Jerry Moffatt's 1939 Ford
1939 Ford convertible owned and restyled by Jerry Moffatt at Art & Jerry Custom Shop in Los Angeles, California. Jerry restyled his Ford in 1946. At the same time, Jerry's companion in the shop, Arthur Lellis, restyled a 1939 Ford as well. The two buddies built two, almost identical, customs which they could use as daily drivers. Jerry's car featured a deeper channel job than Arthur's. The body was channeled 6 inches, the fenders were raised and the hood was sectioned. The running boards were removed for a cleaner appearance, and the car was nosed, decked and shaved for handles and trim. The windshield was chopped 3 inches before it received a padded top by Carson Top Shop. The body was finished in gold, running a 1/8 stroke 1942 Mercury engine.
Rediscovered in 1969
In 1969 Frank Weeks of Glendale, California was browsing the classifieds when he spotted a 1939 Ford custom convertible for sale. Back in 1946 Frank was a customer at the Olive Hill Garage, and he remembered well the two 1939 Fords that Art and Jerry built. A call was made, and Frank arranged to go look at the car. As it turned out the car he was checking out turned out to be Jerry's old Ford. The old custom had seen better days, but Frank decided to make a $500 dollar offer for it. The seller accepted the offer, and Frank drove the car home. Back at Frank's place, it would take 26 years before he started the restoration.
Frank began restoring the car in 1992. The original flathead engine was replaced with a rebuilt engine that Frank originally put together in 1962. The engine featured a 4-inch stroke Mercury crank, an Edelbrock intake, a Holley 390-cfm carb, a pair of Edelbrock 7.5:1 heads, and a Harman-Collins cam and distributor. It ran Fenton headers and Smitty 22 inche mufflers. Behind the engine, Frank installed a C-4 transmission and a Ford 9-inch rear end with 3.25:1 gears. The rest of the chassis was prepared by Frantic Freddie of Sun Valley, California. Modifications included a Bell axle with a 4-inch drop, and three-leaf parallel springs in the rear. Magnum disc brakes were installed up front, while the rear maintained the drums.
Candy Red Paint Job
Having a love for Candy Red, Frank commissioned Scott Guildner of Van Nuys, California to paint the car. Scott gave it four coats of House of Kolor's Candy Red pINT with clearcoat over. Unlike the original version of the car, the restored version was fit with 1937 DeSoto ripple bumpers and fenderskirts. Montrose Auto Upholstery made a beige Naugahyde and brown cloth interior for the car. VDO gauges were added, and the electrical system was converted to 12 volts via Ron Francis wiring.
The restored version of the car was featured in Rod & Custom Magazine June 1997. According to the story, Frank felt like he had restored an old friendship dating back to his early love of cars. Jerry Moffatt got a chance to see the restored version of the car, and according to the Rod & Custom Magazine story he was left speechless.
Sold to Cruz Palma
Cruz Palma of Burbank, California bought the old custom in 2015. When Cruz bought it, Frank Weeks had passed away, and he bought the car from Frank's son Terry. Frank had taken good care of the car, and it was still in a good condition when Cruz got it. In 2016 Cruz's son Eric told Kustomrama that all his dad has done to the car is regular maintenance such as installing new tires, shocks, starter and bed liner.
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