I had a stock '26 Ford Model T coupe that I had planned to swap bodies on to make it a stock Model T roadster, so I e-mailed a number of people on the Model T Ford Web site asking if they knew of any nice original '26/27 roadster bodies.

It wasn't long before a guy from the Finger Lakes region of New York e-mailed me back with some photos of a roadster pickup. I swapped gears and made a deal, and the wife and I headed from Ohio to pick it up.

As soon as I got it home, I made a metal frame with casters to set it on so I could push it around in my shop. Once I put the body on that ground-scrapping caster frame, I knew it was destined to be a hot rod. My highboy Model A Tudor needed a buddy anyway. I had built the Model A myself over a 10-year period. I didn't want to do that again, so now that I had the time, the tools, and the money, I made up my mind that the Model T would be a two-year project.

For the pickup, I envisioned a Bonneville lakes roadster-low, '32 'rails, kidney bean wheels, something sleek and fast. My buddy Grant Victor of Grants Body Shop in Ludlow Falls, Ohio, hooked me up with a guy who had won a set of American Stamping '32 'rails at the NSRA Nationals. We made a deal and my next hot rod was on its way.

I "back-halfed" the 'rails, making custom pieces to kick in the frame, and Z'd it up inside the stock Model T body frame surround. Being a design engineer, I designed all of the chassis pieces on CAD, transferred the pieces to cardboard for mockup, and then transferred them to steel. All components of the frame were made to fit the diminutive Model T. Even the front '32 crossmember was narrowed to the point where the radiator mounting holes were right at the outer edges of the framerails.

Since I started this project, the wife and I have moved from Brookville, Ohio, to Denver, Colorado. As soon as the move was done, I started thrashing on building an unattached garage/workshop. Now that the shop is complete, I've turned my attention back to the items left unfinished on the pickup, such as installing the body wood, stock interior, and doors, and running the stainless exhaust. I am also contemplating a hood.