Why is this man smiling? If the lead photo looks familiar, that's because a similar version has appeared within the pages of R&C before. That was back in April 2012 as part of a family style tech article where Smilin' Sam Strube's own mom recreated her woodgraining on the dash rail and garnish moldings of the newly reacquired 1930 A coupe that she and Strube's dad restored together back in the 1970s.
The Strubes are a tight gearhead group. Strube and his brothers, John and Matt, have known the old coupe for the better parts of their lives, so when it surfaced on an Interweb auction site, Strube brought it back home where it belongs—where upgrades immediately got underway.
Sometimes, however, life's little speed bumps can stall our hot rod projects. But there still exists an age-old remedy for such situations. Back in the day, before we had professional rod shops to turn to for tasks outside of our personal skillsets, hot rods were commonly built at home. The second-generation rodders amongst us have likely observed collaborations where ringers with varied specialties were brought into the residential garages of our fathers and their friends. Although we don't read much about it, this type of reciprocating camaraderie is still alive and well—where friends don't leave friends stuck on a hot rod hump.
Since its restoration in the 1970s, the Strube family coupe had fiberglass parts, which Strube did not care for. A swap meet rendered fenders. They were real steel, but in serious need of attention, and although Strube is a multi-talented builder, he does not claim to be a body guy. It was Don Dillard of Highway 99 Hot Rods in Tulare, California, who hatched the plan to help our friend over his personal hot rod hump. Dillard picked the players and recruited the talents of body guys like Richard Wright of Fallon, Nevada, and even yours truly, to assist with necessary fender-mending, as he, Strube, Tim Sage, and Simeon Kennedy (from the local-to-Livermore area) tended to the stalled project's mechanical needs. Yep, a good old-fashioned hot rod work party was on!