Rod & Custom Feature Car
Owner contact info:

Chris Casny
Burbank, California
1927 Nash Homebuilt Boattail

You can't buy frames for '27 Nash/Ford hood boattail roadsters from the aftermarket, so Chris had to build his own from 2x3, 1/8-inch wall tubing. The rails are Z'd in the back to drop the body over the '86 Ford 8.8-inch rearend, with 3.73:1 gears, hanging on a set of coilovers. The friction shocks we saw on the front of the car at its debut in Ventura have been replaced with the tubular variety on a Super Bell frontend. His cowl steering system uses a late-Sixties Dodge Dart manual box and a homebuilt column and cool-looking pitman arm. Front discs and rear drums do the stopping.

As with everything else on the boattail, Chris built the Ford 302 engine, retaining the stock internals and feeding fuel and air through a single Edelbrock 600cfm four-barrel on an Offenhauser 360-degree intake manifold, and firing the mixture with an electronic ignition. That custom Nash air cleaner cover was a hubcap in a former life; the valve covers are from Cal Custom. The zoomie headers are packed with homemade baffles built from 1-inch diameter 16-gauge, punched with a pneumatic chisel. The '92 Ford AOD transmission, built by Larry at Crabtree Automatics in Burbank, is one piece Chris didn't build or modify himself--although using an old water pump handle for a shifter was his idea.

Wheels & Tires
The Moon Saturn discs were snap-ons before Chris removed the clips and machined them down to fit. He drilled and tapped into the 16-inch Ford steelies and attached each cover with three aircraft fasteners. The rims are reversed, so the valve stems are accessible on the inner side. The skinny Firestone bias-plies are 6.00s and 7.50s.

Body & Paint
The '27 Nash cowl in front and the rear-facing '52 Ford panel truck hood in back establish the shape of the roadster body. The fabricated sheetmetal shell was constructed around a 3/4-inch square tube frame that Chris created. During construction, the roadster had owner-built operable doors, but when his wife, Gloria, got in by stepping over the doors, Chris decided to weld them shut. The grille is believed to be a from a Twenties-era International Harvester tractor. The '59 Cadillac taillights were contoured into the rear, with Dietz headlights added in front. The Jaguar gas filler cap and the ornament on the deck were selected because they fit the contours, and the overall style of the car. Chris shot everything in monochrome silver basecoat. The windshield posts draw a lot of attention wherever the car goes. Chris says he couldn't find Hallock-style posts that would work with the cowl so, being a furniture maker by trade, he decided to carve his own posts out of mahogany.

Chris built the seats from half-inch plywood, working from cardboard templates, then adding the webbing, foam, and batting. The covers are made of green waterproof tarp material from an army surplus store--all attached with staples and glue. Gloria taught him how to use a sewing machine so he could stitch up the door panel pockets, decorated with embroidered emblems from Nash apparel. The sanitary dash contains only a speedometer and a small quad gauge. The Nautalloy Aquabird aluminum steering wheel is a boat wheel from the Fifties. Seems appropriate, doesn't it?