1957 Ford Pop V8 hot rod

Here we have something rather special. A 1957 Ford Popular "Sit Up & Beg" that has received the full hot rod treatment. From the chopped roof to the completely chromed and polished Jaguar rear axle, and not forgetting the 3.9 litre V8 engine under the vented bonnet, practically this entire car is a custom build. As such, it needed a very special interior.

The entire cabin needed to be trimmed. Top to bottom, front to back... everything. The front half of the headlining has been replaced by bespoke boards and these have been covered in ivory Alcantara, as has the rear headlining and the sun visor recesses.

Surrounding the windows and doors are custom trim panels and these have had a layer of foam added before being trimmed in Crest Vele Tan leather hide. The rear speaker shelf, dummy rear seats and head unit storage box are all wearing Vele Tan leather as well, with the dummy seats having diamond quilted centre panels.

The front seats have been changed from a traditional bench to a pair of Recaro-esque bucket seats from an Alfa Romeo. These are quite a tall seat and they ran the risk of dominating the cabin so the decision was taken to do away with the headrests. As with almost everything else in this car, the centres are diamond quilted.

The lower dashboard is an entirely custom-built wooden affair and it presented a few problems as I wanted to minimise the number of visible screws on show once the trimming was finished. So certain mounting points were adapted or changed entirely before it was leather-trimmed to achieve this.

The doorcards and rear quarters have diamond quilted panels with a sweeping lower curve. The doorcards also have a carpeted section at the bottom, which leads nicely into the Kensington Old English White carpet. Where required, this has been bound with tan edge binding. The bespoke floor mats are made to match and secured with two snap fasteners apiece.

To say there are a lot of hours in this car would be a huge understatement, but it's essentially the finishing touch for the entire build and it's quite the statement. The contrast between the tan leather and the ivory Alcantara and carpets is incredibly vivid, as is the contrast between the interior colours and the sleek black exterior paintwork.

This hot rod will be driving around a number of shows and meetings this year and onwards and I really hope that the owner's dedication and hard work (and mine!) are rewarded with some trophies!

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