Mike Akens Victress S1A Is Complete!


Presenting…..Mike Akens Beautifully Done Victress S1A Roadster

Hi Gang…

I’ve been tracking Mike Akens Victress since he bought it in a remote location of Colorado back in 2014.   Right from the start, Mike jumped on its restoration and hasn’t looked back.  You can check out his first story in 2014 where he discussed his “find”, his plans, the beginning restoration and, of course photos.

Click Here To View Mike Akens Victress S1A Story When It All Began in 2014

As you read the first story, you’ll learn that Mike wasn’t really restoring his Victress.  Instead, he was modernizing all aspects of its performance down to the frame.  For example, his plans at the time called for:

  • Custom frame based on the Factory Five Cobra design
  • Independent rear suspension based on a Ford Thunderbird Supercoupe differential
  • Ford racing 5.0 Coyote engine package with Tremec Cobra R 5-speed transmission
  • Disc brakes
  • Independent front suspension
  • Rack and pinion steering
  • And more

Earlier this year Mike contacted me again and shared the progress that he had made – in fact the Victress was nearly done.  It really looked great earlier this year and you can check out Mike’s story below:

Click Here To Review Mike Akens Victress Story From Early 2020

Recently I heard from Mike that his Victress was finished, and he sent in beautiful photos which I can share with you today.  So let’s checkout his story and the photos Mike sent in and away we go 🙂


The Speedometer and Tach have the Victress Logo Printed in the upper part of each gauge. And check out that cool Victress steering wheel (custom horn button, of course).

From The Desk of Mike Akens
September 14, 2020

Geoff….

Victress Complete!

I am pleased to report that after 7 long years my Victress S1A is now finished. I am attaching some pictures that I took Sunday morning when I got up early for the Hagerty Dawn Patrol event. The photos don’t due justice to the color which everyone who has seen it say is awesome. I got the car back from upholstery last Thursday and worked long hours Friday and Saturday to complete. Thanks for all your help and encouragement during my quest.

Mike Akens Behind The Wheel of his newly completed Victress S1A Roadster – Way to go Mike!

My Victress S1A has the following components:

  • Custom built (by myself) backbone frame with main rails being 3″ by 4″ rectangular tubing
  • The rear suspension includes a Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe IRS rear differential with rear swing arms and CV shafts from Factory Five for a pin drive Cobra Replica.  This results in the correct track for the Victress body.
  • The front suspension uses Factory Five spindles and tubular lower control arms and SPC race car style adjustable upper control arms.

The steering rack is also from Factory Five along with the steering wheel. Coil over shocks are used at all four corners. The Engine and five speed transmission are from Ford Performance with the 5.0 Coyote at near 440 horsepower. The exhaust include short tube headers and ceramic coated side pipes extended to reach the rear of the doors. Cooling is with an aluminum radiator and electric fan. The engine serpentine belt system simply spins the water pump and alternator. I installed a Vintage Air heater /defroster for the cool Colorado mornings.

Wipers are from a new MG style system. An old style radio with push buttons is in the dash. Gauges are from Speedhut in Salt Lake City and the tach and speedo have Victress logos. The roll bar was hand built by me and chrome plated by Odgen Chrome. The only body modifications are the “gills” in the front fenders installed by someone before me but they were nicely done so I left them on, and the gas filler I installed on top of the fender as well as the tail light mounts that I added.

The doors are supported by original Victress hinges which open up and out with a mild “lambo” style. The door handles are from an Opel GT which are the light and simple to install. The headlight buckets are hand made by me as well and the extended headlight rings are from an Opel GT. The headlights are the same size as a standard 7″ sealed beam but have LED park and turn lights incorporated which eliminated the need to add extra lights to the front.

Love That Custom Victress Logo on the Front

What a nice finishing touch for a gas cap

The rear lights are 50 Pontiac style as used on many Victress build but are very bright LED units. The hood and hinges are original Victress units and believe or not the engine will come out through the hood opening. The hood is supported when open by gas struts which are not period correct but handy. The trunk is small with lots of room used up by the IRS framing and the 15 gallon aluminum fuel cell. Access panels are in the trunk floor for easy servicing of the fuel pump and filter.

