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Ride Of The Week 08/07/2023: Robert Helsley's 1948 Ford Coupe


I met Robert Helsley of New Kensington, PA at the Frazer Township Cruise-in where he was driving a 48 Ford Coupe with a killer green finish and blue/green flame job. The more I got him talking about his ride, the more extraordinary the story got.

Robert bought the car in Wyoming where it was an abandoned project. It lacked an interior and needed paint, but much of the mechanical work had already been done. So, he brought it back to PA where Ross Grantz of Kiski Valley Upholstery installed a beautiful leather interior using late-model Lincoln seats with power adjustment.

For paint, Mr. Helsley told his autobody pro he wanted flames. When asked for color, he left it to the painter to do what he felt was best. The Ford Body ended up with a nicely complimenting flame job to the exterior finish.

Robert also did some smaller projects on the car, replacing the master cylinder, adding a radio and electric wipers.

Now here’s where things took an interesting turn. He revealed that he’s the 3rd registered owner of this “body” since 1948. The rest of the car is all Chevy. The chassis and drivetrain were from a 1965 Malibu!

There are a few other hodge-podge items in the build: A late ‘60s Mustang radiator, a Dodge master cylinder (which he replaced), a Lincoln trunk hinge assembly and an El Camino rear axle. It all adds up to hot rodding at its purest, taking what you have on-hand and making it work.

If you’d like your ride to be featured as a #carshowlife#rideoftheweek, send us your story and at least 6 photos to


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