Ray Ellis' 1934 Ford
1934 Ford 5-window coupe owned and built by Ray Ellis of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. In 2015 Ray told Kustomrama that his dad bought him the coupe in February of 1965, when he was just turning 17 years old; "The '34 coupe was already a hot rod when I got it. Hi-boy style running a 1939 Mercury engine with finned boat style heads, twin 94 carbs and headers. The heads were in two pieces, split lengthwise, so they could be pulled apart and washed out. The coupe also had a boat twin-carb manifold, so I'm thinking the mill was in a boat at some stage. It had a 1939 Mercury gearbox and a 1934 Ford rear end. The interior was fitted with a 1949 Ford custom dash, which I always loved. In fact, I have now fitted a 1950 Ford dash to my Hi-boy 1932 Ford tudor sedan. I started my hot rodding lifestyle in Sydney, and joined the Romans Hot Rod Association car club in 1965. The club was formed in 1960, so we were in their infancy really." According to Ray there were lots of hot rods and customs around Sydney in the early days, and clubs were popping up everywhere. Romans Hot Rod Association was the first club in New South Wales. The original builder of the coupe is unknown.
Ray became the proud owner of a genuine Hot Rod 2 weeks before he got his driver's license, so his older sister Christine had to ride shot gun while he was on his L's. When Ray got the car, it ran a 1932 Ford grille shell, and motorcycle-type fenders up front. The rear pan had been louvered, and the rear fenders had received 1954 Ford taillights. Accessories included an antenna behind the roof, a rear end mounted spare tire and a license plate surrounding. Due to a blown out header, and an enthusiasm to build a hot rod, Ray started rebuilding the car early in 1966. The body was channeled over the frame, and the flathead engine was replaced with a 1956 Ford Y-block engine. The front axle was stretched and dropped before Jaguar E-Type disc brakes and calipers were installed. Ray worked for Jaguar Cars, so he also installed Jaguar 1/4 elliptic rear springs on a 1956 Ford differential. He also made the Ford 2 speed auto into a 3 speed using Jaguar 420G auto parts.
By 1969 the body had been primered grey, and Ray had fit it with a shortened 1963 Ford Fairlane dashboard; "The engine ran a borrowed Man-a-Frey 4 carb set up and lots of chrome. A full pay packet when I was an apprentice to pay for it that day was about 9 pound (18 dollars.) I later went mad and fitted the Y-block engine into my Ford Zephyr daily driver. I then found a 322 big block for the coupe. I rebuilt the mill and installed the 406 T-Bird triple manifold along with Cal Custom covers and other internals."
The build was completed in 1972, right before Ray sold it to move onto another project he had bought, a 1929 Ford Model A roadster on 1932 Ford rails. When the coupe was completed it featured Fenton mags, Valiant "Cats Eye" tail lights that Ray had bought brans new over the counter at a Chrysler dealer, and lots of chrome. It was painted "Wild Violet". He sold it for $1,500.
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