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’33 Hot Rod - Design

This is Not Your Grandfather’s ’33 Ford

The design goal of the car was pure vintage lines dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century with CAD/CAM technology and race car engineering.

With cutting edge performance and real world driving comfort, the stylized Factory Five ’33 takes the beauty of the original design to the next level. The car is wider, lower, and more radical than the original. We’ve used our 15+ years of race car design/engineering to build a modern hot rod that will out-accelerate, out-handle, and out-brake established sports cars like Corvettes, Porsches, and Ferraris, in a shape that is 100% pure American Hot Rod muscle.

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    Frame / Chassis

    A ‘33 Chassis Like No Other

    Under our classic ‘33 body is a frame like no other. Once we accepted that we could not make an original style frame strong enough to meet the demands of a performance sports car, we made the decision to design an all-new, completely modern, extremely rigid, and yet aesthetically pleasing, tubular steel space-frame. The ultra-rigid frame is made of mig-welded, high strength carbon steel tubing and plate steel. This unique design delivers great torsional rigidity, increased cockpit space, and numerous safety features.

    Each frame is finish welded by hand, but supported by CAD designed tooling, high quality materials, and CNC robotics. The CAD/CAM based jigs are built with laser-cut tooling steel and hold parts to a high level of accuracy. What that means to you is that all of your running gear and accessories will bolt right into place like they should.

    • Single full-width removable roll bar can be used with roadster or hardtop. Made from 11/2 “ OD, .120” wall DOM tubing.
    • Safety designed collapsible steering column and bolt-on mounts for Wilwood pedal box.
    • High performance and partially concealed cantilever style in-board KONI™ mono-tube coil-over shocks and tubular front suspension control arms are standard.
    • CAD designed tubular steel frame with backbone delivers tremendous torsional rigidity AND a low vehicle weight. The welded assembly weighs only 275 lbs. total!
    • The vehicle/chassis is 3” wider than the original car. This makes more space in the cockpit. The rearward and low engine placement delivers low center of gravity and optimum front/rear weight distribution.
    • Hood, doors, and trunk all mount directly to the steel frame, not the body shell. Doors are authentic rear-hinged “suicide doors” design.
    • Side impact protection, DOT door latches, tubular steel door liners, and welded driveshaft safety hoops are some of the safety features built into the ‘33 frame.
    • Bolt-on engine mounts and adjustable transmission mounts for T-5, TKO, T56, AOD and other transmissions standard.
    • Elegent truss-style round tube design is visable when the car is used without engine side covers.
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    Chassis Assembly

    Dad was a Hot Rod, Mom was a Formula car

    One look tells the whole story. The beauty and strength of the Factory Five ’33 frame is complimented by a modern race proven suspension up front and out back.

    The front suspension is a radical in-board coil-over design with elegant yet strong tubular upper and lower control arms. This modern front suspension design delivers razor sharp handling and positive feedback while telling the world that this car does more than go in a straight line.

    Clearly visible from behind (which is where most drivers will see the car from) is the proven Factory Five 4-link (standard) or 3-link (optional) solid axle suspension with high-end Koni coil-over shocks and tubular control arms. The rear suspension was lifted directly from our Challenge Series Racers, cars that have proven themselves on the track for more than eight years.

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    Composite Body

    American Hot Rod Art

    Massive wheels wells, a steeply raked nose, removable engine side covers, and a lower and wider stance than any original ’33 Ford tell the world that this car is meant to be driven fast. We worked hard to take the ’33 to the next logical level. The changes we made to the shape were both dictated by performance and guided by aesthetics. The result is an aggressive stance with classic lines.

    The Factory Five Racing ’33 Hot Rod kit comes with a hand-laid vinylester composite body. The hood, doors, trunk, and optional hard top have molded liners and come complete with hinges and pre-drilled mounting holes. The side engine covers and front lower nose are single lined panels. The dash is integral to the body and the kit is delivered with one of two available transmission tunnel covers. The rear cockpit bulk head and trim piece are also part of the kit.

    Like our Roadsters, Coupes, and GTMs, lamination thickness of the body shell and panels is 3/16” all around with approx. .015” coat of sandable black gel coat outer finish. The body shell and panels contribute to a remarkably low vehicle weight of around 2120 lbs (Roadster)!

    The Factory Five ’33 body is 3″ wider than the original, has enlarged rear wheel wells, and rides lower to the ground. The body is engineered to work well with the strong steel and aluminum chassis, and owing to the demands of the Hot Rod market, the bodies are manufactured to the highest standards of any Factory Five composite bodies.

