John’s 1990 “Identity Crisis” Thunderbird

It’s a beautiful August day, perfect for taking in a car show.  As you wander up and down the rows of cars, you notice what a clean 1950 Ford coupe this is:


That’s when you start to think “Such smooth bodywork, with the sexy post-war curves mellowed out just enough.  And the way the owner worked over that windshield really adds a modern look.  It’s almost as if it was a newer car with older car bodywork grafted onto the front end.”

Well, guess what.

JohnScheel_Thunderbird_ConversionYou’d be right.

This 1990 Thunderbird LX-slash-1950 Ford Coupe was started 14 years ago by John Scheel of Scheel’s Auto Upholstery.  Although John wasn’t the first to do this conversion, he’s quite likely put more work into his than anyone else.  The entire front clip was stretched three inches wider, which means the centre “lump” had to be re-shaped in order to make it look right.  And don’t forget that John had to pull three inches of chrome grill from out of nowhere, so as to wrap around the front end properly.


More metal work was saved for the ass end.  The stock rear fenders were morphed together with the ’50 Ford fenders to create the sharp edges leading into the old car’s taillight housings.  The trunklid was also stretched three inches sideways, although it needed to be “pie-cut.”  That is, the top was sliced the way you would cut up your mama’s saskatoon pie, then re-welded together so it would a) fit right and b) look right.

Under the hood is all original 1990 Ford equipment.  The car is powered by the stock 3.8 litre V6, hooked to a 4-speed automatic.  It’s not a musclecar, but at the very least it’s still a rear-wheel drive vehicle.  And not being a big street monster, it gets great mileage.


Of course, it doesn’t stop with just the bodywork.  The car also features hubcaps from a ’56 or ’57 Olds Fiesta, a pair of vintage-style chrome spotlights, and a set of non-functioning lake pipes.  “That’s a trick we used to do in the 60’s” John explained, “so I did it on here, too.”


All in all, John’s 1950/1990 Ford Coupe/Thunderbird is a wicked ride.  It’s one of only a few examples of a car that blurs the line between oldschool style and new school comfort and convenience, without having hundreds of thousands of dollars invested to make it that way.  The best part is that John’s car is one of many wicked cars, trucks, and bikes featured in SundayCruiseFever.com’s first book, “Class of 2008,” available online December 1st, 2008.  It’s jam-packed with nearly 80 pages of sweet rides, from John’s T-bird to a rare 1926 Pontiac, and from huge pickup trucks to tiny vintage Datsuns.  To find out more, come back for Free Wallpaper Friday for a sneak preview of what’s to come.

If you can’t wait until then, check out the Free Wallpaper Friday archive for more desktop decorations.  Or, if you want something a little more tangible, check out the store to find out about ordering prints, T-shirts, mugs, and more.

 Want this unique content in your magazine, newspaper, newsletter or website?  Contact Jordan Morningstar at (204) 997.8827, or jordan.morningstar-at-gmail.com to find out about licensing images and text for your media outlet.

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