Making the front Floor Plate and ofsets in the upper corner mounting brackets. All jiged up to a thick piece of steel plate and the mounting corners are hammered down to ofset them. The angle iron frame of the fire wall area ends up flush with the front edge of the floor.
There are no welds, all formed in one piece
I cut out the Steering Spider from an old saw mill blade and hand file finished it. the 1954 photos showed a two part steering wheel. I had the two timber parts made elswere. The spider and parts I sent away to be nickel plated. Note this is how most of the old steering wheels were made in the 20's. The size of the steering wheel was calculated from old pictures using the diminishing point method but I am about 1/2 to 3/4 inch Dia too big from the early set of photos found showing the full diameter steering wheel.
At one stage i made a 5.5 degree locked front spring perch from bending a piece of 1 inch x 2 inch bar and welding a bit to the top and hand shaping it. had to add a bit of width.
It's a 1200 mile drive to where i took the engine to be rebuilt. I pulled out the back seat of the old Ford and chained in the engine for the trip. Got some funny looks at gas stations wit hthe rear engine ford. Had to take the head off and the door off the car to get it in.
The engine frame became the base of the steel box that the engine transpored home in
Here is one of the original anti body roll straps from the Fronty. It goes around the rear axle and up over the frame ends. One each side. Bubber is bound on with copper wire.
Spining the rear axle housings and truing them by using tiny heat srinks and cooling. The car had a stock diff originally. the original and the tail shaft still exist but they are unavailablre from the owner.
Another 1200 mile trip to the panel beater with the body and frame loaded
Missing metal panels being fitted to the car. Note the angle iron and flat iron frame in the body. each join has an offset to keep the outside of the two angles that overlap, flush to the outside of the body. Even the flat iron had ofsets which is really hard to make when the metal you are trying to offset is on an angle to start with. Had to make dies to form the ofsets without any welding. All joins are hot riveted. this is how the bodys were made back then. Stusdied 3 other bodys and how they were made. There are no welds or joins in the curved angleiron. this is how they were made, bent in one piece. All this work I did myself so don't be afraid to have a go.
That's a mate, Albert Klun , a retired panel beater working on the car. I learn't a lot from albert and spent 11 of the 15 weeks there on vacation ofsiding him. Learnt all the principles of srinking, lead wiping etc. Getting the spoons behind the metal frame was a real nightmere.
Fortunately I found one litle piece of original paint to look for an original colour. It was always Red going by the original owners
Here is a forging mark in the angle iron frame. the only marking i could find
Albert cleaning up the lead wiping the tail.
A few more pics of the body frame and panels going on
This big box arrived from the late Ron Kipling with the wheels
The only early pic of the car I had at the time was approx 1928 and it showed Dayton Dental Drive #10 wheels.
I got these from Ron Kipling
I decided to get new hubs made as the originals wer a bit worn
Had new 21 inch rims & lock rings made for dirt track size and had them laced in Victoria.
loaded for one of the trips home
Engine being worked on. here are the billet rods for slipper bearings i designed and had made. I turned the big end caps from 3 1/4 square axle shaft.
Albert working on the Fronty Exhaust
Aligning the front end steering geometery.
Better pics of lead wiping the tail
Frame up side down with axles fitted and squared and fitting the radius rods. Front rods are made of Chrome Molly tubing. A friend made me a die to squash the ends in a 30 ton press like the originals. they are black wire oxy welded by a mate from work.
Also aligning the Body skirts and rear raduis rods
Working out the length of the drag link with a rough old one
Making a left / right pattern for the hub caps. Lead casting madee from a pattern from the original then set into a turned wooden pattern.
Raw hubcap casting and cutting the left and right sides and hand file finishing them. This was a big job.
Had a new crankshaft made in Billet, fully presurised with slipper bearings. Went to Sainty's in Sydney and saw how he made them, designed my own to fit the block using his principles and had him make it.
Body arrives home painted, inside painting to be done
Fitting the body to the rolling chassis
Making the louvered hood side panel over a 3/8 round then removing the rod
Motor arrives in box
Motor has slipper bearings including cam, billet crank & rods & Cam, roller rockers and all pressurised. Stock stroke, only way to go.
This is about as far as I have come with the car so far. Been a very interesting restoration and very rewarding.
I'm working on the correct wheels, need some buffalo hubs and centres if anyone can help. They will be used.
For those reading this in the future the previous related links are:
History of a Real Australian Morton & Brett R Fronty Ford Part 1 at:
Restoration of a Real Australian Morton & Brett R Fronty Ford Part 1 at:
Mark -- again great job of finding the missing pieces scattered all over, bringing them back together and preserving an original piece of Australian Racing History. It is also very encouraging to all of us that our projects can be moved along also. As you said a small amount of time several times a week adds up to progress. And it is a fun way to start the day – reading such and encouraging article.
Again thank you so much for sharing your story as well as your methods. P.S. I also like the pre-T --- Penny Farthing (High Wheel bicycle ) shown in a few of the photos.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Beautiful job. Obviously a labor of love. That's what this hobby is all about, in my opinion! Rollie
What a fantastic car, and fantastic work. Really interesting to see it all some together.
Thanks for posting.
Hey Mark, nice job on the fronty, I know you have put a lot of time and effort in on that car. Is that the engine you had sent to me? Kim
Thanks John, Chris & Kim.
This is the original Canadian engine from the car, a new short motor with Lynite rods fitted in the 1920s. There were at least 2 sets of these rods found in australia. I have heard of several of these short motrs found with these rods.
The motor that Kim kindly looked after for me was the DO Fronty engine, the replacemt for the other car mentioned in the article.
If there is any interest i can run a story on this car. Built in 1933 and raced in Sydney 1933-34 with a Boof BB 16 head. Have recently located the evidence on this one.
Have been researching Australian & New Zealand T based race cars / speedsters since the 80's and have lots of info and photos etc on many of the cars
My vote is in, type on!
Thanks for sharing Mark. You are doing a magnificent job. I'd love to hear the bark from that exhaust one day.
I will repeat, THANK YOU for sharing all that with us! My congratulations on a great job on a fantastic car! It is beautiful!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Mark excellent work! (As usual) So inspiring. Cheers mate. Tom
WOW! What a Car! I haven't been on the Forum for a time so I'll have to go back and look at the beginning, but WOW!. I would like to see more of the chassis modifications my self. Hope they are in the other threads. I'd like to try to duplicate some of them on my slow going project.
I have known Mark since even before the internet!! We wrote back then and sent the "old time" letters and actual photo's. We have sent a few parts back and forth also.
Mark is one of those guys I admire---there is only one way he does things and that is correct or do it again to make it right, also he does much by hand just like original.
There is a small sub culture in this hobby that isn't always shared with the public...thanks Mark for showing us one of your projects.
Not the best of photos but just to prove this is the same car , here is an original picture of the Fronty at Penrith Speedway on the starting line with "Fronty ford" letters on the hood. Thanks to all for your encouragement. Will start a new thread on the R&R Special soon.
HELLO Mark !! Looks like a nice , hot Alvis 12/50 to give the Fronty a spot of fun , what ?? Who Won ??