So did Bobby accomplish his goal of attaining vintage rod nirvana? Judging by the constant flock of people surrounding the car while your humble photographer attempted to shoot this month's cover, it appears so. However, like all hot rods, this car is a continuously evolving work in progress, and we expect to see more great things to come from this young gearhead, including what promises to be an outrageous take on one of racing's coolest animals: the land speed racer. In the meantime, the import-driving young street racers of L.A. would do well to steer clear of the little red roadster bombing down the blacktop, because this car is no fancy trailer queen; it's the real deal.
Bobby GreenLos Angeles, California'31 Ford Roadster
Drivetrain: The old standby, a small-block Chevy, was utilized in this buildup because of its endearing price and outstanding power, but this is no late-model granny motor. A '57 283 was fitted with 9.5:1 pistons and ported '64 fuel injection heads, which draw fuel through a trio of Rochester carbs nestled on an Offy intake. A COMP Cams hydraulic bumpstick chops up the idle, and a Spaulding Flamethrower distributor fitted with electronic internals lights the fire. "Chazmatic" at Auto Craft assembled the balanced mill, and Bobby estimates power to be around 300 ponies. Cal Custom valve covers are spaced up a bit to make clearance for roller rockers. Corvette ram's horn manifolds dump into vintage-sounding glasspacks for the perfect tone.
Chassis: Bobby boxed and pinched a set of '32 rails by Cornhusker and Z'd the rear frame horns to accept a '32 tank. A 9-inch Ford rearend filled with 3.25 gears and Traction-Lock hangs from stock reverse-eye '32 springs out back, while a '32 Dago dropped axle and Pete & Jake's reverse-eye springs reside up front. Front spindles came from a '39 Ford, the steering box is a Vega unit, and the hairpins are homemade. Front brakes are '41 Lincoln Zephyr; rears are 11-inch Bendix units.
wheels & tires: Maintaining the vintage feel, if not a cushy ride, are '40 Ford 16x4 wheels up front wearing Firestone 6.00-16 Firestone bias-ply whitewalls, with 16x4.5 steelies surrounded by 7.50-16 bias-ply rubber out back. The '40 Merc hubcaps finish off the look.
Body: The '31 roadster body was an old hot rod that Bobby found in a backyard in Pomona, and at the time it was sporting green paint, black striping, and some seriously mangled sheetmetal. After replacing the firewall, cowl sides, subframe, and floor, the cowl was smoothed over, and a thick coat of red wine-hued custom PPG enamel with a hint of flattener was laid down. BIC headlights sit atop Speedway motors stands, and the custom windshield is from Hot Rod Hell in San Diego.
Interior: A Glide Engineering seat looks the part adorned with black and white vinyl tuck 'n' roll by Victor Montez. The '32 Auburn dash was already in the car when Bobby got it, so he fabricated a custom panel filled with SW gauges to complete the look. Wiring comes from a Painless kit, and the steering wheel is Lincoln Zephyr. According to Bobby the rearview mirror is from a '60s Jag, and the air conditioning is courtesy of Mother Nature.