In the words of Bentley Motors: “There are few cars that embody the glamour, speed, and power of the prewar Bentley era better than the ‘Blue Train’ Bentley Speed Six.”
Proof of the Blue Train’s influence, Ken “Posies” Fenical and the crew at Posies couldn’t agree more with Bentley. So much in fact that in 2008 they unveiled the Euroliner at SEMA; a car built, in Posies’ words, “to emulate the sporting and touring cars from the ’30s, namely the Bentley Blue Train.”
Facing the Euroliner head-on, its split-windshield and long louvered hood is reminiscent of the Le Baron – bodied 1932 Chrysler Imperial. Look down each side and its dual side-mount spare tires, suicide doors, and lack of full running boards in-between swooping cycle fenders scream Bentley Blue Train.
The body began as a Brookville 1932 Ford three-window coupe body and was then extensively modified to serve as the cab for the Euroliner. Posies explained to STREET RODDER: “To begin the first stage of the project the entire rear of the body was removed from below the rear window with only a small portion of the quarter-panel remaining behind the door post. Next the cowl and front portion of the roof was split along the centerline. The cowl and roof header were widened 6 inches, eliminating the rear to front taper of the 1932 body, giving the Euroliner a more pronounced squared body. To finish the body change, the rear of the roof was cut from the body and moved rearward 1-1/2 inches.
“The body was then set on the frame and the rest of the panels were started. The firewall was fabricated from two pieces joined with a vertical seam. Three large beads were rolled into the pieces that radiated from the lower center point of the firewall. Toeboards were then built that continued the beads on the front and then disappeared under the car.
“The rear of the body was ‘cabbed’ by using a single panel that enclosed the rear of the body that carried on with the same three beads theme as the firewall. Rear corner panels were formed to meet the side and rear panels. The stock 1932 Ford bodyline was carried through the corner panels across the rear panel. Lower rear filler, floor panels, and driveshaft tunnel were fabricated and welded to the body.”
Another design element found on true classics of eras gone by is the boat tail rear end. Posies described the process of creating the Euroliner’s boat tail saying, “It was built around a jig constructed from angle iron that was temporarily welded to the frame. Work began a little further back on the frame with a fabricated rear frame cover. Formed aluminum pieces, total of nine, shaped with a slight dome, were pieced together to make a ribbed cover. Additional hand-formed aluminum side panels were formed to complete the cover.
“The boat tail sides were formed from aluminum to match the steel jig attached to the frame. The lower portion of the side panels was trimmed to fit the rear suspension and the contour of the rear frame cover. Rear fender mounts were fabricated that go through the side panels. To reinforce this area, steel plates where laminated on the back side of the aluminum panel. Aluminum pieces were made to form the supports that will mount the boat tail to the frame. The interior steel jig was removed and floor pieces and mounting flanges were fabricated and TIG welded to the side panels unitizing the boat tail.”
The boat tail lid was made from aluminum and formed to a buck. Two panels were used to fabricate the top of the lid while several pieces were used to make the perimeter. The pieces were English wheeled to the proper shape, then TIG welded together.”
Once Posies had all of the coachbuilt body parts completed the next phase was to move the Euroliner into paint using PPG products to combine pure black with deep blue for a classic finish.
In place of 1932 Ford ’rails Posies fabricated the frame from box tube and increased the wheelbase in the process. For rear suspension a 9-inch Ford differential is suspended from Posies Superslide leaf springs and damped with lever-action shock absorbers. In front a pair of Posies Superslide springs are mounted in parallel on a straight axle and damped with lever-action shock absorbers.
The drum brakes at all four corners are from MT Car Products of Lindsay, California, and steering is handled with a Vega-style steering box. For that classic-era look rolling down the road, four 20-inch Dayton wire wheels were mounted on Coker Excelsior 20-inch tires.
Under a Posies custom-fabricated air cleaner power comes from a Ford SVO 302 assembled by Posies; the exhaust system features Hushpower glasspack mufflers. The cooling system begins with a Walker radiator housed in a chopped 1932 Ford grille shell, and circulates coolant thanks to a Ford Performance aluminum water pump. An aluminum gas tank capable of holding 22 gallons feeds the 302-inch Ford V-8, and a TREMEC five-speed transmission connected to a Posies driveshaft handles manual shift gear changes.
The interior in Posies’ Euroliner is anything but period correct, with modern upgrades installed to offer a comfort level unknown to cars of the classic era. The dashboard Posies custom-made from aluminum was filled with Haneline gauges, and the steering wheel is a Posies custom feature as well. Vintage Air air conditioning creates a cold environment in the hottest of weather amplified by the car’s black exterior, and Dynamat thermal acoustic mat throughout holds the cold and keeps loud noises out.
Trimmed in saddle brown leather and tan carpeting, R.P. Interiors of Horseheads, New York, stitched the Euroliner’s full grain pull-up leather upholstery and laid German square-weave carpeting. The headliner was done in English wool. R.P.’s Rich Perez said, “It was all handmade by either me, or Dutch (Posies’ nickname). The seat frame was modified by Dutch, and I upholstered it.”
Posie didn’t draw a concept illustration before starting to build the Euroliner, he had a concept in mind and drew from that and didn’t stop until he had a full-scale interpretation of a 1932 Ford built to run with the classics.