Ford Ranch Wagon Project Part 2: 3D Printed & CNC Machined Parts Provide a Truly Unique Flare
Work continues at Ironworks Rod and Kustom on Danny Schaffer’s 1957 Ford Ranch Wagon. The interior of this car has been completely redesigned, from the custom headliner to the numerous CNC-machined components on the dash, doors, and console that are unique but made to have an OEM character. Using a 1960 Thunderbird as inspiration, most of the interior was fabricated from scratch, with Tavis Highlander, from Highlander Concept Rendering, making dozens of sketches for details, large and small, before the fabrication commenced. This design utilizes bucket seats both front and back.
A steel Thunderbird dashboard was modified to fit the cowl area of the Ranch Wagon, and all the details were custom designed, including the gauge cluster, the glove box door, and the bezel for the radio faceplate and center air conditioner ducts. As with many details on this project, the locations of interest were scanned, then the components were designed in CAD and often 3D printed in plastic for evaluation before CNC machining the final parts from billet aluminum.
Ford Ranch Wagon Project Part 1: Roadster Shop Chassis & GT500 Powertrain
The center console was a major project, with an elegantly machined bezel that incorporates the air conditioner controls, the shift lever, the door window controls, and two conveniently positioned cup holders. All of this was fitted above a custom-fabricated transmission and driveshaft cover.
Custom Under Dashboard Panel
A special panel was made to fit under the dashboard, which incorporates two more air conditioner vents, and these machined components extend into the door panels, featuring an elegant, bullet-shaped armrest.
Custom Door Panels
Custom door and side panels were designed then cut with a CNC router from high-density urethane foam board. This rigid board will be the backing for thin upholstery foam and the final leather top surface.
Read More: ‘57 Ford Ranchero Dual-Purpose Hot Rod
Rear Seats & Custom Armrests
The rear seating area required a lot of special fittings as well, and custom armrests were designed to integrate with the bucket seats. These parts were 3D printed from plastic to check the fit before being made in fiberglass. They will be covered with foam and leather. A custom-machined aluminum bezel was made to cap each armrest, following the style of the bezel on the console.
CAD Based Headliner
The headliner was a major undertaking. While most cars used stretched fabric for the headliner, the plan for this car was to make something rigid, with only one joint separating the front seating area from the rear. The interior of the roof was scanned, and a simple but elegant headliner shape was designed, along with the trim pieces and the hardware that will hold it securely in place.
Parting Shot: Lady Luck II The Iconic T-Bucket
Once the design was completed in CAD, a CNC router was used to carve blocks of foam to the precise shape needed, and fiberglass molds were made. Fiberglass parts were made from these molds, which are the basis for the new headliner. Careful attention was paid to concealing all the fasteners. Some fasteners are hidden by the six custom-machined trim pieces in the rear section, and there is a machined aluminum bezel, made in a style like the console, that covers the fasteners in the front.
As you can see, the interior of this project was done with a degree of design and precision that ensures it will stand out from the crowd. In the next article, you will see how a similar level of refinement is brought to the engine compartment. MR
Ironworks Speed and Kustom