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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

1954 Ford Crestline Victoria 390 V8, Tripower - Muscle Car For Sale (Click Here)


Where do you go for a custom car? The sarcastic yet true answer would be a car customizer, of course. Now, where do you go for an out of this world, out of bounds and just plain “out there” custom car? There’s only one place: California. Detroit has the speed nailed down, Miami has the exotic scene covered and the south in general lives and dies by stock car racing, but southern California stands apart when it comes to customs and Hot Rods For Sale.

For talented custom car designers, beautiful cars come easy when a pen and paper is involved, but making those artistic fantasies a reality is a whole different situation. While Keith Kaucher draws fantastic cars almost every day, finding time to build full-scale 3-D versions is just as difficult for Keith as it is for all the rest of us. Originally Keith didn't plan on chopping the top, but after friends caught a glimpse of a few of his drawings with the new proposed roofline they would not let him skip this portion of the custom makeover. It wasn't long before those same drawings got into the hands of the Rod & Custom staff and quickly showed up in the pages as the "Dream Car of the Month" (December 2004).

As Keith worked out the mechanical details of the chassis and drive train, he linked up with the crew of dedicated traditional custom builders at Starlite Rod & Kustom in Torrance, California. The first step in the radical transformation was swapping the Ford front sheet metal with a Mercury front clip (a swap that required stretching the chassis 3 inches) and continued with frenching of the headlights, reworking the hood, and fitting a '54 Chevy grille. The rear received equal attention with frenched custom taillight bezels and lenses and a completely custom rear bumper treatment using a combination of pieces from a '60 Corvette, a '62 T-bird, and a '67 Camaro. After careful planning and large-scale drawings confirmed the top swap to be a major change for the better, a '65 Buick Wildcat gave up its top that was then narrowed before being grafted in place on the Ford. The transplant turned out to be a major success and was made complete with the addition of a smaller '67 Camaro rear window. Starlite's main man, Jack Fields, stirred up a batch of DuPont Purple Rhapsody and began laying on multiple coats of the rich hue. Once the paint was perfected, multiple pieces of chrome trim were bolted into place. There was so much chrome on the car that needed to be done it took the services of four shops! The final exterior touch is a set of chrome reversed wheels and wide white rollers—original Ford centers surrounded by original reversed Buick outers (15x7 front and 15x8 rear) wrapped in 205/65R15 and 235/60R15 wide whites from the Whitewall Candy Store. Bullet center caps from Mooneyes with matching bullet lug nuts from Radir complete the old school vibe.

Inside the Ford was no less of a carefully planned ordeal. Keith prepared highly detailed concept drawings for his selected craftsmen to follow. The Starlite crew made all the necessary metal modifications before tapping Downtown Willy (also located in Torrance) to stitch up the custom white and purple vinyl with silver piping over the '65 Thunderbird seats and throughout the rest of the car, including the trunk and hood liner! Creature comforts include a GM tilt column topped by a Mooneyes steering wheel, Old Air Products climate control, and an array of complementing audio equipment from Alpine, Custom Auto Sound and Pioneer. All the best creature components were installed from air conditioning by Old Air Products to a '56 Ford instrument cluster molded into the dash and fitted with Auto Meter gauges reworked in a retro style by Redline Gauges.

Even the chassis got the custom treatment when it was stretched 3 inches to compensate for the longer Mercury front sheet metal. The lengthened chassis was reworked up front with the addition of a set of Fatman Fabrications 3-inch dropped spindles mated to a pair of Granada 11-inch disc brakes. The rack-and-pinion steering came from an '89 Chevy Cavalier and mounts via a Fatman Fabrications kit. Firestone airbags adjust the ride height on all four corners. Moving to the rear suspension, Starlite Rod & Kustom tossed out everything supplied by the factory and started over by hanging a narrowed 9-inch Ford on a four-link system from The Deuce Factory and also added extra strength to the chassis with a custom X-brace cross member. Rear disc brakes (11-inch) were originally found on a '98 Ford Crown Victoria.

Starting with a '74 Ford 390 block that was fully massaged and rebuilt by LA Crank in Los Angeles, a rare '63 Ford 406 tri-power aluminum intake sends the fuel supplied by a trio of Holley 350-cfm carbs to a pair of '64 cast-iron heads that exhale out of a pair of shorty headers. Dress-up items include Mooneyes' finned valve covers, complete use of chromed acorn nuts, and accessory brackets and air cleaners designed and made by Keith himself. Behind the mighty Ford FE is a '67 top-loader manual trans with a Centerforce clutch package with a drilled shift handle from Mooneyes.

The “Fifty4” has amassed 17 trophies and awards since it debuted at the Grand National Roadster Show in January 2006. Some of the awards earned are a 1st Place in its class at the Grand National Roadster Show in 2006, a George Barris Best of Show award at George’s show in May 2006, a Best of Show award and a George Barris Best Kustom award at the Blessing of the Cars in July 2006 as well as a Rod & Custom Top 10 award and a Eagle One Excellent Choice award at the Goodguys West Coast Nationals in August 2006. The car also spent the week on display at SEMA—not bad for a car that started as just a concept drawing!

With national coverage, top notch workmanship and a carefully executed plan this purple smoothie is a show winner from coast to coast. Few cars get taken to this level and fewer still come out this well! With over the top customs bringing monster prices lately you’re looking at one of the best investments available!

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