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Projects '26 T roadster build thread

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Squablow, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,945

    Squablow
    Member

    Starting a thread on the build of my '26 T roadster.

    Got the car this fall in trade for my '68 Roadrunner. The T has been a hot rod since 1958, first built by a local guy who is still alive. Was run with a flathead first, then a nailhead, stored in a barn during Vietnam, destroyed in a tornado during the war, then rebuilt and put back on the road by my friend Joe about 10 years ago.

    Joe didn't make it identical to it's original build, but he did put a lot of effort into using only period parts. His goal was to use only parts from 1940 or earlier, aside from some home made stuff like the gas tank and tail lights.

    So it was already a running and driving car when I got it. I liked what he had done, and his work all seems very nice, but he had no intention of painting it, and I like a more finished car, and I wanted to make some detail changes, so I'm going through it this winter.

    When I got it, he had it set up Modified-style, with no bodywork on the back, just a gas tank and tail lights, like this.

    [​IMG]

    (sorry for the crap pictures, space is tight in my shop)

    I thought it looked odd since it still had a full length wheelbase. I found a 22-25 T turtledeck on Craigslist for $60, and my original plan was to turn the tank around, slide it up toward the back of the cab, then notch the front part of the turtledeck so the top of the tank showed through. I tried that, but the deck was so small, it looked odd.

    [​IMG]

    So I decided to widen it out to cover the frame rails. I also had to make it an inch longer to wrap around the gas tank, and an inch taller so it wouldn't have a weird "step" where I made it longer.

    [​IMG]

    I liked that a lot better. Was also trying a nerf bar on the back, but I decided against it, too busy for me.

    Up front he had a painted 28-29 shell, but I had a '32 truck grille just waiting for a car to put it on, so that got swapped as well.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the '32 shell just set on

    [​IMG]

    And after about 10 hours of straigtening and welding. I still have to finish the splash pan piece at the bottom.

    [​IMG]

    That's about as far as I am today. Working on finishing the welding on the turtledeck and the grille pan. Plans for the future are a slight reworking of the headlight bar, a stainless cowl band I'm making using a Model A one, 40 Ford solid wheels with 6.50 16" tires, and a complete repaint back to the blue color it was when first built in 1958. Will also detail the engine and paint the frame. I'll update while I'm working on it.
     
  2. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,988

    fab32
    Member Emeritus

    Sounds like a solid plan without breaking the bank (more sweat/less $$$$$'s). Also it looks like the grille shell is a little high in relation to the cowl. Could be a camera angle. If that is the case I'd concentrate on making that "right" before venturing into any major redo. A straight on side shot will tell the story and if it's too high it just makes this configuration car look awkward/unrefined.

    Frank
     
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  3. Jersey Joe 67
    Joined: Jun 12, 2008
    Posts: 424

    Jersey Joe 67
    Member
    from J Town

    Looks sweet, plus I like that you've got a story to tell about the car's history.

    Like what you did with the turtledeck and fuel tank.
    Side shot would be nice.
     
  4. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,776

    pasadenahotrod
    Member
    from Texas

    Make sure you get the radiator shell down so it is not higher than the cowl. It throws the proportions and "cool" factor in the dumper if it stands above the cowl.
    Intersting and cool piece.
     
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  5. I know someone who might be interested in your C10 hood from your 5th pic... a deer took his last one out :D
     
  6. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,945

    Squablow
    Member

    The grille height thing was the first comment brought up by the previous owner when I said I wanted to run a '32 shell, and I agree totally. In the mockup grille pic, the shell is actually sitting on top of the radiator cap, and I hadn't notched the bottom yet, so it was probably up 3 inches or more. Now the top of the grille sits tight to the top of the radiator, same height as the 28-29 shell.

    The pic angle throws it off a bit but it's pretty well level with the top of the cowl. I'll see if I can get a side shot but it's tough in my shop for space. Proportions are everything, the whole point of my re-do, so I want to make sure it's right.

    Also, you can see those blue patches of paint on the body, that's the paint the guy put on there in '58, and the color it'll be when done. If the majority of that blue paint was still there, I wouldn't repaint it, but it's too far gone to "preserve" at this point.

    That '61 Apache hood is for sale if I don't have to ship it! It's pretty nice, too.
     
  7. olskool34
    Joined: Jun 28, 2006
    Posts: 2,380

    olskool34
    Member

    Cool project, I had a 26/27 radiator for my roadster and it was 3 inches shorter than my 29 A radiator. I can measure my stock 26 T shell if you need it.
     
  8. swimeasy
    Joined: Oct 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,067

    swimeasy
    Member

    That is a very cool car that you have there! I think that the 32 shell is always a natural with a 26-27. I bet after you tweek a little that it will look great!
     
  9. swimeasy
    Joined: Oct 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,067

    swimeasy
    Member

    Oh,forgot to say that turtle deck and tank set the car apart as well!
     
