Classic Recollections: 1946 Ford 2-Door Coupe
The appeal of customizing old cars is undeniably universal. No matter to which part of the globe you cruise, you can always find a grease-stained gearhead under a hood there, tinkering away with their four-wheeled treasure.
Guatemala may not be considered a hotbed of automotive modification, but that didn't deter a young Milo Yglesias from pursuing his passion for all things automotive in his homeland.
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"I've been around vintage cars my whole life. My first car was a 1934 Ford. I purchased it when I was just 14 years old," the Palatine resident said.
Seeking to convert his wrench-turning hobby into a full-time vocation, he attended a trade school and studied to become a machinist before moving stateside to the Chicago area in the fall of 1969. Soon thereafter he opened a foreign car repair shop - an unknown novelty at a time when American-branded barges still dominated the roads.
While always making time for his customers' vintage steel restoration projects, Yglesias also made sure he kept for himself a stable of unique and different rides. One such creation is his custom 1946 Ford two-door coupe, which he purchased nine years ago from an owner in nearby Indiana.
"I love the roundedness of the fenders and the overall great proportions of the vehicle."
While the car offered a solid structure to work with, it did present a wide-open slate for the tradesman to work his magic. "The body looked as if someone had painted it flat black with a brush and it didn't have an interior or engine," he said.
The mechanical handyman located a parts-donor '75 Monte Carlo that gave up its entire frame, which was dropped under the new blue oval acquisition. A key ingredient of any radical custom is a killer stance. To accomplish that necessary pavement-hugging position, an air-bag suspension was bolted in, allowing for six inches of vertical travel in the front and a full nine in the rear.
"When I park the car and drop it, it'll rest on the chassis. If I'm on grass, it'll even scorch a mark of the exhaust system on the ground!"
Those pipes don't just spew CO2. In true hot rodder fashion, Yglesias has added some special parts that really heat things up. "Around my car club (the Voodoo Kings), I'm known as the 'flame thrower guru'. I've installed them on a bunch of members' vehicles, so naturally this one had to have them, too," he said.
For a wild night spectacle, Yglesias has rerouted additional fuel lines to the tips. When ignited by designated spark plugs, Yglesias, at will and when safe, can blast out tongues of fire.
Other unique features on this radical Ford are a late model 90s Cadillac grille, Lincoln Continental power seats and smoothie wheels. With the original flathead V-8 long gone, Yglesias opted to bolt in a dependable small-block 350-cubic-inch powerplant.
"It's a real head-turner and definitely delivers a muscle car driving experience."
While Milo has owned a variety of home-built machines, if you ask what he wanted to do with that first classic back in Central America, there is one feature he wished he could add.
"It didn't have flame throwers on it like this one. But I sure wish it did!"
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