The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide

Troy Pumphrey of Tampa


Troy Pumphrey of Tampa inherited a 1957 Ford Fairlane in 2003 while he was still living in Maryland. There were few custom 57 Fords on the road. So, with advice from a local car fanatic and friend, Bob Von Rinteln, he bought a 4.6L Signature Series Cammer Motor.

“With motor in hand, it was time to really get serious about the 57 project,” he said. “I contacted Jason Rushforth Designs for ideas. It didn’t take long for Jason to come up with design and color options.

“With assistance of Bob and use of his car lift, we totally stripped the underside of the body and frame down to the metal. After cleaning up the frame and undercarriage and welding in the necessary suspension tabs, Levi Henson, a longtime street rodder and master painter, smoothed and painted the firewall, undercarriage and frame.

“When the Fat Man Stub and Mustang II suspension arrived, Bob felt it best to build a jig of the original frame stub to ensure that an absolute fit. Also, to assure correct geometry with the hydro boost, brake, clutch and pedal assemblies, we cut out the firewall to a late-model Cobra. The 57 control positions are exactly like the Mustang Cobra.

“When mocking up the motor, we realized that the Tremac tranny was much taller and wider than the original. So, we cut the tunnel from the firewall back to the rear seat, opened it up about 3 inches, added sheet metal, reconfigured the tunnel and then welded back up.

“We were then faced with another issue, how we convert the Cammer Motor from a returnless system to a return style system. I and Bob discovered that the late model Impala SS tank fit perfectly between the 57 frame rails. The fill tube on the Impala tank was also in the same location as the factory tank fill. For the Impala tank to properly fit, we removed the 57 factory spare tire well from the trunk.”

In 2005, the Pumphreys moved to Florida. Benji Mercado of Next Level Auto Body Shop in Tampa cut out bad metal, performed modifications specified by Jason Rushforth Designs, and painted the car. Eric Reynolds, a 31-year-old electronic guru, wired the car. And Vinnie of Cimo & Cimo Custom Upholstery took care of the interior.

If you are lucky, you may every once in a while see Troy and Cindy Pumphrey bring the 57 Fairlane to a car show/cruise-in.