ISK Ford Ranch Wagon Gets Custom Wheels, Hood, & Wrap Up

Ford Ranch Wagon Project Part 3: Ironworks Speed & Kustom Hood & One Of A Kind Of Custom Wheels From EVOD Industries

By Ron Covell    –   Photography By Rodger Lee   –   Artwork By Tavis Highlander

In this installment, we’ll wrap up our coverage of the outstanding build on Danny Shaffer’s 1957 Ford Ranch Wagon that’s being constructed at Ironworks Speed & Kustom.

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02 Custom designed wheels with traditional styling and unique detailing for the car
A set of custom wheels was designed for the car. The styling is very traditional but with larger windows and unique detailing.

One-off custom wheels were designed for this project, inspired by Halibrand racing wheels of the ’50s. As with many other components on this car, the wheels were rough sketched by hand, then final design was done in CAD, and they were printed in plastic to make sure everything was spot-on before machining from billet aluminum. The wheels were machined by EVOD Industries then polished to perfection and chrome plated for durability.

03 Test piece printed for elaborate car components before making the parts from expensive billet aluminum
As with many of the elaborate components of the car, a test piece was printed to allow a careful review before committing to making the parts from an expensive aluminum billet.

Read More: Ford Ranch Wagon Project Part 1: Roadster Shop Chassis & GT500 Powertrain

A huge amount of work went to the underhood area, with the goal of cleaning up every surface while keeping an OEM flavor. After exploring several variations, the inlet tube for the fuel injection was routed diagonally across the driver side cylinder head, which required a specially machined adapter to position the throttle body at a precise angle. It is ribbed and contoured so it is consistent with the styling theme used underhood. Special covers were machined to hide the plug wires and the injector wiring, and special grilles with curvaceous louvers were machined for the inner wheel wells.

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04 Fitment check of the printed wheel with the car along with the proportions of all the details on the wheel face
The printed wheel is put into place to check the fitment, along with the proportions of all the details on the wheel face.

Perhaps the crowning touch under the hood is the elaborate cover that stretches between the fenders just forward of the radiator. This elegant construction fits closely around the hood hinges and features a custom-machined badge that closely resembles what Ford might have put on such a cover.

05 CNC machined wheels from EVOD Industries polished and chrome plated
After both the front and rear wheel sizes and profiles were verified, these are the “real deal,” beautifully CNC machined from billet by EVOD Industries, then polished and chrome plated.

Read More: Ford Ranch Wagon Project Part 2: 3D Printed & CNC Machined Parts Provide a Truly Unique Flare

The heads and the entire engine block were painstakingly ground smooth, so they would be as nicely finished as any other detail on this top-level build.

06 Detailed underhood area with a 45 degree angled intake tube
A tremendous amount of work went into detailing the underhood area. After several studies, the intake tube was positioned at a 45-degree angle, which required a special, angled throttle body adapter.

You may remember from the last article that the interior of the car was modeled on the style of the 1960 Ford Thunderbird. A special hood scoop was designed and fabricated to pay further homage to the vintage bird, and as with many other details it was first freehand sketches, then computer modeled, and printed in plastic to check the fit and design before any metal was cut. This was a major undertaking and comprises the biggest change to the exterior sheet metal. The results are outstanding, and the scoop and its bezel look like they were factory-designed for this car.

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07 Close up shot of the adapter mockup for the Nick Williams throttle body
Here’s a close-up shot of the adapter mockup for the Nick Williams throttle body being used with the Holley Dominator ECU.

Read More: The Ultimate Buick Riviera Build?

The finished bodywork is just being completed as we wrap up this article, and it won’t be long until you see the finished result on these pages. Be sure to tune in for that!  MR

09 Detailed computer model of the custom throttle body adapter
Here’s a highly detailed computer model of the custom throttle body adapter.
10 Final components machined from billet aluminum
These are the final components just after being machined from billet aluminum.
11 Trial fit of the machined components with the printed covers for the intake tube and radiator
The machined components are installed here. A trial fit is done on the printed covers for the intake tube, the radiator, the front valance panel, and vented grilles for the inner fender panels.
12 Front valance panel CNC machined from billet aluminum
Here is the front valance panel beautifully CNC machined from billet aluminum.
13 Side view of the valence and radiator cover showing the precision fit
A side view of the valence and radiator cover gives a different perspective. Note how beautifully everything fits together.
14 Hand detailing of the CNC machined components before polishing
The CNC machined components are carefully hand-detailed before polishing.
15 Engine compartment with detailed components maintaining an OEM flavor
You can see how much these components clean up the engine compartment while still maintaining an OEM flavor.
16 Hand detailed surfaces of the block and heads to smooth any bumps and texture
All surfaces of the block and heads were meticulously hand-detailed to smooth any bumps and texture.
17 Renderings of a Thunderbird style scoop to be added to the hood
Early in the project a plan was hatched to add a Thunderbird-style scoop to the hood. Many renderings were made. This one was selected as the best of the bunch.
18 Computer model guide for the fabrication of the hood scoop
With the general design finalized, a computer model was made to guide the fabrication.
19 Plastic printed scoop and bezel for size and placement check before committing to metal
The scoop and bezel were printed in plastic to check the size and placement before committing to metal.
20 Hand fabricated sheet metal scoop placed on the hood for checking with the printed bezel
Here the hand-fabricated sheet metal scoop is placed on the hood, and it’s being checked with the printed bezel.
21 CNC machined bezel from billet aluminum joined to the hood
The bezel was CNC machined from billet aluminum, fastened to the scoop, and here they are being joined to the hood.
22 Underhood bracing stripped and smoothed for detailed body surfaces
All surfaces on the body will be highly detailed. Here the underhood bracing is stripped and smoothed.
23 Primer coat applied to seal the hood top side and bottom
A coat of primer is used to seal the hood, top side, and bottom.
24 Shot of the body completely smoothed and ready for the painting process
Here’s a shot of the body, completely smoothed, gapped, and ready for the start of the painting process. Look for an article on the finished car coming soon.

Ironworks Speed & Kustom
(661) 399-8999

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