Rod & Custom Feature Car
Steve Beck
Santa Monica, California
1929 Ford Model A phaeton

The 81-year-old Model A chassis is totally stock, not even boxed, and runs a 3-inch dropped I-beam on an original transverse leaf spring. There are '39 Ford spindles that mount '40 brakes, while Armstrong friction shocks offer good ol' fashioned damping. A 3.33:1 ratio Halibrand centersection is coupled with Model A axles at the rear, once again hooked to '40 Ford juice brakes. Steve did stray from the fold by using a '54 Chevy master cylinder. A Model T cross spring and Houdaille lever arm shocks handle suspension out back.

While the phaeton body offers a distinctive early look to the car, the choice of a Model B four-banger only reinforces the period appearance. Steve meticulously rebuilt the motor to stock specs, adding a Winfield R camshaft and same-make iron head. Twin Stromberg 97s flow 135-cfm each through an Evans intake, while gases on the other end of the suck-squeeze-bang-blow cycle are pushed out through Belond 2 3/4-inch headers into a Smithy muffler. A '39 Ford clutch bolted to a lightened Ford flywheel connect the engine to a '39 three-speed trans, again rebuilt by Steve.

Wheels & Tires
Body color bent spoke 16-inch Kelsey wires with 'caps and trim rings prop up each corner of the phaeton, measuring 4 1/2 inches wide at the front, followed by 5-inchers on the rear. These are clothed in Riverside 500-16 and Allstate 750-16 blackwall bias-plies respectively.

Body & Paint
The body was traded for Steve's old roadster body, in a straight swap, and was already painted and finished. He merely added some strengthening and rubbed out the maroon paint before installing the laid-back windshield from his old body.

As with Luis Loyola's roadster, the phaeton uses its stock gas tank in the upper cowl, though Steve has retained the stock dash and gauges, adding a starter push button. A '39 Ford steering wheel crowns the original column, and stock pedals sprout through the rubber matting on the floor. Loyola trimmed the custom seats in black vinyl, and yes, there is a rear seat under that tonneau that came to Steve with the body.