Mike Dizona was a simple Midwest dirt track racer who lived for his weekends, campaigning his ’32 Ford Roadster with an 8BA Flathead. To get his Roadster to the track, Mike would tow it with his trusty ’40 Ford Coupe, his daily driver. He always enjoyed driving the ’40 and had visions of turning it into a racer as well adding hop-up parts as time and money allowed, twin carbs, aluminum heads, etc. When marriage and children came along, Mike knew the ’40 would need to be replaced with a more family friendly car – a station wagon.
In 1957, Mike sold the car to Gordon Cizek who saw potential in the ’40 as a father and son project with his then 9 year old boy Ron. Gordon and Ron began the rebuild on several occasions through the ‘60s to the ‘90s but it wasn’t until Ron Cizek met Andy Leach at CAL Automotive Creations that the ’40 would reach the potential Ron had always dreamed of. Ron and Deb Cizek are proud to present their ’40 with its “Checkered Past,” the name of the car inspired by the car’s history.
Each part of “Checkered Past” is an artform of its own and the challenge was pulling all of those parts together, trying to make a car that works from front to back. Working on this car is all about CAL Automotive Creations’ passion to blend old styles with new and building a completely custom moving sculpture.
Wedge sectioned 1” front to back; a mere 3/8” roof chop; reshaped windshield and back glass openings to accept flush mount glass; extended rocker panels to eliminate the gap normally found between the rocker and the running board.View Gallery
In keeping with the retro/modern theme, the interior design was equally important. Arched and sweeping lines of fabricated garnish moldings tie into the subtly modified stock ’40 Ford dashboard. A custom gauge cluster and hidden stereo system are also included.View Gallery
Beginning with stock 1940 Ford side rails, the chassis was treated to a more flowing X-member, boxed and strengthened to accept mounts and bracing for
the new independent suspension.