The hot rod gene indeed flows in the Reed family’s blood. Rick Reed, uncle and twin brother of Ryan Reed’s late father, doesn’t spend his days behind the scenes creating like his nephew—he spends them behind the wheel driving them. And as evident from his ’35 cabriolet, both Reeds share the same taste in fine-detailed understatements.
Unlike nephew Ryan’s Standard coupe, Uncle Rick’s soft top is a second-generation hot rod. Acquired as a Gasser (it had been in the previous family since the ’60s, having gone from restored to racer in 2000) just after the ’37 was completed in early 2011, the ’35 is his third in the line of ’30s Ford cabriolets. After taking initial ownership, however, Rick began having some engine troubles with the car, so its time on the road was short lived.
The cab’s 383 stroker was pulled for necessary repairs, and Rick figured since it was out, why not replace the straight-axle with a new Mustang II frontend? Why not, the opportunity was there and the timing was perfect. So, the while Greg Landes rebuilt the small-block, Art Johnson tackled the chassis work. But it didn’t stop there. Rick decided he wanted to have the interior freshened up by James Mendoza while he was at it. And it probably wasn’t long after that he convinced himself of giving the exterior the same attention, ultimately having Ken Ginnings do some panel work followed by Joe Lopez with bodywork and a new coat of paint. By the time all was said and done, he basically had himself an all-new ’35, as it paled in comparison to what he started with.
Regardless how or even why Rick ended up with the ’35 as it is today, all that matters is that he’s enjoying it whenever—and wherever—he can. As a retired refinery worker, he’s earned his time in the sun with the top down.
Though purchased as a Gasser, a look the previous owner had transformed it into from the stocker he received from his father, Rick ultimately wound up having his cabriolet’s axle swapped out for a Mustang II independent frontend while having repairs performed on the motor. Anza, CA’s Art Johnson handled the install of the Total Cost Involved coilover Mustang II, in the process adding power steering/brakes as well. On the opposite end of the stock-based chassis is a 3.70-geared, parallel-leafed Ford 9-inch with factory drum brakes.
Greg Landes at Millennium Motorsports in Temecula, CA, not only rebuilt the 383 Chevy, he also installed a Howards roller cam (with appropriate rocker arms) and Keith Black 10:1 pistons. Externally, the stroker is equipped with an all-Edelbrock dual-quad setup topped by George Dimateo custom-made air cleaners and surrounded by Cal Custom valve covers. Transmission is a Toy Box (Pomona, CA) 700-R4 with a Lokar shifter.
Shoes usually make the outfit, and in Rick’s case, the nostalgic suit his cabriolet now wears is definitely complemented by its appropriate rolling stock: 15-inch Wheel Smith steel wheels fitted with 560/820-15 bias-ply wide whitewalls from Coker Tire. If you’ll notice, early V-8 caps mount to the Smoothie wheels via Wheel Smith’s unique hubcap adapters, which have been striped (by Dennis Ricklefs) and flanked by stainless trim rings.
After a little custom work here and there by Ken Ginnings, the ’35 was taken to Joe Lopez (both in Hemet, CA) for bodywork and a fresh coating of custom-mixed, khaki-influenced PPG paint. More brush work, courtesy of Ricklefs, most notably embellished around the rear license plate, gives a certain early-’50s feeling and perfectly complements the wheel and tire combo. As for the rest, well, there’s not a lot of deviating from Henry’s original offering (in other words, stock-optioned); door handles and side mirrors are present, not to mention the rear fender rubber rumble seat protectors.
Beneath the Ford’s black Mercedes cloth top, as well as below the rumble lid, Nuevo, CA’s James Mendoza stretched walnut-flavored vinyl over the seating and side paneling and covered the floor with brown square-weave carpet, all of which further emphasizes the car’s vintage yet classy look. For driving time tunes, Rick enlisted Temecula’s Audio Evolution to install the stereo, while back in Hemet, Bruce Stedman equipped the drop-top with an Old Air A/C unit. A ’40 Ford dash has been fitted with Classic Instruments gauges in a turned insert and accented with a ’40 wheel as well.