How to Build a 1934 Ford Coupe

by Rob Wagner

The beauty of building a 1934 Ford coupe hot rod is that you don't need original '34 Ford coupe parts to build it. Ford coupe replica parts, including body and frame, are sold by dealers sometimes at a third of the cost of an original Ford coupe depending on the options. The best way to build a Ford coupe is to purchase a rolling chassis with engine, transmission and drivetrain preinstalled. Have the dashboard gauges installed. Once the body is mounted, have the glass and wiring harness installed.

Preparation and Mounting

Hire a custom body and paint shop to apply black acrylic paint to the underside of the '34 Ford coupe for protection.

Use a socket wrench to bolt the steel structure that accompanies the body in the kit to the body.

Use socket wrenches to install the trunk liner, stainless steel firewall and floor pan.

Lift the body, with an assistant, over the frame and fit it into place. Use a wrench to bolt it into place.


Cut holes with an air saw in the door jambs for the hinge posts. Use a wrench to bolt the hinge posts behind the door jambs. Install top and bottom braces for the hinge posts.

Instruct your assistant to place the door flush in the door jamb. Place the hinges over the hinge depressions in the door and mark drill holes. With an air saw, cut holes out of the inside of the door. Cut out the inside access holes of the door.

Install the door latch at the front of the door. With wrenches bolt the doors onto the hinge posts.

Hood and Grille

Use a wrench to bolt the side panels for the engine compartment to support the hood. Use an air saw to cut the holes to bolt the hood hinge brackets onto the side panels. Use a wrench to bolt the hinge frame onto the hood edge.

Install the grille between the side panels. Use an air saw to trim the lip, or overhang, of the grille's frame. Double-check that the grille is flush against the side panels then remove the grille.

Place the hood on top of the side panels. Ensure the hood is flush against the panels and the body lines are aligned.

Use a wrench to bolt the side panel frame hinges onto the hood hinge frame. Place the grille between the side panels.


Use a power drill to drill holes under the top inside portion of the trunk for the trunk hinges. Use a wrench to mount the hinges.

Use the hinge flange already bolted into the inside of the trunk to mark the holes on the trunk lid placed over the opening to be drilled. Drill holes into the trunk lid.

Instruct your assistant to wiggle the trunk lid until it's flush against the trunk lip on the body. Tighten the bolts with a wrench.


  • check Consider welding instead of bolting the steel parts. It makes the car structure stronger.


  • close Always work with a partner. This is a two-person job.

Items you will need

About the Author

Rob Wagner is a journalist with over 35 years experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines. His experience ranges from legal affairs reporting to covering the Middle East. He served stints as a newspaper and magazine editor in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Wagner attended California State University, Los Angeles, and has a degree in journalism.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera antique cars image by Charlie Rosenberg from