Rod & Custom Feature Car
David & Laura Webber
1931 Model A Coupe
A pair of ASC ’rails form the basis of the chassis, pinched at the firewall, widened in the door area, and with a longitudinal piecut to allow the A-body to sit better on the frame. It has a 1-inch-dropped front crossmember and a 7-inch kickup in the rear, is fully boxed, and features a rectangular tube center crossmember. A Posies spring and SO-CAL Speed Shop hairpins support a Super Bell dropped ’n’ drilled I-beam and Speedway Motors ’40 Ford spindles, which in turn mount Airheart disc brakes. A Flaming River steering box hooks to a LimeWorks column.
The latest incarnation of the powerplant is based on a Dart “little m” 355ci block, with machinework by Jack Hodgeson at Precision Machine in Waco, TX. David assembled the engine himself, using Eagle forged pistons, Scat I-beam rods, SRP/Total Seal gap-less rings, and a Schneider custom-grind solid flat tappet cam. “I called Schneider Cams and told them what kind of car and engine combo I was building, and they said, ‘We know just the thing.’ Boy, did they!” With Brodix RR200 aluminum heads, the 8.5:1 compression ratio of the balanced engine is perfect for the Dyers 6-71 GMC-style blower, mounted on a same-make intake, and fed by two Demon 750 blower-spec carbs. Ancillaries include Offenhauser valve covers, Milodon oil pan and timing cover, a custom low-mount alternator bracket, which now operates in reverse rotation, MSD 6AL ignition and wires, and Stahl dragster headers, cut down, re-welded, and run un-muffled. Ron Davis fabricated the aluminum radiator. A Richmond five-speed trans (yeah, this puppy has three pedals!) got somewhat torn up during the coupe’s first drag race exploits, so was duly rebuilt by David, and uses a McLeod Racing Street Twin clutch and hydraulic release bearing. Likewise, the 9-inch was rebuilt, now with a Detroit TrueTrac limited-slip differential and Moser 31-spline axles. It’s hung on a Speedway Motors ’40 Ford spring and uses an Applied Racing Tech antiroll bar.
Wheels & Tires
David is a big fan of ’60s-style drag cars, so Radir wheels and appropriate tires were in order. The spindle mount fronts measure 18 inches in diameter, shod in Coker Classic motorcycle tires, with piecrust slicks encasing the 10x15 Tri-Rib rears.
Body & Paint
With the exception of a Brookville grille shell and insert, a dimple-die-holed visor and a little touch-up green paint, the body is as stock as the day it left the factory! Eric Bachmeyer recessed the firewall to clear the engine though, and the roof insert’s exterior material has been removed.
Hot and loud would sum up the interior if our brief drive in the car is anything to go by! A pair of Jaz racing seats were upholstered by Carlos Casteneda in diamond tuck metalflake green vinyl to match the steering wheel, a set of Auto Meter gauges were added to the stock dash, and a rollbar by Craig Henderson was added for racing duties. Wesco Performance five-point harnesses complete the creature comforts, with no carpet, door panels, or headliner in evidence. Perfect! A/C comes courtesy of the opening stock windshield, while sounds would come from the blown small-block, if the Webbers could hear it through the ear plugs they have to wear whilst driving!