In a much simpler time at the turn of the 20th century, America's first hot rodder, Henry Ford, was busily working on machines in his cramped one-room workshop to retire horse-drawn transportation. He wanted to get the world moving in combustion-motivated vehicles the "average man" could enjoy equally with presidents, kings, and chiefs of industry.
The first mechanical marvel that would forever put Henry Ford in the record books was far from his first invention (or even his 10th), but the Model T introduced in 1909 would certainly become the most loved and enduring icon from the early days of motoring. For nearly two decades, Ford had his people improve the Model T each model year. In 1927, the vehicle hit its peak and was selling so many units that the cars were affordable to just about every working family in America.
While there were many different body styles of Ford's rugged Model T available, the one still most preferred was the open model with both a front and rear seat known as a Touring. Ford would end up selling millions of Model Ts before the introduction of his next landmark in 1928, the Model A. But, for the first generation of speed freaks looking to go fast, the Model T was the car most cut their teeth on, and it birthed the American institution known as the hot rod.
When body shop owner Randy Wiersma first picked up his 1927 Ford Model T Touring from a longtime friend, who was an old mechanic with a large collection of antique automobiles, the original intention was to restore the complete car back to factory condition. Randy started the project, but somewhere along the way decided a stocker just wasn't the way he wanted to go with the Model T. He sat on it for a while, and then the direction of the project took a severe turn and headed straight into the world of rodding with some inspiration from friends Brad Starks, Oscar Gamble, and Jackie Gough.
At first the guys just wanted to set up the car as a fun beater Randy and all his buddies could cram into and troll the grounds at the big street rod events, but the '27 evolved into something far beyond a beater as the pieces went together in the capable hands of Brad Starks. Brad's work began with a custom 2x3 square tube chassis and continued with the fitment of a 1980 Oldsmobile four-cylinder engine (an extension of the original Chevy II Iron Duke) and some trick suspension bits that would not break the bank.
After taking care of all the components under the skin, Randy's team (which includes Brad) at Randy's Body Shop in Paducah, Kentucky, did what they do best and smoothed the body and fenders to absolute perfection before spraying the mile-deep black paint. Finishing touches include minimal plating in favor of painted and brushed components and a clean and simple interior just right for those cruising laps the guys had long planned.
The car Randy ended up with carries on the long-standing love affair with Henry Ford's Model T and keeps that flame burning for the generations of hot rodders who share those deep feelings for one of America's greatest icons.