In A Tub
Whenever a hot rod hits the streets, it’s hard to miss. It doesn’t matter if it’s a neutral color, stock bodied or has a hushed exhaust note coming from the pipes—it’ll garner attention from those in the know. But every once and a while (okay, pretty frequently) I’m drawn to machines that most definitely would not be described as subtle.
Jim Mack’s Fremont, California-based 1926 T is one of the latter. It’s visually loud in all the right ways, and it comes from an era where less didn’t necessarily mean more. So what is it that made this car a winner? First and foremost, there was the combination of stock early Ford sheetmetal with bright red/orange lacquer. The full fenders, tall windshield and chromed radiator shell leaned towards the burgeoning Resto Rod movement, while the cheater slicks and lack of hood helped anchor the car in the hot rod camp.
Then there’s the engine—283cid Chevy equipped with a Duntov cam, 10.1 heads and a 3×2 Edelbrock intake. Everything from the valve covers and generator to the homemade lakes-style headers were either chromed or polished, giving the powerplant a jewel-like appearance. Jim relied on a ’39 Ford transmission for all his shifting chores.
Perhaps the strongest element of this T, for me, was the rolling stock. The Chrysler wires mount whiltewalls that measure 6.40-15 and 8.30-15 respectively. When combined with a four-inch dropped axle up front, Jim had the car sitting just as a mid-’60s street and show hot rod should.
Other than that, there wasn’t much else to this treasure of a touring. It’s not overly complex, but it still had a great deal of impact. Plus, Jim could bring along the whole family along whenever he took it for a spin. Doesn’t get much better than that, does it?
Photos by Andy Southard Jr., Rod & Custom July 1965