Rear panels and trunk lock for my 1930 Ford coupe

At the rear of an A model Ford coupe, there is a panel which is located under the trunk which runs across the bottom edge of the body, curving around to each fender on the sides. For some reason, this panel is often missing and my coupe body is no exception. Faced with this missing piece, I decided to make a close copy, based on 2x1" (50x25mm) steel tubing, bent to shape. I bent it by cutting slots in the rear with a hack saw and then curving the tube to be as close as possible to the shape of the body lower extremity. Not an easy task as I found out, as re-welding the saw cuts, results in "pulling" to make a more severe curve. Be warned! Weld only a little at a time, and let it cool down. The pics. below show an alternate light mount hole, since deleted. The ends were curved, using some shaped 3mm plate. I clamped another scrap tube to the "panel" to ensure the ends are fitted straight.

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Last modified August 13, 2010

This is a shot of the right hand side. At one stage I was going to fit the blinkers into this panel and actually cut the holes, but then decided that the lights looked out of place. So, they were welded up again! Another piece of tube was welded underneath, but at right angles and recessed a little and alternate lights were fitted. These are visible from the sides and rear but when standing at the rear of the car, are virtually hidden. In this state, these lights must conform to a maximum of 400mm from the edge of the car, or fender.

The lower panel extends below the floor level and needs to be blended back up into it. I made this panel at school, which is viewed from what would be the right hand side of the car. The left side of the picture has a folded up edge that will be welded to the light panel whilst the right hand top will form a stiffener rib across the car upon which the rear most floor sheet will sit. Although not really visible unless you were to crawl under the rear of the car, I gave it a recess (right hand picture) using a beading machine to add a bit of "interest" to the otherwise flat steel.
Since I am using the trunk as a trunk, I added a gutter on the rear beaver panel, to drain away the water from the side gutters. At each end of the new gutter, I bronzed in a brass drain pipe. A plastic hose will drain the water to the outside.

Under the gutter, a folded "L" section steel panel about 2.5" (65mm) high was made to stiffen the gutter section and also to mount the trunk lock. This is a small, compact lock from a Mazda and the release arm was extended so that a cable release can be fitted. A couple of tapped spacers were welded to the panel for mounting the lock. A piece of 3/4" (19mm) square tube in the centre, will take the thrust of the lock down to the floor, to add further rigidity to the panel. I need some form of "popper" also, as this lock has no spring release. Another item to be made! I also need to make a neat exit hole for the gutter drain and the sunroof from the body and a cover for the lock.

The blue tube at right is a temporary prop.

Dec 2000 The rear gutter and side extension gutters have now been welded in. This really tightens up that rear panel.

Here is a view from under the side of the car, where the panel shown above has been fitted onto place. The bottom left edge is to be welded from the inside onto the blinker panel and the top right side now forms a rib across the car for the rear floor panel to sit on.

This panel is fitted in my car due to the stepped up rear floor (and chassis) section.

There's a temporary prop holding it in place at the moment.

Oxy/acet Welding was used, as it gives better control in tight areas and easy weld cleanup.
The drain hole was radiused by grinding the end of a suitable bolt and hammering it into the hole.
The dashed lines indicate the 4" bobbing which will be done on the rear fenders later. Original stop/tail lights will be fitted also.
Dec 30 2001