Register now to get rid of these ads!
  1. NEW JALOPY JOURNAL & H.A.M.B. MERCH!
    Hey fellas, we've just re-stocked the store with a couple of great new t-shirts, an incredible jersey, and just about the best damned ball cap ever made. Put it all in your wardrobe and you'll be the sharpest dressed man in the pits - that's a promise!

    Anyway, to check it all out just CLICK HERE!

    (To get rid of this notification, just click the little grey 'x' located in the top right hand corner of this notification box.)

Projects Tommy R Attempts to Build a Hot Rod Model A

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Tommy R, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. Tommy R
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 718

    Tommy R
    Member

    Hey y'all,

    I've been a hot rod fan since I was a little kid growing up in the mid-late '70s. Before I even knew what the word "vintage" meant, I knew those were the kinds of cars I liked. However, I grew up in a family in which no one knew how to work on cars. Kinda sucked. After college I began road racing and occasional drag racing, which required that I learn how to wrench on cars. Over the last 15 years I've been on a crash course learning things I should've learned years before. Better late than never!

    I raced/modified cars for years and have built/offroaded 4x4s, too. Why not a hot rod? Well, it wasn't 'til about 10 years ago I realized people actually built vintage style cars. Sad, huh? I wanted to build one right then, but I lacked the experience and the money so the build never materialized. But I continued to attend the Round Up each year (since '04, the same year I joined the HAMB) but it was always bitter sweet to walk the grounds among those cars. I loved it, but it was painful to look at the cars knowing I couldn't build mine.

    Fastforward to now... I've got some good wrencing/fabrication experience. I've got a small garage that's fairly well outfitted with tools. And the money.....well, it's a bit better, but let's just say this will definitely be a budget build. The point is I think I am in a position to finally build my dream car. Fortunately, my "dream car" is rather humble compared to most. I just want a hot rod Model A coupe. It doesn't need a Hemi or flattie. It doesn't need to be 100% period correct. It doesn't need to be a show winner. I don't even care if it turns heads. I'll finally have my hot rod and that's all that matters.

    A few months ago I started searching high and low for a body to get started. I finally found the right candidate on ebay. It's a 1930 A coupe body with fenders/running boards and it includes a set of Speedway Deuce rails. I won the auction and that weekend I took a roadtrip from Austin to Kansas and brought it home. I nearly made the entire round trip in one day 'cause I was so pumped with adrenaline! Fortunately, my buddy Jason (modernbeat) made the trip with me and we talked about my plans the whole way there and back.

    So the plan? In a nutshell, I guess my goal is to have a traditional style hot rod that is reliable for road trips, has 400-450 hp, and while it won't be "era correct", it will certainly look like a traditional hot rod at a glance. Modern concessions will be a SBC motor, possibly backed with an O/D trans, and it may run radials. A lot of this is undecided and will be influenced by the kinds of deals I come across. It'll get paint, but like everything else with this car, I plan to do it myself so don't expect much. Some cars that are my main influences are Rolf's, Bass', Ford's, and Tindal's coupes. Mine will not be anywhere near as nice as any of them, but hopefully it'll cast a similar shadow... ;)

    I finally now have enough "stuff" in the garage to justify starting a build thread. So grab a beer and follow along as this very average joe takes on the biggest challenge of his life. And if you have any suggestions or criticisms along the way, let me know. That's the main reason I'm posting this build thread here!

    Here's a few pics...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In this thread I learned that the car apparently had a layer of roofing tar applied to the top at some point. I'm sure that'll be fun to remove. But other than some subfloor, fender liner, and rear quarter rot, it's very solid.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  2. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 5,166

    117harv
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Great intro and you definently have CLEAN raw material to start with.
     
  3. Tommy R
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 718

    Tommy R
    Member

    The car came with very nice fenders and running boards and a hood, but I'll sell all of that stuff to fund the rest of the build.
    [​IMG]

    So my first course of action is to get the chassis rolling. I picked up a pair of spreader bars for the Deuce rails so it could be put together. Then some friends came over so I could do a very preliminary mockup. No, it won't be running little trailer tires in front or 35" mudders in the back! :)
    [​IMG]

    Yes, I had to sit in it and make engine noises. I'll spare y'all those pics, though!
    [​IMG]

