1949 Ford "The Foose Ford" Custom Coupe
- From the collection of Mr. Skip Barber
- Designed by Harry Bentley Bradley
- Built by Donn Lowe and Sam Foose
- Former Rod & Custom cover car
The original design for this “shoebox” Ford was published by noted custom car and Hot Wheels designer Harry Bentley Bradley, creator of the infamous Deora, in a 1983 edition of Street Rodder magazine. They caught the eye of Donn Lowe, who began in 1996 to build the car that Bradley had dreamed. The project was eventually sold to Jack Barnard and completed by the legendary Sam Foose, giving rise to the name of “The Foose Ford,” by which the car has been known ever since.
The Foose Ford’s smooth, understated, yet arresting appearance is created using a wedge-sectioned 1949 Ford body with a 2½ -inch chopped top and a windshield laid back six inches. Other accents included a customized 1949 Ford grille ornament, frenched 1952 headlight rims, and custom-fabricated steel body trim, as well as carefully modified bumpers with custom rear exhaust outlets. Bathed in a deep PPG Phantom Green finish, the Ford is set off by gleaming brightwork and painted steel wheels with beauty rings, original-style Ford script hubcaps, and wide whitewall tires, giving it an appearance that recalls later Ford designs while also remaining true to its classic “shoebox” roots.
The interior, created under the supervision of Chip Foose, features Glide Engineering front seats and a custom rear seat, with rich grey leather and mohair upholstery by Gabe Lopez. The smoothed original dashboard houses restored original instruments, a Vintage Air air conditioning system, and a two-spoke billet steering wheel mounted on a 1973 Cadillac tilt column. The car is complete with remote entry, a Kenwood stereo system with an Alpine CD player, and a powerful sound system, all the necessities for a modern high-end custom.
Under the hood is a 302-cubic inch GT40 crate engine from Ford Motorsports with a 1950s Cadillac-style air cleaner and Edelbrock intake, as well as Ford Racing headers. The frame incorporates a 1972 Nova front clip with Fat Man control arms and a stout Ford nine-inch rear assembly with 3.00:1 gears. The result is a car with modern engineering under classic design, which has been featured on the cover of the February 1999 issue of Rod & Custom magazine, and in 2002, it was selected to take part in the Ford Motor Company display at the world-renowned Woodward Dream Cruise.
Beautifully designed and constructed, with clean lines that are both sophisticated and extreme, “The Foose Ford” is likely the most spectacular custom take on the trendsetting “shoebox.”