When Leo Logsdon went looking for a restoration project, he set his sights on recreating the 1947 Ford that he drove to high school in Southern California.
What he ended up with is the 1947 Ford every high school kid wishes he could drive.
“It’s been chopped, dropped, pinched and pulled every way imaginable,” says his daughter, Patty Logsdon, who became the curator of the custom after her dad passed away.
“I’m the oldest of five kids and probably the least likely to get the car, but I’m the only one who has the time and interest to take care of it,” she says. “I get to drive it, take it to shows and spend a lot of time keeping it clean and polished.”
The Ford began its second life in 1993, after being pulled from a ditch next to a farm field in Montana.
“At first it was supposed to be restored to be just like he had in high school,” she recalls. “That lasted about a month. I’m happy about that. I always felt the original car wasn’t very attractive.”
The transformation from neglected hulk to attention-getting beauty took years to accomplish.
“He had work done on the car as he could afford it,” says Russ George, who helped in building the car and handled much of the suspension work, using knowledge gained during a career building drag race cars.
Logsdon was an orthodontist who had to take care of his hands in order to do the delicate work involved in his career.
“As a result, he couldn’t do a lot of work on the car, but he’d be at the shop whenever he could, to help where he was able and to check on the progress,” says George.
The project spent much of its time at Street Rods by Dowdy in Dolan Springs, Arizona, where Dan Dowdy chopped the top, pinched the hood, shaved the trim and massaged the bodywork.
Among the subtle details is the front bumper. Dowdy took the rear bumper from a ’46 Ford -it has the distinctive “Ford” script logo in it -and move it to the front, but only after sectioning the piece to make it fit, and locating the turn and parking lights behind a pair of slits cut in the metal.
The chassis was heavily modified and uses the front clip and rear end from a ’73 Chevy Nova.
A highly modified Chevrolet 350 lives under the hood. The polished engine is fed via a 650 Edelbrock carburetor riding under a B&M “baby” blower.
“When Leo began the project, he originally planned to keep the original Ford Flathead and run a supercharger, but when he looked at the cost of keeping the original engine, it would have been twice what it ran to do the Chevrolet conversion,” says George.
The interior includes a custom dash fitted with digital gauges, tilt steering column and plush, nine-way adjustable seats from a Pontiac Bonneville.
The paint is “true blue” by the House of Kolor.
The name is a misnomer.
Bodywork under the bright summer sun glow a striking metallic blue, while the panels in the shade reveal a darker, almost purple tone. The changing hues help define the delicate contours of the award-winning bodywork.
“The whole thing changes color as the sun moves and begins to look entirely different as night begins to fall,” says George.
The Ford gets trailered back and forth to major shows and meets, but at home it hits the road on a regular basis. It was finished in time for Leo Logsdon to display the car at some of California’s major shows, such as the annual Good Guys festival at Del Mar.
“It’s no trailer queen,” says Logsdon. “We drive it and enjoy it.”
George says that’s the way it was meant to be used.
“We take it out on the road. It’s quiet and comfortable. You turn on the sound system, roll up the windows, hit the air conditioning and play with the seat buttons. It’s better than almost any new car you can buy today.”
Well, with the exception of the thumping, blower-fed V-8.
It’s no economy champ, says Logsdon. But everything has its price.