If you sell wheels, the best place to show them off is on a hot rod you really like. David Coker sells wheels. The hot rod he really liked was a chopped and channeled '31 sedan owned by Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufman at Gas Monkey Garage. Unfortunately, before David could make an offer on the Model A, somebody else bought it. So he made an alternative offer: build another '31 sedan, as tough and functional as the first, but with a few differences in the details. In 74 days, a non-identical twin was finished and on the road.
The biggest difference in this version is the engine. David wanted a new mill with old looks and current technology. Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center came through with a 400hp ZZ4 small-block, which was put together to resemble an old survivor. The triple deuces on the Offenhauser manifold are fed by a new RetroTek Speed EFI system. The aluminum heads are capped with Technostalgia faux Oldsmobile valve covers. The handmade exhaust system is removable to run open headers. A 700-R4 AOD trans and 9-inch rear complete the drivetrain.
Kaufman designed and built the suspension, starting with a race car-solid 2x4 tubular frame, Z'd 6 inches in the front and 12 in back to drop the car to ground level, with ride height controlled by custom airbags. The frontend rides on a Super Bell dropped I-beam, with stock wishbones, split by Aaron. A four-link with trailing arms, gas shocks, and Panhard bar were added in the rear.
The '31 Tudor body was from a complete, untouched, Colorado car. The Z'd frame kept the channel to a shallow 3 3/4 inches, with a 4-inch chop to retain headroom, while giving the impression of severe cutting. Attaching the lower seat cushions directly to the floor, and dropping the floor several inches between the seat and pedals, provides even more interior space without goofing up the ergonomics.
On the outside, the patina was left untouched, but trimmed with graphics on the doors and a bunch of beautiful 'striping by Dallas rod builder Brian Bass. Late-'20s Rolls Royce headlights and the Essex-esque grille shell were found at a swap meet. The original Model A taillight was centered in the rear.
David is the owner of Newstalgia Wheel and wasn't about to mount steelies on his company car. These 15x10 and 15x6 cast-aluminum Radir Tri Rib IIIs (in P285/70R15 and P205/75R15 BFG Silvertown whitewalls) prove his point that traditional rods don't have to have steel wheels.
The interior was built around David's height and posture. Johnny Saunders at Exclusive Auto Interiors in Dallas covered the inside in grass weave carpeting, and upholstered the seat cushions in high-grade leather with a hand-sewn baseball cross stitch, which extends to the removable top. Air from a Ford Mustang and a stereo system hide underneath the '38 Ford dash, which was extended toward the driver and retains the '38 banjo wheel and original gauges.
David's waist-high pavement-scraper will be drawing attention as the Newstalgia display at rod events all season, and on the streets of Dallas on the days in between.
Rod & Custom Feature CarDavid CokerDallas, Texas'31 Model A Tudor Sedan