Roach Reincarnate: The Elrod 1936 Ford
https://www.hotrod.com/articles/roach-r ... 1936-ford/
That is a gorgeous '36! Love a Hilborn injected 392 HEMI.I’ll never forget the first time I heard someone use the term “roach” in reference to an old car. I’d just moved back to SoCal from Arizona where roaches were common houseguests each placed I lived, so the reference didn’t paint the prettiest of pictures at first. But over the years, I will say I’ve seen quite a few roached out old cars that were nearly as nasty as the cream-filled bugs I dislike so strongly.
And despite its gorgeous yet menacing appearance as it sits today, Dana and Marge Elrod’s 1936 Ford was once a roached-out relic—a faint memory of its former glory, barely recognizable if not for its nice doors and decklid. Many have started with less; few have come to such as successful conclusion as such … and this reincarnation began to take shape in Humphrey, Nebraska, a decade ago thanks to the man who scooped the roach up to begin with: Dale Boesch.
Boesch may have literally started with little more than two doors and a decklid, but combining his design talent along with the talented crew at Boesch Auto Body was the recipe for success in creating the Elrod roadster. It’s no restoration in the traditional sense, however, as any authority on the FoMoCo will quickly point out all the non-factory Ford specs—but that’s the beauty of Elrod, the little nuances that clearly distinguish from any other 1936 roadster model. That, and the 1958-vintage, Hilborn-injected 392 Hemi, of course.
The alteration process is often an organic one, developing gradually as the project takes on its new shape. In this case, Boesch’s team was tasked with a myriad of sheetmetal revisions. For instance, the roadster’s squatty stance isn’t all due to the Firestone/RideTech adjustably suspended scratchbuilt chassis and the car’s chopped roof—the body itself was shortened 3 inches (between the rear fenders and door’s trailing edge); fenders sectioned; headlamps dropped (complemented by 1939 Cadillac taillights); grille and windshield leaned back; and bumpers eliminated (a rear nerf bar was facilitated and also serves as a license plate mount). The reworked exterior metal was ultimately concealed in Axalta’s Super Jet Black basecoat, offset by nickel-plated accents and custom-painted Schott wheels.
The interior of Elrod is no less impressive, as it too is an extreme exercise in non-stock variation. The dash is, well, pretty much non-existent in the traditional sense—below the roadster’s rolled cowl lip is literally the backside of the firewall, appropriately covered in pleated black leather just as the rest of the cockpit is (by The Recovery Room in Plattsmouth, Nebraska), with the exception of the instrument “pods.” Serving as a gauge cluster and steering column hanger mount, a 1949 Nash speedo housing flanked by a pair of early GM taillight buckets contain the Classic Instruments gauges in a floating appearance manner, while a gutted ’40s HaDees heater situated similarly above the trans tunnel houses the Vintage Air control panel as well as the incoming air vents. The seat, which at first looks to be a pair of modified buckets, is actually one unit cradled in a bent-tube structure with exposed, dimple-die patterned panels. The center portion contains all the vehicle’s control switches (adorned with 1950 Ford knobs), while below the bottom cushions is the Gen-IV air unit that ducts forward through the insulated framerails Dale constructed. The aforementioned steering column—a custom-built tilt by Tri-C—features an I-Beam steering wheel from Squeeg’s Hot Rod Connection that was further enhanced by Atomic Machine and Design (Lincoln, Nebraska) and wrapped by The Recovery Room.
The Elephant in the (engine) room, Elrod’s vast deviation from stock powertrain components, is as mentioned: the hailed 392 Hemi. Its Hilborn system is managed by a MegaSquirt EFI controller, while a beefed-up GM 200-4R transmission is the go-between for a 3.89-geared Ford 9-inch situated by an in-house designed and built four-link. Below the Chrysler engine is a Kugel IFS with narrowed control arms allowing the 17×7 Schott front wheels the mobility necessary at ride height. A four-way Wilwood disc brake system was used in conjunction with an ABS Power Brake electronic booster. And again, this is all contained within the Boesch-built frame that, among other things, Dale configured to run the exhaust within its interior (by building taller side rails) without sacrificing floor space above.
Without a doubt, Boesch Auto Body and everyone involved did one helluva job with Elrod, reincarnating a roach into an AMBR-contending roadster.
#TheHEMI #HEMI #Mopar #MoparChat #Ford #Hilborn392