Sam Foose 1946 Ford, Fuel Curve

“If Cars Could Talk” – Jerry Varney’s 1948 “Foose Blue” Ford

When you first get a car be it a finished car or a project, don’t you sometimes wish it could talk about its past? Wouldn’t you like to open the garage door on a nice Saturday afternoon, sit back, crack a cold one for yourself and a quart of 10×40 for your new friend and say, “So, tell me a little bit about yourself.”

Sam Foose 1946 Ford, Fuel Curve

Think of it sort of like a Blind Date or maybe a hearing while asking, “Where have you been and what roads have you been down?” Some may have drag racing stories, some may talk about the little old lady that drove it to church on Sundays, while others may have more stories than a Stormy Daniels tell-all book.

Sam Foose 1946 Ford, Fuel Curve

In 2010, Jerry Varney purchased a turquoise ’48 Ford convertible. Before he left with his new ride, the owner handed him a can of touch up paint with the words “Foose Blue” on it. The owner thought the car might have once been owned by Sam Foose, Chip’s dad. A couple of phone calls later and it was verified Sam built and once owned the car.

Sam purchased the car in 1986. In the short span of two months he “Overhauled” the car, installed a small block Chevy, trimmed the interior in a light gray, installed a white convertible top, added steelies, hubcaps and trim rings with wide whites. He mixed up a custom color which he called “Foose Blue” and that same paint job is still on the car today. Chip was attending the Art Center at the time and would help Sam on weekend’s building the car.

Sam Foose 1946 Ford, Fuel Curve

Chip drove the car from time to time and actually drove this car on his very first rod run which was the “Roadster Roundup” in 1987 following Sam in his ’48 Ford coupe. On the way to the show, Sam’s coupe started losing power and he started noticing the paint on the hood blistering. He and Chip pulled over and found the flathead engine in the coupe on fire. With that, Sam put a small block Chevy in the coupe. That coupe now resides in Chip’s showroom after Chip bought the car and he put a flathead back in the car exactly like it was. Sam sold the convertible in 1988 to help finance his first shop in Goleta, CA. He called the shop “Project Design” and it set him on a course of building some top notch cars for years to come.

Jerry Varney purchased the car in 2010 still rolling on the steelies and caps but the wide whites were gone and over the next few years Jerry did a little Overhaulin’ himself while deciding to keep it Foose Blue. Sam’s paint job still looked great but the rest of the car had gone down a lot of roads over the years and needed some attention.

Sam Foose 1946 Ford, Fuel Curve

Jerry repainted the dash and all metal portions of the interior. He took an upholstery class at a vocational school and completely redid the interior. He also installed a new radiator and fan, radio, tachometer, and Ididit steering column with a banjo wheel as well as new tires.

Sam Foose 1946 Ford, Fuel Curve

In early 2017, Jerry took his Overhaulin’ to the next level blowing the car completely apart off the frame cleaning, detailing and repainting the underside of the car. In the old days, the car told him, “Gas, I like Gas” so he upgraded the engine bay with a new 350 crate motor with a Holley EFI fuel injection so it doesn’t drink as much as it used to.

Sam Foose 1946 Ford, Fuel Curve

He also added an Edelbrock intake and an electronic ignition setup. He redid the electrical with a Painless wiring harness, added a 100 amp alternator and installed Vintage Air A/C.

The final touch was changing from the old steelies to a set of Cragar slot style mags. It’s now Jerry’s car but he felt it was important the car still wore a piece of its past in honor of the man who originally built and painted it.

Sam Foose 1946 Ford, Fuel Curve

You can learn a lot about a car when tearing it apart but you always want to know more about its past. So after seven comprehensive investigations, and based on the statements of key witnesses, word is Larry never found evidence of any mischievous back seat activity in it’s early life but, you’ll never know who’ll show up with hearsay to testify.

After spending most of his life working in automotive dealerships, Michael Breeding picked up a copy of Musclecars Magazine one day and that simple choice changed his life. Already an experienced photographer, he submitted photos of his AMX to the magazine and that feature became his first published article in 1992. Over the years Michael has written for about a dozen magazines including Muscle Car Review, Super Chevy, High Performance Mopar, Vette, and spent a number of years as Feature Editor for Rod & Custom Magazine.

Share With: