When it comes to incredible builds, the Goodguys Heartland Nationals in Des Moines, Iowa, has some of the greatest examples each year. Of those that we saw at this year’s event were a number of notable rides, including Dale Boesch’s fully customized 1934 Ford. Check out this beauty in all its detailed glory below.
Designed and built by Boesch at his shop, Boesch Auto Body, this gorgeous 1934 Ford was many years in the making. Back in the early 1990s, Boesch started on the build after selling his 1941 Ford Woody two-door. The ’34 was completely hand-fabricated and assembled in metal over a five-year period before the project took the back burner to other life events for about 15 years.
Though Boesch would work on the car here and there over that decade and a half, it wasn’t until 2013 that he was able to really dedicate the time to the project that it warranted. After working on the car for three more years, he finished it up to its current glory in 2016.
Boesch debuted the completed ’34 at the 2016 Goodguys PPG Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, where it placed in the top five for the Street Rod of the Year Award. Just one look at Boesch’s car will clue you in on just how much work went into creating this beauty.
In The Beginning
“I started the build with a 1934 Ford two-door cowl and a pair of doors,” Boesch recalled. From there, he sectioned out an inch from below the car’s “beltline” and 2 ½ inches above it on the doors before removing yet another 2 ½ inches from the bottom of the doors, creating a custom curve.
I started the build with a 1934 Ford two-door cowl and a pair of doors. – Dale Boesch
New roadster quarters were fitted to the car after being sectioned an inch in addition to being shortened and curved along the front edge to match the customized doors. Attached to the quarters, the car’s front fenders were raised 2 inches and moved forward 3 ½ inches as compared to stock. Attached to the fenders are custom running boards
Sitting between the front fenders is a stock-length grille with a Dan Fink insert, which has been peaked, and dropped 1 ½-inches to conform to the custom fenders. Boesch then hand-formed the hood with a 1-inch section, and peaked the center to match the grille. Custom “shaker” blisters attached to the car’s valve covers protrude from custom cutouts along the sides of the hood. Flanking the front grille are custom headlamps, created using Dietz-type fronts and the rear halves of ’39 Cadillac headlights.
Out back, the car’s rear fenders were bobbed 3 inches and the widened 3 inches to accommodate the 12-inch-wide rear tires. The rear trunk lid was also widened by 3 inches and molded to match the rest of the car’s custom curves. While the rear backup lights on the Ford are standard, the rear taillight lenses were custom made using pieces from a 1986 Ford Taurus. A rear roll pan was added to the car as well as a removable hitch receiver, which is hidden behind the rear license plate. That is just in case “the need arises to pull a trailer or luggage rack,” Boesch told us.
Finished in Axalta Black ChromaBase with a urethane clearcoat over the top, Boesch’s ’34 is a true looker we will not soon forget. Chroming from Industrial Plating and polishing work from B&B Fabrication is the figurative cherry on top of the incredible custom.
Moving inside, the interior of the Ford is just as custom. For the dash, Boesch used one from a ’32 Ford and customized it to curve into the doors before outfitting it with Porsche gauges reworked for the Ford by Classic Instruments. The steering wheel in the car is from a 1966 Mustang, and sits atop a 1968 Cougar tilt-column.
Boesch designed and built the seats, which were custom molded to integrate into the custom center console, before having them covered in custom tuck and roll leather by The Recovery Room. The custom leather door panels were also designed and built by Boesch, and were molded to continue the contours of the seats. These and even the custom-built top bows Boesch formed were covered in luxury leather by The Recovery Room.
Adding even more comfort to an already incredibly plush interior is a Vintage Air heating and air conditioning system.
With this many custom features relating to the car’s aesthetics alone, what more could the roadster offer? Well, as it turns out, plenty!
The Ford’s frame is completely custom with a 2 ½-inch kick up in the front, built by Boesch himself out of 1 5/8-inch tubing and 10 gauge sheetmetal. Stainless Kugel suspension components both front and rear provide the car with a platform for superior handling, while RideTech ShockWaves controlled by an IntelliRide controller provide the ’34 with a superior ride quality.
The rear ShockWaves are tied to a custom Boesch-built bell crank that mounts above the 9-inch rearend, leaving just the anti-sway bar noticeable from the rear for an incredibly clean look. Custom engraving by Jerry Conwell adds even more flair to the already incredible ride.
Braking power for the car is provided by Wilwood discs tied to an ABS electric master cylinder. Wheels on the Ford are one-off 17×7 front and 19×11½ rear ET Wheels, designed by Boesch with the help of his son Dustin, as well as Scott with ET Wheels. The sneakers wrapped around the custom ETs are Goodyear 205/35-17 and 315/40-19 respectively.
Powering the ’34 is a 32-valve Ford modular engine featuring ported heads, a COMP Cams camshaft, Manley rods and pistons, a Steve Long radiator, Imagine 8-stack injection system, and a FAST ignition system. Custom features include Sylvian Performance valve covers – custom milled and engraved by Conwell – and a custom exhaust system and headers built by the owner.
Behind the Ford engine is a Tremec TKO five-speed manual transmission tied to a Ford 9-inch filled with 4.11 rearend gears.
An incredible build – certainly worthy of having competed for the Goodguys Street Rod of the Year Award – we’re honored and excited that we got to see this beautiful custom 1934 up close and personal!