Another crafty bit of metalwork included reversing the original-style firewall for additional engine clearance, and reworking the toeboard area without altering the valuable legroom. The whole package was tied together with an unbelievably slick three-piece custom-formed hood from Terry Hegmann. The hood's top and side bodylines visually stretch the car, while the functional opening accessory Model A hood doors mounted slightly down and to the rear imply speed and movement even while the pickup is sitting still.
Inside the cab is the most notable vintage part used in the build, a '35 Chevy dashboard and gauge cluster I found years ago at a swap meet in Iowa. The dash almost seemed like it was made to fit the Model A, needing only a tiny bit of trimming to the upper corners to make it fit. Hanging below the perfectly patina'd piece is a Limeworks steering column topped by a Vintique reproduction '40 Ford Deluxe steering wheel. To keep the feel of an early "no frills" hot rod, original Model A commercial cross-grained vinyl was stitched on to the door panels and Glide Engineering seat by Sammy Head of Hermosa Auto Upholstery.
After completing the car in less than six months, the decision to go with so many new parts really paid off. The car runs, drives, and looks even better than my best dreams and expectations. The hardest part will be handing over the keys to Peter, but knowing this one was built the way we wanted it will forever be the greatest reward.
Peter GuidaBethesda, Maryland1931 Ford Roadster Pickup
ChassisA SO-CAL Speed Shop '32 Ford frame is the basis of this hot rod, with a few tweaks from their "standard" package just to make it unique. A Magnum 5-inch dropped axle gets the front low, while a pair of nostalgia-flavored reproduction Lincoln-style drum brakes and friction shocks from MT Products along with a pair of original '32 Ford split wishbones give the front suspension a definitively early hot rod look. Steering is handled by a Flaming River Vega-style steering box. Under the rear is a SO-CAL package that includes their '40 Ford-style transverse spring along with P&J ladder bars and tube shocks connected to a fresh Currie 9-inch.
DrivelineWe needed reliable performance, and the answer to that need was a fresh carb-to-pan, ready-to-run 350ci Chevy small-block from Smeading Performance. The engines supplied by Smeading are dyno-tested, and this mill has run like a dream from the moment the Edelbrock carb first breathed life in Peter's hot rod. A 700-R4 trans from Phoenix Transmissions sends the power to the 3.78:1 posi-equipped differential via an aluminum driveshaft from Inland Empire Driveline. A Walker radiator provides the cooling, and a pair of original Smitty mufflers from Speedway Motors produces the perfect exhaust note.
Wheels & TiresThe wheels are 16-inch early Ford-style reproductions from Wheel Vintiques dressed with '40 Ford deluxe caps and rings from Sacramento Vintage Ford. The blackwall 5.00x16 and 7.50x16 Firestone Deluxe Champions from Coker Tire are the epitome of hot rod bigs 'n' littles.
Body & PaintBodywork was kept to a minimum thanks to fresh panels from Brookville Roadster. The '30/31 Model A extended rpu body and bed package were given a few mild tweaks before being mated to the reproduction '32 grille shell from Vintique by a custom-built three-piece hood by Terry Hegmann. The final touch was the custom-mixed DuPont green paint (a color somewhere between avocado and Kermit the Frog green) with a satin-finish clearcoat sprayed by brothers Vic and J.R. Sapien.
InteriorJust like the rest of the truck, the interior was kept strictly business, with no frills other than what was totally necessary for a dependable and enjoyable hot rod. A Glide Engineering seat was covered like the rest of the interior with original Model A commercial-style vinyl, and a rubber floor mat surrounds the Lokar swan neck shifter. The '35 Chevy dash is still covered in original paint, and a Limeworks column topped by a reproduction '40 Ford Deluxe steering wheel from Vintique hangs on it.