Family Sedan – Vance Cryer’s ’46 Ford Tudor Keeps the Street Rod Flame Alive for a New Generation
Vance Cryer and his brother Troy grew up riding around in a ’34 Ford sedan that their father, Andy, built and loved. Once Andy retired, he wanted another project to keep him busy and found this ’46 Ford rusting away in a Texas field. The floors and lower portion of the body were pretty rough, but what really struck Andy was the fact that all the original stainless trim was intact and in good shape. He knew he could handle the sheet metal work, but having all the hard-to-find small parts would save time and expense in the end.
Unfortunately, Andy never got to see the ’46 Ford finished, as he passed away unexpectedly. Vance and Troy were ready to finish his work, though. It was Vance who decided to take on the ’46 in its disassembled state and vowed to get the car together for his own family to enjoy and maybe pass down to his kids someday. It was just going to take some time, but perseverance and seeing goals to the finish are not lost on Vance.
Over the next 14 years, while Vance was on active duty in the Marines, the Ford was moved across the country nine different times. Adding to those delays were a number of deployments leaving the project stalled and waiting. A few times the car was left with Troy, who was able to put in some hours on the old sedan, but all the while the project remained steadfast in Vance’s mind.
A Chubby Chassis frame was enlisted for a new foundation, and then fitted with a Scott’s Hotrods front suspension system, while a 9-inch Ford rearend was placed in the back. Vance wanted the ’46 to sit extra low, so each corner of the car is supported by air springs to gain the perfect stance on demand. Wilwood disc brakes were installed behind 17×6- and 18×9.5-inch E-T Sebring knock-off wheels rolling on Continental tires.
Even with the wide wheels and 285/50/18 tires out back, Vance can easily send them into a smoke show thanks to the 460c.i. Ford between the frame rails. The engine is topped with Cobra Jet aluminum heads and a Ford Racing intake to huff out 500 horsepower and oodles of torque. It’s well dressed with plenty of polished accessories and rumbles nicely through Sanderson headers and a stainless Magnaflow exhaust. The C6 trans is backed by a Gear Vendors overdrive unit to knock the rpm down to a comfortable rumble on the long Texas cruises.
When it came to the body, Vance knew the car was going to be black, just like his Dad’s ’34 (which Troy has restored and drives). The brothers did some of the bodywork themselves, and then enlisted metal specialist Tim Young to tighten the gaps while the hood gained a bunch of louvers thanks to their friend Bill Dyson. It was ultimately turned over to David Gardner to lay down the beautiful gloss black finish using PPG materials.
There is no shortage of space in between the doors of a ’46 Ford Tudor and thanks to a Glide seat and Vintage Air, all of the passengers cruise in comfort. Ray Spears handled the stitching and interior work and the stock dash was reworked to accept a brace of Classic Instruments gauges. All of the pedals and handles are the originals – a nod to Andy’s notion of just how original the car was when he first found it.
It may have taken a little longer than he expected, but Vance and Troy finished the project their father started and now get to cruise both of his cars together. And years from now, Vance will be able to pass the ’46 Ford down to his own family. Mission accomplished.
Photos by Todd Ryden & Steven Bunker