'29 Ford Roadster
Drivetrain: Since the original powerplant was a flathead four, lightweight cars like this Model A roadster don't need much to get them going, but in classic hot rod style John subscribed to the "more is better" approach and put together a stout small-block with all the fixins to slip under the hood. A standard-bore 350 was capped off with ported and polished camel hump heads then fortified with a pretty hefty cam and an Offy intake manifold. A Carter AFB handles the fuel duties, while a Mallory electronic ignition lights the fire. Sanderson headers channel the fumes out of the motor and into dual glasspacks. The power is channeled through a TH350 built by A-1 Racing transmissions in Canoga Park, California, who fitted the slushbox with a shift kit and a 3,500-rpm-stall converter. A Hurst shifter controls the action.
Chassis: An original deuce frame was procured by Garth Bowie of Phoenix, Arizona, who boxed the rails and added a fortified X-member with a Model A crossmember in front. Out back a 9-inch Ford rearend holding 3.00:1 gears is hung from a chromed '40 Ford rear spring, while chrome Monroe shocks dampen the ride. The front suspension is as traditional as it gets, with a dropped and chromed I-beam axle suspended by a TCI leafspring. The '40 Ford drum brakes are bolted to '40 Ford spindles, both of which are chrome-plated along with the split wishbones and '49 Ford truck steering setup.
Wheels & Tires: Right now a set of steel wheels measuring 15x4.5-inches in front and 15x10-inches out back reside on the car shod in radial rubber. Gigantic 285 Series BFG meats make for lots of traction, while 165 Series Michelins point the car in the right direction. John also keeps a set of Kelsey Hayes bent-spoke wire wheels on hand to swap on for a different look when the mood strikes.
Paint & Body: A very early fiberglass '29 roadster body was procured by original owner Garth Bowie in the '70s, who took the car to bodyman Bill Knight for a full workup. Orange lacquer and tan pinstripes cover just about everything, including a steel Model A cowl and dash. After purchasing the car years later, John made the firewall himself at a friend's sheetmetal shop and also cut down a deuce grille shell to fit-n-finish off the nose. Painted and striped King Bee headlights alternate with a set of stock '29 lamps for different looks depending upon the owner's mood.
Interior: After driving the car as it was for several years, John decided the cockpit needed a little freshening up, so he delivered the roadster to Fred's Hot Rod Shop in Simi Valley, California. The bench was covered in tan leather and cloth, and new carpet was cut to fit. The original dash was retrofit with a custom gauge cluster John fabbed and filled with Moon gauges, and a wood Grant steering wheel caps off the early-'60s look.