    Some of the fancy bondo work that was done on the right quarter.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I plan on running split bones, a 4" drop axle, and drums all around. So I scored this '40 Ford front end from a local hot rod guru here in Austin. I'll start tearing things down to check everything, but it looks pretty good. Very recently this axle was under a running car with only 40k miles on it before it went under the knife for the street rod treatment. I'll put it to good use! I plan on using the wishbone (split), the spindles, hubs, and brakes....and whatever else I can re-use!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now I'm on the hunt for a 4" drop axle, spring perches, and a front cross member. I'm not sure if it matters if I get a Deuce or A front member. Seems people use them interchangeably. Of course, before I tack the cross member into place I need to make sure I leave enough firewall-to-grill clearance so I don't have to hack up the firewall TOO much for distributor access... So that means more mock ups.
     
  4. modernbeat
    Joined: Jul 2, 2001
    Posts: 1,229

    modernbeat
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    I was wondering when you'd start this thread.

    Does anyone know if Tommy can use the frame measurements in the Bishop book for the flathead mounts in a Deuce frame to stick a SBC with a Hurst front mount into the car without having to hack the firewall for the distributor?
     
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. Tommy R
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 718

    Tommy R
    Member

    Thanks! Definitely looking forward to the build....


    Thanks, Jason! Yeah, that'd be very helpful info. for sure.
     
  6. Tommy R
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 718

    Tommy R
    Member

    And here's a couple items for motivation. I picked up a '30 TX plate which I'll use and I figured after being a member here for 6 years I should finally become an Alliance Member. The parts discounts don't hurt none, either!
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Mark H
    Joined: May 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,461

    Mark H
    Member
    from Scotland

    Love your plan for this one Tommy.I think we're on the same wavelength!I.E. low budget,use what you've got,trad style.
    Looking forward to see this one take shape.Good luck with the build.
    Mark.
     
  8. Kevin Lee
    Joined: Nov 12, 2001
    Posts: 7,187

    Kevin Lee
    Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Seems like a lot left to chance there. I think I would just wait until I had all of the parts and mock it up.

    Good to see you around.
     
  9. Harris
    Joined: Feb 15, 2007
    Posts: 881

    Harris
    Member

    Looking forward to seeing this take shape!
     
  10. loco_gringo
    Joined: Sep 2, 2009
    Posts: 572

    loco_gringo
    Member

    Looks like your well on your way.
     
  11. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,140

    need louvers ?
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Most of the aftermarket front crossmembers today are of the model"A" type. The difference, and what led to the thought of interchangeability, was that they fit the same spaces. The Model "A" has about one inch less drop than the thirty two style, and actually drops the car by about one inch. Oldest trick in our playbook! So now you know... By the way, I'm with Kevin Lee - don't even think of engine placement and mounts until everything is where it should be. I would personally put the front crossmember in the stock thirty two location, moved forward has a tendency to make a Model "A" bodied car look nose heavy. Also, the extra three inches of wheelbase in the thirty two frame should be enough for a small block chevy to fit nicely. Chip Quinn
     
  12. chopt top kid
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 956

    chopt top kid
    Member

    It's hard to beat a chopt A coupe on deuce rails!!! Nice start!!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  13. UnsettledParadox
    Joined: Apr 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,111

    UnsettledParadox
    Member

    cant wait to see more progress!!!
     
  14. modernbeat
    Joined: Jul 2, 2001
    Posts: 1,229

    modernbeat
    Member
    from Dallas, TX

    I've always been around. I've just been busy building racecars and restoring a house. Catch me at the Pikes Peak Hillclimb from June 20-27 this year.
     
  15. I must be the only weirdo that likes the mud tires lol
     
  16. 56 Rum Runner
    Joined: May 24, 2010
    Posts: 55

    56 Rum Runner
    Member
    from Missouri

    love your plans and enjoy! Are you stuck on a SBC? I have a Flatie in mine and couldn't be happier. I'm certainly not making the HP numbers you wanted, but it's just a cool power plant. Everybody wants to talk about it. It has a unique sound. And contrary to what some think it's very reliable and it runs cool (170 on 90+ degree days over 3 hours runs at 65mph). Just saying if you don't already have a SBC it's something to consider. Are you going to chop the top any?
     
