There are no more excuses. Our goal for the past 50 years has been to get rodders into their cars and out on the road. Maybe the goal for the next 50 should be to eliminate trailered rods completely. A tough mission? You bet, but we've got help. Phil Mayo of Reading, Pennsylvania, has built the '34 Chevy roadster that silences all excuses for not driving your hot rod.
If you've been reading R&C for more than three months, you've already seen Phil's does-it-all Chevy in the April issue. Phil and his wife, Dianne, drove the completely homebuilt roadster 6,500 miles round trip from coast to coast in November to participate in our Asphalt Ego-Rama shootout. The Chevy took First Place in four out of eight judging categories and won the overall event.
Phil started with just a body and a set of rails. Early Chevy parts are tough to find, and completing this project meant searching swap meets and building components at home. As a retired toolmaker, Phil has the skills needed to fabricate numerous brackets, mounts, and crossmembers, and the time needed to complete the car in an efficient manner. Phil also thanks Mick Dornes and George Cavey for their technical assistance.
We spent a lot of time in the Chevy during Ego-Rama and loved every mile of it. During the ride, Phil told us how the run to the West Coast was a warm up for another trip he wants to make this year. The plan is to make a loop of the USA, stop at the NSRA Nats in Springfield, Missouri, and the L.A. Roadster show in Pomona, California, then up the Pacific Coast to Oregon, and across to the Goodguys Nats in Columbus. So you'll have a number of chances for an in-person eyeful of this knockout, homebuilt, always-driven street rod, and a lesson in driver education.
Phil MayoReading, Pennsylvania'34 Chevy Roadster
Drivetrain: Phil needed a reliable engine/transmission combo to handle thousands of all-condition miles every year. First choice: a 350 small-block tied to a TH350 automatic and a 3.73 10-bolt rearend with a posi. He started with a '69 350 block with stock 8.5:1 pistons and stock small-chamber heads with finned Cal Custom valve covers. Carbs are triple Rochester 2Gs connected by homemade progressive linkage. A Pertronix ignition fires the plugs. Exhaust is directed through Street & Performance headers and Never-Rust mufflers.
Chassis: Phil started with a Progressive Automotive boxed frame, adding an independent front suspension system from Heidt's, including tubular A-arms and disc brakes. In the rear, Phil mounted a set of Super Slide springs from Posies and GM drums. He shortened the front frame horns 4 inches and built many of the chassis components, transmission and rear crossmembers, and mounts for the motor, radiator, rear springs and shocks, tank, running boards, and bumpers. And he added a hitch for the luggage trailer he hauls.
Wheels & Tires: The roadster rides on P255/70R15 and P195/60R15 Radial T/As from BFGoodrich, mounted on 15x7 and 15x5 McLean wire wheels.
Body: The body is from Downs Manufacturing. Everything else is Phil's imagination and elbow grease. In addition to installing a Hartz top and window skirts, he extended the cockpit and converted the trunk to a rumble seat using the rear seat from a Jeep CJ7. The third brake light is built into the snap rail. The stock hood was finished with sides from Rootlieb. Phil hand-fabbed the stainless steel louvers.
Paint: Phil finished the roadster in a monochrome tone of DuPont ChromaSystem Persimmon Metallic, set off by a white pinstripe along the beltline. The white matches the painted rims.