It’s uncommon, more a rarity than anything else, for a particular vehicle to revolve around just one, seemingly insignificant item. If a Deuce grille shell or ’39 Ford taillights or even a small-block Chevy engine come to mind, think again. Those items, as common as they are to Model A roadsters, are by no means the type of focal point as a certain V-shaped windshield—the venerable, steeped-in-history Hallock.
It was 1994, a year into my journalistic career, that a copy of Tim Gavern’s relaunched Hop Up (pre Mark Morton era) landed on my desk. In it, Gavern documented Dick Courtney’s A-V8 roadsters, each purportedly outfitted with first-batch Duke Hallock–cast windshield frames. (By “first batch”, meaning samples originally cast for Hallock by Ed Adams. As it turns out, Hallock cast his own firsts; Courtney himself with a copy a decade later.) At that same time, I’d seen a few Model A roadsters roaming the OC with the very same windshields, namely Jack Underwood’s and Keith Weesner’s. Infatuated would be an understatement—I became Hallock obsessed.
Research came to prove that it was highly unlikely that many—if any—of the frames I’d seen in person were first- or even second-batch survivors. But as is the case in the world of antiquities when it comes to “repops”, few were talking as to where these clones came from. Fortunately, my coworker/mentor at the time just happened to be Keith Weesner’s dad, Jerry, and through them I was able to track down the source of the ’90s cast copies: Rob Miller. Using the frame from the John Bean-Jack Tobin roadster, Miller re-cast a limited number, from which came not only the focal point of Weesner’s ’29, but the frame that would shape my forthcoming A-V8, inspired by my pending infatuation. What I didn’t discover at the time, however, was that a friend of Miller’s, Larry Gheno, also cooked up a batch of Hallocks, though cast in bronze rather than aluminum. (Of the three bronze frames Gheno cast, one went to Jack Chard, another to Doug Lindown, and the third remained in his possession.)
Fast-forward nearly two decades. It’s the L.A. Roadsters show, and out in the Back 40 of the swap area sits this gorgeous, dark green, Hallock-screened beauty. Of course I’m like a fly on, uh, honey. First thing I look at is the entrant sticker to see who the owner is. Larry Gheno, Midway City, California. Well, having just proofed Chris Shelton’s piece he did on Hallocks for the first edition of our short-lived Little Pages annual, the car meant more to me than just another cast-copy-equipped ’29. (And as it turns out, Kirk F. White had just purchased the car from Gheno. Kirk previously owned the late Dick Courtney’s second ’29 clone, which he bought from Joe Scanlin prior to passing it on to Ross Meyers.)
With or without its focal point windscreen, the Gheno-White roadster is well worthy of featuring—and it probably wouldn’t hurt to discuss the rest of the car before running out of space. Believe it or not, in the beginning, Gheno’s roadster was ’glass-bodied when the project first began to take shape 20-some years ago. It’s only speculation, but had Rob Miller not made his Hallock copies, Gheno’s ’29 might still have its non-metal body and stock windshield, but according to Gheno, “… that’s what started the changes with my car. I sold the ’glass body and got a Brookville, changed the front axle to an early Bell tube, grafted in a ’34 Lincoln dash, and added a custom hood and blackwall tires.”
Admittedly, a good portion of Gheno’s roadster is good ol’ reproduction goods—from the aforementioned body to the Total Cost Involved ’32 chassis and, of course, its distinctive windshield frame. Some would argue whether or not this particular ’29 A-V8 is worthy of comparison to the likes of Courtney’s or any of the others with historical pedigree—but then who’s to say there’s no provenance in reproducing? Not me. Without such examples as the Gheno-White roadster, people like myself wouldn’t have anything but printed history with which to be infatuated by.
This photo of Dick Courtney’s car was taken in front of Kenny Vorce’s Buena Park house on
As far as we know all Hallock windshield frame copies trace their DNA to the one on Johnny
The ’33 Olds dash, steering wheel, and pedal pads in Bean’s car were particularly distinct
Rod & Custom Feature Car
Kirk F. White
1929 Ford Roadster