Mel Falconer's 1939 Ford
1939 Ford built by Harry Westergard for Thunderbolts member Mel Falconer of Sacramento, California in early 1945. This car is probably the most famous of all Westergard's customs. The door handles were removed in 1945, and caused many a stare from bystanders. According to the book The American Custom Car, Falconer's Ford was probably the first custom car featuring solenoids to open the doors.Mel's car featured a 1940 Packard grille, filled hood, Inset License Plate, 1937 DeSoto Ripple bumpers, leopard skin interior and full skirts. The windshield was chopped three inches and fit with a padded top. The fenders were molded to the body and the 1940 Ford headlight rims were painted to give it a cleaner appearance. Harry also filled the rear deck, an intricate operation using the torch. The gas filler neck was removed and a 1941 Ford gas door was installed. The exhaust were routed through the rear fenders. The car was painted with 17 coats of black lacquer.
Later Westergard redid the car and made a steel lift-off top from a 1940 Chevrolet Coupe top for it. The Chevrolet turret was trimmed to fit the lines of the Ford. The top was held in place above the windshield by the original Ford top clamps and in the rear by clamps similar to those used for securing steamer trunk lids when traveling. The rear window was from a 1941 Plymouth unit and the cut down side windows originated from a 1940 Ford convertible. 
The 1939 Ford attended at the first Modesto Century Toppers car show held December 10 and 11, 1949, and according to Gene Winfield the car was owned by Bruce Glenn by then. In 1954 the car was featured on the May issue of Rod & Custom Magazine. The car was then still owned by Bruce Glenn.
Some minor modifications were done to the Ford in the 1980's such as frenching the headlights and removing the bumpers. Today the car is displayed at the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada. The car is almost like it was when it appeared in Rod & Custom May 1954.
Did you enjoy this article?
Kustomrama is an online encyclopedia dedicated to traditional hot rod and custom cars. Our mission is to protect, preserve and share traditional hot rod custom car history from all over the world.
- Find out how you can become a contributor.
- Forward this article to a friend.
- Subscribe to our newsletter and receive updates on Mel Falconer's 1939 Ford and other subjects featured on Kustomrama.
Help us make this article better
If you have additional information, photos, feedback or corrections about Mel Falconer's 1939 Ford, please get in touch with Kustomrama at: email@example.com.
This Article Was Made Possible By:
SunTec Auto Glass - Auto Glass Services on Vintage and Classic Cars
Finding a replacement windshield, back or side glass can be a difficult task when restoring your vintage or custom classic car. It doesn't have to be though now with auto glass specialist companies like www.suntecautoglass.com. They can source OEM or OEM-equivalent glass for older makes/models; which will ensure a proper fit every time. Check them out for more details!
Do you want to see your company here? Click here for more info about how you can become a Kustomrama advertiser and supporter.