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    Suspension & Brakes

    Making a Hot Rod Drive like a Sports Car

    The goal of making a modern Hot Rod handle like a well-balanced sports car required more than a well-designed and rigid frame. On the shoulders of our revolutionary ’33 frame, we placed a state of the art suspension, precise steering, competent brakes, and engineered the vehicle to have a lower center of gravity and excellent front/rear weight distribution.

    Our engineering team developed an all-new front suspension design and joined it with the proven rear suspension from our Challenge Series race cars. This new suspension configuration successfully delivers a combination of comfortable ride and superior performance. The tublar control arms are exposed outside of the body while the Koni™ brand cantilever shocks ride in-board and deliver excellent damping. Factory Five ’33s have earned recognition for their handling and ride quality.

    Front Suspension
    The front suspension is an in-board coil-over design with elegant yet strong, unequal length upper and lower tubular a-arms and high-end mono-tube adjustable coil-over rod-end dampers. Our rugged front suspension delivers superior handling without the compromises of Mustang II style set-ups and it tells the world that this car does more than go in a straight line. The hot rod is delivered with the entire front suspension, spindles, steering rack, brakes, and fasteners.

    Rear Suspension
    Clearly visible from behind (which is where most drivers will see the car from) is the proven Factory Five 4-link (standard) or 3-link (optional) solid axle suspension with high-end Koni™ coil-over shocks and tubular control arms. The 3-link rear suspension was lifted directly from our Challenge Series Racers, cars that have proven themselves on the track for more than ten years.

    The Hot Rod is delivered to you ready to accept bolt-on suspension components. There are two (2) rear suspension configurations that can be used on the hot rod. The standard suspension is a Ford Mustang 4-link rear configuration. An optional 3-link performance suspension is available for use with 8.8″ axle.

    A high quality Unisteer™ rack and pinion manual steering rack is standard. Front brakes are standard 2000 Ford Mustang GT brakes with 11″ rotors and aluminum two piston PBR calipers. Rear brakes are optional since many people obtain rear ends with brake assemblies.

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    Running Gear

    Bolt-in Your Engine, Transmission, and Rear End

    The Factory Five ’33 Hot Rod is designed to use small block V-8 power, a wide range of transmissions, and a solid axle Ford rear end. Included in the Hot Rod package are the engine mounts, driveshaft, side exit exhaust, mufflers, and straight tubes with fasteners required to match up to the factory or aftermarket shorty headers. All these parts make installing your running gear easy.

    The ’33 Hot Rod is set up to use small block Ford 289/302, 351, 4.6L 4V engines, and the new 5.0L Coyote. Also available are install kits for the Chevy small block and the GM series of engines.

    The transmissions that you can use include the T-5 (Ford or GM), T56 (Ford or GM), 3550/TKO, or AOD. Others, with minor driveshaft modifications, have installed transmissions such as the TH350, C4, C6, 2004R, 700R4, 4L60E, and the TG499. When you order your Hot Rod, you will select the correct spline driveshaft for your transmission. You can also choose an automatic or manual transmission tunnel (manual transmission tunnel is narrower).

    Rear End
    The car is designed to use a bolt-on Ford 8.8” solid-axle rear-end. You may also install a Ford 9” rear end if it has the 8.8” Mustang suspension mounts added.

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    Complete Interior, Gauges, and Trim Standard

    The complete interior is included with the ‘33 Hot Rod. We include seats, full driver and passenger Simpson brand seat harnesses, carpeting, gauge package, steering wheel and steering column, ignition and switches, shifter and shift boot, interior door handles, upholstered door panels, removable roll bar, and choice of manual or automatic transmission cover. Side windows, power mechanisms and outside door handles are included with the optional hard top.

    The beauty of the ‘33 Hot Rod interior is based on its simplicity and functionality. The molded doors flow seamlessly into the trailing edge of the dash. The dash is integral to the body and comes with a complete array of vintage gauges. The rear cockpit bulk head and trim piece are also included.

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    Period Correct American Hot Rod Art

    Massive wheel wells, a steeply raked nose, with a lower and wider stance than any original ‘33 tells the world that this car is meant to be driven!

    The Factory Five ’33 body is 3″ wider than the original, has enlarged rear wheel wells, and rides lower to the ground. The body is engineered to mount easily to the strong steel and aluminum FFR chassis.

