Carl Fleischmann's 1929 Ford

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Carl's roadster as it appeared when it was featured in Hot Rod Magazine January 1953.

1929 Ford Model A Roadster owned and built by Carl Fleischmann of Glendale, California. Carl owned and operated a shop in Glendale named Hobba Garage.[1] Carl's highboy consisted of a 1929 Ford Model A roadster body installed on a 1932 Ford frame. When Fleischmann got the body it was a real "dog", and he spent many hours restoring it to flawless condition. The frame was kept unchanged, except for the front crossmember which was moved ahead to accept a 1936 Ford front end assembly. The assembly featured a dropped and filled axle, and it was moved ahead in order to retain the original wheelbase. The split wishbones were anchored to the frame by '34 style, spring-loaded tie rod ends. A shortened 1940 Ford steering was installed using a Lincoln Zephyr pitman arm for a quicker ratio. The entire front end was chrome plated. Carl hand formed a full belly-pan from 18 gauge body steel. The belly-pan enclosed the frame. A 1934 Ford rearend with 3.54 gears was installed along with a column shifted 1940 Ford transmission that held 25-tooth Zephyr gears and a 10 inch Ford clutch pressure plate couples with a Zephyr disc. The headers swept into a collector beneath each door. Instead of the flathead's usual three headers on each side, Carl routed four trough the hood sides. The fourth fed twin mufflers and tailpipes when the collectors were plugged for street driving. A 1932 Ford grille shell was installed along with nerf bars up front and back. The nerf bars were hand-formed of bar stock and chromed. Carl fabricated a one-piece hood top and side panels. The side panels were heavily louvered in order to ventilate the engine compartment. The brakes were Kinmonts, and the engine was a 3/8 x 3/8, 296 cubic inch 1948 Mercury engine that was ported an relieved. The engine featured 1 5/8 inch intake valves, JE three-ring solid skirt pistons and a Winfield SU/1A cam. The ignition was Carl's own Zephyr conversion with a four-lobe cam, dual pistons and coils. Two centrifugal McCulloch VR57 superchargers were added to the engine as well. The claimed power increase of each supercharger was 38 percent. Carl plumbed each carburetor and blower to feed its own cylinder bank. He also fabricated the intake manifolds on which the blowers were mounted. In order to keep the blowers and carburetors under the hood, Carl built a plenum for a pair of Stromberg 48s back near the firewall instead of the standard location that is atop the blower.[2] The interior was upholstered in natural-colored leatherette. The steering wheel and dash panel were hand made. Carl spent six years and $600 building the roadster. It landed a featured story in Hot Rod Magazine January 1953, before it was fully completed. Carl did all the bodywork himself.[1]

Parts of the car's history remains a mystery. It was last licensed in 1958, In 1963 Carl passed away. When Carl passed away, the roadster was bequeathed to Carl's friend Ralph Jilek. Ralph passed away in 1966, and his mother was left with two cars and a shop full of power tools. Mrs. Jilek called Clay Jensen of Valley Custom Shop, and Mrs. Jilek and Clay came to an agreement that $800 was a fair price for the roadster, Ralph Jilek's 1940 Ford Convertible and the power tools. The roadster went to Clay's son Reed Jensen, and the convertible to his brother Ron Jensen. Most of the tools went to Bruce Jensen, the third brother. During hard acceleration the carburetors couldn't supply enough fuel mixture in proportion to the air drawn in by the blowers. Before Fleischmann died, he started to revamp the blowers to a fuel injected, two stage operation. This was never completed, and in 2012, the car was featured in The Rodder's Journal Number Fifty Six. By then it hadn't run since Carl tore it down, and it was missing a few pieces like one of the hood side panels, the seat, and inner door panels. It was still owned by Reed at the time.[2]

Magazine Features

Hot Rod Magazine January 1953
The Rodder's Journal Number Fifty Six



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