Custom Beyond Belief: Wicked Fabrication’s 1951 Ford For Bruce Leven

If you’ve ever looked at a car, whether it was a bone stock or all dolled up for the custom scene, and thought of the endless routes to take, this beautiful shoebox Ford should be right up your alley. Built to resemble what the proud owner would have liked to have seen in a 1950s factory Ford race car, the amount of customization, attention to detail and value (both monetarily and hourly) put into this very special custom are astonishing!

Many times we hear that a build was done with “no expense spared.” Well, this one certainly fits the bill!

Inspired by vintage 1950s and 1960s race cars–particularly Ron Dunn’s 1950 Ford Club Coupe–owner Bruce Leven set out to create a car that would be the best of all worlds. Not only would this Ford be classic in design and power, but it would also be as custom as possible, performance-oriented and as close to perfect as possible

The result? This 1951 Ford Coupe built by Wicked Fabrication of Auburn, Washington, with extensive work put into the car by other big names like Byers Custom & Restoration, Shaver Racing Engines, Stitches Custom Auto Upholstery, and Vintage Engineering.

This Coupe underwent extensive bodywork to transform it into the car you see here. First, the car was wedge-sectioned 2 ½ inches up front and 5 ½-inches in the rear, lowering the car’s roofline considerably. That roof was then pancaked by 1 ½ inches. It was also outfitted with a custom air scoop, which smartly filled in the gap created by both sides of the car being removed, reshaped and then put back in place.

Up front, the car was treated to even more customization with a handmade pancaked aluminum hood with hand-hammered louvers, a one-off grille, and a custom chin pan. Moving towards the back of the car, you may notice that the lower quarter has been extended by 1 ¼ inches while the rear quarters have been reshaped to fit the revised flow of the car’s body. The car also received a custom tail pan.

Radiused and flared wheel wells aid in giving the car its tucked stance, along with the suspension components underneath. Custom inner fender inserts, which feature hand-hammered louvers because there wasn’t a punch that fit the build plan, are an impressive finishing touch to the car’s extensive metalwork.

Finishing off the exterior is a gorgeous custom PPG Gray exterior paint scheme based on a 1954 Mercedes Benz 300SL paint color, laid by Byers Custom. The car was then topped off with flush-mount glass, chrome components from Master Chrome, and stainless and aluminum trim polished by Proflections Metal Polishing. As another ode to traditional racing style, hood and trunk straps, as well as the flush-mount, side-exit exhaust and “Lincoln” insignia just behind the doors act as finishing touches to the magnificent build.

Every detail was thought of for the car’s interior, from the color combinations to the custom pedal assembly and shifter extension.

If you thought the exterior of this thing was badass, just take a look at the completely custom interior by Stitches Custom Auto Upholstery. Dressed out in a slightly lighter blue-gray color than the car’s body, the cockpit is a one-off enthusiast’s dream, with custom distressed Denim Blue and Tracker Brown leather seats with custom riveting, matching door panels with pull-strap door pulls, and tons of exposed metal components. Be sure to check out the custom pedal assembly to the gearshift extension crafted to put the shift lever in a more comfortable position for the driver.

Custom metalwork inside the aircraft-inspired interior includes the custom dash outfitted with Classic Instrument gauges inside custom housings, the transmission tunnel, and the expertly form floors, covered in fancy German carpeting. Up above, a distressed Irish Cream leather headliner gives the interior a little extra pop, making way for the custom overhead switch panel.

So the car has all the looks of a classic race car, but does it have the performance components to back up the aesthetics? You betcha!

Powering the ’51 Ford in classic racing style is a 1956 Lincoln 368ci V8 built by Shaver Racing Engines.  There’s more to the powerplant than traditional 1950s racing-style power. Outfitted with a polished and nitrated crank, 7-inch CP Carllio H-beam connecting rods, JE pistons, stainless Manley heads, and a single stage, belt-driven oil pump, the Lincoln engine is considerably massaged and modernized. Adding even more of an “Ahh” factor to the car is the fuel injected Hilborn stacks that sit on top of the engine, one of just four sets in existence. Did we mention that no expense was spared on this build?!

 

Traditional Lincoln power mixed with rare Hilborn fuel injection is just the right combination to power this magnificent custom!

Because of the Hilborn stacks, the engine is a lot taller than what the hood was initially meant for, so to make it work, the engine was mounted lower in the car’s Art Morrison frame than normal and then outfitted with a custom pan. Producing a respectable 375hp and 389lb-ft of torque, the engine is backed by a BorgWarner T-5 transmission shifted using the completely custom shifter and pedal assembly in the car.

Giving the car its superior handling capabilities and real competition-level maneuverability is a complete Art Morrison front suspension system attached to the AM chassis with custom rails up front. Out back, an independent rear suspension with custom control arms and Koni coil overs work nicely with a quick-change rear end. Planting the car to the pavement are Vintage Engineering, real magnesium 1930 Halibrand Novi Indy car knock-off wheels measuring 15 by 5 ½ inches in the front and 15 by 7 inches in the rear, and wrapped yellow-lettered Goodyear tires.

One truly magnificent build, this ’51 Ford is making waves everywhere it goes, including at the 2016 SEMA Show where it won the Goodguys Gold Award as well as the Gran Turismo Award!

Incredible; impeccable; impressive; one-of-a-kind – all of these terms seem understated for a car like this. After all, we’re talking about hundreds of hours, incredible talent and hundreds of thousands of dollars that went into creating this ride, not to mention some of the rarest engine components on the planet and probably the most extensive collection of custom pieces we’ve ever seen on one build. It doesn’t happen often, but we are truly speechless!

For more photos of this amazing custom Ford, be sure to check out the Rod Authority Photo Gallery below!

Photo gallery

VIEW FULL GALLERY >

About the author

Lindsey Fisher

Lindsey is a freelance writer and lover of anything with a rumble. Hot rods, muscle cars, motorcycles - she's owned and driven it all. When she's not busy writing about them, she's out in her garage wrenching away. Who doesn't love a tech-savy gal that knows her way around a garage?
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