“I wasn’t in a hurry, because I had my other coupe to drive around, but I really wanted to see this project through. With all the metalwork done, I dropped the frame and body off at my friend Don Webster’s shop for the paintwork. I wanted him to do the best he could muster. He really came through for me because it’s straight, and it’s black. Only a polished-out, single-stage black would give the desired results. He nailed it. I soon decided that no color offsets black like chrome, so I sent a few crates of parts to Shine Metal Werks in Minnesota for chrome. The longer I waited for the body to get painted the more stuff I sent out for chrome—all the backing plates, headers, headlight bar, F-1 shock mounts, brackets, axle, split wishbones, ladder bars, and more. The Cragar intake was an eBay score from an old drag racer in Texas. I had it polished to within an inch of its life.
“It took Don 16 months to get the body back to me—a little longer than I had hoped, but well worth the wait. Within a few months I had it on the road with a full distressed brown leather interior. While at a furniture store, I spotted a recliner done in leather that looked like an old bomber jacket, and I knew that’s what I wanted in the coupe. I sourced similar leather at a Brooklyn furniture shop, and I bought five cowhides worth.
“I really love how this car turned out. I got it done in November 2010, and it made its debut at Detroit Autorama Extreme 2011. I started this car at age 25 and completed it at 28. I am a career fireman for the city of Green Bay, and my schedule of 24 hours on and 48 hours off gives me a lot of time to work in my shop. I eat and sleep building hot rods, and every spare minute I have is spent in the shop. My wife, Amber, is my biggest fan, and I couldn’t do what I do without her support.”
By the time you read this, Rob should have returned to Detroit with a ’28 A roadster he built and painted over the past year. If it’s anything like the coupe, we know it’ll be worth a closer look!
While The Build Was Enjoyable, Bill Miller Can’t Wait To Drive His Coupe!
There’s always been a healthy crossover between the hot rod and motorcycle lifestyles, with many rodders also owning a motorcycle. In my personal experience however, I’ve always received more enthusiasm from bikers when driving my custom than when behind the wheel of my old highboy roadster, which seems odd, given that a roadster is about as close as you can get to a four-wheeled bike. The owner of this Model A coupe, Bill Miller, started with building bikes, then picked up a copy of Rod & Custom one day and, as he says, “I got hooked. I did a lot of research, and bought and read countless books and magazines to get informed. Throughout the project I learned a lot along the way, took my time, and tried to make smart decisions. I really enjoyed the experience of doing the research and trying to be true to the era, aware that young guys put these together in their garages over 50 years ago! Then there was the thrill of hunting for just the right parts. I bought lots of wrong parts, and then sold them to buy the right parts, went to swap meets, and used as many old Ford parts as I could. I met some great people who have become great friends.” With the project taking longer than planned to come together, what with life, kids, college, and the economic downturn providing speed bumps along the way, it’s a good thing he has a great, understanding wife!