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SP Rides: The Sunburst Sled

August 1, 2014
 
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By Michael Kitchens

Occupation: Owner, Alan’s Auto Body & Paint
Hobbies: Hot rods, horses and family
Engine: 1970 Cadillac 500 cu engine, Weiand 6-71 Supercharger Kit, MTS custom rebuild, Competition cams, MSD electric ignition, two four barrel carberators, BDS racing components, custom polished, dual side-mounted Flowmasters
Exterior: Cab-chopped 2 inches, custom hydraulic dump bed  with chrome diamond plate, chrome bumpers, Ford sidestep plate, ball-joint for goose-neck trailer hook-up, dual fuel tanks
Interior: Color-matched interior, Accuair Digital Touchpad, Flatscreen Player, custom upholstery by Aloha Upholstery, semi truck air seats, color-matched custom steering wheel, power windows and locks
I.C.E.: R&D Sounds Flatscreen DVD player, dual interior and exterior sub boxes fitted with 10-inch subwoofers and powered amps
Trans & Suspension: 400 Turbo transmission, Gear Vendor 6 speed low/overdrive with switch on the floor, added 4-link suspension, Accuair air suspension, four 5-gallon air tanks, dual Viair compressors
Wheels, Tires and Brakes: 16-inch Alcoa Wheels, Hydraulic Brake Booster System with Firestone Steelflex Radial R4Ss LT235/85R16s

Alan Yee has been fascinated by the automotive trade since he was a young boy. He spent his formative years learning the ins and outs of mechanics from his uncle and mentor. When it comes to the development of his preferred auto-body trade, however, Alan is self-taught. While watching other gurus from afar, he spent years of trial-and-error hon ing his skills to perfection. Now, with more than 34 years of experience, he’s taken his craft to the next level with this stunning 1948 Ford F6 Cabover.

“I’ve made every mistake you could have made, but those mistakes made me who I am today,” says Alan.

As he tells me this, we’re currently standing in front of this huge, orange beast Alan and his crew call “The Sled.” The car-enthusiast has built a ton of rides throughout the years in various shapes, colors and ages, but there’s something special about this one. Purchased on Valentine’s Day from an ad in Iowa, every inch of this massive ride has been modified, and the result is absolutely spectacular.

For the build, Alan took a unique approach and opted for a 1970 Cadil-lac 500 cu engine blessed with plenty of torque, which was perfect for this project. Upon arrival of the body and frame, the newly acquired engine was sent off to Maximum Torque Special-ties for a complete build that included many custom parts, culminating in an estimated 800 horsepower with the added Weiand 6-71 Supercharger Kit. Gas flow is handled by dual side-mounted Flowmasters installed by Exhaust Systems Hawaii Kailua.

Normally in a cabover, the cab sits over a portion of the engine. But Alan wanted convenience, so he set about creating a mid-engine setup for perfect weight distribution. This entailed moving the engine from the front of the vehicle to smack-dab in the center of the vehicle. A lot of custom work went into relocating the engine, as well as the intricate setup of items such as the throttle and shift linkages. Of special note is the custom hydraulic, diamond-plated dump bed — the entire thing lifts up an awesome 45 degrees for easy access to the engine itself.

Along with a custom Accuair air ride suspension setup, the radiator was left in its original location, which required 2-inch copper plumbing routed backwards to the engine to be installed. The engine was then mated to a 400 Turbo Trans connected with a Gear Vendor with 6-speed under/overdrive with a switch on the floor. Power is applied to the ground by 16-inch Alcoa wheels fitted with Firestone Steelflex Radial R4Ss. The entire braking system has been converted from vacuum to a hydraulic brake booster for reliable stopping power.

To finish off the body, Alan chopped the top by two inches, installed custom glass from Roy’s Auto Glass, and lathered the entire body in a gorgeous two-tone orange pearl and jet black cover. Marlene Spence handled the custom pin-striping and detail work, while Aloha Upholstery sewed the stunning orange black interior. To top off all this heat, twin custom enclosures in both the interior and exterior pump out the sounds with 10-inch subwoofers all around.

This stunning ride has to be seen to be believed. And while the amount of work and pride that has been put into this ride is immense, it was all done with family in mind. Alan says it the best, “You can’t build a car and not have your family with you. We all support one another. Without your family, your hobby is just a hobby.”