If you ever meet a person who can’t appreciate a fine ’34 three-window, we want to talk to them.
After all, we’re talking about a classic that has perched on people’s automotive wish lists for over three-quarters of a century. An icon of yesteryear, suitable for all tastes and one heck of a ride, there isn’t much not to like about an old Ford. And if that’s not enough, there are examples like this three-window owned by Elmer Gosh of Mercer, Wisconsin.
A fantastic ’34, Gosh’s three-window stood out from the crowd as soon as we laid eyes on it at the Iola Car Show last summer. Ablaze in red, the Ford drew crowds for three days, keeping people coming back for more with its extensive list of modifications, intricate details and old-school appeal. And the more we saw it and crawled all over it, the more we fell in love.
Alas, this is not a true steel-bodied ’34 three-window, but with a build this grand, does it really matter? Featuring a Kilbourne fiberglass ’34 Ford body atop a matching chassis with a 3-inch nose pinch, Gosh’s three-window pulls off the classically good looks minus the body work. Adding to the aesthetics are a fiberglass grille shell with a stainless steel insert, custom fiberglass chin and roll pan in the rear.
The car is ultra-clean with shaved door handles, trunk release and badges. Most of the car’s brightwork is limited to the fully decked-out engine bay, while details like a stainless license plate frame, billet windshield frame, headlight and taillight surrounds, and chrome 3-inch round “peep mirrors” on each door tie the build together nicely.
The three-window is topped off with a multi-stage paint job made up of two coats of primer under two coats of sealer, then four coats of Land Rover Colorado Red color, finished off with four coats of clear coat and custom pinstriping.
Inside, the Ford is just as sleek with marine vinyl upholstery and Rosewood inserts that set off the body-color dash and silver suede headliner. Matching the headliner is a Wiseguys reclining bench seat featuring center fold-down arm rests, custom door panels and a one-off center console.
Electronic Autometer gauges, a Dakota Digital gear shift, low/high beam, and turn signal indicators, and an ididit chrome tilt steering column are just a few added features incorporated into the custom interior. Creature comforts like a Kenwood sound system, electric door locks, windows, and air conditioning give the interior a modern touch.
While the aesthetics of this Ford are certainly noteworthy, the performance of the three-window put it over the top. Built with driveability and performance in mind, the Ford features a classic Heidts stainless steel, open wheel front end along with a four-bar triangulated stainless steel rear suspension system.
Aluminum shocks with chrome coil overs afford a comfortable ride along with superior handling, while smooth steering is implemented using a manual Sweet Manufacturing aluminum rack and pinion tied to a Borgeson steering shaft and joints.
Of course, you can have a well-built street rod without a fitting engine. Powering the street rod is a balanced and blueprinted Chevy 350ci four-bolt main V8 powerplant bolstered with all kinds of goodies, including Patriot Performance heads, a Crane hydraulic camshaft and lifters, and an Edelbrock 750cfm carburetor.
Dual valve springs, aluminum roller rockers with locks, an Edelbrock EnduraShine performance intake manifold, HEI electronic ignition with an MSD super coil, Patriot headers and turnouts, and a high-volume oil pump add oomph to the Chevy Small Block. Chrome Edelbrock air breather, tall valve covers, pulleys, AC compressor and starter finishes off the highly built engine with plenty of shine.
Backing the V8 is a Chevy TH350 automatic transmission with a shift kit and a 1600 stall torque converter. Pushing the engine’s power to the rear wheels is a Denny’s three-inch aluminum driveshaft, Ford nine-inch rear end with 3.50 gears and Tru-Lok Posi-traction, and 31-spline axles.
Wilwood disc brakes provide the Ford with plenty of stopping power from all four corners while 7×15-inch front and 8×18-inch rear American Racing Torque Thrust II wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson shoes plant the car to the pavement.
There’s no question about it – this ’34 Ford three-window is proof of how grand a build can be while maintaining its classic looks and driveability. So if you find yourself in the Midwest one day staring at a beautiful red ’34, be sure to check out the name tag on the window.