Using five hides of a distressed leather similar to that used on a chair Rob spotted in a furniture shop, Brook at Titletown Upholstery covered the stock Model A seat frame and interior panels made by Rob. The interior is all leather from the headliner to the carpet piping, as is the interior of the trunk. Where the stock gas tank should be, there’s now a ’32 dash filled with Stewart-Warner gauges. Rob peers over, or more likely owing to the heavy chop “through” a ’40 steering wheel.

Rod & Custom Feature Car

Bill Miller

Highland, Michigan

1931 Ford Model A coupe

Chassis

Using main ‘rails from American Stamping, the frame is boxed and pinched at the cowl to fit the Model A body, with a Model A rear crossmember, split wishbones, and an Eaton cross spring locates the dropped ’32 I-beam carrying Lincoln drum brakes and Pete & Jakes shocks. The pedal assembly is genuine ’32 Ford, with a ’48 Ford master cylinder supplying fluid through stainless lines to each corner. A Vega steering box helps negotiate corners.

Drivetrain

Bill sourced and had the ’49 Mercury Flathead built before even locating a body. An Internet auction find, he scored a good block with a 4-inch crank, then turned it over to Brothers Custom Automotive, who put it together with Ross pistons and a Crower cam. With Edelbrock block letter aluminum heads, the combination gives 8.25:1 compression, with gas fed from a pair of 97 carbs through a high-rise Thickstun PM7 intake manifold. A Thickstun-style air cleaner brings the top of the engine almost to the top of the firewall. A Roto-Faze ignition with solid core cloth and lacquer wires light the fire. The ’39 truck Top Loader that came in the deal with the engine was rebuilt by Bill, who, in an about-face of usual practice converted the open-drive 27 tooth gearset to closed drive! A ’34 driveshaft and torque tube connect the trans to the quick-change–equipped ’39 banjo rearend, hung on a Model A spring.

Wheels & Tires

The only metal parts currently finished in the intended color are the wheels, 15-inch ’50s Ford truck hoops on the front, and 16-inch ’40 Ford rears, all wrapped in Firestone blackwall bias-plies. There are no trim rings, but Lincoln Zephyr caps provide a little brightwork at each corner.

Body & Paint

Starting with a very solid body from a running car, Brothers Custom Automotive only had to add a couple of patch panels to deal with some small rust issues before the fun could begin. Chopping the roof by 4 3/4 inches, punching the visor, which was then molded to the body, and adding Pontiac taillights, are the extent of the mods though. There’s a ’32 grille and insert shrouding a Walker radiator, while forward of that, ’32 headlights are mounted on a dropped bar.

Interior

There’s new wood in the roof, and a Mazda MPV middle seat covered with a Mexican blanket, but apart from a ’32 dash and a ’60s boat steering wheel on a homemade column, the interior’s pretty bare right now. Once the coupe’s painted, upholstery will come.