Ford Custom Foose

Ultimately known as the “Foose Ford”, this incredible vehicle was originally designed by world-famous automotive designer Harry Bentley Bradley, whose impressive body of work includes the Dodge Deora and the original 16-car Hot Wheels series. Bradley’s drawings for this car first appeared in a 1983 edition of Street Rodder magazine, where they caught the eye of Donn Lowe, who began the effort in 1996 to render Bradley’s concepts into tangible expression. Beginning with a 1951 Ford two-door sedan, Lowe first added a more modern front suspension, using the front clip from a 1972 Chevrolet Nova. Other prioities intervened, however, so Lowe sold the incomplete project to Jack Barnard, who entrusted it to Sam Foose for completion.

The Ford displays a smooth and understated yet truly arresting appearance that captures the great body lines of the original design. Enhancements include a wedge-sectioned circa-1949 body ranging from one inch at the rear to a full five inches at the front of the car, providing a truly menacing rake, in addition to a 2 ½-inch chopped top and a windshield that was skillfully laid back by a full six inches. Other accents include a customized bullet-style 1949 Ford grille ornament, a pair of frenched 1952-vintage headlight rims and custom-fabricated steel body trim, as well as carefully modified bumpers with custom exhaust outlets at the rear. Bathed in a deep PPG Phantom Green exterior finish, the Ford is perfectly accented by the gleaming, tasteful brightwork, as well as a set of painted steel wheels with beauty rings, original-style Ford-scripted hubcaps and wide whitewall tires.

The engine bay reveals a 302 cubic inch GT-40 crate engine from Ford Motorsports, topped with a Night Prowlers 1950s Cadillac-style air cleaner and equipped with an Edelbrock intake manifold, a 600-cfm carburetor and a pair of Jet Hot-coated exhaust headers from Ford Racing. Other mechanical features include a B & M Quicksilver-shifted Ford AOD transmission and a custom radiator by Peterbuilt of Santa Barbara, California, while a heavy-duty 90-amp alternator handles charging duties. Underneath, the frame and suspension were powder coated to perfection, mounting the aforementioned 1972 Nova front clip with Fat Man upper and lower control arms, and a stout 9-inch Ford rear end assembly with a highway-friendly 3.00:1 ring and pinion. For improved handling, the current owner replaced the front and rear Air Ride system with a set of coil-over shock absorbers at all four corners.

None other than Chip Foose supervised the luxurious yet functional interior, with Glide Engineering front seats and a custom rear seat trimmed in rich grey leather and mohair upholstery by Gabe Lopez. The smoothed original dash panel houses restored original instruments as well as vents for the Vintage Air system, while steering is provided by a 1973 Cadillac Eldorado tilt column mounting a handsome two-spoke billet wheel. Complete with remote entry and a Kenwood stereo system with an Alpine CD player, a Blue Thunder amplifier and six Infinity speakers, the Ford provides ample electronic entertainment, should you ever tire of the mechanical music emanating from the dual exhaust outlets.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.

350 hp, 302 cu. in. Ford V8 engine, Ford AOD four-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with unequal-length upper and lower control arms and coil springs, live rear axle, four-wheel coil-over shock absorbers, and hydraulic front disc, rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 114"

Source: RM Aucitons
Photo Credit: Copyright ©P. Decker 09

Gallery: Ford Custom Foose