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Novelty Plaque Mount Bracket

2/12/2018
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Circa 1982

Now that you know the back story on my Dad’s old Sedan Delivery, you may appreciate my drive to return as much of it as I can to its former condition.

One thing that had kept the fire burning for the street rod of my childhood was the color-keyed car club plaque for the ’46 that I found many years after dad passed away. I’ll never forget all the flack I overheard as a kid about “altering” the club colors and how it was against the bylaws. (Some folks take this stuff too seriously) For decades, that plaque lived on my garage wall as a reminder of my Dad’s obstinate spirit and sometimes blatant disregard for the “rules”.

I’ve been a member of that same car club since I was about 20 and I got my first pre-48 car. I never ran Dad’s plaque though, because in my mind there’s only one place that it belongs.

After I brought the delivery back home, the first thing I went to do was put that hunk of aluminum back in its rightful place. That was when I discovered something that I’d forgotten. This thing has ’46 Ford REAR bumpers at both ends. What’s that mean? Well in ’46 the rear plate was attached to the decklid or in this case, rear door. That meant instead of having slots for the plate bracket like a front bumper would have, they have a cool, debossed Ford oval stamped in the steel.

As the Johnny Cash song goes, “We went to put in the bolts and all the holes were gone”. At that time, there were a multitude of other things to work on to prepare for our California vacation. So the plaque went back on the wall.

That got me thinking. How in the heck did Dad mount that thing? I could tell it was on this bumper because the chrome was worn in that spot from it riding there for years. This spring I resolved to come up with a solution that would get the plaque off the wall.

Behind the bumper there’s an apron with a carriage bolt that looked like it would work to fasten a bracket dead-center and tied into the baffle that goes into the grille opening. Plenty strong enough to support what I had in mind.

I started with a piece of 1” flat steel stock. I bent a stick of wire coat hanger into a “J” that would reach up behind the bumper and capture the bolt. From that pattern I heated and bent the flat stock into a refined version of that shape. Being mindful to keep all the bends parallel so the bracket would be straight. I drilled and chamfered a hole that snugly fit the bolt at this time too.

With the “J” portion bolted in place I was able to determine where I wanted the cross-bar to intersect it.

The plaque had been drilled for through bolts already or I would’ve tried to put blind-tapped holes in the back-side so no hardware was showing. But since they were already there, I drilled and tapped a chunk of 1” angle to accept ¼” socket head bolts.

After I got the position figured out, I lopped off the long tail where it was marked and welded to two together. After the part cooled, a little charcoal gray wheel paint made it disappear behind the plaque.

Writing this now, a full summer season of driving behind us, I can report that it works great! Finally back in place after 32 years.

Finally back in place after 32 years

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