Tangerine Dream – Kenny and Lynn Seresun’s Single-Family ’34 Ford
We encounter a handful of one-owner and one-family vehicles in our travels at Goodguys, but rarely do those date back as far as Kenny Seresun’s Ford Tudor. Kenny’s father bought the car brand new in Seattle back in 1934 for the princely sum of $612! Since rolling off the dealer’s lot more than 85 years ago, the car has been a part of the Seresun family.
Like so many cars of the era, the Ford was partially retired after serving its time as everyday transportation. “It sat beside the house for probably 7-10 years,” Kenny recalls. “Us kids played in it like a playhouse.”
Kenny was the only boy in his family, and the only one of the kids who was car-crazy enough to show interest in the old Ford. When he convinced his parents to give him the keys as a teenager, Kenny did what most adolescents in the ’60s would have done: he hot rodded the Ford! “I chopped it 2.5-inches when I was 16,” Kenny says. “Brazed it with brazing rod.” He also added a 327c.i. Chevy small-block, four-speed transmission, and a 4,11-geared Cadillac rearend purchased for $15. Virtually all of the work was done in the shop of the family’s concrete business, in true old-school hot rod fashion. “I didn’t have any money,” Kenny says.
Fast forward more than four decades and Kenny and his wife Lynn did have some money – enough to rebuild the Ford into something truly special. Kenny knew the scope of the project would require a craftsman of high caliber, so he turned to the talented Bobby Anderson of Apache Junction, Arizona, to handle the build.
The rebirth began with a custom chassis based on Bobby’s fabricated frame rails, to which he added a TCI independent front suspension and custom cantilever rear suspension, with adjustable Carrera coil-over shocks at each corner. There was liberal use of chrome and polish, including a plated 9-inch rearend filled with Dutchman axles, and polished Wilwood calipers with drilled rotors. Massive 18×18-inch Mickey Thompson wheels and tires were stuffed under the rear fenders, with matching 15×4.5-inch rollers up front.
Wanting potent – and flashy – power, Kenny and Bobby selected an LS3, which was ultimately topped with an old-school 6-71 Mooneyham supercharger, dual four-barrel carbs, and a trick polished air cleaner that matches the custom valve covers. There’s an abundance of custom paint, polish, and one-off pieces, including custom headers and a hand-built stainless exhaust system. A chrome bellhousing connects the engine to a Tremec six-speed transmission.
Bobby updated Kenny’s old top chop, lowering the lid an additional 2-inches and modifying or finessing just about every other panel on the car after that. The long list of changes includes a filled top, custom firewall, smooth running boards, raised and widened rear fenders, one-off aluminum hood top and sides, custom mirrors integrated into the door frames, and a reshaped and re-angled rear body panel. One-off details abound, like the hand-crafted grille, custom headlight buckets with ’66 Harley-Davidson Sportster lenses, custom taillights that blend into the lower body reveal, and a retractable license plate that drops down out of the lower body reveal.
Given the degree of custom bodywork, Bobby and Kenny knew the car deserved an extra special finish. That came in the form of a multi-layer PPG paint job that started with a medium metallic red base topped with gold pearl, and then covered with wine berry, orange, and gold candies. Needless to say, the paint shimmers in the sun and changes hue depending on the angle of the light.
There was an equal amount of custom craftsmanship that went into the interior, beginning with a hand-crafted dash and custom vertical grille connecting it to the console. AutoMeter gauges were recessed into the driver’s side above the ididit tilt column and custom wheel. Late-model bucket seats and a custom rear seat and side panels were covered in silver pearl Ultraleather, while brushed and polished aluminum accents are found throughout the cabin – including the hand-made door trim, sill plates, shifter, and pedals.
As the four-year, 7,000-hour rebuild was nearing completion, many people commented that the Ford deserved to compete for the Ridler Award. Kenny and Lynn weren’t familiar with the coveted trophy, but quickly got up to speed and worked with Bobby and detailer Derek Bemis to get the car ready for the 2013 Detroit Autorama, making it to the elite circle of Great 8 finalists. Since then, the car has continued to wow crowds at events and put a smile on Kenny’s face whenever he fires the blown engine to life or wipes down the gorgeous paint job. After 86 years, this old Ford remains safe in the Seresun family, and undoubtedly in better shape than Kenny’s father could have ever fathomed.
Photos by John Jackson