Rod & Custom Feature Car
Randy Wiersma
Paducah, Kentucky
1927 Ford Model T

After Randy Wiersma decided he didn't want to restore his Model T, his employee Brad Starks spearheaded the project and made all the crafty changes to the now-tasty hot rod. The sturdy foundation Brad started with is a new custom chassis made from 2x3 steel rectangle tubing, which has been stepped in the rear and fitted with custom-molded running board brackets. Burying the nose to the ground is a Mr. Roadster axle with a 6-inch drop flanked by Mr. Roadster spindles spinning GM disc brakes. Steering is handled by the ingenious use of a Dodge Omni rack-and-pinion setup. The rearend is held in place by a combination of Ford wishbones and a Speedway Panhard rod with the bounce controlled by a pair of Carrera coilovers. The entire chassis and all the large components are coated in a rich covering of BMW medium charcoal, with smaller pieces painted Honda Silver for contrast.

One of the many elements that originally made Henry Ford's beloved Model T so special was a nearly bulletproof driveline with a four-cylinder engine that could run on and on for years with very little work needed under the hood. Brad Starks decided to stick with the reliable four-cylinder theme and selected a 2.5L banger from an '80 Oldsmobile. Brad dressed up the GM Iron Duke derivative with a pair of Harley-Davidson CV carburetors on a custom intake he built along with a shaved factory valve cover and custom-fabricated air cleaner. Providing the spark is a points distributor from an early Chevy II engine machined to fit the late block accompanied by a custom-built header and exhaust system to route the spent gasses. Final detailing is a complete set of brush-finished button-head hardware from Totally Stainless. Mated up to the Olds mill is a GM 700-R4 automatic/overdrive transmission that was completely smoothed and painted before being fitted with a Lokar shifter. Power from the combo up front is transmitted to a Chevy S-10 Blazer that was equally smoothed like the rest of the chassis components before being give a liberal spray job.

Wheels & Tires
No going out on a limb with anything too modern, a set of spokes from Wheel Vintiques (15x6 and 15x7) with brushed trim accents is wrapped in a set Firestone and Uniroyal blackwall rubber running a 135R15 size in the front and 205/75R15 in the rear.

Body & Paint
Brad Starks walked a very fine line on the exterior by not over-modifying Ford's original 1927 offering, but he slicked it up just the right amount to make you give it a triple-take every time you look at it. Modifications include chopping the windshield 6 inches, filling all extra body holes, making custom pieces to cover the original hood weatherstrip channels, and fabricating a one-piece hood out of 18-gauge steel. All the rest of the original steel body parts were thoroughly massaged to perfection before Brad and co-worker Craig Dickerson sprayed the ultra deep black Standox paint.

Inside is more of Brad's focus on useful simplicity. The modified original dash is fitted with TPI instruments next to a brass Model T steering wheel mounted on top of a Speedway steering column. Auto Upholstery Shop in Paducah, Kentucky, stitched up the Lollipop Red Ultraleather in a rolls 'n' pleats style that would make Henry himself smile with approval.