1958 Tornado Typhoon
Started on May 9, 2013, 1:56 p.m.
What’s a Tornado Typhoon? Good question. It’s one of the countless cool limited-production cars offered during the ’50s and ‘60s. We bought ours—some assembly required, of course—for MGB money. Here’s the kicker: Once complete, our Ford-powered machine should be a low-cost way to sample top-tier classic car rallies.
1958 Tornado Typhoon
live axle (rear)
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Latest Project Updates
Meet Our Tornado at the Atlanta Concours d'Elegance
Our fiberglass oddity was just accepted to the field.
Our Tornado Typhoon Hits Amelia Island
We were thrilled to have our Tornado roll onto the field at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
It's All About the Details
Our Tornado Typhoon gets an intense detailing in preparation for Amelia Island.
Making a Tonneau
Without a retractable top, we needed to make a cover to keep rain and debris out of the Tornado.
Thrash for Amelia
We entered our Tornado Typhoon in the Amelia Island concours, but with weeks to go we were far from done.
Wood and Chrome
Our project Tornado gets a steering wheel and mirrors
Cooling the Tornado
Our Project Tornado Typhoon gets a new aluminum radiator.
New Headlights for the Tornado
We replace the 6-volt headlights with newer 12-volt models.
Building an Exhaust System
We fabricate an exhaust system for our Tornado Typhoon.
Getting Catch Tanks Installed
Or Tornado needs catch cans in order to pass tech for vintage racing. Moroso to the rescue.
Figuring Out a Wiring Harness
Our Tornado Typhoon’s wiring harness had to be rebuilt from scratch.
Body Meets Frame
Our Tornado’s body gets mounted to the frame.
Our Tornado Gets Painted
Our project fiberglass special gets a touch of Colonial White.
With our Tornado’s frame back from the shop, we could start putting it all back together.
Our Frame Is Painted
While the body was at the shop, we decided to spruce up our Tornado’s frame.
The wavy fiberglass body of our Tornado takes tons of time to perfect.
Getting the Carbs Back
We get our Tornado’s carburetors back from Joe Curto.
Installing a New Radiator
The radiator that came with our car, was old, heavy and ill-fitting. So we made a call to Ron Davis Racing.
Building a Battery Box
Our Tornado Typhoon gets secret storage and a battery compartment.
Changing the Door Hinge Design
We change the door hinges from external to concealed on our Tornado Typhoon.
Designing a Hood Latching System
We create a new system to hold the Tornado’s hood in place.
Really Stripping the Body
Our Tornado gets a good media blasting.
Fixing The Door Gaps
We address the sub-par panel gaps on out Tornado Typhoon.
Patching the Nose
We discover that our Tornado had been hit softly in the nose.
Meeting Up with the Previous Owner
Our Typhoon’s previous owner stopped by to check out progress on the car.
Fiberglass Work Begins
It’s finally time to start the laborious task of doing all the fiberglass work that the Tornado would require.
Building a Headrest
The final step in our Tornado’s cage was to build a period correct headrest.
Building a Roll Cage
Our Tornado Typhoon gets a vintage racing look.
Getting the Body Straight
Fiberglass cars aren’t usually built with panel gaps in mind, but we want to make ours perfect.
Recovering the Tornado's Seats
Time to recover the seats we had repaired.
Stripping the Body
With the mechanicals mostly done, we could not ignore the body on our Tornado Typhoon any longer.
We Drive A Morgan Trike
This lightweight Morgan has the same power plant as our Tornado Typhoon. It made us excited.
Rebuilding the Suspension
We refresh our Tornado Typhoon’s suspension components.
We Source A Steering Box
We managed to find a rare right-hand drive steering box for our Tornado.
We Take Our Carbs to Joe Curto
Our carburetors needed some going through so we took them to one of the best.
Finding the Aquaplane Intake and Exhaust Manifold
We find period correct intake and exhaust manifolds for our Tornado Typhoon.
Finding A Wiring Harness for the Tornado
Our Tornado Typhoon needed a new wiring harness, so we made a new one from a ‘50s British car wiring harness.
Rebuilding the Ancillaries
With our engine put back together it was time to look over the water pump, starter and generator.
We Assemble the Engine
Our Tornado’s engine is actually very similar to a Ford Model A powerplant.
We Look Over the Seats of Our Tornado
The seats on our project were complete but disassembled, so we rebuilt and refinished them.
We Begin to Strip the Tornado's Body
We start stripping the body and find some worrying repairs.
We Build a Body Jig
Our Tornado’s body was a little flimsy off the frame, so we built a jig.
Figuring out the Tornado's Brakes
We are piecing together the original brake system on our Tornado Typhoon.
Figuring Out the Tornado's Suspension
The Tornado’s suspension is very simple, yet very interesting.
We Tear Into The Chassis
Our inspection continues as we examine our Tornado’s frame.
The Search for Tornado Parts at Carlisle
We find the original lights, and some other parts at Import Carlisle.
We Find Some Original Press Photos
Old press photos help us visualize exactly what a Tornado Typhoon looked like in original form.
We tried a new powerful rust remover on all our rusty Typhoon parts.
Finding Emblems and Other Parts
We discovered some new brights spots on our Tornado Typhoon.
Analyzing the Tornado's Body
Our next step was to have our body man, Tom Prescott come up and take a serious look at our newest project.
Getting Started in Earnest
After our Typhoon was invited to Amelia Island, we saw we had a lot of work in front of us.
Getting Accepted at the Amelia Island Concours
We showed Bill Warner what a finished Tornado would look like and he asked us to bring our’s to the Amelia Island Concours de’ Elegance.
Learning Some of the History on Our Tornado
We found a couple more books that tell the story of our Tornado Typhoon.
Literature Pours In
We now have tons of documents on hotting up our Typhoon, an old Ford-powered special.
Exploring our Typhoon Drivetrain
We might do some old-school hotrodding.
Our Typhoon Hits the Florida Coast
Our kit car carries every styling cliche from the ‘50s, but that’s not all bad.
Tires to Fit a Typhoon
Our Typhoon isn’t yet a runner, but at least it now wears good tires.
Our Tornado Rolls Through Michigan
Our kit car visits Eclectic Motorworks.
Come See the Tornado at Carlisle
Our Typhoon will make its first public showing at Carlisle. Prepare to be wowed.
The Typhoon has Landed
Our ‘50s special has arrived. Now to see what we bought.
We Bought a Typhoon
What’s a Typhoon? Only the coolest ‘50s car ever sold.
1958 Tornado Typhoon Specs
live axle (rear)