Some will go to great lengths to own another's prized possessions. For centuries-until 1831, in fact-traveling Britons feared hearing the order to "stand and deliver," for it meant surrendering valuables to pistol-brandishing highwaymen. While we're not insinuating Terry Booth obtained his '28 Ford sedan delivery by illegal means, his story speaks of going to great lengths to get something. Like our villain's demands, it may even make a few people uneasy.
"I chased one sedan delivery for a bunch of years. I first saw it at the '74 Portland Roadster Show and just knew I had to have it," he says. While the builder wouldn't part with it at the time, the delivery's draw proved so strong that Terry built a '29 roadster-a car he still owns-just to quench his desire.
Despite the fact that the delivery changed hands numerous times over the years, it eluded Terry. "I finally told myself, 'the only way I'm going to own one of these things is if I build it myself,'" and that he did. But, before we tell you how he did it, we offer the following warning: The purists among you may find the following unsettling.
The sedan delivery Terry found in Spokane, Washington, spent more time in dormancy than driving. In fact, it sat in one garage for 35 years by the time it and Terry crossed paths. "Everything was on this car. It was absolutely complete, right down to all the little details," he says. "When I talked to the guy, he told me 'people come from all over the world to see this car. They say it's the only one they've ever seen that's never been touched.' That made me want it even more." Then the ol' boy told him something that only fueled his fire: "It's not for sale." "I asked him if I could call him again; he said yes, so I called him about once a month-for the next two years."
Whether he owned up to the fact that he'd never finish the restoration or he just wanted Terry to stop calling, or both, the restorer finally released his grip. "My son and I put a set of plugs in it and some fresh fuel, and fired it right up," Terry says. "We even drove it around like that for a bit." Soon after, a '29 Tudor sedan on an older Snow-White chassis turned up at the Portland swap to put the project back on track.
With Jaguar independent suspension front and rear, a Snow-White Ltd. chassis is something to behold, and somewhat uncommon nowadays due to the relative scarcity of Jag donor parts. The only reason this one remained unfinished was on the account of a poorly packed skydiving parachute. While the builder's widow sold off the sedan project, its next owner never finished the project either. Luckily, his excuse was simply disinterest.
With his prized delivery in hand, Terry sold off the standard sedan body and rebuilt the chassis. With the chassis underway, he parted with everything he didn't need from the delivery-and to twist the knife in you purists, everything included the original running gear, right down to the date-code-matching shocks.
To yet again throttle the restorers and to prove that Kevin Bischoff didn't necessarily labor to get the expansive sheetmetal straight enough for black, we'll let on that the body is entirely genuine, with neither a speck of rust nor a patch panel to mar its authenticity. While the body and chassis met for the first time at the paint shop, Terry assembled the car at home. Due to the pristine starting point, he finished the project in less than two years from the initial purchase.
True, the car Terry started with was an uncommon one, made rare and desirable by its authenticity and completeness. While we're sure restorers admonish Terry for "devaluing" this delivery by altering it, keep in mind that value correlates with an amount that someone will pay in a transaction, and that requires consent.
To assess the odds that Terry would consent to sell his delivery, you should know that Terry still owns a '56 Chevy he bought in 1967. If you're not mathematically inclined, that's 40 years ago. Considering that he chased this dream for 30 years, we'd bet it would take an armed highwayman to get Terry to even contemplate parting with this sedan delivery.
If that's the case, he'd better show up with one big gun
Rod & Custom Feature CarTerry & Margie Booth 1928 Ford sedan deliveryKelso, Washington
DrivetrainBack in the early emission-control days, when output figures were depressingly low, Ford dealers offered these high-output (H.O.) crate engines as salve for the hot rodder's soul. This one came as part of the '29 sedan package that Terry bought specifically for the Snow-White Ltd. chassis, and it still wears its Cobra pan, valve covers, and intake manifold. Between the latter two is one of Holley's spread-bore versions of the famed Autolite 4100 carburetor. EQ Exhaust in Longview, Washington, plumbed the exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers. Behind the 302 is a similar-vintage C4 transmission wearing a Gennie shifter.
ChassisThe Booths bought a sedan project started and abandoned in the early '80s specifically for its Snow-White Ltd. chassis. In classic Snow-White form, it wears early (specifically '64) E-type Jaguar independent suspension front and rear. Due to the Jag rearend's Dana 44 lineage (produced by Salisbury in the UK), this one spins a limited-slip differential. While Jag's front suspensions used advanced (well, for their day at least) rack-and-pinion steering units, Terry replaced the antiquated calipers with four-pot Wilwoods and swapped the clumsy rear spring arrangement for a set of sleeker Aldan Eagle coilovers. Part of what makes Jag IFS appealing to pre-'35 Ford owners is its ultra-short upper control arms, as they fit under the stock fenders without any modifications. Furthermore, the rear unit mounts easily with only a single crossmember.
Wheels & Tires While the '50s Buick Skylark wire wheels are common to hot rods-especially period-perfect resto rods-the way Terry treated his isn't. His, like most of the others that turn up at swaps, had bad chrome, so he sandblasted and painted them red and added a set of Model A wheel caps. Due to their 5-inch bolt pattern, they needed adapters to mate to the Jag suspension's 4 3/4-inch pattern. They wear Goodyear Eagle GTII tires (195/50R-15, front; 235/70R-15, rear)
Body & PaintTerry admits that the pristine body required very little of Kevin Bischoff's (Roger's Auto Body, Vancouver, Washington) effort. Kevin also shot the body, chassis, and all related components in black acrylic enamel. About the only cut made to the body was the firewall recess to accommodate the longer small-block Ford.
Interior Even though Terry took a few liberties with the interior, he maintained the stock sedan seats and cowl/fuel tank. He even modified the stock brake pedal (a pristine one, may we mention) to work with in its new setting. The liberties he took include a '37 Ford steering wheel on a '38 or '39 column and Stewart Warner pressure and temperature gauges. Longview's Jeff Shelton (no relation to the author) trimmed the cabin in red leather, and clad the floors in GM Daytona-weave-style carpets. The delivery's rear floor panels also got the ready-for-black preparation, although they're red to match the cabin.