  10. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,945

    Squablow
    Member

    A bit of progress, reworked the headlight bar with a center section from a Model A bar, sets the headlights further apart and the brackets are flipped so it's closer to the grille. Also has a nice curve to it instead of straight like the old one.

    Keep in mind, the headlights are just sitting on there so it looks a little wonky.

    [​IMG]

    I also got my lower grille pan piece made and am fitting it now (not shown). Hoping to send some of the small stuff off to get painted soon.
     
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  11. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    3wLarry
    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    I like that you moved the headlight bar back closer to the grille...I've always liked a fingers width between them for good measure...that way you don't have them so far forward to give a bug-eyed Sprite look to them.
     
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  12. olskool34
    Joined: Jun 28, 2006
    Posts: 2,380

    olskool34
    Member

    I agree with you, I always tuck the bar as close to the shell as I can. What didn't you like about the A shell? It looked good on there. Don't get me wrong I like the 32 commercial shell too.
     
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  13. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,945

    Squablow
    Member

    The A shell had some sheetmetal added to the bottom to make it cover the radiator, and there was gap along the sides as well. The '32 grille fits this radiator perfectly, even though it was supposed to have been built custom to fit the A shell. Also, I have an inspiration folder full of pics of my favorite roadsters (mostly period pictures) and they all have 32 grilles.

    That grille, along with the "bug eye" headlight bar, made me think of a doodlebug farm tractor more than a hot rod. The old bar was probably 6 inches away from the grille and the headlights were directly above the frame rails, just looked odd. I did keep the stand part of the headlight bar though, those pieces were made "back in the day".

    Thanks for all of the responses on this car, makes me feel like I'm doing it justice.
     
  14. dtracy
    Joined: May 8, 2012
    Posts: 223

    dtracy
    Member

    I like what you did to the back end - nice. It looks like it belongs on the car. The '32 grille and lights make it look more like a rod than the '30 grille did. I like it.

    Dave.
     
  15. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,945

    Squablow
    Member

    I took the body off the frame and it's out getting bodywork and paint, and over the last few months I've been painting and detailing the frame and engine, and just working on small pieces here and there. The cowl band turned out great, can't wait to see it on the painted body. I also got a '34 truck grille trim and fitted it, looks great with that extra bit of trim.

    I changed my mind on the color and decided to make it black. Would have been neat to make it the same color as it was, but black was a lot easier/cheaper, plus the metallic blue would kind of throw off the period of the car.

    Here's a few pics of the painted frame/suspension/engine. Nothing too fancy, just cleaned, painted and detailed the best I can do without spending too much $. This will be the level of finish the whole car will get. I made the engine cast iron grey and the suspension is all hammertone silver, for contrast against all the black. I like how it turned out.
     

    Attached Files:

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  16. general gow
    Joined: Feb 5, 2003
    Posts: 6,214

    general gow
    MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    looking good. nice and simple. gonna be a neat little car.
     
  17. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,945

    Squablow
    Member

    Been working on this and have some new pics to post. The grille, wheels, and headlights are painted and back on the car, the chassis is pretty much done now, awaiting the body which should be painted soon. Got the '34 commercial grille trim to fit to the '32 grille nicely and made a trim band to go on the outer lip of the grille out of Model A cowl bands, covers up the grille mounting bolts nicely. Tires are 6.00 and 6.50 and I feel like that's just right, not too exaggerated. Here's some new pics.

    IMG_20140824_193926.jpg
    IMG_20140824_194059.jpg
    IMG_20140824_193823.jpg
    IMG_20140824_193809.jpg
     
  18. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    3wLarry
    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    wow...I can safely say I've never seen a '32 commercial grille with polished stainless trim around the insert...looks great...how'd you do it?
     
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  19. Wow, that looks fantastic! Great work on the grille...you saved that one for sure!
     
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  20. little paint goes a long way. If you get the body looking that nice you'll have a winner for sure!
     
  21. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,945

    Squablow
    Member

    Nothing new to report, moved the frame into my house garage for winter time, the bodywork is close but not there yet and I have a feeling snow will fly before it's done so I decided to move the frame home. Grabbed a couple pics, including a neat reflection one in my '52 Ford.

    IMG_20141107_112114.jpg IMG_20141107_112546.jpg
     
  22. stephane-rod
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 208

    stephane-rod
    Member
    from france

  23. bambbrose
    Joined: Dec 29, 2008
    Posts: 220

    bambbrose
    Member
    from So. Utah

    Looking great!
     
  24. Awesome project!
     
  25. Lookin good Jon.
     
  26. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,945

    Squablow
    Member

    Body is back on it, doors and deck should be painted by the end of the week, really starting to look like something now. Got a really neat early Sharp 2x2 intake to add to it as well.

    smallingarage.jpg
     
  27. a boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 5,195

    a boner
    Member

    Nice!... Will it be at Symco?
     
  28. Bugguts
    Joined: Aug 13, 2011
    Posts: 598

    Bugguts
    Member

    That looks awesome! I can't wait to see the assembled pictures. Going to be awesome to cruise in!
     
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