1959 Ford Thames 300E Panel Van
The Ford Thames 300E is a car derived van that was produced by Ford UK from 1954 to 1961. The Thames, (or Thames Trader), name was given to all available sizes of commercial vehicle produced by Ford in Britain from the 1950s through to 1965. In that year the Thames and Trader names were discontinued.
And now for something completely different. You might call this a plum crazy machine from across the pond and given the apt name Thames, like the river, and now modified to be a one-of-a-kind street rod. You will not want to miss this one!
Looking decidedly British with its small stature single headlight and stainless-steel gridded grille we have a truck in the form of a 300E panel van. It’s small, it’s cute and has the windows covered over for the cargo area. Access to this area is through the center out swinging rear doors. Everything is bathed in purple right down to the oversized scooped hood. Some lighter purple pinstripe flourishes are adorning the corners and edge framing of the side panels. Looking a lot like the old Rat Fink cartoons with somewhat normal drawn bodies and exaggerated engines and tires, this truck emulates that “Car”toon” genre. This truck rod has a chromed rocker edge and a shiny front and rear bumper. Stuffed underneath are chrome 5 spoke Cragar SS wheels with 14 inches upfront wrapped in 185/60R14’s and in back giant 15 inch wheels wrapped with 295/50R15’s. Smoke ’em if ya got ’em and this baby does!
Black vinyl with some tuck and roll bordered by purple painted steel for the door panels. This leads to the inside for the black cloth with vinyl bolstered high back racing seats. These chairs are stuffed into the cockpit and are fronted by a purple full metal jacket dash. Sunpro white face gauges pepper the purple, and a rally style steering wheel fronts the dash. There is a large tachometer on the column and turn signals and tilt levers are billet aluminum. Black carpeting covers the floors for the front and back cargo area. In the center of the dash on the floor sits a B&M shifter. Nice tight gray tweed material lines the roof and sidewalls of the cargo area.
Not unlike the “Car”toons” a large 350ci V8 all polished and shiny metal encapsulated there is a 650 Holley 4-barrel carb on top to feed it through an aluminum intake manifold. On back is a TH350 3-speed automatic, and the rear tires are spun by a Dana 60 3.73 posi rear. A very nice, machined look under this scoop. Braided stainless hoses and a shiny small air cleaner covering add to the look.
Very nicely done underneath with nary even a hint of road dirt. Rack and pinion steering, independent coil overs with disc braking up front, and out back ladder bars with coil overs which are QA1 adjustable, along with drum braking is noted. Headers and a glass pack style exhaust exit on either side just prior to the rear tubbed wheel wells. This truck is now equipped with an 8-gallon fuel cell. Very sound underneath and looking good to boot!
Hopping in was like entering Mr. Toad’s wild ride. Here it fired right up with a mighty roar and on the test track performed with neck snapping acceleration, good handling and excellent braking stopping on a dime. All functions were working just fab.
A very unique build to say the least with its exaggerated front hood and rear tires, bathed in plum crazy purple, and a snappy interior. I say ol chap, let’s go for a spin!
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Location: Morgantown, Pennsylvania, United States