Nostalgia hot rodding doesn’t start and end in the late ’40s to ’50s. A truly wonderful time for hot rods happened in the late ’60s and well into the ’70s with the resto-rod movement. Like any human endeavor, certain elements can become overdone, even trite. Unfortunately, the worst of an era is what most people seem to retain in their memory banks; yes, cowl lights, accessory lenses, tags, horns, foglamps, and the like. But consider those that were tastefully conceived. The Early Times Car Club immediately comes to mind. Their cars always showed an equal amount of restraint and outrageousness. Outrageously restrained? Tasteful for sure, lower than most, man they hit the mark.
The sedan on these pages started its hot rod life in the Early Times club mold and was used like a proper hot rod should be for many years. This brings us to Chris and Nancy Ross. The Ross family bought the Model A about eight years ago. Granted, the fit and finish was not exactly as you see it here. They knew the car needed to be gone through, but knew they wanted to retain the style in which it was built in the first placechrome, a little brass, some accessories, wire wheels, and candy paint.
Chris and Nancy set off to find someone in the Phoenix Valley who could tackle the job of restoring and upgrading this old Forda restored hot rod, an oxymoron if ever there was one! Well, that seems to be the case when reconstructing a reconstructed car. While the general vibe was mandated by the Rosses to fall in line with its original hot rod guise, a whole lot of upgrading was done as well. First and foremost, the general fit and finish of the car exceeds anything possible back in the day. Handmade, coach-built, European cars have a hard time being superior to pretty much any of the hot rods and customs rolling out of the shops today. This little Tudor is no exception, and is where the Way brothers enter the picture. Chris and Nancy were referred to Randy and Mike Way of All Ways Hot Rods by another valley shop. The Ways were given the nod because of their previous valley-based efforts and reputation of skill and almost freaky attention to detail.
Ever notice some of the standout cars from the early ’70s? Sure, they look like ’70s builds, but there are certain aspects that really separate them from the reststance, a perfect blend of paint, chrome and polish, the right size front and rear tires, the placement front to back, in and out of the fenders, and more. In short, a car that looks just right without trying too hard. That, folks, is what we have here. The gang at All WaysMike, Randy, Gregg, and Eddieset about deconstructing the car in preparation of its grand Phoenix-like reincarnation.
An inventory of all the sedan’s bits and pieces was compared to the to-do list. Starting with the bare chassis, a Rod Factory frame was sourced with a 2-inch kickup in the rear to which the Ways added 2 more inches to help with the new much-lowered stance. A chromed, polished, and painted Jaguar rearend with custom trailing arms was used to maintain the ’70s vibe, but was refurbished and assembled with watchmaker accuracy. Also, keeping in touch with the era, a chrome Super Bell tube axle up front is located with a Rod Factory spring and a four-bar. Wilwood and Jag disc brake components are used front and back with an All Ways fabbed e-brake setup. Stainless and chrome 15-inch Dayton wire wheels are a key player in this and ride within Dunlop 195/50 and 235/70 radials. A GM 290-horse crate motor was employed for its conservative power and reliability with a cool Offenhauser 3x2 intake added for the extra nostalgic touch. Power is turned through a Turbo 400 transmission out back to the beautiful Jag IRS.
The sheetmetal on this A was in need of some serious attention, too. All Ways stripped the body and commenced to bumping and moving the tin where it belonged, keeping with the resto-rod feel. A few subtle but tasty custom touches were performed, too. The visor was molded to the body and a three-piece hood was built. Mini-tubs were blended into the body to allow for wheel travel from the updated, much lower suspension setup. With the body looking good, it was sent out to Lucky Luciano’s for final finessing and paint. The Rosses, once again wanting to retain the ’70s vibe, went with a beautiful three-stage candy brandy-wine color. Luciano then buffed his work to perfection.
Local hot rod upholsterer Glen Kramer got the call to stitch up an interior for the C’dan. Kramer, with the owner’s discretion, came up with a clean, but fitting, interior layout using ink black and burgundy Rave faux leather in 3-inch pleats. German square-weave carpet covers the floor. The front seat is based around a Glide frame while the rear seat was custom-made. A trio of Classic Instruments gauges fill the ’32-style dash. A clean little Lokar shifter and matching upholstered boot shift the gears. Other refined interior appointments are a Vintage A/C unit and Specialty power windows. Typical street rod fare, maybe, but this is more of a nod to this particular A’s resto-rod styling.
The Rosses sure have a nifty Henry Ford Model A on their hands. All Ways Hot Rods knows how to turn out a nice car! Bring on the resto-rodsjust don’t overdo it!
The Tudor’s foundation starts with a Rod Factory Model A frame with 2-inch kickup. All Ways Hot Rods (Phoenix, AZ) did a 2-inch additional kick as well as through-frame fittings and molding of joints and crossmembers. A chromed Super Bell 4-inch drop tube axle, Rod Factory transverse spring and four-link, and Bilstein shocks are flanked by Wilwood discs up front. Out back, a polished, chromed, and painted Jag IRS is outfitted with Romic coilovers along with Wilwood calipers and Jag rotors.
Underhood rests a 290-horse GM crate engine topped with an Offy 3x2 intake sporting Rochester 2-Jet carbs (set up with a Lokar throttle cable kit). Mooneyes’ breather-equipped no-name finned valve covers and snorkel-style aluminum scoops atop the two-barrels complete the throwback look of the Chevy mill. However, block-hugger ceramic-coated headers, an MSD electronic distributor, a polished Sanden A/C compressor (Vintage Air), and chrome one-wire alternator serve as a reminder that this is a modern hot rod after all. Mating the 350 with the Jag rear is a Turbo 400 trans.
The Early Times and wire wheels go hand in handwell, at least that was true back in the 70s! For the Rosses, chrome and stainless Daytons, 15x6 and 15x7 respectively, with Dunlop 195/50R15 and 235/70R15 radials do their retro resto rod rolling justice.
Basic bodywork and prep was performed by the crew at All Ways Hot Rods, while final prep, paint, and finish buffing was handled by Lucky Luciano’s, also in Phoenix. As with the wheels, the choice of coloror rather, the type of color, a three-stage candy brandy wineis almost a prerequisite for a full-fendered sedan of this nature. The majority of the body components are stock, with the exception of a three-piece Rootlieb hood and molded visor. And if you look closely, you’ll notice something else not common to Henry’s Model A’sa flush-fit gas filler for the saddle-style Tanks fuel tank. Kerr West Plating artfully redid all the chroming.
Straying a bit from the resto look, the interior was done using ink black and burgundy Rave faux leather in an earlier tuck ’n’ roll style by Glen Kramer Hot Rod Interiors. Custom door panels surround a Glide Engineering split bench and custom rear seat. A billet banjo wheel caps a Tri-C steering column mounted under a 32-style dash (with custom-machined knobs and Classic Instruments gauges) that features a custom sub dash panel that’s been fitted with the Vintage Air vents. Other inner amenities include Specialty Power electric windows and a Lokar floor shifter.