Story and Photos by: Shannon Hammett
This 1934 Ford Coupe made its debut at the 2009 Chattanooga World of Wheels. The World of Wheels was also Raney Carpenter's first experience in showing a car. Raney bought the Ford three years ago in Gainesville, Georgia. Having no experience with car restoration, Raney handed the Ford over to C & T Automotive Restoration in Ringgold, Georgia. Having used them in the past for the restoration of a Volkswagen, Raney had no doubt that C & T owners, Dirk Carter and Chuck Tinker were the right men for the job. "When she was younger, my wife Angela had a Volkswagen," said Raney, "She wanted one like she used to have. So, I got her a 1972 Volkswagen Super Beatle. C & T Automotive built it for me. I gave it to her for Christmas last year. She loves it. Dirk and Chuck did a great job."
Not only had Raney become a good customer to C & T Automotive Restoration, but also a friend. Dirk Carter was with Raney at the World of Wheels. "Raney was my customer," said Dirk, "Then I got to know him and we became friends. Actually, we're going fishing in Florida as soon as the World of Wheels is over with. The Volkswagen was the first car he brought to me. It took us close to a year to rebuild it. The Ford is the 2nd car he brought me. Another shop had started restoration on it and didn't finish it. They had started the frame and we finished the rest of it. It was in decent shape. I didn't have hardly any rust at all in it. It had been in a museum."
The 34' Ford was 3 years and 3 months in the making. "This is its first show," said Raney, "We haven't even cranked it yet. We trailered it over here and it will go back in the trailer to go back to the shop. Dirk has already discovered things this morning that he wants to do to it when he gets it back."
Though seemingly finished and flawless on the showroom floor, Dirk, an admitted perfectionist, insists that this 34' Ford still needs a bit of tweaking. "There are just a few things that I'm not happy with," said Dirk, "We just ran out of time. We were supposed to be here from 12:00pm to 2:00pm to set up. We didn't actually finish the car until 1:00pm. We loaded it up and brought it straight over here to the show."
Raney's original plan for the 34' Ford was to have it as a 'driver', but admits that that plan is not an option at this point. "I have a friend that has a 34' Ford 3-Window Coupe," said Raney, "He wanted me to build one to have as a driver. Somewhere throughout this project I decided that I would go ahead and make it a show car. He's still my friend, but if we drive, we are going to have to ride in his car because I've spent too much money on this one. I wouldn't want to drive it and run the risk of damaging it. All the guys from C & T have spent too many hours on this car. In fact, I don't think that Dirk would let me drive it," he laughed, "Dirk and Chuck are really good at what they do. I believe in them enough that I turned this car over to them and let them call the shots without question. I knew that they knew what they were doing. Mine was a good solid car to begin with, but a lot of these cars they work on are really deteriorated. When they work on those cars, it's almost like a surgeon at work. It will draw your attention. It takes a lot of talent, and Dirk and Chuck have got that talent."
Raney plans on going to many more shows, but admits that after a few years of making the show circuit, he might decide to finally drive his car. But for now, this Brandywine Candy Apple Red 34' Ford is strictly for show.