Wes Adkins, proprietor of Wild Wes Paintworks in Dover, Ohio, is currently working on customizing a very special 1956 Ford Fairlane.
What’s so special about it? The car was originally restored by Wes’ dad, Willard over 30 years ago for the car’s owner, Tony Confalone.
Williard did such a good job restoring the Fairlane that when it came time to turn it into a radical custom, Tony kept it in the family and brought the Fairlane to Wes.
Though the original restoration was top-notch, 30+ years of driving in Ohio weather took it’s toll.
As Wes began disassembling the old Ford, rust and rot reared their ugly heads.
The frame could not be salvaged; the same went for the floorpan and trunk as well as the bottom half of the doors, quarter panels, and front fenders.
But the Ford’s condition was perfect for Wes to work his magic and highlight his new business, Wild Wes Hot Rod Factory.
He built a complete custom frame from 2 x 3 and 2 x 4 inch tubing. The front suspension is a Detroit Speed X-Gen 535 A-arm/coil-over setup. Out back is a Ford 9 inch rear axle suspended by a Wild Wes Hot Rod Factory triangulated four-link.
Wes is putting in untold hours of work into the body. He made all-new steel floorpans, trunk, and mini-tubs; custom rocker panels; new patch panels for the quarters; new door skins; and new fenders.
The Fairlane is getting an assortment of other custom touches too:
- Modified front bumper with license plate pocket eliminated
- Custom 3-D printed hood ornament rescaled to 60% of the factory ornament’s size
- Narrowed and tucked rear bumper
- Fuel filler relocated from under rear license plate to inside the trunk
- Shaved trunk door lock—replaced with mechanical trunk handle hidden under rear bumper
- First-generation Ford Thunderbird door handles
Powering the ’56 will be a hot 312 cubic inch Ford Y-block V8 with twin TorqStorm superchargers and Holley Sniper electronic fuel injection.
The engine will be backed by a Cyclone Ford AOD automatic.
Other goodies include:
- Narrowed Summit Racing Ford 9 inch axle housing with Moser axles, 3.73 gears, and Detroit Tru-Trac differential
- 14 inch Wilwood disc brakes
- Mickey Thompson ET Street (335/45-18) and Street Comp (245/40-18) tires on Schott billet wheels (18 x 8 front, 18 x 10 rear)
- Flaming River tilt steering column with scaled-down ’56 Ford steering wheel
- Custom-built Be Cool radiator
- Vintage Air climate control
- Thunderbird-style front and rear bench seats in factory color scheme by Jeff Elwood
The Fairlane will be at the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, and no doubt will be a feature vehicle in some of your favorite hot rod publications. In addiiton to on his website, Wes has posted lots of build photos and updates his Wild Wes Facebook page—they’re definitely worth the time suck.