    • All lighting, glass and latches are DOT approved components.
    • Expensive exterior trim items are all standard. You get head lamps, tail lights/turn signals, license plate bracket and light, cast aluminum grill, badges, side view mirrors, trunk handles and hinges, full-width removable roll bar, and polished slide in roadster windshield.
    • The high performance KONI™ coil-over shocks are concealed and the tubular control arms are visible for a clean look.
    • Customize! We designed removable engine side covers, a removable hard-top with a separate slide-in windshield, and two different sets of removable fenders (full fenders with running boards and smaller bike fenders).
    • Cool deatils like LED tail lights and fuel cap that is concealed inside the trunk lip make the car a true custom.
    • The hood, doors, trunk, and optional hard top have molded liners and come complete with hinges that mount to the chassis.
    • Complete exhaust system is polished stainless steel and standard with mufflers and side exit tips. Rear exit exhaust is an affordable option.
    • The composite body is hand-laid vinylester fiberglass. The one-piece, construction is 3/16” uniform thickness with approximately .015” coat of gel coat outer finish.
    • The curb weight of the car with a small block Ford V-8 and a manual 5-speed transmission is 2150 lbs.!
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    A Hot Rod the Handles like a Porsche

    In the world of hot rods, customs and kit cars, we stand miles above the crowd and a big reason for this is our commitment to racing development and safety. Only by racing your products can you learn real performance, and racing gives you a deep appreciation for safety and engineering. The Hot Rod has benefitted from our 15+ years of racing experience.

    The Hot Rod weighs 2,150 lbs and when powered by a modest 300 HP small block. It’ll make most modern sports cars feel slow and heavy. With race proven suspension and brakes, the car will turn and stop just as quickly.

    Displacement: 289/302/351/4.6L/5.0L Coyote/SB & LS Chevy
    Induction: Multi-Port Fuel Injection or Carburated
    Drivetrain/Suspension: Manual or Automatic Transmission
    Front Suspension Type: Inboard Independent Double Arm
    Rear Suspension Type: Solid Rear Axle 4-Link or 3-Link with Panhard Bar
    Shock-Springs: Koni™ Adjustable Coil Over
    Steering: Rack and Pinion 3.25 turns lock-lock
    Brakes: Vented 11 in. Disc Front

    Construction Layout
    Layout: Front Engine RWD Roadster/Coupe
    Frame: Tubular Space Frame
    Roll Bar: Full width structurally mounted 1.5” Tubing
    Sub-Structure: Aluminum Paneling Riveted/Bonded to Frame
    Restraint System: 5 Point Simpson Harness

    0-60 MPH: < 4.0 Seconds Est. 1/4 Mile: < 12.0 Seconds Est. Top Speed: N/A Braking: 110 Ft. from 60 MPH Est. Vehicle
    Weight: 2,150 lbs. est.
    Weight Distribution F/R: 50.0/50.0 (%)
    Wheelbase: 112 in.
    Overall Length: 154 in.
    Front Track: 54.5 in.
    Rear Track: 60.0 in.
    Overall Height: 52.5 in.
    Overall Width: 72.0 in
    Ground Clearance: 4.5 in.
    Fuel Capacity: 15 Gallons

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    Safety Isn’t an Accident

    The Hot Rod is not a faithful replica of the original cars with respect to safety, rather it is a far stronger and safer design. We’ve added modern safety features that the original cars lacked. In the world of hot rods, customs and kits we stand miles above the crowd and it’s in great part due to our steadfast commitment to racing development and safety. It’s also because all of us share a deep love and concern for all the people who may ride in a Factory Five. That includes our families, friends and customers.

    • 3” Simpson brand, full racing H-harness for driver and passenger.
    • Fuel tank mounted within frame perimeter with fuel pump impact shut-off.
    • Triangular style side impact bars and frame mounted doors.
    • Driveshaft safety loops.
    • 2” OD, .120” wall, mandrel bent, full-width frame-mounted roll bar, removeable
    • Energy absorbing tubular steel frame and aluminum chassis panels.
    • Manufacturing controls that maintain high degree of consistency in welding and fabrication.
    • Cockpit steel surround structure.
    • Vintage components that are individually FMVSS compliant (ie. lighting, carpets, seating material, safety glass etc)
    • Low vehicle center of gravity and balanced weight distribution.
    • Acceleration, turning and stopping abilities above almost any current production vehicle.