Wheelbarrow Firewall for a 1930 Ford Coupe

When I bought my Model A coupe it already had a junk SBC and a new TH400 mounted in the frame. The stock body was bolted to the frame with a hole cut in the firewall to clear the SBC and the floorboards were missing. I checked into the commercially available firewalls for Model A street rods and promptly got a case of sticker shock. $200 - $250 for a piece of sheet metal with a couple of breaks and beads rolled into it seemed a bit steep to me. So, I went in search of a custom solution that would have a little more character than a store bought piece and could also be done for a more reasonable cost.
I recalled hearing somewhere about someone making a firewall from a wheelbarrow bucket.  I checked my trusty, rusty and well used wheelbarrow and it did indeed have the compound curves that were desired for the Model A firewall. Encouraged by several regulars of the RRT, I ventured to my local Home Depot to procure a shiney new wheelbarrow bucket. I tied in vain to get them to sell me just the bucket at a discout, but no dice. I had to buy the whole kit for $26 and change. Ever helpful, the RRT dudes also offered several creative suggestions for use or disposal of the wheel, handles, and other uneeded hardware.

I started by making a 3/4" plywood floor to fit around the transmission.  The handbrake bolts to this plywood floor.

I trimmed the wheelbarrow bucket down to size and welded a flange around the edge.

With this bolted to the existing Model A firewall, I then formed the toeboards, a piece to cover the large "V" cut in the plywood floor, and a transmission hump to cover the bellhousing of the transmission.

With these all welded together and primered it was ready to bolt into the car.

Here it is with the tank and steering column bolted in. The picture doesn't do it justice, but the legroom is actually pretty good for such a small car. The seat has since been replaced and moved back and the tank has beeen replaced with saddle tanks.

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