Amongst the clutter of today's automotive reality shows, you'll find a few various episodes worth watching. Sometimes, the problem is knowing which ones to watch without getting suckered into a lame one! For us, we sometimes have the "inside scoop" on projects as they are being filmed. For instance, take the "Old School Chevy" build featured recently on Monster Garage. For the traditional crowd, it seemed to be a real pleaser. Right before that episode aired, another "series" was being filmed for TLC entitled Overhaulin', a show based on the premise of stealing someone's car and completely overhauling as it were in seven short days. Seeing the trailer with a late-model lifted pickup, we weren't so sure...until we caught wind of a cool Shoebox Ford episode in the making.
Unbeknownst to us, the actual car used for the episode was right under our noses at the Goodguys Spring Nationals in Del Mar, California. We did a little investigating, which turned us on to Derek de Heras, who organized the thievery of his father Chuck's '50 Ford coupe for the subject of the hour-long show. Regardless of any other media commitments, we were really stoked to finally see a '49-51 Ford done in this manner (custom rod style), and made plans to photograph shortly thereafter. Of course, we made sure to mark our calendars so as not to miss the show. Seeing the show only made us appreciate the little Ford even more, as what you see on the pages here took a mere week to complete--no bull! Unlike some other TV projects we've seen come and go, the Overhaulin' crew stuck to their seven-day deadline...and met it with flying colors.
For those that did not see the show (nor have any desire to...), here's a little rundown of what exactly the crew did to transform Chuck's coupe from a clean original to a souped-up hot rod with non-conformist pizzazz. First off, despite their short timeframe in which to work with, the main crew (consisting of Chip Foose, Bryan Fuller, Troy Trepanier, Jarred Zimmerman, and Pete Eastwood) took the car down to the bare essentials, just as if it were a full resto. And rather than simply scuffing and re-shooting the paint, plenty of custom bodywork was done in preparation for Mitch Lanzini to apply a Foose-designed two-tone with Dennis Ricklefs' striping. As you may be able to see, the driprails have been shaved and replaced with '34 Ford-style accents; the rear-quarter seams filled; headlights frenched; front bumper flipped (with filled bolt holes); and door handles shaved. Obviously, the biggest exterior difference is tucked (or squeezed!) between the wheelwells--the Foose 20-inchers carved out by MHT. Some may like to see the Shoebox a bit lower over the wheels--hell, some would probably prefer it rolling on bias-ply whitewalls--but without doing a lot of creative inner-panel work (subframing the frontend, etc.), the boys got the '50 to rest nicely over its new rolling stock. Of course, using new control arms, spindles, and springs (along with a disc brake kit) from Jamco Suspension definitely helped achieve that. And rather than simply dropping a small-block of sorts between the framerails, the stock Flathead was freshened up with parts from Edelbrock, Speedway Motors, and SO-CAL Speed Shop and now runs like a clock--a well-wound clock at that! Next to final assembly and detailing, the last step before letting Chuck in on the hoax was a complete custom upholstery job by Griffin Interiors.
If you got to see this particular episode, you witnessed how de Heras kept his cool and composure throughout the mock thievery, something few owners of vintage cars could do. When all was said and done, Chuck was pretty impressed (though it was hard to tell through his composed stature), but admitted that this was probably the only way he would have ended up with a car this style, as he's more prone to take the subtle route (albeit finely done) with his hot rods. Nonetheless, it was a nice change to see a car actually made into a car on television!