“I guess that means it’s time to sell off these cars,” are the words Chris Niederkrom uttered to his friend. Chris had just found out that his wife was pregnant, and was under the impression that selling off all his projects was just how being a responsible adult worked. Fortunately, the friend gave him some sage advice: “That’s not how you do it. Now is the time to buy more cars, and involve the kids in everything.” Now, some 15-ish years later, Chris and his son, Dean, cruise down River Road alongside the Guadalupe River in a 1933 Ford Coupe hot rod that they built together.Hagerty
When Chris Niederkrom was a kid, his Dad built Model A Fords. Together they’d go to swap meets, hang out with his Dad’s car buddies, and they’d work on cars.
Chris says that he doesn’t really know that he set out to where his son Dean and he had the same kind of relationship. It was just kind of something in him. He did know that was how his Dad raised him and that it might be an excellent way to connect with Dean when he was a little kid.
Dean would read up on all these old hot rods — he knew the details of how they were built, why they were made that way, and where they raced.
Chris says that Dean is the only guy he’s ever met in his life that he’s confident loves cars more than he does.
Dean was involved in the project from the very beginning. Chris was very proud of him because every single step of the way, he’d ask, “what’s the next thing that we’re working on? What do they have to accomplish to get this thing to where it’s a driving car?”
They had the Ford unchopped for about 15 years, and Chris actually had no plans of chopping it, but then he and Dean were at a car show in California. They saw a car there that they just absolutely fell in love with — their jaws dropped, and there was no going back after they saw that car.
This car is a 1933 Ford five-window coupe. The body started as a 1933 Ford, and then they changed pretty much everything about it. They ended up channeling the car and chopped about four inches out of the back and about five inches out of the front.
They wanted that car to be something that they could have on the road for many years without needing to go back and revisit anything on it, so they took some liberties with it. It’s has a small block Chevy engine with Corvette heads, Edelbrock intake, Mallory dual point distributor from the ‘60s, and is backed by a five-speed overdrive transmission.
They know that people get offended that you put a Chevy motor in a Ford, but it wasn’t done to annoy people. They did it because Chris knows how to keep a Chevy motor running reliably so the pair can drive it anywhere — and that’s what they built the car for…