Bengt Wennergren's 1949 Ford

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Bengt with a can of oil during a pit stop in Italy. Curious Italian teenagers are admiring the Swedish Metalflaked custom. Photo from The Bengt Wennergren Photo Collection.
A rear end shot of Bengt's Ford from the trip to Italy. Photo from The Bengt Wennergren Photo Collection.
A rear view photo of Bengt's '49 taken by Håkan Lindell after he moved back to Sweden in 1964. Photo from The Håkan Lindell Photo Collection.
Lars Erik Ljungkvist's 1932 Ford roadster next to Bengt's Ford at the 1965 Hot Rod Show. Photo courtesy of Sven and Maude Sandberg, from

1949 Ford owned and restyled by Bengt Wennergren of Enskedefältet in Stockholm, Sweden. Bengt bought the Shoebox-Ford from Leif "Grillkorven" Rose, a friend of Bosse Kasby. Leif had started customizing the car, but parked it when it was halfway done, and it stayed untouched for about a year after that. Bengt was keen on 1949 - 1951 Fords, and he already owned a 1951 Ford Coupe before the '49. When he started to tear down the '51 he discovered that it had been built from several cars, and that it was a total mess, and the car needed a lot of love and care in order to become a decent ride again. A Malte Månson built flathead engine had been installed in the car prior to Bengt bought it. As Bengt was only into overhead Chevrolet V-8's, he sold off the flathead so he could buy a 283 Chevrolet mill. A guy called "Lasse Bråttom" offered to buy the '51 for a good price, so Bengt sold it off and bought the '49 instead. The '51 went to the junkyard a couple of years later. "Grillkorven" had already restyled the rear end of the car when Bengt bought it. Bengt didn't like the new rear end at all, but he did what he could to make it look better. Bosse "Gamen" Sandberg's girlfriend Karin Sandberg had upholstered the car. The seats were done in black and blue vinyl and the door and kick panels panels were black. "Fussi Wussi" floor mats were used on the floors. After Bengt had completed the build, the car was painted in blue Metalflake. Bengt ordered the Metalflake from Ove Kasby at BoMac Racing. The car was painted November 22, 1963, and Bengt remembers hearing about the assassination of John F. Kennedy as they were working on the car. No one in Sweden had experience painting Metalflake, but Bengt found a painter with a good reputation. Before he painted Bengt's car, he test-painted a helmet that came out perfect. According to Bengt, the paint on the car didn't come out as good as the helmet, and he believes that he had too much pressure.[1]

In 1964 Bengt drove the Metalflaked version of the Ford to Italy. Before Bengt laid out on the trip, he had some problems with the engine; "I pulled the engine apart two times, as there wasn't any oil coming up trough the valve-rockers. Richard and I tried to solve the problem, but it didn't seem to be anything wrong with it. As we were working on it, Bosse Kasby stopped by to check out how we were doing. Bosse had just returned from California, where he had encountered the same issue. He asked me what camshaft and distributor I ran. It turned out that the Duntov camshaft missed an oil channel, so when I adjusted the ignition, I strop the oil flow to the heads. We did a quick and dirty fix, and adjusted the distributor until we had oil in the heads, then we turned the distributor parts until we had proper ignition." The engine ran perfect all the way, and Bengt remembers that it didn't use any oil at all. He got a bad noise in the drive-shaft though, and he had to replace one of the u-joints at a French garage using Ford Vedette parts.[1]

Bengt owned the '49 for about 5 years.[1]



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