  17. sy1356
    Joined: Dec 31, 2005
    Posts: 96

    sy1356
    Member

    Tommy, I am building a Model A Coupe on 32 rails. I am using a Hurst mount & sbc. I did not have to modify the firewall at all & have pleanty of room. I would be happy to send you picts & some measurements if it would help. Byron
     
  18. 56 Rum Runner
    Joined: May 24, 2010
    Posts: 55

    56 Rum Runner
    Member
    from Missouri

    A '30 coupe mud buggy?! :D That would be unique!
     
  19. Rehpotsirhcj
    Joined: May 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,096

    Rehpotsirhcj
    Member

    Great start. Looking forward to watching your progress.
     
  20. I SMELL SMOKE
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 1,505

    I SMELL SMOKE
    Member

    looks like you have got a solid piece to start with have fun
     
  21. Tommy R
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 718

    Tommy R
    Member

    Wow, thanks for all the kind words, y'all. It's nice to have support when undertaking something like this for the first time! It's a pretty scary task, but I think I've got the motivation to get this done as fast as the budget will allow. ;)


    I agree, Kevin. Everything will just be tacked in place 'til all the parts are in-hand to verify fitment(s).


    Thanks, Chip! So you're saying the stock A crossmember will lower the car one more inch than a Deuce crossmember? I guess that would explain why all the aftermarket Deuce crossmembers I come across have a 1" drop built into them. I'm going to try to keep a stock wheelbase (106", I believe) or as close to it as I can. Definitely not looking to stretch it any more than necessary.


    Actually, no, I'm not stuck on a SBC, but I'm fairly certain I don't want a flattie. I like the flattie for the reasons you mentioned, but I really do want at least 350 cheap, reliable horsepower. I think that pretty much rules out the flattie, unfortunately. That's okay for me, though. I'm cool with a OHV motor.

    Speaking of motors, a SBC is the most likely choice for me, but I'm also considering a small block Ford (302/351) since it, too, can easily and cheaply be backed by a T-5 (my first choice for a tranny). And call me crazy, but I still haven't ruled out a Ford FE. A friend generously offered to give me his complete '68 360. It will need some work (it's currently stuck), but the price is right and another friend has a brand new 390 crank I could put in it. My biggest concern with it is the length. Packaging it in an A with a stock '32 wheelbase without hacking up the firewall and interior room would be tough to put it mildly.

    So the powerplant is still up in the air.... But I'm leaning more and more to putting three pedals in it.


    Byron, that would be a HUGE help!! Thanks for offering! Do you have a build thread or any pics posted online? If not, please shoot me a PM or e-mail with all the pics you can send. ;)

    Thanks again!
     
  22. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,395

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor


    Me too... :D

    I'm looking foreward to seeing the build.

    That is a really nice body to start with.
     
  23. Tommy R
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 718

    Tommy R
    Member

    Thanks, Alex! :D I had to wait 'til I at least had a few parts for it before starting a build thread. ;) Hopefully, I'll be ordering up a front crossmember, wishbone splitting kit, a dropped axle, and some spring parts soon so I can get the front suspension ready to go. Then it'll be time to tackle the rear and then start mounting the body.

    I've definitely got my work cut out for me, but I can't wait!!
     
  24. McFly
    Joined: Oct 10, 2001
    Posts: 1,143

    McFly
    Member
    from LA

    Man...those doors are C-L-E-A-N! They look brand new! Nice project.
     
  25. Tommy R
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 718

    Tommy R
    Member

    Thanks! I know the driver's door has some filler at the door handle opening. Not sure about the rest of the door or the passenger door. But if there is more filler in there, I think they did a pretty decent job and since it's not load bearing, it'll probably stay.
     
  26. blackout
    Joined: Jul 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,019

    blackout
    Member

    Nice start. Keep us posted.
     
  27. oldrodder43
    Joined: Oct 18, 2007
    Posts: 193

    oldrodder43
    Member

    Nice body! Lot better than the typical New England find.
     
  28. Tommy R
    Joined: May 18, 2004
    Posts: 718

    Tommy R
    Member

    I'm about to order a dropped axle and related goodies. It appears that technically speaking, a stock Model A axle has 1" of drop in it. So is a 4" drop axle (as advertised) 3" lower than stock or 4" lower than stock? I've been searching, but haven't found an answer....
     
  29. cool project, me likey
     
  30. UnsettledParadox
    Joined: Apr 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,111

    UnsettledParadox
    Member

    not sure about the dimensions but speedway sells a dropped A axle dirt cheap. a buddy just got one and some other goodies too
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2013 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.