Some of you may have already seen this Flatty-motored A roadster starring on Hot Rod TV, so when we met its owner Jordan Graham at the West Coast Kustoms show in Santa Maria, we figured the story behind its build was worth sharing. After all, there aren't many teenagers who get their own TV show, let alone many who have built their second traditional hot rod and still own them both! Also, Jordan tackled pretty much all the work on his rods himself, with advice from old-time hot rodders in his local area. Coming from the Solvang area of California, near Santa Barbara, this isn't surprising, but a lot of these guys that Jordan looked up to have passed away, and according to Jordan, "With a lot of their generation going away fast, I wanted to carry it on for all of them. I've taken their advice over the years and did what I've done to impress them.
"When I was 15 years old, my pops, Bill, moved into a new shop. Next door were eight old cars from 1924 to 1931. The widow who owned what had been her husband's obsession wanted me to dust the cars and get them off the ground onto jack stands. One day she asked if I'd like a car from her other property. My 15-year-old face lit up and I picked out a '31 Ford coupe, really rusty, tired, and stuck in the dirt.
"For the next two years I ground, welded, and pieced together a hot rod (the one in the background of these pictures) the way my heroes would have. The way they told me it was. My main influence was my best friend's grandpa, Yankie Breck. He was paralyzed in '68 and had a '32 five-window in his garage.
"After the coupe was finished, I decided someone locally had to start dropping axles. I thought of a plan and design and went for it, and have now dropped approximately 400 early Ford axles as the owner of Nostalgia Drop. I've been trying to build just plain bitchin' hot rods ever since.
"After realizing my goal of driving my coupe through my senior year of high school, I got a call one day from my good friend Jack Chard, who ran the lakes and streets of Santa Barbara in the '50s. He told me he'd just dug a '28 Model A roadster out of his brother's backyard where it had been sitting for more than 50 years. I was stoked; my dream car finally came up, and the good friend that he is, Jack gave me the car. Now it wasn't like you could just buff the paint and drive it; it had sat next to the ocean for 50 years and the rust was incredible, but I was young and had ambition up to my neck.
"Shortly after this, I delivered a dropped axle I'd donated to an episode of Hot Rod TV. They asked if I could weld and before I knew it I was working on the show as a fabricator. When the show aired, the producer Bud Brutsman wanted to thank me for the help and offered me a 30-minute episode to build a car. Wow! That was a lot to ask from an 18-year-old kid. Come December 2007, I had a build together for them: the '28 roadster body, a '32 frame, and Hallock windshield...
"We started shooting and it really set in that I had my own show with a real deadline of April 8! I worked night and day, seven days a week, periodically filming segments of the build. On April 6, I was in a rush making door panels in a stomp shear when it bit back and took an inch off my index finger. The 8th was the last day of filming and while I was in the hospital my dad and good friend Finn Lund slaved away to get the car running for the deadline so I could drive it to wrap up the show. I've been driving it ever since, with Santa Maria being its maiden outing to a show. I'd really like to thank my dad for rebuilding the trans and rearend, Adam Booth, Katrina, my girlfriend, and Finn Lund for making the most bitchin' floor for me."
Now most of us know that all those cars you see built on TV shows are either not quite finished, or nowhere near finished, and though Jordan's roadster was done and driving by the deadline, he's the first to admit that, though the experience was cool, the timetable of three months meant it didn't afford him the time to build it as perfectly as he'd have liked. But it's his daily driver, which means it's done for now, and that's just fine with us!