As the owner of an auto upholstery shop, it was natural that Luis would trim the roadster himself, using Pumpkin-colored material and Wilton wool carpet. Wanting a convertible roof, Luis scored a set of top bows for free at a swap meet from a guy who didn't know what they were for. A little work reversing the bracketry saw them fit the Model A, Luis later discovering they were intended for a '32. He sourced a canvas supplier that had just enough Pumpkin-colored German canvas to match his interior, which he stitched up to resemble a stock Model A top, but with a 2-inch chop.
With the roadster finished and running perfectly, Luis has been driving the tires off it, even as far as Las Vegas last year, when it averaged almost 20 mpg, cruising 70-80 mph at under 2,000 rpm, thanks to the 200-R4 overdrive trans. With a blown motor, we'd say that's a case of having your cake and eating it too!
Rod & Custom Feature Car
El Segundo, California
1929 Ford Model A roadster
The basis of Luis' roadster is a Stage II chassis from SAC Hot Rods in Anaheim, CA. Z'd and boxed throughout it employs a stock Model A wheelbase, with a Super Bell dropped I-beam on a transverse leaf spring. A Vega steering box and disc brakes handle navigation and retardation duties. Out back a Currie 9-inch with Positraction differential is hung on a SAC-fabbed four-link and coilover shocks.
Mike Myers fabricated an adaptor plate to mate a 200-R4 overdrive transmission to the Studebaker engine that is the prime focal point of this roadster. The rare '63 V-8 came from the factory with that Paxton supercharger, both rebuilt with OEM parts to stock specs except for a 30 thou overbore for the engine and a new impeller for the blower, producing extra boost. The original intake manifold mounts a rebuilt pressurized Carter AFB carburetor, from which snakes a stainless intake ending at a stainless air cleaner mounted behind the left headlight, both from the talented hands of Matt Harris at Dagmar Customs. A Vintage Mallory coil, finned aluminum Studebaker valve covers, and lakes-style headers fabbed by Harris and wrapped by Luis complete the unique engine compartment.
Wheels & Tires
Stockton Wheels produced the 4 1/2-inch and 6-inch-wide 16-inch steelies, which wear '40 Ford style caps and beauty rings, wrapped in 4.50-16 and 7.00-16 Firestone Deluxe Champion blackwall bias-plies.
Body & Paint
Luis tackled the necessary rust repairs on the original '29 Ford sheetmetal, adding patch panels to the lower doorskins, rear quarter-panels and rear wheelwells, while Harris fabricated the recessed lower firewall. El Segundo Auto Body sprayed the Glasurit Tan body color, adding flattener to achieve a satin finish, painting the Guide headlights to match. A stock stainless '29 grille shell adds traditional flair to the front end way more than a painted version could.
Given it's his vocation, Luis handled the roof and interior himself, using German canvas on the modified '32 roadster roof, which matches the Pumpkin-colored seat and door panel upholstery. That cool grained faux leather is a pattern called Canyon from the Symphony Collection, which has a supple leathery hide texture and contrasts perfectly with the tan paint. Larry Winston used an EZ-Wiring harness to hook up the necessary electric systems, with Mooneyes gauges set in a custom panel by Luis under the stock dash panel. The period-looking '40 Ford steering wheel is by LimeWorks, as is the column itself.