bolts. "In the inside, the dash was completely filled in, and a glovebox was constructed with stainless steel. The ignition switch, headlight switch, and wiper motor switch were mounted on the driver's side of the glovebox. The air conditioning selection panel was mounted on the passenger side of the box. Lastly, the truck was dropped off at Mr. D's Custom Body and Paint in Brea, California, where they sprayed the PPG Clover Green Pearl on the Ford. Collins Trim in Whittier, California, stitched things up in camel-colored leather. As for the wheels, I placed a Billet Specialties Legacy wheel with a knock-off in each corner.
"The truck was finished and on the road for two years, but something was still missing. I told my wife I had always wanted to have a vehicle with a blower, and she commented that I should do it if I wanted to. So I did. I contacted an old drag racing friend, Donny Hampton of Hampton Blowers in Downey, California, and told him I wanted a blower for show and not necessarily go. He said he would build a 6-71 blower with a low amount of boost so I could drive it on the street without a problem. I pulled the motor and took it to L&R Automotive in Santa Fe Springs, California. They rebuilt the engine with new forged pistons, rods, bearings, and valve springs, and reduced the compression to 7.5:1. They left the Isky 256-262 cam in. Four weeks later I got the motor back complete with a blower and installed it in the truck, and I haven't done anything since...well, except drive the heck out of it." And for that, Tom, we salute you.