Last we checked in with Marshall Foxworthy and his U.S. Mark II Sports Car, he had just received his sports car body and was up to his neck in research on the car. Click here to review that story.
In the time that’s passed, Marshall has continued his research into the car and its history, and has done a superb job in both planning what needs to be completed and moving forward with key parts of the restoration of the body and completion of the sports car.
Let’s review where he is today with his special sports car – the U.S. Mark II.
Designs and Redesigns:
Marshall Foxworthy is an artist and designer extraordinaire. And he has been getting feedback and assistance through discussions with both Raffi Minasian and Dan Palatnik. Here are some sketches for completing the car with the grille influences taken from the Ford Comete and Cunningham C1. The door panel, though, is of Marshall’s design.
Finding a Chassis:
Here Marshall is removing the body from a nicely acquired 1953 Ford donor car – just like they would of done it back in the 50s but with a few new twists ala Marshall:
Fitting the Body Over the Chassis:
This is a one-man operation for Marshall and he did it like a champ:
Testing Out The 1953 Ford Dashboard:
Should he use this dashboard from the donor car for his Mark II? Let him know your thoughts in the comment area at the end of the story.
Fitting the Steering Wheel and Column:
Marshall also took the time to get a feel for how the 1953 Ford steering wheel and column would look in the car – if he chose to use them. Thoughts here gang?
Cutting the Trunk and Taillight Openings:
Since this is an unused body from the 50s, Marshall had to plan carefully where he’ll need to cut the trunk and taillight openings. Typically there are scribe lines or indentations in the fiberglass that show where to cut – but not on the Mark II body.
Marshall traveled to the legendary (and secretive) Fiberglass Farms to measure one of the Victress S4s we have hidden away. Here’s the car he took the measurements from:
Here’s how he put into play what he learned from the car above:
Testing Two Windshields:
Marshall also tested two different windshields for the Mark II – a flat windshield from the donor car and a wrap around windshield too. Check out both versions below and let him know what you think:
Bumpers ala Virgil Exner’s Chrysler Falcon:
And here is the first version that Marshall has worked up for a front bumper. I can’t wait until we see his plans for the rear bumper. Let him know what you think below gang – in the comments at the end of the story.
It’s clear Marshall Foxworthy still has quite a bit of work ahead of him to complete this sports car. But when you have a firm plan in place, a great design team to work with (Raffi Minasian and Dan Palatnik), and an inspirational design and goal to achieve – anything and everything is possible.
We and the fiber-gang across the world, Marshall, wish you the greatest of success. And keep up posted with progress pictures too 🙂
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…
the 53 ford dash and door caps look GREAT. Go with the curved glass. I’d make an aluminum support at the ends and sand blast the glass away on each side in a diagonal line line from the existing corner to 1 1/2″ in front of the door so you will have enough room for the aluminum support and to cut the doors open and have them function
I feel that taking as much as possible from the 53 Ford adds to the theme integrity of the final car.
It’s all wonderful. Regarding the bumperettes, I like them just fine, but be sure to mount them on supports running from the chassis, and enough space out from the surface of the body skin that a bump on a bumperette won’t immediately shatter the body skin. You have a great match with your Ford dash, it is a great add. Your curved glass is also nice, encorporating the frame for the glass is a good match.
In the story you show a picture of a test fit with a wrap around windshield but no mention of what it was from. I am doing a custom build and need a donor windshield that’s not as wide as the full size American cars. A 1960 Corvette windshield is a possibility but I want to see what alternatives are out there. Can you tell me what that windshield was from and how wide it is tip to tip. Thanks, Jack
Great job sofar Marshall. The backlight-turned windshield looks great. If you can add a trapezoid-shaped section of flat glass on the doors, fading down as they go away from the windshield.
I’d pick a T-Bird dash and steering for a sportier look.
Keep up the good work and keep us posted.
