How’s this for an A?
Woah! Hey! How’s this for an A? That’s just about the first thing that came to mind when I stumbled upon the car you see here. Full fendered and sitting right, there’s no question this tub has impact, but in an unexpected way. How so?
Take a glance at the profile. For my money, two things stand out big time—the paint and the slicks. That red lacquer’s bright all right and those white pinstripes that highlight every panel just…POP, don’t they? Very ’60s, very sharp indeed. And then there are the wheels and tires. Ah yes, the Cragars wrapped in some little runners up front and meaty piecrusts in the rear. Tough.
Let’s talk suspension next. Time-honored favorites here: 3½-inch dropped axle under the nose, Deuce rear with 4.11 gears out back. Stock leaves and ’48 Ford brakes finish off the underside.
This is the part of the feature where I usually jump in to talk about the big burly motor that’s been built to race: a real mountain of a thing that’s been bored and stroked and chromed and polished and so on and so forth. Although this one’s detailed, it’s not what you’d expect to find after examining the exterior of this pretty phaeton. It’s a four! You read it right. Dubbed the “poor man’s Offy,” the ’banger in this particular touring has ben pushed just over 214cid and sports all the goodies, including a Winfield cam, Jahns pistons and a Stromberg carb. Oh, and the headers—custom bent by Jack Armstrong—were painted the obligatory VHT white. (No info as to what’s on the other end of the taaaaalllllll shifter though.)
And so there you have it—one clean 1928 Model A Phaeton. Before you move on to the pictures, I have one more tidbit that some may find surprising. This sharp A was built by none other than the late Bob McCoy—a longtime Southern California hot rodder perhaps best known for his flamed ’40 Ford Tudor. When you consider his extensive sprint car background, the pieces really come together and the four makes even more sense. (As an aside, I spoke with Bob’s half-brother John Mello for a piece in the new Rodder’s Journal that focuses on their antics, which range from sneaking an underage John into the pits at Balboa Stadium to drag racing a ’40 Fordoor down in Tijuana.)
Seeing that it was built in the mid-’60s, this tub’s styling may be a little late for some—but you know what? It’s “A okay” in my book. That’s my stance and I’m sticking to it.
Excellent color images by Bob Wagner, HRM November 1966