Custom Fresh Air Ventilation

When you customize an old school ride like my 54 Pontiac, some things get left out. In my case, the modifications to engine compartment blocked the factory fresh air intakes to the passenger compartment. My solution was to incorporate functional 1954 Cadillac air conditioning scoops on the front fenders similar to the non functional 1956/57 Corvettes'.

Here's my fender scoops for fresh air.

The problem is "how to get the air inside?". Installing the scoops was not a problem, getting the air from the scoops, down the fender and into the interior was! I had to cut a hole in the side of the body and route the air through the passenger and driver's kick panels.

Route from scoop on fender and out kickpanel to the back of the heater box.

I cut a whole in the firewall/door portion to direct air into the passenger compartment.

I found that a 1982 Chrysler LeBaron air intake housing worked great to direct air from the scoop then 90 degrees into the passenger area. I soldered in brass tubes at the bottom to drain water. The carb inlet was mounted against the body and the air intake pointed up towards the fender scoop.

The heater box had the original air intake blocked and new intakes added.

Just not enough room to put the flexible hose in and connect it with a hose clamp!

The biggest problem was getting the air from the firewall/body to the heater box. At first I tried running a 3" dia flexible hose but there wasn't enough room to get a hose and then physically clamp it in place. After an hour of frustration, had to go with plan B - there's always a plan B!

Found that certain soup cans were the exact diameter that I needed. Unfortunately, soldering didn't work and it looked like sh*t!

Using the soup can ends as templates, I created a cardboard right angle tube that would fit. Covered in masking tape at this time.

Then fiberglassed the whole mess. Looks pretty good!

Lastly, I painted the tubes but the picture looks much worse then it actually is.

After the vent tubes were in place, the kick panel had to be modified with a hole through it so that the flexible tubing could pass through. The toughest part was trying to figure out how to finish the kick panel hole so it looked good. I happened to be at the local pet store with my daughter and noticed that they had stainless steel food/water bowls of various sizes with a nice rim. That got me thinking, I could cut off the rim and use it to finish the kick panel.

I put a grinding disk into my drill press and set it to the right height. I didn't cut completely all around. I left 4 tabs that will be used to hold the bezel to the kick panel.

Here's the finished bezels and one resting on the bowl part so you can see the cuts.

Bezels installed on the kick panel and the flexible hose routed through. Looking good!

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Copyright January 2012 Eugene Blanchard