Volume III, Issue 5, Page 44

Words by Ro McGonegal - Photos by Mark Postula - 05/15/08

Where do our ideas originate? Where do our passions lie? By all indication, 39-year-old Mark Postula might know the answer to these questions. He may have lived another life when this ’41 Special Deluxe 5-passenger coupe was new. Maybe he even had one. Maybe he made the ambiguous transition from boyhood to manhood in the back seat of one. His yen never waned.

In his younger years, there were others, yes, a 71 Challenger, a ’67 C-10, and a ’77 Trans Am, but the ’41 gave him chicken-skin every time he thought about it. One thing is for certain. “I have always been a fan of the old fat-fender street rods and when I saw what my cousin was doing to a ’41 coupe that was it for me. I had to have one, too.” It became a synapse that would not close.

“After building mostly Chevrolet trucks, I purchased a complete 1941 Coupe on New Years Day, 2002. I started to rebuild it but found another one in Mesa [Arizona], about 130 miles south of me. My buddies Bones and Terry and I drove down to have a look at it and we dragged a trailer with us just in case [read: ‘no way was I going to come back empty-handed.’]” 

The car they found out behind the guy’s house was trying desperately to be claimed by the desert once and for all. It was completely gutted, just an empty brown shell, but there wasn’t an ounce of rot on it even though it had been outside for more than 40 years. He gave the guy $1,600 for it and they loaded up the body, the frame, and the front clip. He had a sandblaster scrub it for about eight hours. He started on this one in the summer of ’02 and to fund the project, he sold his trophy-winning ’66 C-10 step-side. The first ’41 he’d bought languished in the dry air.

Mark is a doer, a worker who feels that the building part is the journey and there’s nothing he likes fussing with better than his cars. He did about 95 percent of the work on this one, saving himself a pile of scoots. Still, he figures he’s got about $25,000 in the ’41. He farmed out only what he couldn’t do himself, which was finishing the upholstery. His other rods, the ’66 C10, two ’67 C-10s, and a 4-4-2, were built with the same regimen, with his sweat, and his considerable talent.

He put the sand-blasted shell in rotisserie jail and went to work building the roller. When he first began building rods, he couldn’t buy the stuff he got for this project because it didn’t exist, but now it does. With his seed money, he looked to Total Cost Involved (TCI) for some of the front end components he’d need to complete the sandblasted and painted frame. He hooked the tubular suspension kit to 2-inch drop spindles and checked the motion of the unsprung weight with small-block springs and gas-charged shocks.  A power steering rack from an ’84 Mercury Capri commands the 15x7 Eagle Series 211 5-spokes and the BFG P205/60 “littles.” He took the 11-inch disc brakes from a “GM product” and enabled them with a frame-mounted booster and master cylinder.