Rod & Custom Feature Car
Union City, Tennessee
1931 Ford Model A Sedan
After deciding to place the A sedan body on '32 rails, Jeff had Street Rods by Michael, in Shelbyville, TN, construct a frame using American Stamping 'rails, pinched 2 inches at the cowl to fit the narrower A body, with a Model A rear crossmember and stainless brake lines and aluminum fuel lines. A Pete & Jakes dropped I-beam was drilled, chromed, and mounted on a spring, Panhard rod, and hairpins from the same supplier, who also supplied the early Ford-style spindles and 11-inch disc brakes. An original, not aftermarket, Vega steering box keeps everything pointed down the road. Street Rods by Michael fabricated a center crossmember, which mounts a pair of Pete & Jakes ladder bars that locate the 8-inch Ford rearend from a '70 Maverick. Again, Pete & Jakes supplied the Model A-style spring, antiroll bar, and the shocks at each corner.
Jeff had Kelly's Engines in Union City machine a '78 350 block before Thomas Taylor built it into a 383 stroker motor using TRW pistons, a Lunati Voodoo cam, and steel crank, and the rotating assembly balanced by Kelly's Engines. An Edelbrock inlet is home to a trio of Rochester 2G carbs wearing O'Brien Truckers air cleaners, matched by valve covers from the same source. Patriot lakester headers feed into a Jet Hot-coated 2 1/2-inch system incorporating stainless mufflers, while a Walker radiator keeps everything at operating temperature. Between the motor and the Wells Driveshaft-modified GM driveshaft is a B&M Shift Kit-equipped Turbo 350 trans. While the 383 provides more than enough power for the sedan, if he were to start over, Jeff's only deviation from the plan would be to use a Flathead V-8 in place of the Chevy.
Wheels & Tires
Painted steel 15-inch hoops from Stockton Wheel are wrapped in Coker Classic whitewall bias-plies, 5.60-15 on 6-inch-wide wheels at the front and L78-15s on 8-inchers following behind. V-8 logo caps and trim rings complete the nostalgic rim 'n' rubber combo.
Body & Paint
Owning a body shop, Jeff could put his professional skills to work when it came time to attend to the body mods. These consist of the Malibu wagon roof transplant, welding the visor in place, chopping the top 2 1/2 inches, replacing and recessing the firewall, raising the lower rear body edge and swage line to clear the gas tank, replacing all the wood substructure with steel tubing, and installing a new steel floor. The steel hood is a Hagan item, longer than stock owing to the use of a'32 frame, and mating perfectly to a Brookville '32 grille shell. Jeff and son, Ryan, tackled the bodywork prior to Jeff squirting the custom-mixed PPG green paint. Bruce Ottway then got the job of applying the pinstriping and "Lil' Stinker" graphics.
Probably the most noticeable change inside the sedan is the 1 1/2-inch shortened '40 Ford dash, which now houses Classic Instruments in a Yogi's insert. A '54 Olds steering wheel is mounted on a 1 1/2-inch shortened '40 Ford column, while Jeff pilots the sedan from '86 Grand Am seats. They're now covered in red and white rolled and pleated vinyl by Gaines Upholstery, along with the door and side panels and rear seat, which folds forward to reveal the battery and fuse panel. There's a Vintage Air evaporator hidden behind the glovebox door, and an owner-installed Sony stereo system hidden throughout the interior, all wired courtesy of a Painless Wiring harness.