It's gone now. Chris Casny's '27 Nash/Ford (it's really a little bit of everything) roadster, well known in Southern California just as, "the boattail," has been sold to a Texas collector and is off to the Lone Star State.
For the past year and a half, Chris' completely handbuilt car has been spotted at just about every traditional hot rod event around--from the the West Coast Kustoms Cruisin' Nationals in Paso Robles to Back to the Beach and the Primer Nationals in Ventura. But even before then, the roadster was known worldwide on the Internet. Participants on the Jalopy Journal's HAMB message board witnessed the boattail's progress from conception to completion, and even contributed to its creation.
The cowl was purchased at the Pomona swap meet two years ago, and was the starting point for the whole car (and the single piece of Nash sheetmetal on it). At the time, Chris didn't know what it was from, so he posted a photo on the HAMB and soon had his answer.
The rear of the car really is no boattail at all, but the hood from a '52 F-1 panel truck that Chris had driven in the past. Just about everything in between is completely handcrafted. There was no long planning period and no concept illustrations, he told us. Every detail moved from imagination to fabrication as quickly as he could make it happen. "Once I cut up the hood and cowl there was no turning back," he said. "I knew people were going to either love it or hate it. I was never that guy who takes the safe road."
Although Chris did all the work, he is quick to give credit--and thanks--to the many HAMB members who helped with encouragement and technical assistance. "Without these guys I could not have done it. When I had a problem, they would give me advice. When I needed motivation, they gave me a good kick in the butt and told me to continue building. Thanks brothers and sisters." In return for the free advice, Chris reciprocated by posting photographs of the ongoing project and providing step-by-step information on how he built a lot of the pieces.
The one-man, nine-month, $9,000, one-of-a-kind roadster was finished just in time for the Back to the Beach show in the spring of 2007. Since then we've seen Chris and the boattail all over the place--and finally got to shoot this feature just days before the car headed to Texas.
"This was the first time I built a car from scratch and it was a real struggle," Chris admitted, "but it was worth it. The amount of pride you have when you drive a car you worked so hard for is amazing. And I can safely say, I did not just assemble this car, I built it!"