1947 Ford Custom Sportsman Woody Convertible
Chassis Number: 799A1499547
This 1947 Ford Sportsman has been highly modified! Engine is a 468 cubic inch big block Chevrolet, aluminum heads, Edelbrock performer single 4-barrel manifold and carburetor, frame stock Ford boxed rails, front disc brakes, 9" Ford rear-end, digital gauges, Pioneer stereo system, Eldorado 6-way power seats, power steering, power windows, Vintage air, Budnick wheels and more…
Article from Street Rodder Magazine 1996:
It might be hard for a Ford Woodie enthusiast to street rod a Sportsman convertible, considering the rarity of the particular model. For someone like Mike DeVriendt, who’s owned over 20 different woodies, there wasn’t a second thought – well, at least not until after he located a total of three Sportsmans there definitely wasn’t any doubt. Besides, how often do you see a rodded woodie ragtop, moreover, one as beautiful as this? Mike knew he had the perfect opportunity to create a truly unique piece. This isn’t your simple resto-job, lowered with a set of cool wheels. Mike went all-out with his ’47, from the fully-detailed chassis to the immaculate metal and woodwork. Even a true classic connoisseur could appreciate the fine craftsmanship that went into the woodie. Mike purchased the Sportsman from a party that had owned the car for 16 years, and had already begun a full restoration. There were a ton of NOS parts included in the deal, also. The decision wasn’t ultimately made to go for a street rod approach until Mike happened upon two other Sportsman woodies – after that, there was no uneasiness about cutting up such a rare bird. Things kicked off with the chassis, which was handled by Street Pros in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The original frame was retained, just improved with boxed rails and new crossmembers (with all welds ground and finished, and final paint that matches the quality of the exterior). For suspension, Fat Jack’s four-link was used, along with a Deuce Factory Panhard bar and All-American coil-overs out back. On the opposite end, Kugel Komponents’ beautiful stainless IFS was installed, set up with disc brakes and Chrysler rack and pinion steering. Next, a mild Chevy big block, prepared by Grier Manning, and Turbo 350 transmission were dropped in place, connected to the Ford nine-inch rear end by a driveshaft from Driveline Service. With the chassis completed, Mike contacted Ray Phillips for the metal work. Nothing totally extreme was done, but the top was chopped a few inches, fenders molded to the body, custom running boards made, and a ’42 Ford passenger car hood was used. The stock grille was retained, as were the headlights (and they remain unfrenched). Brian Bradfield took over from there, coating almost all the exterior metal with PPG two-stage black cherry enamel. The woodwork followed, and entailed carving exquisite maple slats with birch inserts. The upper door pieces were fashioned without door handles or key holes, and the trunk was also formed without any exterior protrusions. Adding just the right amount of contrast to the body is a set of fully-polished Billet Specialties Legacy wheels with Goodyear Eagle tires, smoothed and chromed bumpers, and a burgundy cloth top. Last, but by no means least, Mike turned the ’47 over to Ron Nelson and Jim Skinner at Auto Weave (in Denver) for some new interior attire. The new inner ensemble features Eldorado bucket seats, custom-made rear cushions, and stylish door panels, all covered in maroon leather. Roger Seymour customized a ’41 Ford dash to Mike’s liking, then fit it with digital gauges, a Vintage Air panel and vents, and the Pioneer CD controller. A leather-wrapped Boyds steering wheel was chosen, both for its good looks and comfortable grip, and rests atop a GM tilt column. Some purists might not be overwhelmed with joy when they see a street rodded rarity such as this Sportsman convertible, but then again, we’re not in the hobby to preserve classic cars – we’re here to build street rods. There are exceptions, but Mike’s ’47 is clearly a topnotch rod. If he ever gets any flack from a classic car buff, he can show them the other two Sportsmans!