A California Roadster
My phone vibrates and a text appears. I look at the blue bubble. It’s from a friend in Chicago. “It’s gonna snow 10 inches.” I break into a small smile. I feel a hint of guilt as I sit here typing away in a T-shirt while my winter coat mothballs in the closet. It’s been unusually warm here in Northern California this week and I’m not complaining.
Like all states, California has its fair share of drawbacks. But traditionally we do have our weather—and we also have cars like Stan Bottom’s beautiful Model A. There are plenty of ways to build an A-V8, and this one is a particularly fine example. Why’s that?
Let’s start with the chassis. Stan opted for a tried-and-true set of Deuce rails that were bobbed in the rear. The nose went skyward thanks to a stock-height Model A I-beam, transverse leaf spring and beefy lift block. Chromed split wishbones kept everything where it needed to be.
For the powerplant, a stroked 327cid smallblock came into play. It was outfitted with the best of the best, including an Isky 505 cam, Crankshaft Company stroker crank, heads by Jocko, Hilborn injection and a Vertex Magneto. Spent exhaust gasses exited through a set of nicely fabbed headers (VHT white, of course!)
Stan kept the roadster’s bodywork simple. Channeled Deuce grille shell added style; abbreviated windshield and cycle fenders appeased the tech inspector while preparing for A/Street Roadster competition. From a distance, you can immediately tell that this car has the look. Beyond that, it’s the detailing that makes it stand out. Note the polished Americans, chromed roll bar, white tuck’n roll buckets and matching steering wheel. And check out the Autolite keychain!
In short, Stan’s Model A hits all the right notes. It’s reminiscent of Hugh Tucker’s record-setting ’28 Chevy, but seems a step or two closer to being streetable. (Yes, I know Hugh did run his on the street for some time). For what it’s worth, Stan’s Pelham Blue ’31 is my kind of California roadster.
Photos by Larry Albert, Popular Hot Rodding, December 1965