“For a while, my wife, Debbie, wouldn’t even look at the car while it was in the reconstruction stage after we cut the roof off. Now, she is probably the only person who likes the car more than I do. She says I’ve turned down some pretty good offers for it and she has seen a lot of hot rods come and go—but this is her favorite so far.”
And just when you thought everything that could be possibly done to a Tri-Five Chevy had already been done … nice job, Randy!
Rob Paul’s Follow-Up ’29 Ford Roadster
It sure didn’t take Rob Paul long to rebound from his successful Model A coupe, which you may remember from our May ’12 issue where it proudly graced the cover. And rightfully so, as Rob’s execution efforts netted a near-perfect stance and profile, expert detailing, and so on. As the final paragraph in the feature claimed, “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!” Well, that’s mostly true …
And like we did with the coupe feature, we’ll let Rob tell the tale in his own words—it’s his car and nobody knows it better than the person who built it from the ground up, right?
“I had just finished my Model A Hemi coupe and I was in the mood for a new project. Surfing the web in January 2011, I typed in ‘Model A roadster’ on eBay, searching newly listed items. A roadster project about 200 miles from home popped up and it had been listed for about 30 minutes. Had to be fate, right? I called the seller, talked him down a little from his ‘Buy It Now’ price, and a deal was made. I drove out and got it the next day.
“The package deal included a lot of stuff: a pretty banged up, sandblasted ’29 roadster body, new ’32 framerails, Model A crossmembers and springs, really nice ’32 K-member, F-1 steering, rebuilt Flathead, ’39 tranny, ’34 front axle and wishbone, and tons of other small parts. It was a great collection of parts to build a traditional hot rod. I loaded all the boxes and parts in the trailer and hauled it home. It sat in the shop for awhile because I was getting ready for the 2011 Detriot Autorama. I showed my Hemi Model A coupe there and you know the rest. I got back from Detroit full of energy to start a new car. I had the roadster built in my head before I set foot in the shop … traditional A-V8, right down to the nuts and bolts.
“The metalwork was a chore, but the body was blasted and I knew what I was getting into when I started. The wheelwells and most of the quarters were cut out and replaced, along with the lower cowl and sub floor. It was a righthand drive body, so I’m not sure where it came from. I swapped out the lower firewall to make it lefthand drive. I patched up some holes in the stock decklid skin and drove down to my buddy Louver Dude’s shop. He punches some great traditional curved-top louvers. I’m just shy of 200 louvers, but it’s close. (Thanks Louver Dude!)
“I tried hard to use all pre-’50 Ford parts while building. I have more fun searching out the right parts than anything. I chopped the stock windshield posts and frame 5 inches. A new steel floor was constructed in the rear, and oak plywood was cut for the wood front floor. I trimmed it in copper that I shaped on my English wheel. I grafted part of a ’34 Ford truck dash to the ’29 roadster dash rail. It runs a nice ’34 speedo with Stewart-Warner temp and oil pressure gauges.