A Fun Tampa Bay Auto Repair Job - Restoring a mint 1949 Ford Sedan

On Monday, one of our good customers brought in another of his creations to Dade City’s Muffler City, one of Big Mechanic’s muffler repair shops in the Tampa area.

Art Small is a classic car builder in Dade City. He rebuilds high-end classic cars for his clients with the original “frame off restoration” qualities of the past, and he trusts our Tampa Bay muffler locations to complete the exhaust work. He has brought in everything from 20’s up to 1980’s GM, Ford & Chrysler hot rods, rat rods & some 100% OEM quality vehicles. This time our Tampa muffler repair company was in for a real treat: a 1949 Ford Sedan in mint condition! It’s always fun because we see the vehicle after all the drivetrain, power plant, frame, suspension, steering, interior and paint have been done. The work we do with the muffler and exhaust in our Tampa area shops is one of the last finishing touches to these cars.

What was unique about this exhaust system is that Art was able to search outside Tampa Bay and find the original Smithy’s Mufflers. They are a company that has been in business for almost 100 years (since 1920) making performance style exhaust system products. So we were able to build the system in our Tampa area muffler repair shop as he requested using 2” aluminized exhaust pipes with our Ben Pearson pipe bender. He had specially ordered center-dump powder-coated headers with the exclusive aluminum gasket system. There isn’t a muffler or general exhaust system we cannot build or repair for any of our Tampa Bay customers. This 1949 Ford Sedan was a challenge though, as we needed to work the pipes around an original starter the size of a football and a power steering pump that had been relocated … all while keeping our bends smooth and flowing equally toward the custom built dual exhaust designed cross member.

Unless a customer in one of our Tampa muffler shops requests differently, our typical exhaust hanger brackets are of a universal design with multiple holes in it for multi-fit applications. But we weren’t surprised by Art finding the factory fit brackets to keep this car as original as possible. This meant that our Tampa Bay muffler shop needed to be as accurate as possible with forming our exhaust pipes & tailpipes to meet those brackets as they were designed. This car was missing nothing when you consider every single small piece was new. The leaf-springs were re-arched to factory height, and original FoMoCo shock absorbers were installed. It’s not every day a Tampa area muffler mechanic gets to work on a car like this.

When you get underneath a 60 year old car and see perfectly installed sway-bat links, control arm bushings, frame mount bolts, ball joints, original drum brake system with all new adjusters and springs … it will motivate you to have a courier drive 60 miles round trip for a 6-pack of shouldered brass nuts to complete the job where it meets the header so that you can say, we are lucky to be the Tampa area muffler shop Art chose, and we did it right!

Art has brought us over 40 cars in the last couple of years to our Tampa area locations, and we can’t wait to see the next classic come in for muffler and exhaust work. I heard it was another frame-off… a 1967 Corvette!

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