Updated: Dec 27, 2019
If you have been following the work on this restoration project you can tell that at times the family gets involved and through the photos, videos, and reports you read it would be easy to ascertain that I am a family man. This past week I took time out from any work on the car to celebrate Thanksgiving with the family and to reflect upon God’s goodness to me personally. The Jessup family, like many others, looks forward to these holiday events when we all get together to spend time with each other and of course that usually includes a scrumptious meal!
You can tell from the photo above that I put something in the smoker – most years we either smoke or deep fry a turkey, and last week was no different. At 6:00 am I woke up to get the fire going in the side box. The grill is a gas fired unit but I added a smoker box a few years back, and by covering the stacks on top of the grill we are able to maintain a decent amount of smoke and a good temperature when we burn hardwood. At about 3:30 pm the turkey was ready!
The bird may have looked well done but since it was smoked breasts down the meat was very tender and juicy. My wife also roasted a 14 pound turkey in a Nesco roaster oven, and we enjoyed all the trimmings of homemade mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, sweet corn, green bean casserole, etc. I have been blessed with a wonderful wife that not only supports my hobby but she can cook pretty good as well!
The highlight of the Jessup Family Thanksgiving is always the time when we sit around the table and each member takes a turn telling the entire family what he or she is thankful for in 2017. It was a delight to hear each one, but especially to hear my three teenage children discuss with us what God has done/is doing in their lives. I wouldn't trade my family for the world, and I am thrilled that God has blessed me with such wonderful loving relationships with each one of them. We have no cause to gripe or complain but only to give thanks to the Lord for who He is and what He has done.
We did get in on some Black Friday shopping both online and at the brick and mortar stores, but for the most part we were able to stay away from long lines and thick crowds. On Friday night we took a tour of historic homes in Madison, Indiana, but the sights to see and behold really took place on Saturday. The Ford SuperSwap was taking place in Columbus, Ohio, and I had never had the opportunity to attend. A buddy of mine and I took off early that morning to spend a few hours rummaging through the new and used Ford part offerings of almost 1,000 vendors. The best part – just about all of it was set up indoors. There was a good amount of traffic and what seemed to be a large crowd of people supporting the event. We arrived just as the main doors opened (9 am) and the parking lots were already half full. By the time we left in the afternoon the parking lots were completely full. For this trip I was on the hunt for a complete grill for the car, some odds and ends like the door clips and retainer clips for the kick panels, Club Sedan script, etc. Most everything for the car I already have laid up somewhere either having restored them over the past few years or purchased NOS or reproduction, just waiting for reassembly.
The first building we entered was full of vendors – no extra space available, and the room down the aisles was tight.
My first glance to take everything in told me that there would not be many 50s Ford parts here. Mustang, Falcon, 60s Fairlane, and Torino parts were all over the place. I saw everything from motors, chassis, interiors, body panels, etc. Even bits and pieces of Galaxie parts cars were showing up from time to time. After 30 or so spaces I spied a set of Y block heads but they were way overpriced and I didn’t need them anyway. One vendor had a 3 or 4 Tri-Five Thunderbird specific parts, and yet another 40 spaces down had several sets of 2x4 Y Block manifolds with carburetors along with some other goodies. I finally found a vendor that had some new 50s Ford parts and some good used pieces such as full speedometer housings, but he told me that the one thing he did not load in his truck before the show was the Club Sedan script. The fella had good prices so I could have probably purchased them at a lower price than the restoration companies all have the script for sale. In that building of 300 vendors or so, that was pretty much it.
One item I did pick up from a vendor in that building though was a very good looking 1958-60 Ford Thunderbird console.
These units are all sheet metal and the heater control is the exact same size as the 55 Ford “Magicaire” control for the Club Sedan. After checking it out for several minutes and speaking with the vendor we settled on a price much cheaper than the sticker and I walked away with it. I guess he was tired of not being able to sell it. I have toyed around with the idea of installing a 64-66 Thunderbird front and rear seat set in the 55 Club sedan, and do believe that the update and the styling perfectly matches the period. The 58-60 console would be a great addition and since the front riser sits so low it would fit under the AC unit that is bolted to the dash.
The next building we went into was the largest one open on the property and had several hundred vendors inside, but again most of these were either Falcon, Mustang, or some other 60s model of FoMoCo product. I did see some truck parts at different times. At no time did I ever see any 50s body panels or sheet metals for full size cars, and of course there was very little 40s or 30s as well. This swap meet seemed to be a 60s-70s era gathering.
I did happen upon a table of Y block parts, and wouldn’t you know it but the spaces were rented by Harry Hutten of Y block racing fame here in the Midwest. Harry lives here in Ohio and has been racing Y block powered cars for a lifetime. He had some odds and ends spread out on a table and after getting the chance to meet him and his dear wife, Barb, we talked turkey on a few parts and I came away with a 4 barrel “B” intake manifold and a new set of rings for the 312 I have in storage (292 block, bored .030 over 312 cylinders).
After this building we entered the car corral next door. There were a few vendors in this large building as well, but most of the space was taken up by 40 or so cars and trucks. We noticed a beautifully restored 1936 Ford Phaeton with the original Flathead, an overpriced 1955 Thunderbird, and a number of Mustangs and Falcons for sale. Way back in the corner sat a 1966 Ford Mustang Convertible project that someone had begun years ago and had left in a “basket case” state of affairs. The price was right on this car and I even sent photos and videos to my wife, since she has expressed an interest in having me fix up a mid-60’s Mustang for our 25th wedding anniversary. The owner even whipped out the title and showed it to me, declaring that he was not going to take the car home, it was going to sell that weekend, etc. Free delivery was even offered but I thought better of the deal and eventually passed.
One car that did catch my eye was a 1955 Ford Fairlane Sunliner. I just love the 55/56 Ford Convertibles! This one was rough, though restorable and was priced close to $11,000. That price is quite high to get started on one that needs so much body work and from what we could tell was missing quite a few “convertible-specific” parts. The owner had cosmetically cleaned it up and bolted things together to whet the appetite, but I felt as though the price on the car should have been half of what was being asked.
I did end up buying a few odds and ends here and there but they were pretty nominal pieces like an extra radiator hose, body plugs, restoration supplies, etc.
One good thing that did take place was that there was a chrome shop from California that had a plethora of re-chromed bumpers for 50s and 60s Fords all ready to go. The price was only $330 for either a front or rear bumper but that did include a core exchange. I tucked the contact information away and will be speaking to some people to see what quality these folks put out. It did look to be a family-owned small business and from where I sit that is a good sign. My buddy and I had a good time at the SuperSwap, but I am not so sure I will be making it a yearly event.