This Month's Featured Ride - October 2008

Jim's Model "A"

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LiL 1”

After I retired from NASCAR modified racing in the middle 80's I needed something to occupy my time and shop. I decided that street rodding could offer the correct blend of the stock car racing culture and family that I had grown up with. Most of you know our chopped orange '34 Ford sedan, a.k.a. the “Pumkin”, from years of traveling all over the east coast and out west with Deb, the boys and various LISRA club members. However, I wanted a second street rod that encompassed my early NASCAR modified heritage, built from scratch, including the chassis. This to me was a model “A” body (chopped), deuce rails, big block (at least 500hp), 4-speed and a quick change rear. In 1990 I saw an ad in round-up magazine for a Model “A” coupe body located in the mountains of Appalachia. LISRA member Paul Wood (a.k.a. “Woody”) and myself drove 30 hours round trip and picked up the 4” chopped body with a filled ribbed roof, lifted it off the chassis and loaded it onto the trailer along with one original hood, one Rotlieb hood, one original '32 grille shell and insert, stainless cowl and hood trim, one Walker Radiator and electric fan for the princely sum of $3000. Over the years we owned other street rods but the coupe stayed in the barn while I stockpiled parts waiting for the right time to start the build up. In 2003 I retired from Verizon and dedicated 6 months to the build up in between substitute teaching. With the help from many old (Ron Poons, Artie Tappen, John Betts and many others) and new friends the finished product is what you see before you.

I had a dummy big block, Super T-10 4-speed, a couple quick change rears and had purchased a set of deuce rails. I placed them in my fixture, pinched the front and rear to accept the coupe body and than started welding in cross members, mounts, suspension attachment points etc. The body is chopped 4”, with a 4.5” recessed firewall to accept the ZZ502 aluminum headed big block, Chevy Super T-10 4-speed and Winters quick change. The coupe has A/C, heat, defrost, tilt wheel, and the capability of getting your attention real quick when you hit the gas pedal. Artie & Bill at Tappen Enterprises provided a great deal of insight and help as there isn't anyone around with more knowledge and skill than those folks. Sal at Sal's Automotive did the 2 ½” exhaust from the lake pipes back and is still in therapy today. Rick, of Richards Trim Works, completed the interior and trunk in Bordeaux synthetic leather (Rave Product) as well as the trunk, making the gas tank look like an old time valise. His attention to the little details made the interior stand out from most others. Harvey Bagshaw of Starlite Autobody fame not only painted the chassis and body but performed numerous body mods (in lead), including replacing the ribbed roof with a smooth one ('92 Buick Park Ave), adding metal to the doors to parallel the gutters, fabricating the defroster ducts, the drip rails in the trunk so it doesn't fill up with water, replacing the cowl panel with one from a roadster as they don't make one for a coupe and replacing the inner fender panels in the rear and massaging the original grille shell as well. Harvey opened the chop up on the rear of each door approximately ½” as well because it wasn't to his liking. He applied the 2008 Lincoln Creme Brulee' to the body and chassis and Ford 2006 Dark Toreador red to the wheels, engine, steering box, valve covers, dashboard, window plates and steering column. It is really his car, he just lets me drive it.

I really enjoyed the build up and would like to thank everyone for their support and help especially Debbie and the boys. So if you see a crème blur it's just me in “LiL 1” terrorizing the locals.

See ya on the Road,

Jim

 

 














 
 
 

 
           
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