Rod & Custom Feature Car
Owner contact info:
Piero DeLuca
Rancho Cucamonga, California
1931 Ford Model A Coupe

Piero knew from the start that an original frame wasn't going to give the coupe the stance he wanted, so he had Bob "Bleed" Merkt's company, Aceholes, Inc., build a new frame out of 2x4 tubing, stretching the wheelbase to 106 inches in the progress, sweeping the front rails up, and kicking the rear up 11 inches. A dropped Dago axle with '48 Ford drums and split wishbones still wear some vintage chrome and are suspended on a chrome Mr. Roadster spring. Out back, a '56 Pontiac rearend is located with custom Aceholes ladder bars that follow the frame's kick-up. A '40 Ford front spring was attached to the frame with an adjustable mount (to allow the rear to be raised or lowered) and to the axle with cut-down '36 wishbone spring perches.

The '52 Cadillac 331 received an unexpected rebuild by Oxnard Machine and Pops and Butch at JW Customs after it was determined it wasn't in quite as good shape as the previous owner stated it was. The engine ended up with mostly stock components with the exception of an Isky cam and a 1956 Edelbrock "Cold Series" staggered 4x2 intake topped with Holley 94s. The "Cold Series" intakes block the center ports on the motor and run on the outer ports. Piero found an article on the intake showing that it originally came with two finned block-off plates and extended throttle shafts. His pal Luke surprised him and machined two aluminum block-off plates that are exactly like the ones in the article. The headers are custom-made by Bob Bleed and are made out of 1 3/4 steel with some "Ribs" and some N.O.S. "Scavenger" tips that Johnny scavenged from an old parts store. The engine, transmission, driveshaft, and rearend are all painted metallic dark blue with ice blue fades. Once the engine was together and looking good, Bill's Automotive in Upland, California, got it running right.

Body & Paint
The body was in pretty good condition when Piero found it, although the rear had some issues. Somewhere through the years the rear subfloor and wheelwells had been cut to stick some big meats in the back. It had a 1/2 inch of Bondo on the decklid hiding some serious waves. The rare dimpled late-'31 firewall was cut to fit some sort of big-block. The top was chopped 4 1/2 inches in the '60s and was all gas welded and leaded. Unfortunately, they had to de-lead it and do some major cleanup on the chop.

Luke Di Ciurcio brought it back to presentable. The wheelwells had to be hand-made and both quarters replaced with original Model A quarters since the patch panels never fit right on the 4-inch channeled body. The body lines and roof joints were molded and the firewall was filled and blue-faced Stewart Warner gauges recessed. Donnie Baird at Imperial Customs was then brought in to spray and fade the shiny stuff.

Cal Custom headlights are mounted on custom stands made from a cut-up Model A headlight bar that has been heated, bent, twisted, and chromed. At the rear are a pair of '50 Buick taillights and a nerf bar that's still wearing its original chrome, salvaged off an old hot rod.

Wheels & Tires
Piero found a pair of 15x7 1/2 chrome reverse wheels that apparently were chromed and reversed for a '60s show car and never used, so he snatched them up and picked up a pair of 15x6s from Wheel Vintiques for the front, wrapping them in Firestone 5.60 and 7.00 rubber.

The modified original dash now houses a '58 Edsel cluster. A cut-down '48 Ford column is adapted to a '60s aftermarket boat steering wheel. Dave Martinez (Brownsburg, Indiana) is responsible for the black and white diamond-pleat vinyl interior.