At present time, no work has begun on the restoration of Venus #2 as I need to concentrate on Venus #1. Below are some photos of Venus #2 in it’s “as rescued” condition, as well as some old family photographs of Venus #2.
Currently, it does not have an engine or a transmission, and I don’t know what it might have been. If the steering wheel is any indication, it may have been a Lincoln automatic transmission. There are two motor mount type brackets welded to the inner chassis rails, but I don’t have a clue what they might have been used for. There is also a custom transmission support beam further down. The chassis does appear to be of the Ford ’49-50 type. If I had the time and inclination to work on this car, I’d try to fit in a little Ford Mustang 289 with floor-shift automatic transmission….should be plenty of those set-ups readily available, and they are serviceable. Another good candidate might be a nice-looking Y-block out of a T-Bird, again with an automatic. Dispensing with the need for a clutch, linkage, pedal, and master cylinders solves a lot of mounting problems.
This Venus does have most of the “original” custom pieces, including the windshield frame, front trim, and finisher trim that mounts to the door; the custom-made (by Ken McLoad) bumper with room for a Continental kit; and the steering wheel shaft surround that mounts to the instrument panel. Missing is the framework for a folding top…but I’d make this an open-top car anyway. This Venus also has a fitted grille from a ’55 Chevy and a custom trim piece that surrounds it. (Seems a bit sacrilege to put a Ford V8 emblem in the middle of a Chevy grille!!). Missing from the photos below are the external custom door hinges. All are in hand and in good condition; I just didn’t have time to mount them for these photographs.
The body itself is in good, original condition with no hits, damage, or repair. The hood is in great shape too, though I am not sure if the strengthening struts were added by my Dad or by some other owner. Someone used pins to hold the hood down…quite a crummy job if you ask me. As you can see, the Venus bodies were made with a partial floor….it is up to the owner to complete the floor as he sees fit. A piece of aluminum sheet on the chassis frames followed by some 1″ plywood will do the trick. A new owner might choose to relocate the filler cap door as it will clearly get water leakage being on the top deck of the body. I made a new one for Venus #1 (along with a new copper box to hold the filler tube). I shot a short video of how I made a new door with a perfect fit, and it is HERE). (See photo of filler box in Venus #1 Update).
There really is no right or wrong way to restore a Venus. You can choose to make everything “period-correct”, or customize it as you see fit. Upgrade the engine/tranny; upgrade the brakes; custom paint job; even make a “low-rider” out of it. The Venus was always meant to be a highly customizable car. And again, one of two exist out of maybe a dozen….this ride is super-rare and super unique!
(As of January 2017, Venus #2 has been purchased by Geoffrey Hacker of “Forgotten Fiberglass”)
Below are old photographs of Venus #2 in our carport in Houston, Texas, circa 1955, owned by Ken McLoad. As you can tell from the above photos, this Venus was at one time painted from a white car to a black car (see door jambs). Could this have been the two-tone Venus un the “Venus Corporation” sign? Maybe…however, I do not see the custom rear bumper, the Continental kit, nor fog lights in that particular photo.