Here is Part III of my blog series on my father-in-law, Tom Fletcher. To see Part II, please click here >>
Tell Me About Your Work on the 1939 Dodge Sedan.
I was looking for a "retirement project" and since over the years I had collected many additional parts from other '39 Dodges, I had fenders and lots more to start something else. I had always longed to have another open car (I had a '30 Ford touring car and a "T" bucket and sold them) and I wanted to cut the top off a car and make a big convertible.
I was careful not to butcher something nice and collectable—the '39 Dodge sedans were neither and I had a lot of spare parts. Barb and I looked for a year at cars in NJ, CA, and MA—they were all pretty nice, but the best one was a four-door sedan and I found it just four miles away! It was pretty ragged and then we discovered that it was FULL of wasps! I had to leave the barn unheated for weeks as I got the wasps out of every nook and cranny in the car. Everything went into trash bags and out to the street.
Then, I cut the top off, removed the windows, boxed the frame for strength, and installed a '85 Dodge 318, 727, and rear end. I left the front-end stock, rebuilt everything, and added disc brakes and rack and pinion power steering. Five years later, it is nearly finished, but I haven’t retired yet, so now I need another retirement project!
1939 Dodge Sedan (notice how the hood opens like a butterfly)
Closeup of engine
Closeup of engine (notice the Mopar logo)
Oil pressure gauge
The cowboy hat was in the back seat, I swear!