East Los Angeles, California
Jim Apodaca sent us this picture of his brother Bob’s ’40 Merc. President of the East L.A. Hoods Car Club, his Merc was both chopped 6 inches and channeled a similar amount, with leaded seams and molded gravel pans front and rear. The doors and trunk were electrically operated, while the taillights were replaced with motorcycle lights. Most of the bodywork was done at Gil’s Auto Body in East L.A. before it was painted in Forest Green Metallic lacquer.
White tuck ’n’ roll covered the entire interior, which featured chopped-down seats. The steering column and pedals were also cut down to match the new seating position. The drivetrain was extensively modified, with a Lincoln Zephyr transmission, a Hudson differential, and a Chevy clutch on a lightened flywheel. Power came from a bored ’40 Merc Flathead with a 3/4 race cam, Edelbrock heads and manifold, and four Stromberg carburetors. These were fed by an electric fuel pump, while the dual exhaust employed Smitty’s mufflers. Two short, chromed pipes extended to the rear of each front wheelwell for uncapped use at the Santa Ana Drags.
Check out the before and after pictures of Jim Mitchell’s homebrewed ’50 Stude convertible. The body came for free, while a $50 ’50 Olds provided the engine. This was backed by a Ford pickup trans and ’52 Pontiac rearend. Up front he used a ’48 Ford axle and steering with hydraulic brakes and clutch from a ’59 Ford pickup!
A police officer in Blythe at the time the Stude was built in 1964, Jim used it as his daily driver and commuter car. It didn’t have any form of roof at the time, as well as an unfinished interior, though Volkswagen seats provided the somewhat “backseat” driving position. Jim didn’t let us know if he ever did finish the Stude, though he’s since owned numerous other hot rods, such as a ’29 A, ’31 A, ’48 Merc, ’53 Stude, and ’35 Auburn convertible.
We saw Steve Jordan’s pickup around Wendover at Speedweek this year, but never caught up with him, and then returned to the office to find these pics in our inbox! Jordan’s latest project involved taking a ’52 Chevy truck, sectioning and narrowing the body, and mounting it on a handbuilt chassis. It features a working convertible top—the only work not done by the owner was the stitching on the top—and a tunnel ram-equipped 327 small-block backed by a T5. It’s never seen a trailer and gets driven everywhere.
Woodland Hills, California
John Martinez bought his Model A in pieces 20 years ago. The build stretched out over two decades as it was tackled in tandem with raising kids, remodeling his home, and then doing it again after it was extensively damaged in an earthquake! Among other obstacles, both he and his wife were struck with cancer four years apart, but after a hard recovery and with good vibes about life, he’s been showing the truck for the past two years.
His first ground-up build, it sits on a TCI Engineering chassis, and runs a small-block Chevy with a 200-R4 overdrive trans, backed by a Currie 9-inch. Inside he modified a Plymouth dash to fit the early style interior.
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