The wiring is mostly hidden with a Ron Francis harness merged with the Ford control box for the fuel injection. Optima battery is in the trunk. The trunk hinges are from a Triumph TR hood. The engine has a Moroso road race style oil pan and pickup to allow it to be mounted low and the oil filter was relocated with double filter mount to add oil capacity and cooling. The windshield frame includes the three uprights I got from Geoff Hacker and the other parts were hand made by me.

The frame was powder coated before I added the aluminum interior panels which are riveted and bonded to the frame. Interior is simple with carpet in the cockpit and low back bucket seats from Procar. This is an entirely new car except for the 67 year old body and the rear diff housing which has all new internals with a 3:55 ratio. The real dedication to a 50’s build is the floor mounted dimmer switch!

This has been a real dream to build and it’s a gas to drive!

 

Summary:

The finish on Mike’s Victress is superb and it really plays well with the body making the lines and style really stand out.  Great job Mike and it’s been an honor watching you go thru the restoration these past several years.  I bet you see some positive comments and more below.  Let ’em know what you think gang 🙂

Hope you enjoyed the story, and remember…

The adventure continues here at Undiscovered Classics.

Geoff


Comments

Mike Akens Victress S1A Is Complete! — 13 Comments

  1. Hello Mike,

    What a fantastic job you have done here. I love the car!
    I want to do the exhaust on my LaDawri Conquest like you have done on your Victress.

    Can you tell me who’s side pipes those are, and what is the diameter of them?

    I can only hope to follow your lead on such a great build.

    Thank you,

    Mike Machado
    Gardnerville, NV

    1957 LaDawri Conquest, with a lot of work to do.

    • Thanks for the comment. My side pipes are from Factory Five Racing that are used on Cobra roadster replicas. The body of the side pipes are 4″ outside diameter and the pipe sections are 3.5″ diameter. My S1A is about 10″ longer wheelbase so I had to extend them to reach the back of the doors. You probably will need the connector pipes they sell as well.

      • Thank you for the side pipe source, I really appreciate the help. I really hope one day to meet you and see your car in person. What a real treat that would be.

        Thanks again, be blessed.

  2. Nice mike! Love the color. I am with you putting modern performance in a timeless classic. Did you make the Victress logo horn button or did you have it made somewhere? I would love to get one for my C3 coupe looks like we might have the same steering wheel. Beautiful car.

    • I have a local Trophy shop build the Steering wheel center and my wheel centers. I had a computer nerd convert the Victress Logos from one of the brochures Geoff has posted. Not too expensive. I could email you those logos and I am sure most Trophy shops could build you one. Geoff has my phone number to text me or he has my email address.

  3. You have done an incredible job, Mike. The Victress is gorgeous, inside and out! Just curious: wheel base 102 inches (S-1), or 99 inches (S-1A)? From the pics I’d guess the latter. Love to talk any time. Geoff has my number.

    Merrill Powell

  4. Ok…so I looked at the linked story from earlier this year and saw the mint metallic…the car actually looks pretty good in plain ol refrigerator white.

  5. Great Job Mike! BEAUTIFUL!!! If you ever decide on a southern road trip, I would love to see it here in Albuquerque. Geoff has my email if you decide to drive on down and if your up for it, the least I could do is grab the check at lunch or dinner. Love the color, what green is that? I would also like to know, if isn’t too nosy how much you put into the resto.

    • The paint is from NAPA Martin Senor’s prospector color chip set. I can email you the formula number if needed. Has a really strange name that I will have to look up. Might just get to Albuquerque next spring, I talked to Merrill Powell for a long chat a few days ago and may drag my car to show him. I will keep checking on the COVID mess before making any plans. As for the cost with me doing all the labor except frame powdwercoating, final paint & prep and the carpet I am over $50k. Don’t tell my wife! Thanks for your comments!

      • Thanks for the reply Mike, let’s hope that the Covid mess is behind us this coming spring. Looking forward to seeing the Victress!!!

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