Looking great, especially with the futuristic/retro wraparound back window. I envy the lattitude US engineers allow, here in Australia making something like this it would be very difficult getting it registered. They like modern safety requirements even if it is vintage for any modded car, I think they would make me get an ugly roll cage, bumpers, be fussy about the strength of seatbelt anchors……….
The pics show what a daunting task these projects are…my respect goes out to all who do this.
Wow, nice background work. Very complex project. There are many items I am blessed with on the Alken project it was truly intended to be a bolt on project compared to the need for all of the internal panel fabrication here.
Hi Jeff, thanks for the reply. I really like your posting on The Samba. There is a lot of good information. I have always liked the Alken since I saw the one in Jack Wills book. I actually traded work for my donor car. I worked on a MGTD replica on a 71 VW pan. I had to get it running and freshen up the appearance. A lot of your pictures were very familiar. I still have the torque multiplier needed to get that rear axle nut off :). One thing I found for the Mark-II is a Holley “bug spray” carburetor. It is the largest of the Holley carbs that look like the original Ford flathead carbs. I like the automatic choke as well.
I like the curved windshield better too,more sporty looking. I would try moving it closer to the hood for more door area. The dash is a Yesssssssssss! ,one thing on these cars always looks homemade is the dash, yours would look great. for headlight rings I would try 1956 ford or a simple chrome ring. Willys tail lights . Good luck
Thanks for the reply. In measuring the cabin area of the Mark-II it is very similar to the 55-57 Thunderbird. I will see how the T-Bird glass looks. The curved glass I was playing with is the actual rear window from the donor Ford. I placed it in relative location to the T-Bird’s. As was pointed out to me at Carlisle, it would be unwise to use solid safety glass for the wind screen. The headlight rings and buckets are from a 1955 Studebaker President. The Victress S-4 was designed to use these. They were used on other Studebaker models as well. I have an old Thunderbird headlight ring, same as 56 Ford. It is too big for the lines. I have a set of Willys Aero tail light housings. I just need to order the lenses.
I believe that anyone who frequents this site harbors the dream of finding and completing his own fiberglass creation. This certainly puts a picture to how complicated that process is. In our minds, it is a simple task, but the detail shown here illustrates very obviously how complicated it is in reality.
Best wishes on the project.
I think the dash looks absolutely true to the time period. The wrap around windshield looks much better to me than the flatter one. This is pretty much a blank slate, and which direction you take controls what would be best. Since you are not recreating a known historic car the sky’s the limit, only restricted by the owners taste and abilities.
Hope to see more on this project as time goes on.
Thanks for the reply.
I think that dash looks great, but looking at the awesome job Mr Foxworthy did on the design of the door panel, I’ll bet he can come up with an even better original design! I would vote for the curved windshield and NO bumpers (more sporty in my opinion). No matter which elements he chooses, it looks like he has the talent and the patience to do a great job and produce something really special. Home-made cars look home-made when builders don’t take the time to mind the mundane details (like measuring and cutting the trunk opening perfectly), or get in a hurry to move the project along (I have made these mistakes and paid the price of having to go back and do it the right way). This car is going to be fantastic.
Thanks for the comments. The door panel design used trim parts from the 53 Ford. I have changed some of the control functions and there will be custom back-lit indicators. I thought about a custom dash design and actually have one sketched out. The flatter of the windshields is from the Ford. From what I can find, the Mark-II was made from a Victress S-4. The S-4 in quite a few pictures used this Ford windshield and Victress could supply a set of cast aluminum windshield post. I know of only one set on an extant car. I have also seen a 55-57 Thunderbird windshield frame used. I am not sure quite yet which way to go. The “bumperettes” are a compromise. The full size bumpers were bulky. I wanted to go more for an Italian refined look.
congratulations. great job.
tell me, don palatnik is the brazilian car designer and ilustrator ? nasser
That is the same Dan. We will be working on a model of the Mark-II at some point in the future.
That dash board looks out of place. It would look a lot better in my car! Let me know!
Interesting project you have there! Good luck, Gary
Gary, what kind of car do you have?