Monday, March 11, 2013

Blackie the Super Coupe- A Custom ’36 Ford Hardtop Coupe

Long time Daytona Beach resident Bruce Rossmeyer, owner of this beautiful black ’36 Ford coupe, is better known as a successful Harley-Davidson dealer, one who’s a tireless fundraiser and humanitarian. Originally, Bruce owned several auto dealerships, but at the age of 24, he transitioned away from the automobile business after purchasing his first Harley-Davidson dealership.

Interestingly, several years ago Bruce partnered with Arlen and Corey Ness to create Arlen Ness Motorcycles, expanding the types and models of bikes offered at his various dealerships. As a well-known communitarian and benefactor, Bruce is involved with many charities in the Daytona Beach area that raise money for the less fortunate. However, it’s the flawless black ‘36 Ford hardtop coupe that has brought Mr. Rossmeyer, artist/designer Steve Stanford and the crew at Hot Rods & Hobbies to our attention.

This all black ‘36 Ford coupe was formerly owned by the famous Fresno show promoter Blackie Gejeian. It’s with enormous love and respect that the custom coupe is now referred to simply as “Blackie.” Blackie’s opinion of what has evolved under the direction of Scott Bonowski, Steve Stanford and the owner (from the original coupe) is most complimentary.

A solid team effort was required to design, reconstruct and recreate this custom hardtop hot rod. SoCal artist Steve Stanford’s concept sketch eliminated the B-pillars that define a typical ‘36 Ford five-window coupe. And, Steve felt strongly that the chopped top had to be as graceful as possible. Steve’s design has the A-pillars laid back and the rear of the roof leaned far forward, but retaining the original rear window shape. The ’36 Ford headlights had to go and were moved into the front fenders to resemble the graceful 1937 Ford fender buckets. As the newly shaped roof and flowing front fenders were defined, the door openings were reshaped and the hinges reversed.

Shortly thereafter, construction began that was to extend over a three-year period as every body and interior panel was modified or recreated entirely. The final results are a unique and graceful chopped hardtop. No shortcuts were taken with fully fabricated steel panels that respectfully retain the original rear window opening. The graceful chop, as well as rear visibility, is now laid-forward.

The results quite clearly show a dedication to high standards of excellence by the Hot Rods & Hobbies crew. The body fabrication, fit and finish and paint are award winning and captivating when the coupe comes under full examination by viewers. However, the coupe was not built to entertain viewers at indoor car shows, even though it does. The ’36 Ford called Blackie was built to be driven and to provide the owner with a thrilling motoring experience much like the thrill of riding the highways of America on the back of a powerful Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

By Rich Boyd

A stroked small-block Ford 351W now produces more than 500 hp. Machined by Coast High Performance in Torrance, CA, the engine is ported, polished and has a balanced crank assembly.

No exterior body panel or trim piece remains stock. The ’37 Ford-type headlight buckets have been molded into the front fenders. Notice the hood top and sides extend to the door cuts and windshield, eliminating the typical cowl. Obviously, the B-pillar reveal was reworked when the pillar was eliminated.

Designed by Steve Stanford, the magnificent black leather and stainless steel interior is the work of Fast Ed’s Interiors of Torrance, CA, and the fabricators at Hot Rods & Hobbies.

A high-intensity LED taillight is molded into the rolled rear pan.

door panel
Door Panel
The use of brushed stainless steel trim adds to the visual appeal of the coupe’s all-black interior. The console runs to the rear where the rumble seat invites an extra pair of passengers. TEA’s Design bucket seats are modified slightly and power operated.

The upper portion of the steel dash has been covered in black leather, while mirror-finish black paint covers the lower half. Backlit Vintage Air A/C controls are mounted in the custom panel to the right of the instruments. Note the suicide doors that were reshaped to clear the front fenders.

Mirror Detail
Custom side mirrors are integrated into the window trim that flows around the door and rear roof panel into the rear quarter panel.

The fuel filler is located under the modern Ford emblem that’s designed to rotate and provide access to the filler neck.

The front suspension on the boxed Roadster Shop chassis is a Heidt’s SuperRide IFS with fully polished stainless steel A-arms, Aldan coil-overs and a chrome steering rack.

The rear suspension consists of a stainless steel triangulated 4-link, again with Aldan coil-overs. Note the stainless steel and baked aluminum coating on the exhaust tubes.

Steve Stanford’s concept rendering of a chopped hardtop coupe originally proposed a vertical grille in the front, longer flowing fenders, a Sam Barris-like chop and extended rear deck lid. Later the grille bars became horizontal and the rear deck was shortened to create a rumble seat for two additional (occasional) passengers. Steve said, “It’s a thrill to see the original design intent so completely and faithfully executed on the real car. The Hot Rods & Hobbies crew masterfully shared the vision of my design interpretation.”