Rod & Custom Feature Car
Owner contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
1925 Dodge Modified Roadster
There's no way this is riding on a stock Dodge frame. Boling Brothers Early Iron fabricated the custom 'rails from 2x4-inch tubing, with 2x3 where it kicks up at the rear. The front and rear split wishbones mount to the 'rails though an opening in the channeled body-which Derrek told us is his favorite touch on the car. Pete & Jake's shock absorbers ride at all four corners and drum brakes grab all four wheels. In the front, Derrek added a Super Bell dropped axle with Ford spindles. The Corvair steering box is controlled by a custom-built column. The rear axle hangs on quarter-elliptic springs-the '50 Ford differential is filled with "too low" gears, according to Derrek. Daniel "Tall Can Dan" Castro sprayed the black paint on the 'rails and suspension parts and earned his nickname by refusing any payment except for a few tall cans of Coors.
A Chevy small-block of unknown origins, pulled from the engine bay of an operational pickup, seems like the perfect powerplant for this rod. The block and stock manifold disappear under a coat of body-color paint, but the chrome helmet-style air cleaner, single Rochester two-barrel carb, finned valve covers, and custom-made open megaphone headers draw lots of attention. The pickup also provided the Powerglide automatic transmission.
Body & Paint
Converting a touring car into a roadster took a little sheetmetal surgery by the owner, including lengthening the body about 4 inches and narrowing the Dodge grille. Derrek built some custom side skins to replace the missing doors. He creating an upper bead along the added steel to match the rest of the body, eliminating the door openings but retaining a seam to help break up the body lines and avoid the smooth look of a fiberglass car. A single center Model A taillight is a great touch, mounted above a Model T fuel tank, which was notched to clear the rearend. Pepper Sanchez from Royale Vintage in Tulare took care of any sheetmetal flaws and painted it in deep maroon. Pinstriping by Ruben, out of Visalia, California, followed up with some clean 'striping on the grille shell, cowl, and dash.
Wheels & Tires
Blackwall skinny bias-plies on early spoke wheels emphasize the old-time look of the roadster. The wheels are 19-inch '30-31 Model A wires. The front tires are from BFGoodrich and the rears are Cokers.
It's super simple on the inside of the roadster. Derrek and any passenger settle into custom seating, built to use the floor and the rear portion of the body as the seat structure, separated by a center piece. All the stitching was handled by Chavez Upholstery in Visalia. The stock Dodge dash is painted to match the rest of the car, detailed with some additional 'striping, and dressed up with Stewart Warner Wings gauges: speedo, water temp, and oil pressure. A wrecking yard shifter and flat four-spoke sprint car steering wheel were practical and appropriate additions.